So I sort of alluded to this in another thread, but I just got off the phone with Animas/the Endo center at Hopkins Hospital...as well as came home to discover I have much less pump supplies than previously thought.
So...rant on...I ordered my pump supplies from Animas early last week or late the week before, I'm not sure but its' been awhile. I also changed endocrinologists recently...same hospital, but different guy. Apparently Animas tried to reach the new guy ONCE and has been waiting for a response from him for a new pump supply prescription.
I'm lucky I called them today to check the status of my order. When the woman said "Oh it hasn't been sent yet we're waiting for confirmation from your doctor" I almost exploded. Somehow I was able to maintain calm and told her that I leave the country on Saturday and NEED the supplies by Friday at the latest and that she'd better get in touch with my new doctor one way or another.
I then called Hopkins to speak to someone in Endocrinology. Guess what? No one answers. I call again so I can listen to the voicemail so I can get the emergency endo on call in hopes that they might be able to assist, but the woman answers...weird right? Same number, 30 seconds later, and an answer. She tells me she can't help me but will transfer me to my doctor's assistant who will...voicemail. I leave a message basically explaining what I just said above along with my name and contact info.
Take the train home and immediately go up to my room to see the reality of the situation...4 infusion sets and 1 insulin cartridge is all that remain of my order. Hell, I told the woman from Animas that I don't have enough supplies to last my trip, that won't even last me til next Tuesday. It's out of my hands and I want to blame myself but am not sure if I should. I ordered early enough that it should have been here by now as it usually takes 3-5 business days to ship. It's been over a week and they haven't even mailed it.
I guess my question might be, can I change my site every 4-5 days so as to make it last long enough, but reuse my cartridge? I don't think I have any Humalog pens as my sister might have absconded to school with them and I don't have any syringes, nor do I have a prescription for syringes, and given the lethargic response of my doctor, I don't think that would even work. So the game plan now is to keep reusing my cartridges...i.e. refilling them with the same needle piece.
I don't have any other choice at this point. Animas and my doctor have f*cked me.
That sucks, I'm sorry. I think you have every right to be frustrated with both of them, you would think that if animas couldnt get ahold of your doctor for that long they might call you and tell you. And your doctor should not be so hard to get ahold of in the first place, but Ive had that problem before too. I hope everything works out okay with reusing the cartridges.
Pat - get back on the phone with your drs office and don't get off until you have talked with someone who will help. Preferably demand to talk to the on call doctor or your doctor or your old one. Don't give up. I don't think this is your fault - but you probably don't want to risk your health and D care by doing things you know you shouldn't do esp if you are overseas. You are mad enough - give 'em h*** on the phone.
I am interested to hear if Animas will overnight the supplies to you. I am considering the Ping for my son and I have only heard that they have good customer service as does Medtronic. I was under the impression that all the companies will overnight stuff to you if you are in a bind - so I want to hear how this turns out.
I called Hopkins again and am now waiting..oh here it is, on call endo just called.
She can't do anything about it til tomorrow and I'm sure she screwed up my count for everything as far as boxes of what go, but she said she's going to touch base with my doctor tomorrow and make him talk to Animas and she's pretty sure they would be able to overnight it.
I am still not sure about this. I told her about my plan to reuse my cartridges, but she seemed confident that they'll have the supplies to me by Friday...or will be able to "make other arrangements." I'm not sure WTF that means...maybe I'll have to go back on injections for a week...that'll be fun to explain to the high school educated TSA officials...
It is soooo frustrating when it comes to supplies and prescriptions! We have a chronic illness that as of now has no cure. When would we NOT NEED OUR SUPPLIES OR INSULIN? --- there's that diabetic aggression!
About six months ago I had my insuilin vials filled and needed them ASAP...they said they needed a refill request from my dr. literally 5 minutes later Walgreens calls and said they can fill it for me. I went back to walgreens and they said that they gave my vial away to a guy that needed 5!!! Here I am with sugars in the 300's, had already come by once to pick up MY insulin and they gave it away!!!! Needless to say I had an anxiety attack because at this point I had zero units left.
I had to go across town to another walgreens to finally get the insulin that was rightfully mine. Quite frustrating. My father called corporate walgreens and took care of it though, lol. Corporate head of the Pharmacy drove from Austin, TX to College Station, Tx (3-4 hour drive) to personally talk to them about ethics and customer service!
I hope no one else has gone through or will ever go through this. Granted, I shouldn't have waited that long to get a refill of insulin, but shouldn't they always have insulin on hand???
Sorry Pat for my rant...but medical confusion certainly does suck! I feel for ya and hope it all works out!
P.S. never use UPS if you need to order a new pump! Try to request FedEX if you can... it took UPS a week to deliver my pump and it was under a next day shipment and this has happened a couple of times.
Rant away. This doesn't even seem to be about confusion...just lazy asshats. I mean come on, a call LAST week that no one even returned or thought of maybe calling me? Not acceptable. Really hope this works out.
I also talked to them today. Animas and Hopkins. Animas said they flagged my stuff as urgent and it will be delivered tomorrow (we'll see) and Hopkins (my new endo) finally faxed the new script to Animas so they can distribute my shizzle...so for now, I'm at ease...I'm going to call animas again later to confirm that they received the Rx and that it's going to be sent today for delivery tomorrow.
You do not need a prescription for syringes. Just go to the pharmacy and say: "I would like to buy a box of 0.3 cc insulin syringes." They will ask you if you want a long or short needle and if you want generic or BD... I usually get a short needle, but you might want long as you are bigger than me. The generic is usually fine. A whole box is usually about $16 if you don't want a whole box (100 syringes), just get a few bags of needles they are about $2 per bag and typically come with 10 syringes. They may be suspicious and ask a few questions like what kind of insulin do you take... But just tell them and show them your medical alert bracelet or your glucometer and they will gladly sell you the goods... Hope that helps.
Medtronic has always had 100% excellent customer service in this dept and overnight at the hint of supplies running out.
I have two diabetic friends in the area who are on Medtronic pumps and one of them purposely went on Medtronic because she knew I had one and we could back each other up in the supply category in case one of us was ever in a bind- and it has happened.
Wish I could help. Thanks for sharing about their customer service because I will probably be getting a new pump in a year and will consider that.
Now now, don't go blaming Animas haha. It isn't really their fault, other than neglecting to contact me when they weren't able to get a hold of my new Endo for Rx purposes...my doctor took over a week to get back to them and this was only accelerated by me calling Animas yesterday and going 'WTF' as to why they haven't sent my sh!t yet. I called this afternoon after I left work and confirmed that it would be delivered tomorrow via airmail...funny to have to "airmail" something from a place that's an hour and a half drive...West Chester, PA to Baltimore, MD...heh
I would suggest, as a fellow traveler of the land of "This Disease is Nasty Enough Without Also Having to Deal with Bureaucracy as Well," to be very careful with reusing cartridges. Get some syringes...BD or what have you...just in case the cartridge happens to depend on a silicone lubricant which may (may!) cause it, when reused, to stick.
Of course, some of this will be common sense...check like...I don't like what. I have had to get a tide-me-over from the office where I get my supplies, and I am fortunate to have a home base here.
I hope that all is well with this situation. Please keep us posted. One time, I had to use the actual reservoir syringe to do injections because I was in a similar situation. They do hurt like Hades, but it will at least ensure that you get some delivery while this nightmare continues. I used my leg, not my stomach, to inject with the reservoir syringe. The needle is very thick, so you will probably need to immediately apply pressure if (I hope you don't!!!) if you use one. Also, keep in mind (another duh moment, but I feel compelled) that the reservoir syringe is not as small in terms of dosages...needless to say, I was drinking a lot of regular soda during that lovely time.
Down here, we don't need a prescription to get syringes. Keep the needle piece on the cartridge so that, worst case scenario, you can at least have a measure of emergency back up.
Well, after offering my reply, I realized what an idiot I was for posting anything. I'm really glad that you got your supplies filled. I keep a very old batch of Lantus on standby...I am curious though...is it illegal for you to buy syringes in your state without a prescription? It seems to me that even if you wanted syringes for the not-nice reason, logic would suggest that, in the spirit of preventing disease, the pharmacists would sell them! What exactly do pharmacists think they will accomplish by with holding syringes to anyone? Not better public health.
I hate insurance, prescriptions, etc. We should get a card, one card, that is good for changes in insulin, for life. It's not like we are ever going to stop taking it, unless some miracle occurs and the drug companies don't get their greedy claws on one of the cures that's already been created.
I just went through the same sort of thing with MiniMed! The automated system was soooooooo annoying! And their supply line is only available until 4pm! I wish my job was like that, with such short hours! My 10 minute wait time on hold ended up being 23 minutes long and I was late back to work after my lunch break. (By the way, that day there was a JDRF fundraiser, buy lunch for $5...good food too!) My order should be delivered this Tuesday.
If I was important enough, I would hire a personal assistant to handle all that annoying stuff like re-ordering RX, dealing with insurance companies, waiting on hold for days at a time, standing in line... life would be so much easier if we all had a personal assistant!
In the end I think it depends on how company policies are for handling things. When I first started using the Ping when I transferred from Medtronic I had the free month of supplies that they had sent me. All was good and right in the world. When I got close to the end of my supplies I went online and ordered my three month supply. A week later I still did not have a confirmation or any thing other than the online store telling me it was in process. So I called Animas to find out what the delay was. I was told that since this was my first insurance billed order they needed to still call my insurance and verify coverage. Which makes sense, but to take a week to do that. So I asked the lady how long it would take and she told me end of day. I got a call back 10 minutes later where a guy told me what my coverage was (duh, I know what it is, but whatever). It took them another few days to send the supplies out. It was all good and done, but it took forever. What seems like common sense to us is not usually the case with companies. And if you were a Medtronic user previously they do spoil us a little more than Animas does. But I am still very happy with my Ping and would not give it up.