2016 Diabetes Blog Week – Friday

2016-BlogWeekHurray – D-Blog Week is just five days this year!

Click for the Tips and Tricks – Friday 5/20 Link List.
Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organize supplies to how you manage gear on the go/vacation (beach, or skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes practices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other. (Remember though, please no medical advice or dangerous suggestions.)

2014-05-05-008Old photo over there on the left, but I still do the same thing. As soon as a new order comes in, I mark it with the expiration date(s), empty out my supply shelf and redo it with the new stuff in the back. And yes, I know the expiration dates are on the package but when I’m in the middle of an inset/cartridge/insulin change for my pump, I don’t want to be squinting at tiny little print.

 

 

 

2014-04-22 002
This one’s pretty cool, if I might say so myself. This is an el cheapo child’s back pack that I bought on sale. When we travel, I try to put all the d-stuff in this annoyingly pink back pack. When flying, it goes in the top of my carry-on so if I end up checking my bag, I can take it out and keep it with me.
BUT – when we went to Denver in April, I didn’t bring it (I thought our seat assignments were good enough – not…), and both flights were threatening to take our bags as the planes were crowded. My Virginia Gentleman husband with his Virginia accent and  silver hair spoke with the employees at the gates telling them that I had insulin that could not go in the baggage hold. Both times it was, “Oh my, you will both pre-board. Just come on up when we announce it.” Awesome!
AND – this works great for road trips with hotels and/or visiting friends. The pink bag is not left in the car when it’s too hot or too cold. I can always see it easily (it’s hard to miss!). I grab it to take along if we’re going away from our hotel or where we’re visiting. For a cheap find, it’s been great!

2016-05

And finally, I date the Dexcom sensor package each time. That way, if there’s a problem – I know when I inserted it and I have the lot number. And, I  get to see how long it lasted – I’m lucky when/if I get 10 days.

Have a great weekend!

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2016 Diabetes Blog Week – Thursday

2016-BlogWeekI’ve been reading and commenting and then – oh no, tomorrow’s Thursday. I have to do this again. M asked, “What’s tomorrow’s topic?” I answered, “I don’t have a clue.” So I went to Karen’s page and saw – Healthcare Experience. Oh sh**, I could be writing for hours.

Click for the The Healthcare Experience – Thursday 5/19 Link List.
Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

How I learned to advocate for myself and my family in the healthcare zoo.

So – I wrote a very involved blog post about advocating for yourself.

It was boring. It’s deleted.

But – YOU are the consumer, the customer, the person who is paying your physician.
Make sure you ask your questions.
Make sure you get your answers.
Make sure your physician listens to you.
Make sure you are doing the very best you can for yourself.

Most importantly – don’t waste your time and your physician’s time.
Show up with your questions. Write down the answers.

Be the advocate for yourself.

And remember, none of us is perfect. Try the best you can and tomorrow, try it again.

One wish – that insurance companies would shut off the DAMN music when I’m on hold.

 

 

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2016 Diabetes Blog Week – Wednesday

Click for the Language and Diabetes – Wednesday 5/18 Link List.
There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’m willing to bet we’ve all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don’t care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let’s explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

I used to worry about the words. I’m old enough now that most of the words don’t bother me.

So for today, I’m going to go spend some time reading and commenting!

Oh wait! Medicare & CGMS
Those two words (ok – those five words) are on my mind every single day.
Have you contacted your state government officials to let them know that it’s VERY important that Medicare approve CGMS’s?
Please take the time to do that. Please?

It’s easy!

Follow this link. And thank you!

http://jdrf.org/take-action/advocacy/cgm-medicare-coverage/

And – as much as I love comments – given a choice, please follow the link and contact your state’s government officials and SKIP leaving me a comment.

Thanks, again!

Colleen

 

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2016 Diabetes Blog Week – Tuesday

2016-BlogWeekClick for the Link List:
The Other Half of Diabetes – Tuesday 5/17
We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk?

The mental part? Like with any chronic disease, there are good and bad and even some “blah, who cares?” days. And some days I truly begin to doubt myself and my ability to treat my own diabetes. And other days I think I’m the queen of d-care.

The rest of the days? I think I’m probably nuts.

The love of my life – my husband – is my rock, and God only knows how he puts up with my bitching and moaning some days. (And Karen, he just brought a slice of lime for my drink!) After collapsing and falling sound asleep some nights, he’s the one who will stay up and watch the Dexcom numbers if there’s an issue. I hate, hate, hate that he has to do that. I know that he doesn’t have to do that. But he does. And it makes me sad and it makes me angry. But mostly, it makes me happy. I won’t mention the guilt…

No tips – well, one tip. Become active in the DOC. Connect on FB, create your own blog, do the Twitter thing (I still don’t know how…). Join a support group if you have one. When I first started pumping I attended a great group. I drove over an hour to meet them. It was worth it and I’m so grateful that I had that opportunity. They don’t meet any longer. Wish they did. It was sponsored by Animas and I loved being able to meet other d-people and pumper people.

Just do something so you won’t feel so alone.

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2016 Blog Week – Monday

2016-BlogWeekWow, it’s still here! My blog – the one I used to be so faithful about writing posts!

Thanks to Karen and the 7th Annual Diabetes Blog Week, I’m back here trying to blog, again.

Well – – –

Today’s topic: Why Am I Here?
Let’s kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?

That’s too funny!
Simple answer – because Karen encouraged all of us to participate in this 7th Annual Blog Week. Just like she’s done for the past six years. She’s very encouraging!
Short answer – because I probably would be a very confused and angry and sick and lonely person with diabetes if I hadn’t found the d-blogs, and the d-bloggers, and the gazillion people who make up the DOC, Diabetes Online Community.

The most important message for me. I am not alone.

Which also means – You are not alone.

I need to share my not alone thoughts more often, so that some other d-newby, especially those of us with LADA who are being diagnosed when we are long past the juvenile ages, will find me and know that they’re not the only one.

A whole week of blogging? This will be good for me. This will get me back in the swing of blogging on a regular basis.

Um – let’s hope I do better at this than the treadmill.

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Still blogging after all these years…

I’m going to do the bullet thing because…

I can!

  • We each got a Fitbit for Christmas. When you’re older and there’s no you know who, you go to the store together and buy the presents. (BB&B Coupons!) He is way ahead of me when it comes to the steps. I’m even on the treadmill (yes, again) (I dusted it off) and he’s still ahead.
  • Sigh…
  • We still do a couple of surprise gifts for each other but don’t go overboard. (We do not need more STUFF!)
  • I just heat sealed/bagged 4 dozen plus cookies. I don’t want them to go bad and I’m sure they’ll be a yummy treat in the greyness of February.

2015-12-29 10

  • Shoveling snow is good for my blood sugar.
  • Eating the most incredible chocolate chip cookie – which I’ve decided might be around 35/40 carbs – destroyed the joy of shoveling. But it was worth it.
  • Sigh…
  • I’m looking forward to a quiet New Year’s Dinner with friends. It’s an early dinner and in all likelihood – we’ll be asleep long before midnight.
  • I like using Dexcom G5.
  • I like using the iPhone as my receiver because – if I misplace it, I just have to call it.
  • I silence the iPhone at night and use the Dexcom receiver to beep and do the “shake, rattle, and roll” thing.
  • My new car does the Bluetooth thing with my phone – WHY can’t it show my BG on the car screen? (That would be nifty!)
  • If my parents were still alive, today would be their 67th wedding anniversary. They were pretty awesome parents!

My grandmothers and my parents.

My grandmother on the right probably was a Type 1 Lada, before there was such a thing. She was diagnosed in her 20’s with “adult” diabetes.

DesmondWedding

 

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FWGMC

Cookie_monsterFWGMC
Friends who give me cookies! I love those friends. It’s taken awhile to “educate” a few of them –

And even better, the friend who made and brought me an apple pie this week. It’s going to be delicious. This woman is known for her pies and her crusts.

I haven’t done much Christmas cookie baking since I was diagnosed – 10 years ago. I like baking. I like eating cookies. I’ve gotten better at the SWAG thing (scientific wild ass guessing) when it comes to counting/guessing carbs.

So this year – I decided, I will BAKE! (Do you watch the British Baking Show that was on right before Downton? It’s so much fun to watch!)

But – friends have given us so much and so – I’m not going to BAKE. Time enough in January when the snow starts (if it ever starts…).

Hope your Christmas or other holiday celebrations are merry and bright.

Thanks for being my friends. Really.

Hugs!

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Dexcom Beeps!

I don’t want to write about this.

I can’t believe I’m writing about this.

Last week – there was a lunch – at work.

I’m the one who orders and picks up the monthly lunches. It’s fun and yummy! And every now and then, it’s a birthday lunch.

It was a Birthday Lunch.  (There was Boston Cream Pie.)

Dexcom went nuts.

And one person made comments about Dexcom’s beepings.

The beeps got annoying and I switched it to vibrate.

The vibrates got annoying and the person said, “What is that?”

I explained that my blood sugar was high and the person said, “Well, yes – YOU ATE CAKE!”

And – I lost it.

I stayed fairly calm. I like my job and even more, I like my health insurance.  And this person – is my boss. Well, sh*t.

BUT – the person needed to know – he was wrong. So I did the old “search thing” for Diabetes Etiquette – and found it/them.

And – I printed the following and put it in this person’s mailbox.

Thank you Dr. Polonsky!

1 – DON’T offer unsolicited advice about my eating or other aspects of diabetes. You may mean well, but giving advice about someone’s personal habits, especially when it is not requested, isn’t very nice. Besides, many of the popularly held beliefs about diabetes (“you should just stop eating sugar”) are out of date or just plain wrong.

2 – DO realize and appreciate that diabetes is hard work. Diabetes management is a full-time job that I didn’t apply for, didn’t want, and can’t quit. It involves thinking about what, when, and how much I eat, while also factoring in exercise, medication, stress, blood sugar monitoring, and so much more – each and every day.

And this morning – in my mailbox.

“I sincerely apologize.”

You know, having Diabetes sucks. Having DOC friends is awesome. Having the GUTS to stick up for myself? Couldn’t have done it without ya!

Thanks DOC!

 

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I Did It

2015-12-17 01I did it. I ordered the Dexcom G5. I have it.

(The ordering process is a whole ‘nother blog post…)

I just did the fake “Yes, I inserted a new sensor.” this morning so it’s been one whole week!

I like it. I really like it.

I leave the receiver at home while I’m at work. I only have to find my phone and that’s not so bad since I can call it if I lose it. And hope that I haven’t shut off the ringer.

I’m still figuring out some stuff. I still don’t have a clue how Diasend is going to work. Or even if it works.

Clarity works – automatically from the phone so that helps.

Phone staying charged hasn’t been too bad. I bought new, longer charging cords for the bedroom for each of us so that we’re not having to unplug it just to look at it.

M’s had more no info issue than I have. He’s on as a follower/sharer. I’m not sure what the problem is (or what I did wrong…) but it’s been better the last day or two so maybe it’s not a problem. I wish.

I’m using the receiver at night and putting the phone on vibrate. The receiver is in a glass dish on my nightstand. I almost always hear it so, it works.

I had a couple of questions and ended up speaking with a CDE at Dexcom. She was very helpful – has Type 1 – and wears a pump and Dexcom.

I’ve said this before – I may have written it before but… If I could only have one D-machine, I’d choose Dexcom.

Keep writing those letters to your representatives and senators. We need Dexcom and other CGMS to be approved (and paid for) by Medicare. And it’s not just those of us of a certain age that need your help with this. Medicare approval helps all of us when it comes to having and using a CGMS that’s provided by insurance.

Speaking of which, our insurance changes January 1. I have NO clue what’s going to be covered/not covered, etc…

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday or a Nice Day. Whatever make you smile and feel good!

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Learning from the D-Blogs

I have always enjoyed learning something new. I’d prefer that my new knowledge NOT be related to Diabetes but – you take what you can get.

I keep juice boxes in my car most of the year. And I have to be honest, sucking down a box of hot juice in August is not fun. But, even less fun is trying to suck down a partially frozen box of juice in February. Only happened once because – I enjoy learning.

But – I didn’t know that glucose tablets don’t freeze. And I doubt that heat kills them so – My jumbo jar of Wal-Mart glucose tablets will now stay in the car – hot and or cold.

Where did I learn this? That Canadian D-gal – Scully and her Hacks!

Inserting Dexcom by myself in my arm? There are several d-people who have recorded a bunch of “how to’s.”

The one that helped me was Kim’s – a couple of years ago. I was quite annoying with my Yay! I did its! on Facebook that day. I still ask my husband for help most of the time – cuz it’s easier. But at least I know that I can do it, if I have to do it.

And – I don’t use OmniPod but – the first time I watched Caleb do his – by himself (with a little help/advice) – I was just as thrilled as if I’d been his mom. He was so proud and it gave me the courage to keep on working on this d-stuff, even when it’s not easy. He’s older now – and even cuter!

So – d-bloggers need to keep on teaching. You never know who you’re giving some much needed courage to keep on keeping on.

 

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