Healthcare in an Ideal World that For Some Reason Hasn’t Cured Diabetes

In an ideal world, diabetes wouldn’t exist. Neither would cancer or the myriad of other medical issues. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need healthcare.

But in an ideal healthcare situation in a world that must include diabetes, here’s what I want:

Doctors who discuss care with their patients. I never again want to see a prescription for Humalog (when I take Apidra) sent to my retail pharmacy (when I use mail order) with an unfamiliar doctor’s name on it. Continue reading

A Side Effect of Diabetes

There are a lot of side effects of diabetes that no one ever seems to talk about… Today, I’d like to discuss one of them.

Diabetes is a 24/7 health condition that never lets up and requires a lot of attention. My type 1 diabetes is like a needy monster that needs checked, fed, exercised, watered and medicated. Aside from those things and exponentially more doctors and medical appointments than a regular, healthy-pancreas person (known as “normal” for the rest of this post) has, it requires one more thing. Countless hours of my life spent on the phone.

Do you know what normal people do on their lunch breaks?

They eat lunch.

Sometimes they go for a walk, exercise, run errands and maybe make a quick personal call.

Do you know what I do on my lunch break?

I make phone calls (and attempt to eat my lunch during hold times or quietly while the person on the other side pulls up my information).

Who am I calling you ask? Continue reading

Type 1 Diabetes: Not Just for Kids

My insurance company called me about a program they have for people with type 1 diabeters  diabetes  diseases. The conversation went something like this:

Ins. lady: “Ms. Kerstetter, if your daughter were enrolled in this program you would automatically get your supplies from…”

Me: “It wouldn’t be my daughter, it would be me. I don’t have a daughter. I don’t have any children. I’m the one with type 1 diabetes.”

Ins. lady: “Oh… *pause* I’m sorry.”

I know that when the general public sees the words “type 1 diabetes” or “juvenile diabetes” (as I’m reasonably certain my insurance forms had to say) they think of children, probably even this photo:

Here’s where I got it, but I’ve seen it all over the internet

The unfortunate fact is that sweet, innocent faces raise more money for research. I’m reasonably fond of my face, but it’s not going on a poster web banner ad to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes anytime soon. The thing is, that kids with type 1 grow up to be adults with type 1. And there are kids who don’t have type 1 who grow up to become adults with type 1. I should know… I’m one of them. Continue reading

When Your Life Literally Depends on Wal-Mart

In college, the only real store in town was the Wal-Mart Super Center. It was the only place for college gal on a budget to get groceries, towels and cleaning supplies (her roommates weren’t terribly tidy!). The Wal-Mart was pretty nice.

Where I live now…. I avoid Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart nearest my home draws the crowd of people who missed out of manners day in kindergarten, don’t frequent the deodorant aisle at Wally World and have serious personal space and pick-up-the-pace issues.

Unfortunately, about once a year, I need Wal-Mart to survive. That inevitable time of the year when my insurance can’t figure out which end is up and that I paid a crap load of money to reach my deductible and I find myself utterly out of test strips. That time of the year hit this weekend.

You see, my brand name test strips that go with my OmniPod PDM cost about $1.54 per little tiny strip… which means the a box of 50 strips that might hold me until this gets figured out (I test 9+ times a day friends) costs more than $75.

The name brand strips for bright pink meter the hospital gave me at diagnosis cost about $1.37 per strip, which isn’t exactly acceptable to pay out of pocket for either…when you know the insurance is supposed to be covering them at 100% now that I’ve emptied my HSA into my bum pancreas.

This is where Wal-Mart comes in.  Continue reading

It’s been awhile

It’s been awhile…

  1. since I stuck a piece of wire into my body with a large needle… and it hurt.
  2. since a device buzzing on my night stand woke me up.
  3. since I’ve needed to carry a receiver around with me.
  4. since I’ve had access to my blood sugar trends.
  5. since my old Dexcom stopped working… I can’t find where I put it.
  6. since I pressed the button on my G4 to turn on my screen. It takes a couple seconds huh?

If you can’t tell, I’m officially back to continuous glucose monitoring. I received a box full of Dexcom goodies yesterday and got everything up and running after work yesterday. I haven’t been back to it long enough to give an official report on my thoughts, but for now, I’m just happy to see my trends… and in color! (What a bonus!).

I’d like to think that blogging about not having a Dexcom helped… but at the end of the day, the cold, hard numbers and a fantastic letter from my endocrinologist probably pushed it over.