When a Normal Shopping Trip Turns into a T1D Supply Stock-Up

Last week, I went to my local Walgreens to pick up a couple of prescriptions for conditions I have other than diabetes (but I don’t have separate blogs for them because I’m not sure I could write three posts a week on my annual asthma flare-ups or allergy to cats and dogs).

Besides shampoo and conditioner, I didn’t need to pick up anything else at Walgreens – it was going to be a quick in-and-out trip. That was the plan, anyways, until I saw my beloved glucose gummies on the diabetes shelf right next to the pharmacy.

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The contents of my shopping basket…I have no shame, apparently. But look, I did end up buying the shampoo and conditioner I actually needed! (And YES, I got my prescriptions, too.)

I couldn’t help but notice that this was the only bottle in stock, so without thinking twice, I put it into my basket. I didn’t need them at this moment in time, but I probably would, down the road – and why not treat a future low with something I actually like?

Then I saw the lotion formulated “just for diabetics”.

Normally, I don’t use products “exclusive” to people for diabetes. But I’ve used this particular lotion before and I can attest to the fact that it is very, very good. It’s probably the best lotion I’ve ever used and the only one I’ve come across (so far) that can actually hydrate my dry, cracked hands in the wintertime. I didn’t need it…but I justified it by saying that it was specially made for a person with diabetes, like me, so it meant I should buy it.

So into the basket it went.

And then, just as I was making my way over to the checkout counter after finally adding the shampoo and conditioner to my basket, my eyes fell on the seasonal candy display.

Oooh, was I in trouble now…

So into the basket went the king-sized Reese’s cups…which I am deeming as a medically necessary diabetes supply item. I didn’t need the Reese’s cups, but I sure as hell WANTED them. Plus, they’d make my gummies last longer, right? I could use them before I opened that bottle.

And sure enough, the Reese’s cups totally came in hand when I had a not-low blood sugar that very same night!

It’s interesting how what was supposed to be an innocent trip to the pharmacy turned into a bit of a T1D shopping spree. I wound up with items for my diabetes that I could certainly live without (except the Reese’s cups, for sure, I can never live without those) but that I could add to my supply stash, anyways…because it never hurts to have extra low supplies or hydrated hands.

The $2,000 Mistake

Have you ever received an email that made you stop breathing for a moment? Did it feel like time stood still as you blinked rapidly and tried to comprehend the meaning behind it?

It sounds like a dramatic overreaction, but imagine getting a notification from your pharmacy notifying you that your prescription would cost almost $2,000. That’s a big old chunk of change. The mere thought of paying that much for a supply of insulin makes my heart race and my palms sweat.

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I nearly keeled over when I saw this dollar amount.

I’m happy to report that this was a giant mistake; for whatever reason, my doctor’s office sent my prescription for Humalog to my local pharmacy, even though I explicitly told them that I use Express Scripts for my insulin orders. It was a total mix-up, and the approximately $2,000 was an amount that I would pay if I didn’t have any insurance coverage. I do, and though I’m not sure how much I’ll be paying for my insulin yet, I know that it can’t possibly cost this much.

I’m relieved that I was able to call the pharmacy and straighten this out without spending a cent of my money. But it was also a major wake-up call to a reality that many people are forced to face when it comes to refilling insulin prescriptions. It’s not fair. (That last sentence is the understatement of the century.) I can’t make any sense of it and I don’t know how many people have no choice but to fork over such a large sum of money on a monthly basis in order to live. Thoughts of those individuals and their dire situations scare me far more than navigating the world of health insurance ever could.

While I didn’t appreciate the mini heart attack this email triggered, I guess I am glad that it alerted me to the fact that I’m going to have to be aware of things like this going forward. As I figure out my health insurance costs and coverage, I anticipate more confusion, surprises, and expenses…but hopefully I can also expect/experience a pleasant discovery or two along the way.