Showing posts from August, 2010

D-Meetup: 84 Years of Diabetes

Adult Type 1s are mobilizing in Central Indiana, trying to reach out and bring more of us together in a way that the JDRF hasn't traditionally done or been known for. We want that to change. Some of us gathered Thursday for the first D-Meet-up of many, which will hopefully bring more into the fold as time goes on. At Joe's Crabshack on the north side of Indianapolis, four of us gathered: Myself, diagnosed at age 5 back in 1984. Neal Hoffman , a 28-year-old diagnosed at age 12. Aaron Walton , a 29-year-old diagnosed about two years ago. Pat Kinder , diagnosed about 40 years ago when he was in the eighth grade. Between the four of us, we have 84 years of diabetes. Looking at that time in history more than eight decades ago, we'd be at a time where insulin had just been created a handful of years earlier and D-Management was so incredibly different than it is today. No testing as we know it today. Significantly, we have Novo Nordisk receiving a Danish charter that yea

If I were Robinson Crusoe

Here we are on Friday. TGIF? Not this time. At least, not completely. A quote comes to mind as we hit the last day of this week, and I reflect on the progress made, strived for and not achieved. "Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday."   ~Author Unknown Hmm. Sadly, it doesn't appear that I'm Robinson Crusoe. So, this doesn't apply to me. For two reasons: A.) I'm not a castaway on a tropical island. B.) While making it this far through the week feels like a tremendous victory, my To Do List lingers on and continues haunting me. Stealing sleep and stressing me out like a man who dropped his bacon on the floor. So, as I scramble to end the week on a more productive note, I offer a light, randomly-assembled recap of the week's Highs & Lows plus a preview of what's down the road in the week(s) ahead. ( Warning: Link heavy, but all are worth the mentions! ) Rain, please. Seriously. Why the Fuzzle Navel doesn't it rain anymore in

Melinda's Ride of a Lifetime

This post has nothing to do with diabetes. Rather, it's about inspiration. About what's important and how you can achieve your dreams if and when you truly want to. The main character in this story is Melinda Dennis, a Michigan native that I had the honor of becoming friends with back during our first year of college at Oakland University in 1997-98. She was one of the first people I'd met when starting college, and we had a close-knit group of friends living in the same dorms that had a lot of fun that first year. Though we kept in touch a bit through the years, mostly we lost touch as our own lives progressed and took us to new places and adventures. But this story isn't about me, our friendship, or our time in college. Rather, it's about Melinda's newest adventure - an amazing "ride of a lifetime" that everyone should have a chance to hear about. Her journey is the American Ride 2010,  a three-month solo trip that takes her along the country&#

What If...WE are the Cure?

My pancreas doesn't work. It doesn't produce insulin, and that's why I'm a Type 1 diabetic. To delve deeper: for some still unknown reason my immune system launched an attack on me that destroyed the insulin-producing beta cells inside my pancreas. Always been common knowledge. But what if, since my diagnosis at the age of 5, those tiny little beta cells have been trying to repair themselves? What if that long-wanted cure we've been hoping for as long as we can remember is in that little turnover fact? They didn't just stop working for the sake of sitting around to do nothing, but they've been trying to get going again. What if? That kind of throws a lifetime of knowledge out the window. We may be getting close to finding out if that's the case. Thanks to the Joslin Diabetes Center, and one of the longtime Type 1 "survivors" who made a comment to her doctor once about believing her body still making insulin. I've joked about tha

The Approaching End

The time is drawing near. Birthday? Christmas? Hockey season? World Domination By The Cats? Celebratory running down the street naked while wearing only a feather boa... ( hmm )? No, none of those. We are talking about The End of My Pump Hiatus. You may recall that this little vacation has been underway since late March, when I opted to venture back into the world of Multiple Daily Injections after nine consecutive years of pumping. A personal choice not to infer any unhappiness or success with pumping. Just a way to let the body heal, recoup, remember what it's like to not be Mr. Bionic Limb every hour of every day. It's been a grand adventure, reminding me of why I went on the pump in the first place. However, this journey has led me to an unmistakable discovery that the mental rigors of MDI do work and it can succeed - in fact, I dropped my A1c from 8.8% to 7.7% between March and June. That ultimately led to my continuing the Pump Hiatus throughout the summer, since

Update: Questioning Everything

This is an update to previous posts, which you may want to read first if you haven't had a chance to check them out yet. 1. Fight For Our Health , and 2. In Case of Zombie Apocalypse . Both involved my order of One Touch Blood Glucose Test Strips, which was more than the initially insurance-approved 102 per month (roughly 3 tests a day) and significantly fewer than the needed 300 per month (for 8-10 tests a day). My Endo's office had to request the higher amount from the insurance company, which happened after a medical assistant obtained after spending 45 minutes on the phone with a pharmacist and supervisor one day. Getting the order delivered to my home, I saw that they did indeed ship the needed nine boxes of strips that insurance payed for. But they also sent nine boxes of Lancets, which insurance decided not to cover at all. Since I hadn't requested or needed the Lancets, I dove into finding out how this all happened. Inquiring about this by phone, I was told by M

In Case of Zombie Apocalypse

Should zombies ever attack, I have an unlimited supply of weapons to ensure survival. Here's why. You may recall my recent post about my fight for and victory in achieving my three-month supply of One Touch Ultra blood test strips. Late last week, the nine boxes of strips arrived at my home. Finding the box on my porch when arriving home from work, I took them inside to investigate. Honestly, I expected some extra issue that I'd have to battle the insurance company or medical supply company about - I'm cynical like that. Inside the box, I found the nine boxes. The invoice told me that the 900 strips cost $813 total, which thanks to my insurance coverage only means a $25 co-payment for me. That's sweet. However, there's more. In addition to the strips, Medco also sent me nine boxes of Lancets - lancets I didn't request or want and do not need. Of course, the statement shows me that apparently my insurance does not cover these lancets. So, that means I must

Remembering August 20, 2009

This post was originally going to appear later this week on Aug. 20, but that's Friday when I like to keep the posts on the lighter side. So, I was going to go with the day before, but then this whole "Driving With Diabetes" topic came up as one that might be included in the weekly Wednesday night Diabetes Social Media Advocacy ( #dsma ) discussions. So, I opted for today. To write about how my life changed on Aug. 20, 2009. That was the day a chain came out of nowhere, wrapped around my neck, and started squeezing. Ever since, the chain continues adding more links and squeezing around my neck to the point where I can't breathe. But for all the scariness that happened that day and since then, I owe a lot to what happened. It changed my life, in terms of my thinking about God, CGMs, real-life policy issues, financial obligations, and the overall health care and insurance system. The past year has been a time of personal reflection, a spiritual journey, as well as r

Disclosure: A New Volunteer Role

Transparency is important. In my continuing effort to determine how my Diabetes Advocacy fits into my life personally and professionally, I've taken on a new role. This is all being approached carefully in a volunteer capacity and won't impact my writing here or anywhere else, but it's a role that I wanted to let you all in the Diabetes Online Community know about. Keeping my credibility is important, so here's full disclosure on what I am getting into... Back in January, I wrote about an Indianapolis father's passion for helping his Type 1 daughter better manage her health leading him to the creation of an online web portal called s5health . Basically, this new web-based portal is designed to help diabetics combine all of their insulin pump, blood meter, and CGM data into one place online and get that to their doctors quickly and efficiently. Most significantly, it's not tied to a particular product line and also allows PWD the ability to send data directl

D-Dreams: Rafts & Rations

Being that it's Friday the 13th, I thought I'd share a strange diabetes-themed dream that recently entered my sleeping mind. While the particulars may be a little odd or eyebrow-raising, but the themes represent larger points and feelings about the Diabetes Online Community and how we're all in this together. It seems as though some other DOCers (like MsMegan777 and Jacquie over at Typical Type 1 ) have also been having strange D-Dreams, signs of a larger trend that we're all interconnected both in our real life advocacy but also in the dreamworld. __________________ ______________  __________  ________  ____ First, I was on a river. A rocky river. The sky was dark and cloudy, clearly a storm was moving in and the air smelled as such. Probably somewhere on the East Coast, as there were lobsters clawing at me and trying to snip the pump tubing that hung from my waist. My method of traveling along this waterway appeared to be a raft - no, actually it was a small yellow

Fighting For Our Health

I came home from work on Tuesday to a letter from my current insurer, United Healthcare. Suzi had the day off work, and had alerted me to the letter after finding it in the mailbox that afternoon. She'd phoned to tell me earlier what the letter basically said, but I was curious to read it for myself. The letter involved my coverage for One Touch Ultra Blood Test Strips, which I'd learned upon my new insurance beginning in June were "limited" according to the terms of my policy. I wrote about this back in June . Basically, my insurance policy allows for 102 test strips a month of this particular "preferred" brand. Math dictates that's 3.4 tests a day, significantly less  than the 8-10 tests a day that my Endo agrees is the amount needed to best manage my diabetes.  Back in mid-June, a kind representative explained that it was possible for this larger amount to be obtained, and that my Endo would need to contact UHC and specifically request an "

The Frog Before Diabetes

You'll probably get a laugh out of this one. Maybe even a head shake. But, I hope you also get a little more out of it, too. Being diagnosed at age 5, Type 1 diabetes is pretty much all I've ever known. My daily D-duties have always been my "normal," and growing up in the 80s without any other friends or classmates who were diabetic, I went through my childhood pretty much alone in dealing with diabetes. This was long before the Diabetes Online Community. And diabetes camp only came around every so often. I did what was needed and lived with diabetes, and grew up to be where I am today. But sometimes I forget there was a Life Before Diabetes. Five years. A time when I likely lived what some might consider a "more normal" life that I have few memories from and will likely never be able to embrace again. Aside from my parents and family members who were around in those pre-D days, but now live a state away and aren't physically there with me each day

Blog-Hijacking by the Cat

My fellow cat friends (the Tuxedo Cats - K.C. and Casey , with Perl 's help) have found their way to their humans' blogs today. Or so I've read. So, in reading with interest their World Domination Plotting, I thought I'd follow suit and add my thoughts on a technique that's working for me. Not to mention my agreement with the previously-outlined demands for unlimited food bowl filling and no picking us up. However, flattery is perfectly fine. As far as plotting the human demise in my household, it comes down to this diabetes. I think that's our way in. I'm sure of it. Recently, I tried to steal Michael's blood meter and insulin. Here's a surprise photo snapped of me ( probably by the dog ) as I sat plotting to steal the BG meter, which I noticed had some Higher readings lately - meaning my other "secret plan to spike Michael's food with sugar" has been working.... However, I dozed off into a dreamworld of Cat Utopia and got distra

D-Feast Friday: A Summer Heat Treat

With temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes in the 100s this past week (here in Indy), it only seems appropriate that this D-Feast Friday feature something to help with the heat. So, I give you my favorite Summer Treat! Pop-Ice! ( Not exactly the same as The Might Icecube that Kerri had higlighted recently , but of the same style of summer treat...!) This came up during the Twitter-strong #dsma discussion on Wednesday night ( If you don't already, you should really really really follow @DiabetesSocMed every Wed at 9p.m. Eastern for some great discussion !! ) This post was already planned, but that mention made it even more timely! So, here we are... Now, really, I'm not picky about carb counts on these - whether we're talking sugar-style or sugar-free. The label on the current non-Sugar Free box in the pantry reads only 6g per treat. I've had Sugar Free versions range from 1g to 4g, just depending on style. So, it's just a matter of how many you may wan

The Institution of Marriage

Stepping up onto My Soapbox. Offering a warning that you may not agree with what I say here, and so this is your chance to simply go away. If not, don't whine later about being offended by what you chose to read. Thank you, kindly. I promise to return to your regularly-scheduled D-Blogging soon enough - with a fun D-Feast Friday post on the way tomorrow! The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Passed in 1868, this constitutional amendment came on the heels of the Civil War. But it echoes sentiments that were debated and discussed back by the Founding Fathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson. He saw slavery and equal rights an issue that he wasn't ever persona

Passion, Power, Purpose?

Passion. Power. Purpose. That was the motto for the 2010 Roche Social Media Summit, held in Orlando that brought about three dozen members of the Diabetes Online Community together to have fun and also advocate our passions. Let me simply say that being in the presence of such awesomely passionate people, some who I've been reading online for years and interacting with on a daily basis during the past year, was an honor. They are fun. Intelligent. Caring. You name it, the word fits. They are family, and they've had an incredibly positive influence on my own D-Management as well as gotten me back into the advocacy role that I'd largely stepped away from since my early college days. But there's another side to this experience. There's a feeling that's been clawing at me more in recent months. I've debated posting about this, because it not only illustrates some of my uncertainty about what lies ahead but also because it's something that also has the p