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Hear me roar!


Read how being denied new technology by my insurance company impacts me.

I type “roar” because I want to be heard. So please listen. And I hope that what I share will not only help me but also many others who are in similar situations.

For the last 42 years, I have had type 1 diabetes. I have never wanted people to feel sorry for me. Yes, I have a chronic and sometimes challenging condition, but I am a fighter, and I work hard to live an amazing life. So instead of feeling badly for me, support me. Be my cheerleader!

Diabetes never goes away. It is always with me 24/7. Many times a day I check my blood sugar, count carbs, and bolus. There are times when my blood sugar goes high or low. But luckily, through meticulous care, my diabetes is not always in the forefront. I do the same type of stuff that everyone else does: play with my kids, work, run, etc.

However, having the best prescriptions and medical devices makes a world of difference. It truly helps me to manage my diabetes every single day. And when management is easier, life is easier. Which is why I am disappointed that my insurance company has not approved a new insulin pump—a pump that would be much more conducive to my active lifestyle of running, swimming, biking, and playing with my kids.

In the last 42 years, I have gone from glass syringes and urine testing to insulin pumps and blood testing. Words cannot describe how technology and discoveries have impacted my life in a positive way. Let’s just say I cried when I got my first insulin pump. I was pregnant and struggling with 8 shots a day. The pump was a miracle—for me and my baby.

Yet it is the day-to-day functioning that is so important. This is about having the right medications and devices available so I can optimally live with diabetes every single day. Not settling for the only medications or devices approved by the insurance company.

Most people with diabetes (including me) just want life to be easier with diabetes. Who wouldn’t? When it’s easier, everyone benefits. A win-win for all.

New expenses may cost the insurance companies more in the short term, but giving each consumer the best prescriptions and devices offers the potential for many long term benefits: a more engaged patient, better diabetes control, and fewer complications.

Yes, it’s all theoretical, but look beyond the expense and the pool of people with diabetes all lumped together. Look at the individual, his or her lifestyle, and the individual need.

We are not talking just numbers here. An individual is more than 30 days of blood sugar tests and the most recent hemoglobin A1c. I am a person who is making a request for very specific reasons. When I spoke with a representative from the insurance company today, all they knew about me was my name, member ID number, address, that I wanted a new insulin pump, and the expiration date of my current pump (next year). Based on that, they were able to make a decision: DENIED.

So, please look at the whole person. Not just the numbers associated with a person. Consider why the individual is making the request. I would not waste my time, your time, and my doctor’s time. Can I live with the pump I currently wear? Yes. In fact, I could live still taking multiple injections a day with glass syringes if I did not have options.

But I just want to make life with diabetes easier for me and everyone with diabetes. The technology is available. Let us use it today and every day.

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