I’ve been very lucky since my diagnosis with my healthcare experience. There are a few things that irk me like not being able to use my preferred insulin because it is excluded from my coverage and having to switch meters back and forth because my insurance changes preferred vendors. Lastly, I’m annoyed by how much this damn condition costs me and my family.
All in all, these things don’t happen to affect my treatment and how I lead my life with diabetes. The key word here is “lead.” When we lead, we have to plan and make decisions.
The first decision I made to was listen to the releasing doctor at the hospital and go to an endocrinologist. Since I had no experience looking for this type of specialist, I went with woman and nearby. You’d think I would have gone to Yelp, but nope. Just went with girl and a close drive. Those things are important to me 1) females have my same plumbing and hormones, chances are they might have a little more insight into what I’m going through in addition to the diabetes. 2) nearby: I didn’t want an excuse for not to go to my appointments. Little did I know that after picking my endo office, they ended up being the best endo office I could have hoped for. The owners were even the walk chairs for our recent JDRF OneWalk! So delighted with my office!!!
Remember: Select a medical team that you respect and are in line with your medical needs. They only get paid if you continue to go to them. Your primary care or family doctor might not have the experience and expertise to help you dose insulin or know when to draw the line that your Metformin is not working. It may be time to see a specialist. In addition, there are also Certified Diabetic Educators (CDE) out there who might be able to help with nutritional needs and correction factors. I found that I was fine with my endo and I no longer have a CDE. I have friends who swear by their CDE. The point is: there is a choice in the matter and it is yours.
When seeing my endocrinologist: I write everything down. Why? Because I’m gonna forget. I have 10-15 minutes tops and I’m gonna make each minute count and worth my time. I write down her instructions like new bolusing/dosing instructions and questions I’ve got about everything! I wanna know about the new pill/pen/gadget on the market and if it is a cost effective option for me. I wanna know about new research studies that I might be able to qualify for. Did you know you can get free supplies and test drugs during the course of a study by doing things that you might already be doing? I will save that for another post. I also bring up news that is buzzing around in the diabetes online community that’s been bugging me or has got me excited. There are times when some of the things I tell her is news to her and I get her riled up on a subject. And no, I don’t expect her to know everything that is going on in the DOC-I assume she would like to enjoy some time away from diabetes and other metabolic conditions when she leaves work. Anyway, this interaction with my doctor lets her know that I know what’s up and that I value her as a partner in my wellbeing.
Remember: You have to make your time count with your medical team. Make sure you get what you need out of those 10-15 minutes by having a checklist written down of topics to cover. You’ll feel much more empowered when your time is up.
Insurance companies: I don’t even know where to begin there except there is a lot I don’t know about insurance and what is covered and what isn’t and at what percentages and after how much in premiums are met. I have a hard enough time doing the math for my dosing! So I have to read and find out or I have to ask and make decisions or a game plan based on what I’m told. Your doctor might also be able to help you with getting around obstacles which is why it is so important to ask them anything and everything. If your insurance doesn’t cover a drug but the alternate preferred drug doesn’t help you-your Doctor might know what to in terms of contacting your insurance to say the preferred doesn’t work.
Remember: learn the system so you can navigate through it better. It seems what aggrevatese the most is when unexpected things occur. Unfortunately, I think things with insurance and limiting our options will become more and more evident. Prepare yourself my friends.
My healthcare wish list: 1) a cure. We could all be helping other needy people right now if Diabetes wasn’t sitting right smack dab in the middle of our plates. 2) less painful options for care. I think my friends and I might take better care of ourselves if we didn’t deal with “pricks” all the time by way of lancets, needles, and insertion sets. 3)more affordable treatments and care…if my bottle of insulin was cheap enough that I could buy it over the counter with my bottle of wine, then I would only bother my insurance company with big things like hospitalizations. Luckily for me, I’ve only been in the hospital once for diabetes and that was at diagnosis.
What have been your experiences in healthcare
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Today’s Prompt: Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!