Life with Diabetes

Gesundheit! (and LA Times Health Columnist Joins Our Club)

When I first arrived in Germany in the middle of winter about 18 years ago (ahem…), I immediately caught a bad cold. Every time I sneezed, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend would bark, “Health!” It took us a while to work out that Americans say the same thing, only in German. And maybe a little less like a command. Anyway, we had a good laugh. In recent years, I’ve come to appreciate that salutation in ways never…

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A Middle Ground Between Rx and OTC: Super, or Scary?

Another interesting development apropos to recent rants on lowering medical costs, in part by breaking down some traditional delivery mechanisms in favor of a more quick-shop, commercial approach to healthcare: now the FDA plans “to expand the the middle ground between drugs that require a prescription and those that anyone can buy off the shelf.” This new gray area for medications is termed “behind the counter” (BTC).

BTC has already gotten a lot of media…

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Express-Checkout Diabetes Care?

I wonder, does your local shopping mall or drugstore contain a so-called Retail Clinic — a mini-health clinic where nurse practitioners provide walk-in treatment for very basic health issues? I haven’t experienced one in my neighborhood, but I am told there are now more than 500 around the country, in stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and CVS, with forecasts of more than 1,500 coming by the end of 2008.

Some of the leading chains are MinuteClinic,…

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Some Fun D-Stuff, In Case You Missed It

In case you missed the FUN, that is. Obviously, I could really use some this week. So here they are, three “diabetic things” that will hopefully make you smile:
* TuDiabetes.com’s “Word In Your Hand” contest — leading up to World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14). Here’s how to play:
1) Write a word in your hand describing how you feel about diabetes.
2) Take a photo, showing the hand with the word.
3) Post it…

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The Stinging Cost of Glucose Test Strips

A number of you took the opportunity on the LifeScan “cringer” discussion here to point out how insanely expensive glucose test strips are. Bravo! There is no doubt we get gouged on these things, which cost about a dollar apiece (!) and most of us — at least most Type 1 diabetics — use an average of 10-12 per day. I’m crappy at math, but my Casio calculator tells me that’s about $4,000/year for the…

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