Friday, March 27, 2015

Ted Talk about Diabetes

I know this Ted Talk was done back in 2013 but I think it is a very powerful message in a great deal of ways. I know every time I walk into a room a Dr. makes a great deal of assumptions such as she does not test or manage her Diabetes imagine their shock when they see my low A1c. I know most assume she has complications and she is an uncompliant patient. I know I have learned the hard way from my Retina Specialist they make assumptions that all people with Diabetic Retinopathy all have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol. So I find these days I get treated with a great deal of disrespect and contempt from most staff. I have to say though except for my Endocrinologist's office they do a really great job of supporting me as the patient.

So I find it frustrating that we are all put into this blame bubble as Diabetics regardless of what type. I know I have been approached in the ER by Dr.'s who walk in and automatically treat me with contempt and blame. They approach me not as a person who needs compassion but instead with almost a look of another person here because they have given up. I know I have received some of the worst criticism from medical staff during some of the toughest days as a Diabetic. I think it can be so sad that we get treated this way but I know it has gotten better in some ways. I know that I have seen a great deal of people who see so much abuse of our health care system it leaves them jaded but the bad part is that they assume all of us are the same. Which is not fair or right. I know Dr.'s are human too and make mistakes as you will see in the Ted Talk below. I know the Dr. does get chocked up at his mistakes of not treating the Diabetic patient with the same care as his other patients. I know in these situations I don't let the Dr.'s get away with things and I will confront them with how they are treating me as the patient.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why Too Much of A Good Thing Can Be Bad

I had a discussion with a friend who also is a Type 1 Diabetic. I know they do have a history of depression like me as well. I know we are both adrenaline junkies and both love to test our selves in that manner. I love to push myself to overcome fears because I have found I grow a great deal when I do push myself. My friend has decided to take their adrenaline rushes to another level now. They are training to be able to sky dive unaccompanied and they just finished. I support that but now they want to base jump and other far more dangerous activities.

The part I struggle with as their friend is that they say taking these extreme risks makes them feel better about life in general. They don't want to die from anything related to Diabetes but instead an accident from base jumping etc. They feel that is more respectful way of dying verses it being related to Diabetes. I understand they will always be judged if we do die from Diabetes related complications. Our society regardless of type will always view us as failures because they don't understand. I know I go into each appointment waiting for the judgements to show up and affect me as the patient. I know me and my friend both have complications so in some ways I get how much the stigma does hurt and that we both will be judged by others when the time comes. Sadly most people will not understand that yes we tried but we all will not be as successful as others.

I have meet several people who did not take care of themselves and did not test for ten years but had no complications. Then other people who did what they were supposed to but end up with complications. I am very aware there is not guarantees in life. So I know just doing my best is all I can do. I do support my friends having an adventurous life but I think my friend is using it as an excuse to not manage their condition. I know life would be easier without Diabetes but my friend tends to view the condition as an obstacle instead of viewing it as road bumps like I do.

I am not sure why they view the world they do but I have a feeling that they were depressed they found some relief in getting an adrenaline rush and decided that is the way to live life. I am not sure what to tell my friend but I guess we will agree to disagree for now. I still think they are taking the things to the extreme. My friend tells me constantly they do not see themselves as being able to grow old. They tell me growing old is not for them. I think age they are now seeing changes in their body and tell me constantly I will be aging much quicker than my friends but the truth is that my family ages quite well.  So I find it to be silly to be so concerned about little things such as that. I do spend a great deal of time managing my condition but they seem to be only managing their condition to keep up the ability to get adrenaline rush. I do not know what to say to my friend but it does make me worry.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Turning Off the Bad Messages

I need to do more work. I know I sadly ended up getting sick over my 3 day weekend. I know I tested Friday afternoon and it read's 265. I then start on my normal thought pattern of what did you do wrong, how come we are so high why does my Dexcom only show it being 130. Why didn't Duchess alert sooner. I feel this anger at my self instantly and the old bad thinking pattern sets. If you were a good person you would not be high. If I was doing what I should have been doing I would have noticed. I got through this horrible thought pattern and I even picture my mean Endocrinologist who constantly told me I was bad and I should be doing better. I know our teenage years are rough and that thing such as hormones do play a role but I know I always took the brunt of the negativity because I felt I was to blame. I know I would cry at time because I was high and I tried my best. I know other times I actually threw my meter at the wall in shear frustration.

Even today I still look upon myself so badly because I feel like high blood sugars equals me not doing enough or not working hard enough but the truth is Diabetes is not controlled but managed and I can only do what I can do. We all have times where we under estimate our Carbohydrate counts or we over bolus for our food. We at the end of the day our human. Not once as a child was I ever told that high blood sugars happen. I remember when I was high I was scared to tell my parents because the would be mad at me when in actuality my mom would have done a correction dose and everything would be fine.

 I grew up with some Dr. treating me like I was not a person with feelings and a person with a chronic illness. I am working on my resetting my message that appear in my head each time I wait for the results of my meter. I know I dread each test and I test frequently so I need to be more realistic that yes I will get over 200 when I am sick. I also need to realize that I am no longer seeing that Endocrinologist and I am a good person who deserves to be understood and respected. I know as a patient with Complications I will always be judged but inappropriate comments are not okay. I know I will continue to work to make Dr.'s understand that I do the best I can and that life happens. I know when they see my A1c most of the time they are shocked because they expected me to be out of control but the opposite is true.

I plan on resetting my message about highs and lows so I can be happier with myself and my life. I live a very complicated life with complications why make things more difficult for myself. My message now will be no matter the number I can fix it if necessary. At the end of the day I need to realize that I am human and feeling human is only natural and I not defined by the numbers on my test kit.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Adrenaline Rush

I know I am really looking forward to this weekend just as long as the weather cooperates I will be sky diving finally. I know I have looked forward to this since the day I paid for my sky dive. I am an adrenaline junkie and love to push my boundaries. It is strange how I feel the need to control everything but I am an adrenaline junkie too. After this adventure I will be looking for my next adventure off my bucket list which I have not decided what I will do yet. I will be leaving Duchess at home on Saturday because I can't take her with me sky diving but thank fully my best friend will be going with me. She thankfully notices when I am low when I have no idea which is helpful since Duchess won't be with me during my adventure. I spend so much time with her I know I will struggle with her not being with me for this but it is also good to have some down time for her and for me as well. I will have my CGM with me during it all so I should be fine. The bad part is that Duchess has been consistently alerting really early which gives me time to treat. I do plan to run my blood sugar higher because excitement and anticipation makes my blood sugars drop.

I do not want low blood sugars during the sky diving experience and I do plan on eating pretty close to when I do jump. I know you can make yourself sick by not eating before you do jump. I think I will handle the experience just fine but I know I will worry about the lows. I know my plan of dealing with it will work just fine. I know since Duchess has been with me all the time it will feel strange to not have her here with me. I know my life the past seven years has felt incredibly scary at times and I think because my life has always had this edge of scariness to it taking on adrenaline rushes seems so easy because at least I get to decide when. I know I have always wanted to do some crazy things with my older brother. We both enjoyed doing certain things as kids and that led me to some crazy adventures as an adult. Sky diving will just be another. I have a feeling that I will want to jump again but I will always to try more things as well. I am hoping my blood sugars will cooperate and that I can enjoy my new adventure.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I Have to Admit

A friend of mine Kelly Kunik wrote a blog recently about insurance coverage. I know I decent coverage but I do have a decent amount out of pocket last year I spent $1483.59 in 2014 on supplies. That amount does not even cover my dental expenses or my Dr. appointments either. That also does not include my dressings, tape, glucose tablets, and skin prep supplies. I have a confession to make I was extremely off financially in 2011 when I took my current job. So affording my supplies was extremely difficult. I learned that I could reuse my infusion sets with the contact detach because I can move the sight around every day or so and the sight would tend to be able to be moved. I know I have had times where I was going through sights several a day when I had the Humalog and skin issues. I still have skin issues that just popped up again so I am going through them much faster now. Even with some recent raises some deductibles went up so I am constantly struggling to keep up with my rising costs.

I feel ashamed that I have to reuse the supplies at times. I do sterilize the needles before I move them and I do try to make it as safe as possible but I really wish my insurance company realized that I don't have a great deal of money to constantly buy all my supplies. To keep up with my need to test constantly and to pay more for the insulin I can actually use. I have issues with Humalog the only insulin that my insurance wants to pay for. I ooze blood out my infusion sets when I use Huamlog so my normal cost of insulin is 40 more every 3 months. I know I can order more boxes of pump supplies but sadly my cost also goes up with how many boxes I order. So I find myself in a spot where I continue at times to reuse my pump supplies because most of my bill continue to rise in cost.


I know days when I do have to reuse my supplies to make it till when I can order it again is frustrating and difficult. I know my insurance company assumes the cost they charge is not that much but on my salary it is actually quite a bit. I have a great deal of Dr. appointments such as 4 times a year for Endocrinologist, 2 times for Retina Specialist, 2 times for my Rheumatologist,  and 3 dentist appointments. I also pay parking at work for these days at 5 dollars a day. So all of this adds up quickly. My insurance also tends to change the coverage every year now they don't cover EMS when  you are not transported to the hospital which is a $150.00 fee plus 20 percent of the cost of the ambulance ride.  So it sadly will now cost in the hundreds of dollar range for a bad low. Each year they cover less and less. So I struggle with how to reduce my lows but also how to have what I need to avoid these lows. Thankfully my CGM sensors keep dropping in price the more they realize the benefits of having one.

I know as I look at how to manage my Diabetes I feel trapped in a constant funnel of money running out of my pocket every month. I know at one point my insurance used to be so much better and I was not spending nearly as much but each year it cost me more. Sadly my wages do not go up each year regardless of how hard I work so it can feel really defeating at times. So I do the best with what I have. Keep in mind I am thankful for what I do have and I know I am truly blessed for that I am able to have an insulin pump, CGM and Diabetic Alert dog. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Do I Really Need a Diabetic Alert Dog

I know for me a big button issues is concerning Diabetic alert dogs? Do I really need one is a big question. I have seen over the past three years a large amount of people getting incredibly expensive pets who were meant to be Diabetic alert dogs. When you are first diagnosed the chances of needing one within in the first couple of months of diagnosis are slim. Most people can feel lows and I know some bloggers who have dogs who don't have Hypoglycemia Unawareness which is not good. A person has no need for a Diabetic alert dog unless they have Hypoglycemia Unawareness. A big reason I can hold a job is because I have Duchess I don't really feel anything when low and I am constantly battling bad lows or seizures over the years. I know my Hypoglycemia Unawareness I know really started to impact my life when I was a teenager my junior and senior year of high school I had passed out several times. I know my Dr's at the time new it was serious but they never really told me I had hypoglycemia Unawareness. They wanted me to go on the pump which I did but I did not like it back then.

I know a great deal of teenagers with Hypoglycemia Unawareness who need alert dogs but there is a great deal of people perusing a Diabetic alert dog with the philosophy that there is currently enough dogs for everyone. Which is not true and I know the more demand the more the prices goes up as well. I fully support people getting a Diabetic alert dog once you have tried pumps, CGMS and other options first. A Diabetic alert dog should not be your first choice but your last option. I tried every option available to me before I realized that I needed to try some thing else. I knew that if things continued that I would not be able to hold a job without issues. I currently have issues from my workplace because of people not wanting a service dog at work but at least I am able to continue to earn a living and live my life the way I want too as a productive member of society.

I know it seems like so much fun taking your dog everywhere but it has major downsides. I just had two or three incidents of public access issues this weekend. There will always be struggles with access because of lack of knowledge of the laws. There will always be issues with dealing with people at times as well. I feel like I live in an obstacle course in a great deal of ways. There is always issues and I think that you really need to really take all the money, time, gear for service dogs and other expenses into consideration as well. It should never be a spur of the moment decision but should be some thing that is fully researched and considered before you get a Diabetic alert dog. They change your life but realize you will change your life as well. So it is never an easy transition either.

I feel blessed to have her but I think the Diabetic alert dogs are best left for the people who can't feel lows and who live life on the edge like I do. I know my life is safer now because of Duchess and I also know that she is a great help for me. I know that if I can feel lows that I really don't need a Diabetic alert dog and should look at a CGM to help assist me with lows. I know nothing worked for me but having Duchess and I take the rights seriously. So please take the time to review if you really need one before trying to purchase one because you could be saving yourself thousands of dollars and time.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reminder of My Past

I remember times in my life where my Diabetes had control of my life. I woke up each and everyday scared out of my mind and not sure what to do next. I was blessed at that time because I had quite a few friends on Tudiabetes. I know I worked with my Dr. at the time to get my basal rates on my pump adjusted but had not found where I needed to be. I know I searched day and night for anything on Hypoglycemia Unawareness which really gave me poor information so I started to read stories and all of them gave me the exact same information or information that did not work for me. I know I kept trying to avoid lows at all costs so that I may get some feeling back but it never seemed to work out. I know back then once I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia Unawareness that it seemed like the lows were constant. I know that during that time EMS had visits to my office and home. I know I was getting to the point I did not know what I was going to do because nothing was working.

I know looking back I lived in a constant state of fear. I woke each day with dread because I felt like I had no control over my life and that my Diabetes for once in my life was winning. I know I spent less time enjoying my life and more time worrying about what might happen. I know I felt safer at home than I did anywhere else so it became my safety net and I know I was becoming more depressed by the day. I know thankfully during this very dark period of time for me I found others struggling with the same issues of not feeling lows but I also know that mine seemed more severe.

So I continued my search and thankfully found an article that changed my life. It was about Diabetic Alert dogs which lead me down the path I am on today. I know during this time that waiting for Duchess I had some hard times. I know some lows had major consequences such as I bit into my lip which split open and I had to go to the emergency room to have my lip stitched up. I thankfully do not have any visible lines from the scars because the Dr. did such a great job with the stitches. I think I had around 5 stitches to sew back up my lip.

I know that some people may read this and think that I had given up but I never truly gave up but had to do things I did not want to until i could find a way to be safe. I know I am lucky that my condition is where it is today and that I work so hard to keep things well controlled. I know some times complications can really make Diabetes so much more than just challenging. I know my friend I have in California was commenting about the anger she felt for situations like mine above. I know I have felt what she was describing and I hope my friend you some good things coming your way. Diabetes does not play fair and I know I have and a great deal of people with complications can relate to this issues and even those who don't. We all struggle but at times it can be a huge obstacle to over come. I know I was able to find my way and I know that my Dr.'s at the time did nothing to help so most of the time it feel like I was battling on my own. I know now I am not battling alone and I hope you all know we are here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Call For Help

I was at a movie night recently with friends and some new people I had not meet previously. I was asked by a mother of a Type 1 Diabetic what she could do for her 23 year old daughter who had been in the hospital emergency room 5 times so far this year. Each year her control is getting worse. I know I recommended that she try to connect with other through our community. I offered to speak with her but I have a feeling that she really needs to speak with someone who is a great athlete or musician or someone who is well known and achieved great things. I have a feeling that those individuals could make a difference in speaking with her verses me as a person with complications who to that individual would probably say to themselves that will never be me or the chances are slim that could happen.

I have achieved so much the past couple of years but I do not find myself to be that inspirational or inspiring as some others I have met in the Diabetic community. So I know as an advocate I am not sure I am really going to be much help to this young woman but I am going to do my best to help if she does contact me. I know I have a great deal of knowledge to share if she is willing to listen but being where she currently is I questions how much I will be able to help. I know as an advocate I always try my best but at times like this I feel overwhelmed that I won't be helpful for that person. I know that it can be tough for us all regardless if we are trying or not trying. I think anyone can get them to places where things are out of control and it just becomes easier to ignore it. I know we all will face challenges as Diabetics but I know this request feels a little daunting.