Monday, October 26, 2015

Diabetes Bonding At The Spa & Over Medicare & CGM Coverage

So every fall I treat myself to a really good facial, because after a summer of outdoor fun in the sun (complete with lots of salt water, massive doses of sunscreen, and big straw hat,) my skin always needs a little extra attention. 
And when one of my favorite spas has a special on facials, you know I’m all over it! 

I could write about how I gave myself a correction bolus after I parked my car (and before I ventured into the spa,) because of a 240 blood sugar from a miscalculation of carbs at lunch. 
I could discuss checking into the spa early because I wanted to to take a steam and sauna, and needed to detach from my pump for over an hour in order to do both. 
Or how after reattaching my pump an hour and 10 minutes later, my blood sugar was137, with 1.9 units of insulin on board, requiring me to dial back my temporary bolus to 30%, down a few ounces of fresh guava juice and throw back some almond honey treats before I went in for my actual facial - but I digress. 

It’s what happened in the room where I got my facial that really hit me in my heart.

After introductions with my most excellent esthetician Danni, I quickly explained that I had t1, wore an insulin pump, and showed Danni my micro wristlet with my meter, strips,  glucose tabs inside and a glass of guava juice.... just in case.

Danni: Oh, I totally get it - my dad has type 1.
Me: Really?? How’s he doing? 

Danni: He’s doing great!
Me: Is he on the pump? 

Danni: No, he’s on shots - it works for him.
Me: That’s all that’s important.

Danni: Actually, his Doctor wrote him an RX for something... I forget what it’s called. 
It’s not an insulin pump, but he would have to wear it all the time and it has something to do with his blood sugars. God, I can’t remember what it’s called.
Me: OH, OK , a CGM - A continuous glucose monitor.

Danni: YES. But medicare wouldn’t cover it - he’s over 65. It’s a shame because he was really excited to get one.  
Me: THAT SUCKS. You know, there are some bills re: diabetes and cgm coverage for medicare coming up in the House. Tell your dad to call his local JDRF chapter to discuss CGM coverage for medicare and help him tack action.  He can also go to and click on the advocacy link - it will take him to a link regarding CGM Medicare Coverage.

Danni: Can I do that, too? 
Me: Of course you can - the more Advocates the better!
Danni: I’m going to check out the website for my dad - and we're going to call! 

Me: Great! Also, you need to checkout - the site will really help you guys navigate through the diabetes legislation - and they make contacting our Reps in DC re: said legislation incredibly easy. 
Danni: I’m all over it!

We talked a little more about diabetes - and then we got down to business regarding the facial. And when we were done, she handed me two pieces of paper. 
The first had the names of the facial products she used on my skin, the second was a blank sheet of paper for me to write down the JDRF and diabetespac info.

I left the spa with my skin glowing, a blood sugar of 147 and feeling relaxed. 
But as I drove home, my thoughts wondered back to Danni and her dad, who like so many of my friends with diabetes who are over the age of 65, was being denied crucial and life saving  diabetes technology.

Nobody should be forced to age out of lifesaving diabetes technology  - NOBODY.

And I thought of how quickly my almost 38 years of living with diabetes had gone by, and how no matter what amazing diabetes technology is on the market or down the pike, if you don’t have the means (insurance,)to pay for the technology, or if you age out of coverage for said diabetes technologies - you can’t get that technology - and that's not right or fair.

And it made me mad... and it made me fear for my diabetes and financial future.  

The laws MUST change and it’s up to to us to spearhead those changes. 
And don't think that because you or your loved one with diabetes aren't seniors, this issue doesn't concern you, because it absolutely does. 
This isn’t a senior issue - It’s an issue that touches every single person living with diabetes, regardless of age, and  for several reasons. 
1. We are in this together  
2. Seniors aren't the only people with diabetes on Medicare
3. Time is a thief and it goes by like that! 

So please guys, click on the following links and let your diabetes voices be heard - your voice is incredibly important - as is your current and future access to diabetes technologies~

1 comment:

Janis Nussbaum Senungetuk said...

Kelly, thanks for spreading the word and letting people know how to take positive action to get CGMs covered by Medicare. I'm directly affected by this issue. It's very galling to have contributed throughout my working life for my retirement and medical care and now that I need to use those resources what's made available is so very limited. I don't have the money for an insulin pump, so I use MDI. Medicare does not cover my insulin because I don't use a pump. After sixty years of life with type 1 I'm unaware of both hypo and hyper glucose. Having information from a CGM would give me a clue so I wouldn't have to deal with surprises by sudden lows or highs. The daily challenges we all face because of fluctuating glucose levels don't disappear when you celebrate your 65th birthday. As you said, this is an issue for all of us. Thanks Kelly!