Thursday, February 14, 2019

Spare A Rose, Save A Child

I've been MIA in the DOC since mid January. I'm back. 
Click HERE to spare a rose, save a child. 
It's Valentine's Day and I have no doubt many are still scrambling for gifts. 
Instead of buying 12 roses, (or cookies 😉,) for someone you love, Spare a Rose, Save a Child, buy 11 roses (or cookies, or whatever,) and donate the cost of one rose ($5) to help deliver life-sustaining insulin and supplies to children who are in desperate need of insulin 
in under-developed countries. 
Over 140k has been raised since #sparearose began in 2013 - hopefully this year that number will be over $180,000. 
And if you don't have a Valentine, no worries - donate in honor of someone you've never met, but who will be thankful for your gift and impact your heart and soul in the process~

If you're able to #SpareARose and donate, please do. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Olivia Ann Kunik - I Will Love & Miss You Forever

My magnificent niece Olivia Kunik left the world on Tuesday, January 8th 2019 and my family is heartbroken.
Olivia was magic - incandescent, bright, funny, talented beyond belief and filled with love  - she was a ray of sunshine.

We lost her to suicide.

My fantastical niece struggled her whole life with depression and mental illness - and she was always transparent and incredibly candid about her struggles - and she helped so many of her friends and aquantances seek help with their own depression and MI issues.
Depression and mental illnesses are diseases  - very real ones - that have the potential to take the ones we love from us.
Livy loved everyone - sadly, she didn't love herself enough and had difficulty seeing or believing in the magic she possessed.

I'm sharing because I don't want anyone else to suffer from a suicide tragedy.
 Our family is talking about our loss to save lives and to keep Livy's memory alive.

If you or someone you love is struggling, you are not alone and your life is worth living.
Please call 1-800-273-8255
Or text 741741 & someone will respond and reach out.

 Please take a moment  to click on the link below and read about the magic that was our Livvy.

Liv was also a diabetesaliciousness Rock Star back in 2008 - she stole DOC hearts on that day.
Click on the link and read.

In Liv’s memory, do something silly and fun for our girl.
Here are some recommendations directly from our Liv: “Perform a random act of kindness, share your favorite meme, make a prank phone call, sing your favorite song, spin until you are dizzy, make music with pots and pans, stomp on grapes in the bathtub, give names to your body parts (Liv’s pinky toe was Lois), cut your hair and regret it later, see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, get a pet rock, decorate it, name it Glenn, and take it for a walk.”

Flying out to Colorado tomorrow to celebrate Liv’s life with family, her friends, and an entire hometown that loved her heaps.

I love you so damn much Olivia – and I will love and miss you forever.

Every night I’ll look at the stars for your sparkle and listen 
for your laughter. 

I will talk with and to you every day and will write you a long letter soon. 
I hope you found peace, Liv - I really do.
But I’m not there yet. 
 #LivForLiv #LivingForLiv

Friday, January 4, 2019

Hello 2019 And How The Hell Is It Already Friday?!

I’m not sharing all my goals for 2019 - at least not right away ;) 
First - HAPPY 2019! 
It’s been a hard week getting back into the swing of things. 
I’m still on holiday time  - meaning I’m still having difficulty getting to bed at a decent time and I’m thoroughly shocked that it’s Friday. Seriously, how the hell did that happen because it feels like freaking Tuesday?  
I can relate. 
image via the interwebz. 
And of course, getting back to normal food and blood sugars - but I’m doing it. 

And instead of New Years resolutions, I have goals. 

For starters - I want to go up a few levels in certain areas of my life and have my a1c go down a few notches. I want to exercise my body and brain more - which means writing more. 
I want to embrace change, doing what I fear first and with gusto.
And like everyone else, drop some pounds (10 lbs by May,) and get back to eating healthy after the holidays. 
The last one has been easy - mostly because I normally eat healthy and I actually really like eating healthy. Also, I’ve reached my wall of Enough, when it comes to big dinners and Christmas cookies multiple times a day. OK, that last part was only the last two weeks of December :)  

I’m craving healthy meals - I’ve been snacking on veggies for the past few weeks and more so than usual. Organic Rainbow Carrots have become a staples in my house for almost a year. 
Also: Give them a try because they are fabulous! 
And I believe the same thing will happen with mini Persian Cucumbers - which have less seeds and more flavor and crunch - also they are hydrating.  Also since November I’ve been digging Green Giant’s riced veggies.
All of the above make it easier to eat healthy - but more on veggies and healthy eating in another post. 

I have mixed feelings about it - being attached to something else - sharing my info with loved ones … or not, embracing something different.  
But my Dr. and I agreed that Dex doesn’t have to be a full time and or permanent thing. 
We need to work on getting my a1c in a better spot and he feels dexcom will help us  troubleshoot. So I'm trying it for 3 months and taking it from there - and I will share my experience with you guys. 

And I will also ask your for advice an support because you guys ROCK - so thanks in advance!

Monday, December 31, 2018

My Hopes For Us In 2019

Free 2019 image via VectorStock
My Hopes For Us In 2019 
Lots of happiness and health - which of course is a given - and boatloads of tenacity to boot!
The ability and strength to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get back up whenever we fall - and the doggedness to try again until we succeed. 
Having more things to laugh out loud about and less things to cry about when it comes to our lives and our lives with diabetes. 

To continue becoming the person we truly are and were always meant to be - before self doubt crept in and veered us off path - and super power navigation skills accompanied by strong winds for our sails, to get us back on course. 
Strong inner strength to plow through all the crap that gets in our way on our path to becoming that person.
Being more successful than we were the previous year - and in all dimensions, while helping others to do the same. 
Having the strength to continue advocating for diabetes (and anything and everything else we are passionate about,) and to be the change that we wish to see. 
The ability to turn our self doubts into tools of self empowerment. 
Taking the lead with our diabetes more often than our diabetes takes the lead with us. 
To say yes to the things we fear and wish for!
For each of us to continue to grow and learn from our mistakes, while being grateful for the lessons learned. 
Politicians who grow spines and stop acting like spoiled brats - enough is enough and we deserve better! 
No pre-existing conditions clauses and health care insurance caps - EVER.
An end to sky rocketing health insurance costs including medications!

Speaking of life saving medications, lower insulin prices and #insullin4all become the reality and the norm in 2019, because people in the United States and around the globe shouldn’t have to die because they can’t afford insulin. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Diabetes & Pain-In-The-Ass, Administrative Tenacity

Since mid-November, and right up until yesterday afternoon (December 19th,) I’ve spent countless hours on the phone re: health insurance, prescription Rx’s being refilled; squeezing in final, end-of -year Endo and eye doctor’s appointments. 
Not to mention 4 hours and five different weekly phone calls with Edgepark re: my end of year test-strip RX - before I was finally given a ship-date yesterday afternoon - and after being on hold for 22 minutes. 
A three month supply of test strips will be shipped out December 21st. 
Fingers crossed and we shall see.

As of today, December 20th, I’m still waiting for one more DME authorization - it’s a new one, fingers crossed it will approved and billed before the end of the year. 
More to follow. 

These are the things that no one tells you about when it comes to living with diabetes or other chronic illnesses - the time spent on the phone, the hours spent on hold, in order to stay healthy. Thankless and frustrating tasks that we have no choice but to do because our health depends on it.

I try and schedule most of these calls and or tasks around lunch - so it doesn’t cut into my work time too much. I eat my lunch while on hold and my with trusty notebook and pen near by to take notes re: any and all information - including current issue, CS name, refill/ship dates, and the likes there of. 
And I immediately schedule follow up calls in my iPhone calendar as soon as I hang up. 
It's stressful, it's annoying, and like you, I do it because I don't have a choice! 

And lets not forget all the stupid insurance or third party admin mistakes that have nothing to do with us - but impact us directly. 
Like my insurance billing me for a separate visit to UrgentCare 4 days after I received stitches on my foot back in April. 
I was mistakenly billed for a new visit, except i wasn't a new visit -it was follow up visit, which according to UrgentCare, all follow up visits for a specific injury are free of charge up until 10 days out .Since I had 10 freaking stitches on the top of my foot, of course I went back several times to make sure it was healing properly, and to get my stitches out. For some reason it's not computing and even though all the dates line up. 
So incase anyone hasn’t told you as of late - GREAT JOB AND WELL DONE re: all the pain-in-the-ass, administrative tenacity that diabetes requires - not just in December, but 365 days a year! 

BRAVA for multitasking during your endless hours on hold, and fuck yeah, for your tenacity  - diabetes and otherwise, and for never taking NO as your final answer! 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Murphy's Law All Tricked Out, Diabetes Style - Had Worn Me Out

Diabetes requires the patience of a saint, and the tenacity and persistence of a woman speaking on the floor of the Senate. 
This weekend a series of diabetes related events occurred that annoyed the crap out of me.
On Friday afternoon my new (as in two hours old,) omnipod’s Occlusion Alarm went off while I was out to lunch. 
Lucky for me: 
  1. I was eating a low carb lunch of eggs and sausage
  2. I had a spare pod in my bag. 
  3. I siphoned out the insulin from the faulty pod and injected it into my spare. And yes, I know you’re not supposed to do that, but the insulin had only been in the faulty pod for two hours and I wasn’t wasting it!
At this point, my bg was 320 and it took a few hours to go down. 
I had a high blood sugar headache, did an injection correction when I walked in the door, and drank copious amounts of water. Finally, what went up did indeed go down. 

And I was effing glad it was Friday. 

Over the weekend my nose was all sorts of stuffed up and my throat was scratchy. 
 My bgs were slightly elevated and on Saturday I ran a temp basal rate of !0%, which helped keep my numbers in check. I was run down,  I knew it, and did my best to stop the sick in its tracks. 
I stuck around the house all weekend and practiced self care - I ate healthy, slept late, and drank lots of water. 

On Sunday morning I was feeling better, put in a new pod on my arm - so far so good. 
Then a few hours later I went to my local Starbucks, where upon exiting my car, I smacked my bottom lip hard with my driver side door because my depth perception clearly sucks and now my bottom lip is all fat and bruised - and not in anyway, phat
But back to Starbucks. Right after I ordered my decaf cappuccino, and exactly 2 hours and 20 minutes after I ate lunch and out of the blue - my bg dropped to 58. So yeah, GOOD TIMES. 

Cut to last night I decided to deep condition my hair with sesame oil (not the cooking kind,) and head to bed early. 
If you’ve ever conditioned your hair with sesame or any other oil, you know it’s not pretty. 
Your hair is slicked with oil and I was glad no-one could see me in all my greasy glory. 
But I digress. 

Right before bed, I noticed that my Omnipod PDM’s power bar was at half-mast. 
And I was like: No big deal, I’ll put in new batteries. I ALWAYS HAVE EXTRA PUMP BATTERIES. 
Except this time when I looked in the desk drawer I keep batteries in - there were no AAA batteries to be found. 
I told myself that they were probably in my toiletry case. 
I’d gone away on Thanksgiving and I remembered tossing an unopened four-pack of pump batteries in there. I opened up my toiletry bag and found everything but the 4-pack of AAA batteries. 
Then I looked in my backpack, leather work bag, and two different handbags I’d recently used. 
I looked in my kitchen junk drawer and under my couch for that freaking 4-pack of AAA batteries. NADA. 
I took a deep breath, switched out my PJ’s for jeans and a sweater; covered my sesame oil-slicked head with and old ski hat, put on lip gloss, grabbed my keys and headed outside. 
I jumped in my car and drove to my local Rite-Aid - which had always been opened 24 hours. 
Unfortunately when I arrived I learned that that was no longer the case. Rite-Aid was closed.
There was a WAWA close by and I headed there. 
Sidebar: For those of you who don’t live in the Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Florida and DC, WAWA is awesome. 
But WAWA was not any shade of awesome this time -  as in my local WAWA doesn’t carry batteries. 
And that would be when a very kind and observant WAWA worker saw that the look on my face when I asked her about batteries, and told me that there was a new 24-hour Rite-Aid less than 5 miles away. 
I thanked her and was happy I didn’t have to drive 10 miles to the closest all night CVS. 
10 minutes later I pulled in the parking lot and purchased an 8 pack of AAA batteries. 
18 minutes later I was home. 
New batteries in my Omnipod PDM, 2 spares in my diabetes bag, and the rest placed gingerly in the desk drawer where I keep spare batteries and other such necessities. 

Murphy's Law, all tricked out and diabetes style had worn me out - and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was asleep. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

#DTM2018: The Diabetes EcoSystem

A few weeks ago I attended the Diabetes Technology Society's 18th annual Diabetes Technology Meeting  (#DTM2018 on the twitter,) in Bethesda, Maryland on November, 8th, 9th, and 10th. 

It was an excellent opportunity to listen to lectures from diabetes tech-heads, FDA, researchers, scientists, healthcare professionals, and to learn more about the latest diabetes and dtech advances for people with diabetes. 
A tremendous amount of information was discussed at a rapid fire pace - as in it made my head spin - but in a great way. 
I’m glad I was able to experience it. 

Full Disclosure: I was able to attend thanks to Ascensia Diabetes Care, who sent me there to cover the event as their Guest Reporter. Ascensia covered all my expenses, (travel, lodging, meals,) and provided me with an honorarium for my time and my talent. 
As always - All thoughts are mine and mine alone. 

My first of two #DTM2018 articles is up on Ascensia's website, mapping out the topography of the Diabetes Ecosystem, its parts and booming expansion - and how “people with diabetes are more than the twin of their diabetes data. We represent what the data cannot articulate - the living, breathing, real life component of diabetes. Our voices need to be included on panels and discussions when it comes to diabetes tech.”

Click HERE and give it a read!