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 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. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

This Week My Diabetes Has Been Batshit Crazy.

My diabetes this week.
Image courtesy of Design By Humans.

This Week My Diabetes Has Been Batshit Crazy - and I'm owning it. 

Cut to Monday morning (which was my scheduled site change day,) when I woke up at 5:17 AM, with a fuzzy mouth and blood sugar of 336. I believe the words “FUCK ME,” were uttered multiple times. 
Omnipod site had gone bad in the middle of the night and I slept through Dexcom’s high blood sugar alarm. 

I’d had 24 units left in my pod before I went to bed on Sunday night, with15 hours left before it was empty. Shit happens and I know that. Yet I'm mad at myself for the site crapping out and not changing it out the night before. But all signs pointed to me not having to. Shit happens. Accept and move on. 

Speaking of.. I felt like shit. Downed a huge glass of water, calculated and administered a correction injection, and changed out my site.

5:20 AM 
New pod’s occlusion alarm goes off and I have to change it out. 
Once again I utter “FUCK ME,” followed by “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!” 
Now I’m BOTH pissed and annoyed.

5:26 AM 
Second new pod site of the day goes in. I set my alarm an go back to sleep

7:30 AM
I wake up and my bg is 289. I think to myself that it should be lower, give myself a correction bolus and sent a 3 hour increased temp basal rate of 45%.

9:20 AM  
Bg is 240. I AM NOT AMUSED. A correction bolus of 1.05 units is given. 

10:45 AM
Bg is 266 and going in the wrong direction. I make the decision to deactivate the pod. 
3rd new pod put in.
Temp basal rate of 60% for 3 hours set. Bg slowly starts going down. 
Small ketones, massive amounts of water consumed. 

I'd scheduled take Monday afternoon off last week, so I answered emails plowed through, and hoped things would kilter out by 1:30 pm. 

1:30 PM 
Meet a friend for lunch. Bg is 210 and I’m like: Hey OK, things are getting back to normal. Except they weren’t. 
I have mahi-mahi fish tacos or lunch. They are delicious and I bolus generously.

3:13 PM  
Blood sugar is 260 and my head hurts. Correction bolus 0.80 given. 
Temp Basal increased by 45% and for three hours, and I down more water. 
My friend asks if I want to get a pedicure. I do, I really do.  
But I decline. I don’t feel good. 

5:09 PM  
Bg is 323. Temp basal rate is increased and set to 60%. 
Correction bolus of 2.25 given.
I drink 20 ounces of water, set the alarm on my phone and take a nap because I am exhausted

6:51 PM 
Bg is 281, with a correction bolus of 0.45 units. No way I’m eating dinner. 
Trace amount of ketones detected, more water consumed. 

8:22 PM  
Blood sugar of 215, with a 0.30 correction bolus. I still feel crappy and watch Brokenwood Mysteries on Acorn TV. Started watching over the weekend and it’s pretty good with a great musical soundtrack. If you haven't already, tune in.

I also check PeriodTracker and confirm that I am ovulating - which normally causes elevated numbers for a few days - but not even close to this current batshit craziness. 

9:13 PM 
Bg 198, 0.85 correction unit given. Drink club soda with a splash of juice and a few crackers because I have 3.3 units of insulin on board and the arrow on my Dex is pointing in a south east direction. 

Speaking of arrows, my graph looks like… well I don’t know what the hell it looks like, but doesn’t look good. 

12 AM Tuesday morning: Blood sugars have evened out and now in the 120s. 
The insulin tally for Tuesday - 71 units of insulin. I normally average somewhere between 39 and 47 units per 24 hour period. 
I turn off the temp basal rate, eat a few more crackers and officially have zero fucks left to give, and head to bed. 

7 AM Tuesday morning: Wake up with a glucose of 240. 
Whatever the hell is going on with my body -  be it hormones, fighting off a cold or allergies, or just because it’s freaking Tuesday - my body requires a higher temp basal rate and more insulin.
Numbers hover between 180 and 215 all day and my 24-hour old site (my leg,) starts to hurt after dinner. 
I don’t want to change it out - but in my heart I know it’s crossed over and become a zombie infusion site

10:42 PM Tuesday Night: Change out site and numbers immediately start to depart zombie land. I stay up late to make sure every thing is stable re: my numbers and watch the final episode of Brokenwood, season 5. Bummed it was the final episode and looking forward to season six. 

As of today (Thursday,) I’m still running a temp basal rate that’s increased by 15%. 
Not sweating it, though. My numbers are on the decent side of normal and I know for whatever reasons, my body needs the increased basal rates right now.

I know this to shall pass and I have too much adulting to do to pinpoint the why(s).  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Ascensia Diabetes Care Guest Reporter At #ADA2019 - Day One Coverage ~

Day One of ADA included Sessions on diabetes apps, diabetes tech, circadian rhythms & meal timing.
As mentioned previously, I was this year's Guest Reporter for Ascensia Diabetes Care , covering the American Diabetes Association's 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, June 6 through June 11th, 2019. 

My first post (in a series of three,) is up on Ascensia's website and it's all about my key takeaways from day one. Including: diabetes apps, diabetes tech, circadian rhythms & meal timing. You can read it (and I hope you do,) by clicking HERE. 

Disclosure: Ascensia Diabetes Care paid for my flight, lodging, and expenses, and provided me with a stipend for my time and talent. 
worked hard, learned much, and as always - all thoughts are mine and mine alone. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Kim H - I Will See You In Every Rainbow~

We lost a member of our Diabetes Online Community family last week. 
Kim Hislop was great people, a fantastic Diabetes Advocate, and woman who changed the way we talk about D complications. She was also super goofy, a Walking Dead freak, a Disney Head to the 11th degree, had a custom and much deserved Super Shero cape made  - and wasn't afraid to wear it. And Kim was a person looked for rainbows in every nook and corner of the universe. 

She also created the them. 

You can read about Kimberly's life, HERE. 
Fancy Kim
“Kim would tell you that her life was a beautiful storm. She found a rainbow almost every day of her life. She was a loving wife, fur baby mom, daughter, sister, and devoted aunt to her three nephews and niece. Kim loved her life, her family, friends, and her animals. Her passion was to travel and share as many experiences as possible with her friends and family. She especially loved her trips to Disney World with her family and friends.”

Being part of the Diabetes Community (the DOC,) has given me friends/family around the globe as well as a global voice. I am blessed. 

I’ve been lucky to meet some of my tribe in real life - including Kim.
We were able to hang out in real life @ multiple Children with Diabetes, Friends For Life conferences & in Atlantic City @ the Diabetes UnConference.

Kim’s spirit was stronger than her body - she was a resilient trooper who took the cards she was dealt and celebrated life by traveling the world with her husband and friends, helping many along the way, and much of the time with a rainbow attitude to boot …and these past few years - with her portable kidney dialysis machine. 

The really tough thing about having a diabetes tribe is losing a member - be it happenstance in life.... or because of the very thing that brought you together - diabetes.

The last time I saw Kim was July 2018, at Friends For Life in Orlando, Florida. 
Emotionally she seemed really strong and wise - while cosplaying in a pineapple dress that was almost as sunny and bright as she was.
Kim told me that life was short, and that there are no guarantees - that she was going to the things that made her happy, and encouraged me to do the same.

Her words are playing over in my head a lot as of late.  

Many DOC members are making the trek to say goodbye to Kim - including her amazing D Girl Squad.  
I'm compartmentalizing a lot this week - especially when it comes to Kim.
Unfortunately I’m unable to attend Kim’s celebration of life ceremony this weekend - but I will celebrate her just the same - setting aside time this weekend to look for rainbows in all shapes in forms. 

Celebrating the beautiful storm that each of us possess from within - while remembering the beautiful storm that was and is Kim~ 

Kim in Super Hero Mode at Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes booth at Friends For Life -
She encouraged and supported me a lot that weekend - I needed it and appreciate still today.

Kim and DOCers at the Diabetes UnConference in A.C.
The last picture I took of took of Kim, at FFL in 2018 - back from the parks with custom made ears!

Friday, June 7, 2019

I'm Attending #ADA2019 In San Francisco And Full Disclosure

Hi guys - Happy Friday!

I’m currently writing this blog post from the first day of the American Diabetes Association’s 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, CA! 

I’m excited to be attending the sessions; learning all I can, and reporting on my experiences in a series of articles on the Ascensia Diabetes Care website and just like I did last year.

When each new post is up and running on their website - I will let you know.

Full Disclosure: As I mentioned above, Ascensia Diabetes Care hired me as their Guest Reporter for ADA. 

Ascensia is covering all my expenses, (travel, lodging, meals,) and providing me with an honorarium for my time and my talent. 

As always - All thoughts are mine and mine alone. 

Follow the sessions in real time via twitter and by clicking on the #ADA2019 hashtag.
You can find me on Twitter @diabetesalish .

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Carry-on Bag: MacGyver Trapper Keeper Vs All My Diabetes Supplies

I don't know about you, but sometimes in life.... and life with diabetes, I need to remind myself that I am a lucky duck. 
Also: This happened in the a.m.
 I've been thinking about gratitude a lot as of late, so I decided to write about turning this morning's bitch frown upside down.
New Mac sitting on old, big ass, shiny red Ma Book Pro, padded case.
Fuchsia ( I know it looks red, but it's definitely fuchsia,) knapsack, specs, car keys, water bottle. 
This morning I put my brand-new and super streamlined (not to mention super light,) MacBook in my old MacBook Pro’s red, shiny, padded laptop case. 
And I was like:  I'm effing brilliant - I'm talking MacGyver level smarts! 
There was so much damn room that I could fit my trusty/always on my person, 5X7 sketchbook as note book; current paperwork, and a spare pen on the other side of the sleeve divider with room to spare. Slap a rainbow and unicorn stickers on that sucker and it was like a grown up version of my Trapper-Keeper from grade school!!

I was impressed with myself and said out loud: I don’t need to get a new laptop case - I can fit my new Mac and more in my Trapper-Keeper! 
Then I placed said "MacGyver Trapper-Keeper" and its contents in my trusty fuchsia backpack and was all types of happy - until reality set it. 

I absolutely required a new streamlined laptop case/sleeve and the reason had everything to do with diabetes. 
I’m heading to San Francisco next week to attend ADA (more on that early next week,) and need to carry my MacBook, various charger(s), diabetes supplies (spare Omnipods; insulin, glucose strips, a spare sensor, glucose tabs, snacks, etc.,) on my person/in my carry-on bag, a.k.a, my knapsack  - and I need all the room I can get. 
I momentarily forgot that my shiny red padded MacBookPro case always makes for a tight fit re: D supplies when it's crammed for travel. MacGyvering it only adds to the cramped quarters.

MacGyver Trapper Keeper 20.19 was a no go. 

And for a few seconds (OK, more than a few - at least sixty seconds,) I was annoyed because I thought I could forgo buying a new case and save a few bucks.  
After all, I’d just spent a shit ton on a much needed new Mac - and  I am so incredibly grateful that all the stars aligned to make make it happen

My old Mac was a 2012, purchased in February of 2013, is officially slower than molasses, riddled with software issues, and weighs 4+ pounds. 
Also - and I'm only partly joking - I was  afraid it could blow up at any minute, software wise.

It was long past its expiration date, and now “my old friend” sits in a place of pride on my desk, as my official backup/home computer, no longer accompanying me on the road.  

With all new electronicals, there’s compatibility issues with old ones. Sound familiar diabetes peeps? 
Now that I have a new Mac, I require a new printer because my current printer wants nothing to do with my new Mac and refuses to recognize its existence in the universe

I now need a new printer/scanner. I get it, I am on it.  

Anyway, back to me being momentarily annoyed - I took a breath and was glad again, quick. 

Because I know how lucky I am to have a new Mac - I know that it will help me do my job today, next week - as well as future jobs, assignments, and personal projects - HELLO Light ROOM. 

I know I’m lucky to be attending ADA for work.

And damn straight I know how lucky I am to have spare insulin in my fridge and extra diabetes supplies in my hall closet. It's a luxury that many of us living with diabetes in the United States and beyond do not have.   

I have no right to complain because in the grand scheme of things - screw my MacGyver Trapper Keeper! 

$14/$19 new streamlined MacBook case is a small price to pay for peace of mind re: protecting my Mac while allowing me to have extra room for my diabetes supplies in my carry-on is a gift…. as is having insulin in my fridge... And I am a lucky duck, indeed~

Also: I use the words Mac, MacBook, and MacGyver a hell of a lot in this post.