Thursday, January 18, 2007

Doctor Visit

I saw my diabetes specialist today. The news was pretty good. My weight has remained the same in the last 4 months and my blood presure was great. My HbA1c was at a 7.1, up from 6.8 at my last visit. He did say though, that I am still in good control and that I'll just need to monitor my sugars a little more closely. He reminded me about writing down glucose levels which is something I used to be very faithful at, but haven't done in over 2 years.

One topic of discussion that came up was the continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This is a device which is fairly new to the public market that monitors glucose levels continuously- hence the name. So, this means it is taking a reading subscutaneously (under the skin) without a finger prick. But, this does not eliminate the need for blood testing because this must still be done about 3 times a day to calibrate the monitor.

The crappiest thing about this though, is that insurance is not covering the monitoring
at all yet, so it is very expensive. The monitors range from $300-$1,000 and every three days a $35 site has to be changed. You can see how quickly this could add up. However, it would not necessarily have to be worn all of the time. I guess it would ideally be worn for a 2 week period to study out trends in glucose readings and would not need to be worn again for a few weeks or months. Some people use them to help themselves recognize hypogylcemia (lows) so they might need to wear it on a more regular basis.

Minimed CGM
Dexcom CGM

Anyway, I've also been thinking about upgrading my pump to one with some of the latest features. My pump is currently out of warranty but working fine. As soon as it breaks though, I'd have to buy a new pump. I am not sure what kind of coverage I have on my new insurance, but my last pump cost us $1,000 after insurance. Pretty good for 5 years of 24/7 use. I'd also like to get a glucometer that "talks" to my pump so I'd probably go with the Cosmo or the Minimed.

Mini Med pump and corresponding glucometer
Cosmo pump and attached glucometer

Lots of money in the heath-care industry.

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