Orange juice and understanding in the dead of night

 - 
06/01/2010

A common theme comes up when talking to providers about diabetes patients and the competitive bidding program: I hear frequently about how this population of patients is typically the neediest, in terms of care and instruction.

Let me be the first to say that I don't disagree with this line of thinking, but at the same time, diabetes self-care really isn't rocket science.

However.

I woke up around 2 this morning and, as I often do, decided maybe I should check my sugar. Amid much fumbling and stumbling, I discovered I was completely out of test strips. @#$!

That's right. Despite 10 years of experience, I ran out. Despite an on-file 3-month prescription at a pharmacy whose number I know better than my mom's, I ran out.

So, I went back to sleep only to awaken an hour later feeling like maybe I should chug some OJ, which I did.

Dangerous? Stupid? Yes, on both counts. I consider myself well informed and, unlike older generations, I don't always take the doc at his word if I don't agree with or understand something.

How providers manage to deal with the less, shall we say, proactive patients day in and day out for dwindling payments and increased paperwork is beyond me.

Theresa Flaherty