The Great and Powerful Oz

CurtainHi. I’m calling to update my prescription coverage and to get my refills ready for pick-up.

I was excited. Our new insurance prescription coverage was so much better than the last one and finally, I’d be able to stop cringing when I handed my money over to the pharmacist for insulin and strips.

Christel, I’ve got them all ready….wait…your new insurance is denying the amount of strips on your prescription. They are saying that you can’t have that many per month. They’ll authorize…

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.

50 strips per month.

50 strips.

Less than two blood sugar checks per day, so you better make it count. 

I thanked the pharmacy tech, wryly laughing as I explained that I knew I had to call my insurance company.

Hi. I’m calling to find out what I need to do to get an override for your ridiculous assumption that a Type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump can get by on 50 blood glucose test strips per month.

My Glenda The Good Witch demeanor was melting faster than you can say: “And your little dog, too!”

Christel, you’ll need to have your doctor call in to this special number and speak to The Great And Powerful Oz (but don’t look behind the curtain because I’m sure it’s someone who thinks Type 1 diabetes could be cured by a brisk walk and some cinnamon). They’ll review your doctor’s request and make their decision.

(OK, so that wasn’t exactly what she said. I may have taken a few liberties, but truthfully, I was conjuring flying monkeys and donning my striped socks so I wasn’t listening intently with both of my green, pointy ears.)

I thanked the customer service representative, but I wasn’t laughing anymore.

50 strips.

And Oz, the Decider of my Strip Amount per Month person doesn’t know that today, despite being on a CGM, I’ve pricked my finger 14 times today because I’ve run from 324 to 38 (and all points inbetween) in the last 12 hours alone. And not on purpose, lest you think I’m wasting strips for no good reason.

I get that Type 1 diabetics are special and that the majority of diabetics in the world don’t check their blood sugars as often as we do, but my doctor wrote that prescription for more than 50 strips per month for a good reason. She is going to have to call to justify why she wrote the script and why I need more than 1.66666667 strips per day? She went to medical school. I’m going to take a wild walk down the yellow brick road and say that Oz didn’t, and yet, Oz will decide what’s best for me.

There is something very wrong with this. Wrong.  I can’t wait until we start in on my other supplies that help keep me alive and healthy. I foresee a “first name basis” conversation with many an insurance rep in my future. Like I have nothing else to do.

Even better?

I can’t even pet Toto and say that I’m not in Kansas anymore because it’s the same insurance company we had last week. Just a different plan. It’s not like I magically became another person who didn’t need the same amount of strips I purchased before.

So, Oz?

Meet Christel. And you thought the Wicked Witch was a bitch…