If you’ve had diabetes for say, oh a week or so, then you’ve already come to terms with the fact that you will spend a lot of time on the phone arguing about things. These things will mostly revolve around insurance. They will include explaining why CGM sensors should not be considered durable medical goods because they are, by nature, disposable and should thus be covered at 100%. You will spend time explaining that the number of refills you will need for insulin is infinity, because Type 1 diabetes is forever and insulin = still alive tomorrow. You will tell someone at least 7,000 times that you have met your deductible and out of pocket for the year and that there is no way you’re paying 7k for a pump when yours is out of warranty. They will still not believe you.
You get pretty used to the hassle factor with diabetes. Which is why when I saw that all the Freestyle test strips I use with my Omnipod insulin pump meter (the Freestyle meter is built in to my pump controller) had been recalled, I simply sighed, and called the 1-800 number they had listed for the recall.
The woman on the other end was friendly and patient and read directly from a very straightforward script. She gathered some of my personal data, then asked for the lot number of my test strips. I read off the digits to her, and she asked how many strips I had.
“600.” I responded, which was completely true. I used to test 10 times a day, warranting me a monthly supply of 300 test strips. When I got my CGM, that number dropped dramatically, but the strip order never changed. I had stockpiled a bit, you might say. And now those would all be worthless. I doubted they’d replace that many.
“Ok,” she said, without missing a beat. “We will replace all 600 of those test strips. The new test strips will be there in two business days by close of business on the second day. We will also ship you a Freestyle Freedom meter. Your old test strips, although not approved for use with your OmniPod, can be used with the Freestyle Freedom meter we are shipping, so they will not go to waste.”
And on Tuesday, exactly two business days after I had called, there they were. 600 new test strips and a meter to use the old ones with. I was floored.
Wow. If only everything with diabetes was this easy. (Hint: it’s not).