Yesterday, I was sitting back and thinking to myself, WOW it’s 2010. Thinking back, one of my most memorable days of 2009 was October 2.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, big deal that it is the second day of October.
Let me tell you this, there are certain days that always stick with you. The day you get engaged, married, maybe the day you get a call about receiving a job offer, having a baby (hopefully, someday soon!) the list can go on and on. I am sure you catch my drift.
But, that day, October 2, is a particularly special day for me. Why you ask?
Well let’s have a flashback to 2008.
My diabetes team and I decided that for me getting a CGM would probably help me with my extreme high and low blood sugar swings. They warned me that this may take time. I had no idea how that all worked and said OK.
Let me tell you this, the meaning of “this may take time” from your doctor means: a really LONG time. I felt myself aging from how long I waited for feedback from insurance.
Anyway, I received my first letter of denial after a couple of months. So, I told my doctor. She told me that usually will happen the first go around. You should get covered the next time around. Oh ok.
We submit again.
Rinse and repeat.
Then I started hearing through the grapevine that most of my friends with diabetes were also fighting and receiving denials. I was sick of hearing about this. Why were we all being denied for a device that was proven to be an effective tool in detecting hypo/hyperglycemia?
I couldn’t just sit back, and let some insurance company tell me what is best for me. It is not in my nature to do that. So, I decided to start an online CGM-Anti Denial campaign on July 1. It consisted of a petition to get 2000 names on it to submit to major insurance companies by November 14, 2008, but to my surprise the goal we met in 10 days. I partnered up with the JDRF who had a grassroots outreach campaign for CGM as well and they helped me get the petition names in the right hands.
A couple of months later a study funded by the JDRF was released on September 8, 2008. The title in my inbox was: JDRF Funded Clinical Trial Demonstrates Continuous Glucose Monitoring Improves Blood Sugar Control. I thought WOW! We were all fighting in the diabetes community, and this is exactly the news we all needed to see.
Shortly after the study was released, I FINALLY received a call from a CGM device company about my appeal on that exact day, October 2, a year ago.
This is how the call went: (Yes, you do remember the call once you get approved. It is crazy the things you can remember!)
Caller: Hi this Beth I am calling on behalf of your rep Angie.
Me: Hello, how are you?
Rep: I just wanted to tell you that we will be shipping your CGM supplies to your house on Thursday and wanted to be sure this is the correct address.
Rep: We want to make sure your address is correct.
Me: Yes, I heard you but I just can’t believe it. Am I approved?
Rep: Yes you are approved.
Me: Is this a joke? (Yes, I really asked her that.)
Rep: No, your shipment is ready to go we just need you to verify where you that you live at _____.
Me: OMG. yes that is my address! OMG this is awesome! I honestly can’t believe after 3 times I have been approved!
After our conversation was over, I wanted to jump up and down, but, because I was coming home from work on the train, I had to be quiet. I called and texted every person that I knew.
It was a day that changed my life. It was a day that I felt I did it for me, and the entire d-community. I fought and won.
CGM is a key component of an artificial pancreas, and many of the trials and issues we have to go through to choose a device, get it reimbursed, and begin using it effectively will closely reflect what we’ll have to go through when an artificial pancreas is finally develop. So please follow me on my journey of living with type 1 diabetes and wearing a continuous glucose monitoring system where I will always give you my honest opinion.
If you are thinking about wearing a CGM ask your doctor to try them out to see which one is right for you!