“That sounds a bit excessive…”

I recently noticed that I was starting to run low on my FreeStyle test strips.

I don’t like being out of FreeStyle strips because that is the kind I use when I’m out and about.

Since I was out of refills on my prescription, I had to send a request in to my endo’s office. They are usually very good about this. I can simply fax a request in for whatever I need, and ask them to write up a prescription and drop it in the mail to me. Usually within a day or two the envelope shows up in the mail, and I can then send it in to the mail order pharmacy.

I usually get a script for 900 strips over a three month supply. That is about 10 tests per day. This time however, I requested a prescription for 1100 strips (more like 12 tests per day).

A while after I faxed the request in, I got a call from one of the nurses at the office.

excessiveI missed the call, so she left a message. I can’t help but to say her message put me off a little. She said she had a question on the number of strips I needed, and that it “sounds a bit excessive”.

A bit excessive? Who does she think she is to judge my testing habits? She doesn’t even really know me – I see her for less than five minutes every three months. That’s what, 15 minutes for the whole year? A bit excessive?

Knowing that I have to play the game in order to get what I need from her (side note: interesting how these people can pretty much hold us hostage, yes?). I call back and explain that I’ve been testing between 12 – 15 times per day.

She sighs, then says “Okay, I’ll write it, but if you need prior authorization or anything like that from the insurance, I won’t be able to do it.”.

Whatever. Just give me my damn script.

I just felt angry about having to jump through hoops. And what I perceived to be extra hoops. All this talk about tight control, and preventing complications, but I have to beg and plead for the test strips I need?

I know, I know. I’m actually very fortunate that I don’t have to fight harder. Many of you are pressed even harder with limits being placed on you by your insurance. Or others who don’t have good insurance and are limited by your budget, and are only (barely) able to buy the strips you can afford.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that I have decent insurance. But it pisses me off that I (we) have to fight to get the most basic of supplies.

I have just recently sent the prescription and payment in for the strips, so we’ll see whether the insurance will question the amount or not. That’s round two I guess.

Maybe I should freak them out and ask for what I really want!

I played basketball twice last Wednesday. Once for my lunchtime outing, then again later that evening with a friend from work. Other than putting on soggy sneakers (gross!), it was a blast. But to do what I needed in order to avoid running low or going high, I tested my blood sugar nineteen times that day!

What would they say if I asked for 1700 test strips every three months? And why the hell does she even care how many test strips I want? Does she think I’m selling them on ebay or something? Frustrating.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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