One fact about living with diabetes that never ceases to amaze me is that if I wasn’t on top of my sh*&, I’d be left for dead on a corner somewhere by America’s healthcare “system.”
Ok, ok, I’m being a little dramatic. But after the hours I’ve wasted the past several weeks trying to get my pump supplies, that’s how I’m feeling! What happened to put me in such a foul mood today? Well, let me begin at the beginning:
Move to Oregon, continue to see San Diego doctor on trips home for a while.
Get new job, decide to stay in Oregon, commit to getting new endo.
Get new insurance with new job.
Endo doesn’t have appointment available for several weeks, get one for March 7th.
Pump supplies starting to run out. Normal auto-shipment not delivered as usual.
Call pump company…stay one hold for approximately 47 hours. Get told they don’t accept my new job’s insurance. Get referred to a 3rd party distributor.
Call 3rd party distributor. “We’re working with your doctor to get your prescription on file with us. This can take a few business days.” Hhhm. Ok.
Call pump company, explain that I would have liked a call about the fact that I’ve been referred out to a distributor sooner because now I’m almost out of supplies. Pump company overnights some extras (thank god).
Call distributor. “We can’t reach your doctor.” I ask which doctor? “Your doctor in Portland.” I’m a new patient there, I’m probably not in their system. Can you call my old doctor? “He won’t sign off because you’re no longer a patient of his.” Ok, I’ll call him.
Call old doctor. They are happy to sign off on pump supplies, didn’t realize I couldn’t get in with the new doc until March 7th. Ask distributor to please fax over order. I call distributor. He says he faxes.
ONE WEEK GOES BY. No pump supplies. Down to last three days worth. Call distributor. “We faxed your doctor three times, didn’t hear anything back.” I ask if they were going to call me to help reach the doctor or to let me know that YOU WON’T BE GETTING ANY PUMP SUPPLIES AT ALL? “No mam, we’re working with your doctor to fulfill your order. This can take 3-5 business days.” Ok. It’s been two weeks. “Sorry.”
I call old doctor. Say someone faxed and didn’t hear anything. Nurse says there are no faxes, she’s looking at the machine right now. Ok. I get an email address.
Call distributor. Give him email address. He gets Rx in five minutes for pump supplies. I ask if these are shipping out today. “No mam. That will take about three to five business days to get those out to you.” I have strong desire to reach through the phone a grab him by the collar and demand he rent a car and DRIVE ME MY SUPPLIES THAT I’M NOW COMPLETELY OUT OF THANKS TO YOU FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
The scary thing is that this happens all the time. And I’m one of the lucky ones! I have back-up supplies, and back-up friends with supplies if I ever really needed something. But what if I was a little old lady living by myself in some remote corner of the world? What if I didn’t have access to back-up insulin? What if I hadn’t tried to call the distributor to check? What if I hadn’t called my old doctor to ask him to sign the order, and then verify the fax wasn’t going through? The what ifs are endless and have very real consequences.
It is a scary world out there when it comes to your own health, especially with diabetes. One thing that has always remained true for me is that I must be the captain of my own ship to be successful with this disease. Otherwise, it could be three to five business days before anything happens. And we all know what that really means!