Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Facebook Rant

Facebook is an interesting animal.

Especially when you join any sort of health related "group." The larger diabetes related ones, bleed despair and rotten infected dropping off toes and and people who cannot afford their supplies and people for whom the wall of ignorance will never be penetrated.

"help, my blood sugar is HI what do I do"

"help, my leg is streaking red what do I do"

"how do I get my blood sugar down without going to the doctor"

"GMO's are bad, diet coke is bad, sugar is bad,yadayadayada"

When you look at these posts, its very obvious that the biggest problem in America is not diabetes...its the ignorance that millions live with. I am not a perfect PWD...that doesn't exist but how very lonely and isolating must it be to A. not be given the BASICS and the RESOURCES that you need or B.not be involved at all in your care, preferring to "let the doctors handle it" when diabetes is a disease that demands involvement? The beauty of the internet is that it lets patients become more empowered/connected, but the danger of the internet is that comes with just as many opinions on what you should do.(and many people would rather take their neighbor's advice then their doctor's advice)

People need (accurate) basics. People need support. People need a scare-free zone, a place where there are no pictures to make you lose your lunch. People need to take ownership of their own disease, and realize that no doctor can tell you how to get it perfect-perfect doesn't exist. (I also think that some basic diabetes knowledge "files"(from reputable websites)on FB could steer people in the right direction,right off the bat)

In short, people don't need most of the FB groups out there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Health Plan Edition

In January,we must have a new health insurance plan. (We received the "Dear Policy Holder" letter yesterday.) This came as no surprise to me,because this particular plan was too good to be true without me personally causing it to go bankrupt. This plan(Coventry) no longer covers Federal Employees,of which my husband is one. Having hit my deductible in March(thanks to that pericarditis infection),the vast majority of the year has been copay and deductible free except for sensors which I still pay 20% on) Add on weekly magnesium infusions at 1K a pop (x6 months)and yeah,that gets really expensive. I'm happy to report that said frequency of magnesium infusions is decreasing..and I think by the New Year I'll be able to maintain adequate levels without infusions. This makes me very,very happy because even temporarily, barring extreme gastric distress, I have a oral replacement  regimen that is doing the job. I also seem to have more prominent veins these days as well. Anyway,getting off infusions completely is really in our best interests because our next health insurance plan will not be covering them 100% like this one has.(two plans ago, I had a $250 copay for each infusion. That was not fun,even on a monthly basis.)  I am fortunate to have health insurance options, but trying to find one that covers diabetes crap plus infusion crap plus
lower cost general stuff makes my non-mathamatician brain explode. (Blue Cross was horrible,Carefirst was decent,
Coventry has been very lovely and I'm very sad to see it go.) May end up going back to Carefirst but I have the next 1.5 months to peruse the choices and weigh the pros/cons of each. Every year all the plans make changes and hike up the premiums.(to boot) And then you spend the first part of the year discovering the places you get supplies/meds from are no longer in network and GRRRR new RX's and whatnot have to be written and faxed and sent via Pony Express to the far corners of the U.S. (That's life in the USA)
To semi-prepare for this,I try to stock up on stuff as much as humanly possible.(RX fills strictly as often as possible to Jan.,which gives me some bumper room that I don't have to get the new stuff straightaway) Probably chiropractic will no longer be covered either,which is why I hope I'm 95-100% straightened out by then. Choosing a new plan is so stressful.(kind of like the health equivalent of "Choose your own Adventure," pick a bad one and you'll regret that choice for the next 12 months.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beyond the Basics: Answers,Delivered

For three years, I've looked for an answer that no one could tell me. Not even my extremily intelligent Endocrinologist,nor the OBGYN,nor the high risk perinatologist that I saw.

Today,I found that answer..on a random Google search.

Brief Summary: in some mothers with diabetes,babies don't get large because the kid is so hyperactive that they essentially block those excess calories and turn out normal weight. Regardless of your BG control.

And reading that was like the floodgates of Heaven coming down and illuminating 
my poor,confused little brain..because from Week Nine of my pregnancy straight through to delivery my Endo would warn me how I was set to have a very,very large baby. Most of pregnancy was spent in the mid-upper 6's a1c wise,& for me that was stellar good.And I kept wondering when that weight gain was going to hit(baby,not me. I had no problem packing on an extra 40 lb) & it never happened,which is why my OBGYN and peri never told me big baby diabetic horror stories and I was allowed to go to 39 weeks before scheduled induction(only my body decided 38 wk 4 days was its limit). The feeling of my OB
was if everything is going hunky dory,then the diabetes must be as well. And the feeling of the high risk perinatologist was 
that if the scans/stress tests went ok then everything is good. I was set to be induced via them,but went into labor several days early. My Endo/CDE were pretty great about adjusting things,but it's something that you just have to plunge right into before you know how it will be. Anyway, based on all the stories I'd heard I was prepared for my kid to be larger but that didn't happen,& I now know it to be from his hyperactivity(Week 15-Week 38) the child is still a very,very active bundle of energy)..I guess hyperactivity has its perks. I guess it's partly a genetic and partly a personality thing. The thing is,the human body does things we still don't understand..and why some people have a1cs of 4.8 and 10 lbs babies and others a 7.0 and a 7 lb x oz babies no one really gets. It's not all control and it's not all genetics. I think people blame diabetes far too much for everything. And while the truth of the matter is that another pregnancy could yield a totally different child(& birth weight)knowing this has solved the "why" and proved that doctors really don't know everything.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Wordless Wednesday:10 yr Journey Award

(I may or may not be slightly obsessed with it.) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Falling Back

Fall has long been my favorite season,(new tv shows,all things PUMPKIN,leaves,cool weather)& it's finally here.(the summer wasn't too bad but I'm still glad it's fall) it never seems to last long though,you blink,& it's 20 degrees F outside and though technically still fall it feels like Winter...long,long,winter. According to the forecast it's going to be just as cold and snowy as last year if not more so. Fall feels like a last chance attempt to prepare for the winter,and that means A.getting flu shots B.preparing for the inevitable sick days.

I am not a very cheerful sick person. My toddler has a better immune system then I do,because while he may get a few sniffles I get the all out immune system war (usually respiratory) and fluids just seem to ooze from every single pore & tastebuds stop working & my head feels like an anvil. Thankfully,it's just a cold this time around but I can tell you that if I were a single parent there's no way I could survive. Hubby gets home and I can crawl back into bed and stay there for the next 14 hours. Oddly,it's always my toddler who gives me these colds. I don't think the flu shot will do anything for me,I'll still end up getting the flu at some point because I am just that awesome. It protects me from my family I guess.(that is the hardest thing about being a parent IMO,the world never stops when you get sick)

Other then that,things are going ok. The NightScout project has been giving some pretty solid,stellar blood sugars(& hopefully one I can get back to when this cold passes). I don't know what it is (new device love?) but I do know it is doing awesome things for my a1c.
 I am going to join this fitness study at the local gym. And my sessions at the chiropractor are showing positive results (increased leg strength,less muscle tightness) although will need a back MRI that I am currently fighting the insurance company to pay. They don't want to do it unless I first go through X months of therapy with no improvement or have to have emergency surgery.People,I have diabetes,known high a1cs AND a messed up X-ray what's there to debate?(I would think that would be enough for them) Funny how insurance would rather pay for surgery then a diagnostic exam. So there you go.(on the plus side,since I met my deductible early in the year my chiro visits and all RX's are free for the rest of the year.)
I also joined a church(first time,ever,commentment issues here) and we promptly got a letter encouraging us to enroll J in the 2 year old class. First time went about as well as you can imagine.(20 minutes..they were like come get your kid NOW) 2nd time they cancelled it,unbeknownst to me,so it was turn around go home) It is fairly annoying that they don't have a room where special needs kids can go. At 2,my child is still comfortable in the nursery and yet they expect him to sit at a table & obey a teacher. That's really not happening,he will only sit at a table to eat food. Otherwise he loses interest quickly & runs off. They don't seem to grasp this concept,and think that he will get used to it.I know it to be a bad idea & he is really not ready..combine sensory issues with a anxious child & you have that. I want him to stay in the nursery another year,they say no way..they can work with us and he cannot go back to the nursery. I don't mind sitting with him but I know it will be ineffective and they'll probably send ME to parenting 101 class because they'll surmise that the obedience and other things are somehow my fault. I'm not saying some of it isn't,but I am saying I'm 2.5 years into this journey still trying to figure my child out and if you want to judge me come live my life for a week. I only wish I had more solid answers.(FTR,my mom,who had six kids says J is like three toddlers in one..a very high energy kid. And the state behavioral therapist says he's the most challenging kid she has ever met.)It will probably end in them saying "control your child better" and that will be that,won't be able to even attend church because of no child care. It hurts a lot,because I didn't join this church not to be able to even go to it and I am going to let people know that this is not being helpful. I am going to fight for my child to go back to the nursery if that's what he needs,I'm tired of everyone's else's kids fitting in all the right neurotypical slots and nothing being available for the other kids..where are the other kids? Do those Parents just not even come to church? I can't see how letting a child stay in the nursery awhile longer is hurting anyone.

We also went a beach..and J totally loved the water. (And sand) No fear,this kid!! It was very rocky/shellish/rough on feet so I think the next time needs to be at a whiter,smoother one even it means a longer drive.

So that's how my summer was yours?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In the Cloudz

We are not waiting.

Oh,wait. Yes we are. Because it's not quite as simple as buying a Pebble watch from Best Buy and downloading a CGM app that sends data to the,this requires some pretty major programming skillz. (Not to mention it isn't cheap) So,this setup, it comes in stages.
Stage 1: Go to Target. Buy cheap Android phone.(Moto G) Go to Best Buy. Buy connecting cables(micro to micro USB) Charge phone. Set up cheap phone access($9/month-Ting) Connect cables. Nothing happens. Beg on a Nightscout FB group for help. Get basic service after trouble shooting. (Data shows up on other devices in raw form.) New version comes out. Setup stops working. Now setup involves 3 more websites and hours more time. Do not have time or energy for that.
Step 2: Hire babysitter. Take devices...charge.
New Pebble watch: charged
Dexcom: charged,data present
iPhone: charged
Moto G phone: charged
Set up Azure, GitHub accounts. Root data to Moto G phone. Yell at computer,spend hours going back and forth between GitHub and Azure trying to get data to work. Finally works. Tweak some stuff,set up to Pebble. Download Pebble screen.Feel proud of self that finally works on any device until you see that new version has once again come out.(Do not have time to fool with that presently. Hope nice programming person can do it for me,post in "please help me" sub thread NightScout forum) And there you go. Not easy or simple,but is it worth it? I think so,having data on the wrist is a motivator for me to be more involved with my D-care. Drawbacks: you have to keep 4 devices charged for this to work,and the MotoG drains like nobody's business.(lasts about 18 hr on full charge) And you have to cart around a phone-CGM setup,which can be incredibly bulky. Your Pebble is kind of married to the iPhone,which is why that has to stay on(although you can see it on any other phone..this is the most convenient way for a parent/SO to see the data.) Although it could be seen on an Android 
smart watch,if that even exists.

I believe in this technology,but yes,it has a long way to go. But the fact that it's here is incredibly exciting.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Hoarder

Q: What's the difference between a bad hoarder and a good hoarder?

A: There's a difference?

All joking aside, the difference between a good hoarder and a bad hoarder is that the bad hoarders stop giving a darn and let the entropy take over. Much like diabetes management, this turns out to be a disaster. Anyway,in the eyes of the world, hoarding is a horribly slovenly,disgusting thing and I'm not contesting that it can be just that you have to have lots of energy to hoard. But post a picture like this:


Of your nicely organized, excessive amounts of diabetes supplies and people respect you for being all set for the Acopalypse or anything else that can come your way. Not "you have too many supplies to use and you really should be giving it to someone else." Here's what I think: hoarding supplies is not a bad thing,unless you hoard so much that your stuff goes out of date and you have to pitch it. If you have a generous insurance,absolutely take advantage of that, and if you want to help someone else out that is completely your call. No one should make you feel guilty for that decision, though. I personally would rather someone else can use it if I cannot. So yes, I am a hoarder,diabetes supplies included. (Made worse by a serious couponing addiction.) The only thing bad about it is lack of order,which can happen quickly,& which will be a life long struggle against. I certainly don't want to live in a nasty germ infested house. If you come to this house, you will see diabetes stuffs and baby stuffs and diet coke/juice stuffs in excessive quantities because that's how I roll. (My dream is to live in a self-sufficient farm somewhere with a generator and several deep chest freezers and have the time to garden,can,& all of that. Which I don't,right now.)

So yes, I am a hoarder,and yes,the basement is the disaster area(not to the point of rotting things,mainly a disorganized thing) in our house..but that's why yard sales were invented,to periodically plunge the madness. We all have our "things."

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