Friday, February 19, 2010

What's she worth?

Dear Cigna--

(Sidenote: I did a little clarification post about this. Click to read.)

You have been our insurance provider for 3 years now and I'm very grateful. It certainly is a blessing. It would cost us, out of pocket, just about $1,000 a month for Sydney's supplies. That's the amount in dollars we would be forced to come up with, per month, to keep her alive were it not for you.

However, I am upset because I am tired of fighting the same battles with you over, and over, and over, and over. You look at statistics. And numbers. I realize to you, my baby girl is nothing more than a number on your computer; but, to me, she's my world. How do you know what her supply needs are? How are you qualified, beyond your generic stats on a computer screen, to tell me what she should be using---or shouldn't be.

Look below...these are the supplies that keep Syd alive for 1 month. You are in the business of making money and I believe with my whole heart that is more important than Syd's overall health. You want to save a penny. How can you tell me she should only be testing 5-6 times per day instead of 10-12? How do you know if that is enough for HER? Do you live with a 6 year old child who has T1? Probably not, you look at your numbers and put faith in them as though they were a Bible.

~Syd's supplies. Which ones do you think aren't important? Which ones should we cut out? Do you really want to have this conversation with me? I think not.

~See, Cigna, the problem is, I can be doing everything right and still get numbers like this...

and this...

We aren't doing anything wrong to sometimes get these results. This is a mentally exhausting disease. I've lost count of the number of times we have spent nights like the one below. Testing and retesting. Trying to bring her sugars up to a safe level. Or, testing and resting hoping her highs are coming down so she doesn't fall into DKA and wind up in the hospital with an IV. Or in a coma. Or dead. You don't have the personal experiences or know-how to tell me what she needs and what she doesn't. She is more than a client #. She has a life and we are doing the best we can to let her live it and enjoy it to the fullest.

Cigna, I'm tired of the same old fights. Come spend a week in my shoes. Come take care of my little girl's Type 1 diabetes. After you live my life and walk in our shoes, then you can have an opinion about her needs. For now, try not to see everyone as a number. A label. A person that, if you deny their needs, can save you a penny or two.

I realize to you, she might not be worth much. But to me, she's worth the world.


Mother to Sydney Danielle,

--6 year old T1 Diabetic for 724 days.
--With over 7,240 finger pokes accounted for.
--And more shots than most people receive in a lifetime.
--And she is just under 2 years of having this disease.

--Sydney loves to sing.
--And dance.
--She can color wonderfully.
--She is an AR reader at school.
--She loves reading.
--She doesn't like math.
--or eggs.
--or milk.
--She wants to be a musketeer when she grows up.
--And a soldier.
--And a singer.
--And a mother.
--She has a generous heart and a kind soul.
--She loves Jesus.
--and her family.

Cigna, see the people--not the number.


Teresa Whitehead said...

I hope you really send this to them, Shamae!

WolfleyFamily said...

Very nicel said! You are sending this to them, right?

Josh & Jamie Beutler said...

Shamae, I totally understand where you're coming from. I fight my insurance monthly for my testing supplies and for my son's therapy needs-having 6 neurosurgies before the age of 1 leaves its mark. I say go get 'em tiger! Don't let them walk over you. If you need any help, there's a few organizations that help you get your voice heard.!!!! Best of luck!!

Heidi / Jack's Pack said...

Wow, what a passionate, well-written letter! Please tell me that you're sending this to Cigna! They need to read this!

Jennie said...

Well said.

Becky said...

I love the way you put things in words. I certainly hope you sent it!! You are awesome!

Amy said...

Very well said....I hope you do send this!!!

That Syd....she's worth EVERYTHING!

Wendy said...


That was SO eloquent, my dear. I love this post. Very heartfelt...and very real.

Love you, Girl. Together, we'll conquer the world.

I promise.

Jenni said...

beautifully written! I hope they can someday see what a life is truely worth....instead of just $$$ in their eyes. Sad Sad world we live in. Syd is so lucky to have a mommy like you!!!

Meri said...

Amen my friend. Amen.

Mel said...

Love it! You really do have a way with words!! I love reading your blog and the great fight you put forth educating the world.

Lora said...

great letter!!

phonelady said...

Yeah I agree with everyone else cigna needs to see this letter . Yeah when I was lucky enough to get a job here blue cross / blue shield told me I should only test 3-4 times a day.

Joanne said...

Beautiful... just beautiful. Had me in tears. I hope you do send it.

tulipdjc said...

Fabulous!! I hope you send this!

Tracy said...

Awesome letter! You should definitely send it to them, pictures included!

Darling16 said...

Very strong and powerful letter that I hope is now in the mail!

Penny said...

Amen to this! So very true.

Priscilla said...

You have to fight with the insurance company monthly? Wow! They should definitely come spend a day in your shoes. Or anyone's shoes for that matter. I hope you send that letter and not just use it as a way to vent!

Anonymous said...

Very well written, very well done! I'm proud of you and Loren and how you take care of Syd.

I love you!

The Lane Family said...

This is great letter Shame about a wonderful and amazing little girl. I think you should send it to them because I think every now and then insurance companies need to be reminded that these are real people.

I love all of the things that Miss Sydney wants to be what a great list!!

Rachel said...

Love this post!!!! I have the same issues with my insurance. They think that they know better than me. They think that Tristan should be fine if we only check 4-5 times per day. Even if a doctor's letter, they are still fighting!

It frustrates me to no end when money is more important than a person's well being. Keep up the good fight! :)

Casey said...

as a PWD, it warms my heart to see in words how much you love Syd. I know my parents feel the same way.

It angers me that this letter has to be written. But you did a fantastic job. I hope you send it.

We have all felt this way. I feel this way about myself everytime I have to fight with insurance.

Thank you for sharing.

Wendy said...

See her sweet face.. I wish all of the insurance companies good and bad could take a closer look at all of these sweet kids that have to face this everyday. Things would change if they had a personal experience with it.. I know it would. Love you a whole lot and i cant wait to see your face on Friday!!