Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Diabetes Mysteries: Kelly And The Mystery Of The Missing Test-Strips

When I was in first grade I started reading the Encycledpedia Brown mystery books and loved them.  
In third grade I stumbled upon my older sisters Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse mystery books and loved reading them and trying to figure out who the bad guy(s) were. 
I never got into the Hardy Boys books, but I will admit to watching the TV show because SHAUN CASSIDY. 
Solving mysteries was fun as a kid. 

As an adult, solving  diabetes supply mysteries takes up way to much time and it's bullshit. 
#######
Yeah, I don't have time for this for this shit.
I placed my three month supply order of test strips last week with EdgePark

Cut to Monday when I received an automated message from EdgePark letting me know order had shipped. GREAT and good to know. 
Late yesterday morning I received another automated message from EdgePark telling me that my order had been received and should be shipping in one to two business days. 
OK, that's WEIRD and dare I say...mysterious?  
Maybe Edgepark filled my RX twice - which would mean massive amounts of crap with my insurance. 
I called EdgePark, waited on hold for 18 minutes and 37 seconds until I was connected to  a woman who told me that I did indeed have two orders shipping out.
Again, WEIRD.  
So I cancelled the second order and as I was about to hang up, the woman on the other end of the line stated: You’ll receive your 12 boxes of test strips tomorrow - have a nice day! CLICK. 
Here’s the thing: 12 boxes was half of my three month order - I normally get 24 boxes (down from 27,) and 200 strips a month won’t cut it. 

I thought (OK, PRAYED,) that she made mistake or that I heard her wrong and I called right back, waited another twenty minutes on hold before speaking with another EdgePark CR who told me that: 
  1. CareCentrix had cut my order (RX) in half
  2. the reason I had two orders out was because they were going to try and bill CareCentrix and my insurance twice. 
BIG MYSTERY - not solved, but uncovered.  
First: Why wasn’t I informed my order was cut in half? 
Second: Why didn’t anyone tell me the reason behind the double order in the first place?? 
Three: What if CareCentrix/my insurance, wouldn’t pay for the second order, which was the order I had just cancelled? 

The CR couldn’t tell me why the order was cut in half and informed me that they would have done their best to get paid for the second order that I had just cancelled 30 minutes earlier.
Me: OK, but nobody told me that my Rx had been cut on half and what if my insurance wouldn’t pay for the second and now cancelled order? 
EdgePark: Well...... we would have done our best to get the money.
Me: Would you have charged me the full amount if I hadn’t cancelled the order and my insurance wouldn’t pay? 
EdgePark: Ahhhhhh. probably not? 
YES, her response sounded more like a question than an answer.
ME: Yeah, I need my full order of strips - how can I make that happen? 
EdgePark: Call your Dr’s office and have them resend the script to CareCentrix.

So that’s what I did, and then I called CareCentrix. 
I had a direct line and name of someone at CareCentrix because I’d an issue with EdgePark and my test strip order in December. 

YES, I know this story is long - please stay with me,folks~
I called my contact, and who, according to her voicemail was out of the office for a week, but who and left a name and number of her counterpart - a woman I shall call G. 
G who was very nice and understanding when I called and explained the situation - and she was a bit perplexed. 
She told me that she would work to get the remainder of my strips approved and promised to follow up with me - which she did. Calling me yesterday afternoon to let me know she’d called my Endo’s office and was working diligently to get the problem solved. She was a former nurse and she new the importance of checking blood sugars. 

And I also had a message from R, a manager over at EdgePark who promised he would call me back on Wednesday (as in today,) and that’s exactly what he did. 
R apologized for the test strip issue and told me that the reason my order had been cut in half was because my RX from December had expired. But that edgepark had received a new Rx on Tuesday and sent out the rest of my strips to me by Friday.

ME: Thank you for calling me back, R - I really do appreciate it, but that can’t be right. My RX was dated 12/27/15 and I placed my order last week.
So, even though I didn't have my order refilled in March because a friend of mine had switched strip brands and had given me her 3 month supply of Onetouch strips, and I had explained that very fact last week when I placed my order and was told it wasn't a problem . 
And even if my Rx technically expired in 6 months from the date it was written, ( my Endo normally writes them for year, but ok, I could be wrong)  my prescription refill would have still been good through Monday, June 27th, which was two days ago, and well after my original order was placed. 
Also, that's not what your CR rep told me yesterday.

CRICKETS.

R was a good egg and was trying to help rectify the situation and I appreciate his hustle and follow up,  but nobody - not EdgePark or CareCentrix can tell me why my original Rx was denied in the first place. The Rx I’ve been getting for years. 

G from CareCentrix called me back today to tell me she received the Rx from my Dr's office and would work to approve the additional strips. 

Then I told her what R had told me. 
And I also stated that every single time I need to get a DM order filled, it's never seamless, wether has to do with pump supplies or test strip supplies, because there are three companies involved when it comes to filling out my durable medical equipment prescriptions. 
Having to deal with my insurance company, CareCentrix, and EdgePark in order to get a prescription filled, means nothing is automatic or efficient, and always requires countless phone calls and extra time.
 
Nobody is on the same page and whenever there's a problem, which is a lot - I get three different answers - and none of them are correct. 

How is any of this efficient for everyone involved? 

G told me that she wants to work with me, and together we could look into different mail order options for me. 
And I will  - but right now - I want to close the book on this chapter because I have to much shit to do. 


So while the test strip Rx mystery isn’t solved, my problem is... for now. Lets see what happens in September and December.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dear Kitty: Thank-You, We Love You, And the Diabetes Online Community Will Miss You~


Rest in peace, Kitty~
Kitty Castellini was not only an amazing Diabetes Advocate, diabadass and a true original  - she was funny, smart and tougher than most and Kitty was "good people."  
She broke down barriers in her careers with the Laborors' Union of North America and Diabetes Living Today
 Kitty was the longest survivor of a pancreas only transplant - 13 years (since 2004,) and vowed to use her second chance to help people living with diabetes. 
She founded Diabetes Living Today and hosted a radio show of the same name, on 92.1 WVLT. 
 Kitty was honored by Congress for her work and commitment to diabetes, and was an early member of the Diabetes Online Community. 
An an amazing lady and one of our own, who was loved by many, including me. 
Her legacy is a strong one - she is part of our DOC history and we must continue to remember, honor,  learn and continue to be inspired  by her. 
Thank-you, Kitty. 
#######  
Dear Kitty - 
I want to thank you for fighting the good fight when it came to diabetes and living with diabetes. 
I want to thank you for your friendship, honesty, humor and tenacity. 
When you were given a second chance with your new pancreas, you decided to use your voice to help others living with diabetes and that’s exactly what you did, by creating a live radio show called Diabetes Living Today, devoted to helping people with diabetes live thier best lives. 
You became a voice for diabetes on-air and off and I know that all of us are grateful to you.

Kitty, you were known for always telling it like it was to everyone, no matter who they were or what they did. 
If you didn’t agree with someone, be it pharma, research or an individual, you’d make them know and you’d make them think.
You sit there in a conference and take it all in - scribbling notes and figuring out your next move - and then you'd stand up to speak and you'd set the room on fire.
You also had the ability to act as peacemaker when needed.
If you saw a disagreement between people who needed to work together, you would quietly take them aside individually and tell them to work together - and they would. 
Your zest for living proved to everyone who met you in person or on-line, that a person could indeed deal with monumental health challenges with grace, style, a strong will, and a wicked sense of humor. 
You were not only funny and kind - you were one smart cookie. 
Before your life in broadcasting, you were a freaking Explosives Expert! 
You had your Federal license in chemicals and explosives and you were considered an expert in Fine and Finished Grade, New Bridge Construction.
When you would tell people your background, you’d laugh out loud when they’d react in awe and say: Yep, I really am one tough bitch!

Kitty, thank-you for being my friend.
I remember the first time we talked on the phone after I read about you in a newspaper back in 2007. I’d just started diabetesaliciousness and I thought you were awesome. 
A mutual friend gave me your number and I called you right up.  
We ended up talked for over two hours. You shared with me the loss of your older sister to diabetes, and we discovered we had a lot in common. 
That was the first of many marathon phone conversations that always made me laugh. 
You bragged about your magnificent daughter and husband and proudly stated that you were a freak re: all things Disney related.
The very first Roche Conference in 2008
Kitty is in the front row, second from the right.
I remember sitting with your in the airport on our way to Orlando for the 2010 Roche Summit and laughing out loud as you pulled out a WaWa boloney, american cheese with mustard sandwich, on white bread and I thought you were crazy in the best way possible. 

I remember landing at the Orlando Airport and you telling our driver to “hold on and wait,” because you had to stop at the Disney Airport store and pickup a rare and hard to get, official Disney Dooney & Burke Disney handbag
You’d called the shop the day before to see if they had it, paid for it over the the phone and they were holding it for you. Our flight had been delayed by a few hours and all I wanted to do was get to the hotel - but you told me to relax and enjoy the moment. 
And that’s what I did. And I belly laughed out loud when you walked out with your perfect soap opera hair and fab new handbag in hand. 

I remember driving to Vineland,NJ to be a guest on your radio show and going to the The Outback Stake House with you for an early dinner - and I remember laughing at you because you went to town on your meal!  

Who could forget that day in Indianapolis that you, me and a bunch of other Diabetes went on a quest for a particular cupcake shop. A quest that was supposed to only be a few blocks away, but ended up being like two miles away - and it was 90+ degrees out, no breeze and crazy humidity. 
Our group found the cupcake shop and we ate them with gusto - in the air-conditioned shop and called for cabs to take us back to the hotel.
Before the quest for cupcakes in Indiana.
Kitty center, white shirt, second row from the bottom. 
I was always inspired and blown away by your resilience and kindness to others, including me - even when you were dealing with your own tremendous health issues. 
I remember after my mother died, you would call and check to see how I was doing and comforted me when I needed it most. 

During the many of the conferences we attended, you would have to go back to your room right after dinner and rest because that’s what your body required.
But first thing in the morning - you were a firecracker of diabetes advocacy and passion, advocating for others with a vengeance! 

Every time we talked on the phone it would be at least an hour conversation - and often much longer because you were a communicator. 

And as much as I thank you - I need to apologize to you as well. 

I should have called you more this year. We facebooked, emailed, and texted, but I should have called more than I did, and I apologize for that. 
One of the last times we spoke, you told me you were really sick and would call back because you were on your way to the hospital. 
That didn’t happen because you were not only “really sick,” you were incredibly ill. 
When you finally did come home, you were to weak to talk - and soon you were back in the hospital. 
I remember another time calling and and you telling me: I can’t talk, I’m too sick. 
And that would be when you began what was to be your final, long battle - your transplanted pancreas was failing and it was excruciating - you were truly fighting for your life. 

On Sunday evening, June 19th, you went to heaven, and the world has less spark because of your absence, 

And as much as I will miss you, I know that you are at peace and will continue to watch over your daughter Lauren and husband Gary, from above. 
I know you’re up there in the stars, spending time with your son and your sister. 
You’re with the people you love, dancing and eating a never ending bowl of Reese’s Butter Cups - your favorite, my mom’s favorite, and mine. 
And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you, my mom, and my sister will get together and finally get a chance to meet up. 

Thank you Kitty - Thank you for everything. 
I’m going to miss you and I’m going to try and do right by your memory. 
Not only as an integral part of our history in the Diabetes Online Community, but as a friend.
And when I feel tired, I will remind myself how strong your will was, even when your body was not.
Lastly, I LOVE you, Kitty - and I hope with all my heart that you will find peace, laughter, and freedom amongst the stars - because now you are one of them. 
Xoxo, 
Kelly Kunik
#welovekitty #DOC4Kitty

Kitty’s obituary can be found HERE
And much like Kitty, it’s pretty damn impressive and contains links to two charities,
JDRF and the Cumberland Country S.P.C.A , who are accepting donations in memory of Kitty.  
Also, the following hashtags have been generated in honor of Kitty: #DOC4Kitty and #welovekitty  - use them with love and across all social media platforms. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Because Sometimes I Don't.

I sat in the airport last night, sighed and whispered the word “fuck” as I gingerly dug through my knapsack, looking for my wrist brace.
I still have to wear the thing in public for the next few weeks - both as protection to the ligament and the incisions, and as a reminder not to lift anything over 12 ounces or bear any weight on my left wrist.while the ligament and tunnel in my wrist heal.

I’d worn my brace on Friday’s flight and I was glad I did.
My left arm had been jostled and bumped a few times via airplane dimensions and via the isle seat and a “too close for comfort,” encounter with the woman (Who I shall refer to  as Einstein,) in the seat in front of me. 
  1. Einstein came THIS close to dropping her overhead luggage on my head as we were getting ready to de-board - and completely ignored the fact that it had happened
  2. Einstein then decided to come to a quick/complete stop whilst dragging her carry-on behind her, talking on the phone, completely ignoring what was going. Thus causing a domino reaction involving everyone behind her who was trying to get off the plane, and resulting in me slamming my braced wrist and shoulder against the wall partition and the Captain asking me if I was OK 
  3. I was and Einstein was completely clueless to the mayhem she'd caused
  4. BUT I DIGRESS.
Anyway, last night I’d taken my brace off during the most ridiculously easy airport security check in the history of TSA Security checks and had forgot to put it back on. 

Four days with my family had been great and reinforced how much I loved and miss them. 
I was sad to be leaving, which only added to my annoyance as I continued to dig through my bag and whispered “fuck,” a second time. 
The woman sitting in the seat next to my knapsack looked up from her book, smiled and said: Are you OK? 
Me: Yes and I’m sorry for the colorful phrasing - I had surgery on my wrist and hand a few weeks ago and I forgot to put my brace on after the security check - now it’s at the bottom of my bag and I’m annoyed with myself... and I’m sad to leave my family. 

Turns out, she’d been visiting her twin brother and they’d celebrated their birthdays together for the first time in decades  - I’m thinking it was a milestone birthday - but I know better than to ask any woman her age. 
Anyway, we were both were pretty bummed to be leaving.
As we continued talking, she put her book in her bag, put her phone away and grabbed her boarding pass. 
And while she was doing that, I took out my glucose meter/lipstick bag, checked my blood sugar and wiped my hand with a napkin from my bag in under 10 seconds and what I thought was on the sly. 

Book Lady: Everything OK, with your blood sugar? Do you need me to get you anything? 
Me: Thanks, but I’m good. We’re going to board in a few and I wanted to check before we got on the plane. 
Book Lady: If you need me to get you anything or help you with your knapsack - let me know. 
Me: Thanks I really do appreciate it, and I absolutely will. 

And I know I could have used that moment as a springboard to talk more about diabetes - and I probably should have asked her if she had a connection to diabetes. 

But I didn’t. 

Maybe she had diabetes or a loved one with diabetes. 
Maybe she was a medical professional
Maybe she wanted to talk about diabetes or had a question about diabetes. 

Maybe she was just being kind. 

No matter the reason, I appreciated her kindness, but at that moment I didn’t want to talk about diabetes - which is weird, because like 98% of the time, that never happens. 
But sometimes I don't. 
A rare occasion for sure and I wasn’t quite sure as to why.

Instead, I smiled and started our conversation exactly where we’d left it, and I listened as she vividly described her and her brother’s birthday celebration.


 And I was happy that she was happy.
I still feel a little guilty, though. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Muesday Updates

This post was dictated and then emailed to me, by me, and via my iPhone's dictation feature. 
FTR: This is my first post that was entirely dictated (except for the hyperlinks,) it's my first day back in the real world post surgery, I have a million emails in my inbox and it's a Muesday, so please forgive any and all funkiness.
####

It's been 13 days since my last post and 15 days since my surgery and I wanted to check in and update you guys.
As per my last video/post, my combo CT wrist & three fingers trigger surgery went well, I'm out of the cast, wearing a brace outside of the house, my incisions are healing nicely and it's been a hell of a learning experience! 


For now, I can't carry anything heavier than 12 ounces, aka, a can of soda or the equivalent of, in that hand/wrist. No weight-bearing which means no push-ups; no using my hand/wrist to get up from my seat, etc., no using my hands pull-up my yoga pants, which is interesting to say the least. 
No fingers from my left hand used to put on/pull up my socks or clothes, and no heavy lifting. It also means stretching my fingers and wrists via exercises 1 million times a day, and limited amount of time on the computer - I am told that last restriction will be lifted super soon and thank God for my iPhone!
***UPDATE: Computer clearance given as of noon, June 1. :) 


In these past two weeks I've learned and or revisited a few of life's lessons and I've learned the importance of asking for and accepting help when I need it.

Like having my friend Dave hold my plate steady so that it won't slide off the table when I tried to grab a fork full of salmon from my dinner plate.
Or having my friend Sue open my mascara when I could not - because while I could put in a new infusion site while in a cast with no problem - I couldn't remove the lid to my new mascara to save my freaking life! 


I am grateful for my sister Cathy who called me from 5 states away and  every day like clock work while I was down for the count

Also, I am incredibly grateful to and for my friend Cath, not my sister Cathy, who is also my friend, but my friend Cathy, twin of Sue and Cath of Cathy and Dave fame, who is also like my sister - and who not only let me stay with her and Dave for 4 for days after surgery, but also went with me to get my surgery and sliced organic apples for me before she went to work every morning!

And I was very thankful for a certain wonder pup named Misty who would snuggle with me and let me know that every thing was going to be OK. 
I relearned how to be still and to rest, because I had no choice - that was what was required- and it was/is hard.

And I'm very thankful for all of my friends in the DOC who texted, emailed, posted, called, and checked in to make sure I was doing OK. THANK YOU. 

I learned to embrace the dictation feature on my iPhone and I am still trying to embrace the dictation feature on my laptop.
FTR and as stated above: I dictated, then emailed myself this post from my iPhone and hopefully it's not too much of a hot mess~


I learned that all surgeries - even hand and wrist, can take a lot out of you and make you more tired than you ever thought possible - and for longer than a couple of days.


I was reminded to go with my gut - that if something doesn't look right with your incisions - and even if you went to the doctor for a check up the day before/get your top stitches removed – go back because you might need antibiotics to prevent/fight an infection.


I learned that everything takes longer with stitches and such - and the importance of celebrating little victories, like being able to wash my hair, first with one and then with both hands. 
 Or slicing an onion with my left hand on Saturday night to put my salad -a huge deal by the way and not as easy as it sounds - the slices were anything but neat or even - but I did it! 
And finally being able to wear pants without elastic waistbands because I could actually zip/button/snap up my own pants.
 

I have a new appreciation for no longer being in pain caused by carpal tunnel or three trigger fingers on my left wrist and hand.


I'm looking forward to doing things in the next few weeks that caused me pain before. Things like writing long ass stories and the likes there of; gardening, riding my bike, taking notes by hand, and writing cards that no longer look like something a chicken scratched in the dirt.

And believe it or not, I'm looking forward to doing push-ups and sit ups getting back into the swing of upper body workouts.

There was a time when my hands and wrists were oddly strong for being so little - and they are getting stronger each day.


I missed a few things along the way and that didn't make me happy. 


I was able to participate for two days during DBlog Week - I'd planned to do 3 more videos, but thanks to nausea from the painkillers two days after my surgery, 
I had to listen to my body and sit the rest of #Dblogweek out - and that sucked.


Via my Facebook pages/twitter last week and over the weekend, I linked to the news about Charlie Kimball's new Novo Nordisk's Tresiba.Chip Ganassi's  racing team's Indy car (with a new, borrowed number of 42,) at this year's 100th Indy500. 
Posting about  Charlie and the Tresiba's car honoring the Diabetes Community and how honored I was to be chosen as one of the lucky 42 blogger/members of the Diabetes Online Community whose names grace the car.
Because of wrist and hand restrictions, I didn't write about it - or anything else on the my blog. 

But I am linking to a fantastic post and Charlie Kimball interview by Kerri over at sixuntilme  - as always, Kerri is on fleek. 

Over this holiday weekend I stayed on the down low, remembered those who fought to protect our country and never came home, and dreamed of swimming in the ocean. 
Because while I was able to look at the ocean and the beach - I wasn't allowed on or in either officially, until this past Sunday. ;)

Yep, I'm getting back into the swing of things - including airport foolishness, as of this coming Friday - and I am a lucky duck indeed~

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#DBlogWeek Day 2: The Other Half Of Diabetes.

The 2nd day of #dblogweek ( I'm a day behind, it's really day 3- don't tell,) and it's all about the other half of diabetes, aka, emotions.

This post is focusing on one particular emotion and it's called GUILT. 
And please forgive the fuzziness & lack of text - I just had surgery.

Monday, May 16, 2016

#dBlogWeek: Message Monday~


Day one of #DBlogWeek and it’s all about the message. And to quote Karen, the creator of #dblogweek, directly: " Message Monday: What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.” 

Living with diabetes isn’t about one thing - it’s about many things. 
The same can be said as to why I blog about diabetes and the messages that are important to me. I can’t pick one message or platform because there are so damn many - all important, each taking their place in front of the line on a rotating scheduled decided by life.
Diabetes and the media: I started blogging in 2007 because I was ticked at Halle Barre and her publicist’s inaccurate diabetes statements that were made in the media. 
I was sick of the diabetes inaccuracies and I needed both the public and the media to get diabetes right. I always considered myself a diabetes mythbuster and I started blog as a way to bust myths and stereotypes wide open and encouraged others to do the same. 
I want people to use the proper words when it comes to diabetes because words matter and words stick - accurate or not.
Humor: I’ve always used humor as a coping mechanism when it came to dealing with life - and life with diabetes, because I felt (and still do,) that if you can laugh about your diabetes, you can own your diabetes. 
I want others to laugh and become empowered because I know what it was like to lose someone I loved to diabetes because they felt like diabetes had all the power. 
Holy Crap, the DOC is AMAZING: About 2 months after I started blogging I realized that there was this amazing community called the DOC, and while I always knew I wasn’t the only one living with diabetes  - I never realized until I found my tribe that I’d been wearing an anchor of diabetes guilt around my neck for a long time - it was heavy and I was tired. 
And I never realized that diabetes burnout was a thing and that there was a loneliness to living with diabetes - until I  found others in the DOC and I no longer felt alone. 
It was because of the DOC that learned to flip my diabetes bitch switch for good, not evil. 

Becoming a Diabetes Advocate because it’s ain’t about me: Finding DOC has turned me into a passionate Diabetes Advocate because it made me realize that it wasn’t about me - it's about us - every single person in the world living with diabetes. 

We are in this together, no matter the diabetes type or which part of the world we live. 
#DiabetesAccessMatters for everyone - as does stripping safely and sparearose.org, and DSMA and that the Blue Circle is global and all encompassing. 
Through blogging I have found friends for life, who've taught and continue to teach me, every single day... and who have been there for me when I lost the one I loved the most

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes: Because of blogging, I’ve learned to not only cultivate my diabetes voice, I've become inspired by other diabetes voices  - and hopefully helping I'm paying it forward and helping others to discover and use their own d voices.

Finally, the big ass message is: WE MATTER. Every single person living with diabetes matters  - every single voice matters - and when added to the chorus of voices - mountains move and we are Khaleesi type of powerful. 
And yep, you know after last night’s Game of Thrones, I had to get a Daenerys Targaryan, aka Khaleesi reference in!
FLAME ON! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#MypumpMychoice #AccessMatters: I Didn't Choose To Have A Preferred Relationship With Diabetes

By now everyone is talking about UnitedHealthCare and Medtronic’s partnership and the press release that states in part: 
“As part of our ongoing efforts to provide a better member experience, while increasing quality and lowering the overall cost of diabetes care in the United States, UnitedHealthcare has reached an agreement with Medtronic to become the preferred, in-network durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and Commercial members, effective July 1, 2016”
UnitedHealthcare will continue to pay for pump coverage for others brands until those pumps are out of warranty - and once that happens, customers will either have to switch to Medtronic or pay out of pocket for the pump of their choice.

You can read the Press Release in its entirety, HERE, and I highly suggest you do because it's important, no matter which insulin pump you wear, or don't wear - or whether or not UnitedHealthCare is your insurer.

FTR and not surprising, UnitedHealthCare doesn't don’t provide a direct link. Scroll down to “Front and Center,” and click on the 5th bullet point where it says “Medtronic to become preferred DME Provider of Insulin Pumps for Diabetes, Effective July, 2016.” 

I currently wear an out of warranty Medtronic Pump. That’s my choice - and yes, my insurance has a coo-coo high deductible, only partial coverage once crazy high coo-coo deductible is met, and ridiculous amounts of paperwork and labs to prove that yes, “I actually do have diabetes and require a new insulin pump.” 
And all of which make it anything but easy for me to get a new pump - but at least I get to choose said new pump when I actually get one. 

Here's the thing: It’s not like I chose to have a “preferred relationship with diabetes,” over a perfectly functioning pancreas. I didn’t have a choice when I was diagnosed with t1 diabetes almost 4 decades ago, and ever since my choice to live sans D was taken away, having choices in my life has become of paramount importance. 

Choice when it comes to how I live my life. 
Choice when it comes to my body.
Choice when it comes to my diabetes and the tools and methods I use to manage my diabetes.

And slowly, my (and by “my”, I mean OURS - EVERY SINGLE PERSON LIVING WITH DIABETES,) diabetes choices are being compromised and whittled down and have been for years - and that’s bullshit. 

This isn’t just about insulin pump choice - a choice that is both intimate and personal, since we wear them almost 24X7. 
It’s about not having a choice in the future when it comes to CGM choices, Artificial Pancreas choices, insulin, meters and test strip choices - as well as choices regarding insulin pumps - and coverage (or the lack there of,) for all of the above.

This move reinforces the thinking that diabetes is a one size fits all, disease. 

Diabetes isn’t once size fits all disease. Different strokes for different folks, for a disease where 95% of the day to day treatment is in OUR HANDS.

 94 years ago, insulin hit the scene and saved millions of lives -imagine if we still only had access to one type of insulin? 
Crazy, dangerous and unacceptable - to be perfectly frank, we’d be F^cked. 
Same goes for insulin pumps. 

I won’t demonize Medtronic - I have friends who work there with families and mortgages. 
Medtronic as an insulin pump has worked well for me since 2002. 
And my mother was one of the first people on the east coast to have an implantable defibrillator in 1991 - it gave my family an additional 20 years with my amazing mom and I will always be grateful.  

I don't find Medtronic pumps to be an inferior product, nor do I find insulin pumps made by other companies besides Medtronic to be inferior. 

But I won’t ignore the fact that this move is disturbing, sets precedents that don’t benefit patients, and has ramifications  that will adversely effect every PWD for years to come.

As a person with diabetes, I already know Pharma sees me as many things. 
As an Opinion and Thought Leader, a tool to communicate to the masses, and as a dollar sign.

And I'll cop to being all of the above. This dollar sign has a voice - And I’m not afraid to share my thoughts on what I believe is right…. and what I believe is wrong. 

This move is wrong and it hurts a lot of people on both sides. 

I’m asking both Medtronic and UnitedHealthCare to reconsider. 

I’m asking you to use your voice regarding this decision because your voice is so damn important. 

Together, the Diabetes Online Community moves mountains. Alone, we trudge up hills. 

LETS MOVE THS MOUNTAIN.