Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#DBlogWeek Day 2: The Other Half Of Diabetes.

The 2nd day of #dblogweek ( I'm a day behind, it's really day 3- don't tell,) and it's all about the other half of diabetes, aka, emotions.

This post is focusing on one particular emotion and it's called GUILT. 
And please forgive the fuzziness & lack of text - I just had surgery.

Monday, May 16, 2016

#dBlogWeek: Message Monday~

Day one of #DBlogWeek and it’s all about the message. And to quote Karen, the creator of #dblogweek, directly: " Message Monday: 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? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.” 

Living with diabetes isn’t about one thing - it’s about many things. 
The same can be said as to why I blog about diabetes and the messages that are important to me. I can’t pick one message or platform because there are so damn many - all important, each taking their place in front of the line on a rotating scheduled decided by life.
Diabetes and the media: I started blogging in 2007 because I was ticked at Halle Barre and her publicist’s inaccurate diabetes statements that were made in the media. 
I was sick of the diabetes inaccuracies and I needed both the public and the media to get diabetes right. I always considered myself a diabetes mythbuster and I started blog as a way to bust myths and stereotypes wide open and encouraged others to do the same. 
I want people to use the proper words when it comes to diabetes because words matter and words stick - accurate or not.
Humor: I’ve always used humor as a coping mechanism when it came to dealing with life - and life with diabetes, because I felt (and still do,) that if you can laugh about your diabetes, you can own your diabetes. 
I want others to laugh and become empowered because I know what it was like to lose someone I loved to diabetes because they felt like diabetes had all the power. 
Holy Crap, the DOC is AMAZING: About 2 months after I started blogging I realized that there was this amazing community called the DOC, and while I always knew I wasn’t the only one living with diabetes  - I never realized until I found my tribe that I’d been wearing an anchor of diabetes guilt around my neck for a long time - it was heavy and I was tired. 
And I never realized that diabetes burnout was a thing and that there was a loneliness to living with diabetes - until I  found others in the DOC and I no longer felt alone. 
It was because of the DOC that learned to flip my diabetes bitch switch for good, not evil. 

Becoming a Diabetes Advocate because it’s ain’t about me: Finding DOC has turned me into a passionate Diabetes Advocate because it made me realize that it wasn’t about me - it's about us - every single person in the world living with diabetes. 

We are in this together, no matter the diabetes type or which part of the world we live. 
#DiabetesAccessMatters for everyone - as does stripping safely and, and DSMA and that the Blue Circle is global and all encompassing. 
Through blogging I have found friends for life, who've taught and continue to teach me, every single day... and who have been there for me when I lost the one I loved the most

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes: Because of blogging, I’ve learned to not only cultivate my diabetes voice, I've become inspired by other diabetes voices  - and hopefully helping I'm paying it forward and helping others to discover and use their own d voices.

Finally, the big ass message is: WE MATTER. Every single person living with diabetes matters  - every single voice matters - and when added to the chorus of voices - mountains move and we are Khaleesi type of powerful. 
And yep, you know after last night’s Game of Thrones, I had to get a Daenerys Targaryan, aka Khaleesi reference in!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#MypumpMychoice #AccessMatters: I Didn't Choose To Have A Preferred Relationship With Diabetes

By now everyone is talking about UnitedHealthCare and Medtronic’s partnership and the press release that states in part: 
“As part of our ongoing efforts to provide a better member experience, while increasing quality and lowering the overall cost of diabetes care in the United States, UnitedHealthcare has reached an agreement with Medtronic to become the preferred, in-network durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and Commercial members, effective July 1, 2016”
UnitedHealthcare will continue to pay for pump coverage for others brands until those pumps are out of warranty - and once that happens, customers will either have to switch to Medtronic or pay out of pocket for the pump of their choice.

You can read the Press Release in its entirety, HERE, and I highly suggest you do because it's important, no matter which insulin pump you wear, or don't wear - or whether or not UnitedHealthCare is your insurer.

FTR and not surprising, UnitedHealthCare doesn't don’t provide a direct link. Scroll down to “Front and Center,” and click on the 5th bullet point where it says “Medtronic to become preferred DME Provider of Insulin Pumps for Diabetes, Effective July, 2016.” 

I currently wear an out of warranty Medtronic Pump. That’s my choice - and yes, my insurance has a coo-coo high deductible, only partial coverage once crazy high coo-coo deductible is met, and ridiculous amounts of paperwork and labs to prove that yes, “I actually do have diabetes and require a new insulin pump.” 
And all of which make it anything but easy for me to get a new pump - but at least I get to choose said new pump when I actually get one. 

Here's the thing: It’s not like I chose to have a “preferred relationship with diabetes,” over a perfectly functioning pancreas. I didn’t have a choice when I was diagnosed with t1 diabetes almost 4 decades ago, and ever since my choice to live sans D was taken away, having choices in my life has become of paramount importance. 

Choice when it comes to how I live my life. 
Choice when it comes to my body.
Choice when it comes to my diabetes and the tools and methods I use to manage my diabetes.

And slowly, my (and by “my”, I mean OURS - EVERY SINGLE PERSON LIVING WITH DIABETES,) diabetes choices are being compromised and whittled down and have been for years - and that’s bullshit. 

This isn’t just about insulin pump choice - a choice that is both intimate and personal, since we wear them almost 24X7. 
It’s about not having a choice in the future when it comes to CGM choices, Artificial Pancreas choices, insulin, meters and test strip choices - as well as choices regarding insulin pumps - and coverage (or the lack there of,) for all of the above.

This move reinforces the thinking that diabetes is a one size fits all, disease. 

Diabetes isn’t once size fits all disease. Different strokes for different folks, for a disease where 95% of the day to day treatment is in OUR HANDS.

 94 years ago, insulin hit the scene and saved millions of lives -imagine if we still only had access to one type of insulin? 
Crazy, dangerous and unacceptable - to be perfectly frank, we’d be F^cked. 
Same goes for insulin pumps. 

I won’t demonize Medtronic - I have friends who work there with families and mortgages. 
Medtronic as an insulin pump has worked well for me since 2002. 
And my mother was one of the first people on the east coast to have an implantable defibrillator in 1991 - it gave my family an additional 20 years with my amazing mom and I will always be grateful.  

I don't find Medtronic pumps to be an inferior product, nor do I find insulin pumps made by other companies besides Medtronic to be inferior. 

But I won’t ignore the fact that this move is disturbing, sets precedents that don’t benefit patients, and has ramifications  that will adversely effect every PWD for years to come.

As a person with diabetes, I already know Pharma sees me as many things. 
As an Opinion and Thought Leader, a tool to communicate to the masses, and as a dollar sign.

And I'll cop to being all of the above. This dollar sign has a voice - And I’m not afraid to share my thoughts on what I believe is right…. and what I believe is wrong. 

This move is wrong and it hurts a lot of people on both sides. 

I’m asking both Medtronic and UnitedHealthCare to reconsider. 

I’m asking you to use your voice regarding this decision because your voice is so damn important. 

Together, the Diabetes Online Community moves mountains. Alone, we trudge up hills. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Crazy April & Playing Catch-Up

Sorry for being MIA as of late guys, but April was a whirlwind for me and playing catch-up with life is taking longer than I thought. 
I travelled to and attended 3 inspiring conferences in April - and whose posts are finally being written now.  
FTR: I tried following American Airlines advice re: seat exercises during my April flights,
but the exercises above actually required leg room, and there was none.
Things got awkward quick.
#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day occurred two days after I returned from my last conference and it was AMAZING.
I've had slew of writing assignments and you bet your funky pancreas I’m grateful for the work and the deadlines! 

Speaking of writing assignments and traveling, I wrote this piece about diabetes and traveling for, and I’d be ever so grateful if you’d click HERE and give it a read! 

I’ve also been trying to prepare myself for wrist and hand surgery that’s scheduled for May 17th. 
Getting pre-surgery clearance from my Doctors, trying to organize and clean my house so 
I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff when my flipper’s stitched and bandaged. Completing deadlines so they won’t be hanging over my head while I’m recovering, practicing making and eating dinner with on one hand - that kind of stuff. 

Then there’s the whole “I’ve never had surgery,” thing. 
Yep, I’m slightly freaked and for several reasons.
  1. Did I mention that I’ve never had surgery before? 
  2. It’s my dominant hand
  3. I have some concerns re: with infusion site changes. 
But I’ve put the surgery off long enough and I can’t wait to be done with it. 
And even though I'm scared - BRING. IT. ON.

A short update for sure, but more meaty blog posts to follow in the next few days~ 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thanks DOC, The 2nd #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Was A SuccessBecause of YOU.

The 2nd annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere was a success and I’m so grateful and happy. 
Honestly, I was worried because I’d been traveling for the majority of April ( 3 conferences that I still need to finish posts for,) right up until last Sunday night and I was worried that I might not have gotten the word out in time. 

But once again, the Diabetes Online Community came through and hit the hashtag out of the park and across all social media platforms!

By 1:23 am on the morning of Wednesday, April 20th, the hashtag had already generated 
2,987,152 twitter impressions thanks to Australia, NewZealand, Japan and Kenya.

By 10:57 pm the night of the 20th, the hashtag’s twitter impressions had reached 14,117,989.

And according to Trendinalia, we were the 24th most popular hashtag on twitter. 
Personally, I  believe we would have cracked the top twenty if it hadn’t been for so many hashtags devoted to the 420 genre. 

As of this morning, there are 16,238,322 #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes twitter impressions in one week.  And since April 17th, 2015, the hashtag has generated 
40,791, 919 twitter impressions - ALL BECAUSE OF YOU

1..  Special thanks to every member of the diabetes online community and from the bottom of my busted pancreas because YOU made the second annual  #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day and #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org happen

2. Individual shout-outs to Renza , Grainne, and Cherise, for keeping me sane and Mike Lawson for keeping me sane & creating the logos, and my brother-in-law C, for dealing handling the website hustle and flow~ 

Special thanks to the following Diabetes Orgs:

JDRF; TypeOneNation, The American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes AssociationDiabetes Australia, Diabetes Tasmania, Diabetes UK, Thriveabetes Ireland, Diabetescaf, Diabetes Sisters, Diabetes Hands Foundation, The Plaid Journalchildrenwithdiabetes, Diabetes - ConnectionsProjectBlueNovember, DiabetesPac Diabetes_Kenya, #OzDOC, OZDiabetesOC,, YLDIntDiabFed, DiabetesNSW, Alegrija Mecadonia
Medtronic, Roche, Diabetes Innovations
If I missed your diabetes Org or company, please correct me by leaving a comment and I will add yours to the list, ASAP.
I'm still going through the just under 5000 tweets and many facebook posts.  

I tried to keep a list, but I will admit that I didn’t do a great job of it.

HUGE shout-outs to the countries who participated in #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, and who are continuing to do so. Including, but not limited to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Kenya, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Porto Rico,  England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Mecedonia, Sweden and Holland. 
If I missed your country - PLEASE leave a comment letting me know what country you’re from and I will add. 

And lastly, but certainly not least, I will be linking 2016 #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Blog posts here and IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org .
Sidebar: is looking for submissions - so go for it!

I’m still reading all the posts so if you wrote one, leave a comment with the link and I'll read yours and add it to the mix!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 2nd Annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Is Here!!!

For the second year in a row, the global DOC, (yep, I'm talking to you, and you, and YOU,) are making #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day a success - thank-you from the bottom of my busted pancreas!
Yesterday afternoon the folks in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa kicked off things -  I started doing the happy dance around my computer & haven't stopped!

Please keep blogging, tweeting, face booking, and instagraming the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag and keep sharing your feelings.

What started out as a blog post, turned into a so much more. And every day I learn and am inspired by, your #Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes tweets, posts and statuses - and I hope you do to!
For tracking purposes - I'm asking that if you write a post about #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, please link back to both my blog post from Monday and my IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org site.

And if you're interested in submitting a post, art work, photo, etc to the IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes websites - that would amazaballs!
Click HERE and learn how to make that happen!

Monday, April 18, 2016

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Happens On April 20th !

HUGE shoutout to Mike Lawson for creating and providing the beautiful #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes logo.
On Wednesday, April 20th (at least the 20th falls on a Wednesday in this hemisphere,) the 2nd annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDabetes Day will happen via the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag on twitter, facbook, instagram and beyond. 

It's my hope that you will share the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between via the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag on Wednesday - and everyday. 

I've written about the day HERE , and I'm excited and nervous all rolled into one  - last year we had over 17 million twitter impressions and 16 different countries participating.
And to date, that number has grown to almost 25 million.
 I'll consider 2016's #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day a a success if: 
 1.One person realizes via the hashtag that they are not alone in their diabetes 
2. One person opens up about their diabetes struggles, issues, and triumph
3. One person realizes that diabetes is not only doable - but that anything is possible
4. One person realizes that their diabetes voice matters and needs to be heard. 

I can't wait to read and be inspired by your #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes tweets and  thanks in advance from the bottom of my busted and beautiful pancreas!