A Monitor For All Complications
Jim's Mail Bag
Q: Hi, Jim - I hope you don't mind me e-mailing you to ask if you have any idea(s) for our Mom. She has type II diabetes, complicated by severe peripheral neuropathy, and blindness. She basically has no feeling in her fingers whatsoever, and about 2 months ago lost the remainder of her eyesight, (macular degeneration). We have been trying to find out if a glucose monitor exists for someone with these complications. I have been able to locate "talking" monitors with no problem . . . but that would not solve the problems caused by the neuropathy. She can't grasp a strip, let alone line it up and load it; can't pick up a needle, load it, or twist off the top, let alone remove the top of the device & replace it, etc.; can't feel if she has actually pricked herself or not, nor can she see the blood, and then can't line up the strip with the blood, etc., etc.
I have been able to move in with her to assist her in her daily activities, etc. (She also has congenital heart failure - her heart function is below 20%; one kidney has totally dried up & the other one is barely functioning; and a plethora of other problems as well, all of which add up to 24 prescription meds a day). But, she has always been an extremely independent woman, and absolutely hates having to rely on assistance from anyone else. So, she is hoping that she could find a monitor that she could use mostly by herself.
Finding this specialized of a monitor is not a life or death situation. I guess she feels that it would just be one way that she could retain a little bit of independence and control, if she did not have to depend on me to take the 2 minutes(!) each morning to help her!
I'm sure that you are extremely busy, but if you would have any info, guidance, or words of wisdom, they would be VERY appreciated!!!!
Thanks, Jim, for any advice that you may have and for taking the time to read this!
Well, wow, this really is a handful. My knowledge of all the various meters and lancing devices and all the stuff we use is not what it should be. I had to ask for help with all this. CDE Deborah Greenwood did some research about this. Please read her reply.
You have taken on an enormous task in trying to help your mom by moving in with her. But make sure you protect yourself. Its great that you are working hard to make sure she feels as independent as she can throughout this. This must be very debilitating for her not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. But it will be a lot for you to deal with, as well. Make sure you get as much help and support as you can from friends, family or a diabetes support group. You might email Deborah about how to find a group in your area.
Deborah has some very good suggestions but I wish we had better answers for you.
All my best,
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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...