Letters to the Editor

August 2002

Aug 1, 2002

Reader Finds Charts Useful

Thank you for your excellent publication! I am enjoying your new format and many informative articles.

I've recently been changing both glucose meters and insulin pens. Your articles comparing the features of various meters and pens have been extremely helpful. The information you provide in easy-to-read chart format would have taken me hours to find by calling various manufacturers.

I was going to relate the long story of my adventures with glucose meters for the past 22 years, but instead I'll just say, "Hooray for Diabetes Health magazine" and its unbiased reporting!

Keep up the good work.

Pat Salapka
Rockville, Maryland

Sex and Diabetes Don't Mix

In the June 2002 issue of Diabetes Health, SpectRx has an ad on page 11 that I find in very poor taste. The woman has no clothes on—except pants with a pump connection and obviously no shirt/bathing suit top.

The families I work with who read this magazine would be very distressed to see such an ad. This is not Victoria's Secret, Cosmo, Playboy or other adult magazine where stages of undress might be expected.

Please reconsider ad placement when accepting material for your consumers! I feel very uncomfortable handing these samples out to the families who visit me.

Judith Brault, RN, CVDE, BC-ADM
Paterson, New Jersey

Editor's note: We asked Keith Ignotz, president and COO of SpectRx, to respond to this reader's concern.

We at SpectRx see diabetes as a serious subject, one that affects the lives of millions of people worldwide. Our company is made up of women and men—some with diabetes, some without—who are innovators looking to bring new and immediate solutions to people with diabetes. We don't buy into the status quo, thinking that one new advancement in diabetes care every 10 years is enough. And we don't believe that conventional messages are going to move diabetes into the spotlight, where it will receive the attention it deserves.

If our ad struck a chord, we feel like we are beginning to accomplish the job of bringing diabetes to the forefront. SpectRx and its SimpleChoice line of insulin delivery products are all about empowering people with diabetes, expanding their choices and enabling them to feel better about themselves. Diabetes is a very personal disease, but too often handled in a cold, clinical fashion that may even discourage people from seeking care. Our message is meant to highlight the personal nature of our products, and the choices that people make to improve their lives.

By using communications that make people re-think their current notions of diabetes, we hope to help rapidly advance solutions to treat the disease.

Keith Ignotz
President and COO
SpectRx, Inc.
Norcross, Georgia

Children With Diabetes

Should Not ‘Envy' Rock Star's Life

It's great to feature famous people living with diabetes, but I found some of the phrasing offensive in the article on Bret Michaels ("Rock On!" May 2002, page 35): "Despite a sometimes enviable job, in which drugs, alcohol and sex are never in short supply..."

I don't think those job perks should be described as "enviable," particularly to young readers, who are the ones most likely to read a story about a rock star.

Kids are exposed to enough negative pressure from peers and other media. I certainly didn't expect a fine publication like Diabetes Health to endorse such a lifestyle. I am the mother of two teens with diabetes.

Judith Renwick, RN, MSN, CPNP, BC-ADM
Pekin, Indiana

Editor's note: We see your point. We also considered the fact that Bret Michaels "quickly realized he risked becoming a one-hit wonder if he didn't start taking his diabetes seriously and become more disciplined about diet, exercise and controlling his partying," as well as other statements that indicated he changed his lifestyle despite the temptations.

The Benefits of Lantus

My son, Matthew, is the first and only member of our family to get diabetes. He was diagnosed Sept-ember 28, 2000, when he was only 3 years old. Since that time, our family has experienced a gamut of emotions, and we have learned as much as any nurse about diabetes.

But until we changed from Regular and NPH insulin to Lantus and Humalog, we felt constantly on alert. As primary caretaker, I was practically chained to Matthew's side. When I did leave the house, it was with a cell phone on and charged up.

Matthew's blood-glucose levels were always either rising or plummeting. It was no help that he was still in his "honeymoon period." It was not unusual for his blood glucose to go from 354 to 54 in one hour.

That was exactly what happened at one doctor's appointment. I checked my son before the appointment and he was 354. An hour later into the appointment, the nurse asked me to check him and he was at 54. The worst part of this was that Matthew does not, to this day, show any physical signs of low blood glucose.

That day, our doctor switched Matthew over to Lantus. Since then, our lives have been changed—for the better.

Matthew receives Lantus at night before he goes to bed and Humalog every time he has carbohydrates. Switching over from mandatory snacks to practically no snacks was the most difficult transition, but this change also fit the diet schedule Matthew had before he had diabetes.

Matthew eats well at meals, and he rarely gets hungry between meals. If he does get hungry between meals, we offer him meat, cheese, or some other low-carbohydrate snack. I make sure he eats healthy and balanced meals, but I also offer fun food and desserts so he can indulge then.

The greatest benefit to this program is that Matthew's blood-glucose levels are consistent. His blood glucose waivers only 100 points or so, rather than the previous 300 points, and we have avoided almost all lows.

While it's true that Lantus has improved how he feels physically—and that's important—his condition is still far from normal. Emotionally, Matthew has to deal with a lot of invasive routines, and I can only hope, as a mother, that continued research will find even better ways for Matthew to live.

Patricia Klug
Monticello, Minnesota

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Lantus, Letters to the Editor, Pens

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