In November 2002 my medicine chest held a few old bottles of over the counter stuff. I felt healthy. Still, since I had insurance benefits through my job, I decided to get a checkup after five years of skipping them. The doctor informed me that I had Type 2 diabetes. When I left his office I had a fist full of prescriptions for a test meter and all the supplies to go with it, plus two oral medications. I was very overwhelmed. Later, I was prescribed insulin as well.
Three problems cropped up with suddenly taking medicines regularly. There was the price, the issue of storage, and the issue to remembering to take them as prescribed. Here are some tips that helped me.
Research costs of diabetic medicines and supplies. Check out the options for help at the website http://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=696 on www.healthfinder.gov .You can type in the name of your prescription into a database to see if there is any financial assistance available for obtaining that drug. Look for coupons through the pharmaceutical companies. Compare prices. My doctor prescribed insulin pens for both long lasting and rapid acting insulins. I found that a vial of long lasting insulin was much cheaper than the pen for the same medicine, even with separate needles. I also found a three month supply is cheaper than a one month supply in the long run.
Store your medicine where it works for you. I tried several storage places that seemed logical but did not work. Now I keep them in a kitchen cupboard by the sink. My insulin is refrigerated, though I keep my rapid acting insulin pen with my test kit when I go out.
Develop a plan for taking your medicine. I take my morning doses just I test my blood glucose for breakfast and my evening medicines with my last glass of water after a final test for the day. Then I only have to remember to test and take my insulin before lunch and dinner.
Be sure to take your medications and insulin regularly and in the correct way. Note if you should take it with food. Otherwise you could become hypoglycemic or sick.
Do not forget to test your blood glucose levels. You and your medical team will work out how often to test. The results of these tests, with your A1c results will help keep you on the right dosage of medications.
Be sure to keep notes of how the medications work for you. Every body reacts differently to diabetes medicines. Be sure to notice any side effects and discuss them with your medical team. You may have to try several types of medications to determine what is right for you.
I’ve been a type two diabetic for about ten years now. In learning to take my diabetes seriously I have had to modify my diet, struggled to exercise regularly and learn to take my medications correctly. The medication issues have been the most difficult challenge for me. But I try to remember that without the medications and insulin my blood glucose will not be under control. Out of control blood glucose levels on a regular basis could lead to serious complications, like kidney failure or heart problems. I’m taking charge of my health and my diabetes.
Virginia Peragallo-Dittko What Do The Numbers Tell You? http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/articles/blood-glucose-monitoring/blood_glucose_monitoring/all/ Diabetes self-management website
Andrea Humpries, Ph.D., Thomas Workman, Ph.D, Ashok Balasubramanyam, M.D., and Michael Fordis, M.D. Summary of Medicines for Type 2 Diabetes at on the U.S. Department of health & Human Services website.http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productID=721