Category: Personal

My letter to Edgepark Medical Supplies

My letter to Edgepark Medical Supplies

Edgepark Medical Supplies
1810 Summit Commerce Park
Twinsburg, OH 44087

To whom it may concern,

I am a customer, and I am supposed to receive a shipment of Omnipod pods every 3 months. When I started running low, I called to verify that everything was in order for my shipment. I was told everything was fine and it would be delivered in July.  It is now July 25th, and I am wearing my last pod. On Sunday, it will expire and be useless. When I called customer service to find out where my package was, I was told that the shipment had been canceled. After being transferred twice, I was able to talk to someone that knew the reason my shipment was canceled. She told me my shipment was canceled because I didn’t respond to a voicemail. I never received a voicemail and that is beside the point.

I am type 1 diabetic. I’m going to give you a brief explanation of what that means because apparently Edgepark doesn’t already know. It means, I do not produce insulin. Without injecting insulin into my body, my blood sugar will continue to increase until I have a stroke.  Basically, without insulin, I’m risking death. Insulin gets into my body using the pods I am supposed to receive from Edgepark. These pods are good for 3 days. After that, they are useless. If I run out of pods, my alternative is trying to manually do what the pod does which means giving myself 0.625 units of insulin every hour using a syringe. If you have ever seen a syringe, 0.625 is not a value you can measure out properly. Also, though I do have some syringes in case of emergency, I only have about 20 at any given time as I generally do not use them. I have the pods for this. You may be thinking, “I know people who don’t use a pump.” That’s correct. But those people have two types of insulin. Pump users only have 1 type of insulin.  The second type of insulin is long lasting and used to balance the diabetic throughout the day. Without this second type of insulin, in order to recreate what the pump does, I would need the 0.625 units of insulin every hour. I hope this makes sense.

I am sure, by now, you have realized that I am not happy. I am livid. I called today to find out where the order was that I was promised and found out it was canceled because I did not respond to a voicemail I did not receive. Let me make sure I understand this correctly. Edgepark’s policy is to leave one voicemail. If you do not receive a call back, you just cancel the order of the medicine that my life depends on. There are no other attempts to make sure that I do not want the medicine that allows me to live. You assume, that as an insulin dependent diabetic, I would rather die than return your call. Assuming you made this assumption, should you not, at the very least, attempt to let me know that you have canceled the order that keeps me alive?  How about sending me a letter?  Assuming you had the wrong number and no other way to communicate with me, how about sending me a letter. At least I would have received that in time to fix the problem. But you did not have the wrong number as I verified it when I found out that you signed my death certificate.

I want to know how I can trust your company. What is Edgepark Medical Supply going to do to ensure this does not happen again? I seriously have no idea how I am going to survive until Tuesday. My doctor’s office is closed, I don’t have a diabetes educator, and the other diabetics I know in the area do not use Omnipod and, thankfully, do not use Edgepark to supply them.

Extremely dissatisfied customer,

 

Shaun Thomas Frisbee

Measure Chlorine Levels in a Tsunami

Measure Chlorine Levels in a Tsunami

Bloody Censor

No, we do not have pink lights in our house. The discoloration you see is dried blood. I have been wearing it for less than a week and was tired of the blood sugar levels of ???, so I went to change it and was showered by dark red paint chips.

For those that don’t know, the picture is a sensor for my continuous glucose monitor. The color if it normally is transparent with white tape. When the CGM, or mine anyway, has trouble determining blood sugar it gives a reading of ???.

That has been my blood sugar all week. My readings have been few and far between and always at some surprising and erroneous level. That’s because it was trying to check the chlorine levels of a tsunami.

To Pump or Not to Pump

To Pump or Not to Pump

Pump and CGM

I don’t meet, in person, very many people living with Type 1 diabetes. In fact, there is only one other that I see regularly. There are others in the area. You just have to participate more. On the rare occurrence that I do, it seems that many of us suffered the same dilemma.  Should I get the pump?  Should I get a CGM? Is there enough room on your toothpick-shaped body to have two devices?

Apparently, many of us ask these same questions.  I was very resistant for years. I always thought that I would need better control of my diabetes before I thought about adding expensive devices to the equation. I was worried about not being able to swim or shower because I was always plugged in. He was worried that he didn’t enough fat on his body to accommodate two devices. I now use both a pump and a CGM and wear them 24/7. They have dramatically changed my life with diabetes. I have much better control of my blood sugar. No where near as good as mine was. And I don’t resist eating because I don’t feel like taking a shot or dealing with my disease.  I no longer have the strange lows or highs that I cannot explain my basal insulin isn’t adjusted just right.


My endocrinologist, who I think is excellent, did not seem keen on me getting a pump.  He didn’t tell me not or that I shouldn’t; it just appeared that it wasn’t something he felt I needed. He did seem very keen on the CGM though. Probably because your A1C was consistently pushing 10. A few years ago, I found Keri Sparling’s blog, Six Until Me, and felt that I had found a kindred spirit of sorts.  I had found someone else that knew exactly what life with diabetes was like.  She had just had her baby and my wife had recently delivered Squishy as well.  As I have never had a c-section or attempted breast-feeding, I could not relate to everything  in her blog, but many things that were affecting her were also affecting me. The one thing in my life, that seemed to be missing from hers, was the annoying need to constantly stab myself with a needle. The hard bumps that kept forming in my abdomen and hips because I could not find new places with enough fat to give myself another injection. The irritation of accidentally leaving my insulin at home or not bring enough with me for the day. Not that those situations do not affect a person using the pump, but those were affecting me constantly.


I finally got my CGM in February 2012. It only took a moment for me to see the benefits of it. My A1C immediately started dropping. Just having an alarm to tell me when I was in trouble or being able to see what my eating habits were doing to my blood sugar took my A1C from a 9.1 to 6.7 in a few months. No, my blood sugar is not perfect and I still have my ups and downs, but I would not go back to the way things were. In fact, my endocrinologist asked me at my last visit, which device do I think contributed the most to my improved A1C. I told him flat-out, the CGM. The pump is nice and I wouldn’t give it up either, but the CGM is the reason my A1C is better.

But, if you have been keeping up, I have a pump as well. Which must mean there is something I like about it. I don’t know about every pump, I know about my pump.  So if you are thinking about pumping insulin into your body, some research into what the different pumps offer and what the pros and cons of each are is an important step. One he skipped. I chose the OneTouch Ping from Animas. And it is true, I did not do my research.  What I saw was something from my favorite diabetes blogger talking about her Ping and being able to swim without worrying.  I cannot find it now, or I would have linked to it. Mostly because he can’t remember if it was a video, a blog post, or advertisement on the Animas website. I love playing in the water.  My girls love playing in the water. We always live near a pool because they love the water. So I needed the one that allowed Kerri to go in the ocean without worrying. Don’t get me wrong; I love my Ping. And for those of you with the same list of concerns that I had, here are the responses I wish someone would have given me, as they apply to me and my Ping:


I will have to keep a close eye on the clock when playing in the water because I won’t be able to take my pump with me.

Not true. Many of the pumps are waterproof.  I spend hours in the water with the girls and don’t even think about my diabetes unless I feel light-headed or start to smell that funny your-blood-sugar-is-outrageously-high smell.

I won’t be able to take long showers any more.

So, as it turns out, the pump isn’t constantly delivering insulin to your body.  You tell it when you eat to give your bolus just like you would do with your regulated stabbings.  The difference is, no stabbing. What it does do, is give you a little bit every hour to keep your regulated when you are not eating.  And if you are taking a long shower and miss that one basal, which for me is 0.625 units of insulin, who cares.  Seriously, it isn’t a big deal. I don’t even think my body notices if it only misses one.

I’m too skinny. I’ll have nowhere to put it.


You actually have more options than you think. Areas that are difficult to reach are now options because you only have to reach it once. The love handles work great for me. Love handles? Those are not nearly big enough to be handles.


How will I have naked fun when I must have something to clip the pump onto?


This is exactly the same response as the one for the shower. Which could also be naked fun. In fact, this may even be better.  You are replacing the small amount of insulin you are missing with physical exercise.

Don’t be afraid of the devices. They are awesome and have made a world of difference in my life.  If you really cannot get around your fears, start with the CGM. Once you realize how awesome it is, you will be rushing to get plugged into a pump.

Red Herring

Red Herring

Everyday, I feel a bit older. Everyday, you are a bit older. I mean that I physical feel it. I am 32, and I often feel like I am on the fast track to a nursing home. Today, I had an appointment with a cardiologist.  Apparently, individuals with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are at risk for heart problems. I had this appointment today, and from this appointment, I have to make 3 more. I heard they sell them in bulk as Sam’s Club. One for a CT scan of my aorta to make sure it is not super sized; one for an echo-cardiogram to make sure my heart is pumping like it should;  and one for a sleep study because I may have sleep apnea. He may not have sleep apnea, but he definitely has some sort of sleep disorder. I miss the days when I went to the doctor, he told me everything was fine, and there were no follow up appointments. It’s like taking your Frizbian to the mechanic. “While we were replacing your wiper blades, we realized that we had to rebuild the transmission.” Now days, when I go to a doctor, I leave with at least 1 more appointment to schedule.  Thankfully, despite memory problems being one of the symptoms of ADHD, I do not get distracted SQUIRRELI am surprised her remembered the movie reference.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSUXXzN26zg?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque&w=540&h=405]

So, about red herrings.

They don’t exist?

 The history behind the red herring, like most of history, is a little muddled.

If only historians would have had a blog like this to right down the origins of popular phrases.

 Some believe that the strong smell of the red herring was used to teach dogs how to following a specific scent.  The red herring was used as a distraction to throw them off course or teach them to focus. 

Or to teach them that fish is yummy.

In my case, diabetes is the red herring. When I first moved to Virginia my A1C was over 8.

It was over 9, but who’s counting?

 I was having a number of symptoms that appeared, to me anyway, to be unrelated. I was sent to different specialists for each symptom, and each specialist told me that once I my blood sugar was under control, the symptoms would go away.

This was after the through examination which consisted of, “So, you have diabetes?”

 This year, I started pumping.

Should I cue the choir of angels?

  One of the requirements of my diabetes educator was that I have a good record of blood glucose, insulin, and carbohydrate numbers before I started using the pump.  Doing this actually brought my A1C down dramatically.

Paying attention helps? No. Surely that is not true.

  I began to have much better control.  Control which only improved after I started using the pump. The symptoms should start subsiding, right? Well, I assumed it would not be instant.  I did not start out with a high A1C.

Despite his early attempts of treating diabetes with cranberry juice.

  I spent a lot of time building up to that number.  What I did not expect is for things to start getting worse.  It seems that the more control I gained over my blood sugar, the more evident my symptoms became.  It is now to the point that just standing for a long time or driving causes a great deal of pain in my back. I cannot stand for long periods of time because my legs feel weak, and I start stumbling like a drunk.

 A reaction he also has to a teaspoon of cough syrup.

I am not certain what the moral of this story is.

Don’t eat red herring?

 I guess it could be, if your doctors seem to blame your diabetes for everything, you may want to get a second opinion. Since we moved recently, we have changed clinics and our new primary care physician is trying to pick up on the real scent (and he is also the one that referred to my diabetes as a red herring). Hopefully, in the next few months, I will actually know what is wrong and be able to at least treat it. 

You are all welcome to send me donations to find a cure for the common Frizbian.

Pony Rides and Bad Drivers

Pony Rides and Bad Drivers

I know.  Its been a while.  I keep planning on writing but most days I am just so exhausted that watching TV is difficult. I am sort of on vacation.  Mamma is in Italy for a friend’s wedding, and I’m at home with the kids.

Last Saturday we went to a farmer’s market where we had tickets for a pony ride. That was a flee market. Actually, we had vouchers so that we could get tickets for a pony ride. I went to hand the lady at the near the ponies the tickets that I had printed from Living Social and she let me know that I had to go to the information tent to redeem my tickets and that the piece paper I had was just a voucher. When we arrived at the line for the information tent, it became quickly apparent that this wasn’t well planned. He bought tickets for a spectacular line.  We were in line for an hour and half. I didn’t bring the stroller because I didn’t think we would be standing around that long. If you have ever stood in line for more than ten minutes with a two year old trying to escape and a seven year old asking questions about why we have to stay in line, you can imagine the suffering.

We finally got our tickets and I could see that the hour and half line had now grown to well over three hours and was slightly thankful that we were done with that.  We took our tickets back to the pony ride and stood in line for another half hour. The kids loved the ponies for the entire three minutes.

The ponies were kept in area away from the rest of the market so after the rides we started walking back towards the market from the ponies, we passed a bounce house.  We stopped so that Tata could jump around a bit. Anyone else thinking about House of Pain.  Turns out we needed tickets.  I asked the guy if the tickets were purchased at the information tent and when he said yes, I gave Tata a choice: wait in line again or go to McDonald’s.  She didn’t even take a second to think. Duh. McDonald’s was our next destination.

Dent in car fender

The nearest McDonald’s was in a small shopping center with one entrance from the main road.  The entrance was a long, two way street that lead to a parking lot, but just inside that entrance was an Exxon gas station.  Apparently, without a stop sign, some people do not realize they have to stop. Someone exiting the Exxon ran right into us as we were coming down the road. Then, he drove away quickly. I did what any intelligent father with two small children in the car would do; I chased after him while honking my horn until he stopped. Logical? At which point he proceeded to tell me that he had the right of way and that he was just looking for a parking space and that he couldn’t stop in the middle of the road.  My brain was overloading. He had the right of way? I have never ever seen a gas station where the person exiting has the right of way. He was looking for a parking space? We were five feet from a parking lot. Couldn’t stop in the middle of the road? He speed up.  But I couldn’t articulate any of that. In fact, my brain and tongue seemed to be disconnected all of a sudden.  And then it hit me. My blood sugar was going to be low, right now. Right now, while I have this man yelling at me because he was the first man in history to leave an Exxon with the right of way. Right now, while I was trying to find the police department phone number of my BlackBerry. Right now, with Squishy in the back of the minivan going, “Wha happent Papa?”

One of the ways that diabetes can be helpful is, apparently, it completely readjusts people’s negative attitudes towards you when they think you are going to die. Suddenly, this guy was now my best friend and was asking what he could do to help. Then he noticed the kids in the back and started apologizing, asking if they were okay. My head was still spinning as I was chewing on my favorite correction medicine, SweetTarts. I called USAA and started filing the claim as I waited for my blood sugar to return back to normal.

Day 3 with Dex

Day 3 with Dex

My Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) arrived on Friday. I plugged it in for 3 hours of charging and immediately started getting myself connected. He was like a kid in a candy store. Metaphorically speaking; of course. It has only been 3 days, and I have already learned a great deal from the little egg shaped device. What I thought my blood sugar was doing goes about like this:

  1. I take my basal (Lantus) insulin at night keeping me steady for most of the night and my blood sugar would start dropping just before 5:30 AM (when I normally eat breakfast). Except on the weekends when he would wake up at 9 with a BG of 50.
  2. At 5:30 AM, I would take my bolus (Novalog) insulin for breakfast and eat some cereal with milk. Some? His cereal bowl is the one normal people use to mix cakes with.
  3. Around 11:30 AM, I would start to feel a little low and then I would test and I would be some where between 60 and 80. I would bolus and eat lunch. Usually, he skips step 3 all together.
  4. Around 6PM I would make dinner for myself and the kids, bolus (which I always seems to under estimate the bolus needed) and spend the rest of the night bolusing until bed time trying to figure out why my estimate was so badly off.

That is what I thought was happening. Dexcom shed a little light on the situation. Any more light and his nose hairs would catch fire.

  1. I take my basal insulin at night and then steadily drop until around 5:30AM. The trend looks a lot like a slide.
  2. At 5:30 AM, I take my bolus insulin for breakfast and east some cereal with milk. Then, I spike to about 350.
  3. I slowly, but steadily, fall back down to between 60 and 80 at around 11:30 AM. I bolus and eat lunch. Then, I spike to 300 or better and about a half hour later drop to around 120.
  4. Slowly go down to about 112 and then at 6PM I make dinner for myself an the kids.  I bolus (which I still seem to under estimate) and spend the rest of the night steadily climbing higher and higher while bolusing to try to get back off the escalator.

CGM reading 255

What is that all about? Poor diabetes control? Talk about total shock. I had no idea my blood sugar was bouncing like that. He should really test more. I look at the two lines on the Dexcom my blood sugar is doing everything it can to stay out of them. And what is my basal doing? Drawing; like on an Etch A Sketch. When I am sleeping, my blood sugar is dropping like a rock and after dinner, my blood sugar just holds steady at 250. Tonight, I had two tuna fish sandwiches and some pork and beans. I would guess about 110 grams of carbohydrates. That is roughly 7 units of insulin for me. That was my bolus at 6:30.  After eating dinner, Dex started freaking out and my trend was raising to the top of the meter. I have been taking 3 units of Novalog every half since and my trend is almost a straight line. Not going up; not going down. At least he has some consistency. Just piling on the Novalog and the line isn’t budging. But I’ll bet if I take my basal dosage, I will be heading back down again. Its like before lunch my basal is trying to help me remember what hypoglycemia feels like and after dinner we are reminiscing about hyperglycemia. Have some ice cream. I’ll bet that will get that line moving. Thoughts? Anyone? PICK ME! PICK ME! Anyone else?

What would you do with a diabetes-free day?

What would you do with a diabetes-free day?

No diabetes

Emily Coles on Tudiabetes asked the PWDs of the DOC, “What would you do with a diabetes-free day?” I tried to think of something interesting; something amazing; something that would just be so much cooler than anyone else’s answer. He tried to think. Sadly, I kept coming back to some fairly normal answers.

For starters, I’m sleeping until 10AM. I’m not getting up because my blood sugar is going to be too low if I sleep any more. I’m not rushing to check my blood sugar at 6AM because I usually eat breakfast at that time. I’m not getting up to pee in the middle of the night and wondering if I that means my blood sugar is high. Not only that, but Mamma is sleeping too. I know she worries about me at night especially.

I’m going to eat and play. I’m filling my freezer full of ice cream, and I’m filling my dinning room full of pizza. I’m making up for every birthday party where Papá had to sit down for a second because we played to much, or Papá was getting angry because he ate too much pizza and ice cream. Tata, Squishy, and I are playing until they both pass out from pure exhaustion.

I’m hiring a baby sitter to watch the girls after they go to bed, and I’m taking Mamma to dinner and dancing. That could get ugly. I don’t care. Mamma loves to dance, and he makes the robot look graceful. And it would be nice to be able to give her my full attention when she is trying to show me how, instead of me trying to determine if I have enough sugar to make it through the song.

I’m caring candy in my pocket, and I’m going to eat it just because I want to. He does that already. No, I eat it because my hands and mouth have been working together for so long, they often forget to tell my brain what they are doing. Then, I get to worry about how much I ate, because I wasn’t counting the pieces or Reese’s while I was eating them.

The truth of the matter is, if I have a diabetes free day, I am giving as much of it to my family as possible. I don’t believe for a second that I am the one that suffers the most from my diabetes. When I’m low, I don’t even know I have diabetes, and when I am high, I get so angry I couldn’t care about it. All the while, my family gets to watch from the line of scrimmage. It may be my pancreas that has gone into early retirement, but my wife and my daughters are the ones suffering the most.

Something to Laugh About

Something to Laugh About

So tonight while chatting and listening at DMSA Live, I was reading the other blogs that I never have time to read and SUM had posted a video with a link back to a previous post.  I’m posting them both so that I never forget them.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTrtjByDiP0?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque&w=540&h=304]
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ueE8pK_eWc?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://safe.txmblr.com&wmode=opaque&w=540&h=405]
Starting Right Now

Starting Right Now

One of the things I hate the most, is high blood sugar.  Not high like, “Oh. Good thing I tested.  I didn’t even notice."  High like, "Do you taste metal?  What smells like burning dust? Water. Water. Water! Water! Water! Water!”

Lately, I seem to be in a bit of rut when it comes to my blood sugar.  In the evenings, I’m watching the girls while Mamma is at school.  Dinner is usually made while swatting Squishy’s hands away from the stove. Her response is often the cycling, staccato, yells of  “Hot! No! Mine!"  Hot is just her repeating me.  I keep thinking that if she only knew what hot meant, maybe she wouldn’t use the word with such a how-dare-you tone.  She gets that from her mother.

Ever heard the say, "Never trust a skinny chef”?  Few people know, but that is the abbreviated saying.  The full saying is, “Never trust a skinny chef, unless he has diabetes.” Look out Comedy Central. The point is, I cannot cook without eating.  In fact, I cannot handle food without eating. It doesn’t matter if I like the food. I will eat anything edible if it stays in reach long enough. He has also been known for eating a few things that only looked edible.

Once super is done cooking. I prepare plates for both girls. Get Squishy in her chair-slash-table thingy. Highchair? Close enough. Then, I sit down with them and eat. This is the point where I should be testing my glucose and taking some insulin. Instead, I am having a quiet internal celebration that I made it to super, and I am still standing.

I finish eating and start helping Squishy eat as this is about the time she starts losing interest. The spoon I gave her is obviously flawed. It can only hold the food until just above her chest. If it could only hold the food for one millimeter more, the food would make it in her mouth. Its that sudden flip-over right at the end that ruins it every time. This is the only age in life where sticky food is less messy because it sticks to the spoon.  While helping Squishy, I am also trying to convince Tata that she still likes whatever we are eating because somehow Squishy, who’s not even two, has eaten more than Tata, who just turned seven.

Eventually Squishy will give up on eating altogether, and I will give up on getting Tata to eat. I get all the dishes into the sink and then change Squishy’s diaper. Not the best idea right after eating. The girls and I play for a little while before getting ready for bed. Then I read them a book and tuck them both in. Finally, I sit down next to Squishy to make sure she doesn’t get up and go for a walk when she is supposed to be sleeping and play with my computer until I am sure she is asleep.

Then it hits me. Then I start thinking how nice a glass of water would be. I get a glass, go to the sink, turn the sink on, fill the glass, turn the sink off (must conserve water you know) and start drinking. That is the plan anyway. Instead, I suck the water down as if I am a fish gasping for air. So fast, my throat doesn’t have time decide which direction the water is supposed to go and some of it goes up. That was not an adequate amount of water. Within seconds, I have the water running at full blast (the hell with conservation) and the glass is refilling just as fast I can gulp down the water.

It is very frustrating when I notice that I have gotten into a routine that is not in line with my goals. I want to have better control of my blood sugar and I want to get my A1C below 6. This is not the way.

One of the things I am learning from my diabetes, is that nothing is over until your dead. I could have told you that. The point is, that you keep trying for your goals no matter what gets in the way. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I create my obstacles. At the end of the day: I still have diabetes, my family still depends on me, and it is my responsibility to take control of this uncontrollable disease. Some days it is hard to deal with. Some days I just don’t deal with it at all. But giving up is not an option. We all struggle with this on daily basis. In the end, I just have to remember that I am not alone, that I can do this, that it takes time, that everyone has off days, and that I am not alone. Every time I realize that I have developed another destructive routine, I say to myself, “ Starting right now, I am going to take better care of my diabetes.” Living with diabetes is often a long line of do-overs.  My do-over today started right before I began writing this post. What are you going to do starting right now? Your do-over just began.

Adventures in Veterans Affairs

Adventures in Veterans Affairs

I have been planning, for a while now, to start getting my prescriptions and medical care through Veterans Affairs. Basically, everything was supposed to be more cost effective as Veterans Affairs foots the largest part of the bill. I had forgotten how efficiently time consuming military medicine was. Its both a blessing and a curse. With the military, they always try to get everything done at once, which is awesome.  The downside is it takes most of the day. I arrived at my appointment at 10 and didn’t leave until after 2. It was a long day and I didn’t think ahead to ask for the entire day off as it was a 10 o’clock appointment.

My biggest reason for going to the VA is that diabetes supplies are extremely expensive. I’ve talked about that in “Why Can’t We Be Friends”. I was very excited to get started and thought this may also be my chance to get an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor. That was about half true. I ran into a great deal of bad news. The good news is they are going to try to get me a pump. My mentions of the continuous glucose monitor were completely ignored. Then starts the bad news. The VA only provides Freestyle Lite Strips, and I can only get the pump if I use their meter so they can download my meter into their computers. I was very excited about going back to the OneTouch Mini after the problems with my Contour USB. Now, in order to get the service I desire, I have to use this Freestyle Lite meter. I don’t like that case because I can’t carry my insulin pen in it. That won’t be a problem. I don’t like the size and it has to be the ugliest meter ever created. But the goal is the pump, so I’m willing to use the Freestyle Lite. Then the doctor asks me how many strips I use a day. I think for a second: 1 before and after each meal; that’s 6 and one at night that is 7. I tell the doctor that on a good day I use 7 but most days I use a couple more because I have either given myself too much or too little insulin. She says the most she can prescribe is 3 per day. Stuff and Nonsense! How am I supposed to accomplish this? How ridiculous! I was shocked. In order to get the help I need, I have to stop taking care of myself? What sense does that make? Then we start talking about my current insulin. Currently, I use Novolog Flexpens and Lantus Solostar Pens. Oh, no. The VA doesn’t do pens unless you are blind. With only three strips a day, blindness may be in the near future. In order to get my insulin through the VA, I have to go back to using syringes and vials. This is crazy. In order to make my life easier, I have to make it more difficult.

Well, I took my new meter and my new strips home. I put the brand new OneTouch on the back shelf in our medicine cabinet. I gave in and began testing my blood sugar with the new Freestyle Lite. For all intents and purposes , it does what it is supposed to. It looks like an egg with a butterfly flying into its butt. I have tried NOT to test my blood, in order to get down to the limit of 3 a day. I’m here to say, that is not going to work. Every time I test my blood, I am in the 300s somewhere. The VA may help financially, but it may just increase the number of diabetes related complications that I have.

As a father and a husband, I feel that I need to stick with this VA thing in order to help better provide for my family. As a human that likes to be alive, this is scarey.

Don’t take this the wrong way. Veterans Affairs does a great deal for the Veterans of our country. I respect and appreciate that. I do not know much about type 2 diabetes. Perhaps type 2’s do not need to check their sugar as often. Perhaps this works for the majority of the Veterans with diabetes. I just cannot imagine asking a type 1 to deal with everything I received that day. I just opened my last container of strips. It is not going to last as long as they desire.