Friday, August 13, 2010

Why my wallet is red

As the mother of a child with diabetes, I spend WAY too much time at the pharmacy. I do not rely on shipments of supplies once every three months but I am seriously thinking that I have to re-examine the way I do buy supplies. I have been spoiled for a long time. I have been using one pharmacy for ten years. I used to jokingly say that with the amount of money I spend in there in a month, I probably cover the cost of at least one person’s wages.

You may have noticed through different posts, that we have moved over the summer. My amazing relationship with my favorite pharmacy has had to come to an end and I am now in quest of a new and at least civil relationship with a new group.

My first experience with the nearest pharmacy left me crying to my one of my former pharmacists begging for their help to find a better place to go. The new people were not nearly as helpful and their service had been poor. Of course my pharmacist friend came through for me but with moving and summer being insane, I have not yet had a chance to try out her recommendation.

In the meantime, I am still going to the pharmacy just down the road. The biggest shock to my system is the cost. In our old pharmacy, because they knew me and had an understanding with the insurance company that my son’s father used, I walked in, ordered what I wanted, waited five minutes on a busy day, was given our supplies and I walked out of the door without being out of pocket anything. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that in a new city this would not be the case. The insurance company does not have this agreement with all pharmacies. It simply applied to a few in the area where my son’s father worked. That makes sense but also means that now I have to pay all of his supplies out of pocket and then wait for my son’s father to pay me for the supplies. Visa is loving the new system but I am hating it.

It does however give me a new appreciation of things. I physically feel the pain of the uninsured each time I pass that card across the counter and they say “That will be $300.” That is only enough insulin and test strips to last two weeks (I hope). The thought of that doubled was more than what I had been paying for rent on my old house each month! How do people do it? No wonder my wallet is red...its bleeding in the pain of all of the money disappearing from it.  How will my son cope and test as often as he should when he is on his own? He has to get a job with great insurance coverage. Being a child with Type 1 diabetes he has absolutely no choice. That scares me beyond belief. He will have a pump until he is 25 (as long as he stays in this province) but he won’t be able to afford to test. Holy moly!

I have learned that if I am going to survive waiting for the money to come in from my ex-husband to cover the supplies I buy, I have to be much more organized and not stock-pile as much as we once did. Well, unless I stockpile in a monthly purchase! Seriously, I am most likely going to have to send him the receipts on a regular basis (the pharmacy did offer an alternative but I don’t know if he will go for that one or not). To reduce my own debt load while waiting to be paid, it makes more sense for me to learn how many test strips, etc he uses in a month and going in and buying the works at one time. That will be so difficult--being organized and living with diabetes? Can people really do this?

As I have said before, I am easily distracted and in the pharmacy is no different. While waiting for them to bleed my wallet once again I saw it! I have been drooling over the ads and wondering what it would be like to use for months. I have tried to see if I could find a way to get a free one considering how many test strips we use but no way. I saw the price tag and my drool dried up as I thought...that is a box of strips Bud!

What was torturing me so? The new USB Contour. I am a meter junky. I have to try them all. I have yet to find one that I truly love. I have passed the addiction on to my son. If he had been there he would have been begging me to get it. When we spend over $500 on test strips each month, I really can’t justify another $100 for a meter just to see if we like it. My son does love his Contour—the regular one that is. Personally I am not that fussy over it but I do most of my testing at night so my scale is different that his. Oh well, I will keep dreaming and wait until the decide to give them to those of us who use so many strips.

In the meantime, I will just try to black out the pain my wallet keeps feeling each time I walk through those lovely pharmacy doors and pretend that my wallet is only red because I love the color.

1 comment:

  1. When my son was diagnosed 5 months ago I talked to the diabetes educator about how ancient my meter was (I have been diabetic 11 years) and they were so nice and gave me a new meter, which came with a card that allowed me to only pay $15 for my test strips, regardless of my insurance co-pay, for 1 year. I use the Freestysle Lite. I just hand over the card each time I go and only pay $15. You might look into it.