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, sickness...it'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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Little Escape: My Stubborn Heart

Diabetes is exhausting.  And saying goodbye to my favorite furry friend is heartbreaking.

Thankfully, I had a great book to help me escape. 

Harvest House Publishers sent me My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade in exchange for my honest review.  I LOVED this book.  

Simply A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E  

It's a contemporary Christian Romance and the prelude was so cute that I was drawn in before I finished the first paragraph. No joke!  Of course, I knew "boy and girl" would get together, but I was completely intrigued with the story line and the way it was written.  Very creative!

I don't like reviews that give the plot away, but I will say that the heroine, Kate, is so cute. Quite frankly, I'd love to be friends with her.  She's funny, brave and obedient to God, even when things get tough. She's praying for God to give her a husband, but He's not answering that prayer just yet.  

When Matt enters the picture, you know somethings up.  He's battling a lot of emotional scars, but you'll quickly find yourself cheering him on to a relationship with Kate.  Of course, things are never as easy as they seem and you'll find some unexpected twists that'll keep you guessing.

If you're looking for a great summer read, don't miss this book.  It'll put a smile on your face and you might even chuckle out loud like I did! 

Just the escape I needed.  I wish Becky Wade would write faster.

Related Links
The Fiddler

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Goodbye To Twister....For Now

Twister brought joy and laughter to our lives for 14 years.

She was a huge blessing!

I believe with all my heart that God has a special plan for animals and we'll get to see her again.

Oh to hold her just one more time....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Learning to Give Myself Grace

This morning I wanted to get up early and be productive.  (I'm gearing up for the new Hello Mornings Challenge where I'll be leading a group.) 

I hoped to be up at 6am, have my quiet time and workout. I even set everything out last night so I'd be all ready to go.

But last night was a long night.  Between checking Matthew and caring for our 14-year-old dog, Twister--who is not doing well at all--I was exhausted.

I reset the alarm and opted to sleep in.

There was a time when I would have felt guilty.  For not getting up early and being productive.

But this morning, I felt like God was speaking to my heart:   I know you were up last night.  I know you're up every night and  I understand.  You're willing to sacrifice sleep to care for Matthew.  And Twister.  That's why I chose you.  Go rest some more.

And I did.

I still had my quiet time. Just a little later.

The workout hasn't happened yet, but the day isn't over.

Twister asleep on my book!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

American Ninja Warrior Show: Kyle Cochran

A Type 1 Ninja?

Have you been watching American Ninja Warrior?  Matthew loves this show!  At first, he was bummed because he didn't think anyone with Type 1 Diabetes would be a contestant.

But then he saw young man named Kyle.

Kyle Cochran

He's the first Type 1 to qualify for the show.  And guess what?  He's made it to finals!

Not only is Kyle a great athlete, he's also a straight-A student at San Diego State University studying physical therapy. To top it all off---he's active in his church.  Love that!

Finals Begin Sunday

Grab your Type 1 Kid and watch American Ninja Warrior this weekend.  I'm sure you'll be inspired.

And be sure to visit Kerri's blog at Six Until Me.  She has a great interview with Kyle on her website!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Counting Carbs At Our House

The first meal I cooked for Matthew after he was diagnosed with diabetes left me shaking in my Texas boots!

It was his favorite: tortellini.  (I know---clearly I had lost my mind!)  Our CDE suggested we stick with easy meals at first and I should have listened.

By the time I cooked the pasta, calculated the carbs, measured it out, checked his BG and gave the shot of insulin, I was a nervous wreck!  It was the most stressful meal I had ever made in my life!!

We're 2 years into Type 1 now and while we're definitely in a groove, I want to know how other families handle meals.  

Here's a sneak peak into what dinner looks like around here.  

Our 4-Step Process

  1. About 15 minutes before dinner, I'll call Matthew to check his sugar. 
  2. We'll discuss the menu.
  3. He'll decide how much he wants to eat (we write that down) and he'll count the carbs.
  4. He'll bolus the full amount. Sometimes he'll stay and help me dish everything up. He might measure out peas or fruit.  Sometimes I do all of it..

A Couple Notes

  • After eating dinner, occasionally he'll want more food.  He just boluses again at that point, but most of the time it's done up front.
  • If his sugar is high, I'll try to delay dinner.  
  • If he's low, he might wait and bolus right as we sit down to eat.
  • I'm a big believer in pre-bolusing, so we do that as much as possible. (This leads to my question below...)

At a Buffet Restaurant or Party

In these situations, I love for him to pre-bolus about 50 carbs.  Then he'll fix his plate and keep track as he eats more.  He'll keep bolusing as necessary.

Sometimes he'll just dish up his food, count the carbs and bolus per plate. (This is my big question: Do you handle all meals like this, instead of bolusing up front?)

One Last Note

When eating at home, we try to be as exact as possible with the carb count.  We weigh or measure every single bite that Matthew eats.

I find this gives us more freedom when we eat out.  We just SWAG and feel more relaxed about it.

Please share what dinner looks like at your house.  I'd love to see other perspectives and get some tips!  And if you decide to write your own post, let me know and I'll link to you.