Oh, insurance… What are you doing?

10 11 2009

I got a letter yesterday from my health insurance stating that they are no longer covering my Dexcom sensors, starting from August. I was confused because they’ve covered them in the past. Based on the code they listed, I assumed I had hit my DME cap for the year (this was my first full year on the sensors) and would need to appeal.

However, after spending 1 hour talking to 5 reps, I found out that the health insurance has randomly decided they are “disposable” since I throw them out after 7 days and they don’t cover “disposables”.  I imagine that “disposables” is intended to cover things like alcohol wipes and cotton balls, which they should rightly not cover.  However, 7 days is hardly “disposable”.

Edgepark (the company that provides the sensors) is already working it and their argument is that they’re not considered “disposable” since they are used in conjunction with a Durable Medical Equipment (the receiver).

I won’t know anything for at least 5 business days, but it is good to know that Edgepark is trying to regain my coverage.  I really cannot afford to either a) pay full price for the sensors or b) limit my use of them to every other week or similar.  I just hope this gets straightened out.


Other D words

6 11 2008


After being bounced around as to what process to follow, I finally called our disability services number regarding the strike situation.  The lady was really nice and took down all the information that I wanted.  I got a claim number and squeezed in an appointment with my endo at the last minute.

My endo does not seem worried about getting the accommodations that I request.  And he didn’t seem to agree with me that being in Detroit would be bad.  From his perspective, I handle everything pretty well and don’t really need to be close to them.  From my perspective, this makes me nervous.  Although, my endo did mention the name of an endo he knows in Detroit that’s pretty good, so at least I would have that.

I’m really scared about the whole situation and I hope it gets resolved to my satisfaction.  Things are in motion, so all I can do now is wait.


While I was at my endo’s office for the strike stuff, they also did an A1c.  I wasn’t really due for one, but I was curious since I’ve been on the Dexcom for a few months now.  It came back a disappointing 6.1%.  Now, I know that is still a great number, but it broke my sub-6 streak.  My endo thinks that this is a “better” A1c because with Charlie, I have fewer lows.  So my overall control is better (less swings), but it results in a slightly higher A1c.  I know I should be happy, but after a 5.5 just 2 months ago, I still feel like a failure.


There are a lot of things going on in my world right now (as somewhat indicated by the above 2 sections) and it’s getting really hard to manage.  Too much stuff, not enough support.  Too many unknowns and no good solutions.

My mom had/has depression, and diabetics are more likely to have depression, so I’ve got 2 things going against me.  I refuse to take medication, and I already see a therapist, so I’m not sure what else I can do to get out of this funk.  How do I, as a perfectionist, let things go and allow it to be okay?

IV-3000 SUCKS!

2 11 2008

I am having a pretty good time with the Dexcom sensors, but I can only get 7 days out of them before the adhesive peels off and I have to get rid of it.  I was looking for a way to increase the life of my sensors, so I bought some IV-3000.

I figured that if I put the IV-3000 down first (cutting a hole in it for the needle of course), then that would stick to my skin, then the sensor would stick to the IV-3000 and it wouldn’t peel off.  We had our first trial run today and it sucks monkey balls.

Not long after I put the IV-3000 down, I already saw it peeling off near the edges.  Then I took a shower and all hell broke loose.  The whole sides were coming off and I had to stick it down with some heavy duty medical tape (which I loathe to use because it’s really stiff) so I didn’t lose the sensor.

What went wrong?!?!?  I read all the instructions and I couldn’t really tell if it was something I did.  Am I not supposed to use IV Prep wipes in conjuction with the IV-3000?  Am I not supposed to get it soapy?  It says it’s waterproof, but that does not seem to be the case.  I thought this IV-3000 was the best adhesive money could buy, and now I feel duped.  What a waste of $50.

Diabetic, not disabled

22 10 2008

I work for a fairly large company, which has a union (I’m not a part of it).  The union’s contract is going to be up in April and there are very strong indicators that they are going to strike.  To prepare for this, they are training non-union people to cover the union jobs during the strike.  My strike assignment location is in Detroit.  In case you didn’t know, I live in St. Louis.  This is a problem.

I’m not sure what to do about it.  There are forms to get a medical waiver, but the items listed on the form don’t really apply to me.  Things like lifting, stooping, walking, standing, etc.  I can do all of those things.  (I’m assuming this form is for people w/ bum hips, neck problems, etc)  There’s nothing physically wrong with me.  And overall, I am not opposed to performing work during the strike.

However, I do know that being forced to work in Detroit is going to cause serious problems.  If something goes wrong, I’m 8+ hours away from my husband, my family, and my excellent medical team.  I’d be forced to go to an ER where my blood sugar will not be a priority.

Not to mention, that during the first few weeks, there is a mandatory 72-hour work week.  Yup, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.  Then after that, it gets lowered to 60 hours a week (10 hours a day, 6 days a week).  I will guarantee you that will fuck up my blood sugar.  Will I get lunch breaks?  Will I get dinner breaks?  Will I be able to test my blood sugar whenever I want?  Will I be able to get snacks when I need them?

Clearly, the assignment in Detroit will negatively affect me, but what can I do about it?  My A1c is 5.5, so from a medical perspective, I’m normal!  I shouldn’t need accommodating!

I know the Americans with Disabilities Act has been improved to better protect people with “invisible” diseases, but I’m not sure what other points I need to make.  This is a very tricky line between “disabled” and “normal.”

This is why I don’t get any sleep

2 10 2008



Charlie: You are above 140.  You should correct.
Meter: 157.
Me: Yes, I should correct.  *fiddles with pump*



Charlie: You are above 140.  You should correct.
Meter: 110.
Me: STFU, Charlie.  *goes back to sleep*


29 09 2008

My lunch post-prandial is typically the highest time of the day.  I have done everything I can think of to lower this number.

  • start eating about 20 minutes after I bolus
  • I do a 2-hour super bolus to get some extra insulin in my system early
  • count carbs very carefully, by both checking nutrition labels and weighing my foods
  • washed my hands before testing to ensure an accurate reading (making sure there’s no leftover lunch on my hands!)

I seem to have done everything right.  And yet, I am still too high.  Guess it’s time to up that I/C ratio.

Cutting it awfully close

29 09 2008

I had a system set up for reordering my sensors.  When I put in a new sensor and I only had one spare for backup, that’s when I would call EdgePark to reorder.  That way, I would still have a backup and new ones would arrive before I had to tap in to my last sensor.

Things do not always go as planned.

I called to order and then didn’t hear anything for a couple days.  The nice CSR told me that they were waiting on a Rx from my endo.  Um, what?!?!?  Turns out that Dexcom “changed their packaging” or something and they needed an updated letter of medical necessity.  I instantly paled at the thought that my sensors would no longer be covered and I’d have to jump through a million hoops to get them back.

It took an awfully long time to contact my endo (they don’t have a number that goes straight to a person, only a line where you can leave a message) to know if they faxed the form.  Then an awfully long time to get confirmation from EdgePark that they were sending my sensor.  They were able to ship one box, then it looks like I will get a 90 day supply after that.

I stretched my penultimate sensor as long as it would go, but I eventually had to switch to my very last one.  I have been extra careful with it to make sure it lasts until my new sensors arrive.  I finally got the tracking information today and the new sensors arrive tomorrow.  Today was day 7 with my last sensor, so they are cutting it awfully close…