Diabetes and some things you want to know

Having labs drawn, following strict diets, finger sticks, and exercising.  If you are diabetic you can relate. If not, then this will be helpful for you to understand what someone you may know goes through. Normal daily routines consist of bring out the glucose monitor, test strips, and last but not least choosing the finger of the day or hour. Finger sticks are necessary in order to see where your blood glucose level is before you eat.  Normal levels should be near normal range of 70 to 120mg/dl before meals and under 140mg/dl at two hours after eating.  Another important lab that is drawn at the request of your physician is an A1C. This lab measures your average blood glucose, blood sugar, level over the past 3 months. Your doctor will use the A1C alone or in combination with other diabetes test to make a diagnosis. They also use it to see how well you are managing your diabetes.
An estimated 33% of adults aged 65 or older have diabetes. This population is more at risk of developing diabetes-related complications like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), kidney failure and heart disease than younger people living with diabetes. When you first hear you have diabetic, all sorts of emotions run through your body. Your doctor and nurses are available to discuss and set you up for trainings. You can check with your insurance company, but diabetic trainings should be covered for those newly diagnosed. The more you know the better off you will be in controlling and managing your diabetes. 
Being Diabetic can be quite challenging. But it doesn’t have to be if you are aware of signs and symptoms. Meeting with your doctor on a regular basis, attending trainings or educational meetings, and sticking to the diet and medication regimen set by your physician. You should talk to your physician right away if you experience frequent urination, feeling thirsty, feeling hungry-even though you are eating, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, weight loss- even though you are eating more, and last but not least tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet. 
You need to know what your insurance will and won’t cover when it comes to diabetic insulin or supplies. You will see T.V. commercials of new fancy/high tech devices that may say could be covered by your insurance. The key word here is “could” be. Checking your benefits or calling your insurance provider will help you get through some difficult decision. Medicare does cover screenings under Part B if your doctor determines you’re at risk of diabetes or you’re diagnosed with pre-diabetes. You are eligible for 2 screenings each year. Medicare Part B also covers a diabetes prevention program once in a lifetime if certain conditions apply. Medicare Part B covers eye exams for diabetic retinopathy once each year if you have diabetes. The exam must be done by and eye doctor who’s legally allowed to do the test in your state. Medicare does not routine foot care, but Part B does cover foot exams every 6 months if you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy and loss of protective sensations, as long as you haven’t seen a foot care professional for another reason between visits. Again, knowing what is covered and what isn’t, how much you would be responsible for out of pocket, in advance would be very helpful. Making a call to your insurance company should be top of the list. Visiting medicare.gov for those that are enrolled in Medicare A & B.
 Not all monitoring devices will be covered as could have been miscommunicated or misunderstood. You should know that doing your own research and shopping around is a great benefit, the same as if you were shopping for new shoes. Also, that visiting the company website for those that make the devices is good but make sure you already know what device you are looking for. There aren’t many companies out there but do know they are competing for your business. You will see devices that have wires and some that are wireless. Again, knowing what your insurance will cover and how much you might have to pay out of pocket will be helpful. 
For more information, contact Living By Your Design, Inc., focusing on the issues of Older Americans:  legal, financial, free guidance for residential placement and healthcare issues.  Call:  309-285-8088.  Website:  www.LivingByYourDesignInc.com.  Location:  809 W. Detweiller Dr., Peoria, IL 61615. 

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