Monday, December 08, 2008

An Early Present

Here we are coming to the end of the year, and what have I been doing?

Stressing about money.

Money for our property taxes, money for Joseph's orthodontia, miscellaneous medical bills, our insurance premiums, CHRISTMAS...

Money for a new insulin pump.

That's right, Joseph's current pump will soon be out of warranty-- and given our history, there's no way we can afford to be without a warranty. Thus, we have to choose a new pump and purchase it before the end of this month.

After much discussion -- and a brief look at the competition -- we've decided to stay with Animas.

Initially I had some reservations about this decision, but we have gotten excellent customer service and Joseph does indeed love his current pump.

And we're all very much intrigued by the new OneTouch Ping system.

This latest technology from Animas includes a glucose meter that is able to wirelessly communicate with the pump.

You can actually operate the pump from the meter.

What exactly does this mean?

Well, for us it means that when we check Joseph's blood sugar every two hours overnight and have to give him a correction when he's high or decrease his basal insulin when he's low, we won't have to:

  • Pull back his blankets;
  • Roll him over (if he happens to be lying on his pump case);
  • Remove his pump while untangling his tubing (which always seems to be wrapped around the clip on his case);
  • Give a bolus or change his basals while keeping one eye on the pump, the other on Joseph (because any sudden move can easily rip out his infusion set);
  • Maneuver the pump back into it's case as Joseph flails about in his sleep and then rolls once again on top of said case.
Nope, we won't have to do any of the above.

Rock. On.

Ahhh, but there's more...

No, not about the Ping-- but rather, about paying for the Ping.

While we have insurance and have met our deductible for the year, unfortunately, we're still left with a 10% coinsurance payment.

Something like $660.

Uh huh, this is where the stress part comes in.

Or maybe not.

I got a call last Wednesday afternoon from Animas.

"Sandra, we're still waiting for prior authorization from your insurance company, however, we were able to verify your benefits. It looks like you have a 100% benefit."

"Excuse me?"

"A 100% benefit."

"Really?... Seriously?"

"Yes, you see- "

"But wait-- how can that be? Our insurance covers 90% once our deductible is met. I don't understand."

"Well, it looks like you've also met your family's annual out-of-pocket maximum."

"Holy Cripes! Then you are serious."

And now I'm up out of my chair.

"You've just given us an early Christmas present, you know that? This is AWESOME!!!"

The minute I hang up the phone, I'm punching in another number.

"Ryan? Honey, we're getting the Ping for Joseph-- and it's not gonna cost a thing! Can you believe it?!"

I still can't.


Nicole P said...

AWESOME!! It's true - you can't always lose... :)

Jillian said...

It's just plain wonderful when something this important works out in your favor! :)

Penny said...

Awesome Sandra!!

Riley has Animas now. I'll be interested in hearing how you like the ping.

Lee Ann Thill said...

That is so great! I hope you like the Ping. I'm still bummed they introduced it only 6 weeks after the warranty on my 1200 was up and I got a 2020. Oh well...

Also, I can't remember if you live in NJ, but when I saw you were fretting over property taxes, I had to snicker and wonder if you do.

k2 said...

Sandra -
I've heard really great things about Animas pumps & their Customer Service!

George said...

that is awesome. I am so happy for you!!!

type1emt said...

that's great- so happy to hear it, I just got my official training yesterday + am loving mine...

what color is he gonna go with?

Gianna said...

That's awesome Sandra! I have a minimed Paradigm pump and they have what's called the Paradigm Link - it's a one touch meter that communicates wirelessly with your pump so that your BG is transferred to the pump, which helps you calculate the bolus. But the Ping sounds even better because you can actually control the pump from the meter! I hope Minimed comes up with something like that soon; it sounds like Animas is taking one of the better features from the Omnipod and incorporating it into their products. And you get it for "free!" way to go.

PancreasMom said...

I have goosebumps for you, I am so happy and excited for you guys. Happy holidays!

kath said...

Super Awesome -- and you might get money back if you send them the pump back. At least that happened to me the last round, BUT my warranty wasn't up.

Let me know how you like the Ping, as my pump is due in February. I'm pretty sure I"m going with the Ping.

Jill said...

WOW!! Thats wonderful news :) and the news couldnt of arrived at a better time!! Merry Christmas :D

Minnesota Nice said...

The favor of Fortune lies in the timing.
And, the coolest about this Sandra, was that you voiced no complaints about hitting the family max for out-of-pocket, yet focused on the fact that the pump will be totally covered.

Colleen said...

Merry Christmas! What a great surprise gift. I'm thrilled for you.

Christine-Megan said...

Awesome news on the new pump! That's great about the insurance coverage also.

Unfortunately, the Ping doesn't let you adjust basal insulin from the meter, just program a bolus.

Sandra Miller said...

Nicole & Jillian-

Awesome AND Wonderful!!!


I'll definitely keep you posted...

Lee Ann-

Nope, we're not in NJ.

We live in Wisconsin, where we just got one big 'ol snowstorm...

Oh, and on your pump story-- a month after we got Joseph his 1200, Animas introduced the 1250 (with the carb database).

I feel your pain.


Yes, we've really been happy with their pump, despite experiencing a good number of problems-- but in the majority of those cases, their customer service has shined in a big way.



Like Nicole said-- you can't always lose. :-)


What color?

Why silver, of course. :-)


I'm always amazed by how much -- and how FAST -- this technology is changing.


I woke up this morning, read these comments-- and got goosebumps all over again. :-)

Happy Holidays!


Since we'll be out of warranty at the end of the month, I think we'd get little if any money back. Also, we want to hang onto his old pump for a back up...

And yes, I will indeed let you know how we like the Ping. :-)


You are so right-- the timing really is a gift!
Merry Christmas :-)


Timing is indeed, everything. :-)

And yes, even having reached our family max (and realizing what that implies) can't take away from the awesomeness of this news!


Merry Christmas to you too!

I was shocked by this gift.

Totally. Shocked.


That's a drag about not being able to change basals from the meter, but apparently you can still view basals from the meter... so that's pretty cool.

I'm just so dang happy right now about all of this, there's no room for disappointment. :-)

Nicole P said...

Um, I guess silver is the color of progress and the color of good luck! :)

Molly said...

That is SO AWESOME! One less thing to worry about.

Snackrifices said...


That's amazing. Congratulations! Things do have to work in your favor sometimes!

Merry Christmas!

*Kendyl* said...

How has the Animas treated you? I was on a pump for about 2 years and if you check out my page it will tell about the horrible experience I had with the minimed pump. I am just very curious about how the animus works and how reliable it is. I wish I could use a pump but I need to trust the pump companies again so if you please tell me how you like you Animus and how well it works and how reliable it is

Elsa said...

Christmas miracles do come true! I'm really glad for you! I am a 26 year old mommy of 2. My eldest son has type 1 diabetes. I have added your blog to my blogroll, will you please consider doing the same?
thank you and regards.

MileMasterSarah said...

we meet our annual ins. max out of pocket every year, usually by june :) It is nice, but also, well, you know you have spent at least that much on medical expenses I guess!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! My 4 yr old daughter was diagnosed last May and we got her on the Ping in October. It's our first pump and it has transformed our lives. Super easy to learn and use- good luck!!

Paige said...

This is great! We just ordered our first pump and we chose the Animas. My 6 year old son was diagnosed in June and life has been insane since then. We're going to be out of pocket a little bit, but we saved some Christmas money to help with that. I am glad that I have ran across your blog. We all need to support each other.

growingupartists said...

I love your style!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandra - I've never commented before, I'm more of a lurker. But, well, I ran into Joseph tonight and thought I'd say hi.
I first ran into your blog through a google search about a year ago, and thought some of the pictures looked like they were taken on familiar territory - well turns out you live in the same city as I do! I'm a Type I diabetic too, since I was 14 (8 years) and so Joseph's story caught my attention and I read more and more back into your blog archives. He even sees the same pediatric endocronolgist as I did! (Dr. C!)
Well, I've checked in every once and a while since then to read your updates.
Tonight, I was standing in line at Michael's, the craft store on the west side, with a young gentleman in front of me in line, who I thought looked a little familiar... but couldn't figure it out, until his dad called him over, "Joseph," he said. Then it hit me! I KNOW HIM FROM THE INTERNETS! I looked as he was walking away and saw the tell-tale tubing poking out the side of his pocket! Must be him!
I didn't say anything because I remembered an entry where you were concerned about his privacy. Also I thought it might be weird. Like, "Oh hi! Your mom has a blog doesn't she? You have THE DIABEEEETUS, right?!! I have a pump too! Let's compare basal rates! " But, yeah, it was like seeing a celebrity or something! (I also thought about pulling out my Ping and being all like, oh, la dee da, just casually taking a bolus and checking my total daily dose and hoping it might spark conversation, but I held off). Anyways, that's all, and HI!
-Stephanie from Middleton

Suzy Q said...

Amazing blog. My 17 year old daughter was just diagnosed a month ago and I just stumbled upon your blog.Both times I have read your blog entries, I find myself in tears. I am so happy for you and your latest news. And your son seems amazing. He is so articulate and mature and sweet in the video.

Karpoozi said...

I know this is old but I just wanted to tell you that this post put a real smile on my face. I love thses kind of positive posts!

Diabetes Care Robert said...

It's so good to hear positive insurance stories like this one.

You haven't posted in a while. Are you still liking the new Animas? Is the wireless aspect working as it should? I sometimes worry about technology like that and hope to hear that it is a good product.