The ins and outs of insurance

3a118a835fd0d6d253f49acc9ed5697aA Bedtime Story: Insurance Heartache and Stress.

Knowing what the insurance will pay for and what they won’t and when the insurance covers everything.

My lesson the hard way.

Recently my son’s continous glucose monitor (CGM) stopped working.  And my descriptions of  stopped working is it would not charge, blink or the OK green light.  So of course I went about calling our CGM company for the arduous process of replacing the CGM.  After a long conversation we decided (the company rep and myself) that it was truly dead. With this fabulous information the next step was to await the doctors new prescription. Obtaing this elusive prescription seemed far reaching. First I had asked for the company to acquire the needed paperwork form the physician and not the diabetic educator, as we had not visited with her recently. However the company decided to go about this in their own way. They proceeded to contact the educator and she would not fill out the paperwork because she had not seen him. Now The educator we have seen in the past is FABULOUS; simply my son really prefers the male doctor. Because of this we then played a waiting game from November to January. And so the story continues.

While we are in waiting questions such as does a CGM make or break a diabetic day? Really, why not just go old school and just test all day long? But for my son it can make or break his day and week and month. His blood sugars tend to be wildly all over the place causing him to test his sugars more than the 8-10 times a day. Also he has recently started in a running club and driving.  So having a CGM that will shut off if he cannot detect a low blood sugar is a life saver, literally.  Besides saving his fingers from repeated testing. Moreover, he is able to simply look at his pump prior to sitting behind the steering wheel, at schimagesool, or before running. His CGM can make or break his daily management of his diabetes causing us to miss it horribly.

With the passing of months of mourning we have finally heard from the company!YAY! There is no paperwork form the physician. UGH. The holidays are here! I have called the physician’s office, they already have the paperwork done and faxed back; and we finally have the prescription to the company, creating a no out of pocket payment with our insurance. SIGH–calm and relief set begin to take over. Or so we thought! A few weeks pass. Mind you we are in mid-January, and the company calls me and states they just received the fax from the doctors office. Huh, you mean the one that was faxed in December? (You thought this tirade was complete and our family’s stress was finalized.) This then lead to a 2 hour phone conversation with the company. Me stating and restating that I was informed by the doctors office they had confirmation recite from the fax before the new year began. The representative and manager stated their paperwork demonstrate otherwise. What is a family to do!

The End of the Story

The company did not have the paperwork in hand before the end of the year so it is to be billed on 2016 insurance! UGHHH. Lesson learned (The financial lesson). Don’t wait for the company call and harass everyone until its done right! He has his CGM and all is now going smoothly and with lots of basal rate changes, very few lows and a green light indicating all is well with our CGM.

Moral of the story

Know your insurance and the companies you are working with. you can save money in the end and the ability to maintain a full head of  hair at the end! Happy New Insurance Year!


9876051_sMy youngest child, a non-diabetic child, is allowed to stay home at a younger age than my older diabetic child.  She does not have a chronic illness to attend to while alone.  But my type 1 child was not allowed that privilege until after he was 13 years old.  Call it helicopter parenting, but he was not quite ready to attend to his low blood sugars without a responsible adult around.  My main concern was that he needed to have very good awareness of his low blood sugars and how to treat them properly.  He has always been able to notice a change in his blood sugars, but being able to treat his low blood sugars is a whole different animal.  Once I started to feel that he had a solid grasp on this I began to let him stay home alone for short periods of time.  I would run an errand, or stop by the grocery store.  As I began to be more confident, my husband and I would venture out to the local restaurant for dinner.  Now that he has earned our trust to stay home during the day without adults, he calls or texts me with issues with his blood sugar.  He is now able to treat and care for his blood sugars for short periods of time.  In turn this will eventually help him grow into an adult.

Each child is different. Some questions to help you determine when he or she can stay home are:

1. How mature is your child?

2. How does he or she recognize low blood sugars?

3. Is your child able to treat low blood sugars and follow up with a snack?

4. How far away will you be from the home?

Once you are satisfied with these key points, start with short trips from home.  You should have a successful transition to leaving your child at home while feeling comfortable about the blood sugars.

Type 1 Diabetes and Staying Home Alone: When is the Right Time?

Grandparents and Type 1 Diabetic Grandkids

Off to grandma and grandpa’s house we go….what goes in the diabetic bag (besides everything)?

The first few times Quincy went to grandma and grandpa’s I was a mess. He was excited! He got to play with grandpa and his flight simulator. Help grandma cook and play board games. The normalcy of childhood. The blessing to be able to find it with family. However, this did not take away my fear.  I wasn’t a mess because I did not trust my in-laws. I did. But WHAT IF always lingered in my head. So we had the house type 1 child proofed. We hung carb counting cheat sheets and hypo cheat sheets in the kitchen cabinet. Quincy had his own supplies at their house, 4 ounce juices, easy to eat and will eat snacks, favorite foods, a glucometer, syringes. We even kept insulin there at times.  All this to go down the street and to keep him safe.

Of course he did fine. Me on the other hand slept with my cell phone (now to have a type 1 and no cell phone…scary thought!). He had fun! He had a “normal” time with grandparents that love him and would sacrifice everything for him. His time with grandma and grandpa gave him memories that will stay with him forever.  Funny how flying a plane on the computer and hanging out with some of your favorite people erases diabetic stresses for a child. I look back and the work was worth it. Yet, getting there could have been easier (at least hind sight).  Now he goes out and about as a teenager with out much thought in preparing.

Even so my three ringed binder was always in the bag or on the counter (and still is). Everything was there, Doctors numbers, my number (like family would forget that!), what to do with lows or highs, calculations when he was on shots, You name it or we got it from the doctor or educator, it was in the book! Seems a little overboard now. But then I had no other answers on the how to. How do I make it easier for my son (who did not understand it fully) and how to make it easier for my in laws? Hopefully our book makes it easier for grandparents and extended family everywhere to get through that special time with their type 1 grandchild.

What is your story about extended family. Who has taken classes and done the work to care for your type 1 kiddo? What memories did you make with that family member with your type 1 child recently or in the past? How is that loved ones house type 1 child proofed?

Sleepovers and Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetic children and sleepovers

What was your childs first sleep over  as a type 1 diabetic? How did it go with the other parents? How did you prepare for the sleepover?

My sons first sleepover was stressful for me as a parent and a professional. He was going over to a wonderful families house to stay the night just 4 blocks away. I had trained the mother and she said she felt very comfortable helping him give shots and counting carbohydrates. I felt comfortable leaving him. But only after we had talked and discussed it thoroughly! He had only had diabetes for 8 months or so. So my husband and I had some time to ourselves for a while. Then dinner time came. The mother had called me upset because she just couldn’t give him his shot. The idea of putting a needle in another person upset her so much. This was something she did not expect to feel.  I went over and gave him his shot and then went the next morning to give him his shot. He did his own blood sugar testing. I was lucky because it was just down the street.

Once he had a pump he had an easier time with sleepovers. I still was very strict on where he could go. If he had a friend with physician parents they had an easier time keeping him overnight. They did get easier each time and as he became older.

I am curious about how this has worked for others. How did you teach families and parents? What materials did you use to teach these parents?

But mostly what is your story about the first sleepover and your type1 diabetic child?

Type 1 Diabetes going back to school

Since we have been on the first theme. I began to think about that back to school experience. Type 1 diabetic child  in school for the first time. The thought that I had to leave my child with school personnel. Let me paint the picture.

We were in a charter school for the better education. For those of you not in our area at the time that school was rate one of the top in the state. Quincy needed the challenge (or he took things apart and did experiments to learn about things!!) that this school provided. The caveat, they did not take kids they did not want. So those kids on 504 or IEP or ILPs did not make it into the school. But once you were there they could not kick you out. The up side to this there was a full time RN at the school. No school aid that took care of my son.  I thought all was going to be well. Because as an NP the next best thing was a nurse. I felt better about him going to school.

However, the school isolated him, the nurse fought me on what the orders were for his shots, she did not even understand what Type 1 diabetes was and what they needed. She openly admitted to not understanding and was trying to learn. I had teachers aids tell me they did not have time in the instruction to deal with type 1 diabetes!

The fortunate thing was Quincy was oblivious to this. He was always excited about school. He did have issues with his sugars. And more than once he did not get a shot the nurse should have given him. My anxiety increased about leaving him anywhere. I could not trust the nurse to care for my kiddo how was anyone going to care for him the way I could.

In the end and after writing my own 504 plan but not getting it to the teachers (the school just needed it on file for my son incase the state looked into it!) We moved schools.

The new school was what we should have had in the beginning. Diabetic care was always first.

Type 1 always calls for a parent to advocate. But how do you do that without guidance of what is wrong. Places I that would have helped me was at the very least my diabetic educator (but I never asked for what I thought was normal)!

This is another book for another day. Type 1 diabetes and the basics for school days. There are so many resources out there for this and I think new diabetic parents need to be on top of these resources. Type 1 Diabetes and the specifics of your kiddo.

What was your Type 1 back to school experience?

Type 1 diagnosis day

Do you remember that day of your kid being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes? Overwhelming, scared, not sure how to keep your kid alive tomorrow! I remember. It was an evening and we went to urgent care because he did not feel good and he was urinating all the time. The NP that saw us happened to be one of my old professors from college. She told me we needed to go to the ER because he has Diabetes. I sucked up my emotions to drive to the emergency room. I replayed in my mind the last few months…what did I miss? I am a nurse pratitioner I sould have seen it coming but why didn’t I? Those are haunting questions that I could never answer. And sometimes we don’t have those answers.

When we got to the ER my husband showed up and I went to the bathroom and cried for what seemed like an hour. What no one knew is I saw patients each week in dialysis from not taking care of their diabetes, very ill sick patients. Type 1 and my child. No way. NOT ME!!! Then realizing I am now the parent how am I going to keep him alive and never go to dialysis.

The days that follow were a blur. From the educator to the nurses I never left my childs side. Now how am I going to go back to work and let someone else watch my child. I did not think I could take care of him well who else was going to help take care of him. While I was a mess, my son took it in stride. He did not like the shots (but who does) and he faced it like a soilder. He went about what he needed to do. He can educate anyone what is exactly occuring in his body than anyone around him incluiding me. With the weight of his diabetes and any little thing could kill him, training the nurse at the school even, trying to teach family, and trying to learn it as a parent made life in general overwhelming. No wonder it took 3 years to really go out and enjoy a date with my husband or have a sitter in charge of him. Type 1 can rule your life and the entire family. If you are on shots, meals have to be a certain times. If on a pumps, you are always adjusting the basal rates or sensitivities or ratios.

As I became more comfortable leaving Quincy with others it was only because I trusted him and trusted he knew his body. Not  because I had a good method to teach a sitter. Type 1 ruled my life every minute of every day. Now that he is a teenager I don’t worry about leaving him. I do have a consistent sitter, but more for my younger child than him (she does help him often). He watches my younger child more often than anyone else. No resources were avaible to help train the sitter for my son so we made one.

What I want to know is how other parents dealt with diagnosis day of Type 1 diabetes? What was that like? Where you able to keep normalcy or did your world suddenly get small? If it got small when did you open up and allow it to enlarge?

Type 1 Diabetes can overwhelm and rule your life until you feel you can rule it…when does that really occur though.