Tuesday, I wrote about a topic from Diabetes Blog Week from last year. Last DBlog Week also had another topic that I wanted to revisit and that was the topic on Changes. I wrote about changes I want to see happen but I’d also like to talk about the changes that I’ve seen happen in my 22, almost 23 years with the disease.
Living with this disease on a daily basis, I don’t really stop to smell the roses too often. There are the obvious changes like the continuous glucose monitor and the insulin pump that I couldn’t live without anymore. But what about the not so obvious changes? For instance, blood glucose meters have come a long way. A lot of people remember back when they took 45 seconds to give you a reading, whereas now they only take 5 seconds but I remember how I used to have to “milk” my finger to get enough blood for a sample. When I was first diagnosed at age 9, I still remember my mom coming over to milk my finger to get enough blood to my fingertips so that I could fill the strip up. Now, the strips require very little blood and I can manage that without any fancy tricks and even with an old lancet! The smaller finger prick sample size is definitely an improvement that I’m happy came about.
I mentioned above that my continuous glucose monitor was an obvious change that has happened over recent years, but a not so obvious change was the actual product itself. My first CGM had an awful needle that was long and hurt going in. The insertion device sucked and I would often have serious bleeding and bruises afterwards. It also wasn’t that accurate. My new CGM needle is much more pleasant, both in size and to put in. Very rarely do I bleed from the insertion nor the needle. It also seems to be much more accurate (although it does have its inaccuracies from time to time).
Obamacare is a third change that has happened in recent years. Before working for my husband’s small business, I wasn’t impacted by the fact that health insurance companies could deny me coverage based on my pre-existing condition. I remember my dad telling me that I would always need to work for a large company because of my diabetes and he was right. When I started working for my husband’s small business, they couldn’t deny us group coverage, but they could definitely bill us an arm and a leg for it. My husband’s company is just him and me and before he hired me, he was on an individual plan for a very small premium per month. Because I was denied individual coverage, we had to get group insurance and lucky for my husband, he also got charged at the higher rate thanks to me. He went from paying next to nothing to an exorbitant amount to provide insurance to me. Thankfully, Obamacare came out and I was no longer denied coverage nor charged an arm and a leg because they only ask for your sex and age. Our health insurance broker even told us that we were the only small business he knew who’s rates went down because of Obamacare. Of course, since the ruling we have had many issues with Obamacare, like we are no longer recognized as a small business and now we have to get individual insurance which I have found out the hard way is not nearly as nice.
These are just three examples of changes that have happened over the last 22 years. There have been many more great changes over the years and other D-bloggers wrote about them during last year’s Diabetes Blog Week so be sure to check them out! Diabetes Blog Week is happening again this year and it will be May 16-20th. I’m looking forward to participating again!