Kelly Kunik asks: Where were the PWDs at the ADA Conference?

Kelly Kunik's impressions on the recent ADA Scientific Sessions Conference in Philadelphia - why were there so few people with diabetes (PWDs) there?

Thank you for sharing this, Marie. The folks here at Tu have helped me so much more with the day to day how to live with diabetes than any member of my medical team, including CDEs. My CDE and endo have both told me that people who live with D 24/7 know more about it than any medical professional.

My health insurance requires that anyone with certain health conditions like heart disease or diabetes be assigned a "health coach" who you must have a telephone conversation with once a month in order to get cheaper co-pays on insulin and supplies. The savings is significant so I do it. My "health coach" is a CDE who is also a registered dietician. She's a really nice lady but I feel like I'm just running through a checklist with her checking on my progress. She's empathetic but never gives me suggestions so now I just say as little as possible and keep the call as short as possible (usually less than 15 minutes).

I come here for real life suggestions. :)

Excellent point. Innumerable lives changed by DOC. Thanks for posting.

Smileandnod, my insurance company has nurses available 24 hours to help PWD. They hounded me to call them. Very annoying. No way was I going to discuss readings & issues with insurance company staff.

Annoying is right, Gerri! She actually makes an appointment with me for the next call. I stopped doing it for a while but my copay on each vial of insulin went from $15 to $60 and same for my test strips. If I cooperate, I get my test strips for free.

Sad but true. I feel like my meds and supplies are being held hostage and I have to cooperate to get them released. So I learned to play the game.

I talk about when my next doctors appointments are and my exercise plan. When she asks "Do you have any questions for me?", it's always a big no, thank you!

Mine didn't offer a financial incentive. For free strips & reduced insulin co-pay, I'd do it & not say anything incriminating, just as you don't. You're definitely being held hostage! What manipulation.

I had message after annoying message about how I need to call the insurance nurse. "You haven't taken advantage of our service to help control your diabetes. Please call at your earliest convenience." I was about to tell them to stop contacting me when they ceased. They gave up. I still get their expensive brochures in the mail.

I get bugged about my blood pressure. I have autonomic neuropathy. At home my BP is low (this a.m. 68/42) but at the doctor or dentist's office it's high (180/85). They send me letters, they tell me to check in with the blood pressure center, which is manned by a nurse's assistant. What I really need is someone who will deal with the neuropathy, but all they want to do is deal with the numbers - their numbers, not mine - and prescribe a pill that I feel could easily kill me. I have a hard time smiling and nodding and all the doo doo they dish out just makes my blood pressure higher while I'm there.

Jan, my mom suffers from white coat syndrome and the hassle they give her at the doctors office about her blood pressure makes it 10 times worse. She's gone through the exact same thing as you with them wanting her to take a bp pill that she doesn't need.

She monitors and logs at home and shows her doc the logs but all they want to talk about is her bp in the office.

Actually, one of my bosses has a "health coach" for high blood pressure through our insurance. He started turning the tables on the nurse he talks to by asking her questions.... so where are you located? So you've probably never tried the good food we have here, have you? Well, you have to know that the only exercise I'm going to get is walking to the deer stand at my hunting camp.

Doo doo is right. :)