Showing posts from February, 2010

What a load of...

This post is written in honor of this past weeks's Health Care Reform Summit where President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders came together to discuss differences and agreements. With my work deadlines, there wasn't a chance to watch Thursday but instead I spent much of Saturday watching it on You Tube, where it was divided into Part I and Part II . Aside from all the political tugs of war, there are a few elements that should be central to any plan impacting the Diabetes Community. First, we need to better distinguish between the different Types of Diabetes. We have Type 2, which can surely have the umbrella phrase "Diabetes" (I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.") But, we'll no longer have Type 1, a term that too often gets lost in the abyss of the worldwide epidemic of Type 2. Instead, those of us who've been insulin-dependent since childhood or have reached a stage where we now must take insulin to survive, will have something else:

Victory is Mine!

My head is held up with pride today, and I'm smiling internally. Thanks to the 15-month old, multi-state Insurance Company Victory that's finally come my way. Finally. It all began in January 2010. At least, that's when the issue surfaced and came to my attention. Upon receiving a bill dated Jan. 5, 2010 in the middle of the month, I learned about a billing dispute for an order of One Touch Ultra Test strips. They were ordered Dec. 29, 2008. Yes: 2008. I'd received that box of strips without any problem within a few days of that order, and more than a year later this was the first I'd learned about any problem. First issue. The second and most significant concern came from the tab at the bottom, which pointed out that I owed $675 for my three-month supply of mail-supply strips. At first, I laughed. Really, I did. The words "WTH" escaped my lips, along with a head shake, but I was at that point really more amused than anything. It's sad that I'

Politics of Diabetes

Two days, two meetings, two lawmakers... One message: We need continued federal funding for Type 1 diabetes research that can enhance our knowledge about this disease and pave the way to a cure. That Diabetes Advocacy Work was in full swing this past week, and the message from both Sen. Evan Bayh and Rep. Dan Burton was the type of response you'd hope to get from anyone, no matter what their political beliefs may be. Both 1-on-1s were a part of the JDRF Promise to Remember Me Campaign , in which I'm helping on to secure meetings or quick meetups with Congressional members. Goal: To thank them or pursuade them for their support on legislation renewing the Special Diabetes Program that is run through the NIDDK and helps fund both Type 1 research and also Type 2 treatment and education programs for Native American populations. A JDRF priority is to get a multi-year renewal before this program runs out at the end of 2010, resulting in no more of the $150 million per year funding th

Diabetes Care in Prison

This post is spawned by Shannon's advocacy over at  LADA-dee-da , who writes about the 26-year-old Type 1 diabetic Roddy Dean Pippin who's languishing in Texas prison without what appears to be adequate medical care. She outlines his situation in two posts, initially here and an update here , and those have been echoed in other spots online. Apparently, he stole someone's cattle when he was 19. In Texas, that's a felony crime with a hefty penalty. He became a "cattle rustler." As a city boy from the Detroit suburbs now living in the Indianapolis suburbs, this is somewhat amusing and mind-boggling to me. However, it's serious and they take it very serious there. And the situation Roddy has found himself in is so incredibly serious. No parole, but staggered prison terms as allowed by state law - eight years executed time, staggered over four 2-year periods. One of the court rulings from a Texas appellate court, dismissing his appeal, can be found here . Th

The D-Olympic Games

This post is in honor of the 2010 Winter Olympics XXI in Vancouver, which run from Feb. 12-28. Everyone who endures Living With Diabetes knows it can be just like navigating a never-ending sporting event. where you're essentially competing against your own body in order to get the best score. Just like any real-life athlete, playing the game means you must have endurance, patience, training, diligence, and discipline in order to even come close to achieving your goals. Every day means mastering the hills, ice rink, or just getting a little puck into the Net between 70 and 120. In the regular Olympics, you have Cross Country Skiing. Jumping. Curling. Figure Skating. Hockey. Luge. Snowboarding. The incredible athletes compete for best scores and the highest possible medal. For the D-Olympics, us PWD have an equally challenging array of sporting events to navigate in order to try and get to that ultimate Golden A1C medal, every few months. Like any sport, we have our coaches - Endos

Diabetes "Ninja" Community

This post is devoted to George (a.k.a NinjaBetic, SuperG, Mr. George Loves Bacon III ). He is an inspiration, as is the rest of the Diabetes Online Community that motivated me to enter this virtual universe, to once again become a Diabetes Advocate, and tighten up management of my own overall health and diabetes. In a word, G and the D-OC motivate me to be Ninja-Like in tackling the Daily Diabetes Adventures that can go from Low to High and everywhere in between. That's the 21st Century world we live in, and we're better for it. (Warning: Next section is link-heavy... But worth it!) Now, in honor of this NinjaBetic-inspiration that's led me to speak often about being a ninja,  Suzi created a cool bean-bag like Ninja for me at Christmas 2009 ( The XmasNinja ). Button eyes. Felt body. Teeny Tiny Beans and Stuffing. Not only does he look cool, but he generally fights off Diabetes Dangers with cool little a Lancet NinjaStar and Lancet and Pump Tubing Numchucks . Appropriat

Our Cars Have Diabetes

Ok. Not really . But it sure seemed like it today. You could have sworn that my wife's little blue Chevy Cavalier and my fire-engine red Ford Escape SUV were Living With Diabetes, complete with unexplained Lows and Battles with High Blood Sugars. All thanks to the snow-enduced driving adventures in Central Indiana. For the record: the snow wasn't bad in Indy. Not like D.C. or the East Coast where it trapped people inside (Hi LADAdeeda !)  and effectively shut down the federal government. Plus, we're from Michigan so we know firsthand what kinda punch snowstorms can pack with lake effect and aggresively unsafe drivers tossed into the mix. What we had here was fierce wind, creating massive snowdrifts overnight that created the whole plot to this story. See, Suzi drives the Cavalier. It's a good car, but low to the ground. As a result, the massive snowdrift combined with the middle-of-the-night snowplowing resulted in a pile of snow that was TOO HIGH for her car to ma

Diabetes-Focused Careers

IF I didn't love my job and career so much, I might consider moving into the public relations field from journalism. (Gasp. Jaws dropping. Eyes bulging.) We won't digress into the debate that is Journalism v. PR (i.e. The Force V. The Dark Side ), but know that this transition (er, "selling out") something that comes to any reporter's mind at least a handful of times in their career. Moreso, when one works at a daily newspaper that nowadays is likely struggling in this current newspaper industry. But, I work for the remarkable  Indiana Lawyer and Indianapolis Business Journal , which is doing stellar and gives me a place I'd be hard pressed to want to leave. Four years and running, and still love it dearly. (Read: My editor, co-workers, and company RULES!) But, if that time ever did come, it would most likely only ever be for something Diabetes-Related. Aside from handicap or some other unforseen happening, that's likely the only reason. Which makes

Just Not Level

Even with the best tools for Diabetes Management we have these days, achieving balance and consistent control is an ever-elusive fact of life. We can try, and sometimes glimpse that goal we're working toward, but the balance is so often short-lived. We try to level it off, but just can't find a way even with all the tools we have. Sadly, the Ups & Downs often begin when we need consistecy the most. Recently, I've been struggling with unexplained Highs and Lows. The rollercoaster ride that takes me from the high-hundreds to mid-double digits. We rack our brains for the causes of the unbalance: inaccurate carb counts, too little or too much insulin, resistence, influencial exercise, the way the wind is blowing, the odd or even number on the clock.... You get the point. Sometimes, it seems as if we've done everything right as much as humanly possible, yet something is off. That's the most frustrating part. It can make the daily D-routine, which is overwhelming

Not an Afterthought

We have Oprah's hour-long episode Thursday entitled "America's Silent Killer," which went to the "epidemic" of diabetes and everything that falls under that big umbrella. As expected, the show focused on Type 2. This shouldn't be a surprise. It's just disappointing that Oprah decided to not hit that point. That there's not only this widespread type, but one that isn't preventable, is a lifelong disease, and one where research is crucial in order to find a cure. In this hour of television designed to Scare people, you've managed to expand to even more people ongoing misconceptions about Type 1 Diabetes, which is frequently treated as an afterthought because it's only affecting 10 percent of the population. (You know, only about 1.7-2.5 million people, many children). Instead, your show focused only on the "preventable" and "reversible" type afflicting most of our population. But in doing that, there was a decisi

The Search

Three O'Clock wake up. Scratchy, dry, ragged thirst. Aching, tingling, toes are lit up tonight. Thanks to a High. No CGM beeps. No. Just natural alarm. The Search begins. Stumbling at first, then dark veil is brushed away. Poke in the finger, redness rushes out Not to relieve the thirst, but to paint a test strip It screams at me: 499. I scream inside. No balance. No rhyme. Just random. Correction comes for 14. The Search goes on. This time, for water. Oh, the potential. To wash away this sand in my throat. Smooth. Silky. Ice cubes swimming, floating Within crystal clear waters Waiting to flow freely, coating the inside Like the blood coats the now-used strip Easing the desert dryness Until it's no more. An oasis of moisture. Pure Ecstasy. At least for a moment. Momentary soothing of a late-night High. Until the insulin kicks in, flushing the sugar out. Another day begins. After 26 years, each day is much the same. Some Highs. Some Lows. Water a

Birthday Blog

So here it is. Feb. 1. Another Day. Another Birthday. This time, I've reached 31. Yep. I'm an Old Man.... Old Man Hoskins. There It Is. Yeet, I'm still alive and kicking. Triumphing. In a month, I'll celebrate my 26th year of Living With Diabetes. And holding strong. Relatively no D-Complications, minus a little foot-tingling and neuropathy here and there and minimal signs of retinopathy that aren't anything to stress over and seem to appear and disappear between eye-doc appointments. No special plans, as the birthday falls on a weeknight. A Monday, of all days. A full day of work, followed by a JDRF Outreach meeting in early evening. (Stay tuned for updated JDRF-focused blog in the coming days!) Following that meeting, I will probably head home to watch the DVR-captured eps of Chuck and Heroes, catch Jon Stewart, chat it up with Suzi, and likely get to bed at a decent hour for a full busy Tuesday, followed by the same type of Wednesday. Maybe a nice Devour D