Last week it was rough being a mother of a young man with diabetes. My son wasn’t in DKA or anything as horrible as that. He was tripping up in the world of paperwork, bureaucracy and diabetes care.
Two years ago he decided that he was old enough to handle his diabetes care, appointments, and schooling on his own. He chose to move to live with his father and take over the responsibility on all of those fronts. I was forced to stand on the sidelines and offer advice now and again when asked.
I was also left to order supplies for his pump on a semi-regular basis and this is where the trouble began…
I had placed an order for his infusion sets and cartridges. On Tuesday I received a message on my phone. It stated that coverage for my son’s supplies had been refused. I was to either pay the almost $800 bill immediately or return all supplies.
What the heck? My son was under 25 with no insurance. The provincial pump program was supposed to cover him. Had he fallen through the cracks? Did someone forget to do his paperwork?
I immediately began making calls and sending out emails. I was sent a copy of the forms that should have been completed for him. I called the woman at the insulin pump company back. Slowly the truth began to emerge and it wasn’t pretty…
The pump company hadn’t received new paperwork for my son regarding provincial pump coverage since 2014.
His diabetes center had only seen him once per year but the provincial policy requires him to see someone three times per year. He had missed most of his appointments. They had warned him that doing so would result in lost coverage. He never paid attention.
His diabetes center was for pediatric care and they believed that he had been transferred to an adult center. They suggested that I contact his former doctor (whom my son felt was still handling his care).
I called his doctor. I was desperate for some sort of help both in getting my son to realize how important his attendance at appointments were and finding coverage for his pump supplies.
His doctor would not take my call but did say through his secretary that he was continuing to care for my son. Because my son is 18, his doctor felt that it was up to him to fix the mess that he created. Fair point. I passed the message along. My son made the call.
It is a new week. A glass or two of wine helped me to decompress. My son is hopefully beginning to understand that while Mom is always there to help, being “of age” means that he has to handle some things himself.
He has a call into his doctor to set up an appointment and chat about what he can do next. His doctor is willing to help him get things straightened out (him not Mom). He has booked an appointment with a diabetes clinic closer to his home to ensure that he can make the appointment.
These sound like small things. In our world they are massive but we will find out way through…and at least there is still wine.
Wondering what sort of diabetes coverage your province offers? Download our free coverage infographic.