Letters to the Editor
Dear Scott King-From Ann Landers - Many thanks for your letter and the excerpts from emails sent by your readers in response to my column on diabetes.
I received quite a bit of mail on that subject and am planning to do a follow-up column on Friday, February 12. I will be printing an edited version of your letter, along with your name and title, since your comments were so thorough and concise. While the number of letters I received was more than enough to constitute a column, I hope to use at least one of the excerpts you sent as well.
I appreciate your taking the time and trouble to write. It is readers such as you and those who subscribe to DIABETES HEALTH who keep me informed. Many thanks again, and my best wishes.
Readers Thank Scott King for Telling Their Stories to Ann Landers
Bravo. Your letter is superb.
Janis Roszler, RD, CDE
Thank you for voicing our concerns. What a great letter.
Way to go, Scott. Your reply was eloquent and zoomed straight to the point. My friends are all comfortable with my doing tests and injecting at the table (with a pen). Your friends will understand, and those who talk about you at the next table need to live with diabetes for just three days. Keep up the good work, and words.
IDDM for 36 years and now pumping
Bravo to your message to Ann Landers. Three cheers. I have enough problems with my diabetes and trying to keep it in control. I don't need someone telling me to go to the bathroom to do "the deed."
From Miss America
Thank you for the great article in DIABETES HEALTH. If I can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Miss America 1999
No Way to Start the New Year
I started out the new year, 1999, in a way I never thought I would. I am a 43-year-old male with type 1 diabetes for 25 years. I have never experienced severe hypoglycemia the way I did the morning of January 1, 1999.
My wife and I had been to a New Year's Eve party as we have for the past seven years. I had taken one extra unit of Humulin N to cover some of the extra party foods. I had two or three mixed drinks throughout the entire night and had been snacking all evening. After hooting and hollering in the new year, we headed home, where I had my usual small cup of skin milk prior to bed at 1 a.m.
Next thing I knew, my wife was in my face waking me up. I had paramedics on both sides and a fireman to my front. I had no idea what was going on and kept asking if this was a dream.
When they got my blood sugar, it was 10. They got me into an ambulance and administered an IV of Dextrose. Once in the emergency room, they took my temperature. It was 93 degrees-dead. The nurse thought the ear thermoscan meter was broken so she got an oral thermometer. It too read 93.
After monitoring me for a while, they checked my blood sugar again. This time it was 106. The Dextrose had kicked in. After some more checking, I was able to be released to head home.
I can now relate to others who have gone through this experience and encourage them to be more careful with this disease. I do have people to be thankful for: my wife, the 911 dispatchers, fire department and Southwest Ambulance Paramedics of Gilbert, Arizona, and my neighbors and friends.
Wilbur A. Post
Type 2s Deserve Coverage
I am motivated to write by the letter from Katherine Smith in the November issue; she wants you to reduce coverage of type 2 in favor of type 1.
I dropped out of the ADA after finding that most of their printed material dealt with type 1. I appreciate the need for that coverage, but I am not in the "target marketing group" for such material. I was very pleased to find your publication, where there is enough coverage of type 2 to suit my needs.
Perhaps you should remind Katherine Smith that type 1 diabetics may have the more serious form of the disease but they only represent about 10 percent of people with diabetes. From that perspective of proportional representation you have too much coverage of type 1 concerns.
Keep up the good work.
Editor's note: We will continue with our goal to please everyone with titillating stories to help both groups. Our message to Ann Landers is an example of how we advocate for both groups. We will always work to fulfill our mission statement, to provide current and accurate information on diabetes and its care. Our goal is for all people with diabetes to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Information Keeps Me In Control
DIABETES HEALTH is the most informative and clear-sighted resource I have found since being diagnosed with type 1 this past September. DIABETES HEALTH keeps me abreast of resourceful ideas and helpful tips to better confront my diabetes. For these reasons, DIABETES HEALTH has helped me become one of my very own health care specialists. Being informed makes this disease controllable instead of it being in control of me.
Advice For Pump Tape Problems
The author of January's "Up and Pumping" column talks about having trouble with his insulin pump tape. I have found that cloth tape works. I put cloth tape under the needle, then a little piece of cloth tape over the needle, then, finally, two bigger strips cris-crossed. I never have any problems using cloth tape.
Independence for Visually Impaired with Diabetes
I was surprised to read in the December 1998 issue that Scott King was filling his mother-in-law's insulin syringes and assisting her with blood sugar testing because she is legally blind and has had a stroke. You are usually a strong advocate for empowering all people with diabetes. Perhaps you are not aware of the fact that numerous tools and techniques exist that make it possible for visually impaired and blind people to perform all routine diabetes self-care tasks independently, even when a person has limited manual dexterity from a stroke.
These references contain excellent overviews of independent diabetes self-care for people with low vision or blindness:
- "Diabetes and Visual Impairment," M. Cleary, ed. (Chicago: AADE, 1994).
- "Serving Individuals with Diabetes Who are Blind or Visually Impaired," A. Cobb, ed. (Mississippi State: Mississippi State University, 1997).
- "Teaching Nonvisual Diabetes Self-Care," by A. S. Williams, in Diabetes Spectrum 10 (1997): 128-34.
Since 1989, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) has had a Visually Impaired Persons Specialty Practice Group (VIP-SPG), composed of diabetes educators who take a special interest in helping people who have both diabetes and visual impairment to meet their particular diabetes care needs. Although the number of members is not large, we are enthusiastic about our work. Anyone can find out if a member of the VIP-SPG lives nearby by calling the AADE referral number at (800) 832-6874. If no VIP-SPG member is close enough to work directly with someone who needs it, many of us can help over the phone or the Internet. In this situation I find it especially helpful if the visually impaired person works with a local diabetes educator, whom I can give information about a range of potential choices for adaptive tools and techniques.
Ann S. Williams, RN, MSN, CDE
Former Chair, AADE's VIP-SPG
C-Peptide Test Needed to Verify ProBeta's Claim
This letter concerns the article on ProBeta that appeared in your January issue. I find it astonishing that the researchers did not do a C-peptide test on the type 1 subjects to validate the increase in insulin-producing beta cells. This fairly common test measures the amount of insulin people are making on their own, even if they are taking insulin injections. The fact that this test was not done, or at least not reported, makes one suspect the research.
Mary Lou Gillard, MS, RN, CDE
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Editor's note: The research did measure C-peptide values. PharmaTerra, ProBeta's maker, responds:
Our scientists tested the C-peptide levels in the type 1 subjects. Those taking insulin alone had no change at all in their C-peptide levels. Those taking insulin plus ProBeta increased their C-peptide levels to nearly one-half of normal values.
Rolland Hebert, ND