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Old 05-12-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Diabetes and RVing

My wife and I will be hitting the road full time in about 6 months. My wife is diabetic and right now is very unsure on how she will get her insulin and medications on time. We will both be on Medicare with TriCare as a backup. Anyone out there fit this profile and can help ease her deep concerns? She has to see an Endocrinologist every three months to keep her insulin pump.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:22 PM   #2
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I would suggest calling Express-Scripts and discussing your situation, I think they will have helpful information for timely arrival of the meds. Another option is to obtain scripts at a MTF/military hospital instead of Express-Scripts.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:54 PM   #3
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What we do is have our mail go to my daughters house and she will send it to use as needed including and especially the packages from escripts. As far as the 3 month appointment don't know. Maybe fly back for it?? We are both diabetic but not to the point were we are on insulin. We'll be out for 4 -4 1/2 months so we do need to see the doc as soon as we get back.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gostberg View Post
My wife is diabetic and right now is very unsure on how she will get her insulin and medications on time.
My wife is an insulin-dependent diabetic on Medicare and she selected a Part D prescription plan that permits her to fill and refill prescriptions at most pharmacies in the US. Usually we use Walgreens because they are in virtually every state and are a preferred pharmacy under her plan. With the plan she is on there is little cost advantage for ordering meds by mail and during the year that we did it we found it to be a nuisance. Now we just get online, find the local Walgreens and refill whatever script we wish.

As for the need to see a specialist about your wife's insulin pump I can't offer you any advice.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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First, will you not be coming back on occasion to see her endocrinologist? I would recommend talking to her Dr, explaining your plans and you should be able to get some flexibility on the 3 months. I am on an insulin pump (20yrs now) and have been diabetic for 48yrs on insulin. We recently retired and I was able to stretch my 3 month appt into 4 months. I would think that since you will be on Medicare (we are not yet) it would be easy enough to find a Dr/clinic or some place to go and get your A1c checked since Medicare is a federal insurance program. I know that I have to get my insulin via mail order and can have it sent to wherever I am. Also a good suggestion to have it sent to a trusted family member who could overnight it to you. Traveling in an RV with diabetes is so much easier than staying in motels/eating out all the time IMHO. I even traveled across Europe with a backpack for 7 wks with my glass syringe and insulin cooler (in the dark ages 8-); whatever you want to do can be managed with a little extra planning! Enjoy your travels!
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:02 PM   #6
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It's too bad that there a not so helpful distractions here on a very serious subject. There is definitely no reason to limit travels but it does take some planning.

I find that filling the insulin and test strip is not a problem. Any of the national chains should be able to accommodate that. In my case, my pump supplies are only available by mail and I get a 30 day supply. I think I could easily get a 90 day supply, so shipping them to a home base where the doctor is located would be an idea. It would just require returning to home base occasionally to take care of business.

I have only been on the pump for about 6 months and it gives me much more flexibility than the previous 47 years of injections.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:02 PM   #7
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Gostberg, first welcome to the forum (I see this was your first posting.) Sorry your first post was so exciting.

I might suggest that you post your question in a different section - there is a Full Timers forum under the RV Lifestyles. Many have to deal with getting a variety of meds while on the road and away from their regular doctors. Lots of similar questions and responses there.

Good luck, and welcome (from another diabetic.)
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:18 PM   #8
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gostberg, Is your wife a type 1 or 2. If she's a 2 you will have to buy your own insulin as medicare does not pay for it. If she's a 1 type thats going to be a problem for insulin and pump supplies as you don't know where you will be. I didn't think that there was so many diabetes experts on this subject. We are not full time but do spend 4 months a year out on the road and I take all my supplies with. You should be able to get a 6 month supply of insulin to take with. The Dr's appointment and A1c is really going to be a bugger. Having diabetes is no big deal. Living with it is.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:28 PM   #9
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I have a couple of meds that can only be refilled monthly. I went to using Wal-Mart. Fair price and wherever you go they're able to refill. Plus they're rv friendly. For me it's a win win. Also I really wasn't saving any real money with the mail order prescriptions. ...Dusty
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:55 AM   #10
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THANK YOU ALL for your responses and advice! [Moderator Edit] I am trying to get my wife's nervousness calmed down, it will all work out fine once she chats with a few folks. Can't wait to hit the road!
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:03 AM   #11
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Type II here.

If if's and buts, were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas (or politically correct celebratory day of your choice!)

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Old 05-26-2016, 04:10 PM   #12
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Diabetic too and wondering

Gostberg, DW and I are in the same boat as you, preparing for our fulltime escape in about a year when I reach retirement. I am a type II and on Invokana, so we're trying to arrange a strategy for how to handle the doctor visits. To satisfy my health plan's requirements for Invokana (lots of nasty side-effects that need regular monitoring) they require 3-4 maintenance checks a year at the doctor's office.

What we've thought of - and checked into - so far is this: cut the physical visits to the doctor down to two a year - every six months - with a full physical once a year, but still maintain blood analysis 4 times a year. This means that we'll have to find a blood clinic somewhere on the road, get our doc to cut us a referral for them so I don't have to pay much out of pocket, get blood drawn and analysis done, and the results emailed or faxed to the doctor's office where he can take note of any bad trends without me physically being there, contact me and if my situation is heading downhill I can change my route to include a visit and consultation.

My health plan (Federal Employees Blue Cross) is fine with my doc faxing my prescriptions to a drug store anywhere we happen to be in the country (we switched to Walgreens since it is a national chain with a computer database that connects all the branches, and they all have access to my health data). I'm not sure if this would work for your insulin (I guess it would need refrigeration, yes?) but even easier would be the scheduled mail-order delivery that my plan offers, where it ships the drugs to my future address of record (a South Dakota mail forwarding service) and the forwarding service sends them on to me.

Not to hijack your thread or anything (it is entitled diabetic and wondering, no?) I would be curious to hear from someone who has done this - managed to handle their diabetic needs without sticking close to their family doctor - and how effective or problematic it is.

Good luck -JP
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gostberg View Post
My wife and I will be hitting the road full time in about 6 months. My wife is diabetic and right now is very unsure on how she will get her insulin and medications on time. We will both be on Medicare with TriCare as a backup. Anyone out there fit this profile and can help ease her deep concerns? She has to see an Endocrinologist every three months to keep her insulin pump.
You can easily use express scripts for your medication with just a little planning
We are retired with Tricare for Life, which you indicated you will be, for all of our meds with no problems for 10 years.
Have your prescriptions transferred to Home delivery on Express Scripts
You will give them a permanent address, however you can go on line and add a temporary address with a specific start and end date. Your medications will be sent to the temporary address. We either have them sent to our mail forwarding address then forwarded to us or we have often chosen a small town post office and set the temp address to us at General Delivery, town name, state and zip
Make sure when using general delivery that you google the post office, call and confirm they accept general delivery mail and how long they hold it for you.
Once we have confirmed ( we usually chose a post office that we are within a few days of on our route ) then we go online to our account with Express and order our medications and update the temp address.
Our Dr writes annual refills in the form of a 90 day supply and 3 refills. I have one drug that he has to rewrite every 90 days. I contact the office and they send it in electronically as they do all our drugs

This will take some planning but you can work it out
Ask your Dr if he/she is wiling to write a series of orders for the required blood work and have a phone consultation. Many physicians are certainly willing to be helpful once they understand what you are trying to do.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:46 PM   #14
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I too am a diabetic--type II--and I went on the pump in order to be more stable.
The problem is not with insulin and the testing supplies. The problem is with the supplies that go along with the pump--paid 80% by Medicare Part B. They require you to see an endocrinologist every three months if they're going to pay the big $ for those supplies.
If you look close, you'll not find that many of endocrinologists outside of big cities. We only have one in a population of 140,000 with 2 hospitals And he's booked up 6-8 weeks ahead.

My wife has bad arthritis and spinal stenosis--and now mid foot arthritis limiting her mobility. She goes to a pain management clinic to see an anestesiologist with a fellowship in pain management. Our politicians have just changed the requirements for those taking controlled substances to where they have to visit their pain clinic every month to get their prescriptions. This alone limits us from ever being able to be full timers, as her meds come first.

Diabetics have it made--only having to see the doctors every 3 months for bloodwork.
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