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For the love of god...(A vent)

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by CaitlynGrisham, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. CaitlynGrisham

    CaitlynGrisham Approved members

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    I have been a student at UC, Santa Barbara for a little over four months now. I love it! However, student health leaves a lot to be desired.

    I made an appointment to get a referral to an actual endocrinologist outside of the UC Campus, because I wanted to get a more professional opinion on my pump, CGMS and such. On the website, it listed a woman as a go-to for a diabetes consultation and appointment. I made the appointment, and I went in.

    First of all, the nurse who took my blood pressure decided that she was going to put the cuff around the arm that currently has my site in it. I made it clear that I was not having that (politely!), and she said: "Well, I don't see why I can't just take it from that arm, but okay." What?!

    I actually got into the appointment, and this woman asks me some initial questions, starting with "How long have you been diabetic?" I replied with thirteen years, and she just stared at me after saying "Wow, that's a really long time." She then asked me: "How do you control your diabetes? Are you using a diet and exercise regimen?" To which I replied with the fact that I am on insulin and that I use an insulin pump as part of my care and control.

    This woman proceeded to ask me what an insulin pump and CGMS are. I had to explain this concept to the diabetes consultant. She continued to think that an insulin pump was a surgery that people got; I tried to explain it further, but she moved on.

    She asked me how often I test, and I told her than I test between 10-12 times per day, depending on what I'm eating, how much activity I have going on, if I'm having a particularly volatile day, etc. Her eyes practically bulged out of her head, and she said: "Wow, that's a lot. You don't need to test that much. Try for 3-4 times a day. You're going crazy!"

    Then, she proceeded to send some blood test requests to the local lab. I was fine with this; she requested A1C and such, and I made plans to go get them done on an empty stomach (i.e. fasting). I requested that she add on a test for Celiac to the current list of tests, because it could be easily done in conjunction with the tests. She proceeded to interrogate me for five minutes about why I thought I needed that test. I told her that I hadn't been tested in about three years, and I thought that I should just get an update. Why not get tested for something that doesn't always show symptoms?

    All in all, I walked out frustrated with a referral to the Sansum clinic near where I live. I would have walked out of the appointment had I not needed the referral that she gave me at the end. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Heather(CA)

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    I'm sorry :( That sounds very frustrating :( I'm glad you got a real referral...
     
  3. kiwiliz

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    Really cool calm and collected of you to work your way through that! It is amazing how many people feel it is alright to misrepresent themselves - and their capabilities. Hope the nex appt is more satisfying and productive :).
     
  4. selketine

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    I would be tempted to complain about her lack of knowledge - and her comments - well mostly her comments. She really shouldn't be advising anyone who has type 1 diabetes about anything.
     
  5. CaitlynGrisham

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    Thank you so much for your replies. I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one who thought that this lady was treating me inappropriately.

    I am considering sending a strongly worded letter to student health, and perhaps offering to speak to staff about T1.
     
  6. Ali

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    Sadly student health services are notoriously bad for even the "healthy" and have been "bad" forever! You probably need to see a Endo in private practice in the city your school is in. Even then u might need to search so see if your hometown DR can give u some names. Sadly in general no mater what type of Doc they are good ones are few and far between. :cwds:Ali
     
  7. Michelle'sMom

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    My dd sees a peds endo at well known childrens' hospital. At our last visit, the NP informed us that we test too much (avg of 9 times per day over the last 3 months), & there's no reason to test more than 4 times per day....& never overnight (we should put her to bed at 100 & she'll wake up at 100).

    I'm still dumbfounded.
     
  8. Megnyc

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    If it makes you feel any better that has been my experience with my student health clinic on the other side of the country.
    My last conversation at the pharmacy went like this:

    Tech: We can't refill your insulin because your insurance won't pay because it was refilled too recently.

    Me: Ok. Well, I have only 2 days worth of insulin left so I need at least a vial. How much is it? You can just bill it to my account and I'll deal with insurance later.

    Tech: You can't do that. You shouldn't be out. Are you using it as prescribed?

    Me: Yes, of course.

    Tech: Then you must not be out. Are you giving yourself the prescribed dose? You should be using 20 units a day.

    Me: Well, that varies based on the number of carbohydrates I eat and I adjust the rates a lot. I don't need apidra if humalog or novalog is cheaper. I can even take Regular if you have that, any fast acting insulin is fine. Can you check and I will get a new prescription called in?

    Tech: You can't adjust the dose of a prescription medication. That is called abusing a prescription drug. You need a new prescription if your doctor wants to adjust the amount of insulin you take.

    Me: Ok, thanks. Can I talk to the pharmacist please about billing a vial of insulin to my account?

    So, about 40 minutes later I walked out with my $180 vial of apidra. The pharmacist was not much help either. I am going to try to switch to mail order because I can't take this every month. What shocked me was how hostile he was even when I was being really nice. I left near tears.
     
  9. moco89

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    Student health centers are a joke.

    Student health insurance at my school is a joke too. It covers only $600 in prescriptions a year. Also, you can only go to the doctors on campus unless you get a referral for specialized treatment (e.g. chronic conditions).

    If I had student health insurance at my university, I would be in so much trouble. I have a rare autoimmune disease that messes with my autonomic nervous system. Basically, it is autoimmune autonomic neuropathy.
     
  10. mom2Hanna

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    Tech: You can't adjust the dose of a prescription medication. That is called abusing a prescription drug. You need a new prescription if your doctor wants to adjust the amount of insulin you take.



    I'm getting anxious thinking of my daughter going off to college in a few years. That tech was way out of line and the doctor the OP spoke of, well uneducated is the nicest thing I can say. WTG to both of you for keeping your cool.
     
  11. deafmack

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    Oh I get what you are saying. Clearly this person who you talked with knew nothing about diabetes and I wouldn't even use her for someone with type 2.
    And a pharmacy tech thinking that we take the same amount of insulin each day is ludricous.
    The same amount would only apply to the long acting insulin such as Lantus or Levemir and if one is on pump that would not apply.
    Also as to prescriptions amounts can vary with that as well. For example with pain medications one would only take them when one is in pain so the amount of pain medication one takes would vary.
    Now some meds are taken at the same amount every day but not all mediication.
    Like you i get the same misinformation sometimes as well. You would think they would know more than they do but I am finding out that I tend to have to educate when I shouldn't Have to.
     
  12. deafmack

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    Student Health is never a good place to go beyond the occasional cold or light case of the flu. I never went but I had friends who did and I encourage people to find a doctor that is off campus or nearby or well known regarding diabetes, etc.
    Yes some of the things pharmacy techs say to me absolutely floor me. You would think they would be more knowledgeable but they are not. I am resigning myself to the fact that I have to educate more than I want to and it isn't just about diabetes either.
     
  13. rulestein

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    I agree with others. The student health centers are BS. They are staffed with physicians assistants who are a shame on the medical industry. I always had problems with the PAs. Things didn't get better until I started using my normal insurance rather than the student insurance and insisting on an MD.
     
  14. Megnyc

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    Yes, the tech was crazy. I think the issue is that practically everyone on this campus is on controlled substances for ADHD or anxiety and those can't be refilled early (not an exaggeration- stressful Ivy league school). So I understand the need to be careful about refilling meds early. But this is insulin and even if he had to follow the policy he should have been nice about it.
     

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