LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Thursday, April 02, 2009

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program…

I did an evil thing today. Something I didn’t think I was capable of. God help me, I actually wished diabetes on someone today.

I wished diabetes on the “No Woman” at Presbyterian health plan. The woman whose job it is to deny care for her profiteering masters. The woman who changes the rules so quickly no one can keep up. The woman who, once again, has blocked my health care team’s efforts to get me a pump and supplies for same.

I was sooooo mad at her duplicity, trickery, and inhuman attitude that after I hung up the phone following a particularly nasty phone call with this bitch I actually said out loud “I hope you get diabetes!”

I alternately sulked, steamed, felt sorry for myself, and felt angry with myself all the way home from the clinic. I tried cranking up my CD player to blast the blackness from my mind. No go. Finally I let out with a high-volume primal scream. I scared five rabbits, two road runners, and every mouse for five square miles half to death. I hurt my vocal cords. But it didn’t make me feel any better.

Hundreds of good people spent years creating the insurance I have. It uses a combination of state, federal, and small employer funds to ostensibly give low-income working folks like me great insurance. And on paper the insurance is great. No co-pay for visits. No co-pay for specialists. No co-pay for ER visits. $3 medications with a $12 monthly out-of-pocket cap. 100% durable medical goods coverage.

Actually, when my boss laid out the plan I thought we’d been invaded by Canada and lost. Lucky us.

But it is all smoke and mirrors. The State contracted with Presbyterian to “manage” the plan. And they are managing it right into their pockets, those profiteering sons-of-bitches. And how do you “manage” all this government and smaller employer money, and great health care, and make a profit? By denying care, that’s how.

Insulin pump adventures: an Advance Diabetes Treatment Certified Nurse Practioner provider isn’t good enough. Only MDs can Rx pumps. Oh, wait we changed the rules. MDs aren’t good enough. Must be endo. Then, well, pumps really aren’t standard of care for Type-1s. Then, we don’t supply consumables for out of warranty pumps. Then, we don’t replace out-of-warranty pumps, only broken ones. (Funny. Mine just fell on the floor and broke. )

Oh, and we won’t give you supplies for a Smith pump, we show we once paid for a single box from Medtronic. Those were CGM sensors, not pump stuff, you idiots.

Actually, they aren’t idiots at all. They are brilliant pirates. Brilliant pirates on a campaign of genocide. They are killing diabetics to make a buck. It is a crime against humanity. A war crime in the war between the haves and the have nots.

It is a sin.

But so is wishing diabetes on someone.


Anonymous Penny said...

Hi Lee, I am a reader of your blog and the mother of a 6 year old Type 1 daughter. I cried when I read your post because besides being a person with diabetes being denied care, it only hurts worse when it's your child who is too young to fight the insurance companies being denied care. I am a strong woman, but at times I am broken by this system of health care that asks me to literally prove and have my daughter become 'sicker' before they will help. The system that tells me they won't provide the number of test strips she actually needs cause 'that's above the norm.' You know what's above the norm - my 6 year old with Type 1, how about that norm?! The problem is that we are stuck with this lousy system - there is no other place to go. I have to laugh when pundits converse about the 'scourge' of universal care and how that will have us all running to the dr. I want them to walk in my shoes (and your shoes) one day and see how fast they change their mind. I want a system that sees people who struggle to manage their health and who need support to do it. Thank you for your post, it was appreciated. And to wish diabetes on someone isn't the worst you have ever done, it's not the worst that any of us will probably do. Penny in PA

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Casabby said...

As of April 1 I started insurance with the high risk pool in my state. I'd had fabulous insurance for all of my adult life until the expiration of Cobra benefits on April 1.

So I am living in absolute fear of running into the same things that you are running into. I know that my sensors will be denied, but I'm not all that happy with the Paradigm CGMS anyway. So I probably won't fight any battles over that. But my pump is my absolute lifeline. If supplies for that are denied, I will be devastated. Fortunately I do think they will be covered because Minnesota is for the most part accepting of the idea that pumps should be supplied to patients with Type 1. I'll order new supplies in about 2 weeks and keep my fingers crossed.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Jonah said...

I figure if those people got diabetes they'd be the sort of diabetics who are always feeling guilty and blaming themselves for everything because they totally buy the idea that diabetes is a) diabetics' fault, b) manageable with cheap techniques, and c) a matter of self control.

I feel so sorry for them. Also smug and superior.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Sorry to hear of your latest (one of many) woes. And in the most important area of your life, Trying to manage your T1.

On another note, I bought your book.
I am SO glad I did.
Most of it I knew, some I did not, some I "relearned", some were reminders.
Some blew me away. Like the FDA.

I let my dad read it, onto my mom next and hopefully some others. While I am the only one with diabetes (T1 for 24 yrs) in my family this book, Your book, is a Must read for Anyone!!!

I just loved, LOVED it!
Your wit is amazing. Your candor hilarious. Your imagery astounding. And the way you "dumb things down" to make it easy to understand is a skill, no, a Talent.

I am so pleased you wrote this book. Looking forward to more and reading your blog as often as I can.

Thank you for You!!
Not only do you help "the tribe" you are helping T3s and that is huge.

And believe me, I so understand your current health insurance woes and no doubt you have heard...."someone else has it worse" (Man do I hate that!!) but I have No insurance at all. 2 years this month. 2 years withOut it. I do what I can within my means. Can't wait to see how my Endo reacts to the latest woes living with T1 and having no insurance. I respect him but he cannot grasp the concept. Like the cost of insulin in America, avg is $100 for one bottle (1000 units, that is freaking $0.10 Per UNIT!) so off to Canada via the net for a bottle at HALF the cost.

And way back when you wrote about the cost of test strips, avg $1 each. You wrote about wearing some used ones with a dollar bill attached somehow, if I recall correctly. I will never forget that image.

And infusion sets.

I did nothing to get T1 at 6 yrs old yet I have to "pay" for being labeled a pre-existing chronic liability by companies that say "take care of yourself but we won't cover what you really need to do that so take care of yourself." Huh?

I try to love America.

Either way. LOVED your book. I am recommending it to everyone I know. Love your blog too!!
Keep up the good work!

11:06 PM  

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