To a casual observer, Dr. Nat Strand might look like an over-achiever. After all, she and her partner won Season 17 of her favorite television show, "The Amazing Race." Winning the race opened her world up to the diabetes community, which, interestingly enough, inspired her to take better care of herself. Her mission now is to encourage everyone with diabetes to connect with the diabetes community and benefit from knowing others who understand the daily challenges of managing type 1 diabetes. When I caught up with Dr. Strand, we began by talking about what drove her to enter the Amazing Race.
As CEO of a company that manufactures insulin syringes and pen needles for the US and Canadian markets, I have been closely monitoring the regulations and trends pertaining to the safe disposal of the products we produce. Surveys indicate that less than five percent of the over three billion sharps devices sold in the US annually are disposed of in some type of closed container. Most of the remaining 95 percent are deposited, unprotected, in the household trash. Significant changes may be pending with regard to the disposal of used sharps devices, and it's likely that pharmacists will be affected by these changes.
It's spring break again, when thousands of people head to the beach. A lot of wonderful things come with being out and about on spring break, but if you have diabetes, there are also several things you should consider. There's going to be more traffic, fewer parking places, lots of people, an abundance of uncalculated carbohydrate sources, and longer waits for everything, to name just a few.
The first time I worried about traveling with diabetes was after the 9/11 tragedy. I had been offered a trip to New York to attend a writer's conference. I jumped at the chance, looking forward to the conference, sightseeing, shopping, and seeing the musical The Producers on Broadway.
There's nothing quite like wondering how you're going to pay for prescriptions. I find it odd that we usually don't know what our out-of-pocket cost will be until we're standing in front of the pharmacy staff and praying that we have enough in our wallet to cover it. I often feel like a reality show contestant waiting for the grand total. My pharmacy-based reality show would probably be called "The Biggest Payer," or perhaps "The Amazing Guess," or, aptly, "Survivor." If you've ever walked away from the pharmacy counter embarrassed, panicked, or depressed, you know the feeling I'm referring to. It's a pain no prescription can cure.
My son just turned twenty. For the first time, we didn't have a cake, ice cream, friends, balloons, or presents. He spent the day in jail. With vivid memories of his heroin-addicted evening in the ICU several months ago, we had nursed high hopes that his life would be on the mend. But healing takes time, and life doesn't always deliver the happy ending we long for.
When you live with diabetes, there's a lot to do. Checking blood sugars. Counting carbs. Exercising. Not to mention all those fun-filled doctors' appointments. So the last time your physician or diabetes educator suggested ketone testing, it's completely understandable that your head was nodding but your mind was thinking "No way, Jack." But before abandoning the idea completely, there are a few things you should know.
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