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!).

Monday, April 30, 2012

The American way of caring

The email from Northridge said a care package was on the way. Via overnight shipping, no less. And they gave me the tracking number.

A care package? For moi? No one has sent me a care package in years!

I wonder, what it could be? I mean obviously, it must have some much-needed reservoirs and infusion sets. But if you were just sending out medical stuff you’d say, “Hey, there’s a box of supplies on the way.” Right?

So this must be something special. A little something extra. Something else to show they care.

A cake?

No. One would hope a diabetes technology company wouldn’t show it cares by sending a cake.

Maybe they sent some d-friendly snacks.

Or maybe some pump skins. I’ve never tried those yet and can’t decide if they are cool or lame. The skins are vinyl sheets that wrap around the pump to change its appearance and personality. They now come in a dizzying array of colors and styles. The problem is, there really isn’t that much pump to decorate. The font of the pump is all keyboard and screen. The bottom has the viewing port for the reservoir, so you can visually see how much insulin is left in the pump. And the back is covered by the clip. So all you can really decorate is the top curve, half the bottom, and the very edges around the keyboard and screen.

Now, I can see where if you choose, say the leather skin, you could have a brown and black pump and that might actually look pretty cool. But the white tiger face design? How on earth would that work? I can’t see how the design would show. Now, the maple wood skin might be cool. That could give your pump a Victorian 21st Century look. I think they call it “Steampunk,” although I have no idea why. I’ll have to ask some young person.

But with so many to choose from, how on earth could you try to choose one for someone else?

So maybe they threw in a Medtronic stuffed animal for Rio. Although he already has both a small bear and a Lenny the Lion.

Oh, oh, oh. Maybe they’re sending one of those cool heavy 3-D metal Medtronic-logo paperweights all their training rooms have. Of course, to be fair, Medtronic has already sent me four paperweights.

Four $9,000 paperweights.

It might be something like a Med-T coffee cup. Or a water bottle. Or maybe someone has a sense of humor and had one of the dead and dismembered pumps bronzed like baby shoes. Actually, wouldn’t it be cool to have all a pump’s disparate parts suspended in a big clear block of clear plastic?

Well, whatever it is, it must be special!

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!

With the tracking number in hand, I could watch the package make its journey across the country. From Granada Hills, California to North Hills Californian. From North Hills, California right over my head and far to the east to Memphis, Tennessee. From Memphis, Tennessee right over my head again, this time West bound, to Albuquerque. Then from Albuquerque up to Santa Fe. Then then, finally (and in less than 24 hours after starting its journey) from Santa Fe to my mother-in-law’s house in Las Vegas, New Mexico; where I was able to get to it a couple hours after it was dropped off.

I couldn’t wait to open the box. I slit the heavy brown packing tape with a box cutter, and pried the lid halfs open. Inside were five boxes of 6mm 43” Quicksets, quite sensibly from four different lots. Plus four boxes of 1.8 ml reservoirs, quite sensibly from two different lots. A box of ten Sof-Sensors. And…


Nothing else.

No cake.

No d-friendly snacks.

No pump skins.

No logo stuff.

Not even a frickin’ can of Spam. What the hell kind of care package is this???

Well… Umm… come to think about it… a $3,000 care package. At least that’s what the retail price of all the “goodies” in the box add up to (well, $3,070.57 at Edge Park Medical Supply retail prices).

I guess in our country sending money is a way to show love. Rio, against all odds, surprised everyone—including himself—by winning Student of the Month for third grade this month. His Grandma Jean sent him money and he couldn’t feel more loved.

And I’m grateful for the supplies, don’t get me wrong. I really am. But I can’t help but be a little bummed.

I thought something special was coming.


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