Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sticking it to me

On Monday, I received the results of my 1 hour glucose test. Actually, they phoned on Thursday July 3rd I had made a specific request not to be notified on my birthday if the results were unfavorable such that I could eat my cake in peace, so I waited to call back until after the 4th of July weekend.

My insurance offered me the opportunity for a three hour glucola test, meaning for the sheer joy of it, I could agree to fast for 12 hours, hire a babysitter, drink the glucola pop and drive to the lab to have my blood drawn, then sit for three hours and have it drawn again to be told emphatically, I did have gestational diabetes and then drive home to pay out thirty dollars for the privilege of being able to starve alone for three hours in between blood tests. I opted out of that privilege. Just hand over the glucometer I told the lab nurse.

Not so fast.

My insurance, in its infinite wisdom was not grateful for my sparing them the additional cost of a secondary test. They wanted me to call the training nurse’s office about getting the needed equipment. The Nurse office said to call the insurance to ensure that I was covered and could get a glucometer. Then I should call back.

“But the test said I need one. Why wouldn’t I qualify?”

“You have to call.”

The insurance said I had a choice of two companies with free glucometers to hand out. I just needed to call. I called the first company. The line was busy. So I called the second. They checked to agree that yes my insurance covered the glucometer and I’d have it in two days but I needed to call my doctor’s. My doctor would have to call the pharmacy and order the strips for the glucometer.

The pharmacy refused to take the order until they verified that the insurance company would cover the glucometer strips and that the company had sent a machine to me. I’d have to have them call the pharmacy after I received the glucometer. Then I’d have to call the nurse that started this mess because the insurance required that I receive training from the nurse before using the machine. I called. The nurse said they could schedule a visit but it would take a few weeks and asked if I could wait on hold for a scheduling consultant.

Pointing out that I knew how to use a glucometer, had experienced gestational diabetes on more than one occasion and knew the basics did not discourage them from 1) refusing to allow the doctor to call the pharmacy for strips until I got trained or 2) persuade them to up the training schedule from some time after never, to soon. The scheduling consultant was out at lunch. They’d call me back later in the day to schedule a training day sometime in the next three weeks. My baby is due in 11 weeks. Twenty one days seemed a bit long.

So I went to my obgyn’s. She’s known me for years. I told her about the mess. It would make a good article she told me as she handed over sample test strips to hold me over. I wasn’t sure anyone wanted independent verification of reality being that difficult, but agreed to stick myself four times a day. The nurse called and my training would occur in 17 days. In the meantime, I was to watch my sugar.

So I settled into sticking myself four times a day, but this was a new glucometer and so I actually needed some training. I thought there was something amiss because the readings were supernaturally low. Over the phone with my doctor's office, the nurse and I figured out I needed to recalibrate each time I started a new small canister of strips, so three days of sticks at least were invalid. Joy.

My doctor also then advised me it was time to get a Rhogram shot and to come in and get the prescription. No biggie. I’ve been getting them ever since my first child sensitized me. It’s my own fault for not having a positive outlook, bloodwise speaking. Picking up the paper from the doctor, the prescription required I be tested to see if I needed Rhogram.

“Why do I need to be tested? We know I need a shot. I’m B negative and I’ve had the shot with all prior pregnancies…”

“The insurance requires…”

So next week, I get to go to the lab. Have my blood drawn. Sit (You cannot leave for the two hours the test takes to get the results, otherwise the results are deemed invalid), and then get a shot in the rump. I’m bringing all eight kids. We’ll find out how true the two hour wait is…and whether the nurse really wants to have me in the waiting room that long. I’ll let the kids bring snacks. It will be a pain for sure, but probably worth an article or too.

The things I suffer for my children and my art.

For more fun than fooling with insurance, blood sugar and shots that aren't alcoholic in nature, try! May my sugars run low and my ranking with humor blogs, drop more than if I took a double shot of insulin...wait...that doesn't sound quite right....okay, I'm shooting for the top 50! Go rank me already.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I'm so sorry you had to deal with that Sherri.

I wish you could send this to everyone who thinks a universal health care run by the government would be a wonderful idea.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!