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Why isn't everyone given a meter?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by farmerfudge, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. farmerfudge

    farmerfudge · Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    Been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now and discovered from posting that a lot of diabetics (exclusively type 2 it seems) are being told they dont need a bg meter and subsequently not being given one by their GPs, Nurses? What's this all about. I know the test strips are costly, but is this the reason? :?: :?:
     
  2. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Cost would seem to be the overriding reason that many PCT's discourage doctors and DN's from giving type 2 patients meters and test strips.They fail to realise that some patients want very much to control their diabetes.Some patients do not and that is their choice in the matter.Those that do control their diabetes are actually going to cost the NHS less in the long run re complications but the PCT's do not seem to look long term,only as far as this years budget.
     
  3. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    There was a study done in Ireland, with VERY IFFY Science that concluded that T2s who tested suffered more stress and anxiety. and another which found that T2s don't do any better if they test. this is the basis of a cost saving exercise. Underneath It think is the Blame thing. T2s brought the condition on themselves by their unhealthy lifestyles, so are not deserving of the best care. I am ccynical
     
  4. farmerfudge

    farmerfudge · Well-Known Member

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    I just don't get the distinction being made between T1 and T2 though, both take insulin and both need to know BG surely? Or am I missing something fundamental here. I must admit I know very little about T2.
     
  5. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    The trouble is that a lot of type 2's control their diabetes with either diet only or oral medication.Now,depending on the type of medication i.e does it cause hypos or not,they will not necessarily get test strips.If they are on insulin then they do get test strips the same as a type 1.
    The type 2's who control it with diet only are the ones most usually denied test strips but conversely the ones who need them so they can see which foods affect their blood sugars so they can achieve good control.
     
  6. farmerfudge

    farmerfudge · Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. Thanks for the info. I can see if insulin treatment isn't in the equation then the same risk isn't there. I can still see the frustration of those needing to know what the hecks going on with the BS reading in managing their condition.
     
  7. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    sulphonylureas can also cause hypos. People on them don't always get strips. I think one theory is that T2s on orals cannot tweak their BGs, so don't need to test. Not good thinking. T2s who have plenty of strips, can "eat to the meter", which is an excellent method of control.
     
  8. Apricot

    Apricot Type 2 · Active Member

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    Before I knew any better, (ie in the very early days), I went and kitted myself out from the Asda Barnsley. The Pharmacy team there couldnt have been kinder. Easier to do things myself, rather than wait for the DS nurse. My rants about conflicting information from now 11 "experts" is elsewhere. The reason I was told...I am not capable of interpretation. (laughs!)

    In the early days (sounds like I have been at this for years)...but its a bare 5 months, the meter proved invaluable. I know I was getting it so very wrong...the numbers told me so.

    With a little help from you all, I have some sort of control now...its not perfect...but I dare to think I am getting there.

    I am still hungry most of the time, getting lows of 2 (dont shout!!), drinking a lot of plain water, and with my being Coeliac as well...am struggling. I have had to increase the fruit content of diet...as its causing other problems.So am now experimenting with a bit more fruit. Coeliacs tend to eat a lot of fruit....and I so missed it. Make my own G/F pastry...and a lovely apple and blackberry pie (Have frozen half!!)
    Its pancake day tomorrow...so have lots of fun.
    Many thanks.

    Apricot

    Bows to audience. .....
    Reading last night 6.4. at 10.45 (6.5 as 7 day average)
    Weight loss .2kg in 7 days (before I had the pie!)
    BP steady ...

    From readings of 11+ in Sept.
     
  9. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Good for you Apricot,you're a great example of why type2's need a meter.
     
  10. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    This is one "justification" (check the comments for names you may recognise from other diabetes sites)

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/335/7611/132

    Basically they are trying to save money *now* in order to afford the "inevitable" amputations and dialysis later, when someone else is in charge
     
  11. SilverAndEbony

    SilverAndEbony · Well-Known Member

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    I'm deleting this because I wish I hadn't though about putting my 2 pen'arth in.
     
  12. welshtony

    welshtony Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed T2 in August last year and found this site and various other resources that convinced me that if I tried I COULD do something about the condition, and decline wasn't inevitable.

    But when I asked for a meter and test strips, I was told "wait for the eductaion course".

    When I got to the education course at the hospital, I was shocked to be told that my DN had specifically written to ask that I not be shown how to use a meter as it wasn't policy to give diet only T2s meters. I saw the letter.

    I refused to leave the (small) group until after the demo and then discussed it with the educators, who said they disagreed with the decision and would write to my GP saying they thought I should have one. They also advised me to go back to my DN and ask for a better reason than just "policy". I armed myself with some supporting arguments from here (basically about how I could use it to determine which foods were affecting ME) and went ready for an argument. I had also determined which meter I wanted, by checking which strips were most commonly available cheap on eBay (Aviva Accucheck).

    But they caved in straight away and gave me a meter and a prescription for needles and a tab of strips (which took 3 goes to get right!). And I then went and bought 3 more pots of strips and 2 packs of needles from eBay, at £10 a pot and £10 odd for the needles as well. I now have about 3 months supply of strips and a year's supply of needles, but I will go back for a top up perscription from the GP every 3 months or so, now. The DN was trying to tell me that the NHS pay £35 or so; I just don't believe that.

    And my monitoring is revealing some interesting things (I had a bad day yuesterday with 2 readings of 9, but one was after eating a 150g bag of chilli crisps, as a deliberate experiment), and is encouraging me to challenge myself to keep on track. The first 3 months saw a drop from 6.7 to 6.2 in the hba1c count, and keeping relatively low carb has helped me drop 2 stone in 5 months also (still another 4 to go to get to the right weight for an average BMI for my height, though!).

    So my advice to newbies would be to checkout eBay asap, and make sure that you can get enough strips to test yourself at least 5 times a day for your critical first 6 months; cos that's the time when you'll be most receptive to new forming new habits, if you have any interest in your health at alll!

    I've been lurking here, and benefitting from the advice, for 5 months. Time to lose my virginity!
     
  13. vivkaroo

    vivkaroo · Well-Known Member

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    i didnt have a meter and could not get one off my gp and i have been diabetic years so i bought one from the chemist an aviva one they were on a special offer then just rang my gp and said i needed tests strips and no prob and no probs since though i do agree as i am type 2 and i dont think we should have to buy one they preach to watch your bloods but wont give you free meter anyway i thought might as well buy one or i will be waiting forever i am on metformin and glicklazide as well not just diet managed and still had to buy my own it is wrong bye vivkaroo xx
     
  14. shandromeda

    shandromeda · Well-Known Member

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    My nurse said i couldn't have a meter her reason was if i had a low reading i would go eat some thing with sugar to bring it back up but as a type 2 on tables would be a wrong thing to do.So i've made an appointment with a doctor and i'm going to say that i bought a meter myself and testing has been useful but as i've used up the test strips that came with it.Can any one give me a bit of fighting talk i may use to swing things my way and get my strips,shan x
     
  15. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    There is a thread on the Diabetes Discussions, "Where to buy test strips" and there is some information on there as to how to put forward an argument for test strips.
     
  16. libra201055

    libra201055 · Member

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    I have been "eating to my meter" for 7 months now and have managed to reduce my A1c from 7.7 to 5.8, loose 11lb in weight and reduce my b/p to 125/80. The results have also persuaded my clinic nurse to increase my strips to 2 boxes a month so I no longer have to buy a box myself. Well worth the effort and I feel so much better! :D
     
  17. CarolTaylor

    CarolTaylor · Newbie

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    HELLO TO YOU ALL. I WAS GIVEN A MEATRE BY MY DIABETIC CLINIC MANY YEARS AGO 25YRS . HAVE TRIED VARIOS ONES OVER THE YEARS. I RANG THE ACCU-CHEK CUSTOMER CARELINES, AS I HAD LOST THE BACK OFF MY METRE AND WAS UNSURE ON THE READINGS I HAD BEEN DOING WERE OK. THEY SENT ME AN ACCU-CHEK COMPACT PLUS MEATRE FREE PF CHARGE.

    I HAVE MY STRIPS AND NEEDLES FROM MY GP WHICH ARE FREE. I THOUGHT EVERYONE DID THIS!!.
    HOPE THS HELPS YOU OUT THERE. REGARDS CAROL TAYLOR
     
  18. esmecullen

    esmecullen · Active Member

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    I've had the same problem in getting a meter. I'm type 2 on metformin and have been told by the nurse that I dont need to have a meter as I'm on a relatively low dose (500mg once a day). she also told me that "in any event type 2's dont need to test as much as type 1's and it is our policy not to give type 2's a meter"

    I bought a meter from the chemist and stocked up with test strips & lancets from an internet store.

    I'm going to use some of the very helpful arguments from here when I next see my doc. Not holding out much hope tho as I've been fighting to go on Anti-TNF for my AS and have been told that I'm too old for that!! My personal view is that my HCT want to cut back on treatment costs so they can buy a pointless pieces of artwork for various offices!! :evil: :!:
     
  19. alunhove

    alunhove · Newbie

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    When I was diagnosed and started on control by diet I was prescribed the urine test strips and as it was proving difficult to monitor my progress with these I bought my own meter and test strips.
    When I went in to the Nurse for my diabetes review whe criticised me for buying the meter and even criticised me for using too many urine test strips even though I had only been using these at the rate recommended in the initial leaflet handed to me by the GP.
    As the GP Surgery Practice Nurse had also been very dismissive of the realities of my work arrangements in meeeting her advice on how to eat etc. (she was lecturing me on breakfast and the sort of food to eat at work when most of the time I leave home at 05:10 to start work at 05:50 and only have 20 min. break at around 10:00 with the office where I work sometimes being 3 locations in a week) at our initial session I have not been back and do my best on control using the meter once or twice a fortnight.
    Because of an extremely painful elbow I ended up visiting my GP on Friday and he suddenly lectured me that my attempt at controlling my diabetes by diet was not working and with no discussion has precribed me Metformin, Simvastin, and a Blood Pressure medication on the strength of Blood tests of approx 5 months ago and a Blood Pressure reading that day.

    Alun
     
  20. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi alun,
    I am afraid that the lack of help from your surgery is getting more and more typical and it does nothing to inspire diabetics to control their condition. You are doing the best you can and need advice, not lectures. You should be praised for trying to take control. Providing BP medication and cholesterol lowering drugs without a valid explanation is bad practise and you need to be involved in your care. Your BP may have been high that day because of all the flack you were receiving.
    You have found that you need a meter and I would suggest you write to your P.C.T. explaining the lack of support you are receiving and the reasons why you need to test more frequently. NICE guidelines are being misinterpreted by a lot of P.C.T.'s and it is all about finance and not healthier outcomes for diabetics.
    There is a thread on Diabetes Discussions entitled "Where to buy test strips?" and within that there is a posting explaining how to complain if you are not provided with them.
    Hope this helps,
    Catherine.
     
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