What You Always Wanted to Know

What You Always Wanted to Know

(Resource Column)

Inclusion of materials in this publication is for

information only and does not imply endorsement by the Diabetes Action Network of the NFB.


American Diabetic Supply, Inc., will
ship your diabetes supplies to your door. They handle all insurance claims,
and provide free delivery. Folks with Medicare and/or private insurance (no
HMOs) may receive supplies with no further cost. For information contact: American
Diabetic Supply, Inc., 400 S. Atlantic Ave., Suite 108, Ormond Beach, FL 32176;
telephone: 1-800-453-9033.


The National Federation of the Blind (NFB)

maintains the "Materials Center," at the National Center for the Blind, our

headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. One of the many tasks performed there is the sale of

appliances and literature of interest to the blind. Some of these items are useful for

dealing with diabetes. One we recommend highly is Jordan Medical's Count-a-Dose Insulin

Measuring Gauge, which allows reliable non-sighted drawing and mixing of insulins.

Currently manufactured in the one-unit "low-dose" (50-unit BD syringe) version

only, it is supplied with cassette instructions. While supplies last, the Materials Center

also has a few of the two-unit version (100-unit BD syringe), good for those who need to

draw a larger dose (no cassette instructions supplied with this version). Both versions

are priced at $40 each at the Materials Center (Jordan's list price is $59.95).

For further information, to place an
order, or to obtain a free catalog (in large print or Braille) of items offered
by the NFB, contact: National Federation of the Blind, Materials Center, 1800
Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone: (410) 659-9314.


FROM THE EDITOR: If you have diabetes, you may

need alternatives to some commonly used items, like cough medicine (full of sugar!), table

sugar for cooking and baking, or a good moisturizing skin cream, for the dry skin so many

of us have, especially on our feet. Health Care Products offers all of the above. I've

tried them, and I am impressed by their quality.

DiabetiSweet is an alternative to table sugar,

without the dietary impact. It handles just like sugar, and you don't need complex math to

figure out the proportions.

Diabetic Tussin is a line of cough syrups,

formulated without sugar, sodium, alcohol, fructose, sorbitol, codeine, or dye.

DiabetiDerm skin moisturizer, available in cream

and lotion, uses many natural ingredients, and is made without a petroleum base. All three

of these items are available in most major drug and discount stores. For information,

contact: Health Care Products, telephone: 1-800-899-3116; or at their website:



Diabetic Supply Distributors Inc., helps you save

four ways with your diabetes supplies:

1. Insurance billing. They file the claim, and

they pay for delivery. No advance payment needed—and THEY do the paperwork.

2. Medicare billing. Medicare pays for approved

diabetes supplies, (and, since last July that list has covered type 2 diabetics!).

Diabetic Supply will handle the details.

3. Free, fast home delivery. Your order comes

quickly to your door.

4. Friendly personal service. You're not talking

to a computer.

Contact: Diabetic Supply Distributors
Inc., PO Box 1820, Laurel Springs, NJ 08021; telephone: 1-800-962-8098


Roche Diagnostics has developed a new talking

blood glucose monitor. Based on the proven Accu-Chek Advantage meter, the new Accu-Chek

Voicemate provides the following: Clear, high-quality speech synthesis, talking the user

through preparations, test procedures, and results, without the need for sighted

assistance; an "insulin vial identifier" which reads Lilly insulin vials and

speaks their type, as a safety aid in tactile insulin mixing; a new, improved,

"touchable" test strip—the Accu-Chek Comfort Curve (no more

"hanging" drop of blood!); no meter cleaning required; and a new

"code-key" system for programming test strip codes.

The Voicemate comes with an adjustable
over-the-shoulder carrying case, with meter, voice box, battery, adapter cord,
10 Comfort Curve strips, earphone, insulin check-vial, manual and quick-reference
guide (in print), and instructions on audiocassette. Also included is the Accu-Chek
Softclix lancing device, and a packet of 10 lancets. The new meter (catalog
# 2030802) can now be ordered through any pharmacy (suggested retail price $495-525).
Have your pharmacist contact Roche Diagnostics, 9115 Hague Road, Indianapolis,
IN 46250; telephone: 1-800-428-5076.


People who are blind, or who have diminished
vision, have a number of tools and devices that can help them use state-of-the-
art computers. Sighted Electronics, Inc., offers many of these items for sale.
They have Braille printers, Braille embossers, Braille (keyboard) displays,
video page magnifiers (CCTVs) and much more. For information, contact: Sighted
Electronics, 464 Tappan Road, Northvale, NJ, 07647; telephone: (201) 767-3977;
website http://www.sighted.com


Your insulin or oral diabetes medications
are only part of your diabetes self-management. Although food supplements do
not replace your medications, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has
not evaluated their efficacy to prevent or treat any disease, a healthy diet
is important, and research is continuing on the role specific supplements may
play in controlling diabetes. AlphaBetic Multi-Vitamin Supplement is a food
supplement formulated for the special needs of diabetics. A blend of vitamins,
antioxidants, and minerals, it is available in sugar-free caplets. Contact:
Abkit, Inc.; telephone: 1-800-226-6277;
website http://www.alphabetic.com


Can-Am Corporation carries a full line of

discount-priced diabetes supplies, including: test strips, Dex-4 glucose tablets, skin

cream, etc. The company also markets the Monoject line of insulin syringes and lancets.

Many Can-Am products are also sold as "house brand" at major pharmacy chains.

Their low price in no way compromises their high quality.

For information, contact: Can-Am Care

Corporation, Cimetra Industrial Park, Box 98, Chazy, NY 12921-0098; telephone:



Studies have firmly established that

"tight" blood glucose control is the best way for diabetics to maintain health

and ward off the threat of complications, such as eye, kidney, or nerve disease. To carry

out tight control, you need to know where your sugars are, and where they have been. One

tool your physician uses is the HBA1c, or glycosylated hemoglobin test. It is useful and

accurate, and now it just got easier—you can test at home!

Express-Med announces the A1c Express, a quick

and convenient A1C home test. Your doctor supplies you with the "test kit," and

you collect the blood, then mail it to the lab you and your doctor choose. You should have

your results in 7 to 10 business days—less if you use faster postage to ship your

test. Express-Med notes that you are not obligated to use their lab (the tests are fairly

standardized), but it is there, and costs $10 per test.

How do you do it? Express-Med sells their kits to

health professionals only, so have your doctor, or diabetes educator call them at

1-888-834-2212. The kits should be available now.

Becton Dickinson and Company announces their A1c

At Home Test. Similar to the above, it is a kit either supplied by the doctor or diabetes

educator. The two-drop blood sample is returned to the lab in the special envelope. B-D

plans to offer direct pharmacy sale to customers (no doctor's order required) in early

1999. Estimated cost (kit and all test fees) $35. For information, contact Becton

Dickinson at 1-800-237-4554.


We have been asked to announce: Many electronics

firms offer programs and hardware enabling a computer to "speak" its

instructions, or the text displayed on its screen. The computer talks to you. With such

devices, blind people are fully able to utilize the Internet, and to be employed in the

electronics field. But what about talking back to your computer?

For some time, Dragon Systems has offered

"Dragon Dictate," a program enabling your computer to "learn" and

respond to your spoken commands, without your hand on the keyboard. The early versions

worked well, but were quite expensive. The price has come down.

Dragon Systems now offers Point and Speak, a

typing program for Windows 95, 98 and NT, that allows you to speak text, and have it typed

into WordPerfect, MS Office, or many other Windows applications. This product, the

simplest of their "talk-back" programs, is available through their resellers, or


Dragon Systems, Inc., 320 Nevada Street,
Newton, MA 02160; telephone: 1-800-4372; website http://www.dragonsys.com


The National Federation of the Blind maintains an

extensive literature collection, with free materials on many subjects available in a

variety of formats. The articles listed below make up one part of the collection, the

"diabetes" category:

"Insulin Measurement Devices,"

"Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy," "Diabetics, Don't Give Up on

Braille," "How I Went Blind...And Then What," "Review of Oral Diabetes

Medications," "Preventing, Minimizing, or Delaying Kidney Failure,"

"Impotence, and How to Prevail," "Can I Eat Sugar?,"

"Cardiovascular Health:

Bypass may be Better for Diabetics,"

"Arthritis and Diabetes: A Common Association," "Blind Diabetics Can Draw

Insulin Without Difficulty," "New Dietary Guidelines for Diabetes

Management," "Keeping Your Feet," "What Is Diabetes Mellitus?"

"Talking Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems," "Diabetic Eye Disease,"

and "Kidney Failure, Dialysis, and Transplantation."

These articles are available in large print and

four-track 15/16 IPS audiocassette for the blind. All are free of charge. To order, or to

request a complete NFB literature catalog, contact: NFB Materials Center, 1800 Johnson

Street, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone: (410) 659-9314. The Materials Center is open

12:30pm to 5pm, EST, weekdays.


If you have diabetes, you probably gave up donuts

a long time ago. Most of them have too much fat, and too much sugar— you wouldn't

have room for anything else! But alternative donuts are now available. Baker Charles Koons

has perfected a cake donut with no fat, no sugar, and no cholesterol. Cost is $6.00 per

dozen, plus $4 shipping, mail orders only. Order from:

Charles Koons, 102 Old Ebenezer Road., Lebanon,

PA 17046; telephone: 1-800-796-4964 (plus extension "01").


We have been asked to announce: The American

Printing House for the Blind (APH) offers the publication of a new teaching resource: The

"Basic Tactile Anatomy Atlas." Designed to aid blind and visually-impaired

students in the study of the human body, this two-volume set features thermoformed tactile

graphics, accompanied by Braille text. Diagrams and text cover the skeletal, muscular,

nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, lymphatic and reproductive


Recommended for ages 12 and up. Priced
at $105, the "Basic Tactile
Anatomy Atlas" is available from: American Printing House
for the Blind, 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206-0085;
telephone: 1-800-223-1839, website: http://www.aph.org


The American Association of Kidney Patients

(AAKP) is a national support group for people with serious kidney disease, those facing

dialysis or transplantation, those just beginning to experience kidney disease, and their

families. AAKP publishes "RENALIFE" magazine, maintains a website:

http://www.aakp.org, and offers support groups in many communities. For information,

contact: American Association of Kidney Patients, 100 S. Ashley Drive, Suite 280, Tampa,

FL 33602; telephone: 1-800-749-2257.

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