Pharmacists and type-1 diabetes

Do you have a pharmacist that you love? I did, once upon a time. And man, I sure do wish I did again because good relationships with your pharmacists when you have type-1 diabetes can be so powerful.

The type-1 diabetes community heavily encourages positive relationships with endocrinologists, nurses, and dietitians (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Yet, we often forget about the value of a good pharmacist.

Pharmacists are often the first connection to healthcare with diabetes. They are the managers of insulin and blood testing strips and other diabetes supplies.

Pharmacists distribute insulin and provide knowledge on up-to-date diabetes meds and supplies

The power of a strong pharmacist

I’ve had a few amazing pharmacists over the years who have gone above and beyond in serving my needs.

I love the pharmacists that smile and say hi before anything else.

I value the pharmacists that take the time to know my name and get to know me, beyond my drug care needs.

I appreciate the pharmacists that pride both quality and efficiency.

I treasure the pharmacists who are so informed and up to date on the latest research and who ask permission to share the same if they believe it might be of benefit.

One pharmacist lent me a book she thought would be beneficial to me specifically when she found out I was a runner with T1D.

Another pharmacist took the time to call me when she was leaving her position for another community. I was on maternity leave at the time and hadn’t seen this pharmacist in probably 6 months as I was utilizing another pharmacy closer to home. And yet, she still took the time to reach out.

Not going to lie, I felt pretty freaking special.

It’s these actions that make a difference.

It’s these actions that can boost diabetes management, but also general mental well-being.

If you want change, you need to make change

Unfortunately, it’s become more of a challenge to secure these relationships – especially in Covid times.

Currently, I submit all my orders by phone.

My husband is also usually the one to pick up my diabetes supplies as we now only have one vehicle and he generally pairs the pickup with other errands.

Essentially, I have completely lost that relationship.

I’ve switched pharmacies twice in the last 18 months and I’m now on the hunt for another one.

The reason for this is related to forgotten orders, missed orders, delays in getting diabetes supplies, inefficiencies when ordering or picking up supplies, and a seemingly complete lack of aiming to build a relationship and get to know me or my husband.

The relationship isn’t there.

The trust and confidence aren’t there.

But the frustrations and irritations are.

I know this is partially my doing (see the above), but still, I want that unicorn of a pharmacist again.

I need that unicorn of a pharmacist.

This means that I am going to have to make some changes in my own actions.

I need to put some effort in too if I want that relationship.

I will continue to put my orders in over the phone; for some supplies at least it’s necessary as I can’t get them in the pharmacy.

But, I think it might actually be time for me to take back the reins on picking the orders up.

If I want that relationship, they need to know my face.

If the above frustrations continue, even after I increase my effort, then I know for sure it’s not me.

I know that there are good pharmacists out there. And, by golly, I am determined to find them again. That is my goal.

What do you look for and value in a pharmacist?

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