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!).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The odyssey....

Well, I don’t want to bore you too much, dear I’ll try to condense. You can see I suffer from “bucket fingers.” Same thing happens when I’m talking. I just don’t know how to shut up! Well, you just gotta be true to how God made you...

The short version is that I called Medtronic and said “I’m holding a credit card in my hand and I want to buy a Guardian. Tell me what to do.” And they said, “If you know your party’s extension you can dial it now...”

After be transferred around a bit I ended up chatting with the woman at the corperate level who is in charge of the Guardian roll out. The bottom line was that you need a presription and it must be written by a Doc in one of the seven cities. They didn’t have a problem with the fact I was out-of-state from those locations, as long as I was willing to travel in for the Doc’s apointiment and training. I was. Pick your city, I was told.

Oddly, or so it seemed at the time (there really is a reason, but more on that later), three of the seven cities are in Texas. Texas isn’t that far from New Mexico... I went to Southwest Airlines’ web site and searched out airfares and flight times to the three cites. Austin was the winner in speed and price. I called Medtronic back. Austin. They put me in touch with their rep in Austin. I explained my situation...predicament? her. In the past 30 days I’d had to intervene to prevent hypos 15 times. The other 15 days were text book. The food and carbs were similar. I was a nervous wreck. I was testing every 30 minutes after every meal for four hours. I worried about hypos at night while I slept. Will I wake up tomorrow? I felt like a human time bomb. My fingers look like a human pin-cushion. I wanted the Guardian and I wanted it today.

But with the medical community, nothing moves that fast. To her credit, she got me an appointment with an Endo in Austin within two weeks of my call, and she did it in three days. At the time is seemed an eternity, but in hindsight....Well, she rocks! Hell, I can’t get in to see my own Endo that fast....

Then the spider web of Federal and State laws set in. Medtronic can’t ship a Guardian without a prescription. FDA rule. That means, for all practical purposes, it is carved in stone by the hand of God himself. Medtronic isn’t going to screw with the FDA. Texas won’t let a Doc write a prescription without first meeting the patient. A sensible law, we can all agree. But the net result was there was no way to get my machine in advance of my visit so that I could be “hooked up.” They couldn’t send it to me, to the Doc or to the Rep. In then end the solution was this: I’d fly to Texas. The Doc would look me over and if he agreed that I was a good candidate he’d write the prescription. I’d then train with the rep on a demo unit. Once Medtronic had the prescription in hand they’d ship my machine and I’d hook myself up. I placed the order on Thursday. Flew to Austin Friday. It actually took me longer to drive from my house to the airport in Albuquerque than it did to fly from Albuquerque to Austin! I met with the Doc on Friday and the local rep on Saturday.


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