"The "biggest" diabetes news story of 2009 really has to be the expanding American waistline. For years, it's been the scapegoat for increasing levels of Type 2 Diabetes. Whether it's the cause or the effect is entirely another matter -- but as we export our lifestyle to more and more of the world beyond our borders, the "American problem" has become a global problem. The focus of World Diabetes Day shifted this year from Type 1 Diabetes to screening and education, and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. Also making the headlines -- though more in the medical professional community -- is the question of whether or not Metabolic Syndrome exists per se, and what sort of interrelations do and do not exist between hypertension, insulin resistance, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and high serum cholesterol levels.
"On a scarier note, the eagerness of our new president to push through a "healthcare reform" package that will, through its economic disincentives, nationalize healthcare by forcing everyone into an insurance-oligopoly-controlled "public option", drive current medical professionals away from their practices, discourage students from entering the healthcare professions, and -- due to the ensuing lack of funds and practitioners -- severely ration access to healthcare. This could have deadly ramifications for anyone who requires medication and medical equipment -- such as exogenous insulin.
"Personally, I have seen an explosion of online diabetes advocacy -- through dedicated diabetes and e-health Web portals, social communities, and blogs. Many of us have become more active in reaching out beyond these cyber walls -- meeting, and sometimes advocating and supporting others with diabetes -- in real life. This has become big enough news for one of the major manufacturers of diabetes supplies, Roche, to sponsor a summit in which a number of influential d-bloggers and social media mavens were asked to explain the phenomenon, with an eye towards their entering the conversation."
- Blogabetes Blogger Brenda Bell
"2009 proved to be a milestone in my diabetic life. It was the first time since being diagnosed that I can say that I had absolute control over my disease. The control stemmed from me being a pregnant diabetic and all the extra care and attention that entailed. It was hard work, it was a lot of doctors visits and insulin injections and blood monitoring. Yet in the end, I delivered my gorgeous, healthy baby girl with no problems in June! I felt great while I was pregnant and I've no doubt that it was in large part to my vigilant control! I hope I can translate those efforts into my normal unpregnant state in 2010!!"
- Viewpoints Columnist Kathryn Foss, Suddenly Diabetic
"Well, what can I say. A lot of things happened in 2009. Some good, some not so good. On the 'not so good' side, we saw Smiths Medical, the makers of the Cozmo insulin pump, pull the plug on the diabetes division, and along with it my job (I worked for Smiths). On the good side, we saw companies like Roche and the American Heart Association reach out to folks active in social media, which I think is a sign of things yet to come. Social media has made a big impact on many people, and companies are trying to figure out how to get involved. I'm cautiously optimistic about that involvement, and hope that everyone benefits (companies and patients). As I'm struggling to pull the pieces back together around a career, I'm also working very hard to improve my diabetes management efforts. I'm excited to experience 2010, and look forward to both the challenges and successes it brings along with it."
- Viewpoints Columnist Scott Johnson, Which Way is Down
Italian-Style Tomato Soup Mushrooms and Green Beans Grilled Pork Tenderloin Oriental Crab Spread with Crackers Parmesan Garlic Biscuits Wasabi Cream Saffron Marinated Pork Tenderloin Vegetable Chili Mango Salsa Asparagus Parmesan
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...