Tag, you’re it!


I just love playing phone tag with pharmacies and doctors offices.

Here’s a little back story for you. I get my insulin through a mail order pharmacy. It ships the insulin to me in bulk so that I am able to get a three month supply for a very good price. This is my second time placing an order through them so I admit I am not as familiar with the process as I am with the normal in store pharmacy. About two and a half weeks ago I got the ball rolling on refilling my prescription because I knew it’d take about a week for paperwork junk and then shipping.

I called to fill the script. I waited for confirmation. Nothing. I called back to see what the hold up was and they said they were waiting on the doctors office to reply back to them. I called the doctors office only to find out that I couldn’t go through my endocrinologist I had to go through the diabetic specialist I am currently with for this pregnancy. Okay, not a problem. I could understand that. So I call to inform my specialist and her office that the mail order company would be contacting them very soon to get a prescription filled for me.  I informed them that I would be completely out of insulin very soon and needed this to get handled promptly. Again I waited for confirmation that everything had gone through. Still, nothing.

I’ll also mention that I had two pods fail in this time period filled with precious insulin. I could only salvage so much.

Cut to yesterday morning, when a very fed up pregnant woman with only enough units to fill one pod, yes the pod I am currently wearing, had a mental break down. I had to make call after call to see what was going on. There had been a snag somewhere in the system and I was determined to figure it out. The problem: my mail order does a paper fax, my specialists office only handles electronic faxes. Apparently they are not connected in any way. So somewhere out in the universe are the requests for my scripts to be filled. (Side note: I realize that at eight in the morning and feeling very defeated I might have been a bit cranky but I don’t think that warrants the snark and rudeness I received from the medical assistant) I mean, how many times do I have to explain that I am out of insulin, my mail order company is waiting to hear from someone who can authorize this prescription, and nothing is getting done. I felt very overwhelmed and just downright lost.

Finally I was able to take a few steps forward. I called the mail order company and gathered all their information so I could give it to the medical assistant who would have my doctor send in the authorization herself. FINALLY. After that was said and done I felt a small victory but nothing worth much because I still have to wait the 2 to 5 days for paperwork processing and then the 1-2 day shipping. So in the end I am still stuck here, waiting, with only my one pod filled with insulin.

Thankfully there is an option. I can head on over to my local Walmart, who doesn’t require a prescription, and I can buy a vial of the generic brand to fill my pods with until my regular stuff comes in at the end of the week. It’s not the best but it’ll do in a pinch. Which I am definitely in. I’ve used this brand before and know how it works for me so it’s alright.

Still an overall frustrating experience. I felt like no one was listening to me. I felt like none of us were communicating very well. And more importantly I felt like no one was truly understanding the severity of the situation. I am a type one diabetic, pregnant, woman who has run out of insulin. I could die. It’s not dramatic, it’s the truth. It’d be a slow, painful, drawn out process but that doesn’t change the end result. I am not asking for a multivitamin, I’m asking for the very thing that keeps me alive. Me AND my unborn child. There are always options, some wonderful, lovely people in the diabetes online community have offered to ship me some of their insulin for the time being. An act of kindness that overwhelms my soul. There is also, as mentioned before, the Walmart brand, or I could fork out a ton of money I don’t have and pay for one vial at the price I would pay for nine. Yes, there are options, I wouldn’t willingly put myself in danger.

It’s just frustrating that I am even having to go through this. It isn’t the first time I have had to fight for an insulin prescription, it wont be the last, and I know so many of you have dealt with these situations before. Why? Why are we not only having to battle this disease on a day to day basis but also having to fight for the medications to keep us alive.

It’s ridiculous.

Have any of you dealt with a situation like this? What was the end result?



7 thoughts on “Tag, you’re it!

  1. Over 23 years as a Type 1, I’ve definitely experienced this sort of thing. But not recently. I’m really surprised that your prescription provider and your healthcare provider still work with faxes. Last-generation technology used to gather paperwork for something you need today.

    The only (bad) advice I can give you is to be a bear. Keep coming at them if they’re not helpful. It’s your benefit, you or your spouse has earned it, and they’re getting paid for providing it to you. You never have to apologize for reminding them of that.

    • I am so glad that you said this. I was starting to feel like I was being too in their face about it. I wasn’t sure if I was reacting correctly. I had never dealt with this situation to this extreme before. Now I know how to deal with it if/when it happens again though. I am much more prepared. Yes, I was surprised to hear about the whole faxing thing as well. Let’s get with the times people. :)

  2. I hate all the crap that comes with trying to make pharmacies, supply companies, doctors’ offices and insurance talk to each other. I’m currently without my Dexcom because my supply company faxed the wrong number, my endo’s office hasn’t faxed them back a prescription and I still have to wait for it to go through my insurance after a prescription has finally been received. In the mean time, I’ve experiencing low blood sugars that I can’t feel coming on.

    We really have to be our own advocates and the task managers for all in our diabetes care. For the medical assistant, it’s their job, for you it’s your LIFE (and your baby’s). Like Stephen said, be a bear. Don’t feel bad about pushing the process along.

    Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for this. I was definitely one mighty little bear. You’re right, we have to be our own advocates a lot of the time and it can be so frustrating. You’d think you’d be able to count on these other parties to help get you what you need but sometimes they aren’t always on your side. I hope that you have been able to get your Dexcom stuff straightened out. Having lows you can’t feel is scary and dangerous. Wishing you luck.

  3. I know the offer’s been made before, but I’ll make it too. If you’re in trouble and need insulin, just say the word. I’d hate to see you trudging along on Regular when there’s a world of Novolog out there.

    • Thank you, Scott. I appreciate the offer so very much. I wasn’t thrilled to be using the Regular insulin but thankfully mine finally came through. Now I know who I can turn to in an extreme emergency though and that is very comforting. Hope all is well with you and your family.

  4. I’m so sorry u had to go thru this experience. I recently hit a snag but no where as severe as urs. I use novolog too & would be very happy to send u some of this ever happens or comes close to happening again!! Glad u got it resolved!! HUGS!!!

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