Friday, March 23, 2007

Test Strips

Originally uploaded by amberthyme.
I think we used 400 test strips in one month.
It took 3 test strips to get her number in this particular instance.
I'm not sure how that happened. I keep checking the cabinets thinking, "Maybe I missed a spot." I haven't. I know she's had a lot of lows lately and we test a lot when that happens. We've also experienced some meter errors but I 'm not sure that that would be enough to suck up 400 test strips. I just hope we didn't throw a box (or two) away by accident.

O.K. math is not my best subject so I broke out the calculator. It's been exactly 46 days and 400 divided by 46 = 8.69.... I looked back through her logbook and we've been testing Brenna between 6 and 12 times a day. I guess we did use that many strips. Considering that it's about $1 per strip I am VERY thankful for insurance. Brenna's diabetes educator is wonderful. She said that she'd order a batch of 600 for her. That ought to throw the pharmacy for a loop! I just went to link to that story and it wasn't there! I guess I'll have to write it again.

Last time I went to pick up her test strips from the pharmacy they gave me one box of 100. It wasn't my usual pharmacy guy who knows Brenna and has seen me about monthly since last August - he'd know better. This pharmacy is almost directly across the street from the Library where I work & I can usually pop across the street during my 15 minute break to pick up prescriptions. Here's the conversation (at least how I remember it):


Me: "Excuse me, can you tell me why there is only one box?"

Lady:"Looks like the tag says 100 test strips and that's how many are in the box. It must be how many your doctor ordered for you."

Me:"Humm, that's funny. This is a reorder. I used the lable on the box when I placed the order online and there were 4 boxes in the last prescription."

Lady:"That does sound strange. Let me check with the Pharmacist."

Me: "Thanks"

Lady: "She wants to know if you really need that many test strips."

Me: "Wow, really? Well, my 2 year old daughter has type 1 diabetes and we test her at least 6 to 8 times a day --even more if she has a hypoglycemic episode. If she goes low we test her every 15 minutes until her numbers are back to normal. I'll take the 100 strips but it won't last very long. I've got to get back to work soon, I'm only on a break."

Lady:"Thanks If you can wait a few more minutes we'll have those other boxes ready for you."

Me: "Thank you for your help, but my break is over. I'll be back during my lunch time."

So now the Pharmacist is second guessing the doctor? Or did she just think I was lying? The clerk seemed very friendly but I thought it was bizarre that the pharmacist didn't even come out to speak to me personally. Wierd. It was a very nice day for walking and I actually had an hour lunch that day. They had all 400 strips ready and waiting when I got there. I was glad that I didn't get ticked off especially since it wasn't the clerks fault. Boy, won't they be surprised when they get an order for 600! He he he! If they question me I'll have them call Brenna's diabetes educator.


MileMasterSarah said...

I love that, "Are you sure you need that much?"

I've been asked that many times, and I've gotten very good at saying yes. If they question more I ask them when exactly I should choose to NOT test. Before I get into my car to go to work? Before I get into my car to go home? Before I eat breakfast? After I eat breakfast? Before lunch? After lunch? Before I run? While I'm running? After I'm done running? Before I go to bed? When I wake up in the middle of the night? When I wonder if I might be low? When I wonder if I might be high?

When is it appropriate to not test? Fact is, if I'm thinking about testing, then that is an appropriate time to test

...steps off soap box...

Penny said...

I too have been asked if Riley really needs that many strips. I used to be nice about it, but now it just annoys me.

But, the place where I get the strips from now gladly sends out 350 strips a month and tells me if I ever need more than that to call and they'll send more.

What do people think we're doing, selling them on the black market?

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Holy shit. You poor things. My husband and I have a cousin whose baby was diagnosed with Type I diabetes and she said that for the first two years she didn't sleep more than two hours at a stretch... that's how often they had to test. But now they are doing much better and their daughter (who is now six) has one of those insulin pumps.

IT DOES GET BETTER! I promise! Hang in there!