I went down to my local pharmacy yesterday to order some consumables for my insulin pump. Specifically, I had chosen a box of Comfort infusion sets (thanks for the suggestion, Laddie) in response to some of my recent site failures. I pointed out to the Pharmacist that I had not purchased this item before, because I knew that the computer would notify her of this.
“Why do you need a different one?” She asked me.
I explained that I wanted to try a different kind of infusion set, because I had been having some site failures recently.
“Have you spoken to a diabetes educator? You’re not really supposed to be changing without their advice.”
I found this line of questioning rather bizarre, because prior to the recent NDSS changes in Australia I could easily jump onto the computer and order whatever I liked with no questions asked. Besides, would you really expect me to call my educator if I wanted to change the colour, or length of my infusion site? Do you really expect that the needs of my diabetes aren’t going to change ever again?
I think she was only trying to make sure that I was ordering a product that would be compatible with my pump, and that I understood that I would not be able to bring it back.
There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment while the delivery of diabetes consumables is shifting from online to pharmacies, and she was probably making sure I wasn’t being wasteful. There is a lot of fear and sensationalism being spread around on social media. Many are over ordering in response, leading to shortages in the supply of diabetes consumables.
I made it clear that I had done my research prior to selecting the product, and that I was only purchasing the one box because I wasn’t sure if I will like using this type of infusion set.
Pharmacist questions always make me uncomfortable. Even when I walk in there with the flu requesting Demazin tablets, they always question me about the symptoms I am experiencing.
I just try to remind myself that it’s a Pharmacist’s job to ask the hard questions. It’s their job to make sure that we are ordering the correct medications for ourselves. It’s their job to make sure that we are not being wasteful.
I’ve been buying diabetes consumables from my local pharmacy since I was diagnosed. Having a good relationship with them over the years has really paid off. They’ve given me insulin when I presented an expired prescription once. They eventually gave me the test strips after I was told I had purchased too many last year (I wrote about this here). They know that I have diabetes and they understand what I need.
If there’s one golden piece of advice I would give to Australians affected by changes to the delivery of diabetes consumables, it would be to find a local pharmacy and build a good relationship with them.
Answering to people that I’ve known for well over six years makes those hard questions a little less uncomfortable.
Sidenote: You can read more about the NDSS changes here.