My Hard-Knock Healthcare Wisdom (Tips on How to Navigate the Exchange)

health-insurance

It was about this time last year when I wrote, Battle To The Death.. My Death That Is, about the countless hours/days/weeks I spent dealing with insurance companies. I want to start by saying that I’m incredibly grateful to finally have medical insurance as someone who has been self-employed most of my adult life, but this recent round(s) of phone calls has me questioning a few things. Continue reading

Lantus Monopoly – Jab in the Pancreas

Lantus Monopoly I’ll do my best not to curse throughout this post as my mother recently mentioned I could use more appropriate language.  I am incredibly thankful for my medical insurance and for the first time had to call in my prescription for Lantus, an insulin I HAVE to take every single day.  In fact, my alarm goes off at 6:11am every morning to remind me to inject this precious drug.  I would not be alive without Lantus.  Here is where shit hits the fan.

  • 10 days ago I called in my prescription for Lantus
    • 2 hours later I receive a text – prescription is available to pick up and cost $150. I question this amount because Novolog costs $100.
  • Next Day – I have an argument with the pharmacy because they’re out of test strips AND insurance wouldn’t cover them.
    • Test strips = $298+
    • Please note my recent post, Halloween Highs & Lows, about having to test every 45 minutes during my high blood sugar scare.
  • Fast Forward 1 Week (10:08am)– Contact pharmacy again about Lantus. Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Does Your Vote Count?

Your Vote Counts

As today is a very important election day, it made me think of how diabetes has swayed my vote at times.  Not really a conscious decision, but as an intelligent, self employed adult, I had to research the candidates and determine with all of the political bullshit, who actually cared about my well being and pursuit of happiness considering the obstacles I might face with this disease.

In October, 2012, Diabetes Mine published an article, The Politics of Diabetes in Election Season.  As I read the article, I scrolled down to the comment section and was shocked by an anonymous writer.  It spoke to me for a number of reasons.

The anonymous writer shared:  As a child, my father coached me from an early age that I could not be an artist, an entrepreneur, a small business owner… in short, he coached me I could NOT be ANYTHING I wanted to be.

The reason for this was simple. I was diabetic. And unless I worked for a big company, I would never be able to get coverage by myself. Continue reading

Walgreens Worked a Wonder

Insulin at the pharmacy

No, I have not been paid off. No, I am not in the pockets of big pharma. No, I do not purchase all prescriptions from Walgreens. Yet, my perspective on pharmacy refills took a turn for the grateful last week with the singular effort of one pharmacist.

In accordance with a common theme, I was looking to pickup a prescription right as I need it. Picking up a prescription early has never crossed my mind. Due to some insulin resistance from scar tissue (referenced here), I made the switch back to the pens (Lantus and Novolog). When I called Walgreens expecting it to be ready within the next hour, relayed to me was the news that each prescription would be costing $150 under my coverage (BCBS Oklahoma under HealthCare.gov). Continue reading

Top 5 Pump-free Powers

Rarely in my life have I opted to go back to shots. It’s usually a last resort. My membership card for Team Pump has never been in question. I love the on-the-fly corrections I can make based on symptom awareness. Nevertheless, my employer switched up insurance companies last month and due to a few logistical issues I was thwarted back into the land of Lantus for two weeks. It wasn’t all bad. Check out the top 5 pump-free powers I rediscovered:

1) No strategic sleeping

My favorite pump site location is on the upper, outside butt region (almost above the hips). Occasionally, these sites can get pretty sore, even after one day. Because I pay for my sites, I like to get my money’s worth and keep them in for at least 3 days. At night, sometimes I avoid sleeping on a certain side if things turn tender. Continue reading

The Middle Zone (70-90)

It haunts us. It’s almost indescribable but you know the feeling. Described as anxiety, lack of focus, restlessness, or the time when you act like a person you aren’t. It doesn’t happen when you’re blood sugar’s high. It doesn’t happen when you’re blood sugar’s low. It strikes when your blood sugar is in the twilight zone: 70-90.

We know the signs of being high – foggy eyes, agitation, thirst, etc. We know the signs of being low – nonsensical hunger, dizziness, fatigue, etc. In the twilight zone, it’s really hard to recognize any signs. It isn’t a physical sensation except for perhaps a faster heart rate. Particularly, it’s purely mental, the inability to control your thoughts. Allow a monk on a mountainside in Tibet thirty minutes in the middle zone and he’ll never be the same. Continue reading

SHOT #1

2nd

It was my first day home and my mom looks wicked stressed. It was time to take my first shot and I recall her shaking while drawing out the insulin. I sat on the steps in our dining room and she came in for the kill. I don’t remember freaking out because I knew what was going down, we had done this in the hospital a few times.

She began to sweat and I thought she might pass out. She splashed water on her face and came back. I took the needle from her and gave my first shot in my thigh. She was relieved and I am free, free from having to rely on anyone else. Continue reading