You’re not the boss of me!

Argh.  I have a love/hate relationship with insurance.  Love it because w/out it, well, I’d be selling my kidney and firstborn to pay for my diabetes care.  However, that being said, even with insurance, diabetes is expensive, man.

One of the perks for buying my new pump and CGM early on in the year and all at once was that I have met my out-of-pocket max for the year.  Hello, 7 months of lower diabetes costs!  Woohoo!  I called my insurance company to see what exactly was now covered at 100% and was told “all diabetes supplies.”  I clarified with her, “So, pump supplies, CGM sensors, test strips, correct?”.  It was confirmed, yes, these things are covered.  Parrrrrrty!

Imagine my surprise when I went to the pharmacy today and I was asked to pay for my test strips.  Now, this isn’t a $20 co-pay, it’s close to $100 for a one month supply.  The young lady at the pharmacy assured me that they ran it through my insurance/prescription coverage so I paid and told her I’d take it up with them.

I called my insurance company first who connected me with the prescription folks and told me yes, my strips are covered at 100% if I use Accuchek.  I use OneTouch, and they are not covered at 100% under my plan and despite meeting my out-of-pocket expenses, I still have to pay the $100/month.  The way she made it sound was that Accuchek strips are covered 100% all the time, no matter if the out-of-pocket max has been met.

I told her this is ridiculous and she needs to give me the phone number of whomever I need to speak to regarding this.  I have left a voicemail and am looking forward to receiving a call back.  It just makes no sense to me that my pump supplies are covered yet the test strips for the meter that talks to my pump are not.  Does.not.compute.

It makes me pretty angry that some random person gets to decide what is covered and what is not and make decisions about MY medical care.

Wish me luck when dealing with the insurance company!

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A quick note to my (Moody) CGM Sensor

Dear Sensor,

I know, I know.  You are on day 9 of 24/7 work and you’re tired.  Believe me, I get it.  Your fatigue lead to a non-reading of “???” right at bed time last night.  When, I just happened to be running in the 300s (Damn you Cookout milkshake and your heavenly goodness).  I decided to see if perhaps you just needed a nap and would resurrect yourself as I have heard rumors of this happening.  I, being the responsible nervous diabetic (Hey, I just read a story about a 29 year old’s dead in bed death), set my alarm for 1:30 am to check my sugar.  Imagine my surprise when you not only resurrected, but you resurrected accurately!  Only off by 18, woot!  It lives!

But, sensor pal, you seem to have quite the case of the Mondays today (I do too – I am really angry that I didn’t win the powerball and am here, at the j.o.b). You, without consulting me, have decided that last night’s break wasn’t enough and you needed another nap this morning.  Seriously, how tired can you be?  Fine, nap, because, well, I’m at work and don’t have one of your pals around to replace you (mental note, throw spare sensor into my work bag).  You nap, you snore, and all of a sudden !buzz!, you are alive and ready to take on the world!

Or maybe not.  After your miraculous second resurrection, you informed me that my sugar was 274, when in reality it was 199.  That’s it; you are out of the circle of trust today, Sensor!  I will not be trusting your readings until I can replace you.

Wait just a minute.  I just checked my sugar and it’s 139, but you are telling me I’m 144.  Could it be?  Are you back and back for good?  Or are you just going to continue to drive me nuts like a pms-ing 16 year old girl going through a breakup?

What’s it going to be sensor?  Huh?

Fondly,
Your Master

A sillly poem

Diabetes Blog Week – Day 6.

This year Diabetes Art moves up from the Wildcard choices as we all channel our creativity with art in the broadest sense. Do some “traditional” art like drawing, painting, collage or any other craft you enjoy. Or look to the literary arts and perhaps write a d-poem or share and discuss a favorite quote. Groove to some musical arts by sharing a song that inspires you diabetes-wise, reworking some song lyrics with a d-twist, or even writing your own song. Don’t forget dramatic arts too, perhaps you can create a diabetes reality show or play. These are just a starting point today – there are no right or wrong ways to get creative!

A Dia-Poem.
By: Laura

Diabetes you are so dumb.
Making me chew sugarless gum.
All the finger pricks, make me bleed.
But I sure do love all the DBlogs I read!

I was diagnosed as a college freshman.
Immediately, I started putting needles through my skin.
The burning insulin after the poke,
Man, Diabetes, you are no joke!

Diabetes, you make me stand out.
But I refuse to sit around and pout.
Sure you offer extra challenges and work.
Especially when my blood sugar’s being a jerk!

But there is one thing that I need to say,
Without you I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.
You’ve shown me I’m stronger than I think I am.
But seriously, any time you want to, feel free to SCRAM.

Freaky Friday!

Diabetes Blog Week, Day 5.dblogweek

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

I am selfish – I don’t know much about other chronic diseases.  I have friends who suffer from Crohn’s Disease, Asthma, Celiacs, Allergies.  I’d love to trade places with them to see the struggles they deal with on a daily basis so I can better understand and be a more supportive friend.

However, in answer to this prompt, I would like to temporarily trade places with someone who is paralyzed.  I believe this would help me appreciate the amazing things that my body can do and to serve as a reminder that even though I may be tired, may be feeling lazy, and just may not be in the mood to exercise, I am lucky to have this body and lucky that other than a dead pancreas, it’s functioning and functioning well.  I need to celebrate this with more movement!

Yay, team!

Diabetes Blog Week, Day 4.

We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small – think about self-acceptance, something you’ve mastered (pump / exercise / diet / etc.), making a tough care decision (finding a new endo or support group / choosing to use or not use a technology / etc.)dblogweek

Hmmmmm, good question!  I feel like I haven’t mastered anything when it comes to my diabetes care.  I mean, I have mastered the motions, testing my sugar when needed, changing my pump sites, bolusing, etc.  But I am still, 14 1/2 years in, not 100% confident to say “Yes! I kick ass at diabetes!”  My sugars are not perfect, I don’t exercise every day, I still enjoy a carb or 20, and I have days where I’m crying out of frustration that I have to live with this crap for the rest of my life.  Sometimes my blood sugar is just a real jerk for no reason (like last night for example – for about 4 hours I was cruising between 43 and 80 despite 20 oz of OJ and two not-so-small spoonfuls of peanut butter).  Is there anyone out there who really has mastered diabetes?  Who can go to their endo every three months and know that their A1c is going to be 6.0?  Who has the perfect attitude when it comes to living with this?

But, the question wasn’t if you’ve mastered diabetes.  It’s about diabetes-related accomplishments.  Recently I made some pretty darn important care decisions.  As the Hubs and I want to have a small human in the next year or two, I knew that the time had come where I need to get serious and get as close as I can to mastering diabetes.  I decided to end my months-long pump holiday and resume pump therapy with the help of a CGM.  This was something I thought about for weeks months before finally accepting that I’m going to have to become a cyborg again.

You see, in theory, I love the pump.  Don’t have to carry around syringes or pens, your meal schedule can be more varied, and it offers better management for most people than multiple daily injections.  Blah, blah, blah.

But in reality, the pump is a pain in the butt.  Site changes, being connected all the time, it’s expensive, it beeps at you, it’s bulky and gets in the way, and it makes wearing dresses a headache!  My pump-cation had been glorious!  However, knowing all of the negatives that come with wearing a pump, I decided the best thing for my health and the health of a future pregnancy would be to get back on the pump and to get a CGM.  So the research began.

I googled, I youtubed, I blog-stalked.  Wow, there are a lot of people online sharing their experiences with various pumps and CGM setups.  The doctors and manufacturer’s’ sites will only tell you so much, these blogs were so helpful in sharing real-world experiences and opinions.  I especially found blogs written by women who are in similar life stages as me to be very helpful and was so happy to find their sites (Texting my Pancreas and SixUntilMe especially).   With the help of my new blogger buddies and the fabulous interwebs, I decided on the Dexcom G4 Platinum CGM and Animas Ping pump.  In black and silver – stylin’.

Change is scary and although I had previously been on the MiniMed Paradigm pump, I was pretty nervous about going back on pump therapy.  I had a breakdown one night about the fears of the unknown and how much it sucks that I have to do this and think about these things a year before we even want to start trying for a baby.  He, however, reassured me that there are other ways to start a family and if I absolutely did not want to do this, I didn’t have to.  He also made the great point that if I hate it, I can quit.  He’s so smart.

Fast forward to today and I’m almost 2 weeks into my new cyborg life.  Have I mastered it?  Nope, not quite.  I’m still aware of the pump clipped to my pants and the CGM sensor and transmitter taped to my body.  I still feel dorky about my “diabetes tool belt”.  My sugars aren’t perfect and I definitely miss the freedom of not being attached.  But one thing I have mastered is my attitude that I’m just doing what I have to do.  And knowing that diabetes care is something that can be adjusted and modified to fit my needs at the time.  Not everyone needs to be on pump therapy.  It’s not the best course for every.single.person with a dead pancreas.  But for me, right now, it’s the best choice in regards to my goal of becoming a mother, and I’m cool with that.  Will it be my choice 5 years from now?  Who knows.  All we can really do in regards to our care is to make the best decision with the knowledge we have at the time.  I think a series of making the right decision and small accomplishments will lead me closer and closer to that whole mastering diabetes thing.  But for now, I feel like I’ve accomplished the right attitude.

Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine…

Diabetes Blog Week, Day 3.dblogweek

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

I would be willing to bet that most people feel that their most memorable diabetes day is the day they were diagnosed.  At least for me, that was absolutely the most significant day in my diabetes life.  But, I won’t bore you with the details because you can read about it already.

I would like to share a more recent memorable “diabetes day”, and that is my wedding day.  The Hubs and I have been married for almost 7 months now and leading up to the wedding I was pretty nervous about how my diabetes would behave.  It always seems to be naughty at the worst times.  Seriously, it’s like a toddler throwing a tantrum in church.  I had a horrible fear that I’d have a low or high blood sugar during the ceremony or toasts at the reception, or that my diabetes would be a major focus of the evening and I wouldn’t be able to relax and enjoy myself.  I really didn’t want this, all I wanted was to be a “normal bride”, enjoying her wedding day and being surrounded by her favorite people.

To accomplish this normalcy, I decided to go off the pump a few months before the wedding.  I figured it’d be easier to just take injections rather than figuring out where I was going to put my pump on my dress (although I had a little bit lot of poof to work with!), and plus when you’re unattached, you can almost forget about diabetes.  I didn’t want to have to think about it any more than the bare minimum on my wedding day.  I wanted to focus on my new husband, my friends and family, and the dance floor!  (OK, and a glass or two of wine as well.  Oh, and the CAKE!)

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You wanna fight, diabetes??
(Note. There were no fights at my wedding. However, there was one kick-ass dance off, pictured above).

Mission accomplished.  My sugars were great throughout my wedding day, despite having a horrible cold and a case of nerves.  I tested when needed but wasn’t consumed by it and honestly can’t even remember when I tested (but I know I did, in case you’re reading this my wonderful doctor).  Although this wasn’t a dramatically memorable “diabetes” day, it was absolutely memorable in the sense that I had an uneventful wedding in the diabetes aspect.  I managed my disease and did not allow it to detract from my day.  It was pretty eventful otherwise, because, you know, I got to marry my best buddy.  Even on the best days of our lives, diabetes is still around.  But it doesn’t have to be the memory we take away from these days.

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We, the undersigned…

dblogweekDiabetes blog week, Day 2.

Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?

Dear Carbohydrates,

I, the undersigned, hereby request that you stop tasting so darn good.  Upon my years of diabetic research, I have determined that you, carbohydrates, are the reason why I am not the perfect diabetic.  You make my blood sugar go up and don’t help my A1c come down.  I have concluded that this is because you taste delicious.  Sweets, pasta, nachos, breads, potatoes…please heed my petition and stop tasting so wonderful.  I blame the sensory pleasure you provide to my taste buds for blood sugar readings that spike into the 200s (or higher) despite my feeble attempts to counteract with insulin.  And why, carbohydrates, must you so often be paired with alcohol?  Pasta and wine, Nachos and beer…please, please, stop with the yumminess!

I am a reasonable woman.  I am fully aware that I could just say no when you end up on my plate, but I have never met one of you whom I didn’t like.  I am weak.  You’re just too appetizing.  I implore you to start tasting like something disgusting…let’s say liver…so that I can better manage my diabetes.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Regards,
A1-Conceive.