Diabetes Self-Management Blog

By the time this entry is posted, I should be in New York City. Weather permitting. (I don’t care if I get stuck in NYC once I arrive, but being unable to get there in the first place is unacceptable.)

Besides my wanderlust setting in big-time, I decided it was time I took my grandson, who’s never been to NYC, to see the sights — and a couple of Broadway shows. He wanted to see The Phantom of the Opera, which I’ve seen four or five times, but what the heck. Once more won’t hurt. (OK, so I like Phantom.)

This is a bit of a potpourri. I have a list of ideas for blog entries that won’t quite make an entry by themselves. However, they’re still kind of interesting. At least to me. A-n-d…here we go!

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My endocrinologist, who does not like to commit math if he doesn’t have to, wrote a prescription for my glucose test strips. He asked for 300 strips for 90 days for me to check my glucose twice a day. The insurance company, which apparently has no qualms about committing math, would only let me have 200 strips.

Now, my insurance company is unaware that I have a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), since that and the sensors are paid for out of pocket. It has to do with a ridiculously low cap on durable medical equipment (DME), so I just pay for the CGM stuff and leave the DME allowance for other things.

However, my insurance company does know that I take insulin and have an insulin pump.

What I want to know is, why isn’t my insurance company questioning why I only check my glucose twice a day? (For the record, my CGM checks my glucose 1,440 times a day.)

You see, if I were a normal person — and, trust me, nobody has ever accused me of being anywhere near “normal” — I’d just say: “I only have to check twice a day? Kewl!” Also, I know that my endocrinologist is competent, but I don’t know if insurance knows that. He could be totally unaware that I should be checking my glucose more often and, therefore, setting me up for expensive complications.

I did talk to a corporate communications person at the insurance company, asking if anybody cross-checked diabetes medicines and supplies to see if enough strips were being prescribed to match glucose-lowering medicines. The short answer? “No.” But it does issue the number of strips prescribed by the doctor.

“What if the doc doesn’t know what he is doing?” I asked. “I mean, I have a friend whose doctor told her she didn’t have to check her blood glucose, saying, ‘It’s not for everyone.’ Then she went low one day and drove to the doctor’s office to get checked.” (I told her the next time she felt wonky and decided to drive to the doc’s to get her glucose checked, to let me know so I could stay off the roads.)

While I’m aware that some docs don’t have a clue, I’m still not sure how I feel about an insurance company telling a doc how to write prescriptions. Too much “Big Brother?” What do you think?

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Speaking of traveling and of checking blood glucose, Sandy and I are going to try skipping out of town (again): This time it’s to Chicago while she attends a Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association (DESA) regional conference on March 13. (Yes, the two do go together, since exercise can reduce your blood glucose so you need to check it when you’re active.)

Heck, at no more than $35 if you preregister and $50 if you don’t, it’s inexpensive enough that I may attend, too. Maybe there will be a program about physical activity for those of us who are relatively immobile. If not, maybe I can suggest that that would be a good idea. After all, we need exercise, too. Maybe there are more than stationary bicycles, dancing in your chair, and a pool (if you can find one that’s accessible.)

You can find all kinds of information about the Chicago regional conference — plus find out where more are scheduled — here. (DESA’s home page is at www.diabetes-exercise.org/.)

If you go and you see a decidedly overweight, gray-haired woman on a blue mobility scooter, say “howdy.” It could be me.

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If you’ve hung out much on diabetes sites, you’ve probably run into CamelsRFun, whose real name is Ellen Ullman. She’s been an advocate for people with diabetes since her oldest child, now about to graduate from college and go off to law school, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was something like 18 months old.

Now she’s looking for your help with a survey she’s conducting prior to speaking on March 17 before the US Food and Drug Administration about “How Meters are Used at Home and How Consumers Choose Meters” in connection with her position as a research associate with Close Concerns (www.closeconcerns.com — one heckuva good place to surf). In addition, Ellen will be part of a panel about clinical accuracy requirements for home blood glucose meters. To see an outline of the two-day program, go here.

To take the survey, click here. Please get your survey in by March 7. For some reason, Ellen seems to believe she needs time to crunch the results.

It doesn’t matter what kind of diabetes you have. In fact, she tells me she’s a bit shy on answers from people with Type 2. Just get in there and do your part. I mean, how many chances do you have to tell the FDA what you think about home blood glucose meters?

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Blood Glucose Monitoring
Blood Glucose Monitoring: Minimize the Pain, Maximize the Gain (08/15/14)
Potential A1C Test Alternative; Glucose Meter Recall (01/21/14)
Why Do Test Strips Cost So Much? (Part 2) (09/25/13)
Why Do Test Strips Cost So Much? (09/24/13)

Exercise
Ski and Snowboard Camps for Kids With Diabetes (10/06/14)
BMX Camp for Kids With Type 1 Diabetes (07/31/14)
Exercise or Have Fun? (06/10/14)
"Exercise Snacks" Improve After-Meal Blood Sugar Control (05/16/14)

 

 

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