About Me

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Grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland. My time now is mostly spent getting better at being a person, refining my time management skills, trying to read normal people books and articles, and learning how to be a force for good.

T1D Life in full effect. 

I will never stop learning, nor will I stop working to make a difference for someone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Health care, a patient's perspective II

I wanted to write a little bit about how insane Ann Coulter is, but I think I'll leave it to all the others who are doing a great job: Glynnis MacNicol from Business Insider and Frances Martel from Mediaite featured on Talking Points Memo. Onward, to my next official blog post which hasn't happened since...crap, since I posted my last quickie for a class last semester.

This edition of Health care from a patient's perspective is going to focus on what happened when I tried to get insulin here in Hawaii. I gotta tell ya, my Weird Shitometer went batshit crazy. Here's the deal:

Last semester I didn't have health insurance...in fact, I didn't have health insurance from July 2010 until last week. I do feel lucky, in that calling up the health insurance folks who enroll us Instructors in the plans did move things along extremely fast, so thank you HMSA/EUTF employee I spoke with last week. Back to reality: I was running rully, rully low on 'slin. For those of you who know what I'm talkin bout, that ain't good. I saw my doc on campus, which cost me $20...doesn't seem like much, but hey, I was broke-ish. My bottle of Humalog was gonna cost me almost $150, and I'm grateful to my girlfriend who covered it for me at the time. Really grateful; I think I still owe her a couple foot massages.

After seeing the doc, I got my script, and headed to Walgreens here in Honolulu. As I was trying to pick up the insulin the first time, I started getting weird questions.
Pharmacy tech: "This doesn't say how much you're supposed to take per day."
My reply: "yes it does; it says I have an Insulin pump for a basal, and to take boluses by sliding scale with meals as needed...it changes based on how many carbs I'm eating, my exercise/activity, other factors..."
Pharma: "no, that won't work. We need to have specific directions otherwise we can't give you this lifesaving health product that you won't survive without. Sorry. Better luck tomorrow when the doctor's office opens and we can confirm."
Me: "uhh...ok? What's the deal, yo? I've never heard of this kind of weirdness before."
Pharma: "It's Hawaii law, so we can't get sued if you overdose."
Me: "Really? Is this state this weird? I've had diabetes for two decades, I'm in great shape and I'm really healthy. I think I'm capable."
Pharm: "Sorry, can't do it. We have to know that you know what you're doing."
Me: "20 years as a diabetic. Seriously. If I fuck up my own diabetes care, what am I suing you for? Irresponsible pharmaceutical activities? Slangin the wrong 'slin to a shady character such as myself?"
Pharm: "We'll call their office tomorrow, and we'll see you after."
Me: "Right on. I know this isn't your fault, but I'd love to know what the background is..."

So that's my Hawaii diabetes weirdness that sent my Weird Shitometer off the scales. Anyone else seen something funky like this?