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Random Diabetes Related Update

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If you are looking for a non-diabetes related post – may I recommend this one (serious) or perhaps this one (funny – I hope). I really thought the first one would inspire more comments than it did – I guess we just aren’t as fired up about that as we used to be.

I recently finished reading Cheating Destiny by James Hirsch. It is part autobiography, part diabetes history, part social exposition, part call to action. I LOVED it. I actually recently participated in a chat with him that I found out about here. I actually finished the book the day before the chat so it was great timing. He seemed very nice and I highly recommend his book to anyone who wants to know more about diabetes. I guess you could buy it on Amazon – I did :).

It is well documented that I am a perfectionist. I have recently begun to apply that to my pump settings. I am adjusting my basals, insulin sensitivity factor, and carb ratio. Basically, it involves a lot of math, a little selective fasting, and a bunch of trial and error. I am aiming for less lows and an A1C under 6.

I have an endocrinologist appointment on May 14th so I will have updated numbers then – I go for labs the week before. I have really been exercising a ton more the past three months and I think I will have even lost a few pounds on their notoriously evil scale (note to self: don’t heavy knee-length black boots this time – no matter how cute they are).
I will also be speaking with her about my Dexcom trial. I actually did the trial after my last appointment, but it is such a busy practice she had no way of getting me in any earlier. I really liked wearing a CGMS, but at this point is it pretty cost prohibitive with no insurance coverage. Also, there are some user/customer service issues I would like to see resolved first. Bernard is also having Dexcom issues.

I really want to upgrade my pump. I have been pumping with the Paradigm 512 since I started in 2004. Unfortunately, at that time I did not even know that there were other companies available. Anyway, the MiniMed warranty is for 4 years so I am just about there. I have had no problems with it but I have a bad feeling I will the day it runs out. The 512 is part of the Paradigm Pathway program. This basically means that I can upgrade my pump for a reasonable fee – right now about $399. However, when the original warranty ends – the warranty on the ‘new’ (likely refurbished) pump ends as well. If something goes wrong then, I am pretty much high and dry. My current insurance has a DME cap of $2500 – a pump is about $6000. I can’t bridge that gap and a few weeks ago I met a coworker who had to switch back to shots because she could not afford a new pump when her old one failed. I cannot even imagine that. The only other option then is trying to appeal the cap or having a garage sale to try to raise the money. Any ideas from other upgraders?
I went to a diabetes related event the other night. I am purposefully leaving out the name because I do not want Google to link my blog to it in searches. It is a nation wide program designed for women (that should give you enough information). I had high expectations but I was also highly disappointed. I don’t think it was the organization. Their website is great and the services they advertise are too. This event was supposed to be about nutrition. They brought a lady in from county health department. I had never seen the initials she had after her name – but apparently she is a Certified Diabetes Education Specialist. The only problem was that she either did not know the answers to their questions or gave them bad information. Told us to increase our intake of vegetables and fruit (I am not saying cut out fruit – but increase it?!). Could not name any ‘free foods’ for us other than broccoli or lettuce. Hadn’t heard of any benefits of incorporating flax into your diet. I noticed she was following a booklet from the ADA – maybe that was the problem. 😦
Here is what concerns me most about the event. I live in an relatively urban environment. The percentages of non-White people – particularly those with higher risks for diabetes – are quite high in the area. In fact, I was one of a small handful of White people at this event. If this is the best information that is being offered to a community at a very high risk for diabetes and related complications, we are doing our friends and neighbors a huge disservice. It got me pretty fired up. It has even made me want to be a CDE myself. Wonder if that is even possible…
One update I am REALLY excited about is the fact that I might get to meet some Diabetes OC bloggers. I am going to a conference in the Minneapolis area in June. I am not sure how many are in that area, but if you are, stay tuned for updates from Scott. Woo hoo!
If you have finished this monster post – you deserve a reward… and so do I! Leave a comment so I know my hard work was not a waste!

2 responses

  1. Sara

    I agree with you about James book. Very readable, I just wished that it offered some actionable suggestions about how to improve the situation for diabetes care and treatment.

    And thank you also for the Dexcom pointer.

    Overall I like the Dexcom, I just wished they hadn’t cut so many corners with the software. Maybe I’ll just wait until the Freestyle Navigator comes out and switch to that. This time I’ll look at the software in advance much more closely.

  2. Dear Sara, I read your entry with interest recently. I totally agree with you on the point of lack of overall education for people with diabetes. That is the main problem with this area of healthcare.
    BTW, I’ve used a pump for the past 7 years—my first one being a Minimed 508. I hated that thing! I also hated trying to deal with that company. A year ago I started using a Deltec CoZmo pump which has a built-in BG monitor with it. It uses Freestyle test strips. I like it a lot better and am doing much, much better on my control. There is also a company which puts out a tube-less pump that is programmed with a remote. You can also test your BG with the remote and down-load your info on a PC. I think it is called the “MediPod” pump.


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