It’s Not Just The Diabetes

Living with diabetes is hard.

jumping-through-hoopsBut today reminded me that it is not just the diabetes that makes living with diabetes hard.  It is all the extra crap we deal with around our diabetes that is almost more of a headache than managing blood sugars and insulin doses.

Let’s have a vote.  Would it be easier to take good care of yourself if you had everything you needed, without having to fight for it?  How about not having to deal with attitudes, billing troubles, long hold times on the phone, not getting prompt call backs?

Managing the diabetes itself is hard enough.  I don’t need extra trouble on top of that, especially when I’m just trying to take care of myself.  I should not have to get aggressive and pushy to get the help I need.

I’m just sayin’…

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20 thoughts on “It’s Not Just The Diabetes

  1. Get this…I just changed insurance companies and am changing insulin pumps. My new insurance said they couldn’t cover a new pump because i already had one…i finally talked to someone and explained to them that as soon as i received my NEW pump i would gladly return the old one…i told them i couldnt get rid of one until i had the other in hand…they were like ohhh! and supposedly this is the department that deals only with medical supplies.

  2. There can be no doubt that we need healthcare reform. Some have expressed confusion as to why the richest country in the world isn’t better at caring for it’s citizens who are in need of healthcare they can’t afford. First, I would say that we are the richest (if not, one of the richest) because we are a capitalist, free market society. The government was never meant to “care” for my healthcare needs. Having said that, greed (something all humans are prone to) will destroy a free market society if it lacks proper oversight. We saw what happened in our banking industry. Corruption and greed in the industry AND in government dealt a major blow. Almost every American has an evil insurance company story. But I would submit that the greed of the industry has been left unchecked because it is not subject to the same rules as other industries are in our free market society. Laws need to be changed, for sure, but I think non Americans will testify that government run healthcare is not a very good answer. Personally, I don’t want Nancy Pelosi telling me what I can and cannot eat!

  3. I am so upset today about the latest round in this battle. Customer-NO-service at the mail order pharmacy, we don’t care attitude by insurance carrier, out of meds…Don’t worry, I have my insulin and that’s probably why I’m fairly calm, but the rest of my meds? I’m out of insurance this month and am going to be off several meds until next month. I totally understand how/why patients just give up— and their HC providers call them non-compliant.

  4. Wow, I’m really shocked about what u guys have
    to go through to manage ur diabetes properly.
    I live in England now but I am German. While
    it’s still ok over here, DO I MISS GERMANY!
    Yes, we pay for health insurance there and it
    has increased but I do believe we have one of
    the best health care systems in the world.
    I wonder why it is difficult for other countries
    like the US to learn a bit from that.
    I got 10 packets of test stripes at a time from
    my diabetes specialist and they are free from
    prescription fees because they are ‘equipment’
    not actual medication like the insulin. Over here
    I get 2 packets at a time which means I have to
    go back for a prescription every 2 weeks.
    It’s as if they think I’d just waste the stripes if
    I have them!
    But seriously, I dont want to complain as I chose
    to live here. But I do miss Germany!

  5. WOW this post couldn’t have come at a better time as I am dealing with this situation! We have been trying to get our strip number increased since July 2009…. We are now March 2010 and I still have yet to see the increase that we need to properly manage Tristan’s diabetes.
    My husband and I both work full time. Unfortunately our company (we work for the same company) doesn’t offer health care insurance… at all! So we have to rely on government program (based on our income). On 2/26 we get a letter saying the coverage for the kids will end on 3/5!!!! Because now we make too much money so we don’t qualify for that program anymore. Getting private insurance is obviously not an option as it is way to expensive. So now we have to join another program…. complete all the form, submit proof of residency, proof of income…. etc. Now the stress start to make sure that I get the new coverage before the old one expires (we were able to get them to delay the end date to 4/1).
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I live in a State that has options for children. But Adam and I are left in the cold with no insurance. One step at a time… first, coverage for the children, then we will see what we can do about us.
    But honestly, it shouldn’t be that difficult. These are the times when I really miss Canada! 🙂

  6. It should be pointed out that Canadians over 64 pay very little – at least here in Ontario. I get all my supplies and meds except needles for a dispensing fee of $6.11 + a yearly one time fee of $100 that covers all prescriptions.
    I pay nothing for my endocrinologist, my educator nurse, my nephrologist, my dietitian and my family doctor visits. This is true for everyone regardless of age.
    I am not on the pump which might be another matter.

  7. Its Horrible mate! I’m a Brit so although I get alot of perscriptions for free, I still think the prices for extra supplies you need are disgusting and I’m incredibly angry about how expensive everything is in America, which is supposed to be the richest country in the world. All those (dnt think i can swear) Evil insurance company bosses, etc who have all the money in the world that they don’t deserve on the backs of thousands, if not millions of exploited ordinary people who have to buy medications to stay alive Makes me sick to my stomach! Diabetes is very difficult to manage but if money was no factor, then Oh my God how much easier would everything be! There is no reason why money should be a factor all ill people should be provided with what they need, FULLSTOP.
    Its proving very difficult for me to get onto an insulin pump in England. The criteria is so strict and I believe this is due to money. Everybody should be allowed the best treatments. I mean I’m 20 and my life and my energy have been drained so much by this disease. I research a good solution or at least a way in which i could help improve my life (insulin pump) only to find, “No, Access Denied for now”, for no good reason whatsoever.
    Test strips are dirt cheap to make so WHY are they so expensive! Pure Greed. Western civilisation needs a much more even dispensal of money. Everybody ends up in debt just to make some soulless, heartless creeps such as bankers richer. I’m tierd of people like us being the foundation on a massive human pyramid that insurance companies (in USA), Bankers, and everybody eles just stands on. Breaking our backs whilst simultenously refusing to acknowledge there even doing so. wish I could give them all diabetes so they knew what it was like

  8. “Would it be easier to take good care of yourself if you had everything you needed, without having to fight for it? How about not having to deal with attitudes, billing troubles, long hold times on the phone, not getting prompt call backs?”
    YES, it sure would! I think a lot of the problem in some of this is the industry doesn’t have any idea what we NEED, and we’re the last ones they ask. I often wonder who the bonehead is that determined how many strips you can get, and how many I can get and never bothered asking how many I NEED! Who in their right mind would call begging for bg test strips just for kicks and giggles?!?

  9. Kelly, I’m with you! I to live in Canada and can’t get medical because of my diabetes. I”m now on disability and must say it is hard and expensive having this condition and trying to keep up with the amount of testing and constant vigilance that it takes to try and stay on top of things. I don’t think it matters where in the world you live it is hard to keep up with the cost and difficulties of attaining supplies.

  10. I hear you brother!!! I’m type 1 11yrs now and I feel your pain! The insurance companies make me sick! or should I say make us all sick!. The sky rocketing prices of diabetic supplies and meds are truly horrific! It’s like it isn’t hard enough that we have to battle against a terminal illness with no known cure everyday of our lives!! but they have to make us pay outrageous prices for being sick????????? PLEASE!! It makes me want to scream!!!!!!!

  11. Sorry to say that having diabetes in Canada is not cheap, they make it very hard to have good health care when it comes to this disease.

  12. I am a full time employee at Walgreens. But they pay so badly I can’t afford the insurance that they do offer. (You start at minimum wage regardless of experience, and get a $.25 raise every 6 months.) If you think it’s difficult to deal with insurance companies, try having diabetes and having to pay for everything yourself.

  13. I couldn’t agree more. I am currently a “have” in terms of insurance coverage, and enjoying a fairly smooth ride. But I’ve had my share of having to fight for enough test strips, enough insulin to account for what I lose in the tubing of my pump, and a knock down drag out over paying for my first pump. Nothing like fighting for the stuff that keeps you alive to bring on some serious stress! Even when we’re not engaged in a fight, just keeping up with reordering at the right time is a low grade drag on our energy.
    To Scott S: have you tried filing a claim with your state board of insurance? That’s the only way I got results on my pump payment fight.

  14. I often challenge people who jingoistically say the U.S. has the “best” healthcare system in the world, when we do not rate as the best by any international comparison conducted by anyone. This is a fact, not an opinion. I have been dealing with a challenge on the number of approved test strips my insurer will cover since August of 2009; I really would like to resolve this issue, and keep going around in circles with the insurance company and I agree — I shouldn’t have to get aggressive or pushy, but I think that’s what it takes. The last step might be filing a small-claims lawsuit, if the defendant fails to show up in your local jurisdiction, the case is automatically ruled in favor of the defendant, but that’s time-consuming and is a hassle, too, requiring time off from work and whatnot, and I don’t really want to be forced to do it. I have a posting coming out about this subject soon, so be on the lookout for it!!

  15. More than once, I’ve said that the hardest part of living with diabetes is dealing with the health insurance. Even when my BG will NOT behave, it’s the red tape and worrying about whether I’ll get the care/supplies I need to do the best I can that is the most challenging. It is far more draining than the constant state of vigilance.

  16. Scott – this subject so annoys me being a Brit. I think it’s just dreadful what you guys have to fight for being in one of the riches countries in the world. On the other hand, I would just love a CGMS but the health service here says they are too expensive, so I guess either way we can’t all win.

  17. Amen.
    I got attitude yesterday from a pharmacy tech at Walgreens about being on an expensive anti-depressant. Hey, it’s what works. Still considering writing the pharmacy manager about that one.

  18. Amen, Scott. It depresses me to no end how difficult it is to get health care in the USA. Sure, things can be reasonably acceptable if you are employed with great coverage. But if you’re not on the A-List? It’s unethically bad.