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

Snapshots from Indy

I’ve been meaning to chronicle some of my recent travels. Today, I’m getting around to talking about my trip to Indianapolis at the end of October.

I may have been going to Indy for a Public Relations conference, but somehow the trip was significantly colored by diabetes… and not really in a bad way. I went for the PRSA International Conference as well as some of the pre-conference PRSA business.

After dinner with other PRSA chapter leaders on the first night, a lady came up to me and said, “I think you need a green one.”

I turned around to see her holding up an OmniPod PDM with a green skin. She had seen my PDM sitting on my bag and came over to say hi. Not only was the skin on hers green (my favorite color) but it also glowed in the dark, how cool is that?

As it turns out, my fellow podder and I were both diagnosed with diabetes as adults… about 5 years ago. We swapped stories and talked about not just diabetes, but just about everything else. Continue reading

Diabetes Awareness Month: 8,200 Pricks

I’m wearing blue today, as I do many Fridays during the year. People must really think that I like the color blue. While I do like blue, the color means a bit more to me.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month… it’s a global awareness month. November isn’t really a month for people with diabetes, because we’re well aware of the realities of this disease each and every day.

November is for you, dear friend without diabetes. It’s a month specially set aside for you to be aware of diabetes. To learn about the realities people like me face every day. To learn the truths about the different types of diabetes. To change your mind, your language and your attitude about the word “diabetes.”

The two most prominent diabetes organizations are working hard this month to help spread awareness and enable advocates.

T1D Looks Like Me Continue reading

Tech-ed Out

So my diabetes gadgets were Out of Warranty and I had planned to keep it that way as I wait for better technology. Hope draws closer as people are actually being enrolled in the first tubeless artificial pancreas trials (wish one of the clinics were here in Cleveland!). But I’m halfway back under a warranty.

My Dexcom gave the dreaded, “transmitter battery low, reorder soon” message. So I called my medical supply company. After a slightly frustrating conversation where I had to repeat myself four times and spell the word “low” the lady said she’d get the paperwork in for me to get a new Dexcom G4 system. “Since I’m getting a whole new system, let’s put in paperwork for the Dexcom G5 please.” (Because who wants new-old technology?)

She put in the order and I anticipated full transmitter battery death was imminent and prepared to fly blind for a week or so without my CGM. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

I got the call that I expected from the medical supply company. Continue reading