Category Archives: diabetes

A diabetic note and how to get a free meter


I know that no one is happy to receive a diabetes diagnosis. I’ve been warned for years that I will get it if I don’t lose weight. Believe me when I say that I KNOW I need to lose weight. I have tried so many times. Statistically the odds of me keeping weight off is 5-10 percent. Really. Ironically, I developed the diabetes not long after I lost 30 pounds. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe the diabetes is because I lost weight. Genetics and obesity both made the diabetes inevitable. My great grandma died on the operating table in 1936 because the doctors didn’t know she was diabetic. I have some great aunts who are diabetic. Probably some cousins, too. So the odds were against me. The free meter is under fear number three.

Here are my fears:

1. Poking myself with needles. That little pokey thing (My husband informed me they are called lancets, but I could not think of the word.) scared the h-e-double toothpicks out of me. Oh, and I am trying to stop using curse words as often. I already gave up candy for the most part last year, so giving up cuss words isn’t going too well. But, back to the topic. I used my husbands test kit a few times. He has a Freestyle glucometer. I have been poked in the finger a few times and it HURTS. There are lots of nerves in a finger tip. I can test on my arm instead and with the Freestyle, it doesn’t take much blood to get a reading. It doesn’t hurt. I barely feel anything. Sometimes I have to wait a few seconds for the drop of blood. It drives my husband crazy because he has been testing on his fingers for years and doesn’t understand why I can’t do it the way he does. I will keep poking myself in the arm, thank you very much.

2. What people think of me. For many years I haven’t cared that much, but now that I am the fat lady in the scooter in the ice cream aisle, I’ve become more self conscious. I just dare someone to say anything to me, though. When I am going to the pharmacy to pick up testing supplies, I just imagine what the people behind me in line are thinking. And I imagine myself getting right up out of that scooter and getting in his or her face. I always imagine it will be a man for some reason.  In reality, I would probably just cry. Inside, and not so deep inside, I do feel guilty for having diabetes. I have been fighting with my weight my whole life. As my health made it more and more difficult to stay physically active, more and more weight piled on. Fibromyalgia, horrible chronic back pain, and now congestive heart failure make it difficult for me to even walk next door. I love walking and light hiking, and it makes me sad that I can’t do that any more.

3. The expense. I could go on forever about this one. I went to pick up the glucometer, test strips, and lancets. It was going to cost $80. I am on disability, so any kind of money is hard to come by, but $80 is just not in our budget anytime in the next few years. I went online and found out I can get a free meter or a reduced price. I remember my husband getting a free meter about two years ago. My husband is on medicare and we have had to pay full price for the test strips when he was in the donut hole. It was about $90 a month. Now he has a good Medicare supplement, so it is not expensive for him. If you need a meter and a discount on test strips, join the Freestyle Promise Program. It is free. I just printed out the temporary membership card to take to the pharmacy. I will get a free test kit and a $15.00 copay on the test strips. Lancets are cheap.

4. Possible side effects. I can’t even think about that too much.

5. Dietary changes. I know doctors say it’s just as cheap to eat healthy food, but have they been to the grocery store lately? I am always amazed at how expensive fresh vegetables are. My husband doesn’t like to eat anything green, so he hates it when I spend our small grocery budget on green stuff. I have been making some positive changes a little at a time. Non fat Greek yogurt is one of the best inventions ever. I add it to lots of things I cook. We can both use the extra protein and I like the flavor it adds to food. So I am working on it. I can’t give up everything at once, so I am gradually making healthy changes. Some doctors and nutritionists  say if you drop this or that from your diet a person can lose ten pounds over a year.  I want to keep working at it. My husband has cancer, and we have lots of  other stress factors in our life that make it difficult. I don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or abuse drugs, so food has been my drug for many years.