Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Healthcare Experience

Diabetes Blog Week; Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What's your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

I know I wish all my purchasing of a new insulin pump was this easy. I started a five day trial of the Tandem Tslim with insulin actually before I decided to buy the pump. I am going with the G4 model which has the CGM as part of the pump similar to my Animas Vibe. I know I love my Animas Ping but the Vibe had so many screens to go through to do simple things. I love the fact that the Tslim G4 and Tslim have such an easy way to enter the carbs you are eating , your blood sugar and if you need a correction all in one screen. I am terrible about inputting my numbers into the Vibe. I know I was so used to having the ping sinked up that the blood sugars were already there no entry needed. 

I have to say I fell in love with the touch screen and the colors on the display are nice. I love the fact that I noticed when I was on the Tslim my numbers were actually better than when I was on the Vibe keep in mind I only was able to test the pump for 5 days. I know I am looking forward to the ease of use with this new pump. I know I loved the Vibe at first but at times the pump was just too much. So I was really pleased the placed the order for the pump last Friday and I will receive it tomorrow. This is the by far the quickest delivery I have ever had. I also was pleased that my insurance made the process so easy. I have to say the Tandem representative was great she was able to let me test drive the pump with insulin and helped me in getting the process started. I know I could not be more excited about starting my new pump tomorrow.

I have also had my share of  challenges a well. I know when I got new insurance after my new job in December. I had a difficult time getting to see the Retina Specialist. Normally they want you to see the Optomologist first then get referred but who's kidding after several years of Diabetic Retinopathy we all know I need to see the Retina Specialist not an eye Dr. I did win and I was able to go straight to the Retina Specialist but it tooks seven or eight phone calls to get this done.

I know on my old insurance plan I had to fight to get enough test strips and I also had to fight to get Novolog Insulin as well. I know if I use Humalog I bleed through my infusion sets with in hours of insertion. I know I can't ever use Humalog again but I am always worried about them no longer covering the one insulin I can actually use. It seems no matter what insurance company you have there is always issues. I know my new plan does not like to give me enough test strips thankfully I still can get the One touch test strips I use with no issue but it has taken my Dr. sending in sever request to the pharmacy to finally get some what closer to what I normally get. I know thankfully my new insurance does some things quite well but other things not so much. I have decided to just consider it part of the experience and continue to work at keeping the supplies I need available but it seems each year I am fighting harder and harder to keep the devices I need.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Language and Diabetes

Diabetes Blog Week Post:  Language and Diabetes - Wednesday 5/18 Link List.
There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don't care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.

I have never been overly sensitive about what you call testing or checking your blood sugar. I have never really cared much about how it pronounced either but I think that is mostly due to the fact that I have had Type 1 Diabetes for 36 years this month. I know I find that the longer I have it the less sensitive in many ways I am about it. The part that does get me in an uproar is when they give out incorrect information about Diabetes. I am extremely sensitive about how they word and how they write about complications. I know people who have complication who have tried and they did the best they could but there is no guarantees when it comes to Diabetes.

 I know I work just as hard as anyone else does but when I walk into a Dr.'s office they automatically at time will label you as uncompliant or assume you don't work at keeping you numbers in a decent range. I know we all have stories and experiences. I hate the word uncompliant more than any other word associated with Diabetes. It to me as the patient not want to try our hardest because our own physician does not even had the confidence in our ability to handle our condition.

I know the word uncompliant has shown up in my medical records even thought I tested frequently had an in range Alc , logged my numbers, counted carbs and used a Dexcom CGM. I know the word uncompliant should never be used to describe a patient. I know patients do read them and also other physicians and medical personnel do as well. So it really sets a patient up for failure by using such a word that has so much bad associated with the that word. I am sure the Dr. see that term and makes assumptions that might be very untrue an could affect you treatment as the patient.

I know we sadly only see Dr.'s for several minutes each visit so when a new physician sees you they may not offer options they offer to what they would consider a compliant patient or they might feel like they are wasting there time on you as the patient. I know my last Endocrinologist did list me as a compliant patient which was wonderful to see because I do work so hard. I do get mad when just because you have a complication you are automatically considered uncompliant. This set your relationship with the Dr. up for failure because they have not taken the time to find out your story or your background. I wish Dr. would never use the term when referring to any patient in the future. It does not help the Dr. or the patient.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Other Half of Diabetes

Diabetes Blog Week Post: Click for the The Other Half of Diabetes - Tuesday 5/17 Link List.
We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)

I know each Diabetic seems to have there only ways to deal with their Diabetes. I know I tend to go overboard with it all but John my boyfriend manages his differently he is very laid back about dealing with the stress of it all while I am a control freak when it comes to my Diabetes. I know at times during lows it can be difficult to see John attacking everything in the fridge that is not nailed down. I know he had just over treated the low by a large amount and that the roller coaster effect will be starting soon. I try not to judge because I have had my moments too but at times I have to remind myself what it is like to have that feeling of never ending hunger for food while low. Since I have Hypoglycemia Unawareness I tend to get not warning and not extreme need to eat or a fast beating heart. Instead I am able to treat my low with no fear of anything even if my blood sugar is really low. I know I have forgotten in someways what the feeling was like. I know I try my best to not say anything to John but instead try to get him to eat a little less food to reduce the roller coaster affect.

It can be so easy to get wrapped up in your numbers at any given time and forget that you are not the only Diabetic in the household. I know I handle my stress with my Diabetes by blogging and John just keeps busy with other things and that works for him. I know to make sure I am not over stepping my bounds I have found that leaving the decision up to him and if he is struggling still then offering help. I know I have learned so much from all the bloggers in the community and I love to share what I have learned but sometimes other Diabetics don't want to know this neat trick you know. I know with John most of the time if I let him ask me it gives us both the space to figure out things. No matter what way we deal with the hard days the important part is that we are giving it our best shot. I know he has his way and I have my way. I know my crazy wonky ways of dealing with things can drive him crazy but other times he loves the little things I do. Like he steals my Bard wipes to help keep the Dexcom sensors attached and loves the Opsite Flexfix that I use to keep them attached even longer.

I know we all have our tough moments so at times it is good to see how another deals with issues and learn some things. I know I tend to be so hard on myself and John is teaching me in his own way that I need to be more forgiving with myself because at the end of the day we are all still human and we make mistakes. I know I try my hardest to support him even when I disagree with how he is handling things but at the end of the day it just works for him. I know I have learned so much about what works for me but also an appreciation for other ideas that have the same results at the end. I know I have struggled at time with my Diabetes and especially with 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Message Monday

Today’s topic is Message Monday.  Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.)

I guess my blogging journey began once I got Hypoglycemia Unawareness eight years ago. I know right after I had a bad low while driving I knew I was in over my head. I scared and I needed advice. I searched for studies and I looked for blogs about losing the feelings of low blood sugars. I did find one article about a year with a similar story to mine where she could no longer feel lows and so she found a trainer that trained Diabetic alert dogs. I know continued to search and look for any information on the subject and to find another person experiencing the scary moments of waking up to EMS several times. I know for me I noticed there was very few blogs about complications. 

I know I was so busy during that time writing a blog felt like an overwhelming thing to be doing until I started to figure out how to get my life back on track. I know I will never forget how alone I felt and how terrified I was to be going through it alone. My mother the only Diabetic I had know had passed away just before my diagnosis of unawareness. So I know I never wanted anyone else to feel the way I felt. I knew I needed to blog about my experiences to help others struggling with the same issue to know they are not alone. I know I have never been afraid to share the difficult parts. I know I wish people did not view others so harshly for having complications. I know I have experienced so much of that from Dr.'s , nurses and even other Diabetics. I know complications are scary but I have also found that they can be managed. I do spend a great deal of time making sure I manage things tightly. 

I know when Diabetic Retinopathy showed up I knew I would be fine but I needed to keep my diabetes well controlled as possible. I also recently found out that there is also complications from too tightly controlled Diabetes. I know I have not had high blood sugars often and I rarely ever go above 180. So I know I was shocked when I got Diabetic frozen shoulder. So I learned that even having dramatic drops to low blood sugars could also contribute to complications as well. So I know through the past several years that I have loved sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with you all.

 I will continue to share my journey because I think we all need someone who experiencing the same struggles as others. It makes the tough journey a little less stressful. I also have to say I have meet some of the most wonderful people who are bloggers. I know I have been so bad with blogging I am hoping this blog week will get me back to more frequent blogging again. I know complications are scary and I know I  never wanted to have complications but I also want people to know I still live my life to the fullest but just with modifications. Life is still wonderful but with quite a few extra obstacles but I know I can now say I am really getting better at solving difficult problems because I have faced so many weird situations. 

I know I have some new things to share about my Diabetic frozen shoulder over the next couple of months. I am hoping at the end of the day that I have at least helped one person be less afraid or at least made them laugh at my adventures with Duchess. I know some times laughing can be the best medicine or just relating to another experiencing a similar situation you can relate too. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.