Thursday, December 27, 2007
Type 1/Type 2: A Moment That Made Me Proud
But I have to say I had an experience on Christmas day that made me quite proud and made me think that maybe, just maybe, people are listening. When I went with my church to Nashville for our bridge ministry I rode in a church van with several people I didn't know. My church is a large church and although I recognized everyone on the van, I didn't know any of them by name.
On the way back on Christmas night we stopped to get a quick bite to eat. My blood sugar was low. I knew it. I usually can't feel my lows, but that was one of the rare exceptions. I tested and confirmed a 64. At the convenience store I grabbed a blueberry muffin (I know, not the best of dinner choices, right?) and ate it. I knew, however, that it wasn't going to bring my blood sugar up fast enough. I asked them to let me back in the van so I could grab a juice box, explaining that I was diabetic.
When we got back on the road, one of the women started asking me some questions. The first of which was, "How long have you had diabetes?" This is a standard question. "Since I was 4 years old," I replied. And then, another lady says, "Oh, you are Type 1 then?" and she turns to another lady in the van and says, "That means she can't ever get rid of diabetes. It's not a diet issue."
I couldn't believe it. How could this woman know the difference? It's so rare to find a person who does. I asked her a few quick questions and found out that she worked at a school in which there was a diabetic child and she had learned quite a bit in dealing with him.
I was blown away. And proud. And slightly hopeful. That woman may not have known everything about diabetes, but she could, at least basically, tell the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
I also have to note on here Diabetes Mine's blog post for the day. It was regarding diabetes etiquette. How wonderful to know that someone is thinking about diabetes etiquette and how to spread the news to all the non-diabetics in the world!
In regards to my recent Christmas gift, I leave you all with a clip of the great fiddle player, Mr. Charlie Daniels, and his timeless classic The Devil Went Down To Georgia. I'm not delusional enough to think I'll ever play like that, but seeing him play could be inspiration to almost anyone.
On a separate note, I will not be posting again until after the New Year. I am going out of town tomorrow and won't be able to post. I leave you all this year of 2007, praying that you all have a blessed and HEALTHY 2008.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Christmas Under the Bridge
Monday, December 24, 2007
A full and happy Christmas is what I am receiving already this year. I have been truly blessed and feel fortunate in so many ways.
I hope you all know how much I appreciate you! It means so much to have this community!
I pray you will all have a wonderful day tomorrow and that you all have a blessed time with family and friends.
Here's a little bit of holiday cheer for you. God bless!
(Just to note: this isn't my church, but my church youth group did this program for Christmas. It was AWESOME!)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
About 2 months ago I switched pharmacies because the one I was at took FOREVER to fill anything and you had to wait FOREVER to pick it up, even if they had it filled and all they had to do was hand it to you. I got sick of dealing with that and decided to switch pharmacies.
Every since I have switched pharmacies, things have been going nuts! My insurance won't pay for 3 months on the "new" strips. And today I was told that my insurance company had pulled the 3 month prescription contract with all the pharmacies and would only do 3 month supplies by mail.
I HATE mail order meds. Mostly cause I can't remember to order them on time. Call me spacey, but it's true. Not to mention I like to see who I am dealing with when it comes to my medicines. Someone who knows me cause they see me so often. And someone with whom I can talk if there is a problem with my prescriptions or I have a question.
I was highly upset and wanted to talk with my insurance company to find out what was going on. When I called them, the guy I spoke with was very nice, but didn't seem to know what I was talking about at first. I explained it to him in the exact way that it was explained to me at the pharmacy: Company X, which contracts all the prescriptions for Insurance X, was bought out by Pharmacy X (which is NOT my pharmacy!). Due to this, the only pharmacy in which you can get a 3 month prescription with Insurance X is through Pharmacy X (which isn't located withing an hour of my home).
The insurance guy started looking through whatever computer program or manual or whatever he had in front of him and then asked me what county I lived in. He then told me that Pharmacy A (my pharmacy) didn't contract with Company X and that's why I could no longer get prescriptions for 3 months from Pharmacy A. Then he told me that there were 2 pharmacies in my county in which I could get a 3 month prescription.
The first one he listed was Pharmacy B (the pharmacy I JUST SWITCHED FROM!!!!) and another, local pharmacy which I will call Pharmacy C.
On the plus side, I am going to switch my prescriptions to Pharmacy C so I can continue to get my cholesterol medicine and insulin in 3 month supplies.
On the negative side, this will be the 3rd pharmacy change for me in less than 3 months.
Sigh. Why does diabetes have to be so difficult??
Monday, December 17, 2007
For These Times
I have to give my heartfelt thanks to Bernard, who read my impassioned rant about test strips and the current cost of my diabetes life. He contacted me and offered to send me a box of test strips, an extra meter, and the software & cable to download all of my pump and meter information. I have to say that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. I have gotten the chance to experience the wonderful generosity of the Diabetes OC and it makes me thankful that I found you all.
And on that note, while I was cruising around on the Internet today, I found the video for Martina McBride's new song. The song is touching. It fits in with my mood and my idea of what people are really about. The video is also shot in one of my favorite cities, NYC.
I have listed the lyrics below:
In these times in which we live
Where the worst of what we live
Is laid out for all the world on the front page
And the sound of someone’s heartbreak
Is a soundbite at the news break
With a close shot of the tears rollin’ down their face
Blessed be the child who turns a loving eye
And stops to pray
For these times in which we live
In these most uncertain hours
Where the balance of power
Is a fight that is fought every day
And freedom is a word
Some cry out and some whisper
And some are just too quick to give away
Blessed be the one who stands by the one
On the battle line
For these times in which we live
Well give me a heart full of tender mercy
And arms I will open wide
For these times in which we live
Seems like the only answer is
Givin’ up on findin’ one at all
And we hide behind unsure
Pull the blinds and lock the doors
And hang a pleasant picture on the wall
Blessed is the believer who knows love is our redeemer
And the only breath of life
For these times in which we live
Well give me a heart full of tender mercy
And arms I will open wide
Yeah give me words full of loving kindness
And hands ready to hold up a light
For these times in which we live
For these times in which we live
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Picking My Battles
Friday, December 7, 2007
Test Strip Wars
So wish me luck on Monday when I take up my armor and head into battle with the insurance company....
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Endo Appointment and the Crazy A1c
Sunday, December 2, 2007
How You Know You've Been Testing Too Often....
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Endo Office Screw Up.
I was running out of test strips. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. I knew I couldn't make it until then to get another prescription for my strips, so I called my doctor's office to ask them to call in some test strips. I didn't recognize the lady I spoke with. I'm not sure if she was new or just not someone with whom I normally deal. Either way, I gave her my name & told her I needed test strips called in. She said she would have it done.
"No problem," I think to myself.
Several hours later my phone rings. It's my drug store. I recently transferred to a new drug store, so they don't have any of my old prescriptions on file. They called to ask me what kind of meter I had. "Strange," I think to myself. But I tell them and they say they will be ready soon.
When I got off work I had a friend in to visit from out of town. We made a quick run to the drug store. When I got there, the pharmacist tells me there are lancets and alcohol pads in the bag also. I told him I don't need them. He said, "They called in testing supplies, so that's why we added them. We will take them off." He was very nice. I should have suspected something when he said that. But I took the bag and paid my money. I was in a hurry and excited to have friends visiting and I made the ultimate mistake: I didn't look in the bag.
About 3 hours later, as we were settling in for the night, I opened my bad and found inside..... (imagine suspenseful music playing here): two boxes of test strips. Total test strips: 100. I test 10 times per day minimum. This will last me for a total of 10 days. I nearly had a mental breakdown at that point. I was yelling and saying lots of things I'm not exactly proud of.
Here are the things I know: my insurance won't pay for anymore strips for 30 days. That means I have 20 days of strips that I will have to pay for out of pocket. 20 days x 10 strips = 200 strips x $1.00 per strip = $200. Right before Christmas. I can't afford that when it's not Christmas. Let alone now.
After I calmed down I got to thinking. The lady with whom I spoke on the phone obviously didn't look at my chart. She just called the drug store and said "testing supplies". The drug store just did what they were supposed to do. They filled for the average recommendation of testing per day, which is 4 times per day. They were most certainly not at fault. I was partially at fault for not looking in the bag before I left. The lady at the doctor's office was really at fault for not pulling up my file to see what to call in.
This morning I made a call to the drug store to ask them if anything could be done. The lady I spoke with there was very helpful and told me that she would call my doctor's office and confirm my number of tests per day and then call my insurance company to get an override to pay for more strips. My only worry at that point is that I pay a $40 co-pay on my strips since they are non-preferred on my insurance. Am I going to have to pay another $40 because my doctor's office screwed up?
Basically I have decided that when I go to the drug store, if they ask me to pay again, I am going to have them hold the strips until Tuesday afternoon. At that point I am going to go to my doctor's office and ask for 200 strips. We know they all get sample strips. I am not going to pay for something that they were at fault for.
I will find out something in the morning about the strips when I call the drugstore. Hopefully, all will have worked out.
This is just frustrating. Part of me will be glad when Medtronic changes their meter that goes with the pump from BD to OneTouch. I like the OneTouch much better and they are preferred strips on my insurance, which means only a $20 co-pay. I also wonder if I should say something to the office staff when I go into my appointment on Tuesday morning.
I hate dealing with insurance and doctor's offices and co-pays and premiums and other insurance related and diabetes related stupidity.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
On Thanksgiving, after we eat and rest and clean the kitchen, I am heading to a friend's house for the long weekend. We are going to try to shop some and just hang out. I have taken Monday off work, simply to extend the time a little.
I have to say that I am truly thankful for my health with 22 years of diabetes under my belt. I am thankful more than they will every know, for my family and my friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.
And I have a new item to add to my thankful list this year. I am thankful for all of you in the Diabetes OC. Since I discovered this world back in April, my life has improved in many ways. I am so blessed by each and every one of you. You bring me back to myself, when diabetes tries to make me forget who I am. You live your days with me, checking blood sugars, going to doctor's appointments, and sharing our lows and high (both literal and figurative).
I truly hope you all have a joy filled Thanksgiving filled with friends and family and wonderful food. And don't forget to count those carbs! :)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.
1. I was adopted at birth (pretty cool, huh Beth?) and have actually met my biological mother & her family. I went to visit them when I was 18.
2. I once was hit on by a telemarketer who was trying to sell me a long distance plan. He couldn't get over my Tennessee accent. It took me 10 minutes to get off the phone with him since I didn't want to be mean and just hang up on him.
3. I am probably the only person I know who is very "county" and yet LOVES Broadway.
4. If I were not a diabetic, I would still drink diet drinks. I don't like the taste of most non-diet drinks (that comes from 22 years of diabetes).
5. I once stood out in the COLD weather (Pittsburgh in December) at 4:00 in the morning to buy tickets to a play that I wouldn't see. I was helping out a friend.
6. I am not dating anyone & don't have any prospects for marriage, but due to my best friend getting married in May, I already have my wedding dress, theme, and some decorations picked out. Pretty pathetic, I know.
7. I am short! Not even 5 feet tall. 4' 11" if you want to get technical. And one of my best friends is 6' 4". We look funny standing next to each other. Total opposites.
Now for the tagging 7 others.... it took me a while to find 7 people who don't have a tagged blog up. So, if you get double tagged, I'm sorry.
Here they are:
Jillian at Diabetor and Me, Paige at TN Mountain Cur, Ed at Ring the Bolus, Jim at Jimmy Fitz, Scott at Scott's Diabetes Journal, Seonaid at Diabetes Blog, and George at The B.A.D. Diabetic. Sorry if you guys have already been tagged and I didn't realize it.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Weekend of Shopping
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
World Diabetes Day 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The Bee & Me
This is a bee. I think. Actually I'm not sure that it isn't the love child of a bee and a troll. It's been through a lot of stuff. A four year old can do that to a toy. He (she?) was bought for me when I was diagnosed. I'm not sure if it was purchased in the hospital gift store, or my parents got it somewhere else and brought it to me.
I do know that I remember holding it while I was held down to get shots in the hospital. I remember it being a bribe of sorts for me not to cry. (It didn't work.) But I remember this little bee. It made me smile.
I found it the other night, in an old trunk (one I actually took to diabetes camp!) with a bunch of stuff from my childhood. I was thinking about this little bee, and I remembered that I had kept it. When I found it, I couldn't help but think about how it looked just like I remembered it. It took me back to being four years old and holding it while I lay on my stomach in a hospital bed in Cookeville, Tennessee just after my diagnosis. I can almost feel the hot tears running down my face.
But that's not the only time I remember it. I remember having it at home, playing in the bathtub (I always had lots of toys in the bathtub). I remember it getting water stuck in it and my dad taking his pocket knife to cut the hole in the bottom of it bigger, so the water could drain out. That hole is still there, of course.
This little bee went through a lot with me. And as I got older, I remembered it and kept it. When I was putting pieces of my childhood in that trunk as a teenager, in went the bee. Lots of things didn't make it into that trunk. But that bee made it. It is part of my memory of my diagnosis.
I can't tell you how long I carried around that bee, just that it survived my childhood. Not many toys can say that with any child.
So I got the bee out and took his (her?) picture to post on here. I wanted to share it with you because I know that others have some similar memories. I would love to hear about yours.
As a side note, I took the bee to my mother's house on Friday night. I asked her if she remembered it. She remembered the bee, but not when or how I had gotten it. Amazing what children remember. That little bee is something I won't ever forget.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Happy D-Blog Day!!!
You have changed my world in so many ways. My world was hollow at times. Lonely and sometimes scary. I wanted to find people who were living what I was living. Part of my didn't believe there were others who were living what I was.
Now my life is better. I won't say complete, because that will only come with a CURE! But it is better. When I am frustrated at the general public, you understand. When I am sick from a midnight low, you understand. When I get on my education soapbox, you understand. This is because you live it with me. You make me feel normal. You make me feel understood. You make me know that I can get up each day and smile and be thankful for a good day. If it's a bad day, you sympathize and tell me, "there's always tomorrow".
All in all, this online-community has saved me untold dollars in therapy (I'm really not kidding. I was considering seeing a therapist before I found this "world"), introduced me to people I would have never met otherwise, and let me be me without fear of judgement or condemnation.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Head in the Sand: The Morning After
Four hours after dinner: 82
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
When I was diagnosed in 1985, testing was so much different. We didn't have the luxury of micro fine lancets, or lancet devices with different depths on them. They hurt. A lot. And they bled. A lot. And sometimes, especially to a little four year old, it felt like the lancet was going to go straight through my finger.
This left many many ugly red and brown dots on my fingertips. That's why my mother said it reminded her of hamburger meat. I, myself, still look at my fingertips and think to my self "Look. Hamburger meat." It makes me want to cry sometimes, knowing that I will probably never have beautifully manicured hands and soft fingertips that are free of callouses and tiny red spots. I don't think about it often, but today was a day I thought about it a great deal.
I was visiting Kerri over at Six Until Me. Her post today started out with a picture of her fingertips. I laughed. They were MY fingertips!!! How'd she get a picture of MY fingertips?? At that moment I felt loved, understood, and absolutely not alone in this fight against diabetes.
Then, this evening, I stopped by Amylia's blog, Amazing Grace. Yesterday she had posted a picture for diabetes 365. This was also a picture of her (my???) fingertips holding a cell phone. Again, I felt connected. This time to someone on the other side of the world. Again, I felt loved, understood, and absolutely not alone.
I live with diabetes every day. It's a part of nearly every decision I make. I don't complain about it very often. After all, what would the point of that be?? I just live with it. I test, I get turned down for short term disability policies, I go to doctor's offices where they know me by name, I count every gram of food that enters my body. It's just part of me and my life.
But sometimes, you can't help but feel different and alone. Today was not one of those days. So I'd like to thank Amylia and Kerri. Even though I've never met either of them (I would count myself blessed to be able to meet either of them), I feel like I know them. We share a common thread. We share a life. We share our fingertips.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Why are people so stupid?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Another Example of Ignorance
Friday, October 26, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
The Craziest Hobby Ever (For a Diabetic)
Friday, October 12, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The Bayer Contour was a nice machine. As I will talk about later, it had the results that were closer to my current meter. I did not like the lancet device. It was (in my mind) a throw-back to the older lancet devices in it's design. It wasn't painful, but it was just kind of odd in shape and style. The Bayer strips are not on my insurance's preferred list, therefore it would be more out of pocket cost than some other strips.
The Paradigm Link is my current meter. I have been using it for a little over a year. I really like the fact that it links to my pump and all the results (from both my pump & my meter) can be downloaded to my account on the MiniMed website and I can see averages, trends, etc. I don't like that I waste a LOT of strips when testing with this meter. If the amount of blood is not exactly right you have to retest. I also don't like that the strips are not on my insurance's preferred list. I end up paying more out-of-pocket costs for my strips.
This were the major likes and dislikes of these 3 meters. Then came the biggest thing of all: the blood sugar results. I checked my blood sugar on all three meters at the same time. The results were disturbingly different.
On the second testing at a different time:
The strikingly funny thing was the the Accu-Chek was higher than the other two meters both times. And the Accu-Chek was also the only meter of the 3 that was on the preferred list for strips on my insurance. So are the other 2 meters the better meters? And therefore I have to pay extra for my strips? Is it just because the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the strips for the meters that are more accurate?
Has anyone else had this experience? I swear the more I learn about diabetes the less I feel like I know. And this is after 22 years of living with this disease.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
It was the first time I had ever attended an even like this. I was highly impressed & had a lot of fun. I am hoping to go back again next year. I raised a total of $535. I figure for a first timer, that was pretty good. Next year I'll shoot for more! Thanks to all those who helped me out. Know that it went to a wonderful cause.
I haven't been posting lately, so I am very sorry about that. I am going to be working on posting at least a couple of times per week. I have got to get better about this!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Follow-up for CGMS
We decided to change a few of my basal rates and change my insulin to carb ratios for lunch time. These were things that I had contemplated doing myself, but wanted to wait to get the opinion of someone else.
I don't have any issues with making changes on my own, if I think they are needed. I just knew that a doctor's appointment was coming up, so I held off until I could talk to him about it. And turns out, he said to do exactly what I was going to do. It was nice affirmation that what I am doing is the right thing.
We talked a little bit more about my getting the CGMS for myself. He said he was going to send the letter to the insurance company to see what they would say. I really hope that they approve it. In my doctors words, it would be a tool to help me with my already good control. It would simply help me shave some more digits off my A1c. Which is exactly my idea. I want a LOWER A1c.
Sure, I know 6.7 is good. It's below the recommended 7.0. But it still isn't 6.0. Which is what I would love. Which would mean that my body is basically living like a non-diabetic most of the time. This means less damage. Less complications. And less wear and tear. And with 22 years of this diabetes thing already wearing and tearing on my body, the lower I can get my A1c, the happier I will be.
Wish me luck as I navigate the jungle known as the American health insurance system.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Diabetes: The Invisible Disease
Monday, September 10, 2007
Adventures in Constant Glucose Monitoring
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
A Long Weekend and CGMS News
Monday, August 27, 2007
The little victories and little defeats
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I finally did it!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Frustrations in General
I'm not really sure, to be honest, if it is one of those freak blood sugar times when nothing I do seems to be right, or if I am just slacking on my carb estimations. Could be a little of both I suppose.
I am afraid to download my info from my pump and my meter. I haven't done it in about a week, when I had been downloading every 3 or 4 days. I am just afraid to see what my daily average is.
Could this be the start of diabetes burnout?? I hope not. I want so badly to be a "good diabetic." I really want to get my A1c below 6. Or at least to the low 6's.
I guess I am just flat out frustrated today. Being part of the blogging community, tudiabetes.com, and visiting various message boards helps. But sometimes I think its just not enough. Sometimes I just want to forget I have diabetes. I want to not count every carb I eat & not worry about what my blood sugar is. And not wonder, every time I'm thirsty, if I am just thirsty or if my blood sugar is high. And I am basically just sick of the constant balancing act that is diabetes care.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I go to church with a couple of Type 1 diabetics. But one is younger than my and the other older than me. So it isn't like I have the time or chance to really sit down and have a good diabetic gripe session.
I remember being at diabetes camp in Georgia when I was about 9 years old. I loved the fact that all the other kids had diabetes too. Even at that age, I knew that it was special that everyone else had to eat like I did and get shots like I did. But other than that time in my life, I have been around no other diabetics that are my age. Or anywhere relatively close.
This weekend I got to change that. A friend of mine came to visit me and brought a friend of hers. The friend of a friend has diabetes too. She is a recently diagnosed Type 1, but it was nice to be able to talk diabetes-talk and to actually know that the other person didn't only understand, but they also related.
It was a blessing this weekend. A chance to be with another person who I knew could understand and relate to me. Although I am not glad that she was diagnosed with diabetes (the thought of another person every having to live with this makes my heart ache), I am glad that I got a chance to meet her. I have made a new friend. One I can stick in the slot of "diabetic friend". It's nice.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Every Day, Every Hour, Every Minute
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Hope for a Cure
But part of me worries. I wonder what kind of strides they are making toward curing those of us who have been diabetic for years? It almost depresses me to think that there would be a cure for those newly diagnosed, while there are millions of us who would still have no hope. Is that selfish of me? I want a cure for us all. If a cure for the newly diagnosed comes first, great!
But please, please, please, don't forget the rest of us. Those of us who have 20 plus years of diabetic wear & tear on our bodies. Those of us who know that statistics tell us we will have a shorter life than the average man or woman. Those of us who know, even with the greatest control, we may still have to suffer complications.
We are still out here. Sometimes, on days like today, I start to loose my hope. I don't want that to happen. I want that hope to still be alive. I want a CURE!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I love you Mom & Dad
I called my mother this afternoon. I talk to her almost every day. I called her this afternoon to make plans to take my little sister school shopping on Saturday. Mom and my step-dad need a break from work and stress, and I think I need to spend some quality time with my sister. What better way to solve both problems than for me to take Rach shopping and make her to cutest dressed girl in the sixth grade?
While I was talking to my mother, I told her to get on the Internet and had her look at the video that I posted earlier this week. She watched it and proceeded to cry through the whole thing. I had cried when I watched it. I actually cried the first 3 times I watched it. It just rings so true to my life.
I have often thought about my parents. I know about my life and how it has been effected my diabetes. But what about my parents? What must they have thought when they were told, "Your daughter has diabetes." How terrifying that must have been. They didn't ask for a sick child. They knew nothing about diabetes.
How do parents handle this? Do they cry? Do they shout? Do they blame themselves? Do they blame someone else? Do they go into denial? Do they wish that their child could have been born with some other disease? Or that they were diagnosed with something that could be cured? Or that it was them instead of the child?
I was blessed. I had parents that did take care of me to the best of their ability. They gave me enough self-reliance and also provided me with plenty of support and love. But I often wonder what their thoughts were during that time in my life.
Mom and Dad, I love you. I owe you so much. Thank you for being parents that care, parents that love me, and parents who looked in the face of diabetes and said, "We can do this!"
I'm sorry I might have caused you heartache (I know it wasn't my fault). I'm sorry you lost sleep, money, normalcy in the name of my diabetes. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being parents.