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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Hurdles and hoops

I believe that we all lead similar lives. Our homes are different shapes, our sofas different colors, but generally we all struggle with similar issues and think about many of the same things. On any given day I wake up, go directly to Arden's room, check her BG and then begin my day. In the course of that, and every other day, I have tasks to complete, responsibilities to see to, worries to ponder, and relationships to foster. The minutes pile up to form hours and in the seeming blink of an eye, the day has ended. Most days feel like I've navigated, instead of lived them. 

Each of our two children has their own life that we oversee. School, friends, activities, hunger, health, questions, morality, free time and entertainment. I have the same issues in my day, as does my wife. Additionally, there is work, commuting, debts, and this one strand of carpet that I have to glue back into place as soon as I can find a free second.

Leaves fall from our trees, we pick them up. The floor gets dirty, we sweep it. I get sick, Kelly is tired, my son is learning to be a young man. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying. I don't eat the way I should, and that reminds me that I don't exercise the way I should. I reacted poorly to something my wife said, I don't know why but I want to think about it, I want to apologize and really mean it. I would too, if I had the time.

The garbage disposal stopped working, it's okay, I fixed it. Laundry, oh the laundry, it won't stop. Last week we had the JDRF Walk, Hurricane Sandy, my car broke down, and my son left his bat bag across town. Tick, tick, tick, the days fly by, this is life, I'm not saddened by it or even slowed down. This is about what I expected, it's fair, it's what we all do. I'm not complaining, merely shining a light on it so I can say this... People's lives are full, on any given day we all have enough to deal with. An average day offers enough challenge, it's normal hurdles are plenty to keep us busy. When a chronic illness is added to your life everything is magnified by a million. The work, worry, struggle, pain, sadness, effort, it's all magnified. One day a piece of technology comes into your consciousness, a gadget you can't really afford, and don't actually want, but it will help you manage your day a little easier, keep you a little more healthy. Perhaps it can stop something bad from happening. It's like an oasis when you realize it's potential, music plays in your head, stress begins to lift... and then the hurdles appear.

My fuc*ing insurance company changed some bullshit rule and now I have to jump through even more hoops to get Arden her DexCom G4. I need, I really need some bureaucrat, some bastard whose only interest is creating a new process that squeezes two more cents out of the consumer. I need that bag of crap to push a paper from this side of his desk, to that other and make my day just a little more stressful and complicated. I need another hurdle, another task that takes time from the things I actually wish that I could do, the things I want to do, the stuff that might make our lives; better, more loving, fulfilling, easier. 

There are always going to be people and entities that pray on others, but I hope that there is a special place in hell for the ones that line their already full pockets by forcing people that live with diabetes and other life changing, and chronic illness to experience more stress then they already do. Be ashamed.

"I'm sorry but this isn't approved for people under 25". "We only cover 6 strips a day". "Has she had a seizure... she has, good!".

We live a life that includes the possibility of seizing if we take or give too much medication. As screwed up as that is, it's also a life where some faceless person on the other end of a phone call will act like having one of those seizures is good news. They don't have that reaction because the are callus, they have it because the system they are trying to exist in requires something bad to happen to you before it will let you protect yourself. Then, just in case all of that isn't bad enough. Just in case my family actually having to live through a seizure wasn't enough. Even though I'll never, ever, as long as I live, forget the helplessness that I felt as Arden's brain scraped and sputtered to stay alive. Now I need to recant the story to a phone jockey at my insurance company just to keep a benifit that we already have, and then she says, "good". She didn't mean "good", I know that, she meant, "I can use that information to get you..." but she said good, and I had to act like this was happy news.

I didn't have the time or energy to correct her, I just wanted to get off the phone. I had dinner to make, my son needed help with a project, Arden's BG was too high, our dog needed to be walked, my car picked up, there was just a hurricane. Oh and I'd like to sit down for five seconds before I stay up half the night to watch my daughter's BG. 

After a week, countless phone calls, dozens of left messages and emails. Three misunderstandings and an argument that I still don't understand. Arden's DexCom G4 is on the way. In the past, I would have just called DexCom and it would have shipped in a day, but now, now there's a third party supplier, insurance questions, phone calls, emails, and a thousand hoops and hurdles. The best part is that in the end, the exact same thing happened as before. They shipped it. I lost hours and days from my already over-taxed week, but I don't think that they care.

Ignorance + Greed = more money for them and less life for us. Next time my insurance company needs to make an extra dollar I hope they just break into my house and take it. At least then they'd be a proper criminal. 

Please remember that my story is about a CGM, many people have this same story about insulin, test strips, and other much more basic and needed supplies. We shouldn't have to fight to be healthy, and we certainly shouldn't have to give up our already precious minutes to wage that fight.

I want to thank the good people at DexCom for helping me to navigate the third party medical device supply world. This would have taken so much longer and been even that much more aggravating without your guidance.

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Reader Comments (4)

My adrenaline is rising just reading about this. I no longer have patience with my insurance company, I have battled them for each shipment of Omnipods. Every time a different reason for not approving the coverage. I "let loose" on the last representative and told them they need to understand medical conditions since they are "in the medical business". Then she said that it was just procedure since the 3 month shipment exceeded $1,000.00. I told her that she needed to speak to whoever and change the procedure since this medical condition is lifelong and I don't need to explain type 1 diabetes to them every 3 months. After that, I was put on hold, apology and problem solved. I am ready for the next denial. We have no hope of getting a CGM and we will still wonder whether Marissa is going up or down as her teen years progress and her BGs are more unpredictable. Thanks again for writing these posts, maybe someday soon we will create the awareness that our children need.

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrish, Marissa's mom

Ugh, timely post as we are jumping through the 3rd party supplier hurdles to get DD's insulin pump approved. Not sure how a device her doctor says is a medical necessity and is commonly prescribed is up for Fing debate at the insurance company.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Well said... And Scott, this is why I pay cash for kennedy, I probably break even in the end and since I'm a pediatrician I can do lots of my family's general health stuff, but by god when I want something for her, I get it... There is a simplicity to that, I am encouraged with this swift FDA approval for the dex... With Apidra, g4 and some new pods coming out soon, we will be better positioned for the fight, don't you think? Natalie

November 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie hodge

Nat, Paying cash is the dream! And I always say that we can't have enough good tools, I'm always on the side of progress especially when it come to type I. Hope you're all well! Scott

November 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

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