Letters to the Editor : August-September, 2009

Aug 1, 2009

Mon Has CGM Concerns

I read your article about CGMs (Get the Facts on Continuous Glucose Monitoring, June/July 2009) and felt you left out three-quarters of the facts. You basically only gave the positives. You touched on the "fact" that it is expensive and requires a "commitment" but that was far too light

My son has tried 2 different CGMs. The result was the same in both cases. The first one he tried was the Medtronic Real-Time System. I bought the new pump and he tried it an extended period of time (8 weeks). I begged them to take it back. I will say Medtronic tried to work out the bugs with him but there were just too many issues. The second attempt was DexCom. The issues were the same.

The CGM companies want you to calibrate twice a day at least but you cannot do that if you have just eaten, dropped or risen more than 40 points in 20 minutes, if you have just exercised, or if you have active insulin on board. Type 1 people have very little time that one of these issues is not in play. Also, you don't want to calibrate too close to the last calibration.

My son's CGM would be off as much as 100 points at times. When you try to recalibrate when it is that off, it shuts down and you have to start the whole start up process again. That can be quite involved-especially when it shuts off in the middle of the night. It is the least reliable at night. The Medtronic helpline person told me it is because he is sleeping on it. Well, most people don't sleep standing up. However, after a few days with the CGM, my son and I were doing a little sleeping standing up since it kept us busy even during the night.

It gave lots of false alarms.  The monitor would lose contact with the pump. The sites did not last more than two days usually before the site itself would start having trouble. He did have one [site] last six days once but it was not problem free. He personally thought the sites were uncomfortable and there was pain involved in putting it in. If it had worked, the pain would have been worth it, however. The sites for the CGM do not heal as well as the sites for the insulin pump. It is hard to have enough sites for both the pump and the CGM when the healing process is longer for the CGM. He was doing more finger sticks than ever and his A1c went up.

I have been told that there are people that have had great success with the CGMs-by magazine articles, doctors, and the companies that make them. I have never met a real person that uses them and feels any differently than we do. At this point, my son will not even consider trying another one.

As Paul Harvey use to say - "That is the rest of the story."  I feel these are important facts that should be included in [your article].

Sheila Payne

Workplace Discrimination

I have been discriminated [against] by my employer in regard to my diabetes.  I have been through the Civil Rights Commission and received a right-to-sue letter from the State. The first right-to-sue letter from EEOC expired before I could get a lawyer. Now I am on the end of the   time line to file in state district court.

I read the article We Can Work it Out, (DiabetesHealth.com, Dec 1, 2005) and it gave me some courage. In the state of Iowa it is very dificult to get any help. No attorney wants to go against St. Luke's Methodist Hospital and the Iowa Health System which provides the health care benefits package for St. Luke's Hospital employees. The article states that there is an ERISA law against the employer charging a higher premium or refusing coverage, yet that is what happened to me and neither of the civil rights committees seemed to find anything wrong with it.

I was also not allowed a scheduled meal break to take care of my diabetes. Again no one seems to find anything wrong with this picture. In fact, in Iowa, one can work an 8 1/2 hour shift and not get paid for the 30 minutes and not get a lunch break and there isn't any law against that. Now because my 90 days for the federal right-to-sue elasped I have to try and prove my case by myself in state court.

I am about ready to give up. Your article gave me some encouragement. If you know of any case law in the state of Iowa on discrimination, esp. diabetes could you send me the names of the case so that I can look them up and use the information in my case when it gets to the proving stage of the lawsuit. Well, that is if I manage to file the case correctly in state court. I am not a lawyer and this is proving overwhelming. I have been told that no one wins without a lawyer. Any ideas?

Louetta Finch

- - - - -

Dear Louetta,

Your story is a very important one and I thank you for sharing it. Have you contacted the ADA? On their "advocacy-and-legalresources/discrimination page, I found a lot of information on what you can do and where you can get help. Here's what they say:

"The American Diabetes Association is committed to ending discrimination against children and adults with diabetes by providing information and assistance to people with diabetes and their advocates. We use a four-step process to end discrimination: educate, negotiate, litigate, and legislate.

"This page provides links to a great deal of information that can help people facing discrimination, their lawyers, health care providers, and other advocates. ADA has additional written materials available by calling 1-800-DIABETES. If you are being discriminated against because of diabetes at work, at school, by the police or in correctional institutions, or in public places, you can request assistance from the ADA by calling 1-800-DIABETES. A representative will send you helpful information and will send you a form to request help from one the Association's Legal Advocates."

In addition, I heard an interesting disability rights lawyer speak at a diabetes conference last year. I am not sure it's necessary that your lawyer be in Iowa even though the case is in Iowa. She was a staff attorney for DREDF (Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, www.dredf.org)

Kristin Lund,
Managing Editor

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: A1c Test, CGMs, Diabetes, Diabetes, Discrimination, Insulin, Insulin Pumps, Letters to the Editor


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.