Open heart surgery update

My dad’s open heart surgery went well. He is in a lot of pain but he is alive and talking. They did end up doing 6 bypasses. The surgeon said he is a 53 year old man with the heart of an 83 year old. He is a matter of fact man, which I appreciate but he is a little out of touch. He asked us why my dad hadn’t been taking his insulin considering Lantus in relatively inexpensive. Ha! His nurse stepped in to inform him that Lantus is very expensive. He looked shocked.

I am worried about how we will be able to afford this. The surgeon wants him off of work for 6 months because he is a construction worker and he wants him to heal. On the other hand, the bypass surgery only requires 12 weeks off so he told us he would not qualify for disability which requires him to be unable to work for 20 weeks. He doesn’t have insurance or short term disability through his work. I have no idea what to do. He has coronary artery disease, diabetes and needs a double knee replacement.

It makes no sense to me that someone who has worked so hard his whole life…and destroyed his body in the process…can get no assistance at all.

This system is broken.


Good deal on his surgery. Perhaps the Doc was thinking of NPH (which is $30 over the counter at Walmart).
Does your state have any emergency medical assistance programs? Perhaps, if you go down to the courthouse, they might have a patient advocate that can help. If not, if he has to work, is it possible they might put him on light duty, like the guy who holds the stop signs or something?
And, yes, keep your expectations low. The system is pretty broken. Maybe we can trouble shoot some workarounds for you.

Have someone else verify this, but these might be your cheapest insulins.


Try the Sanofi patient assistance program. It helped me when I needed it and it is relatively easy to qualify.

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Thanks guys. We are working on getting some kind of assistance. I printed the Sanofi application and will work on that today.

His doc says that he is no longer producing insulin at all. He is on a 10 unit per hour Humalog drip and sliding scale for meal doses. Prior to surgery, he was only using Lantus.

He is moving around more with help but has developed a fever. They started him on antibiotics yesterday to make sure he doesn’t get pneumonia.

Coincidentally, he builds the medical facilities associated with the hospital he is in. He is a carpenter so I am not sure they have an equivalent to the sign holder. Hopefully we can work something out. Thanks for the suggestions.

His hands are so calloused from manual labor that they are only able to get blood from one side of his left ring finger. After going through 6 lancets the first finger stick…I thought they were going to bring out a butcher knife.

If he is covered for a Dexcom, it may require less manual testing. He may be covered since he is now insulin dependent. Perhaps he can call his union rep and ask about his options. They will have dealt with this before. Fingers crossed on your application paperwork. Good job getting a prompt start on that! That can only help.

I would love for him to have Dexcom but he doesn’t work for the union and his company does not offer insurance. We are working every angle to get his medicine. Thank you.

Gosh darn it. I feel your pain. I’m helping someone file for disability now. I’m gonna need a lawyer. It is difficult.