The Cost of Good Health

I am thankful every-single-day that I have good insurance (through my husband’s work.) But it still makes my jaw drop when I see the breakdown of what just 3 months worth of test strips, lancets, and insulin pump supplies cost:

SuppliesCostPic

That does not include insulin itself, or my CGM sensors, which I’m sure would add on more crazy $$. Suffice it to say, I feel confident that without insurance, I would be paying around $1,000- $2,000 per month for all of the prescriptions and supplies I need just to stay alive. Now, could I stay alive using only insulin and syringes, and not using all the fancy technology? Sure. But you’d better believe my *quality* of life would not be the same. Having my insulin pump and CGM have helped me really rein in my blood sugars, which we all know helps keep our bodies from getting worn out so soon from so many highs and lows all over the place. Am I perfect in my blood sugar management? Heck no. But with these tools, I’ve come a long way from when I was on Regular and NPH injections when I was first diagnosed in 1994. My A1Cs were never below 9 until I went on the insulin pump. Ever since, they have been 7 or below, and for several years now, hovering under 6.5. I’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible, and hope and pray I have good insurance and can afford all of my diabetes prescriptions and supplies for the rest of my life (or until they find a cure, right??)

Insulin = LIFE for Valentine’s Day

http://www.p4dc.com/spare-a-rose/Considering the amount of sweets and candy whirling around the Valentine holiday, you have to know that insulin equals life for ALL of us – without it, glucose would just stir around in our blood stream, wreaking havoc on our bodily systems, making us feel like crap, and would (over time) lead to death. Thankfully, we have access to insulin here in the US, and those who need it can (usually) get it.

But in other countries around the world, people are DYING because they don’t have access to insulin, and children are some of the heaviest hit with need. The IDF is once again raising awareness of this need through their Spare a Rose, Save a Child effort. Through this program, just $5 – the cost of 1 rose for Valentine’s Day – can provide insulin or blood glucose test strips for 1 month for a child in need. The cost of a dozen roses – $60 – can provide insulin or test strips for a child for an entire YEAR. Life. For a year. An amazing gift.

I asked my husband to NOT give me any roses or flowers this year – I would rather that money go to help another person in this world LIVE with diabetes. I am grateful and thankful for the life I have been given, and have plenty of insulin for myself, so the least I can do is give some to others who are not so fortunate. In lieu of giving my daughter’s preschool teachers a gift for Valentine’s Day, I’m going to give them a note that tells them about the program, and how our family has donated and spared at least 20 roses so that we could help 20 children in their honor.

I hope my friends and family will do the same! Donate today at: http://www.p4dc.com/spare-a-rose/give/ 

http://www.p4dc.com/spare-a-rose/faq/

Change the World…because We Are the World (of diabetes) #DBlogWeek

I’m keeping today’s first Diabetes Blog Week post pretty short and sweet, since I recently posted about CGM coverage for Medicare patients (or rather, the lack thereof) and that is one big top-of-mind issue that gets me riled up, and makes me spin on my head when people don’t understand how life-changing and life-saving a CGM can be for a person.

The second thing that I continue to feel is really important in diabetes circles is *talking about it.* Talking about what works for us in diabetes care/management. Talking about what doesn’t work. Giving tips, tricks, suggestions.

Sure….the majority of us are NOT medical professionals, but we have become professionals at staying alive with this crazy disease. It’s so nice to talk to others about it, commiserate, get that feeling of camaraderie from one another. (Which is why I signed up lickety-split for the Diabetes UnConference in Vegas for March 12-15 next year! I. Can’t. Wait!!!)

One thing that gets to me, and tends to make me shy away for a bit from the DOC as a whole is when a rift happens, and  people get defensive or hurt or offended at our multitude of differing opinions on various things – like posting their A1c numbers or BG goals, using a pump/not using a pump, using a CGM/not using a CGM, or using whichever pump or CGM, or whatever-in-the-world-it-is-that-is-different with regards to our personal diabetes management strategies. I think we in the DOC are, as a general rule, a “helpful” lot of people. We can all have dramatically different opinions about the same things that affect us all because of that multitude of common, yet variable, experiences. At the end of the day, we all are individuals trying to save ourselves or our loved ones, and if we’ve learned nothing from diabetes, the one thing we HAVE learned is Your Diabetes May Vary. Let’s all continue to support each other, and lay off on the attacks. We ARE the world we know in the Diabetes Online Community….we are the ones to make a brighter day, so let’s keep advocating, together 🙂

(gosh, that song always makes me want to stand up and sing at the top of my lungs – so much awesome!)

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Diabetes Awareness Month Photo-a-Day 14 – World Diabetes Day

I missed it.
I completely failed to participate in this year’s World Diabetes Day. I’m even writing this post the day after it occurred. Why, you may ask?

Because, completely un-diabetes-related, I was sick. Woke up yesterday morning feeling a bit queasy. Drank 2 sips of water from the bottle I always keep beside my bed. Promptly ran to the bathroom and expunged all the contents of my stomach from (what felt like, considering the volume) the last 3 days.

Bleck.

Closest thing to a “blue circle of diabetes awareness” that I could experience for the day.

The remainder of the day was kind of a blur. It involved a lot of restless sleeping, nausea, fever, chills, body aches, crazy thirst….but any time I even took just a taste of water, here it came back up, along with other various liquid friends that were hanging out with it in my digestive system. At one point, late afternoon, I got brave and ate 1 small goldfish cracker. Thought I was safe for about 10-15 minutes until I tried washing it down with a swig of water. Bad idea.

Shocker of the year, despite dehydration and practically no food, my blood sugars were in fabulous range all day long. I never took a bolus of insulin, just let my regular basal rate run all day. Started out in the 100s early in the day, eventually got down into the 70s by late afternoon (this was actually after the heaver caused by the goldfish cracker & water), but then wound itself back up into the 130 range by the time I went to bed. Around 2am I woke up with a raging headache. (Caused by dehydration? Caffeine/coffee withdrawal? This stupid virus? All three?) I HAD to take some kind of pain reliever for it, but didn’t want to do so on an empty stomach. I felt so-so at this point,  made the executive decision to heat up some chicken noodle soup, sipped on the broth and ate a fair amount of noodles. Took Aleve (since anything acetaminophen-based wrecks the Dexcom CGM numbers.) Waited. It all stayed down, and I gratefully went back to a still-restless sleep.

Woke up this morning feeling like a new woman. Coffee smelled good again. The eggs and corned-beef hash that my husband made for me tasted like a gourmet meal. I drank 40 ounces of water before lunchtime, and it was delicious.  I survived the 24-hour-puke-your-guts-out-virus! Now, let’s just hope the rest of my family and friends don’t get it -there are some things I do NOT wish to share.  Happy Belated World Diabetes Day, ya’ll!!!