Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Manage Your Stockpile

One time we had trouble with our refrigerator and I was worried that the insulin went bad.  It was a terrible feeling.  Up until that point, I'd started building a stockpile, but wasn't managing it well.  I made changes immediately.  Perhaps these tips will help you.

(If you missed my tips on how to build a stockpile, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

1.  Keep an eye on expiration dates. 

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it's easy to overlook.  When you get new supplies, move any leftover supplies in your cabinet to the front and put the new supplies in the back.

At least once a year, check those items you rarely use.  Glucagon, Ketostix and such.  I think it's pretty easy to keep up with the daily supplies.  It's those I rarely use that are in risk of expiring.

2. Give some supplies to a friend.

One of your friends should have some supplies on hand in case of an emergency.  Things do happen and you can't afford to be without supplies.

My friend has several bottles of insulin, a few pods, syringes and a couple boxes of test strips.

3.  Put all prescription information in one place.

I always take care of any reordering, but I do have everything written down for Kevin, should something happen to me.  No one likes to think about these things, but I certainly want him to be prepared just in case.

We get medical supplies from several places.  Pods are ordered from a mail order pharmacy. Insulin and test strips come from a different company. Skintac and Unisolve are bought online.

It's a lot to keep up with!  Kevin would have a terrible time figuring it all out if I didn't have it organized.

Get Prepared
I hope this series has helped you.  If you're newly diagnosed, dealing with medical supplies can be overwhelming, but you'll get the hang of it in no time!

Related Posts
Should You Stockpile Medical Supplies?
How to Stockpile Medical Supplies Part 1
How to Stockpile Medical Supplies Part 2

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How To Stockpile Medical Supplies: Part 2

Here are 2 more ways to stockpile medical supplies.
(If you missed the first 2 tips, find them here.)

Number Three  Order supplies the first day the script is available to reorder-even if you still have supplies left.  

Note:  This is the reason I now have extra boxes of strips in my cabinet.

The goal is to get your new supply of strips when you still have a box (or two!) in reserve.  If you're faithful with this, you'll build up a supply.

Call your insurance company and ask when you can reorder.  I know, you probably dread the thought of calling them.  I get it!  But I've actually found them very helpful when trying to figure this out.  AND it's important because every policy is different.

Some insurance companies require that you wait until 60% of your supply is used up.  Ours is a little different.  We get a 90-day supply and have to wait 68 days before another order will go through.  So once I get an order, I calculate 69 days forward and mark my calendar.  When that day arrives, reordering is my top priority!

(If you're on automatic reorder, you still need to call.  They won't always process the order on the first available day.)

Getting your order a few days sooner can make a HUGE difference when building a stockpile.  Especially if you do this faithfully with every order.  You'll have extra strips in no time.

Number Four  Get free meters whenever possible. They usually come with at least 10 test strips.  Plus, you'll have a backup meter if there's ever a problem with your main one.

Just this week CVS has a freebie!  They have the Accu-Chek Nano on sale for $9.99.  In the Sunday paper, there was a coupon for $10 off the exact same meter.  Totally free!

Sometimes your doctor will have samples of meters as well.  It never hurts to ask.  Tell your friends and family to keep their eyes out as well.

I've also heard of free deals on insulin, but I don't have any firsthand experience with that.  Please share in the comments if you have tips on this.

Start Today

What do you need to stock up on?  Call your insurance company if necessary and make a "reorder plan."  Problems do come up and you'll be thankful you're prepared!

Next week is the final part of this series:  How To Manage Your Stockpile.

Related Links:
Should You Stockpile Medical Supplies?
Stockpiling Tips: Part 1
How to Manage your Stockpile

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Stockpile Medical Supplies: Part 1

Matthew gets 300 test strips a month and sometimes it's not enough.

When you take into account "normal" testing" plus highs, lows, activity, basal testing,'s a wonder we don't run out more often!

For nearly a year, I bought extra strips on Amazon--those suckers are expensive!  We'd go through one $50 tube in 5 days.

Thankfully, I've learned how to play the game.

If you have a newly diagnosed child, I hope these tips will help.  I'll share 2 tips today and 2 more in my next post.

Some Tips To Help

Number One  How the prescription is written can change everything.  The wording is sometimes very important.

Example A  When our prescrition was written for "300 strips per month," it caused problems with our mail order company.  Our script must say "300 strips per month.  Tests up to 10 times a day."  If that "testing part" isn't in there, the mail order company balks and they delay.

Example B  Matthew uses Omnipod and we never run out of pods.  Why?  Because of the way the prescription is written.  Matthew changes his pod every 3 days.  The prescription is written that he changes the pod every 2 days.  We never run out of pods and it's a huge blessing.

Talk with your CDE about this if you're having trouble.  They should be willing to help.  And if you'e not getting the answers you need, ask another D-Mom for their input.  Those who have been in the trenches longer really do understand the system and will happily share info.

Number Two  Get a Quantity Override Form if necessary.

When Matthew was first diagnosed, the pharmacy told me "200 strips is all we can give you. Your insurance company won't let you have more."  Wrong!

Yes, many insurance companies limit the number of test strips (or other items) that you can have each month, BUT in many cases, you can have your doctor's office fill out a Quantity Override Form to increase your monthly limit.

Once our CDE did that (she was happy to help!) and we got approved for 300 strips a month.  (Of course, we still run out sometimes.  My next post will cover that.)

One Note  If you have a Quantity Override Form, find out how long it lasts.  Our insurance company requires a new form each year, but I didn't realize that until the date passed.  We had to wait weeks to go through the approval process again!  Mark your calendar and get that form faxed in early so there's no lapse in supplies.

Need More Help?

Next week I'll share my number one tip for stockpiling.

It's the only reason I finally have extra boxes of strips in my cabinet.

Related posts
Should You Stockpile Medical Supplies?
How to Stockpile Medical Supplies Part 2

Monday, July 23, 2012

Should You Stockpile Medical Supplies?

I'm so thankful for the blessing of insulin.  It's still difficult to believe that Matthew would die without it.

Truthfully, that's one of my biggest fears: What if he doesn't have access to the supplies that keep him alive?

It's a scary thought and a constant prayer of mine.

So should you stockpile medical supplies?


Creating a stockpile of medical supplies should be a top priority.

I'm not saying you need to have 12 spare bottles of insulin, but you should always have at least one month of supplies in reserve. Always. 


1.  One Day You'll Need Extra Supplies

I had trouble ordering test strips in April.  It took about 2 weeks to get it straightened out.  The only reason we made it through that period was because I had a few boxes of test strips in reserve.

We've used this mail order company for years and I've never had a problem, but guess what?  I had problems ordering again this month!  Thankfully, we still had a couple boxes of strips.

You never know when problems will arise.  Be prepared!

2.  You Can Bless Someone Else

We know a family who has a daughter with Type 1.  Last year they had trouble with their insurance company (it happens all too often!) and I was able to give them a few supplies until everything was worked out.

It was a blessing to have spare supplies to share!


If you don't have a stockpile of supplies, it's time to make a game plan.

My next post will have some tips to help you get started.

Related Links
How To Stockpile Medical Supplies Part 1