A law. There is no mistake about it; as soon as a bunch of people think that a law is a good idea to have on the books; it will almost immediately be met with opposition. When someone introduces a law, it can stay the same on face value or it can be included in another bill.
Laws are good things, when you can get them on the books.
(Editor’s note: Of course I believe this candle is NEVER ACCEPTABLE……but for today’s article I’m addressing, specifically, newly diagnosed)
There are two (presently, that I am aware) initiatives that are being considered or trying to be introduced. One is that every infant under the age of two is ‘screened’ for diabetes at their check-up; the other is that any signs of flu/virus like symptoms (throwing-up, dizzy, lethargic etc etc) that a blood test or urine stick will be administered to see if further ‘testing’ should be done to check (and diagnose) for the onset of T1 diabetes.
Anyone can request that these tests be done at anytime they visit a doctor’s office, but the question is, ‘who will pay for it’? Now before we jump to ‘it’s always about money’, that may not always necessarily be the only factor. Because if one took their child to be examined with flu/virus symptoms and the Doctor stated, “It’s probably the flu, or a virus, but I want to run a simple finger-prick (and/or) a urine test to see if it might be diabetes and we would require further testing. But this test is not covered under your insurance but if it turns out that it is T1 diabetes and we do not know it, your child could enter into serious, serious trouble. What do you want to do?”
There probably is not a parent in the world that would not pay to make sure, but it’s not asked…..and THEREIN lies the problem/situation/reality. In most cases T1 is not on the radar. By a huge and wide margin, more kids will test negative for T1. According to “Kids Stats-US Gov.” there is an estimated 74.5 million children in the US in this year of 2015. Hypothetically, let’s say 1/3 come down with the flu this year; round it off to 25 million kids. Is it feasible to think that a law will be passed to require a finger-prick blood test and/or a keytone test that even, ultra conservatively, will have a price tag of $20 (all-inclusive); costing insurance companies a half a billion dollars? It will surely be asked ‘…but ‘how many’ in percentages would be caught in that initiative to be cost-effective?’ I honestly do not think so. The opposition from lobbyists and opposing view points would be massive.
This, unfortunately, is what I see as the very likely scenario to any law. But how many will be impacted while we wait. But don’t lose heart, I’m not leaving it at that point. 🙂
In as much as that is THE huge challenge to pass such a law; believe me when I tell you that many, if not most, doctors really want to get it right. There is not a doctor alive who wants to live with a mis-diagnosis that results in a hospitalization for a child, or even death. I JUST CANNOT IMAGINE THAT SCENARIO NOT SERIOUSLY IMPACTING ANY DOCTOR.
It is THIS approach that seems to be our best approach. In so many cases T1 is just not on the radar when it comes to flu/virus like symptoms. If someone came in, presented with these signs, and a doctor ordered the blood test, it will be given (I imagine) without question. Why would anyone question it? But the Doc has to see the need…..and THAT is EXACTLY where we, as a diabetes community, comes in.
So we are really talking here, about policy. Ebola virus hits, it was a policy what to do; not a law. And it’s here that I think we need to turn to make anything happen along these lines, a reality.
I spend almost all of my free time at nights and on weekends exploring how to make this a reality. I have made incredible advances in cooperation with the National Association of School Nurses who are diligently trying to inform/educate their membership to down load and distribute the warning signs of diabetes and what to do from our ‘GetDiabetesRight.org website an FB page; to anyone who comes to their school office with the onset of flu/virus-like symptoms. We are reaching out to many other ‘heads’ of organizations to help preach the word of ‘getting that simple finger-prick or keytone stick’ to at least see if something else is not beginning. We are aware that a diagnosis cannot be made from these two results however, it could strongly suggest that further testing needs to be done before a needed hospital stay, or even saddest fo all—-in death.
My report, entitled a Child’s Cry for Change, includes stories of missed-diagnosis children sent to me from parents around the United States. It now includes the death of little Reegan in North Carolina and the more recent story of a child who was on death’s door because of the missed-diagnosis. It includes what needs to get done. It includes the change.org initiatives as well. It’s over 40 pages and it took months to assemble. It is not for widespread distribution but it is available to decision makers.
And it’s here where I can use your help. I could not find the names and emails of the Health Commissioners across the United States. And even if I had them, it would not mean the same coming from someone outside their home state. So here is what I am asking for the next go-round in the Child’s Cry for Change initiative. I’m asking you to look up the Health Commissioner in your state, and get their email. Send it to me and in the subject line write Child’s Cry for Change and your state (Child’s Cry for Change Kansas, for example) and send it to me at Karlya@optonline.net. Include your full name, address, and phone number and I will send, as per your request, to the Health Commissioner in your state for consideration and copy you as well.
NOTE: The higest ranking health decision maker in your state MIGHT NOT be called The Health Commissioner- in your state—-it might be Health Director etc.—-kindly include their title when you send information. Thank you.
I have reached out to key individuals in diabetes organizations and else where. If laws ‘get on the books’ I am all for that but I am also firmly for not standing by waiting for such laws and for educating everyone who can impact this and make a difference…….and this includes parents who, otherwise, would not know.
As always, I welcome your input, your suggestions, and most importantly your involvement. Perhaps I am naïve, but to me; NO ONE should die or be hospitalized because of a missed diagnosis of T1 diabetes—–NO ONE; it just does not make sense in my mind and it surely WILL NEVER be acceptable. And I will not stop until we ‘make a dent’ with this initiative.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.