In Which My Doctor Yells At Me

Back when my insurance ended in February 09, I made sure I had a 3-month Rx of my diabetes meds filled to hold me over until I got a job. Then I didn’t get a job. In July, when I had my surgery my sugars were pretty high and they had to give me insulin twice, but once the pain calmed down and I had my meds I was okay. Since the surgery was so costly, I managed to meet my ridiculously high MediCal share of cost that month and had another 3-month supply filled. That ran out in mid October. I still thought I would get better and get a job. Neither of those things happened. I still don’t have a job and I am still on disability. The holidays and life distracted me. I started feeling worse and worse. But I didn’t talk about it. I was too ashamed. I didn’t want to share here, because I just knew that I would get yelled at. By my mom, my kids and probably by you. My doctor’s office called and said I needed to have an HbA1c done before she would prescribe anymore meds. I didn’t hurry and get it done for two reasons 1) It’s an expensive test and 2)I didn’t have the money to fill the Rx anyway. That’s what I told myself. And the not talking about it to anyone helped because I could put it out of the front of my mind and ignore it.

Then I got two candidas infections in a three week period. I knew what the connection was. High blood sugar. Heck, I hadn’t had one of those infections in 20 years and now I’d had two. I started listening a bit (in the back of my mind) to my body. Noticed how fatigued I was constantly, how many dull headaches I was having. How much time I spent running to the bathroom. Seriously, I think I pee as much as all the people who attended Woodstock combined in one day. I dug out my glucose monitor, but the battery was dead.

Then a few weeks ago at CVS, an employee was handing out information on their new minute clinic. Turns out the clinic does low cost HbA1c testing. I didn’t go right away, because I thought you had to be fasting to have it done and every time I remembered I had already eaten (lame excuses run rampant throughout this post, beware).  Besides, I’d gone without medication before in my life and it always turned out okay. I’d get around to it when things weren’t so busy.

Yesterday, I got up and it was like I’d hit a wall. I had nothing left in me. I took my vaginally itching, exhausted, 10 pound lighter self down to the Minute Clinic. Turns out you don’t have to be fasting anymore for the test, so I could have had it anytime. However, the nurse informed me that if I waited until the next day Bayer was sponsoring a new program in which the testing was FREE. Of course, I could wait one day, right? So I went home. I bought a battery for my monitor. I was going to get things straight now, I was sure. The nurse called a few minutes later to tell me that she had the date wrong and the free program didn’t start until Sunday. No problem, I’d go then.

I tested my blood sugar…..311. Fasting. HOLY SHIT, I thought. I checked the memory. Highest I’d had was back in September at 212. Wow, good thing I am getting this taken care of. I called the pharmacy to see what my last meds and dosages to have the information ready. They thought I wanted a refill and contacted the doctor’s office. The office called me. The doc wouldn’t give me refills unless I came to see her, since it had been over a year. They offered me a special cash discount and could see me the very next morning. Okay, I guess that would be best, but I thought she needed the HbA1c results first? No, she needed to see me first. Okay. (It really is amazing how wrong I had the entire thing since medical stuff is usually one of my more expert areas).

As the day progressed, I played a lot with my monitor because I just didn’t feel well. Later in the night, after a couple of pomegranate margaritas, I got a reading of “HI”. Concerned I got out the manual. A reading of high means that blood sugar is over 600. I nearly fainted. Then decided the machine was wrong. Did it again. Results: HI. My oh my, I thought. I was so scared I couldn’t even twitter about it. Those who know of my twitter addiction will understand how frightening that is (also twitter went down for an hour). I broke down and told my resident CNA and nursing student, Bear. She wanted to take me to the hospital. After much consultation with Doctor Google and verification checks from her that I was not severely dehydrated or in DKA, I convinced her it must be the damn margaritas. (I rarely, maybe once a year drink them). She grabbed the bottle and checked the sugar content and wow is there is some serious sugar in that stuff. She still wanted to at least call the hospital. I said let’s just keep checking my sugars to see if it was these sweet syrupy drinks. Sure enough, in 15 minutes I was registering again at 569, 1/2 an hour and down to 484, then 411. I was allowed to stay home for the night.

So today I went to my doctor. And she didn’t really yell at me. What she did was keep putting her hand on my shoulder and saying kindly, but very sternly, “I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me” and “I have samples for you of the expensive medication and when you run low, call me” and lastly “Don’t ever go off your meds again. I can help you, but only if you call me“. Sheesh, she was so damned sweet about it I cried. Broke down in tears. “I’m a hot mess”, I told her. She again told me she can’t help me if I don’t tell her. I told her about the “HI” readings and how freaked out I was and she confirmed it was that margarita mix, combined with the fact that I am working off a base in the 300’s. Not the place I should be starting the mornings off. She got me all set up with meds (for free) and a scrip for the other one that only cost me $10 for a 90-day supply. On Monday, I will take her the results of the HbA1c test and have a quick nurse visit to check my sugar level for free. We’ll see if my body goes back to its well-behaved self with the meds in 3-months and if not, we will discuss possible changes in meds or a change to insulin if necessary. I left after paying for the visit with a cash discount of 37% off and my promise I’ll be back in three months to follow up. Even I can afford that.

So here I am, sharing it all and hopefully on my way to recovery. I now know why I don’t have the energy to follow through on anything, most especially posting on my beloved blog. I was afraid I might let out my secret and you would all yell at me. But I was only hurting myself, because really you can’t help me if I don’t talk to you, right?

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14 Comments

  1. If I weren’t on the other side of the country, I just might spank you! Good grief woman! *HUGS* I’m glad your doctor is so understanding and helpful and that she got the samples for you. Have you seen anything about those programs some of the big prescription companies have where they help you pay for your meds if you need help? I can’t think of any of the names off hand, but I’ve seen commercials for them. And stay the heck away from the margarita mix! *HUGS*

  2. MOM!!! You are damn right I would yell at you! ABOVE 600?!? WHAT WILL THE GIRLS DO WITHOUT THEIR GRANDMA??? You definitely need to take care of yourself. No more being too busy or preoccupied with all of us to do that!

  3. ~A

    At the beginning of this post, I wondered if you knew about $4 meds. My dad takes glyburide and metformin and manages his diabetes for $8/month.

    I’m going to yell at you and say test more! And maybe don’t choose margaritas. Have a glass (or two!) of red wine instead.

    The whole no insurance, can’t afford doc visit? Yeah, nothing but sympathy here.
    .-= ~A´s last blog ..Ramblings =-.

  4. I am glad you are getting back on track, and listening to all the symptoms you listed, I might get myself checked out, because they sounded awfully familiar.
    .-= jenn´s last blog ..Marked =-.

  5. Vixen, sweetie, do yourself a favor and google “Patient Assistance Program” and the names of whatever meds you are supposed to be taking. NOW.

    The reason why we were in our financial tailspin is that we spent 1300 a month on Game Teen’s meds-and it ends up that two of the companies looked at our income and have been providing his medication ever since. We provide tax returns each year and 950 dollars in medications are shipped to his doctor for our use.

    Please take care of yourself, there are too many people who love you and would miss you.
    .-= Suzanne´s last blog ..Bellini, Anyone? =-.

  6. Being sick is no joke, it is painful to you and a lot of people around you. It’s good that you are quite conscious of your health, but I’m sure you can do better with perseverance! I know you can do it :)
    .-= Micirox´s last blog ..Top Droppers Entrecard Contest May 2010: Win Entrecard Credits + Banner Ad =-.

  7. I am so glad that it was only the margarita mmix and that your numbers went down as quickly as they did. That crap is super scary.
    I am glad that you posted this, got it out there, and saw a very understanding Dr. Hugs to you my friend! and please, take care of yourself!!!!!!

  8. Yikes!!! I’m glad things are better, but I think you have us all scared for you!

    Hey have you ever heard of the raw food diet? I know some folks who have diabetes, and since eating *only* raw foods, their diabetes is under control.

    (((hugs))) take care.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..A Farmer’s Fix For the Oil Spill! Must See! =-.

  9. Not gonna yell. You would be horribly missed. Nuff said.

  10. Mar

    First, I am a hot mess right along with you just reading this (*this* time I can blame my tears on you!) I can’t imagine how badly you must have felt.

    Second, please, please, please, please take care of yourself. If you don’t how will be ever have a meet up???

    You know where to find me if I can help.

    XOXOXO
    .-= Mar´s last blog ..6 Weeks =-.

  11. So glad you have been cared for and I pray you will adjust well and get back to normal…
    .-= ellen b´s last blog ..FFF ~ There’s Light… =-.

  12. Grampy has to yell at you.LOL Hope you are feeling better and wishing you a Happy Mothers Day.

  13. Suzanne

    Having watched my father die from complications of untreated diabetes, I can say I would not wish that particular hell on ANYONE.
    Do you want to have a heart attack? You will.
    Do you want to have congestive heart failure? You will.
    Do you want to lose your feet? You will.
    Do you want to lose your sight? You will.
    Do you want your kidneys to fail? They will.
    Do you want to cause grief and pain to your children and grandchildren, as they slowly watch your lungs fill with fluid, as the pores in your skin weep fluids that have no other way to leave your body? Yes, your family will get to experience this, as well.

    Don’t do this, again.
    When your body hits the wall there is no going back.

  14. love you, honey. just think of Sylvia Plath’s poor, crazy father. was convinced he had cancer, took to his bed, made his family wait on him, and finally called in his doctor friend. it was untreated diabetes, his feet were rotten, it was too late.

    i hate the insurance racket, the meds, the refills, the whole mess. why couldn’t your doctor frickin’ pick up the phone and TALK WITH YOU IN PERSON, perhaps ask, “What’s going on? why aren’t you coming in? are you taking the meds? do i need to make a house call?” etc.

    my surgeon just sent me another bill, but has never picked up the phone to check on me. has never had her staff call, either. i finally found a great GP — then we moved across town. so many “arghs.”

    i love you, you are a great girl. we’ve all been there, in so many ways.
    .-= Wacky Mommy´s last blog ..today sucked, then i read this and now it’s all okay the end =-.

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