Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Diabetes Math, Battling Insurance Companies, Dead-Spots & Zombie Infusion Sites....

I always put off changing an infusion set that’s less than 48 hours old - not because I’m lazy, but because of insurance coverage re: my supplies and the lack there of. 
And it drives me crazy. 
In a perfect world, 1 box containing 10 infusion sets  = 1 infusion set every 3 days, which = a 30 day month supply. 
In a perfect world, 3 boxes of infusion sites = a 90 day supply.
But that’s not how any of this works in real life because life isn’t perfect, and life with diabetes is anything but - even when you do everything right - which is pretty damn impossible, diabetes or not. Yep, four boxes of infusion sites every three months gives us a little relief and a little wiggle room and are the keys to our mental and physical health.   
As I stated above, I almost always hold off changing a less than 48 hour old infusion site when it’s obviously having issues syphoning insulin. 
I don’t want to run out of infusion sites. I don’t have to fight to get more infusion sites from my pump company and I don’t want to have to pay for them. 

But I do. 

I don’t want to battle with my insurance company to cover 4 boxes every three months because my insurance company is all about the math. 
1 box containing 10 infusion sets  = 1 infusion set every 3 days, which = a 30 day month supply. 
In a perfect world, 3 boxes of infusion sites = a 90 day supply.
But in my imperfect diabetes world, four boxes of infusions sites every three months keeps me covered when it comes to real life infusion site occurrences.
Things like:
Skin sensitivity  
Dead spots 
Zombie infusion sites
(Zombie infusions kinda, sorta syphon in the insulin, but not so much. Zombie infusion sites  have you running blood sugars in the 150 to 180 range and require more insulin. And when you do change the site, your numbers go back to normal.)  
SPANX killing off a new infusion site within 20 hours of wearing said SPANX 
Yoga pants yanking out infusion sites 
Bungie pumping, pumps that falter and rip your site 
Leg sites that only last 30 beautiful and perfect hours before they crap out for good because leg sites get more action than abdomen sites 
Abdomen infusion sites that are precariously close to pant buttons and jean rivets
Infusion site adhesive that unsticks, ASAP and for no reason at all  
Abdomen infusion sites that inadvertently getting rubbed by handbags and losing their magic sucking in the insulin, power.

I (and by I, of course I mean WE,) shouldn’t have to risk extended damaging our valuable real-estate or elevated blood sugars because of all of the above. 

Nor should we have to choose the lessor of two evils - Using more insulin and risk running out before our insulin Rx can be refilled, or risk running of infusions sites before that RX can be refilled.
So while I don't want to fight for my fourth box of infusion sites,
I've gone so far as to email my insurance company pictures of what an infusion site actually is, where it goes and what it does, because the people who are doing the denying, have absolutely no clue. 
Why am I writing this post? Because after 3 days of infusion site bliss and lovely numbers, I put in a new infusion site Saturday night, which ended up being placed directly in a dead-spot and had to change it out 2.5 hours later. 
That second site was a zombie site, but it took me until Monday morning to change it because I didn't want to admit it was another site issue - I didn't want to deal with the diabetes math and I was really, truly hoping it was just me requiring extra insulin instead of another site issue
And now I'm sharing because I'm thinking that some of you might be able to relate.


Rei~ said...

Just wanna say that while I'm not a diabetic, I feel your pain on the dosage/insurance thing. Everyones body is different, processes things at different rates etc. Yet the narrow guidelines (height & weight, mainly) by which medication is dispensed remain unchanged.

I'm mentally ill and suffer from chronic pain. I've been on more psychiatric medication than I can possibly hope to remember. When I'd tell the Dr. that it didn't work or last long enough, I'd often be met with a "WUUUTTT?!" sorta look... eh heh.

The pain meds, well, I'm a recovering addict, but part of the reason I am one is because they don't last long enough and I kept needing more...

Hope you get what you need. We have such a lovely medical system... *Eyeroll*


Mike Hoskins said...

It's crazy annoying, all the hoops we have to jump through just to get what we need. The stuff that our doctor has already prescribed and shouldn't be a question... but it always is. Why do I need more than 3 test strips, they ask? Well, for starters, I use a crapload more than that on any given day. But also, sometimes my finger doesn't bleed enough or I don't trust a reading is correct, or I'm high or low and need to test more, or... And the same on infusion sets and CGM sensors, because wall corners and doorknobs and playful dogs exist. Yes, and zombie sites - (and that's an awesome term I've NEVER used, but will now always use because I'm a Walking Dead fan!). And now this all reminds me I need to order more sets and reservoirs, which I'll do after the UnConference. So much. Answer being: Yep, totally get it. And am right there, frustrated along with you, Kel.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible your Dr would write the script for changing the site every two days instead of every 3 days?