Monthly Archives: May 2016

Call it Magic

I can never say enough about how grateful I am for the Dexcom Share technology, which is a direct result of the Nightscout developers and the #WeAreNotWaiting movement. They made wizardry with diabetes supplies and pressured companies to make data more accessible. I don’t know how they did it, other than some kind of tech magic. 


I had an engagement session today and I watched my blood sugar on my Pebble watch throughout it. Nothing major happened at this shoot. My life wasn’t in danger due to a rapidly rising or falling blood sugar. 


However, simply HAVING the technology and KNOWING that I was fine the entire time? It’s so beyond the thanks I could ever say. The peace of mind is truly priceless, because when I’m not distracted by wondering what my BG is, I’m able to give 150% of myself into what I’m doing. And that’s when the magic happens. 

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Filed under CGM, LeWayne Productions, Photography

#DBlogWeek: They Don’t Care About You

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Check out my other #DBlogWeek posts here. Learn more about #DBlogWeek here.

Today is my fourth post for #DBlogWeek. Here’s today’s topic!

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’ve discussed the insane cost of my supplies here, and I’ve also written about how Obamacare saved my life. However, I’ve mentioned a little more quietly that I was hoarding supplies all last year.

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So here’s what I’ve discovered in my short time of being type 1 and dealing with lame adult things like insurance companies.

  1. Know what your deductible is and how long it will take you to meet it. Sometimes this can take a little estimating, but it’s worth figuring up if your work/insurance offers more than one deductible level like mine does. I went for the higher premium/lower deductible plan this year because I am able to hit a $1000 deductible in 2 months time – and that made the overall year’s cost lower than the seemingly cheaper $1500 deductible plan.
  2. Never stop hounding. Your supply company is at your mercy, not the other way around. If you know it’s authorized, or you’re supposed to have your shipment on a certain day and it isn’t there (AHEM, Solara), hound them. Email them every day. Call them twice a day. Ask for supervisors. This is your LIFE on the line – and you are your own biggest advocate. They don’t care about you, so you have to do everything in your power to get what you need.
  3. Know and accept that you may have to choose a job based on insurance. This is a reality we have to face. The state of American healthcare today means that we have to do whatever we can to have the best opportunity at survival – which means never ruling out the fact that your company may change their insurance to something completely terrible (as my husband’s did this last year) and you may need to look for a new job with better insurance. Dear America, please stop sucking and revolutionize healthcare a la Australia or Canada, please!
  4. If your medical care team isn’t working for you – switch! My initial misdiagnosis led me to seek other options for care, and that ended up being in my best interest. I found a doctor who trusts my judgment and listens to what I want, and we work together to find the best treatments for me. I can’t say enough about him and I wish everyone had a doctor as great as mine!

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I hope this helps someone in some way!

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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#DBlogWeek: Please Don’t Say…

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Check out my other #DBlogWeek posts here. Learn more about #DBlogWeek here.

Today is day three of #DBlogWeek! Here’s today’s topic:

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.

Am I a person with diabetes? Am I a diabetic? There are a whole bunch of articles discussing the differences, what is proper, etc.

Here’s my take: I don’t care if I’m described as a person with diabetes or as a diabetic. But that’s because I have bigger fish to fry.

do care when people say I’m “suffering from diabetes.”

Yes, I have a chronic, as-of-yet incurable autoimmune disease. But is this the face of someone who is suffering?

No. No, it isn’t.

So please, be mindful of your wording when it comes to that. I am not suffering, so please don’t say I am! 🙂

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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Filed under #DBlogWeek, Support system

#DBlogWeek: Over-Teched

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Check out my other #DBlogWeek posts here. Learn more about #DBlogWeek here.

Today’s #DBlogWeek topic is:

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?

This is so timely for me because I just took a couple short technology breaks last week. One was because my husband and best friend both took me to the Prom!

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Okay, so it was an adult Prom, but Allen and I were not allowed to attend Prom in high school, so we went the full 9 yards and got flowers and everything.

And although I’m sure I could have stuffed my pump somewhere, or even gotten a dress with pockets, I decided I wanted to be free for a night of fun with my husband and friend so I switched to MDI for the evening. I did keep my Dexcom on though.

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Then later in the week, I decided I wanted to be free from my pump again, since I had to pull my Dexcom sensor anyway because after almost 4 weeks, it was starting to get pretty wonky. So I took a couple days and went back to old fashioned MDI.

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“So why did you switch back to pens?”, asked a girl on Instagram. While technology is great and I am hopelessly addicted to my cell phone, I do get overwhelmed sometimes. I get frustrated that it’s time to change my site (AGAIN!?!), I get annoyed with the incessant beeping and vibrating of the pump and CGM, and I get tired of having all the things all over my body.

Sometimes I just want to be ABBY, not ABBY+TECH.

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It’s something that [probably] doesn’t make sense to those of you who don’t deal with a medical device attached to your body, keeping you alive, 24/7/365, but to those who go through this like I do, I’m sure I’m not alone. Diabetes burnout is real, and so is technology burnout. For me, occasional tech breaks help me avoid both of these burnouts.

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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#DBlogWeek: Shout from the Rooftops

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#DBlogWeek is this AMAZING Diabetic Online Community event where for one week, all us bloggers have a broad topic given to us for each day and we all tackle it in our own way. It’s hosted by Karen over at Bitter~Sweet and this is year 7 of the event!

The first topic for the week is as follows:

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.)

So why am I here? If you’ve just started following, I was diagnosed at a PM Care facility with diabetes on July 10, 2012. Unfortunately, I was misdiagnosed as type 2 for five long months before being reclassified as type 1 in December 2012. I was 22, married and fresh out of college at diagnosis, and have no family history of type 1 diabetes.

I’m not a typical diabetes case, which is why I was misdiagnosed. I’ve always been on the thin side, and at 22, I was seen as “too old” to have type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common misconception, and too often with fatal consequences. I am thankful every day that I am alive.

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(This photo is from the day I was diagnosed)

Unfortunately, children are misdiagnosed as well, and I’m tired of seeing obituaries for children who have been lost to this disease. It’s hard enough to stay alive when your body is trying to kill you from the inside out 24/7, and the insurance companies are trying to make it impossible for you to afford to survive. So I advocate in the only way I know how: never shutting up.

I won’t stop telling my story. I won’t stop tweeting politicians to support important legislature, I won’t stop blogging about the truth even when it’s SO hard to write, I won’t stop connecting with any and every diabetic I meet, I won’t stop sharing the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes, all because I don’t want to attend any more funerals.

So this is the most important diabetes awareness message to me: simply be aware. It can – and does – happen to absolutely anyone. But we keep going, holding out to see a cure someday.

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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Filed under #DBlogWeek, about me

When the Only Choice is No Choice

UnitedHealthcare reached an agreement with Medtronic to become the preferred, in-network durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps, effective July 1, 2016. (Source)

Even if you and your doctor decide a different company’s insulin pump is right for you, you won’t be able to get it through UnitedHealthcare unless you pay out of pocket for it, because their preferred company is now Medtronic. This is kind of like how the insurance companies currently dictate the brand of meters and test strips you’re able to get.

And it’s bad news bears for those with T1D and UnitedHealthcare. 

When an insurance company dictates my therapy, they’re possibly inhibiting my quality of life. If I have to be attached to a medical device 24/7 for 4 years, I want it to be 1) something I like and 2) something that works for me. And my diabetes is not the same as others’ diabetes, and pumps are not one-size-fits-all. 

I appreciate Tandem immediately issuing a statement. Their CEO is quoted in the image below, and I couldn’t agree more. 


If this is the new direction medical insurance and healthcare is going, then it’s going to get really, REALLY bad for us. It’s not like I can very easily (if at all) choose a different insurance provider that works with the pump company I prefer! 

So what do we do?

Well, I’m making as much noise as possible on social media. And a lot of others are too. I’m tweeting with the hashtags #mypumpmychoice and #patientsoverprofits and tagging UnitedHealthcare in those tweets. I’m sending information on this change to every diabetic I know so they can make noise too. 


It may be a dull roar right now, but this is very quickly blowing up. I’m hoping for a firestorm, and for UHC to realize how asinine, degrading, and greedy their new policy is. 

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Filed under Insurance, publicity