21 March 2012

The Internet is Watching...

...and it's sometimes amusing at how wrong the profiling is.

My household buys diabetic supplies.  Once a month we buy a bottle of ReliOn Humulin N from Walmart, along with 100 syringes for injecting insulin.  We also buy Bayer Keto-Diastix and litmus strips.  We have been doing that for five years now.  If you were keeping track of our purchases you would believe that there is a diabetic in the house, and you would be right.

But who is nosy enough to track our purchases of diabetic supplies?  Well, we have bought insulin from several sources before we discovered the generic ReliOn brand at Walmart so several different pharmacies in the area have sold us insulin.  Likewise the insulin syringes and the other test equipment.  We even have a blood glucose test meter, which manufacturers will be happy to provide free.  It turns out that the meter is the cheap part of being diabetic,  It is the test strips that cost a lot, and you end up using a lot of test strips -- if you are a human diabetic.  Other than the pharmacies where we buy our supplies, there is the credit card issuer who knows where we make our purchases and, generally, what the purchases are.  There is also the syringe manufacturer.  Even though modern one-use insulin syringes are made to a pretty high standard, there are still manufacturing flaws that aren't caught until it comes time to actually use the syringe.  We have had instances of bent needles; needles that pierced the protective cap; needles with manufacturing residue on them; and needles without a point at the end.  Whenever we find something like that we contact the manufacturer and supply the lot number on the box.  In short order we get  special container to return the defective syringe and a coupon for another free box of syringes.

Aside from the pharmacies, our credit card issuer, the glucose meter manufacturer, and the syringe manufacturer, I am not aware of anyone else who would know about our purchases of diabetic supplies.  But someone does.  I have received unsolicited calls asking me if I check my blood glucose levels regularly.  There have been a few instances of adds for diabetic supplies appearing on the web pages I visit.  This morning I got an e-mail from PJ Media with a blaring advertisement for some cockamamie "new" diabetic spice treatment that is supposed to be superior to conventional treatment.

Ginger the diabetic dog
So.  Someone is watching and trying to attract my attention.  They think I am the diabetic in this household -- and they are spectacularly wrong. 

We have been buying diabetic supplies for the past five years in order to keep our Australian terrier alive.  Now, you don't treat a case of canine diabetes like you do a human case.  In humans you try to regulate the diabetic condition; with a dog you simply try control in a general way the blood glucose level to keep it from going too high or too low.  Getting a blood glucose reading from a dog is not for amateurs; we usually let the veterinarian do that, when necessary.  In fact, I have gotten only one successful blood glucose test from Ginger before I decided that the process was too stressful for the both of us.  Now I collect a urine sample twice a day and check that for glucose; I also check the urine pH value as part of Ginger's daily routine.  We try to keep good care of our diabetic doggie.

I have been aware for a while now that in spite of my efforts to be invisible on the world-wide web, that is not possible.  I do seem to have given the web watchers erroneous indications, however, and the watchers arrive at some amusing conclusions as a result.  I suppose that this post will cause them to update my profile again.

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