Recognizing the Reality of the Situation

I started using an iBGStar this weekend. I figure I have about 22 more test strips before I’m half way through the included 50 and I have to decide if I want to go all-out with this meter and get a 90-day supply of all new test strips. After a handful of blood glucose tests I can confirm that this device is on some next-level stuff. I’m not sure if managing your diabetes will ever be considered ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ (assuming people ever use the adjective form of ‘hip’ without irony), but this thing is slick. More detailed impressions will surely follow, but with this new device in my possession and the anticipation of Dexcom’s G4, I need to get something off my chest.

We all know these things are not cheap. My insurance covers a huge chunk of the cost of my FreeStyle test strips, which is nice. The test strips for the iBGStar, however, are in a different tier and as a result will cost me more money out of pocket. This is particularly unfortunate as my Flexible Spending Account approaches $0.00 and medical costs for the rest of the year will truly be out of pocket rather than being covered by the predesignated portion of my paycheck that escapes taxation but is declared exclusively for health care costs. After functionality and comfort with the iBGStar, this cost is the biggest consideration I have to factor into my possible continuation with this meter over my previous setup.

I’ve also been placed in the queue of people with diabetes that plan to upgrade their continuous glucose monitoring shenanigans to the G4. Last I heard, I’ll be stepping my game up in December. I can’t wait. Because of when I last purchased a full system, I think I’ll have to pay the $399 upgrade charge. Right now I believe the ends will justify the means, even if it noticeably hits my bank account.

Both of these devices come at a cost that I can afford, but I know there are a great number of people out there – some of them may even read this blog – that do not have insurance, have to deal with a stubborn insurance company, are unemployed, or are not fiscally positioned to endure these costs.

This is the reality of the situation.

These devices will often be featured in future blog posts as I continue to chronicle my life with diabetes. They will impact and influence how I view diabetes and how I can best manage this disease. While I can’t acknowledge every single person and their situation out there I figure it’s best to put out a blanket disclaimer of sorts so I don’t come off as some kind of entitled jerk. So here it goes:

For various reasons, not every person with diabetes can afford or acquire specific devices or tools for diabetes care. This blog is a personal journey featuring the tools I use to manage my own diabetes. I recognize that not every person that reads these posts cannot directly relate to my experiences, but that’s the fun part – these are my experiences. I am not writing about these devices to boast my visibility or say ‘nyah nyah, I’m cooler than you’. All of this is just part of the path to a healthier life with diabetes. Hopefully.

Again, I’m not trying to be a jerk about this. I just don’t want future conversations about the G4 to be reduced to name-calling and holier-than-thou grudges because CGM’s aren’t widely recognized as a standard of diabetes care…even though they totally should be.

3 thoughts on “Recognizing the Reality of the Situation

  1. I don’t think anyone will take this a bragging (I hope not!). This it’s an educated decision you made after evaluating the costs and benefits of your options, as well as the money you have available to spend on them, and part of blogging is a narrative of how you went through this evaluation process. I just hope no one feels compelled to upgrade due to peer-pressure, breaking the bank in the process (I’m thinking more along the line of meters) when doing so won’t offer a significant benefit.

  2. Chris, I hope you’re at peace with this. There’s no reason why you should (or anyone should) accept less than the best tools you can get to manage your diabetes. Even if it’s not always available to everyone. Which, as you said, totally should be.

  3. I have good news for you (or anyone else) about the cost of the iBGStar test strips. As long as you have some sort of insurance coverage for their test strips, if you sign up for their Star Savings Program (http://www.ibgstar.us/co-pay.aspx) you are guaranteed to pay no more than a $20 copay for the strips.

    Happy number crunching!

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