We all know how much it costs to effectively manage diabetes properly. There are the sugars machines (which I have yet to have to pay for) and the strips. The strips are where they really stick it to you. “Here have a FREE machine. Now, all you have to do is pay around $50 a bottle for strips so you can actually use the machine.”
Then, for those on a pump there are the pump supplies. Or, if you’re on MDI you have to buy syringes. Then, there’s insulin, two kinds if you use MDI.
But, that’s not the expense I’m talking about today. I will save my decline of health care/ insurance rant for another day.
Today I am talking about the expense of a cellular phone. To those parents out there with kids with D, your cell phone is your lifeline. It is how you are able to be a pancreas while being miles and miles away from your child. You are able to talk to teachers and nurses or your child and tell them what to do. You are able to be reached at anytime if needed for an emergency site change. My cell phone is like my security blanket.
A couple of posts ago I wrote that I had to switch schools with no notice. To say that I live in a rural area is putting it mildly. Because I’m in such a rural area cell phone coverage can be spotty at times. It has gotten better over the last couple of years and now 99.9% of the time I can be reached by cell phone.
Except now. The school where I have been reassigned is in an area where I do not have any cell service. To say this stresses me out would be an understatement. I have a phone in my office, but what good school nurse sits in her office at all times. Also, I don’t have a private line. All calls have to go through the front desk. The front desk line is very often busy.
If you remember, Riley was supposed to call me at every sugar check for instructions on what to do. Well, after the first few days, that plan had to go. His teacher kept getting a busy signal every time she tried to call me. A few days into the school year I drove all over creation to find a place that still sold beepers. I figured his teacher could page me and I could call her back on the school’s phone.
I showed up at work that first day and realized about 10 minutes after Riley was supposed to check his sugar that I still hadn’t received my page. I called his teacher who had tried calling Michael when she couldn’t get me and then ended up calling my mom. She had paged me several times and I never called back. I quickly paged myself and found out that the pager did not pick up inside the school building. I called the pager company and they said that happened sometimes and there is nothing that can really be done about it.
I had noticed other staff members talking on their cells at lunch. I found out they use a different cell company than I do. I can’t really switch cell companies since I’m under contract. So, I contacted the other cell company today to ask about a pay as you go plan.
They have a plan where I will have to pay an activation fee and a monthly fee and then so much per minute for every minute that I use the phone. So, after work today I’m going there and sign up for yet another cell phone with a different company.
Thankfully, the beeper was not expensive and I did not have to sign a contract. Hopefully, the new cell phone won’t end up costing too much a month. It should only be used if his teacher needs me. She’s doing just fine with lunch and snack on her own. She has been told to call for any sugar less than 80 and over 300. And, anytime he has to check his sugar when it is not snack or lunch (including before PE). Hopefully, I won’t use too many minutes a month since I’ll still have my regular cell for other calls. It’s the activation fee that gets to me.
But, it’s all worth it to make sure Riley is OK. It not only helps me, but I think it stresses his teacher out not to have me readily available when she needs me.