View Full Version : Sugar Diabetes?

mickey cassiba
04-05-2010, 8:10 PM
I've got a question for any and all. My wife has just been diagnosed with S.D. I just picked up an el cheapo meter, to get a picture of whats going on.
It's a real P.O.S., and not long for this world. I need to find an affordable meter(device and supplies). We do not have insurance. If any of you folks can give me a name and price, I'd be in your debt, for sure.

Stephen Tashiro
04-05-2010, 8:25 PM
I don't have diabetes, but I have used a blood sugar meter. It is a brand called "One Touch". It is a good meter. Don't recall the exact price. It wasn't cheap. The test strips weren't cheap either if you were faced with using several a day.

I'll offer the following experience: The meter wasn't the main thing on my mind. The main thing was the piercer and the lancets. I didn't like sticking my fingertips, so I learned to stick my forearm and I didn't even feel it there. To get blood, I had to use a larger diameter lancet. The typical advice about warming or rubbing the spot you are going to stick is worth following. I had to shave a spot on my forearm so the hair didn't wick up the blood.

Your use of the phrase "sugar diabetes" reminds me of the old days when that term is common. Nowadays, my doctors don't often mention the "sugar" part of it. They do pay attention to the terms "Type 1" and "Type 2".

Dave Johnson29
04-05-2010, 8:45 PM
I didn't like sticking my fingertips,

Try the inside of the finger tips. The area between the fingers. Much better.

+1 on the One Touch meters.

Mickey, as Stephen points out the cost of the strips is the issue. In fact One Touch often give the meters away.

I don't have Diabetes but two close friends do. One was an officer of the American Diabetes Association.

Diet is the big thing. If careful Type-2 can be pretty much controlled with diet and one or two Metaformin per day.

Get down to a correct Body Mass Index, quit the sugar stuff and count carbohydrates.

Wish her good luck from me. It seems like a life sentence at the start but 6 months from now it will be no big deal.

mickey cassiba
04-05-2010, 8:47 PM
Doh! I'm old!!
It is type 2. The meter I bought is a One Touch 'UltraMini'. It has the forearm capability. The strips are almost three times as expensive as the meter.
What's cheap in your world?

Mike Henderson
04-05-2010, 9:37 PM
Look on eBay and you can find the strips cheaper. Just watch for the expiration date. You can buy strips close to the expiration date cheap because the seller knows they will be worthless soon. Just don't buy more than you can use before the expiration date.


Pat Germain
04-06-2010, 10:23 AM
I second Dave's point about diet. While I don't have diabetes, I do suffer from low blood sugar which is sorta the opposite of diabetes. My pancreas produces too much insulin. (Too bad I can't give the extra to diabetics.)

Diet and exercise can significantly help regulate blood sugar and lessen the affects of diabetes. When I was diagnosed, I went to see a dietician who specialized in treating diabetes. Interestingly, she said, "Sometimes the best way to live a long and healthy life is to be diagnosed with a condition and work to take care of it." She had a good point there. I must admit I eat better and exercise more since being diagnosed. And I sure feel a lot better as well!

And hey, if your wife can keep her blood sugar stable through diet and exercise, that means fewer test strips, lesss medication and less money. :)

David G Baker
04-06-2010, 11:20 AM
I have the One Touch meter and love it. I purchased the meter from Rite Aid for around $90. Inside of the box was a coupon that I mailed in to One Touch and they refunded the cost of the meter. The cost is in the supplies if you don't have insurance. There may not be too much of a difference between the cost of insurance and the cost of diabetic supplies with out insurance. Many insurance companies pay the full cost of testing supplies.
I have Type II diabetes and it has been a pain trying to keep it under control. I am taking a non insulin injection once a day and pay $140 for a 90 day supply through my insurance. If I didn't have insurance the drug would cost me over $500 a month.
Pat G's advice about diet and exercise is the best advice you can get. I have friends that were on serious medication that lost a lot of weight through exercise and diet that are now drug free, both blood pressure and diabetic meds.

Dave Johnson29
04-06-2010, 11:34 AM

If the doc didn't tell your wife there will almost certainly be a American Diabetes Association Diabetic Support Group at the local hospital. If not there will be one close by. They often advertise in the local papers when they are having their monthly meetings.

I suggest you both go along to the meetings as emotional support for your wife is going to be a big thing to help her get over this first period. As I said, six months from now she will be in a daily routine and it will seem like just another daily med to take.

Get on to the American Diabetes Association website and learn as much as you both can. You have to be super supportive. Trust me it is like dealing with a drug addict coming off Heroin and good support is 50% of the "cure."

Look on the bright side, you will be eating healthier too. :D:D

Oh, and if possible, try to find a local doctor who is also a Diabetic. Much more sympathetic, direct and efficacious advice, I have learned.

Don Jarvie
04-06-2010, 1:09 PM
With type II diabetes once your wife is regulated, via diet or medication, she may only have to test once a day or every few days.

I would go to the local pharmacy and look at the various meters and how much the strips cost. ALso, see what Costco or Sams sells. Your wife doesn't need a fancy meter that will average the levels, etc. You just want one that gives you the result. I remember there was the One Touch Basic.

Once you pick a meter look online for strips. Strips are over the counter (no prescription required) so they can be bought anywhere that sells them. Sams and Costco will sell strips cheaper than CVS, etc.

Feel free to PM me any questions, it's been a few years (8) since I've been behind the bench but I haven't forgotten everything yet.

Ted Shrader
04-06-2010, 5:22 PM
Mickey -

As a Type II diabetic, I went through the same thing (minus the insurance problem) when first diagnosed. A lot of good advice here for controlling Type II diabetes. Exercise, diet and weight loss are the key first steps to take. A couple of recommended books: The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416588388/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER) by Bob Greene, M.D., John J Merendino Jr., M.S., R.D., and Janis Jibrin and YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger (http://www.amazon.com/YOU-Updated-Expanded-Insiders-Healthier/dp/0061473677/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270588638&sr=1-1) by Mehmet C. Oz, MD and Michael F. Roizen, MD. The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes discusses the specific effects of exercise, proper weight maintenance and how different foods affect different people in different ways. (Wow the same word three times in one sentence. :) ) Dr. Oz (in the book YOU: The Owner's Manual) has has great success in helping people minimize the impact of Type II diabetes on their lives. The recommendations are similar in both books, but the approach of the books is a little different. One may be easier to implement than the other depending on your preferences.

I use am AccuCheck meter. It was provided by insurance, but I got a spare for $10 just to have a spare. (Bought in Amarillo when visiting.) The strips are the most expensive part. They are occasionally on sale. Keep your eyes open. Buying strips near their expiration date to save some money is a good recommendation. However, watch the dates carefully. The meter will not use the strips beyond the expiration date. The strips are coded so they can't be used beyond that date. (Even one day!)

Use the lancets to poke the side of the finger - about where the nail starts or above. There are fewer nerve endings there and it is easy to get the blood drop on the strip. (Don't poke the tip or pad.) Rotate the testing spots - each side of each finger, then the next finger, etc.

If she has been prescribed any medication, check for an equivalent generic at one of the major pharmacy chains.

In a great number of cases, Type II diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise. Remarkable improvement can be made in just a few weeks. Then it is merely maintenance to live a healthy life.

PM if you come up with other questions.


mickey cassiba
04-06-2010, 8:20 PM
Thanks all! I really appreciate all of the advice and information.
If it's not a blatant violation of the TOS, I'd like to let Charlotte read and comment on the thread. Moderator's answer goes here_________.
I promise I won't show her the secret handshake.
Again, thanks!

Ken Fitzgerald
04-06-2010, 8:38 PM

I can't imagine why any Moderator would object.

mickey cassiba
04-06-2010, 9:18 PM
Thanks Ken. This was a bit of a rattle for both of us. You folks are the tops!
Makes me feel all...Aw never mind...I think I got somepin in my eye...

mickey cassiba
04-06-2010, 10:19 PM
This is Mickey's Wife Charlotte, Thanks for all the advice and the concern, It really through me for a loop.It also gave me a wake up call so i have changed everything in my diet and me and curves going to get acquainted. lol so pray for Mickey lol I am not taking this lightly but have to have my sense of humor to make it through so thanks to everyone and God Bless.

Scott Shepherd
04-07-2010, 8:16 AM
Good luck Charlotte, it's not as bad as some people think. I don't have it, but it runs in my family. You can eat pretty much anything you want, you just have to learn moderation. Want a piece of cake? No problem. Just means you can't have something else. I have family members that I've never seen them order anything really special at a restaurant.

Dave hit it on the head, get yourself to a free educational class from a local hospital or doctor's office and learn all you can. You also can't do this by yourself, it's as much Mickey's issue as it is yours. If the family understands how it works and how to help you, you won't even know you have it after a short while.

Bill Miltner
04-07-2010, 8:47 AM
I have been diagnosed Type II for about 6 years, The least expensive strips I ever found are at Walmart, their house brand, Relion. They cost about $40/100 count. There are a number of good websites and if you want, just PM me and I'll send them to you.

Phyllis Meyer
04-07-2010, 9:48 AM
Hey Everyone,

Ask your Dr. if they have samples...and that you don't have insurance! They have a room full of meters and test strips that they hand out. All of these do have great coupons also. I would also call the One Touch (or whatever meter you will be using) and tell them the situation also...once again, they are more than willing to send samples and coupons for you. We did this with my Mom and they were very kind about it all. When you are testing 3 times a day or more...it can get very expensive.


Ken Garlock
04-07-2010, 10:29 AM
Greetings. Yes, diabetes (pronounced dia-beet-iss, there is no ees in the word), is bad news. Now don't laugh, several years ago I had a senior citizen Abyssinian cat that contracted diabetes mellitus, aka sugar diabetes. My vet recommended that I buy my test supplies(meter and strips) from Hock Pharmacy (http://www.hocks.com/) in Ohio. Hock has good prices and give good service. They have a whole section on their website for Diabetes supplies including a page of glucose test strip brands. The average price is in the low $20 for a packet of 50 strips.:cool:

If you think lancing your finger is a pain, try lancing a cat's ear and hitting a vein. The poor cat got used to the process, but I can't begin to tell you how many times the lance went through the ear and into my finger.;) The cat got two injections of insulin per day....

My recommendation is to get on google and read everything you can including the ADA, American Diabetes Assoc.

mickey cassiba
04-07-2010, 10:43 AM
You folks are the best! Phyllis, we'll definitely look at the sample angle. And Ken, I just looked at Hock's site. That'll work.
And I've got a picture stuck in my mind of the cat.
Thanks all!

Darryl Hazen
04-07-2010, 5:07 PM
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that the test strips vary from meter to meter. A One Touch meter will not accept Accu-Chek. Each meter manufacturer requires you to use their strips. That being said, I think One Touch strips will work in any model One Touch. No idea about the other meters.

James Jaragosky
04-07-2010, 7:14 PM
wall-mart has a disposable meter that comes with the strips. I pay around $14 for the unit. it comes with 30 strips i believe. it was the best deal I could find.