Medicare, I did it…

In April I will be 65 years old. Holy sh**! Really?

Anyway, I signed up for Medicare this week. It was easy. It was kind of fascinating to see my “earnings” report. Not that I earned much. I was a teacher – Special Education. Then I was a substitute teacher for years while our sons were in school. Then a volunteer thing at the church turned into a job. Moved here to NH and I’m a parish secretary. Being a parish secretary is truly the last thing I ever thought I’d do. To be honest, I never thought of that when it came to, “What I’m going to be when I grow up.”

I won’t be activating the Medicare thing right away as I plan/hope to continue working for awhile. Why? Well, that would be because I have health insurance. I like my Dexcom. I really like my Dexcom. Medicare won’t pay for Dexcoms. (I would give up my pump to keep Dexcom.)

My huge fear – driving without Dexcom. I don’t have a whole lot of lows. And for the most part, I can tell when I’m low. But – driving down/up the interstate? If I’m on the interstate, it usually means I’ve been to a mall or a doctor’s appointment (or lunch with Shannon Lewis!). Malls ( and Targets) create lows for me.  If I’m driving, I sometimes don’t feel the lows. I have Dexcom sitting right on the console. I keep an eye on it. And yes, I’ve pulled off the road to test and treat when needed when I’m by myself. (Juice kept in the car during 3 seasons – Skittles in the winter. I’ve learned I can’t drink a frozen juice box…!)  If my husband and I are together, we stop and switch drivers.

And a night time low? Those are terrible. And scary. If I needed an ambulance in the winter, it might not happen. During the winter, if it’s snowing, they wouldn’t even be able to get an ambulance up our road. I have asked what would happen. They would have to walk up with a sled thing if needed. It could take awhile. I might send Medicare a photo of my snowy road.

I’m extremely fortunate, really! I like my job. I like the people I work with each day. I like the parishioners. I like my 5 minute commute. So – working more? It’s okay. It’s actually very good. (I’m trying so hard to NOT say, “It’s a good thing.”)
PS – Thanks to Kim Vlasnik, I can even insert the Dexcom in my arm, by myself. And this past week – I got one into my right arm using my left hand (I’m right handed). (Yay me!!!) I didn’t think I could do it. But – I can do this.

PPS – We’re going to the Diabetes UnConference in March. I’m hoping there will be no snow in LasVegas while we’re there.

D Blog Week – Monday


Click for the Change the World – Monday 5/12 Link List.
Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

So – I’m not going to change the world but I will soon be one of those d-people writing letters to promote CGM coverage for Medicare because, guess what? It’s almost that time of life for me. (Really? When did that happen? Is that why they no longer “card” me at the liquor store?)

When I was diagnosed and when that diagnosis indicated Type 1 LADA, I knew I wanted a pump. At that time, insurance said that you had to be on MDI for at least two years before you could even hope to get a pump.

Well – with thanks to those d-people who wrote and advocated and blogged and begged, I got the pump without a two year wait.

Same with the CGM, Kerri and others had to fight to get a CGM. Now, because of her and all of the others who worked hard for all of us, I have a CGM. And it’s probably saved us a couple of ER trips, easily.

Driving? I have pulled off I93, tested, and did the “drink the juice” before continuing.

Sleeping? 49 on Dexcom means juice and maybe a peanut butter cracker at 2am.

Working? Gardening? Cooking? All of them!

So now – I’m approaching Medicare and know that CGMs are not provided. I’ve known it for awhile. It sucks.

When I spoke with my PCP about this Medicare D-issue, along with others – like enough test strips, she quietly said, “Well, it costs them less, if you die.”

Mike H wrote about it over at DiabetesMine.

And Sue wrote about it at Test, Guess & Go.

Advocate? Sure, count me in!

Happy 2013!

No profound statements or intellectual quotes, I only wish all of us the happiest and healthiest of new years.

My treadmill has been buried in the chaos of our home renovation. It’s now unburied, still surrounded by boxes but – usable. I have no excuse now. There’s even a light above it so I can read or whatever while doing a morning walk. I don’t run – on a treadmill or anywhere else!

A friend gave us a yummy, delicious, huge rum cake. I’ve had three small pieces in the past week and finally have the insulin dose worked out. Tonight I sliced up the rest of the cake and wrapped each piece. They’re all in the freezer.

Last night we ate late and did not stay up for midnight. I decided to shut off my high alert on Dexcom so I could sleep. Woke up at 4am with a number near 300. Stood in the bathroom trying to think why that would have happened. Then I noticed that my inset was hanging off my Ping – and not attached to my leg. That made for a very annoying first day of this year.

I totally enjoyed all the posts with Christmas and holiday photos of families and kids and yes, even the PWD’s cats and other furry animals!

So – back to work tomorrow. Back on the treadmill, maybe… Back to some sort of schedule in our lives.

Happy New Year to my friends!

Thank you Steven of Dexcom & Pam of FedEx!

Thank you Steven at Dexcom for doing what you said you would do. Sensors arrived this morning and it’s been a great day.

Yesterday – G4 arrived but no sensors…

Today – the sensors arrived!

Thank you Pam at FedEx. When she delivered the Dexcom box yesterday, I told her that I hoped there would be another one today. I have all my stuff delivered to my office but I don’t work on Fridays. She said, no problem, I’ll bring it out to your house. She phoned this morning to see where I was and arrived at the house with the sensors.

I’m not as good…

First sensor was a failure, a bloody failure. I think I’ve only had one bleed before this. Oh well. And yes, I’ll call to see if they’ll replace it but not until next week.
I am giving myself credit for charging it this morning before the sensors even showed up!

It’s only been one afternoon and Dexcom has been almost perfect. Alerted a low at 78, meter said 88 but I’m happy!

And yes, it’s pink. The second photo, it looks red. I think that would be a nice color to have also. Hmmm, maybe someone will come up with sticker thingies so we can decorate the Dex!

And yes, I know, I need to peel off the plastic. I will, soon, maybe.
And no, my graph hardly ever looks this good.

And finally… I got my first WDD postcard today.
It came from Alecia in NYC.


No clue, but, have a Dexcom question

I loved having a prompt for each day last week. Some of them were easy and some of them required some thought. But at least it gave me a starting point.

Karen, over at Bitter-Sweet Diabetes did an awesome, fantastic, amazing job of putting the week together. If you didn’t have time to read ALL the d-blogs, she has info here on how to do a “catch up.”

And – blogging for one week is definitely easier (???) than doing the November NaBloPoMo for a whole month! Although, I snuck in just under the timer with the weekend posts…

I have no clue what to write about, except – I have a Dexcom question.

How long does it take your Dexcom to “settle in?”

It seems like I may not be giving it too much of chance.

My issue is that frequently, Dexcom doesn’t go “on” for hours. And it’s happened more than once.

This past Friday, I put in a new sensor. Did the two hour thing. It asked for the two BGs. I put them in. It came up with a number. And within 30 minutes I got the ???. I gave it six hours and then put in a new one. That one did the same darn thing. But by that time, it was time to hit the bed so I left it alone. The next morning, it was “on” but with no graph for the whole night. It’s been fine since then. So it’s good for now.

So, my question. How long do you wait before giving up on the ???Dexcom?

Attached at the hip no longer…

I haven’t had my Dexcom for a whole year and I truly appreciate having it by my side.


I was beginning to feel like one of “those” couples. You know the ones… They color coordinate their outfits. They always stand next to each other at parties. They go everywhere but the bathroom (and who knows?) together. It’s like they’re glued to each other.

I started using Dexcom last July and it stayed by my side at all times. Unless, of course, I forgot it.

Winter was okay – most of my pants and many of my sweaters have pockets. At home I’d wear my Outer Banks pink hoodie and the machine stayed safe in the pockets.

Well, spring finally arrived and I’ve spent the last three days picking the Dexcom up off the floor as I just don’t have the pockets.

So, today at work, I put it on my desk. And left it there. I did not take it to the copier, or another office or – the bathroom. There’s a few blank spots on the graph but not enough to worry about. Night time, yup, it’ll be there but when things seems pretty steady during the day, I’m not going to take it with me everywhere.

I think the Dexcom needs a “pause” button. And then, an “unpause or I’m back” button.

I’m quite proud of myself for giving up on the ALWAYS relationship.

Not feeling so great…

I have a bug. It’s not a bad bug – no stomach issues, no fever, just achy and yucky, etc… Sadly, I still have an appetite. BG’s have been okay so, guess I’ll survive this.

I even stayed home from work today. Didn’t do me a whole lot of good as far as trying to rest as the construction people are still here every day hammering away.

Big decision today. Where to put the bathroom vents on the outside of the house. Turns out the bathroom vents have been venting right into the attic (2 baths) and the other in the basement vents into the furnace room (which is off the guest room). So I’m (looking like death warmed over…) wandering outside with one of the builder guys choosing a spot in the soffit. Not fun.

Changed dex today. It had been 11 days and was giving wonky readings. Spent 3 hours with question marks, took it out and put in another one. Called Dexcom and they’re replacing it. This was the third sensor in one box that didn’t work??? The new box that I opened today is the same lot number but so far, this one isn’t having any problems.

And in new, old news – a whole bunch of people have been finding this blog (again) by searching for “t h e  e n d.” It’s very strange. Almost all are from other countries. Weird…!!!

Pop Quiz

The question for the quiz.

Your blood sugar is high because ________.

Select answer below.

1. Your inset is bad
2. You ate a cookie
3. Your insulin is bad
4. That’s life with d
5. Any one of several other possibilities

As most of you know, the answer can be all of the above or 1 – 2 – 3 – or 4, or a combination of any 2 or 3. You get an A+ no matter which answer you chose!

This past week I couldn’t figure it out. Ate a salad – went to 200. Ate the same breakfast – went to 200 for several days in a row. Pulled the inset and that looked okay. Ordered Girl Scout cookies but I don’t think just looking at the pictures counts. Changed out the cartridge and filled it with insulin (hint – from the same vial).

Finally, yesterday, I threw out the old vial (which stays in the fridge and even if it didn’t, it’s not like it’s real hot right now in New Hampshire) and opened a new one. I really hate throwing out insulin. I’m cheap and it just feels like I’m throwing money in the trash can. Oh well.

Ta Da! Using the brand new vial worked.

I’m now back to my normal, hum drum, but happy cruising with d.

Well, sort of… Dexcom is on day 12 and has done pretty good but this morning – AT 4AM – it did the beep, beep, buzz, buzz thing to tell me I was 79. I have a habit of liking to sleep so I calmly told it, “That’s okay.” And no, didn’t even look to see if there was an arrow. (Remember, it’s 4am) Next thing I know, it’s screeching again (remember when I couldn’t hear it when I first got it?) and this time it’s at 50 something. I got up and tested – meter says 140 something. I’m awake, fix the coffee and the day begins.

Hi-lo, hi-lo, it’s off to the endo I go

Tomorrow’s appointment with the ARNP at the endo’s office is at 9:30am. I’m going to have to be out of the house by 7:45am at the latest. And because I’m one of those people who hates to be late, I’ll probably leave earlier.

And like every good d-person, I’ve spent the last hour downloading, uploading, whatever…

I’ve got the Dexcom numbers and they are somewhat overwhelming, so I’m going to ignore those.

I’ve got the Ping numbers and they don’t look so bad.

And yes, the office will take the Ping and probably the Dexcom (first appointment after starting it in July) and download it all but – I wanted to look at the numbers before the appointment.

I’m using the Diasend program for the Ping and it’s pretty cool. (WISH it would do the Dexcom, too.) Only issue is – when downloading, it just scoots right along until about 75% of the way… Then, it hangs there forever! Meanwhile, I have to make sure the Ping stays “on.” And so I keep pushing the light button (that cute little light bulb on the top) to make it stay on. And… then it sings Fur Elise and tells me that the pump is suspended and to confirm that – well, yeah, I suspended. (I do follow directions – when I read them…)

Meanwhile – the computers/printers cord situation is getting TOTALLY out of control! Neither printer was working and it turned out the cords were not plugged in (not my fault, I’m sure). One of these days we’re going to get organized but, not tonight…

So, I’m off to the endo’s to look at numbers (hi & lo), and more numbers. I flunked first semester freshman math in college – oh well…

The Dexcom cord…

The Ping cord…

Scooting right along during the upload…

The “stop here for awhile” point…

And after that… I’m going shopping – there is a mall!!!

Me & my shadow…

I haven’t been a mom of little ones for a very long time but… ole Dexcom is beginning to feel somewhat like a new child.

For the most part, I keep it in the smoky gray skin, shoved in a pocket, as the floppy, black case is kind of annoying. If I’m going to be sitting for awhile reading or watching TV, I set it on the table next to me. I keep leaving it on the table!

Showering, it goes on the bathroom counter and then stays there until I remember to go get it before I leave for work.

Work, I’ll set it on my desk and then get called away for a jammed copier or help with someone’s computer. And there it stays as I wander the offices…

I never, ever lost a child or left one of the boys someplace but – I may just leave the CGMS someplace.

Nights – haven’t been too bad other than the night it kept waking me up to say I was low. Got up, tested, not low, reset the BG. Two hours later, same thing. (I did set the snooze thing so I’ve done better at hearing it at night… Thanks for the advice!)

Continued… August 8th. Really? It’s August already? OMG!

Haven’t lost the DexCom yet but I sure spend a lot of time looking for it. I need more pockets! I think I’ll order one of the brighter colored skins – maybe… that will help me keep track of it…???