Insulin Pump Demystified

Friday, April 07, 2006

Karma Day

Yesterday, I felt just like Earl Hickey from one of my new favorite sitcoms "My Name is Earl": Karma was definitely trying to tell me something. A few days ago, our microwave broke. I didn't realize just how much I depended on it (re-heating coffee, babyfood, etc.) until it went. It is a 1992 model that fits in above our stove and was here when we moved in. My husband Fred tried all of the circuits, but nothing changed...the microwave was gone.

I voted to go shopping for a newer model but when Fred priced them online, we saw that the above stove models were a bit pricey. So he called a Sears repairman (it's a Kenmore model) who came out to the house yesterday. The nice, big, tall repairman ("Hi, big tall man," my son George greeted him)looked at the microwave and asked me in a most polite tone, "Ma'm, did you know it's unplugged?"

Truly I did not (to our fairness, the plug goes in the back of a cabinent over the microwave and in the three and 1/2 years that we've lived in the house, it's never come unplugged before), but after writing the nice big tall man a check for $69.55, I decided that I would always check the plug in the future should the microwave mysteriously go again.

Then the phone rang. It was another polite person, this time calling from my medical supply place. She had phoned yesterday to see if I was ready to re-order my test strips. What a lovely convenience. I told her yes, and expected them to be shipped as usual.

But she was calling back to let me know that since our insurance policy had changed as of January 1st, I would now owe the medical supply place 30% of my order. For a three-month supply, that stung. When my husband's health insurance changed, we had hoped it would save us money, not cost us more. I gave her a credit card number over the phone, sighed, and said good-bye to that money, too.

But that money won't be like my expensive lesson about looking for an appliance's plug. That will be ongoing money out of my bank account every time that I order strips. I've been so lucky to have all of my supplies paid 100% up until this point. I'm truly bummed out and angry. I test a lot--8 to 10 times/day. I will not test less because of the awareness that 30% of the cost is coming out of my pocket. But I will miss that money.

What is karma teaching me here, I keep wondering? Maybe to be aware of how fortunate I am to have insurance. Maybe to remember how many people out there with diabetes can't afford basic supplies. Maybe to hold onto my anger and advocate more for a just health care system, in which everyone in our country has access to the medicine and health supplies that they need.

I'm not sure yet what exactly the lesson is for me, but I was happy to get through the rest of the day with no more polite interruptions.



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