Insulin Delivery

I just had a frustrating experience that worked out ok. I just moved to a new house and needed all my meds including my Insulin delivered by Medco. It’s a bit hard to figure out exactly where my apartment is, but the UPS guy who delivered my Apidra yesterday and my Lantus today didn’t even try! He just dropped it at the front door which is an entirely different apartment and there it sat until my neighbors arrived home and came to tell me I had a package. The Apidra yesterday was delivered at 2:30 so it was still cold when I found it at 5PM, but the Lantus today was delivered at 10:30AM and sat in the sun till I found it at 5. I called Medco pretty annoyed. If anyone else uses Medco I have dealt with problems with a lot of incompetency with them in the past. My experience is that the regular service agents that answer the phone are pretty useless for anything out of the ordinary and get annoyed when you try and push them to handle things. The key with Medco is to ask to speak to a Manager.

Once I got the Manager on the line he was great about problem solving with me how to get UPS to know where I’m located (he agreed they shouldn’t just “drop it and run”). He then put me on the line with the pharmacist. She tended to think it would be ok and said the manufacturer says it can be fine for 28 days out of the refrigerator. I keep my Lantus in the refrigerator! When I expressed concern however about not knowing if the Lantus was good or not she agreed there are enough variables with diabetes and they would be glad to send me another box with no extra charge. So it was a good result. I should know with Medco to ALWAYS ask for a Manager! Now if I can only convince the UPS guy to come around back… (I’m going to put up a sign the day it is being delivered and hopefully after the first time he’ll know).

This reminds me of a UPS fiasco I had a few years back. I had ordered some books from amazon and they were scheduled to be delivered on a Wednesday. The day came and I saw the UPS truck making a delivery down the road. I waited patiently and then watched the truck drive by my house without stopping. I called UPS and they confirmed that my package was due that day and informed to wait a little longer for the delivery guy to come back (they explained that normal delivery time can be up to 4:30 pm). I waited until 5:30 and when he didn’t appear I called again. They assured me (very apologetically) that I would have it the next day by 12 noon.
The UPS truck arrived around 11 and parked across the street. The guy went into the back of the truck and didn’t come back out for another 20 minutes. When he did he got behind the wheel and drove off. I called UPS again and they said that he had trouble finding my house so he left, but if I stayed on the line with them they would contact him and have him deliver my stuff while I was on the phone. Sure enough the truck appeared less than a minute later, parked across the street, and the delivery guy went into the back again. After a short while the operator said the delivery guy couldn’t find my house. I said that I was looking directly at the truck across the street from me and that they can tell the driver that if he looks out the window and across the street he will see me waving at him (I was standing with door open waving my arms like a lunatic).
The operator then hung up on me (though they later claimed the line dropped) so I went out to the truck to get the package myself.
The delivery guy refused to give me my package or even acknowledge that he had a package in my name and my address and asked me to leave. I did and came back with my ID showing my name and address. I told him that I’m not asking if he has a delivery for anyone, just to look at my ID and if he happened to come across a package with my name on it I would sitting on my front porch waiting. That’s when the delivery guy became agitated and without looking at my ID asked me to step away from his truck or he would call the police.
I went back to my house and called UPS one last time while I watched the truck drive away. They apologized so much that eventually I had them apologizing for apologizing so much.
The next day the truck came by with a new driver (a woman this time) and my package was delivered to me. That happened about 8 years ago and to this day it’s still the same lady that delivers all my UPS packages and we have a very friendly relationship. She can find my house anywhere I move to (and I’ve moved a lot over the years) and I haven’t had any trouble with her. Last UPS delivery though she was training a new woman who is a complete imbecile. Instead of knocking on the door or ringing a doorbell she starts yelling “DELIVERY!” as soon as she steps off the truck.

Anyway, sorry for the long story with no helpful advice for you, but it was a memory I felt like sharing.

That’s ok, Pavlos, I don’t think I actually was looking for advice so much as just sharing my experience. Sometimes it’s interesting that you have logical online and phone interactions and can’t connect in the “real world”. Old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

The insulin pens were packaged, Dave, but the packages were no longer cool and had been sitting in the sun from 10:30AM to 5PM. I was grateful that Medco was willing to replace them. They might have been fine but why take a chance? Like the pharmacist said, there are too many variables with diabetes without worrying about the insulin being bad.

Yes. I keep my “working” bottle of insulin in my purse so that it is always with me. My life is too “on the run” to have to worry about keeping it refrigerated- or not “on hand”. Sometimes I’ll crash at someone’s house, or go to the casino at midnight- my Levemir dosage is at 12:00am every night, so if I’m out- which I usually am, I need to keep it on me.

My extras are kept in the refrigerator until I’m using them. I go through my vials pretty quickly- using the Pens.

completely agree. When my supplies are delivered, they put it inside the door in the shade- or on the back porch. I rarely get medical deliveries for this purpose, though- I usually pick up at the pharmacy.

One time I got a bottle of Humalog from the pharmacy…
I was having trouble with my pump (when I was stil on the pump) where the tubing was continuously getting clogged and “No Delivery”. I was getting so frustrated. I changed my entire set/ catheter/ insulin resevoir/ tubing… all of it- THREE TIMES- until I noticed that there was something wrong with my Humalog

It had little “chunks” of gel inside of it- but I hadn’t noticed the chunks until about 1/3 of the way through the bottle.

My insurance at the time only covered one vial for me per month. On the pump, one vial would last me exactly 31 days- on a very strict schedule. I had already wasted three resevoirs of insulin trying to fix the pump before I realized that the freakin vial was bad. I was livid.

I called Lilly (manufacturers of Humalog) and they shipped me a free vial overnight. They also gave me a voucher for another vial at the pharmacy.

So, I’m okay still. :slight_smile:

I kept the bad vial. It’s stored somewhere. I almost went into ketoacidosis from it because my BG was so high for over 12 hours (I had slept through my pump alarm and then pushed myself into work that day- even with a malfunctioning pump)

It’s pretty gross- chunky gelatonous pieces of translucent insulin.
Eeew. That was in my body!

Very creepy, Marps. Especially considering what could have happened. I’m glad you caught it. What worries me is when it looks completely fine and could be inactive and you wouldn’t even know why you were high.

Now that I’m back in the States I’m amazed by how much insulin they send me. I told my doctor I didn’t need that much but he said it’s best to write it that way. I think I mentioned on here that in Guatemala I bought pens individually packed instead of a box of five and people told me that was unusual. Now to have five at a time (and for only $25) is pretty amazing to me. I use so little I end up throwing out the pens at 28 days with plenty of insulin.

I have the shipper put “signature required” on all medical packages so UPS doesn’t leave the package at my door, in the heat. The bad thing with this is that you have to have the stuff delivered to your workplace if that is where you are all day.

Hmmm…that’s another option I didn’t think of. The idiot I first spoke to kept saying "If no signature is required then yes, they can just drop it at the front door (which isn’t even MY apartment!). I didn’t think to request they send it signature required.

There is another good option for those who live in big enough areas to have a UPS Store or a FedEx Office Store.

With UPS there is a program called UPS My Choice. You have to enroll in the program to use it. Once I get a tracking number from whomever has shipped me a UPS package (such as Amazon or Edgepark Medical Supplies), I am able to reroute it to the UPS Store of my choice. That way I don't have to stay home all day to receive a package or worry that it will be left out in the extreme cold or heat. We get lots of extremes in Minnesota! With UPS there is a $5 charge to reroute it, but it is often worth it to me to avoid worrying about sensors freezing, etc.

Packages that are shipped by FedEx can be rerouted to a FedEx Office store for no charge. Once you have the tracking number, you can go online and reroute it.

Both of these options have worked very well for me. Obviously the boxes are not refrigerated at these stores, but they are kept in a secure room-temperature location until you pick them up.

I am able to buy my insulin at a local pharmacy, but I have sensors and test strips delivered to me by UPS. So it's nice to avoid the problems that others have mentioned.

I actually forgot about this thread, Aeon and have moved twice since! (I move way too much and have decided to stay put and just travel if I get restless). My insurance switched from Medco to Caremark and since CVS is the pharmacy in my teeny town and they now charge the same as for mailaway I now get all my meds right here and avoid the issues. Though living in a rural area, all the UPS guys know right where you are and they also come around the same time every day so it's a lot easier.

Sorry if you have delivery problems too, Aeon. I had a lack of communication with Animas staff recently too and I just asked to speak to a manager and she straightened it out promptly. Managers make more for a reason!

Sounds like a good option to know about, Lathump! Worth reviving a 3 year old post for!

this is why I dont use mail order to get insulin. I just get to the pharmacy for insulin. I just get anxious about not being home or if it will sit around for a while etc. It is not worth my anxiety.

I didn’t even notice that the post was 3 years old. This post is probably a relevant one to revive because lots of people continue to have problems with receiving their shipments of insulin and other diabetes stuff.

I always laugh at some of the posts that get revived. Occasionally we’ll see one where someone is scared about a stubborn high that they can’t bring down. Three years later, someone is telling them to be sure to go to the ER if things get worse. Well, they either fixed the high BG, went to the ER, or died. But there’s not much advice can do 3 years later!

Yep, it's always funny. But it sounds like there are some useful responses coming out of this one, so it's good it got revived.

Well I am just glad you didn't have to respond from the grave.
The text and data plans from the "other side " are very expensive.

I wonder what would happen if you went to the ER and told them " I had a very high sugar 3 years ago, I think it was 350mg/dl. I just got the chance to get in here.

You know what they say about the internet: What's put into cyberspace stays there. It will be interesting if diabetics in 2050 revive some of these posts - I'm sure they'll find them quaint. At least I hope so!

THEY WILL BE AGHAST at what we had to deal with.
Like when we read about boiling those giant glass syringes and sharpening needles and urine testing instead of blood testing.

Or before 1920, you just let your kid waste away to nothingness.


Perhaps a historian in 2050 will delve into the archives to get a sense of the diabetic zeitgeist circa 2012 and stumble upon us:)

I have used Medco 10+ years (Express Scripts now)...Request a signature on delivery ..then this problem will be eliminated.