The High Cost of Care

Welcome to Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week.

Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?

As I thought about this post, I felt the urge to start with a disclaimer or an apology. But I’ll start with thankfulness. I may complain about having been forced into an insulin that doesn’t work as well for me or having to wait on hold to get a real person to talk to about my supplies, my medicine or my next appointment. But at the end of the day, I’m very lucky when it comes to diabetes costs.

And I don’t use “lucky” in a flippant manner. I generally refuse to refer to myself as being lucky, blessed (or in some other way gifted what I need) to be where I am in my life when it comes to career, home and relationship. I work hard and make choices to get to where I am. But when it comes to the access to what I need to not only stay alive but be healthy, I’m really lucky. I have insurance, I have an HSA, I have the means to pay my high deductible and I have the best medical care in the world right in my back yard. That, my friends, feels a lot like luck.

High Monetary Cost Continue reading

Diabetes is the definition of insanity

It’s officially Diabetes Blog Week! I’m looking forward to contributing to the conversation as many days this week as possible. Today’s prompt is:

Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens?  Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The whole concept of doing to the same thing over and getting different results sounds more than a little like life with type 1 diabetes. I can do the exact same things each day, at the exact same time and eat exactly the same foods, taking exactly the same amount of insulin and my numbers will never be the same.

Type 1 diabetes = insanity. I do the same thing over and over and have to expect a different result otherwise I will literally go insane. This disease is maddening, especially if you’re like me and have a healthy appreciation for order. These past five years I’ve learned some tough lessons in flexibility, discipline and taking deep breaths.

I’d like to hit both points in the prompt and give you the best return on your time for reading my first DBlog Week post. Continue reading

Tips and Tricks

Today’s the 5th and final day of Diabetes Blog Week, some may continue posting over the weekend for the wildcard topics, but I think I’ll wrap it up today. To be honest, with how infrequently I’ve been blogging lately, I’m surprised I’ve made it this whole week. Kudos to Karen for selecting topics that I could write about! Today’s topic is tips and tricks.

Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organize supplies to how you manage gear on the go/vacation (beach, or skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes practices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other. (Remember though, please no medical advice or dangerous suggestions.)

I love it when people share really helpful, actionable tips for dealing with diabetes in real life. Two years ago, we “hacked” diabetes and I shared a list of things that I do to make living with diabetes easier.

Medical  Management Tips Continue reading

Creating a Better Healthcare Experience

Today’s Diabetes Blog Week prompt is all about the healthcare experience. Here it is:

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

I have to acknowledge that I’m in an excellent place when it comes to healthcare. I truly have access to world class medical care living in Cleveland. Overall I have a good team and I can’t relate to all of the horror stories that I hear from others, but my care is not perfect.

There are always areas to improve. In U.S. healthcare, the first area to improve is insurance. Somehow in our twisted system, the insurance companies started determining care, not doctors. Pharmacies will literally fill prescriptions differently than written if the insurance company pushes back. Even doctors will bow to the demands of insurance. Continue reading

The language of diabetes

Today’s Diabetes Blog Week Prompt is all about language and diabetes. Here’s the prompt:

There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’m willing to bet we’ve all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

I love that it’s a prompt about words that needs to ask people to be respectful. Words get folks all riled up sometimes. I work in PR/marketing communications, let me tell you, we have debates about single commas in come of the things that we develop, so of course word choice is important. I’m one of the folks that the above prompt refers to when saying, “May advocate  for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes.”

I wrote a post about it for Diabetes Mine today, so please head on over there and read it when you’re done here… Continue reading