Monday, October 26, 2009

Diabetically Overwhelmed.

I consider myself a very strong person.

Hell…look at my life! I live it…I endure it…I celebrate it…I am happy! I stand up for things I believe in. I’m not afraid to speak my mind.

I am no wimp!

Unless…I am at the pharmacy. It seems as though I am a different person when I go there. I feel extremely vulnerable. It is always very emotional for me and for some reason I leave my backbone at the door. (Please see previous post.)

Today was no exception. I walked in needing insulin and needles. Not a tall order…just one child’s worth of insulin and a box of needles to use as back up when a pump is malfunctioning. Seriously…is that too much to ask for?

As I stepped up to the counter I handed the gentleman 3 insurance ID cards.
“I need insulin…It doesn’t matter who’s prescription you fill, they all use the same stuff…please just fill one and mail me the others.”

Then I got the look. The look that I have told myself a million times I am just imagining. The look that burns my heart…and it is always followed by the same question…

“ALL three are diabetic?”

“Yup,” I say. “All three.”

“Well, this one is 60 days too early…and this one is out of refills. Call back in a couple days to see if they will refill it.” He printed something out and handed it to me. (Which I assume meant that J was OK for insulin.) “Next,” He says.

“OK, thank you. But I also need needles.”

He types. He types and types and types and mumbles…”Sorry, there are no needle prescriptions here.”

“Well, I have gotten them here before…”

“No,” he says…”It’s not in here. Are you sure you've gotten needles before?”

I don't even qualify that question with an answer. I just raise my eyebrows and give him a look that says...obviously yes, I have gotten needles before.

And then he gives ME a look. A look like…what do you want me to do about it?

“Well, I need needles. Don’t you have a protocol for something like this? Can’t you call a doctor or something. I am out and I need just one box.”

Without a word he walks away and prints something off his computer. Which I can only assume means he is taking care of it. No…”Here you go.” No…”It’ll be ready in a few minutes.” No…”The name will be on the board when it is ready.” He just walked away and then walked back, looked over my head, and said, “Next.”

As I went to sit down I wondered why they hired such jerks to work here. Are these people trained to have no emotion? Maybe I’m just sensitive. I talk myself down. I think I’m blowing it all out of proportion.

But then I watch him…and what do you know…he’s smiling at people. He is laughing…he is nice. With me he was a complete jack a**…but with everyone else…a ray of sunshine. I examine my behavior. Was I a bitch in any way? No, in fact, I was very nice and sweet. Hey…I can be nice and sweet people…I do it all the time!

So I wait. And B’s name pops up…which is weird…because the tag I have is for J. So I am left to assume that the needles were put under B’s name. And then I wait for J’s name. 30 minutes I wait. Finally I wait in line for the counter to see if there is a problem.

I’m with a lady now. I politely explain my situation and she goes off to look. She returns with a box of needles…and ONE box of insulin.

“He is supposed to get four bottles.” I say.

“Oh, well this is all we have.”

My insides are on fire…tears begin to burn the corner of my eyes…

“I’m sorry miss…but I have THREE Type 1 Diabetics at home. This bottle of insulin will last me less than five days. I am completely out of insulin at home. I need more.”

“Umm, sorry that is all we have.”

TIME OUT! We all know that this is a lie. There is more…they just want to hold onto it. There is NO WAY they are out.

“Please, I just need one more bottle…and you can mail me the rest.”

“Listen MAAM! I am trying to help you here, but you are not listening to me! Obviously mailing won’t help you because it takes 7-10 days to get it by mail There is no more today…you’ll have to come back in 2 days when more comes in.”

This is where I stop fighting. This is where I am using all the power in me not to cry.

You should have seen her face…like I was some unruly freak begging for a hit.

So I left with one vile of insulin and was able to make it out the door before I began to hyper ventilate in tears. WHY!!! WHY is it so emotional for me? WHY am I so insecure in there? Why do I let them get to me? No one else gets to me….only them. It’s like they have this power over me. This power to control whether my boys get their medication or not. This power to make me feel like some unreasonable homeless person, begging for two dollars when somebody gives her one.

It’s just always a bad experience all around. I guess I should note that all of this took place after a very unsettling conversation with our school principal. I asked her this morning if I could sell cookies after school the day before World Diabetes Day. They would be round shortbread cookies with a blue circle on them. Attached would be a card explaining Type 1 on one side and Type 2 on the other.

After asking, the principal laughed. She l-a-u-g-h-e-d…She. Threw. Her. Head. Back. And. LAUGHED! And then said…”Isn’t it counterproductive to sell cookies when educating about diabetes?”

“Well actually,” I countered, “that is the point. I want to educate people that Type 1’s CAN eat cookies, and dispel some of the myths about our disease.”

“Oh, well yes,” she says….”I’ll check and see with the main office if it’s ok.”

She is new. She doesn’t really know anything yet…but seriously woman…

I totally accept the fact that maybe I’m a bit more sensitive today after the ignorant letters and blog comments that have been flying around the web lately…

But, I don’t know…I feel diabetically overwhelmed today.

And I needed to vent. If you made it through this entire post, God bless you. You have a heart. Its people like you that restore my faith in mankind.


  1. Girrrlll~ Let me tell you about MOXIE...., really, I would have knocked that guy out!

    Anyhoo, listen--if anyone knows about having a child with diabetes, it's YOU! You deserve a metal, a trophy, AND a cookie. (made with Splenda, of course). I've been following you for a while and I CANNOT believe all 3 of your boys are T1. That is cray-zee!

    I'd love for you to add me! I'm just a mom trying to get through the day..... :)


  2. my dear meri you need a hug and then you need to go back to that pharmacy and find the mgr of the store and drag his or her butt over to the pharmacy counter and say to the pharmacist "here tell him or her what you just told me " that you are out of insulin , right ? Bs !! that is exactly what I would have said and I would have probably drew such a scence that they would have given me anything to get me out of that store LOL !!Meri go back there tommorow and raise total cane and hope that works . Oh speak to the stores corporate office and let them you will be finding a new pharmacy . I hope I helped and you know we love you . cathy aka phonelady

  3. Hey Girl,
    I am with you on the pharmacy thing.. they once told me that they couldn't talk to me because the insurance is in my husbands name. WHAT? First of all... I am his mom and I am on the insurance too... AND I AM HIS MOM. They then told me that they could talk to Justin... ? Idiot- he was 7.
    Go back and raise hell girl... as much business as you give them, they should be a little worried to loose you.

  4. Oh man I'm so happy that I do not have to deal with pharmacies. My husbands dad is a pharmacist and he gets us everything that we need. I'm so sorry that you have to go through that EVERY time you go get supplies. And why the hell do you need a prescription to get needles? what is that all about. Over here we just go to the pharmacy and they have them there in the open. I remember the 1st time my husband had to run out and get some needles. The pharmacist looked at him funny and said what do you need these for? He responded my daughter is diabetic and the pharmacist asked him what type? just to test him. Funny he felt like a drug user!

    As a side note sometimes when I'm soooo worked up and I know that something is not going to go good and I'm soooo frustrated all you can do is cry!! I hate the people that are making you feel this way. Don't they know that you have enough going on in your life, who would lie about having 3 diabetics in their household and why the hell would they withhold insulin from you. Do they think your selling it or mis-using it? Sorry this is all over the place and sooo long it's just been a very long and frustrating day :) Hope you have a better day tomorrow

  5. Oh Meri, I am so sorry you have to go through that every time. I wish I was there with you because I would punch the twit in the face... well, verbally. I'm not THAT crazy (yet).

    We mostly do mail order rx, but I do have to go to our local pharmacy from time to time to get a certain type of needle to dilute Elise's insulin. I go through the same song and dance every time, even thought the guy knows EXACTLY who I am. Each time I go in, it's like he's hearing it for the first time. Anyway, we get into an argument almost every time over these stinking needles, but I don't budge two inches until I get what I need. HE DRIVES ME CRAZY!

    I've actually complained to about this pharmacist over something else, nad the situation was fixed, so I say let yourself be heard, loud and clear... go through the company's website and email them. I've found companies to be pretty responsive to that.

    Holy long comment, sorry about that. I should have just emailed you.

    P.S. the principal is a twit too... you keep on edu-ma-cating these jerkwads.

  6. Oh Meri. I'm so sorry. What a crappy day. This may be totally obvious but are there any other pharmacies you could go to? There's one on every corner here...maybe that one just sucks. I'd talk to management or corporate, though. I agree with phone lady- You give them lots of money and they should want your business. besides, no one should be treated that way. And yes, the principal is a moron, too. Go make a bunch of cookies with lots and lots is icing and eat them all ( or whatever works for you....icing is my thing)!!
    You know that saying- I am stronger than diabetes? Well, maybe it should be "I am stronger than all these morons who know nothing about diabetes and judge based on their ignorance."

  7. Thanks for love guys. Your awesomely supportive comments really help. :)

    My big problem is that we belong to Kaiser. There is only one Kaiser in Petaluma where I can get my perscriptions filled. There are two others, (one south of us, and one north of us,) that take about 40 minutes to get to. They are bigger and I would probably get better service there...I'm thinking it would probably be worth the trip.

    I think that these Pharmacy trips just make all the diabetes feelings come out from the corners of my brain, to up to the front and center. It always shocks me how hard I cry on the way home...but I guess I just need to release my frustration and get it all out. Mom's like us just need a good cry sometimes.

  8. Oh Meri.....what a mess! I think each of us have our own trigger that sparks the frustration and tears! What a bunch of jerks!

    I just fought with the Pharmacy today too, over 400 test strips per month. They only gave me 300 and EVERY SINGLE TIME they question WHY we test more than 10 times per day. It is frustrating, because we have no control. They have the one thing that keeps us alive and we are powerless. Thats why we cry in frustration every dang time we have to face them!!


  9. Meri, Meri, Meri--

    This stuff is so hard. We have been fighting Cigna lately with insurance woes. I feel like I am on the phone every other day with them. So I don't have great words of wisdom to tell you. I just have my cyber shoulder. Just someone who understands. I'm here for you. You have my email. Feel free to use it.

  10. My mom used to tell me, "One day at a time, Megann." Well that's a load of crap when you're a mother of a diabetic, much less 3 diabetics! I've changed my mom's motto to "One hour at a time". That seems to put my life more into perspective.

    Meri, you said so yourself: You are a strong person.

  11. Meri,

    I would love to go with you next time!#@!&*!


  12. Meri~
    I'm catching up on blogs...the girls are sick with the flu so I've got time to just sit while they sleep :( *sigh* Anyway.... (((HUGS))) You did NOT deserve to be talked to that way! What an ass! Are you able to move their prescriptions to a different pharmacy? One that will keep their supplies in stock? I had this same issue with Walmart and getting the Freestyle test strips. They were giving me 100 strips at a time and it was an inconvenience to keep going in. Finally I told the pharmacist....My daughter has diabetes and ITS NOT GOING AWAY so just order extra of the damn things and I'll be sure to have them filled and keep them in business! GEESH!

    And the principal....yeah she's an ass too! LOL! Sounds like she needs a good ole' edu-ma-ca-shun about diabetes ;) Hell, bake her a dozen of those circles and print her letter in BOLD! Hahahaha!

    We're here for ya girlie! D-Mom's have every right to vent :) and we're all here to be your backbone!!! Keep up your fight cuz you're doing a wonderful job with THREE D's in your house. I admire you!!!

  13. Ummm. Isnt there some one you can talk to? Get Ryan in there..or aunt Jeanie and ask for a manager. Discribe how it is every time. Get your doctor involved. Declare war on the pharmacy! Have someone go with you and tape your experiences-and if they ask about it say. This conversation may be recorded for quality assurance purposes

  14. Hi Meri,

    Thank you for your welcome note on my blog. I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone in the community. I feel lost now but am so excited about finding fellow "D" moms to chat with and at this point cry with too!

    BTW, I just read your post and it made me so mad for you! I would have totally lost it. You were amazing and dignified and so much of a better person than those JERKS!

    I hope your day gets better and the overwhelming feeling goes away. I don't know you but I already admire you. I can barely keep up with dosing my 1 diabetic child and you do it x3!

    Amazing, amazing - you are amazing!

  15. I just found your blog, so obviously don't know the details, but WOW. I'd be finding a manager and filling them in on the poor service... uneducated staff... and then I'd be taking my prescriptions elsewhere. (Like I said, I dont' know your situation, maybe that's not an option.)

    ::hug:: I'm sorry you have to deal with people like that to supply your LIFE SUPPORT for your kids. Ugh.

  16. I came to you through Joanne's blog--you caught my eye with your comment about Halloween :)) My heart breaking for you on this post. I have two T1 siblings; they are now 28 and 34. (I'm 35 and my older sister who is 38 are both not t1's). I always wonder how my mom did it with 2...and now as I mom, I wonder how you do it with 3. . .And then to have something like your story happen. :(( I know my sister has gone through the same thing where they tell her sorry, you're reached your limit on needles. Yeah, I think she reached her limit about 15 YEARS ago, but she still needs them. Ugh.
    Hang in there. You are an awesome mom.

  17. I am so sorry to hear your frustrations. We all have these days - but yours are rightly more multiplied. Vent away!

  18. I was sad the day the pharmacist recognized me and started looking up my son's prescriptions before I even told her his name. I never wanted to be so well known at a place like that.


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