Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dexcom SOS

When I saw my Endo at the beginning of January, we agreed that with my extreme hypoglycemic unawareness, the amount of lows I’d been having at night, and the forthcoming lizard spit dosage adjustments, it was of utmost importance for me to get a Dexcom. She was also honest with me that the odds of getting insurance to cover it were very very slim.

I went to the Dexcom website and called their customer care number. The woman I talked to was very kind, but unfortunately, she didn’t have any good news for me. She said it’s incredibly difficult to get someone with 1.5/LADA approved and it’s even more difficult to get approved when the person isn’t yet using insulin. She told me the company wants nothing more than to give me the safety and the security of their product but it’s almost guaranteed that even bringing the claim to the point of appeal will not get it covered in my case. I called my insurance company, and they verified that they don’t approve them the first time around for ANYONE (bastards) but with appeal sometimes they will approve them only for PWDs on insulin.

Uhm. Sometimes?!? Nice. Way to go insurance company.

Determined to get one, I used round about methods and had an amazing friend send me her backup Dexcom. Now that I have it in my hands, I called customer care again. I got another very nice person on the phone, but once again, there was no good news to be had. The out of pocket cost for sensors is far more than student loans can cover under “extras” even if I lived on Ramen noodles for the next 3 months and the odds of my insurance company covering something for a device they didn't approve are very slim. I called my insurance company and their response was a very direct “according to our records, you’re not allowed to get a Dexcom. There’s nothing in our system about us letting you get one.”

I’m not allowed to? You’re not letting me? Jerkfaces.

That’s when I started tweeting the SOS asking if anyone had sensors to spare. I HATED having to do that. I hated having to ask for something in the first place, and I hated that I was asking for the one thing I know everyone’s had to fight so hard to get. I SO appreciate the help the D-OC has given me and I think I should have 4 sensors by the end of next week. My hope is that if I can’t be hooked up during dosage finagling I can at least be hooked up to it for exams and avoid another hypoglycemic mush brain catastrophe.

Now, I just feel stuck. I’m not sure what move to make next. Would expired sensors give me an idea of how I’m trending even if the numbers aren’t accurate? Or does an expired sensor not function at all? The trends are really what I need - those double down arrows to warn me when I'm plummeting. Should I try from the beginning and fight for the device first in the hopes of being able to return my friend’s backup and get one of my own so the insurance company can’t argue (as much) with my need for sensors? I feel very discouraged which I know is the insurance company’s goal in this case. They want me to give up and not push for the device that I know I need. 

Despite my best efforts at control, I feel very unsafe with my diabetes right now. I can check my blood sugar before I go to bed and 30 minutes later I’m having a sweaty plummeting low. It just doesn’t make any sense and the Dexcom is the only way I can think of to at least give me a heads up before I get to the severe lows that take hours to recover from and make me too scared to sleep.  

If anyone has any ideas of what to do, please let me know because right now I’m at a total loss. 

3 comments:

  1. What you're going through makes me feel very sad about healthcare in this country. Unfortunately, the only thing I can do is keep you in my prayers and I will light my candle in your honor tonight that something good will happen for you. Let us know what happens.

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  2. I feel exactly like this after talking to them on the phone as well.

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  3. I've used an expired sensor and it was pretty good. Not perfect, but okay...

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