Utah-based Essential Preparedness Products (EPP) offers an emergency storage case for people with diabetes, called Diabetic med-EcaseTM. The yellow cases, made of high-impact material, are waterproof, airtight, and can float. Buyers of the $69.99 product receive foam inserts for both type 1 and type 2 needs and can outfit the case accordingly.
"Good news," my diabetes nurse educator says to me. "Your new insurance covers continuous glucose monitoring supplies!" I give her a half-smile as my brain screams at me, "CGM? Really? Something else to deal with on top of this damn disease, an insulin pump, exercise, and nutrition?" But I comply, and a CGM is added to the rest of my paraphernalia.
Whenever I tell someone that I have type 1 diabetes, the first words that I typically hear are "I'm terrified of needles! I could NEVER give myself a shot!" But needles are the least of my fears when it comes to my disease. I have bigger fish to fry. Concerns about daily management, combined with fears of heart problems, blindness, and kidney failure, equal one very stressful disease.
Phil Southerland's autobiography is an inspirational coming-of-age memoir about a type 1 baby who wasn't supposed to live. But his doctor's dismal prediction didn't take into consideration his mother's indefatigable determination that her baby would thrive no matter what, and Phil's own fierce drive to conquer every single challenge he encountered, including his diabetes. It's an engrossing book, a sports adventure story with a medical subplot and a roster of dynamic characters, the most dynamic of whom is Phil himself. If we could harness his energy, our dependence on foreign oil would be a thing of the past.
It's not on the market yet, but a patch composed of tiny needles, each the width of a few human hairs, could eventually replace hypodermic needles for most drug injections. Preliminary experiments with people with diabetes have shown that the patch can deliver insulin successfully and with less pain than a hypodermic.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that about 18 million Americans have diabetes. Given that millions of people have lost their jobs during the current recession, the law of averages would suggest that at least a few hundred thousand folks with diabetes are now unemployed. Loss of a job, unfortunately, usually means a concurrent loss of health insurance. For those hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes, no health insurance means big trouble.
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