12/26/2010

a near-costly-miss

One of the very fun things about being the mother of a child with a chronic disease is figuring our how to get the most medicine and supplies out of a thin wallet.  When I first began researching diabetic supplies, I found quite the variety of both kinds and price points.  While I would love to go off on a tangent about the fat cat companies making big bucks off a fricken' test strip, I will refrain in order to keep the language of this site PG . . . ish.



My research revealed the lowest cost available was through our insurance provider's 90 day mail order service.  I pay the same for a three month supply through the mail as a one month supply through our local pharmacy.  Perfect, right?  Sort of.  What you save in money you pay for in time and s-t-r-e-s-s.

An example of filling a single prescription

1.  Call the 800 number, listen carefully to the menu, take a stab in the dark at what option you need, then press the # button repeatedly until you get a representative on the line.

2.  Explain you would like to set up a new mail order prescription.

3.  Try to make clear why your 8yo daughter cannot order her own supplies.  Repeat over and over until the nice lady stops asking to speak with the person who needs the prescriptions filled.

4.  Give the rep all of the necessary information, listen to her repeat the information and confirm the order is right.

5.  Hop on the computer so you can track the order to completion and see when it will ship.

6.  Scratch your head in wonder as the order sits in 'pending status' for days.

7.  Call the 800 number again and repeat steps 1-5. 

8.  Call your endo's office, beg and plead for them to call the 800 number to
speed things along. 

9.  Repeat step 5.

10.  Begin to adjust the budget in order to pay full price for some insulin as your daughter's is now getting very low and you thought this process would be complete by now!

11.  Repeat steps 1-4, hop on the computer and and sing with joy as the status updated to 'approved'.

12.  Pray

13.  Hop on the computer and practically pass out with glee to see the package is on it's way!!!!

14.  Stalk the FedEx website and watch the package make it's way to your front door.

15.  Tear open the box as if you are 5 years old and opening a Christmas present.

16.  Gather the children around so everyone can play with the dry ice and bubble wrap.  Wow!  I never knew insulin was shipped temperature sensitive!

Time from first phone call to deliver = 9 days.

I make a mental note of the time it took to save all that money and decide to start the ball rolling a little bit earlier for next time.

Fast forward to the Monday before Christmas.  I need to re-order Ellie's prescriptions, but have set up a nice cushion of time in order to allow the mail order service to run through the above scenario a couple of times over. I have a couple of changes to make now that Ellie is using a half-dose pen so the insulin order is technically a new one. Besides, it's Christmas week!  They will definitely need more time with the rush of the season, right?

I place the order pat myself on the back for a well thought out plan of action. 

The week progresses quickly as we pack up to leave and travel for 4 days.  I don't even bother checking the computer . . . I am on vacation, after all.

:: News Flash ::  Diabetes doesn't take a vacation. 

Thank goodness for boredom and the circumstances that lead me to hopping on the computer and checking the status of the order, because it was Christmas Eve morning and Ellie's insulin was on it's way to our front door.

We were in another state.

What?  How?  So soon?  No way!!!!!  AAARRRGGGGHH

So, I do what any other person would have done; I called my BFF and see if she can go over to the house, take the package home and put it in her fridge.

Except that wouldn't work because the package required a signature and we didn't know when, exactly, it would arrive. 

Hubby called FedEx and was told it may not even get delivered because it was such a busy delivery day (duh) and the insulin could possible be left to sit in the FedEx warehouse until Monday.  Which, since the package materials are temperature controlled, the shipper may determine them "useless" if not delivered that day.  Um, that's 3 months worth of insulin that could go to waste? 

Not acceptable.  I needed to save this insulin.

One last ditch effort was made and through the magic of online people searches as we located the telephone number of our next door neighbor's house.  I called and asked our neighbors to go and leave a note on the front door of our house requesting the FedEx delivery person go to their house to receive the package.

Not even 2 hours later our neighbor called to say the insulin was delivered, unpacked and safely stored in her fridge.  She did feel bad about having to lie to the FedEx guy, though.  Apparently he needed a signature from someone IN our house.  She told him she was feeding our cats (not true, a friend of Maddi's was doing that . . . . our neighbor doesn't even have a key!) and was going to go over in a little bit.  HeHe.  The FedEx guy gave her a wink and handed over the package.

Phew.  Crisis averted, insulin saved.

I assured my neighbor her lie was cancelled out by ensuring a cute little girl got her life-saving insulin.  She agreed.

Lessons learned?

1.  Never try to outwit the mail order pharmacy.

2.  Give my neighbor a key!

3.  Our FedEx man is an angel in disguise. 

8 comments:

Hallie said...

Man- I was on the edge of my seat! Thank goodness for nice neighbors and delivery men! So glad you got it worked out!

Wendy said...

WHEW! God bless those wonderful neighbors!!! Lie CANCELED!

Oh...this reminds me that we need a refill....it was SO NICE to bask in the glory of fresh insulin while it lasted.

Tomorrow it's our turn.

Just pray.

Reyna said...

I HATE dealing with the online pharmacy phone menu...that is operated by a computerized voice that you have to repeat everything to...and she (the voice) usually says "I am sorry, I don't understand what you selected. Please repeat yourself" ARGH!!! Pull out my hair moments for sure.

I hear you on the close call girl. I have been there tooooooo often. You know how the DOC bad girl likes to live on the edge - haha.

Glad the insulin made it. Your neighbor is a ROCK STAR...and the lie was worth it! Give your Fed Ex guy a big ol' smooch the next time you see him!!!

Tracy (The Crazy Pancreas) said...

You had me on the edge of my seat through all that too! Glad you got her insulin in a fridge safe and sound.

Not looking forward to mail order supplies. Will be doing that myself soon too.

Tracy1918 said...

Wow Wow Wow! Glad it all worked out!

Good neighbors are such blessings!

htimm=) said...

Wow that was close!

FYI I found a great deal on a Salter (the portable model) at Cutlery and more today. Here is the link: http://www.cutleryandmore.com/salter/nutri-weigh-go-portable-dietary-computing-scale-p112665

They also carry the full size one for $80 (that is the best price I have found yet) It looks like the portable one does all of the same things and would work great for home use. You can't beat that price ($19.95)!

htimm=) said...

PS Amazon carries the Weight Watcher spoons, my sister got them at her WW meeting.

Roselady said...

I was just thinking about whether to try and do the 1-800 number thing...definitely will have to think this one over a bit more! Thanks for the advice. And, nice to meet you!