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February 2008
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March 2008

Protonix Games -- I love generics

Those of you who have followed the blug for a long time will remember that periodically I have to play Protonix games with Medco. Well, I'm hoping now they are over....

I have to go through a review process for the drug itself and then a second review process for the amount of drug.  The last time I had to go through this was at Christmas.  Well, sometime around January 1st, Protonix went generic.

I just got my prescription refill for March ... and guess what, it now has a $20.00 co pay.  It took them about a week to process the prescription and they needed up shipping it UPS.  And the best thing -- $20.00 co pay. 

And I was paying a $100.00 co pay before that.  The cost to Medco has gone down dramatically too.  They were paying $520.17 and now are paying $274.69

And guess what else.  Tablets look exactly the same, they have a Protonix label stamped on them!


Taking responsibility for yourself - The Angry Pharmacist

I left a comment on his blog today.

 

Oddly enough, we do agree most of the time, I just don't put is as angrily as he does -- and I do invite the angry pharmacist to come over and take a look.

 

Quoted from http://www.theangrypharmacist.com/archives/2008/03/taking_responsibility_for_your.html:

 

Taking responsibility for yourself - The Angry Pharmacist

 

Patients need to start taking an active role in their own care of whatever they have.

 

I agree with this statement wholeheartily but the system isn't set up for us to do that.

 

I don't remember how much I've blogged about my mother's diagnosis of diabetes, and while it happened in Mississippi, only about a few moments of attitude above a third world country when it comes to medicine in my opinion....

 

Mom goes to a major medical center (the Ole Miss medical school in Jackson, Mississippi).  My first problem with her diagnosis is that it too slow.  She had been fighting a cough for over a year, been diagnosed by several different doctors with infections and they didn't share notes.  In my humble opinion, when an otherwise healthy person presents with three different infections in a year, something is up.

 

In her case, they finally pulled out a meter and did a finger stick -- oh and by the way, my contact lens doctor does that much during routine eye exams and catches a few diabetics, but the way.  Many that primary care physicians missed.

 

So they finally do a fasting glucose and get the results back the day before Christmas.  Of course, they drop that bomb on her, leave her with a script and all go out of town until the middle of January.  Kid you not.

 

They finally sent her to a nutritionist a few months later, after my sister and I spent time teaching lower carbs -- my sister delivering food, and me giving information on the phone.

 

And she finally has learned which foods to stay away from after my sister and I convinced her to use the test strips at meals.  And yeah, they give her about 100 strips a month. Not really enough if you are trying to learn what not to eat and what to eat, but better than nothing.

 

And by the way, I still resent the doctor blogger who lost a malpractice suit, they say because of his blog, but frankly any pedriatric specialist should never let a patient die of diabetes, I don't care what his speciality is.  Especially since my school system's intake center regular catches are immigrants with diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2) before they hit the classroom.

 

If a contact lens specialist and a urban school district can catch diabetic patients on a regular basis, why in the @#$# can't the average medical doctor?  Or specialist.

 

But as you can see by the above, patients are not equipped to take care of themselves, it's been a long slow process and I still but my head up against the medical establishment. 


Abbott

Here''s the official Abbott Navigator web site.

 

 

Quoted from http://www.abbott.com/global/url/content/en_US/60.15:15/feature/Feature_0033.htm:

 

Abbott

People with diabetes who want more control over their blood glucose can look to Abbott's FreeStyle Navigator Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, now approved in the U.S.

UPDATE 1-Abbott gets FDA OK on glucose monitoring system | Reuters

Finally.  Anyone who has followed this blog for a long time will remember I've been waiting on this for YEARS. If it is cost competive, I will try it.

 

Quoted from http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNews/idUSN1327658820080313:

 

UPDATE 1-Abbott gets FDA OK on glucose monitoring system | Reuters

Abbott Laboratories Inc (ABT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday it won U.S. regulatory approval for its continuous glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes.

Today's doctor visits

I went to the Endo,the Gynocoloist and the Contact doctor today.

The endo was a followup from last time, and he agreed I was better. We decided to tweak the morning settings a bit more. I see him again in June.

The gynocologist was just for a Depo shot, just in and out.

The contact lens was a followup, my vision has been off since my blood sugar has been out of control, but she said everything was the same. I am trying monovision again, which drives me a bit nuts but is cheaper.

Weirdly, I got a defective lens, decided to try a new pair of my bifocal lenses, and the right was torn.

All in all, not a bad set of spring break visits.Oh, and I also have a call out to my CPA supplier. I am due for a new mask so I can going to try the other brand my doctor suggested on my last visit.


Cardiologist

I am not sure I like the new location -- but I didn't like the one before that either. I really liked it when they were here in Farmers Branch.

The people I saw today were good though. The PA noted that I was carrying at least 5-10 pounds of fluid, heard my heart mummer, etc.  Plans are to do an ultra sound of my heart and to do a stress test, on my next free day which looks like June 5.  I might have to take a sick day, but I'd rather not for a while.


Next Trip

My next trip is to San Antonio -- the last day of June.  I am going to CSTA which is a one day event, breakfast and registraton at 8:00, first session at 8:45.  I'm kicking around the idea of flying in that day -- first flight in is at 7:55 and the hotel is 7 miles from the airport, and both are on a major highway. 

If i do that, I do not have to travel with my CPAP machine, making the whole trip much more TSA friendly.

Any thoughts?


More reflections on the trip - luggage

If I had to do things over again, I would have taken two checked bags.  That would have been less stressful, especially packing on the way home.  My bag was stretched to the max, and they gave us stuff to bring back.  It worked out okay, but it would have been better.

Things I did right:  ending up taking a larger carry on bag.  The dogs really did me a favor in a way by tearing up my leather bag.  The microfiber Ameribag I took is a large, and works better on a trip, though doesn't look as good.

The last thing I should have done better was to put the insulin in the carry on bag.  Though the dogs would have torn up the plastic bag, I would have remembered to bring it, and would not have had to come back. 

Well, and I should have put the carry on bag up higher in the first place, then I would have had time to get breakfast and would have remember the insulin.

Also, getting the travel cubes was a really good idea. They kept things organized throughout the trip, and much eadier to deal with.


Traveling Tips

I'm back, and I have some tips to share...

Using the medication bottles Medco sent me wasn't that bad.  I've got them set aside in a big plastic bag for the next trip, and plan to rotate them out with empty bottles. By the way, no one wanted to see them.

See my earlier notes on traveling with the CPAP and TSA.  I want to find a better way to handle that, especially since next trip is on the train.  I was able to consolidate everything into two bags for the trip back and that was easier.

Be assertive when it comes to assistance, and sitting near the restroom IS a good thing. 

Extra sets are a good idea, and having extra sets with you, not in checked baggage is good.  I went through 3 sets on the first day of traveling, but it got better later.

My biggest problem on the ship was going low.  Have all the locations for quick food in your mind.  I ended up eating some things I wouldn't have otherwise if I had not gone low.  You do a LOT of walking, especially if you are doing a conference like I did. My room and the restaurants were in the front end of the ship, my sessions were all in the back end.

Traveling isn't as intimidating now, and I think I can handle it.

Did I over pack?  I had two more dressy dreses than I needed, one less pair of panties, and one more exercise outfit than it needed.  In the scheme of things, I don't think I over packed, the stuff I didn't use did not take up that much room.


Weight-loss surgery and the effect on diabetes | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Health Columnist Judy Foreman | The Dallas Morning News

I absolutely despise articles like these ...

 

Weight-loss surgery and the effect on diabetes | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Health Columnist Judy Foreman | The Dallas Morning News

 

Elizabeth Soto used to say no when her husband suggested they go dancing. "I didn't want to go," she would say. "I felt tired and ugly." She also was carrying 314 pounds on her 5-7 frame and had Type 2 diabetes

 

One of my dear friends brought this article to school for me.

 

Of course, she couldn't answer the two most important questions about the surgery:

 

a) How is the complication rate and in particular the death rate?

b) How much will it cost? 

 

Well the biggest answer is that our insurance won't cover it, last time I looked.

 

And the complication rate scares the heck out of me.

Besides if my pancreatis hadn't been damaged, going on the nuitrion protocol would probably make me not need insulin too.

 

None of the above was in the article at all.