Originally posted June 2014 (a few parts have been edited/corrected).
By the Tuesday of Diabetes week, after seeing some tweets with the hashtag #LifeWithMyD I decided to jump on the “band wagon” & start tweeting about living with my D (Diabetes). I wanted to add this part of my life with my D to the tweets but 1 tweet just wouldn’t have been enough. So here goes…
On Wednesday I realised that I had better put my repeat prescription into my doctors surgery, as it is 2 days before I can collect my prescription again. I asked my husband (Allun) to drop it off for me as I’d be in work & I didn’t want to risk forgetting to take it after work.
I had one Levemir Flexpen (background/long lasting insulin) left & I had just started my last but one tub of BG test strips. As the weekend was coming up I didn’t want to be coming to the end of my test strips before a new prescription would be ready, next Wednesday (obviously with the weekend I wouldn’t be able to put in a repeat until next Monday). My D always has me thinking & planning ahead, it’s no wonder that sometimes it forget about other things.
I took this as the perfect opportunity to add the new strips for my new Freestyle Optium Neo. I had the form that came in the box to request the BG & Ketone test strips from my surgery but I didn’t want to use it, just to hand it in without speaking to someone about it. The form has the PIP Code on it so I added this to the prescription as I knew it would make it easier for the prescriptions clerk to identify exactly what I needed. If I handed in the form seperately then I’d probably loose my usual test strips from my prescription. I thought I’d chance adding the new items to the bottom of my prescription as I don’t have an appointment with the doctor for another month. I have done this before and they’ve added the new items, but it didn’t matter before if my current strips were removed as I was changing my strips. If they didn’t add them & told me I needed to see a doctor first I wouldn’t be any worse off.
Before I left the house this morning (Friday 13th June) I reminded Allun that my prescription needed collecting. I really didn’t want to risk forgetting to collect it. You could guarantee that something would happen to distract me. I explained to him what I had done, adding new items, and what I was expecting on the prescription, I had circled the Levemir & Freestyle Lite Biosensor strips on the repeat. I told him of my concerns also. He assured me that he wouldn’t forget.
When I got home I did remember but I asked him if he had remembered. He told me he had remembered but we needed to go through it. Here we go I thought.
He had gone and collected the prescription(s). This normally fits on one. Looks like there’s been a change to the way they print prescriptions. A new system update by the look of it.
It contained the new items…only!! He said to the receptionist that considering I had made sure I got a new prescription by Friday, before they were closed for the weekend, that I must have requested more than just new items. He did remember that there were more, just not all of it. He said that I had requested Levemir. He spotted that the BG test strips quantity was only for 50 and that I usually have 300. He asked why was it different? The person that had arrived with a pile of prescriptions during the conversation took notice and asked, “300! Why does she need 300?”
The conversation then went like this :
Allun – She tests 8 to 10 times a day.
Reply – She only needs to test once or twice a day.
Allun (coming to my defense seeing where this was going) – Are you diabetic?
Reply – No!
Allun – Well what do you know about it then (politely)? Each day she drives to and from work so that is at least two times a day. She tests when shes gets up, she tests when she eats/drinks, she tests before she drives, which is a legal requirement.
May I say here he does tend to get defensive of me & my health. He was respected by his colleagues as a very throrough paramedic (retired early due to a physical problem) and very patient care centred. The patients needs ALWAYS came first, no questions asked. #proudwife
Anyway, enough gushing, lets get back to it.
At this point I reminded him of the other times I test –
- If I want a snack
- If I suspect I’m hypoglycaemic (or ‘hypo’ – blood glucose too low).
- If I suspect I’m hyperglycaemic (or ‘hyper’ – blood glucose too high).
- To make sure that BG’s are rising after a hypo, REPEAT.
- To make sure that BG’s are dropping after a hyper, REPEAT.
- In the night, if I think it’s going to be necessary, to make sure that BG’s are not going too high or too low.
- In the night when I’m woken by a hypo (thankfully I am woken…atm).
- After a night hypo to make sure I can go back to sleep.
- If I’m driving any distance I test every two hours.
Head down to the paperwork, mumbled something and carried on with what they were doing. Whilst this was happening the other person had eyebrows raised and was “grimacing” in agreement with Allun. To be honest I do feel sorry for anyone who comes up against him, he’s polite but on things like this he knows his “stuff” (I always used technical terms).
After this the original receptionist said that the prescription would be sorted and we could collect the prescription at 4.30pm.
So at 4.35pm ‘ish’ we set off down the hill to the surgery to collect the prescription. I was expecting to explain the whole thing again. ‘New meter, one lot were Ketone strips & ‘backup’ BG strips for my new monitor and that yes I still needed my usual test strips as these are the ones I use all day (and night), every day.’
When we arrived there was a long queue. The receptionist I recognised, and knew her to be very helpful. She was dealing with a lady who was asking questions and obviously needed something. The receptionist was trawling through a heap of paper work, looking on the computer, and speaking to someone on the telephone trying to sort out the problem. Eventually we got to the front of the queue. I briefly explained why I was there, she remembered speaking to Allun earlier, found my prescription and handed it to me. I noticed straight away that it was only for my Levemir. I pointed this out and she asked me to explain to her. I did, she then rang someone (I’m presuming the prescription clerk). The questions came again about the difference between the new machine, the day to day machine etc, etc. I explained that it was a new machine, my main concern was my usual day to day test strips (the 300, that I hadn’t had, even though I had circled them on my repeat to say that I needed them) and that even though the new one that tests for ketones also test BG, and that most people with diabetes (PWD) sometimes need to make sure they have a back up incase of a broken monitor or for double checking a BG reading that they think is wrong on one machine, blah de blah de blah…
This information went between me, the receptionist, the prescription clerk via a second hand telephone conversation.
It was eventually sorted out and I was asked if I would mind waiting whilst it was printed and signed off by the doctor. No problem. We took a seat.
About 5 minutes later my name was called and my prescription was ready. I thank the receptionist for all her help and was on my way.
When I got home I got all my prescriptions together, all 7 of them for 4 different items, again some just had dots on the front.
This time I noticed the review date – 15th May 2014 (my birthday actually), I was sure this was wrong. I dug out another repeat prescription request from my bag and the date said 17th Feb 2015. I was a little confused as to why the date had been put back.
Allun then remembered to tell me that he had noticed the expired date and had asked about it (he didn’t know about the 2015 one) and asked (the other person who he had conversed with earlier over my test strip usage) why I needed to go to the doctor for a review of my prescription as only the hospital doctor/endo ever altered my insulin. To be honest I wouldn’t have bothered and just had it altered the next time I saw the doctor. Apparently there was a conversation about this but I cant remember the details to be honest and I’m not really bothered as there’s never been a problem. It’s not as if I don’t suddenly have Type 1 Diabetes and I’m not going to need my items. My GP always does an “MOT” when I visit because of my D. I will though be asking next time I see the GP why the date has been put back. But it’s really not a biggie.
All items are now on repeat so hopefully there shouldn’t be any problems for the foreseeable future, until something changes! 😀
Thank you for reading my ramblings.