Letters to the Editor
Times Have Changed
It was great to read about Nicole Johnson Baker’s pregnancy and delivery of her daughter in the April 2006 issue (“My Experience With Type 1, Pregnancy and Delivery”). Ava Grace is a beautiful baby, but boy, how things have changed!
I was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 9 on December 29, 1961; and when my four children were born in 1972, 1977, 1982 and 1987, Cesarean sections were what I and other diabetics had to go through. My children all had glucose IVs after birth for hypoglycemia. I did get to breastfeed my three youngest children, but I regret that I didn’t know the benefits of breastfeeding before my oldest daughter was born in 1972. I wish Nicole much joy in raising her little daughter.
Keep up the good work with your magazine. Diabetes Health always seems to be on the cutting edge of the latest news in diabetes, and I prefer your magazine to any other diabetes publication that I’ve read.
Groton, New York
A Community Pharmacist’s Perspective
I was very disappointed by your article “Is Mail Order the Right Option for You?” in the April 2006 issue. As a community pharmacist, I found the article to be completely without balance, so much so that it seemed like an advertisement. While mail order pharmacies may be a suitable choice for some patients, the supposed benefits to the patient that you refer to are debatable.
- Mail order pharmacists and their staff are no better trained, experienced, caring or understanding than those in retail community pharmacies.
- Diabetes mail order pharmacies rarely provide monetary savings for patients. Both mail order and community pharmacies wish to compete for business, buy in quantity and adhere to enforced copay requirements.
- Community pharmacies also “wait for last month’s reimbursement and fight with your insurer.” We do that for a living.
You also fail to mention serious product safety and health concerns associated with mailing temperature-sensitive medications, including, but not limited to oral medications, insulin and Byetta. These should never be exposed to temperature extremes, which can result in loss of potency or actual ruin. Insulin that is frozen and re-thawed is hazardous and should never be used. In hot climates or during summer months, exposure to heat is also a concern.
As a community pharmacist, I am aware of a number of cases where such mishandling of medication has raised serious health issues.
Additionally, I am aware of many retail pharmacists, myself included, who have had to provide last-minute or emergency medication to patients whose mail order packages were delayed or lost.
Utilizing advanced education and training, many community pharmacists provide diabetic counseling and assist in disease management, services provided over and above the actual dispensing of medication. While a patient may need to wait a bit or schedule such a service, it is rarely provided by a mail order service and is never provided face to face.
I suggest that future articles relating to these issues be balanced and more informative of the professional services performed by community pharmacists.
Williamsville, New York
Those Inspirational Cleveland Brothers
What a fantastic and inspiring story of the Cleveland brothers (“Brothers’ Diabetes Spans History of Insulin,” March 2006), who are happy and healthy at 86 and 90 years old! As the spouse of a person with type 1, we try to live just like these two gentlemen—to eat a healthful diet, exercise and keep careful control of the diabetes. It was fascinating to read the tales of how the Clevelands managed their diabetes in the 1920s; my heart went out to them. Kudos to the Cleveland brothers, and keep up the inspiring feature stories!
The articles on people who have lived successfully with type 1 diabetes for a long time are truly inspirational (the Cleveland brothers in your March 2006 issue and “Type 1 Long-Timers” in your August 2005 issue). Everyone affected by the disease as well as the general public should read how these individuals managed so well over the long haul. The message was clear: It takes a lot of persistence and perseverance to deal with the daily challenges of diabetes, but it is well worth the effort to do the best one can under any and all circumstances.
Joan Evans (type 1 for more than 53 years)
Editor’s note: We will be on the lookout for more long-timers to profile in Diabetes Health. Please contact us if you know of any likely candidates.
Q: Are you happy with your insulin management?
- Could be better = 51%
- Yes = 36%
- No = 13%