LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dollar, cents, and delivery (a.k.a. Day One minus one...)

Hooray! I just got a phone call from Medtronic. My Guardian ships out today and will be in my hot little hands tomorrow. Shipping has to be coordinated as the "sensors" need to be kept refrigerated. In fact, my rep tells me that the shipping container has a temperature warning indicator. Some sort of LCD thing, haven't seen it yet so the details are a little sketchy. Bottom line all the way around: if it gets to hot in shipment this will show it. Bottom line for FedEx: they gotta get it to you pronto (a trick here in New Mexico where first thing in the morning delivery means before sunset...). Bottom line for us: open the damn box as soon as you get it, and get those gold nuggets in the fridge!

The little SOB's cost $40 each. They look like an infusion set, but don't kid yourself. These puppies have as much in common with an infusion set at the Wright Flyer does with the Space Shuttle. Ya stick both under the skin, but that is where the similarity stops. The sensors are high tech stuff. Among other exotic elements used in the construction: platinum. I know some diabetics who cry when they mess up putting in an infusion set and have to redo. How would you feel if you dropped a $40 sensor in the toilet?

Speaking of dollars, let’s talk about the cost of the system. The basic system, which includes the monitor, transmitter, computer dock, software, and your first month’s worth of sensors costs $2,790. So roughly half the cost of a pump.

You wear a sensor for three days. If you wear 24-7 they reckon you use 10 per month. As I mentioned before they run forty bucks a pop, so your consumables will cost you $400 per month. The transmitter lasts for a year and then needs to be replaced at the cost of another $400. The sensor and the seam between the transmitter cable and the sensor need to be covered with an IV3000 patch to keep them water proofed. (Don’t worry, I’ll upload photos of all of this later). I’m not sure if MiniMed users are familiar with the IV3000. Smith’s sends them to us Cozmo users. In theory, you put one on your skin under your infusion set. In practice, most Cozmo users don’t bother. In fact, I just sold my first (virtually unused) box of IV3000’s on Ebay. Oh well, who knew?

The IV3000 is a very, very, very thin skin-like bandage. I don’t know yet what those are going to cost, but you need to add it to your tab. The bottom line: this is not a cheep system. But we all know that diabetes ain’t cheep! Am I filthy rich? I wish. This system is going to require some big sacrifices in our family budget. Hopefully, within the year the insurance companies will get on board. But my view? Funerals aren’t cheep either. If it keeps me: One, alive; and two: healthy; then it is a bargain.


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