Letters to the Editor

November 1999

Nov 1, 1999

Keeping My Doctor Informed

I really enjoy DIABETES HEALTH. I am always telling my internist about the new research and new products. I pass my copies along to my doctor, also a friend.

Keep up the good work. Stay on the cutting edge of diabetes information.

Mollie Fisher
Mineola, Texas


Devoted To You

I have been practicing endocrinology for 38 years. I find DIABETES HEALTH to be up to date, with practical data written in patient language. It is obvious that the editors feel devotion to the subject matter.

Mark M. Singer, MD, FACP
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey


Family Fights for Preferred Meter

I read with interest the letter from Steve Bieringer from Denver ["My HMO Made a Deal, So I Offered Them a Deal"]. Kids with diabetes have so much to deal with every day. How dare insurance companies give them one more thing to worry about.

The same insurance company, Cigna, refused to cover my purchase of a One Touch for my daughter, Devin, 8 years old at the time. She has been using a One Touch since her diagnosis at the age of 17 months. She is comfortable with this monitor and her endocrinologist recommends it.

I felt that the meter Cigna wanted to send us was not as user friendly or as clinically accurate. I filed an appeal and Cigna still decided not to cover the One Touch. Then, I contacted the insurance commissioner for Virginia via letter and copied Cigna on this correspondence. Wouldn't you know that after I took this matter to the next level, Cigna called me and said they had decided to reverse their appeal and would cover Devin's monitor. A little perseverance really paid off.

I had a similar experience selecting an endocrinologist several years ago, with a different insurance company. After many phone calls to the company, state legislators, the state insurance commissioner and doctors, we finally were able to see our endocrinologist of choice.

Never back down and keep on nagging until you get what you want. HMOs are counting on us to give up and to give in.

Crystal Jackson
Leesburg, Virginia


From the Front Lines

We, the Akron [Michigan] Diabetic Support Group, had a great Labor Day festival. It was a huge success. We reached many people and added new members to our group.

Thanks so much for the many copies of the September DIABETES HEALTH. They were more than welcomed and a wonderful addition. They are out in circulation and educating people. We highly recommend your publication to everyone.

Mona Partlo
Bay City, Michigan


Call for Politics Coverage

I read DIABETES HEALTH from cover to cover. On the last page of the September issue former Miss America, Nicole Johnson, calls on us all to get behind funding the recommendations of the Diabetes Research Working Group. Would you create an action box on the cover of each issue, referring the reader to a page inside that gives guidance on ways to help out? We can all write, call, email or fax when we know the key figure or committee to contact.

James Sherk
Manhattan Beach, California


Editor's response: Thank you for the good idea. While we cannot change our cover, we will always highlight actions you can take to influence government funding of diabetes research.


Clipping Your Needles Can Be Safe

Editor's note: In the September issue, Karen LaVine, a nurse educator from Albuquerque, New Mexico, warned against clipping syringe needles. Here, another reader offers a different opinion.

Nurse Karen LaVine overreacted and drew the wrong conclusion based on insufficient evidence.

Clipping needles is safe and makes sense. People just need to use good techniques, as in all other actions. Becton Dickinson has a low-cost (I paid $3.22) clipper that automatically stores at least two years worth of clippings. There is no way in which the clipped tip could get stuck into any body part. Once clipped, it is irretrievably locked in.

Ernest D. Kaufman, PhD
Practicing needle clipper


Exercise Raises my BGs

I enjoy your magazine tremendously. It is the best.

I have heard and read in DIABETES HEALTH and other diabetes publications that exercise lowers blood sugars. This may be the case in general, however, blood sugars can also go up, as I have experienced several times.

Being an active walker and biker, I now realize it is important to avoid dehydration, as this will put stress on your body, thus raising your blood sugars. Even though I do not get dehydrated during exercise, I still have high blood sugars on occasion. It can be extremely frustrating when you feel you are doing well by exercising, watching your diet and taking your medications, only to get a high reading a couple of hours later.

There is no rule of thumb when being challenged with diabetes. You do the best you can and hope for the best. I have not stopped being active, it is important to my emotional well-being. I wish I could also get beneficial results and lower my insulin dosage.

Diane Bayliss
Brockville, Ontario

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