Letters to the Editor

Jun 1, 1993

Readers React!

I would be extremely interested to know on what information you based your statement "many people with diabetes are faced with the bleak prospect of trying to make sense of their diabetes with virtually no help from anybody, not even their doctors." I find that statement extremely far from the truth. I was diagnosed as a diabetic 25 years ago, and during those years I have been subjected to many health care professionals for various ailments, and if it hadn't been for their care and interest I would not have my sight or the capacity to walk.

On the other side of the fence, so to speak, I have worked as a counselor at summer camps for diabetics and am, myself, a health care professional whose occupation is to work with diabetics on their education. I have participated in support groups for diabetics, and all that care and education for diabetics is not limited to the area I live in, it's available throughout the country. It's very easy to find out about: notify people and ask about it.

I feel it was very unfair of you to generalize doctors as being disinterested and uncaring to their diabetic patients. Diabetics can easily find help to make sense of their diabetes, therefore if a diabetic feels isolated and uneducated about himself or his disease, it is by choice alone: there is no excuse. I suppose because of this I will be labeled another of your "angry diabetics that has accepted the disease on someone else's terms," as was Mr. Reed, but that's the way I feel.

Rosella Popnell
Winifred, MT

Please Read On

I have been a type I diabetic for 37 years, and have often had to "make sense of diabetes with no help from anyone, including doctors." My latest doctor prescribes "Procardia XL," a calcium channel blocker, for my borderline high blood pressure. It brought on three insulin reactions in two weeks, at unusual times-in other words, potentially deadly. When I called to tell him, he suggested that I continue for a week until I saw him.

I reviewed my Diabetes Management magazines, and sure enough, I found that older and long-term type I's should avoid this prescription! To put this in perspective, the most helpful doctor I've ever had was an ophthamologist who was also a type I diabetic.

The only "medical" improvement for type I diabetes in my life has been computerized home glucose meters. Yes, I think it is beneficial for diabetics to hear from other diabetics.

Gladys Thum
St. Louis, MO

What To Do About Neuropathy

I am a forty year old woman with Type I diabetes. I am considered a "brittle" diabetic, and have many complications. I have been disabled from work for three years now due to neuropathy in my upper left arm, neck, chest, both feet and stomach I have researched and haven't found much information-nobody seems to know much about this complication. I control my blood sugars very closely, with three shots a day and four blood tests. Is there any information out there that is specific to neuropathy?

Cindy Wilson
Clinton, MA

Please Read On

I am a recent subscriber and I find DI very interesting. I suffer severe, painful, debilitating peripheral neuropathy, will you have articles relating to this problem? Specifically cures, pain relief, etc.

Frank J. De Lisi
Parma, OH

Help for Neuropathy

I think your magazine is a wonderful publication. It is well written and serves to keep members of the diabetic community informed and aware of new products/developments. I have just discovered a product that helps diabetics suffering from painful diabetic neuropathy. The product is called "Zostrix," and is produced by the Genderm Corporation. Although it is expensive, I am amazed at how well it works. I was having difficulty walking because of the pain in the bottoms of my feet. After using the Zostrix ointment, I was able to regain mobility. Apparently the chemical in Zostrix has the effect of blocking pain impulses to the brain, and has no side effects. I would like every diabetic to know that this product exists! Could your magazine say something to spread this great news to the diabetic community?

Martin Goodman
Henderson, NV

[Editor: We are planning to do an article on neuropathy in the near future. In the meantime, has anyone else heard of this product or others that help people who suffer from painful neuropathy? If so, please call or write us with more information.]

Prices Too High

I reuse my needles about 14 times a week because they cost too much. So do insulin and chemstrips: how can they justify the cost of their products? Isn't anyone checking? The same goes for the druggist: I found that sometimes there is a difference in price of up to $9 for the exact same brand of insulin, and yet they have the audacity to call themselves discount drugstores. I wish these people would have a little more compassion for us unfortunates who have to inject and control every day, for the rest of our lives....

Just a few words you can print or send to our politicians who oppose needed health reforms.

Jean Guinchard
Cupertino, CA

Taking Control

I recently received a complimentary copy of DIABETES HEALTH which contained a most interesting article, "Taking Control" by Dr. Barry H. Ginsberg. It is the most understandable information I have read. Will the entire article appear in a booklet?

Thanks for a wonderful diabetic tool, your paper is great.

Arline Hertz
Tallahassee, FL

[Editor: In answer to your question: yes, there are plans to compile Dr. Ginsberg's articles into a booklet, to be released by Becton-Dickinson.]

Thank you so much for the sample-it is the most informative source of up-to-date happenings with diabetes we have seen in some time!

I will soon be 51 years old, and have been insulin dependent for 47 years. It's a true fact that if you take care of yourself and have plenty of loving attention in many ways-you can survive!

Glenn Collins
Jacksonville, NC

Keep these papers coming. It is the best information I've found yet on diabetes. Better than the three magazines I'm getting, and all the books in the library. My husband is also diabetic. Thanks for sending me a sample issue.

E. Razinha
Floral City, FL

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