Monday, November 11, 2019

12 Years Blogging About Diabetes - Still Learning And Still Grateful Every Damn Day~

Diabetesaliciousness as a 12 year old magical unicorn!
Image via the interwebz~
Diabetesaliciousness turned twelve years old this past Saturday, November 9th - and  
I can’t believe it.
12 years of blogging, 1,534 posts about the good, the bad, and the diabetesaliciousness of it all.
When I started blogging in 2007 I had no idea the there was such a thing as the DOC and I had no idea what I was doing - hence the name.
When I was filling out the URL form for my blog I distinctly remember saying right before I pressed ENTER: “HEY, let me add an 'ness' to the end of diabetesalicious!” 
Silly blogger!

The only thing I knew about blogging was that Perez Hilton’s website was a blog and that creating a blog was easier than creating a website. 
IMO, blog templates were and are similar to Word templates - of course I could do that!  

I was tired of diabetes myths being perpetuated as diabetes realities (Hey Halle B and your actor’s studio interview - I’m looking at you. You are the reason I started blogging - so thanks!) and I wanted and needed a place to voice my opinions. 

The DOC was much smaller back then, consisting of a scattered and small group of ragtag people with diabetes who wanted to be heard and acknowledged - and found a space online were they could do just that.  
Back then corporations and orgs were gingerly dipping their toes into the Social Media pool. 

Because of the DOC, I found my diabetes voice and platform - and I found parts of myself I never knew existed.
Because of the DOC I have a global diabetes tribe who I love, protect/am protected by, and learn from every day. 
There have been times when the Diabetes Online Community has carried me when I struggling. And I am so incredibly thankful. 

Blogging about diabetes has taught and continues to teach me that I CAN in all dimensions. 

What started out as a hobby has blossomed into a passion and a career. 
FTR: If you were to have told me 20 years ago I’d be working in the diabetes space 
I would have said that you were freaking nuts. 
I dealt with my diabetes personally, I didn’t want any parts of it professionally.
Sometimes the thing you try the hardest to run from, is exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

12 years in and the DOC has exploded across social media platforms, people with diabetes are  using their voices to create change - and brands. 
Corps and orgs are not only listening and engaging, they are actively lurking, listening, and participating. 

Like the DOC, my blog had successes and growing pains - and next year it officially becomes a teenager! 

Blogging about my diabetes allowed my to share my diabetes stories and learn from your yours. Thank you for sharing your stories and teaching me with each and every tale.

Blogging about diabetes turned my biggest perceived weakness, my busted pancreas, into my greatest strength and biggest passion - and for that I am incredibly grateful. 
12 years in and I worry about repeating myself content wise - which means dealing and working writers block - reminding myself that not everyone reading has read all of 1,534  posts. 

12 years blogging and I am still learning new things about life and life with diabetes every damn day.

12 years blogging and no matter the type, we are in this together! 

12 years of blogging and I am so damn grateful! 


Friday, November 1, 2019

#NDAM: Thank you for coming to My Diabetes Ted Talk, Day 1


My diabetes footprint.
Make your own @
JDRF.org/NDAM 

November 1, the first day of Diabetes Awareness Month. 
Somethings you need to know about diabetes - no matter the type. 
I've had t1 diabetes almost as long as I've been on the planet. 
Living with and managing diabetes is fucking hard work and all encompassing - and no matter what type of diabetes you have - so let's not fight about what type is worse. 

Some days diabetes rocks me to the core, other days diabetes plays nicely in the corner.

Every day is a day a "Diabetes Day," no matter the month - it's always by my side. 
If I hated diabetes, I'd be hating myself - and I'm done hating. 
I already have enough self esteem issues. 
Magazines and websites constantly tell us that we are not tall enough, short enough, skinny and or curvy enough. 
I don't need another reason to tear myself apart. - I already do that without blaming diabetes. 

Do I get mad at my diabetes? YES. 
Is the Pope Catholic? 

Do I work hard to have my diabetes be drama free YES. 
DO I flip my diabetes bitchswitch?
You bet your sweet ass! 

If you have diabetes - keep up the good work, get back up when you stumble and please know that you are not alone. 

If you love someone with diabetes - thanks for your support. We need and appreciate it so much. 
And we need and love you and all you do for us.

If you want to learn about diabetes - this month is a great time to learn and ask questions. 

Thank you for coming to #MyDiabetesTedTalk, Day 1

Thursday, October 31, 2019

42




ME
Photo Cred: @sweetercherise

42 years ago today and bright and early in the morning, my parents drove me to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - after what seemed like hours, I was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes. 
Some things I remember vividly, many things I don’t remember at all. 
Life changed that day and I can’t go back, nor can I spend much time wondering about the what-ifs. 
I embrace being the girl who lived and I’m working hard on becoming the woman I want to be. 
Every year since Diabetesaliciousness began, I’ve written a list of things that I love and am grateful for on my Diaversary
WHY? It's a good reminder that I’m still here, still alive, and there’s so much in life to love and be thankful for.

42
  1. I look fabulous in both black and jewel tones
  2. My family and friends who are family 
  3. Little kids laughing 
  4. Rereading my favorite books for inspiration or just because 
  5. Finding a new book that hits me right in the feels
  6. I can still do cartwheel on the lawn and still rock a handstand underwater
  7. Making homemade soup. Some people are bakers,  I’m a “soupier.” I love making soup form scratch - its my Zen time, allows me to be creative, AND I’M REALLY GOOD AT IT
  8. Making soup for friends and family
  9. Good Karma Hospital on Amazon Prime - I'm hooked!
  10. The ocean. It makes me feel whole and I get really antsy when I’m landlocked for too long
  11. October and November Skies at Sunset 
  12. Traveling. I LOVE IT
  13. The Diabetes Online Community - I’d be lost with you. You teach me always and bring me up when I’m feeling down. I will always fight for you and with you!
  14. Diabetes Meet-ups
  15. Manatees - my favorite sea mammals and I love them 
  16. Atlantic City Italian Sub rolls with good butter or EVOO 
  17. The Beach. See number 9 
  18. Black leather boots 
  19. Prosecco 
  20. A nice glass of Red
  21. The occasional martini
  22. Daffodils
  23. All spring and summer flowers 
  24. My veggie garden 
  25. Going to the movies 
  26. Laughing from my belly
  27. Nailing the cupcake carb count from a really top-notch bakery
  28. My mom’s engagement ring and wedding band. Every time I wear them on my right hand I think of my parents. I love them and I miss them
  29. My nieces and nephews. They own my heart 
  30. Vanilla anything
  31. Dark chocolate and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  32. KerryGold Butter 
  33. Jewelry. Antique, family heirlooms, costume, handmade, Native American, the macaroni bracelet one of my students made me a few years ago. I LOVE JEWELRY
  34. Photography. I love taking pictures - especially nature photography and candids. I'm working on my photography skills - more on that in another post
  35. Photography As Art. It absolutely is and I love photographs taken by artists behind the lens
  36. Music. ALL KINDS
  37. Singing. I love to sing and at one time I was pretty good. I need to sing more
  38. Writing
  39. The sound of rain and being outside right after a storm
  40. Exploring. I love to explore. Sometimes I go out on a drive, pick an unknown road/town and explore
  41. Sea glassing
  42. Finding treasure everyday. OK, sounds corny, but it’s been my mantra as of late.
Every day as of late I tell myself to “go out and find the treasure.” 
I’m not talking about a treasure chest filled with jewels and gold (but I’m down with that,) it’s about finding and experiencing all the good in the day and in life…. Including life with diabetes. 

Some days the treasure is right in front of me, other days it shows up in small ways and victories. And on the days when the treasure seems impossible to locate, I remind myself that there’s much joy to be found in the search. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Diabetes Tech Difficulties In The Form Of New LapTop Communication Issues~



I'll take some of the blame for being pre-occupied when I originally heard rumblings re: new Macs and cable issues. But my my niece had just died. I had a lot going on. 
Apple if you want to make med tech easier, great! Don't make it more difficult by not ncluding a cable adapter with new laptops. THANKS. 
###########  

Medtech is a key buzzword - everyone seems to be jumping in and that's a good thing... most of the time. Technology, including med tech and digital diabetes are supposed to make our lives easier - except when they don't. And sometimes it's not the diabetes tech's fault.

If you're going to jump in the med tech pond, including the diabetes tech eco-system (I'm looking at and talking to you APPLE,) it would be great if your "upgrades" didn't cause communication issues re: our med and #diabetestech. 

Cut to last Monday's Endo appointment - which was both disappointing and a breakthrough. 
Disappointing because once again my diabetes labs weren't were they needed to be. 
And a breakthrough because I was like: You're right, I need help. I NEED HELP. 

I was tired of doing it all on my own and had put off uploading data and setting up an appointment with my Diabetes Education Specialist since April. 
Part tech related, but let's be honest, most of it was "I don't want too/I don't feel like it," related.

I was sick of struggling and I was burned out. I promised my Endo I'd upload my data and schedule an appoint with my Diabetes education Care Specialist. 

The next morning I went about the business of putting myself first and keeping my  promise.

I emailed my Diabetes Education Care Specialist on Tuesday morning and told her that as soon as I found my Omnipod cable, ( I’d organized my office desk and my Omnipod cable wasn’t where it was supposed to be,) I’d be uploading all my data (including Dexcom) to Glooko in the next few days and let her know that I'd also like to schedule a much needed "diabetes tune-up" with her.

Wednesday was hectic and I didn’t even look.

Early Thursday morning I found the misplaced cable, tossed it in my computer bag along with my Dexcom cable and phone charger and ran out the door. 
I’d upload my devices during lunch. Thursday was going ducky and I was getting lots done, I ate my lunch and was ready to upload. No excuses and no fear of showing my numbers. 
I was doing this!   

Except I couldn't. 

Cut to me staring at my newish mac and ready to cry. The same mac I purchased over the summer because my previous mac was on its last legs and I was afraid if I traveled with it one more time, it would implode. 

The same streamlined mac that would not allow me to upload my omnipod and dex data, (or iPhone and camera card reader for that matter,) unless I had an external adapter, because Apple no longer supported USBC to USBA cables. New Apple devices only support USB to USBC cables. 

And I was not happy. 

Then I started doing the math and I really wasn't happy. 

Almost $2000 for laptop: 
12 inch macbook $1599
AppleCare: $249
Minus $70 education discount)
Tax: $117.79
Total Apple Cost: $1895.79

All of the above purchased at an Apple store 50 miles away. 

Did I mention Apple had closed the local Apple store near me? The one that was a 10 minute drive? 

I'll take some blame. I remember hearing about new cable issues with Apple in January, but my heart had just broken in a million pieces (DAMN IT, LIV) and I forgot about the cable issues.

Then I factored in my diabetes tech - and the unhappy boiled over into furious territory. 

Omnipod: Roughly $800 for ppm, $30 per pod. $30 X’s 10 per month = $300. 
$300 X’s 3 months = $900. 
$900 x’s 4 = $3600 per year - before insurance.

Dexcom G6. One month supply of sensors: $349 (3 boxes per order,) = $1047. 
4 three-month orders per year: $4188 + 4 transmitter per year at $475 each, = $1900. 
Total Dex cost before insurance $6,088 

Back to Apple: It would have been nice if had included an external adapter with multiple cable options in the cost of my new mac so that all my diabetes external parts could be uploaded at first try. Same goes for my iPhone and Canon photo card.
And it would have been greatly appreciated if your Apple Genius (that's his title, not being sarcastic, but it fits,) at the Apple Store had reminded me of the change and informed me I'd need to purchase an adapter. I wouldn't have been happy, but I would have purchased it on the spot. 

According to Apple's website and the Apple Tech I spoke with via the 800 number, the USB-C Multport adaptor I wanted to order ($69) was out of stock and wouldn't be available until November 29th and the single cable adaptor  ($19.95 plus S&H) would take a week to deliver.
Did I mention that I have $50 in Apple Gift cards in my wallet? 

I didn't want purchase online via amazon and had every intention of driving out to BestBuy on Sunday, but thanks to torrential downpours and flooding, that didn't happen. 

Yesterday morning I broke out my almost dead laptop, charged that sucker and rebooted it. Painfully slow in all dimensions because of longstanding software issues that could only be remedied by a complete laptop wipe and software reinstall. 

 It took 10 minutes to boot up and another 20 to reset the date and time, log in to both Glooko and Clarity, sync Glooko with Clarity and upload my devices.

Plus an additional 3 hours to make sure 3 months worth of data had synced up accordingly. 

Diabetes is hard enough, Apple communication tech issues don't help.  
Rant. Over. 




Friday, September 27, 2019

Doctor's Appointment And Reminding Myself To Breathe

This post began as a facebook post on Wednesday - I kept thinking about it, added to it and posted here today. 
Also: I need to start yoga again. 


#Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes means some days you stress out more than others. 

Wednesday was one of those days. It was the second appointment of my twice yearly eye exams. 

I went in my appointment stressed because it's freaking stressful - and I had to remind myself to breathe - and multiple times. 

Breathe in, let the breath out and think of all the things that make me happy. 
Breathe in and remind myself that no matter the outcome, knowledge is power. 
Breath out and release all the stress. 
Start again from the top and with gusto - and don't forget to breathe!

Things looked the same on the ocular front. 
Translation: Things looked good on the ocular front. I was grateful. 
And I was exhausted.
Grateful for those evasive and twice yearly eye exams - with that being said - they are mentally and physically draining.
Physically, because my eyes are numbed, dilated, checked for pressure, scanned via computer with blue and red lasers a'la Star Wars to check for damage - diabetes and otherwise
Emotionally these exams stress me out - because of diabetes, the "diabetes what ifs," and for those of you who have read the blog for a decade or more - the very real fear of one in a million occurrences that changes the way you see things in the blink of an eye - LITERALLY.

And because people living with diabetes are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

After the exam it felt like a weight had been removed from my chest. Relieved, happy and tired - because for some reason the numbing and dilating drops always make me feel like I'm on decaf and in need of a nap - which I'm told is normal. 
So an extra iced coffee for me. YAY. 

Wednesday's weather was sunny and beautiful, but because my eyes are extremely sensitive to light immediately after an eye exam - and even with me channeling Jackie O, via my incredibly fab and totally glam prescription sunglasses, (the are magnificent - see for yourself,) I embraced my inner vampire and stayed indoors.

I worked on the computer for a bit, then decided offline work was the way to go. 
My eyes remained the size saucers for most of the day and yours truly looked like an anime character - not quite Sailor Moon, not quite Olive Oil, all Kelly. 


I'm sharing because doing so allows me to "let it go," and reminds me that I am not the only one. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Summer's End: #AADE19, #AADEDSMS, DDRC, Never Ending Insurance Issues~

It’s been a long summer and a while since I’ve last posted. 

Here’s what’s going on with me since I last posted. 

I traveled to Houston in August (super hot, great food,) and covered AADE19 for Ascensia Diabetes Care and Co-Chaired Ascensia’s #AADEDSMS Diabetes Social Media Conference. AADEDSMS discussion topics included diabetes stigma, the importance of talking about complications, diabetes tech, and Health Insurance in the US. 
You’ll recognize many of the names who attended the summit - and those who followed  The Ascensia #AADEDSMS Summit virtually and via the hashtag on twitter. 
My first in a series  of three articles covering AADE is up and running over on Ascensia’s website. 
Click HERE, give a read and many thanks in advance.

Disclosure: Ascensia paid for my expenses and provided me with an honorarium. 
As always, when it comes to my writing, all thoughts are mine and mine alone.

The Rest Of My Summer….
Work, connecting with family, ocean workouts - primarily body surfing. 
 I love body surfing -I love how it makes me feel and I love the positive impact that body surfing has on my blood sugars, heart, shoulders, and lungs.

Speaking of the ocean, it’s hurricane season - Dorian is wreaking havoc in The Bahamas and Abaco Islands, and threatening the east coast. 
As someone who survived Hurricane Sandy - I’m nervous and have my Diabetes emergency bag ready to go at all times. 
If you’re anywhere near Dorian’s path, click HERE and check out The Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition - info found there will help you prepare diabetes wise for any weather related disaster. 

Insurance Issues
I’ve been dealing with insurance issues since April because I live in the US and it’s a never ending and ongoing struggle. 

First my insurance Company switched my insulin coverage in January and they no longer cover Apidra - the insulin that works best for me. I’ve struggled with higher numbers the past few months and I know using an insulin other than Apidra is one of the reasons why.
Still appealing - diabetes bitch-switch is flipped and dialed up to 11. 

This summer I developed peroneal tendonitis and was prescribed a prescription lidocaine cream (after my lidocaine patch RX refill was denied,) and that was covered by my insurance in June. 
When I went to get my RX refilled in July, it was no longer covered - thanks to a third party company that was hired to review all RXs that came their way and via my insurance company. 

Apparently I didn’t fit the criteria to be granted the RX and said third party company continues to deny said RX after multiple appeals. More to follow~

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

I Attended #FFLOrlando19 As Ascensia Diabetes Care's Guest Reporter

I adore childrenwithdiabetes.com and their yearly FFL 
(Friends For Life,) Conference -held every July in Orlando. 
It's truly life changing and I highly recommend attending!
For the record: It's not just for children with diabetes! 

I've attended the conference since 2012 and worked as a conference volunteer starting in 2013 and up until now. 

This year I was able to attend the 20th anniversary of FFL (known on Social Media Platforms as #FFLOrlando19,) as the Guest Reporter for Ascensia Diabetes Care

I was able to participate in the sessions as an attendee and report from FFL with a fresh set of eyes. 

My first in a series of three articles spotlighting FFL is up and running on the Ascensia website. 
Click HERE and check it out. 
Also: Thanks in advance! 

Disclosure: Ascensia Diabetes Care paid for my time and talent and  also covered my flight, hotel, and expenses. 
As always, all thoughts are mine and mine alone.