My pump site was due for a change on Monday morning. I went about gathering the necessary items for my set change: Canula set, reservoir, alcohol swab, insulin. Except when I scavenged for insulin in my fridge I found a single vial rolling around at the back of my fridge. Essentially I only had 6 more days of life stored. With half of that vial going into my pump during the set change, it was 3 days of life left in back-up. I obviously made getting new insulin a priority, and scheduled an appointment with my GP to get a new script (I didn't have one already). When I did another set change today, it meant that I had absolutely no insulin left as a back-up. Feeling a little bit panicked (Ok, I was more than mildly freaking out) by my lack of organisation, I headed off to my local chemist as soon as I had the script crumpled into my hand, and luckily they had some NovoRapid in stock (Usually they have to order it so I was lucky!).
While I was there, I thought I should place an order for my brand of test strips, as its not a common type and I have yet to see it stocked on shelf anywhere. I had actually been organised with this, and had made a specific trip to my chemist back when the NDSS changes were first announced. They assured me they would read up on it and prepare, and I gave them the product codes for the pump consumables and test strips I usually used.
I requested my test strips, and was told that I was the first person to have asked for a special order under these changes. I expected as much. What I didn't expect was to be told it would be 2 weeks....2 whole weeks....before they thought they could expect a delivery, as they had not yet 'figured out the system'. Luckily I am not as disorganised with test strips as I am with insulin...I have one and a half boxes of strips left, about 3 weeks worth of supplies.
The '2 weeks' statement left me a bit in shock. As far as I had been able to read, there was supposed to be a 24 to 48 hour turnaround on NDSS supplies with this new change. 2 weeks is well, well over what I consider acceptable. I was pissed off at the move from Diabetes Australia as NDSS providers to chemists as sole providers by the federal government. It's scary having to rely on small metal strips to control a disease. Its scary when you are told there's essentially a 2 week wait to get access to these things that help to control your disease. Its scary when that control is ripped from you by a government who will gladly sacrifice your health to save a buck or 2. Its scary when the issues you were worried about with the provider change, turn out to be something that you actually need to worry about instead of just being crazy what-ifs. When the worst case scenario, that you can no longer easily access the tools you need to survive, becomes your scenario.
I left, being told to call back in 2 weeks time, when they 'hoped' that the strips would be in. As I was gathering my things to leave, the pharmacist made the comment, "I've ordered you one box, that's it right?". No, not if there's a 2 week wait on supplies everytime, its not. I changed my order to several boxes, and will see how many I can get away with. No matter how this pans out, I don't trust the new system, Not with my life, So I'll continue to stock like the apocalypse is right on my doorstep, and will make sure I never put myself in a situation where I have less than 3 months supplies at any given time.
It's just another added layer of thought I have to add my diabetes management now.