Day 2 – D-Blog Week

Click here for the The Cost of a Chronic Illness – Tuesday 5/16 Link List
Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?  (This topic was inspired by suggestions from Rick and Jen.)

I’m getting ready to transition to Medicare – and that scares the sh*t out of me.

Back to Medicare – I’m petrified. We’ve scheduled an appointment with a local woman (she sounds really young but was well recommended by a local insurance agent) to analyze and look at what we can do as far as plans – advantage, supplement, prescription. She said, “You’ll need to have a list of any prescriptions you use.” Poor girl – she’s going to be awed. (Or she might just run away from us!)

I NEVER thought I’d be working at my age. We both worked hard to make it possible to retire and enjoy our retirement. Diabetes brought that to a screeching halt. For new d-friends, I was dx’d at age 55. I’ve said I’d give up my pump before my Dexcom if given a choice. I know they’re approved now but – it looks like there will be some bumps before it, Dexcom, is totally available.

And… it truly and honestly bothers me immensely that there are people who are not able to afford the d-medications that they need to stay alive. Give me a break. NO ONE should be denied medications needed to STAY alive.

PS – I truly LOVE comments and I know everyone else does, too. But… I’m going to do comment catching up after D-Blog week. If I do comments now they’ll all say, “Nice!” or “Thank you for posting this.” I’m really looking forward to meeting new bloggers and catching up with some of “been around for some time” bloggers.

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Keeping Up with the… “DOC Bloggers”

I have no clue whether this is happening on Monday the 21 or Tuesday the 22. Just take the time to comment where you read.

Believe it or not (no, I’m not walking on air…), I’ve been around awhile. I can remember asking a d-blogger’s permission to add their blog to my blog list. I used to read the d-blogs from my favorites’ list – no reader list. (And no, I never walked to school up hill, barefoot, in the snow. So, there!)

I can remember my first commenter and I’m not going to repeat it as I don’t like being one of those people who throw in lots of d-blog links to popular d-blogs. I do love throwing in a link or two when I find a sort of new blogger who’s not getting many, if any comments.

And so – Hannah (in 2013) (Yup – you need to read her comment over there)  & I guess, Chris,(redo for 2014) have taken up the cause of “We need to start leaving more comments!” And you know what? They’re right. (And yes, I just threw in two links to two well known d-bloggers. Oh well. Deal with it.

I really do love this idea. I’m a former Army Brat. I was always the “new kid.” And you know what, it’s not easy. I went to 3 high schools. Try that someday. It did make me sort of “in your face” with “Hi, my name’s Colleen!” in introducing myself at each school.

So – on Monday, (or maybe it’s Tuesday???) take the time to leave a comment on some d-blogs.

Take the time to say hello to someone new. It’s important.

And my own personal request – figure out how to moderate your comments so we don’t have to do the stupid captchas or whatever those are cuz the older I get, the harder it is to read them and retype them. And I believe that just might be stopping so many people from leaving a comment on blogs.

2014-07-14Oh – and boy, do I need to catch up. Here’s a screen shot of my Feedly list. I’ll have to have this cleaned up by Monday – July 21! 126 Type 1 blogs to get through.

I can do this! (and no, I’m not linking that, either!)

 

D-Blog Week – Wednesday

This is ridiculous! It’s almost 6pm on Tuesday night. I want to read more of the poetry (what a great topic – and boy do we have a whole lot of talented d-bloggers!), but until just now, I wasn’t even sure what tomorrow’s topic is and needless to say, haven’t written a damn word.

And I have to eat dinner at some point. Thankfully, I don’t have to fix it as my resident poet (my very own Type 3) does the cooking around here.

Click for the What Brings Me Down – Wednesday 5/14 Link List.
May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

I’ve met Scott. He’s really, really nice. He has the most engaging smile. He almost makes me wish we still lived in KC – almost…

I will totally give some credit to my PCP for alerting me to keeping an eye on my own mood(s) after the d diagnosis. I had a bunch of cr*p going on when I was diagnosed and my life already pretty much was kinda sucky. And then, the d-thing arrived. Not fun.

I have bad days, just like everyone else. But I recognize that “having a bad day” is nothing compared to those who deal with depression. But I totally appreciate and respect that the depression word/subject/idea is brought up here in the DOC. You never know who is going to get/find help, just because they recognized themselves in someone’s post.

So how do I cope? Sometimes, I don’t. I go bananas. I cry hysterically. I blame anyone who’s within five feet of me (yep, guess who that would be?).

Other times, I’m a little more controlled and I read, I compute, I watch dumb TV (house hunters saves me because some of them are so stupid they make me feel brilliant) and now that it’s almost summer, I’ll go work in the yard. (Stupid weeds!)

And then there are the d-bloggers and d-fbers. Without them, I’d be so scared. And I love that we all share more than just d-stuff. Flowers – Pets! – Recipes (yes, even the vegan ones) – Children’s Photos – Grandchildren’s Photos – Vacation Photos – you get the idea.

I guess I have to say, living in this DOC neighborhood of ours
makes living with diabetes
somewhat easier to cope with each and every day.

And – a final thought. If you’re reading this and you got here through Karen’s D-Blog Week list, take a few minutes to click on a blog there that you’ve never read and then, gasp, leave a comment. Sometimes, after taking the time to start a d-blog and move into the DOC neighborhood, it’s hard to feel like you’re getting to know anyone. We can all give one person a smile just by saying hello and saying something nice. You can skip commenting here – I’m fine today.

 

 

 

What a Great Endo Appointment!

I’m going to wait to title this (hope I don’t forget…).
I’m writing a post on a Friday night… but the night sounds are beautiful, the acorns keep falling and bouncing on the deck. It’s really quite nice…

Went to the endo today. Second appointment with Endo #4. I loved the first appointment and today, well, today was even better.

The office is a little over an hour away. It was a simply gorgeous day for driving down I93. Not much traffic as I was heading south and the sun was shining and I had the radio loud and since I was by myself, I could sing!

Arm is still paining so I also did some arm stretching since it’s my right arm and no one was in the passenger seat.

I cannot imagine what anyone thought if they saw this person with her arm stretched out and obviously talking/singing to no one. Oh well.

I’d done all the requested lab work back in June before my PCP appointment and just to be sure, had faxed everything to the endo’s office this week. Even called to make sure they got it.

I uploaded my Ping to Diasend (had some problems, called, had to wait for a call back when Christy politely reminded me that I had to suspend the pump before it would connect… I knew that. I just didn’t do that…) Incidentally, it uploaded much faster than it has in the past. Yay!

I let Dr. G know via email that my info was on Diasend and she let me know that she’d gotten it and was concerned about the lows the last couple of weeks. I’m calling it the Advil treatment.

So, the nurse, whom I hadn’t met, did the weight, BP and A1c. (The MA was out sick.) She’s also the CDE, was dx’d at 17, wears a Ping and a Dexcom. She came back in a few minutes with an orange sticky and I asked for the number. She gave it to me and I did a little cheer. I don’t like posting A1c’s but, today’s was the lowest since I was diagnosed back in 2005.

Dr. G. came in and we talked about the lows. She suggested I work with temporary basals more often to help. She sat next to me and basically said I’m doing great. She said she’s awed with my understanding of d and working with carbs, insulin and the pump.

AND I TOLD HER…
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the d-bloggers. I told her I don’t panic because someone else has already posted a similar situation. I SWAG because I’ve learned from some of the best. I choose what to eat because I’ve learned from some of the best. I thoroughly enjoyed a (small) piece of Key Lime pie yesterday because – you know… I told her about writing about my bent cannula and feeling stupid and that people commented (thank you!) and let me know I wasn’t stupid – that Karen said, “Diabetes is stupid!” She laughed. And then I told her about Meri, and the boys, and Ryan – and she got tears in her eyes. I told her I’ve not met most of these people but that I depend on them for support, hugs, advice.

Called M as soon as I got to the parking lot and just said the number – and he was appropriately congratulatory.

Did some shopping on the way back north. Went to Chili’s by myself and ate a cheeseburger and less than half of the fries!

And so, as I’ve said in the past, thank you to everyone who takes the time to write about their diabetes. It’s kept me sane – well, as sane as I can be these days…

Love you all!

Links

I love that WordPress catches almost all the spam comments that try to show up here at
d-meanderings. I even chuckle when reading them (“This is interesting subject. I like to learn more.” “Product is good. I will buy.” etc…) and the email addresses are amazingly complex and weird.

But, I’ve noticed recently that most of them are commenting on my d-links page. Which says to me that they’re probably grazing and stealing links from that page. So, might be rethinking how to do that.

D-links are how I entered into this land called the DOC. Found one blog and then explored any links on that blog. And that led to more exploring with more d-links. Thankfully, people said “hello” and were welcoming even though I’m pretty sure some of my comments sounded very similar to the spam comments above.

I knew nothing when I was diagnosed (at age 55). So I read books and like everyone else, hit the internet. Diabetes medical sites were nice but, the blogs were/are the best. They’re so much like my days as a new mom, when a bunch of us would take walks with the babies and solve most of our issues just by talking to others. And if we couldn’t solve the problem, we found out we weren’t the only one whose child was perplexing at times.

A favorite memory. The eldest had colic – and the day it began I was a very frustrated, teary mom. My back door neighbor showed up. She’d noticed that I hadn’t opened any curtains or the back door. She took one look at the two of us (both red-faced and teary), took the baby from me and told me to go take a walk. I did take a walk and then felt ready to get back to being mom after that. The neighbor, who in addition to having two older children, was also a registered nurse and she’s the one who thought it was colic. I wouldn’t have had a clue. (It was, and lasted 3 months almost exactly.)

Same with diabetes. There’s help out there in the DOC neighborhood. Most of the time I find advice just by reading. Other times I go looking for help (like my first Dexcom insertion). And then there are the times that I ask for help, here.

I like living in the DOC neighborhood. It’s a great home with helpful friends.

Stop reading here if you don’t want to end up singing Mr. Rogers’ song for the rest of the day.

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…
It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood, A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…
I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please, Won’t you please? Please won’t you be my neighbor?
So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor? Won’t you please, Won’t you please? Please won’t you be my neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor By Fred M. Rogers © 1967

The Initializing Dexcom

After having my easiest, simplest, painless Dexcom insertion on Saturday…

It failed.

It’s not fair.

It failed fast, like within an hour of insertion. It jumped up to 220 within minutes of entering the two initial numbers. The two numbers – 99 and 101. Then it initialized and went nuts. Then it went to the dreaded ???. I reset it and gave it a couple of hours but no go. I took it out and put in a new one. Called Dexcom (always fun on the weekend). While talking to the guy, I mentioned that my receiver initializes about 3 times a week on average. He said that’s normal.

Anyway, they called again this afternoon and will replace the sensor. I also asked again about the initializing. He said it’s probable that there’s too much static electricity with keeping it in my pocket and using the skin. He told me it would be better to keep the receiver in the black case with the belt clip. I said nope! Two problems – it’s annoying and I don’t always wear a belt.

So – I need your help!

Does your Dexcom do the initializing thing as often as mine?

About the comments…

I’ve written this before but bear* with me – it’s NaBloPoMo and so, “repeat…”

*Couldn’t decide if it should be bear or bare – so I Googled it. Landed on a favorite site for checking up on grammar/language/spelling/punctuation – http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/bare.html.

I really, really like getting to know other people through comments. I actually do a little happy dance when someone new lands here and even better, leaves a comment. (Newest
d-friend is Grammie and it’s been nice to read her blog and make a new friend.)

Maybe because I’m blogging every day this month – whatever possessed me???? – I’m getting more spam comments. WordPress does a great job of sorting real and spam but, a few have ended up in the “real” box. I’m not sure if they’re real or not – and so, I block them.  I refuse to become someone’s commercial. (And to be honest, it’s not like a whole lot of people read my comments so… doesn’t do them much good.)

I don’t have the word verification thing as new commentors are not posted without my approval. When I first started blogging, I noticed that people would write something like, “HaHa, wv is sugarlady.” I had no idea what “wv” meant. Aha! – took me awhile but it’s “word verification.” duhhhhh… I even put together an image of some of my wv’s for Diabetes Blog Week back in May.

And right now, I’m extremely grateful that November has just 30 days.
Nine more posts to go!

Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Save February, with twenty-eight days clear,
And twenty-nine each leap year.