Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Pharmacy

They don't like me at the pharmacy and really, I don't blame them. To be honest, I don't like them either. I think the main reason I am so bothersome to them is that I hold up lines with my big order. Three times insulin. Three times test strips. Three times glucagon. USUALLY what happens is I put in my order and the pharmacist is smart enough to see that all the boys use the exact same things. He USUALLY fills one boys complete order and then mails the other two boys. To his credit, it is a fast and smart solution to my family prescription needs.

Well, smart pharmacist must have been on vacation yesterday. Because not so bright pharmacist gave me a little something for each boy and then said I could come back tomorrow for the rest.

"Sorry, I won't be coming back tomorrow, I would like it mailed to me."

The counter lady scrunched her face. "They don't mail insulin in this hot weather."

Me, (scrunching my face back,) "Well, it has never been a problem before." (And mind you, it was a balmy 72 degrees where I live yesterday.)

"Well I guess I can do it, but I'll have to COMPLETELY redo what they typed up in the back. I'll have to do each boys individually, it will take awhile."

"I'll wait."

I could hear the groan of the people behind me. There was only two people at the counter and a long line of 15-20 people.

While she redid the prescriptions, she gave me a big lecture on how I should "phone in" my prescriptions. "Phone in when you have 10 days left of your supply. It is very inconvienient for us when you come in and take up all our supply...blah blah blah, don't come here...blah blah blah."

"The boys all use the same stuff." I explain. "We have it all over, at our house, at the in-laws, at school, in sports bags, in the car. When I exhaust all my resourses and all my different stashes are out, I come here to get more."

"Well if you would just call it in when you have 10 days left, it would be easier for us."

So I say, "Ya, good idea." (She wasn't getting it, so why explain again.) But in an effort to be agreeable, I suggested that it would be helpful for me to know how many month supply they are giving me. Then I can put on my calender when to call.

"It doesn't say here."

"Really? Because sometimes I come and they tell me I am like 10 days too early to refill a prescription. It must give you some idea how often I can refill."

"You know better than us how much you use in a month." (Is this lady for real?)

"It's all a blur to me. It should be in your computer. If you want me to call it in, I need to know if your giving me a 2 month, or 3 month supply."

She scrunched her face again..."I can probably figure it out, but it will take awhile."

"I'll wait."

I looked out the window. I refused to look at the line behind me. Oh, they wanted me to look. I could hear their groans and quiet complaints to the people around them. FOREVER LATER, She had me all bagged up in a giant handled white paper bag. I took a deep breath and turned around. Everyone eyed me and gave me the dirty looks of exasperation. I held my head up high and began to walk out. Just before I got to the exit, an elderly lady actually SCOWLED at me. I mean evil eye, lips curled, scowl. I almost walked past her but my chest was burning from anger. I turned to her and held up my bag.

"Just be glad you're not me lady."

When I got home I found that they only gave me ONE vile of insulin. (Seriously.) That will last me 5 days. Will the mailed insulin come before I run out? Will I have to go back? Wait a minute...I have less than a 10 day supply...maybe I'll call it in!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

40, I Won't Say It's Bad...It's Just REALLY Not Good.

Last night my husband and I did our 10:00 blood sugar check and L was 40. My husband checked him and the fear in his voice caught me off guard. "L is 40, Meri! L is 40!" It has been so long since we've seen a number as low as that. I scanned the kitchen. "Meri he still has insulin on board too! Quick." What do I feed him? What do I have? The things I have for lows didn't seem fast acting enough. I froze in the middle of the kitchen, closing my eyes, making mental pictures of what was inside the cupboards. Luckily I remembered my husband had bought me some orange juice as a special treat. (We never have juice on hand, it's too tempting for the little ones.) I woke L and encouraged him to drink. He was so out of it, it took forever, but he finished it and a little snack after.

I know all of us in this community handle this situation all the time. But it has been so long for us...50's and 60's, sure, but 40? That is just one away from 39. It just reminds me how real it all is, the danger and the fear. In my last post I wrote, "It is what it is...just a number." I would like to add little footnote, "Unless it is 40."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Set up to fail

Sometimes I am convinced the cosmos have put me in a lose-lose situation. With three active boys with Type 1 Diabetes it is generally all but impossible to get all of them to have numbers in range. Inevidably, one of them is too high or too low. I am set up to fail. And honestly, it used to get me down...really, really down. I would wallow in the self pity of bad momdom, and think that I am a failure as a mother. I would think that I let them down, and agonize over the thought that their future health lay in my hands alone. Night time sugar checks became the bane of my existance. "Who will I let down tonight," I would think.

Then last summer something happened to change my way of thinking. We were at Diabetes Family camp and J came up to me and said he needed to talk. He had a counciling session with his group, and his councilor told him he needed to talk to me about his feelings. He said, "Mom, I feel like whenever I check my sugar and the number isn't in range, I let you down. I see the look on your face and it makes me feel awful. I hate it when I disappoint you with bad numbers."


All those times when J would check his sugar I was feeling awful that I was letting him down. And for years he took that as I was disapointed in him, when truely I was disapointed in myself. I had to convice J that I NEVER was disapointed in him, and actually had always been proud of the way he's handled his diabetes. It wasn't long before we decided that we were in this together and both of us were doing the best we could. From then on there were no more bad numbers. They were all good because they gave us the information we needed to fix the situation.

Do I have bad days? Yes. Sometimes it's like it is all out of control and I feel like crawling in a cave. When it gets that way I call my endo, who obvioiusly I have a close relationship with, and say, "Help me fix this." I usually change basel rates on my own, but I have learned to recognize that sometimes I am too overwhelmed to figure it out by myself. Now, when that 400 pops up I can say, "Fix it." and forget about it. It is what it is...a number. And I am thankful for those numbers, good and bad. Without them I would be like those parents long ago who had to wake their children at night and see how hard they squeezed their hand.

 I think not knowing at all is scarier than a 400.