Thursday, July 5, 2012

Diabetic Nightmares


I have this recurring dream. It usually goes something like this; I am at my grandparent’s house in Bass Lake hanging out on our boat with our family. Everyone is laughing and having a great time when all of the sudden I either 1) jump into the lake sporadically or 2) fall into the water. After this part happens I enjoy the cool water and the feeling of weightlessness, until panic sets in. I reach down to my stomach where my insulin pump usually sits to realize I didn’t detach my insulin pump! I scramble to the nearest thing possible that will get me out of the water. Shaking with fear that I have ruined the most expensive thing I own. I sit on the dock, pour the water out of my pump and begin to push any and all of the buttons. I sit there praying please don’t be broken, please don’t be broken; and then magically my pump will be working fine and all of my panic releases from my body.

I love my insulin pump, obviously enough to dream about its well being. But I have to admit, even though this is a dream, this could actually happen. When I walk on my family dock at the lake I always have a quiet panic attack inside of my head of what if I fell in right now? What then? Hopefully I will have an emergency kit prepared, but let’s face it, syringes are in no comparison to the blood sugar control I get from my insulin pump.  I would of course get a new one, but paying for a new one even if my health insurance covered it would still be a large expense.

I called Medtronic this morning to ask some of these questions. The customer service representative (CSR) was extremely nice and answered my questions. I told him how I knew Medtronic would replace my pump if it malfunctions, but wondered if they would replace it if it were lost/stolen or I fell into a pool or lake. The CSR on the phone and I did laugh a little about someone’s pump getting lost or stolen because its attached to your body 9 out of 10 times, but I thought I would cover all my bases. The most comforting thing I got from this phone conversation was that my pump would/should survive if I fell into water with it connected. The CSR said that your pump would survive falling into water up to 25ft deep for a short period of time.

Now, from what I hear some insurance companies will cover your pump if lost or stolen under your renters/home owners insurance using a rider. For those of you who do not know what a rider is here is the definition I pulled from ehow.com

“An insurance rider provides the policyholder extra protection beyond the provisions contained in a standard insurance agreement. Before purchasing the additional coverage, the buyer should read the coverage outlined in the standard policy and ask questions about any terms or clauses that he does not understand. A buyer should determine if the additional coverage enhances the overall policy and if it meets his needs.”

People usually need an insurance rider for expensive jewelry, Persian rugs and so forth. Since an insulin pump is the most expensive item some people own (grossing around $5,000 to $7,000) other than a home or car this could be considered necessary. When I asked the CSR from Medtronic he mentioned that this really wasn’t worth it. His reasoning again was because your insulin pump is usually attached to your body. For my husband and I that makes sense completely I only use my insulin pump and I carry it everywhere with me, I think in the entire 6 years of having diabetes I forgot to hook myself up to it. But I have met some diabetics who use both injections and their insulin pumps depending on what they are doing that day. In that case I would maybe get insurance because if a theft happens you would be responsible to replace it with Medtronic. But your insurance company would cover some of the cost for stolen properties. One thing for sure is, now I can feel safer when I am near any kind of water. 

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