Thursday, May 5, 2011

Its Pumpin Time

It was brought to my attention years ago by my endocrinologist, but I just shrugged it off and always decided against it, to be honest I just never cared about my health back then and didn't want the hassle of learning to use a pump or wearing one.  But just like with anything else in life, you get older and realize what you're doing is not the best thing, you wise up, more willing to hear other peoples opinion.          
The real turning point for me happened when a doctor mentioned to me that my sugar was in the 500's, I definitely did not think it was that high. I thought to myself, I need help and I need it fast. First thing I did was call Winthrop University Medical Center and looked for a new endocrinologist, since the one I had previously moved.  
So my appointment was made. I met with the Endocrinologist, I was extremely honest about how I was taking care of myself, or not taking care of myself rather. She was beyond nice and explained all my options thoroughly.  She told me the best option for me would be the pump but that she recommended I try the Novolog pen first to be able to learn how to carb count and see how I liked it.        
I later met with the nurse practitioner (Eileen), who is beyond amazing. She explained that she wanted to get me on a CGM (continuous glucose monitor, it checks your sugar every five minutes) for a few days, to see why my sugar was dropping so low in the middle of the night and whats causing the constant fluctuation in the numbers.  I wore the CGM for about five days.  
When I met with Eileen again, she printed out my sugars  for the last five days and my chart looked horrible! I hated how it looked and I asked: "Well what else can we do to help these numbers look better?"

She brought up the pump and asked if I felt more comfortable with the idea of the pump now. I didn't even have to think twice about it and said yes.  She brought in various pumps to look at and went over them with me. I decided to go with the Animas Ping. I liked the fact that you can control your pump with the same meter you test with and dont have to pull the pump out to adjust your doses, plus it looked cool.  She told me she would call the rep and provide them with some information so they can contact me. I was so excited.       
So Animas called me a day later, I spoke with Ross Patton.  Ross made this process so easy and he had so much patience with me. I provided him with all the insurance information and anything else he needed. The only thing that made this process drawn out was that it took me forever to get blood work done, since the insurance needed a C-peptide test done. Ross always followed up with me (for at least three weeks).  
I finally got the blood work in and Ross said everything had been approved, that my insurance covered 80 percent of the costs, that left me with some payments to make. I explained that I could not provided the 20 percent at the moment, he asked if I could put a down payment of at least 10 percent, I explained that I could not. He stated that as soon as I could make a payment to get in touch with him.
I would say within a minute of hanging up the phone, he called me back. He explained that if I could not make payment now, that there is a possibility of financial help, that If  i could provide him with my last two pay stubs and last tax return, that he would forward the information and we would know if they could help.  
If your household does not bring in more than $77,000 than you are eligible for financial help, they can provide up to $1,100.  Thankfully, everything checked out and I did not have to pay a dime for my pump, Ross had it shipped out the next day. I wish every rep we ran into was as kind and helpful as Ross Patton. Had I felt that I was being treated poorly or trying to be "bought" in some way, I may not have chosen to pump with Animas at all.  I'm so glad this process was so easy.         
So now I start my pumping lessons May 17th, I can't wait! I will be sure to share with you how that goes as well.  I know I was beyond nervous when deciding about the pump, but from everyone I've spoken to, it seems the benefits out weigh the risks.   

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