March 31, 2008

288 Times a Day!

In order to manage blood sugar, diabetics test their blood by pricking their finger (or arm or hand) and putting a drop into a blood tester (glucometer). I do this about 8 times a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how I'm feeling and when I remember. This method does a pretty good job at helping me maintain good control.

Then came along the Continuous Glucose Monitor. It's a device that stays under your skin, like an insulin pump, and continuously tests your blood sugar throughout the day. 288 times a day, even while you're sleeping! Genius! I was so excited a few years ago when I first heard of it.

Medtronic Minimed, the company that made my insulin pump, was selling it. But my excitment was shattered upon discovering that no insurance company was covering it. How could that be? A device that would save lives and prevent devestating complications - why wouldn't they cover it? And so my life went on, testing 8 times a day.

Having completely put the Continuous Glucose Monitor out of my mind, I was shocked to discover the other day that Medtronic Minimed has officially sold its 1 millionth continuous glucose sensor. I figured 1 million probably meant that insurance companies were maybe changing their minds.

I called up Medtronic today and they say that my insurance, United Healthcare, is covering it! Now, if you're not diabetic, then you won't understand when I say how STOKED I am!!!

Next steps, to call United Healthcare to see if my healthcare package covers it. Imagine how healthy I'd be and how many years I could add to my life if I could test 288 times a day, instead of 8.

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