Diabetes – insurance hates my meter

….well, that was less than fun. But, that’s one more thing I can check off my list of things to do. was it a blood test? was it an injection? nope. It was the worst and most painful thing anyone with a chronic disease in america ever has to do: call. the. insurance. people.
To be fair, they are usually quite lovely individuals who are just explaining the rules as they are required to – I get it, but I’m 99.7% certain that the “rules” we get to follow are completely dependent on back-room dealings such as, “did one touch or accuchek give us the better kickback? Wait?!? Accu-chek only sent a fruit basket?!?! well, too hell with them! One touch gave me a car! whoo! they are our preferred vendor this year!” Today’s call was a walloping pain in the ass. Allow me to share: I refilled my testing strips and insurance freaked out. Some lovely dude began calling me and leaving me many messages with increasing levels of irritation and snark. I wasn’t avoiding the calls, but unfortunately the dude had rather horrible timing and managed to only call my phone when I was in a meeting/next to my boss/with a client/etc. I’m paraphrasing the many messages that were left for me, but I think they went a little something like, “hey, uh Heather….yeah, listen. AccuChek cheaped out and only sent the president a fruit basket so we don’t use them anymore, but yeah….you are going to need to call me and so we can figure it out or basically, you’re screwed and you can’t check your blood sugar anymore. so…yeah, call me back. or don’t and see what happens.” alrighty then.
Friday – called the insurance people, gave the standard interrogation answers (name, rank, serial number, why are you calling, what’s your phone number, are you sure you are who you say you are, etc.) then insurance people attempted to transfer me to what I now know is called the Alternative Drug Department (hahahaha, ADD) and then the call disconnected. *sigh* Oh well, I’ll try again on Monday.
Monday – called again – gave all the answers. explained the problem(s) and again was transferred to ADD – got disconnected. Shared a few expletives with the universe, figured I would try again on Tuesday.
Tuesday (today) – I’m out of strips and am using an old meter with old strips. Fairly certain its accuracy is wonky as hell, but better than nothing. Work is mostly done for the day and I am going to do it – I am going to check this damn “call stupid insurance strip crap” box off my to do list.
Tuesday – Call One. Answer standard interrogatory; explain repeated disconnections. Get placed on hold. Call disconnects. RAGE! Expletives! More Rage!
Tuesday – Call Two. Answer standard interrogatory – at this point I am answering questions BEFORE THEY ARE ASKED. I know what is coming – I’m using the freaking NATO alphabet correctly n’ shit because, why not? “Yes, my name is Amrhein, that’s Alpha-Mike-Romeo-Hotel-Echo-India-November, but please just call me Heather. Yes, my account is Uniform-three….”blah blah blah-you get the idea. Then I carefully explain that this is the 20 bazillionthy time that I have called and, ahahahaha, before you disconnect me again by putting me on hold…….and then I was put on hold. And epic silence (which I definitely preferred compared to the initial tortuously static-filled hold music)….but then? then? my phone started ringing. well shit, I’m on hold with that number, but that number is calling me. So, I conferenced us all in together! I was rather looking forward to everyone being on the line, but sadly the lady never came back on the phone. So, Mr. Michael from South Dakota informed me that he was my repeated (snarky) caller and that I couldn’t use the meter I had been using (AccuChek Aviva Connect) and that he would be happy to send me a free One Touch meter. I stopped his obviously well-rehearsed speech by laughing loudly and saying in a delicate southern drawl (which came from where!? I have absolutely no idea why I suddenly became southern…or, for that matter, delicate?), “oh honey, if you have enough time and patience almost every one of those big ole companies out there will give you a free meter; the money is in the strips.” (btw: I said “tha mon-ey is en tha stree-ips like one might say, “the money is in oil”; again, no idea where this persona came from) and then, because he called me ever so many times, was still a bit snarky, and was ever so hard to get back in touch with – I shared. Oh yes Mr. Michael from South Dakota insurance company pharmacy place, you add to my to-do list, make my life just a little harder AND get a little snarky about it? Well then, I’mma data dump all over you. I talked to him about the precious metals in the strips and how some people “mine” them but that it could be fairly hazardous so it shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. Then I talked to him about how my accuchek meter connected to my phone via bluetooth and you could set the program to text your result. Mr. Michael asked, “text to where?” and I replied, “why, it texts your blood glucose reading to whomever you set it to text. I currently have the program set to text my results to my mama, my father, my boyfriend, and a close friend! Do any of those one touch meters have that as an option? well, Mr. Michael from South Dakota insurance company pharmacy place, do they?” (no, they don’t) I went on to explain about my recently deceased diabetic alert service dog Herbert, and how his death left a rather large divet in my diabetes care plan that I was attempting to fill with technology – but, then again, it isn’t perfect either because if I have too many bluetooth things connected to my device (don’t judge me, I like gadgets) it bounces the accu-chek aviva connect too low on the priority list and texts don’t send. Then I talked to him about the mysugr program and how it is such a great tool for children and adults but that what we really need is a meter than can input directly into *that* program. Then I said, ya know what Mr. Michael? just send me a continuous glucose monitor to play with and I’ll call it good. (sadly, that is a different department) Poor Mr. Michael – he didn’t want to go to Heather’s (apparently southern) Diabetes Knowledge Camp – but off to camp he went. So we perused the One Touch offerings and I couldn’t decide between a couple of them. So, poor Mr. Michael, seeing a shred of hope that the caller who just wouldn’t stop telling him stuff could possibly be convinced to go away by sending her the two meters she was (deliberately, rather cruelly, and a touch gleefully) dithering over – stated, “both meters are on the way with the strips!!!”
*wicked chuckle* Now that I have his direct line, I’m considering calling him to chat about lancet options and calibration/test liquids.
Lessons Learned:
1. doing sucky things in a southern accent can make them better.
2. don’t give your direct line to someone you have been snarky to on the phone; they may use it.
3. If you can’t make them give you what you originally wanted, enjoy yourself choosing a new option and then write about it hopefully making someone else’s day better cause your karma is rather shit because you enjoyed taunting Mr. Michael so much.