Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thankful for the availability of insulin...

Something kind of scary happened over the last week or so.  It started about a week and a half ago, I stopped at Target Pharmacy to let them know I needed my test strips, Lantus and Humalog refilled and said I'd be back the next day.  The next day when I got there they had 2 ready but one didn't have any refills. Okay, cool - they said they'd already faxed something over to my doctor to get a refill on the Lantus, they'd call when it was filled.  A couple days went by without a call so I went back in...she hadn't heard back from my doctor, so I asked who she sent it to.  Cindy - my endo in Bismarck (I moved here in April) - so I explained that I moved from North Dakota and gave them my new endo's information...he is in Maple Grove, about 45 minutes from here (when I first moved there was an 8 month waiting list to get in here, so I went somewhere farther away for the time being...I put it off for months, until I was consistently so high I was getting scared and I was beyond the point of being able to pull myself back...) Anyway, I like the guy in Maple Grove, but 1.its a pretty long drive for someone you're not head over heels in love with and 2....I kind of think he is autistic (nothing against him...he just isn't for me), so when I had the opportunity to get in here in St.Cloud, I took it.  Alright, so back to the pharmacist.  I gave them the name and number of the guy in Maple Grove and left, assuming it would just be a day or so...this was a Friday - I came back the next Tuesday and STILL nothing!  I still had over half a pen left so it didn't seem like a big deal - I asked them to re fax the request and hoped they'd hear back soon...I came back Thursday.  Still nothing.  Now I was just getting mad.  What if it WAS an emergency?  What if I was out of Lantus??  So I called them myself and left a message (of course there is no way to actually talk to the nurse when you call...) they didn't return my call.  I came back on Friday.  Still nothing.  On Sunday night I clicked my pen as far as it would go and realized that Monday night (last night) was my last full night of insulin...I started to get nervous...I mean, its right there behind the counter, they couldn't not give it to me, could they?  I went back in on Monday and explained the situation to yet another tech, who suggested that I call the St.Cloud endo office, even though I'm technically not their patient yet and they can't prescribe me anything without seeing me.  So I did.  I explained my situation to the receptionist, the dietitian (I don't know why...thats just who I was transferred to), the nurse practitioner, and finally, someone else, who I do not remember, who said I should call the place in Maple Grove and try again, and maybe I just didn't convey the urgency of the situation.  Good plan, I hadn't thought of that.  grr.  But I had no other option at this point, so I did it.  Then I called the pharmacy just to check and see if maybe possibly someone had called it in.  They hadn't, but the very nice tech informed me that even if someone had called it in, they were out of the Lantus pen until Tuesday.  So, my over thinking, normally anxious anyway brain started to assume the worst and began to wonder what might happen if there was a storm or something and they didn't get their order of medication in the next day?  What if there was no insulin available?  what if...400 things that probably wouldn't ever happen, happened?  Honestly...I should be slapped sometimes.  So, I woke up this morning to 2 voice mails from the nurse practitioner here in St.Cloud saying to call her back because while she can't prescribe something for me, she can give me samples until my appointment in a week and a half.  So I came in 5 minutes after we got off the phone and actually kissed the beautiful box of life saving liquid :D

But then I started thinking.  I'm lucky.  Diabetes is expensive...I think that's pretty understood.  I'm fortunate enough to have a good job and a consistent paycheck.  I'm lucky because my job offers pretty decent medical insurance...I'm lucky because I live in America where what we need is almost always right at our finger tips.  I'm fortunate because I live in a place where the availability of not only insulin but clean needles isn't even an issue or something I consider.  I'm lucky, and I'm grateful.  But I'm sad...because I know its not like that for everyone...I don't know what I'm going to do about it...but I feel like I have to do something.  I'm going to do some research and see if there is an organization I can help, because I'm sure they are out there.  I know they are.  I just don't know where.  So I'm going to start looking.  And one of my New Years resolutions (is it too early to be making those?) is to find away to help make insulin more available to people who need it and for whatever reason don't have access to it.  

That was one part of my day.  The other part was sheer productivity!  I have gotten so much done in the last couple of days that I actually feel mostly caught up on my life!  That's saying absolutely nothing for how I feel about work, but at least as far as life goes...I'm good!  My list went from being a full page and a half long to being pretty short.  Having 2 days off in a row does wonders for my sanity :)  

That said, I'm getting to bed before 3am tonight and if I'm really going to do that, I need to get off the computer.  

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