I have learnt that having a good pharmacy is an integral part of my diabetic care. My pharmacy is a chain, Shoppers Drug Mart, however the pharmacists and pharmacy assistants have been invaluable to me. About an hour after I had left my doctor office with the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and before I got the call that I needed to go to emergency, I found myself standing in my pharmacy with a prescription for a years worth of diabetic supplies. I was in a daze and still in shock. From the moment they found out I had just been diagnosed up until now they have gone above and beyond to help me. For the first few months I was in the pharmacy every couple of days. My doctors were trying me on different medications for my feet and I was also trying to figure out how many supplies to order at once. One day I would be getting pen needles only to remember that I needed to get more strips. It did not take long before they all knew my name and each and every one of them has always taken the time to find out how I am doing and they have answered my bazillion questions. They truly have made the transition to my new lifestyle as smooth as possible.
The last couple of days are a great example of why having a great pharmacy can help ease the stress of managing a chronic disease. I called in on Thursday to order a supply of Lantus, Novo-rapid and test strips. I requested more strips than usual as I am off on holidays for the next couple of weeks and want to make sure I have back up supplies while away from home and out of the province. My heart sunk when they told me that my insurance company had been in touch with them and were contesting the amount of test strips I was using. They felt that I was testing too much and that I should be limiting myself to 6 times a day. Before I could reply the pharmacy assistant let me know that it was ridiculous that they felt 6 times per day was enough for a Type 1 to test and she had faxed my doctor that morning requesting that she confirm in writing that it was reasonable for me to be testing 12-14 times per day. I was so grateful for how proactive they had been. We went over my testing schedule which they felt was extremely reasonable and were happy to hear that my control was good. When I went to collect my prescriptions this afternoon they confirmed that my doctor had responded and confirmed that I did need to test as much as I was. Therefore insurance will cover. I was over the moon as I do not want to cut back on testing, however at $98 for 100 strips I am not sure how long I could have covered this! I thanked my pharmacist and assistant and they said that they were just happy to help.
So that is why folks having a good pharmacy team is awesome!!!
*If you are interested, a regular day of testing for me goes something like this. Test first thing in the morning before I get out of bed. Test before breakfast to dose my insulin and then again two hours after breakfast. Test before lunch, two hours after and then before supper and two hours after that. I test before bed as well to ensure that my sugars are good to make it through the night. As I exercise every day at quite an intense level, I also test before exercise to ensure I am good to go, during the activity to see if I need any carbs and then right after to see how it has affected me. That takes us to 11 times per day. I usually wake up once in the night to pee and I often check then as well, which my doctor told me is a good idea. This is all without taking into account whether I have suffered a low or high blood sugar which also requires testing. I don't feel I test too much, just a reasonable amount to keep myself safe, active and in control.