Dreaming in diabetes

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11/02/2010

I once read that you knew you had mastered a foreign language when you dreamed in it.

I had a dream the other night that I was trying to check my blood sugar and the test strip kept failing. I had to keep popping a new blue strip into the meter and they just didn't want to work. I don't know if the strips were defective or I was. Even in the dream it was a stressful and frustrating experience.

In real life, it is also an expensive experience. Each one of those strips costs about 76 cents. Wasting them, to put it mildly, sucks.

Luckily, I am not a Medicare beneficiary. Medicare wants to limit testing to an absolute max of 6 times per day (and that's with extra hoops to jump through). Even without screw-ups, I test 8 to 10 times a day, more if necessary.

Of course, I don't think Medicare should spend excess amounts of money on things like bad testing but hey, bad strips, bad techniques happen. I also realize that the typical bennie probably only tests once or twice per day.

But, from my point of view, and that of many of the industry folks I've talked to, the proposed policy is dangerously inflexible. Trying to limit folks based on certain categories without taking into consideration all the variables inherent in a day with diabetes (food, time of day, stress, exercise, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, illness, sunny skies, high tides and phases of the moon to name a few) is just another shortsighted attempt to save money that in the long term will cost more money. Cause if you can't test, you have to guess. And it's so easy to guess wrong.

That's one nightmare I hope never to have.

Theresa Flaherty

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Comments

overutilization may be justified and covered but you have to have good notes from your doctor as to why and very good logs have to be kept - still with medicare their is no sure thing!