Through blogs and comments, patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.
Technical Difficulties: Houston, We Have a Problem'
| August 25, 2011
Who can forget the words of the U.S. Apollo 13 crew on their failed trip to land on the moon? ' While modern technology has changed the way illness and disability impacts daily life, even the latest-tech instrument will have flaws. ' Lene Andersen of The Seated View found herself stranded on her way home when her power wheelchair stopped working.' "My brain was busy and I wasn't paying exact attention, but when my wheelchair came to a sudden stop complete with the sound of screeching metal, my focus narrowed quite immediately and effectively."' What's worse?' It stopped working five times in one week!' The process of getting her chair fixed was no less frustrating.
One Touch, Freestyle, Dexcom, Agamatrix, Accu-chek' people with diabetes are all too familiar with the various brands of the electronic accoutrements available to help manage their illness.' Kerri Sparling is familiar with all of these.' The problem is that different glucose meters often give her different readings, even when she uses them all at the same time, leaving her uncertain of whether or how to treat her blood sugar levels.' On Six Until Me she writes, 'These glucose meters are the only tools I have to monitor my blood sugars, and I make treatment decisions based on their results.' I need them to be consistent, and accurate.'
On Without Envy, Steve, whose young daughter Lia also has diabetes, ultimately decided to forego using a continuous glucose monitor when the benefits of the data it provided didn't justify how bothersome Lia found it.' The device was too big ' too "present".' ' Her parents couldn't master its programming quickly and the data itself came too late.' For Lia and her parents, the newer technology did more harm than good.
For others, it's the gadgets and gizmos used to screen for illness that cause the most worry.' Kathi Kolb (aka the Accidental Amazon) experiences short-term pain during her mammograms to ensure her breast cancer hasn't returned. ' But, since Kathi has had breast cancer once before, she undergoes a diagnostic mammogram, which takes more exact pictures.' This also means it requires ' in her words ' "more exact squishing, which means it's a little more painful than usual."' In The Big Squish, she writes about distracting herself from the anxiety beforehand and the pain afterward.'
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