Friday, November 13, 2009

Close call

Several months ago I switched to the Freestyle Lite meter and I've really liked it since switching. I would even go so far as to say that it is better than any other meter I've had in every aspect except one. And it's really not a huge deal but if you have to know. . .

I have used the One Touch strips for years and I really do like how they work (even if the meters that they are used in are less than ideal). It's so easy to see where the blood goes and that little clear canal for the blood fills up and when it's full you can tell. Or if you need to add more. . . it's obvious that you need to add more.

Anyway, if you look at the Freestyle Lite test strip you can see that there isn't a terribly obvious place to put the blood. In fact, as embarrassing as it is to admit this, the first time I tried to test with this meter it took a few tries of me jabbing my bloody finger at the strip before I figured out how to actually use the damn thing. (Btw, you apply the blood to the little half circles on either side of the end of the strip. And, yes, you can use either side.) Even now that I know how to use the strips I still get annoyed when my little drop of bloood is perfectly poised on the strip, ready to be sucked in and analyzed and for whatever reason the meter just won't kick in. Am I not lined up in the right spot? Does it need more blood? What is it WAITING FOR?!?! But this is a little thing in the grand scheme of things and overall I really do like the meter better.

Oh! I just thought of another downside of this meter. And really I should have said it sooner because I've been dealing with this for months. The test strips are really expensive (no shock there) and for whatever reason my insurance company is giving me a really hard time about filling my perscription. No problems with the One Touch strips but for some reason the Freestyle strips are a higher copay and (worse) the mail order pharmacy I have to use for 90 day refills is iffy when it comes to actually stocking the Freestyle Lite strips.

In July, the mail order pharmacy broke the news that they would no longer be carrying the Freestyle Lite strips. What?!?! They told me that they could provide a free (read: cheap and generic) meter and I they would supply the strips for it. Um, no thanks. I like my meter and I want to keep using it. I got an override that allowed me to refill my 90 prescription for test strips at my local CVS. Great.

Well, I was getting close to running out a couple weeks ago and went to refill them again at the CVS when I was told "NO!" Apparently the override back in August was a one time thing. "What were my options?," I asked. Well, I could get a 15 day supply from CVS for $45 (keep in mind I was getting 90 days for $90 which basically means triple the cost) or if I wanted to get a 90 day supply I would have to use the mail order pharmacy program. I told them that last time I spoke to them, the mail order pharmacy didn't carry the Freestyle strips. So they said I could get a 15 day supply for $45 and I said I wanted a 90 day supply . . . . and around and around we went.

I eventually hung up with the person at my insurance company and decided to try the mail order pharmacy again. I figured they are a pharmacy shouldn't they be able to freaking fill any prescription I needed filling?!? I called, asked for a manager immediately and prepared for a battle. Except they starting carrying the Freestyle lite strips again. And of course they would transfer the script from CVS back to them and fill the 90 day supply! Seriously?!?

Well, this was all fine and dandy but in the mean time I had run out of strips for my Freestyle and only had one box of strips left for my One Touch. I checked the mail diligently for days and still no strips. I test a LOT and it was awful feeling like I had to reign that in for fear of using up all my strips. Thursday came and I used my last strip. luckily I was working all day so if I got desparate I could use the glucose meter at the hospital (a big no-no but seriously it's my health and I don't care). I was praying that they came that day because I was off for 2 days with no access to glucose meters and no strips in sight.

So yesterday on my way home from work I texted my husband and "Hallelujah!," they came!! That was a seriously close call and I hate it when I have close calls like that with my meds/supplies. I guess I could have bent and agreed to use another meter but that would have meant a million phone calls to my Endo to ask them to write another script and you know what? I don't want to use their stinky meter. Call me stubborn.

Have you ever had a close call with your supplies? How did you handle it? Have you ever put your foot down with your pharmacy or insurance company? Are all diabetics a pain in the ass or is it just me?



  1. That happened to me just last week! I have been fighting with my endo/insurance co/cvs to get my prescriptions right. I had to call and fight with them AGAIN and finally got my insulin sent to me and it came when I had 2 units left in my pump and that was all the insulin I had. It was close but fortunately wound up okay.

    I totally understand that panicky feeling and really not wanting to ration yourself.

    Glad they came and your stubbornness paid off! heehee! :)

  2. I know I am a HUGE pain in the ass... I just hate it when I run out of a refill for my insulin because its usually at a really bad time and I will have to fight with the pharmacy. Last year on Christmas eve I ran out and didn't realize my refill was up and the pharmacist wouldn't give me my novolog and told me I need to go to the ER. I just don't understand I have been filling there for over 10 years and my diabetes hasn't magically been cured!!

  3. Thank you very much! It's so frustrating when you run out of supplies and the pharmacy won't let you refill because enough time hasn't gone by since your last refill. I just wanna shake them and say "Guess what? Maybe I used more insulin that I usually do. Whatever, it doesn't matter because I'm still out and I can't LIVE without it so just gimme some more DAMMIT!"

    And then they make you jump through all these hoops to refill early (call MD, get a new Rx, fax it in, etc, etc).

    You are right, Kendyl, this disease won't wait or cure itself because I ran out of supplies. Please just freaking shut up and give me my supplies!

    Nice to know you ladies know how it is! ;-)