Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Journey for Control

Here's to knowing what you want, and trying to make a move to get it.

Several times over the past year I've noticed an announcement in my local paper about diabetes education classes. I've never called about them because, let's face it, after 25 years of living with diabetes, I know more than some medical professionals. At least when it comes to diabetes. But after all of the talk in the D-OC about being an advocate, I thought I might call to check on these classes. Even if I didn't pick up anything new, I might be able to help someone else, right?

So I called the number. It was strange because it was a toll free number, and I couldn't understand why, since the classes are held at the local hospital. When the computer answered it said something along the lines of “Welcome to Journey for Control. Please hold for a representative.” In fact, I called twice to be sure I got the name right.

I held. And I talked with a lady who was basically just wanting to take my name to register. But I had questions. I asked her if the hospital was the one putting on these classes. They aren’t. Merck is. I asked what the topics of the classes would be. She stated there were 3 classes. She listed them off to me, and I wrote them down. Sadly, I lost my list, but the names all sounded like the same topic. Basically getting control of your blood sugars, and topics about food.

I told her I didn’t wish to sign up at this time, but that I would let them know if I was interested. And then I got down to researching this stuff.

Apparently Merck has a program called Journey for Control. The website seemed to be focusing on Type 2 diabetes. After a little further research I figured out why. The only diabetes related product that Merck produces (that I could find), are two pills that help with T2 control.

Part of me thinks that I should have signed up for the classes anyway. To have a chance to introduce people to the D-OC and other resources that can help them out. But I have serious issues with attending diabetes education classes that are hosted by a company that deals exclusively with T2 patients. I’m not a T2. And I hate feeling excluded, or like people have forgotten that there are a lot of people dealing with T1 diabetes.

I’m not bashing Merck. I find it admirable that they are offering free diabetes education classes, taught by CDE’s in small, rural communities like mine. The program itself seems like something that would be a good start for people who don’t know what’s going on with diabetes, or for people who have been recently diagnosed and given little guidance by their primary care physicians (a common thing in rural areas), and no referral to an actual endo.

I guess I’m just feeling a little disappointed in the fact that I didn’t have a chance to go to something in my town and have a chance to share the wonders of the D-OC with people. Should I have signed up? Maybe. But I didn’t quite feel comfortable about it.

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