My brother found face-down and flat-line in jacuzzi

Sally; I'm guessing by your picture (gosh I'm crazy telling a woman how old I think she is) you look younger than 30 its a small pic so I cant make a better guess (25ish). My point is that young = better able to feel lows but not so good feeling highs and that is why us T-1s tend to do so much damage in the younger years. I hope all of you will keep watch in the future; if we can facilitate a class action suit you might consider getting involved.

Peetie; I'm sorry, hypothetical huggs. Two and a half weeks ago I woke up at 3 AM with a fractured shoulder. I went to ER and told them I had an insulin reaction and hurt my shoulder. They all looked at me so suspiciously. I don't think they ever really believed me. They didn't write what I told them on the reports and that created problems with the insurance. I was able to clear it up with a phone call but the generalizations and the lack of communication gets so frustrating.

I just clicked on your pic and realized that what I figured was you is actually a young girl(your daughter I'm guessing) holding her little brother or sister. Anyways, that's pretty good not getting below 60. I can feel it too but sometimes I think I'm low, I test and I'm high or just tired.....I wish this disease would get cured life would definitly be more fun with out it. Allthough it is fun talking to all of you on this website..

I'm horrified about what happened to your Brother and you and your Family. That was too close. I can't believe a Dr. would only prescribe enough strips that only allows a Type 1, 4 tests a day.

My Endo and I were discussing this exact topic at my last appointment. He was Happy once again that I was doing Good and my tests came back in the preferred because of my vigilance AND my testing 7-10 times a day.

He has some D Patients who just do not want to test enough and their health is suffering because of it and they are not taking care of the other necessary parts of Diabetes. As it's been said before,"You don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been".(or "where you are".)

Best wishes for your Brothers' complete recovery and a change for more testing help.

Infuriating doesn't begin to describe this situation. Am so sorry. Mind boggling that insurance would rather pay for hospitalization than prevention. Such a pitiful state of affairs that insurance determines our health needs & our health. What a system for disaster.

Perhaps media attention may further the cause. Local TV stations tend to like David & Goliath stories. No doubt many others are experiencing the same doctor/insurance stupidity & would join your efforts for change, if they knew your brother's story. Strength in numbers. Viva la revolucion!

A friend was recently diagnosed T2. She's on basal insulin. Her idiot doctor says she only needs to test once a day, so her strip Rx is 30 a month.

Sending all good thoughts for your brother's complete recovery. Please keep us posted.

Jethro sorry to hear about your brother. Hope he has a speedy and full recovery.

Yeah, I think it's time to figure out how to contact media. I'll let you know more soon.

I'm so sorry to hear this. It is so frightening to hear through you. I cannot even imagine what it feels like to live through it as his family and loved ones. My thoughts are with you all.

It's terrifying because that could happen to any one of us. I went 4 months without insurance because no one would cover me once I left my job to be a stay at home mom to my infant daughter. It was definitely a very scary time for me, as I was dwindling my stockpile of supplies that I spent a year stacking up. Luckily, my husband got hired with the job he was contracted through, and we've had health insurance for about a month now.

Whenever I run into an issue with insurance, I don't mess around. I go to the state insurance commissioner, the governor, the senator, the local news station and the newspaper. Especially something like this situation, I really believe if you play it right, you could get really great media coverage. Especially working the government angle, seeing as election time is right around the corner. Hopefully a lawyer's team will find a case for you and help you retaliate. I'm so sick of insurance companies trying to restrict us when our lives depend on these things so much! Insurance companies make me so sick just thinking about them. I truly wish we could just do away with them altogether.

Again, I'm so sorry to hear this. My thoughts and tears are with you.

I'm horrified. And pissed. Just where do Medicare and insurance companies get off practicing medicine without a license, aided by business and professional associations that claim to care (but SOMETIMES do)?

I've never had an unconscious low, but as time goes by I'm becoming increasingly hypo-unaware, and when I finally do notice it, I'm already so low, I'm stupid. This issue is crucial, and yes, I think we need a class-action suit on it!

I don't think the media are capable of comprehending or marketing this issue correctly, which is why I'm pro-suit on it. The "other side" has doctors lined up on their side, ready and willing to testify that people who want > 4 strips/ day are obsessive and disturbed by their prolonged exposure to diabetes.

Blue Cross has sent me a letter advising me that "Medicare says you only need 4x strips/ day, so that's all you need!" signed by some jackass doctor who's never laid eyes on me or any of my numbers. They are currently providing more strips but they've made it clear that their position is that they don't have to.

To me, this is a ***much*** more important issue for us than artificial pancreases.

I think it's part of an attitude of catering to the least common denominator. Patients say "oh I don't like poking my fingers" or "I couldn't possibly give up gooey desserts" and doctors say, "Yes, I understand it's ok to rarely test and eat whatever you want." When what they should be doing is supporting the patients to slowly make healthier choices and develop better habits.

And it's that that (180) is the goal! I run into occasional 180s and fix them, because that's not my goal but it seems like there's loads of people who's doctors inculcate them with a sense that 180 is ok, despite the fact that long-term studies have shown that elevated BG increases your chance of complications. I don't follow Bernstein because I'm sort of a drug fiend and have a heavy hand on the gas pedal of my insulin pump. Like Dr. B, I want my BG to be normal so that's my target, not 180. I know there's lots of folks who struggle to hit 180 but I think that's because their target isn't there and that they are pushing to hit a target that doesn't make you feel good the way 90-95 does.

That is horrible, I hope he will be ok and sending you my hope/wishes for his complete recovery.

I agree you should sue not just the company but the doctor separately, they are both liable for any permanent damage your brother may have due to this. Don't give up on a lawsuit whether it's class action or not- class action would be a good idea- you will find a lawyer to take this on and you don't' have to pay a fee until a recovery is made.

4 times a day is no where near enough tests, his doctor should have known this and I'm sure he did. I recently asked to increase my test strips from 10 to 15, I was told at my endos office they didn't think the insurance would pay for more that 10, but I called and they told me there is no limit on the number of tests per day. I hope it stays that way since I test a lot due to lows.

I think all the supplies should be free or very low cost, including insulin. We also need a class action suit against the companies that make the supplies and insulin to force them lower the cost.

It wouldn't surprise me if your brother's doctor is not clued in that T1's need more testing than most T2's.

I hope he'll be okay.

So sorry to hear about your brother. I agree with acidrock. Testing strips are a much more important issue for us than the artificial pancreas. One saves lives today and the other is somewhere in the distant future.

Jethro,

I am so sad that this happened to your brother. The pain and suffering of your family is enormous (to put it mildly, I'm sure!). I wish him a speedy and full recovery.

I sadly think that class action may be the only way to go unless your brother kept very, very detailed records on his diet, insulin, testing, doctor's visits (including how well he followed doctor's advice) and more! As you know, being a T1 yourself, there are just so many variables at play. Now if a large group of T1's can show "negative outcomes" after testing 4x/day vs. 5x or more/day, there might be a case, but the odds are extremely poor IMO. Keep in mind that Kaiser may ultimately fall back on - "Hey, we are following what Medicare says, so sue the Government!"

There are a couple of items that struck me when I read your post (beyond the immediate tragedy).

The first is the need to be able to talk to your doctor and appropriately push back when being told to do something you know or feel is wrong for you. Is the doctor giving a recommendation based on generalized studies only without considering your specific needs?

If I was told to reduce testing due to good A1C results. I would first say, how do you think I got those results - LOTS OF TESTING! I might also point out the number of high and low "excursions" and how 4x/day would cause me to miss them and give myself the appropriate treatment.

If the doc keeps pushing the 4x/day, I might then say, okay, let's try it out, but let's also perform another A1C in 30 - 45 days. If it moves too high (or too low!), then back to the old testing regime.

The second thing that occurs to me is the jacuzzi. When I started MDI (reiterated when I started pumping), I was told to be very careful with a jacuzzi. The hot water can accelerate the absorption of insulin, leading to hypoglycemic events. There should always be someone in the tub with you and you should only go in for 15 minutes.

Jethro, Sending Prayers for your brother.. And I agree with both the class-action lawsuit and Gerri's suggestion of contacting the media!!!

God bless,
Brunetta

How I hate ...I mean HATE reading about stories like this .I am sending you and your family my very best recovery wishes !!
My past GP questioned and commented me about how many strips I use ...I hope I educated him .
Another observation as a person with diabetes : I have not been in a jacuzzi for many years ...do not plan to go there .

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother and I hope and pray he makes a complete recovery.

As for the science about tests per day - there are *multiple* studies that show there is a clear correlation between number of tests per day and lower A1C (and therefore lower complications)

Take a look at this poster:
http://professional.diabetes.org/Content/Posters/2004/p430-P.pdf

Thre more people test, the lower their A1c (and very likely, the probability that they will catch a hypoglycemic event before it gets too serious).

If a doctor says otherwise, he is not up on the science.

[The results have been as clear for those who are not on insulin)

Jethro. Am in Spain, but praying! I know there is a solution even if you have to go to a local MacDonald and ask the manager if they will sponcer your brother! Start a sponsorship List! Start a sponcered walk. there are folks who will help. They just need the nudge! Back in 2002 I had 2 heart attacks. My kids started a list. I needed a heart op, and my private Insurer at the time would not pay for the prosthesis. A Monk I had not meet for 13 years raised a chunk of the money around $9.000 US by doing a sponcered walk. Altogether I got 13 sponsors and it saved my life. Some gave as little as $10US Some $100 etc. But it all came in! What was truly amazing is. I had never meet or heard of most of the people and still have not meet them! They didn't want promotion. They wanted to help! Take it from where ever it will come from Jethro as long as it is good will!
The Monk just sent the money from UK to Spain with some photos! I believe The Help is Out There for your brother! Hoping for the best!
Albert.