"When I think about 2011 and diabetes, I think of the community continuing to grow. More and more people are telling their stories about life with diabetes. We are actively changing what newly diagnosed people (and families) find when they look online for information about diabetes. They no longer see stories of complications and dread, but rather a large group of people living well with diabetes.
2011 also brought more awareness of diabetes globally, and more awareness of those in need, both abroad and here in the United States. It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear that people are dying because they can't afford insulin or don't have access to it. While it is hard to hear, I recognize that it is necessary to hear if anything is to change.
Collaboration and cooperation between individuals and corporations is another major theme of the year. As patients and active diabetes advocates, we're always wary of motives behind most partnerships. But I feel that the majority of partnership activity has been beneficial for everyone involved, first and foremost people living with diabetes. If we can leverage our collective voice and bring real change and help to those in need, there's nothing wrong with it in my opinion."
"2011 was the year of the patient, and a year of patients coming together to improve health outcomes. The diabetes community has helped to empower fellow PWDs, their caregivers, and those new to this diabetes journey, and through this empowerment comes better control of our diabetes. Healthcare professionals and diabetes specialists alike seem to have achieved a universal understanding that diabetes is not just a physiological disease, but one that affects emotional well-being, too. Working together as a cohesive team of healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers can change the face of diabetes across the world. We aren't alone. And that's pretty awesome."
"Well, my year sucked. How about yours?
At first glance, it seems like nothing good came out of 2011. New political fights over healthcare, reductions in coverage by health insurance plans, budget cuts to health programs for the most disadvantaged of our citizens, and internecine warfare in the online world between type 1 and type 2 communities.
But, I think (and hope) that the times they are a-changin' for the better.
In the eleventh hour of 2011 the FDA, trapped in the grip of safety paralysis all year, approved two new devices that pave the way for a new era in diabetes management. The first was a pump, the Tandem t:slim. A new pump isn't that big a deal for most people with diabetes, but it's the first time the feds have approved a touch-screen diabetes device.
Closing the gap even further between consumer high-tech and medical high-tech was the approval of the innovative iBGStar meter that plugs into the bottom of an Apple iPhone or iTouch. Whether you use an iPhone or not, this is a big deal because the iBGStar approval marks the first time the FDA has allowed blood glucose technology to mate with an overall platform of devices, rather than with a specific model. This could open the floodgates to a better unity between our dLife and the rest of our life. And anything that makes diabetes easier makes it a good year in my book.
I'm willing to take these two landmark decisions as good omens for the future, because, frankly, I can't stand the thought of another year that sucks."
"This year saw the consequences of the FDA's excessive caution in approving new diabetes therapies — there should have been many approvals but there were very few. The notable exceptions were two new drugs in the DPP-4 inhibitor family and two new insulin pumps, Tandem and Asante. But we remain hopeful for 2012, with expected approvals for once-weekly GLP-1 Bydureon, for a good weight-loss drug in Qnexa, for a superior basal insulin in degludec, for the next-generation Dexcom CGM sensor, for a much smaller Omnipod, and for Medtronic's new CGM sensor, Enlite. Not all the news was bad from the federal government. In 2011, Medicare agreed to cover some preventive services, and First Lady Michelle Obama continues her incredible high-profile advocacy for fitness, nutrition, and weight loss."
Yee-ha! Burgers Syrian Cucumber/Mint Soup Baked Cabbage Panko Crusted Dijon Chicken Oven-Steamed Endives with Lemon and Parsley Cucumber with Bean Sprouts Crispy Oriental Pizza Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette Five-Spice Salmon with Leeks in Parchment Salsa Roja
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...