Tag Archives: dexcom

#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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I never realized I’d have to give insulin for…

Cold medicine! 

I’ve been sick for like, forever. (Okay, I’m exaggerating. Realistically, it’s been a week and a half. But that feels like forever!) And it seems like no matter how much Robitussin and Sudafed I take, I’ve yet to really start feeling better. 

Luckily, my blood sugar levels have been very normal throughout the entire sickness (which usually isn’t the case!). Instead I’ve faced a new quirk in diabetes-land: most cold medicines contain things like high fructose corn syrup, which is in other words, sugar! And I’ve seen noticeable blood sugar changes after having a dose of medicine. 


The black line above my graph shows my blood sugar before taking my nightly dose of Robitussin. The blue line is the peak of the increase after taking it, when I finally bolused for the rise. 

All is well now that I know this medicine causes a rise in my blood sugar, and I’ll be paying closer attention to the ingredient listings in the future!

Fellow diabetics, what is something you never even thought to give yourself insulin for?

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Potluck Day

I stumbled into work at 7:08 this morning, still half asleep. I’m not a morning person, and getting me to go into work even earlier than my required 8am – especially on a Monday – is quite the feat. However, I needed to go in early today, so I did. And when I arrived, I quickly realized it was not going to be just another day in the office. 

Today was a potluck day. 

 Ask anyone who works in my building and they’ll tell you that we love our potlucks. And I mean LOVE them. We used to have them more than once a month, until we all realized we were gaining weight. Now we only have them for special occasions, and every once in a while we’ll have one “because we haven’t in a while.” We love our potluck days because the food is always SO good. Since quite a few of us have been working in the same office space together for several years now, we’ve all perfected our favorite dishes for potlucks. 

Of course, as a type 1, potluck days can be challenging. Especially when we usually start digging in before 8am! However, I try to just keep bolusing for each treat I have, and do my best to guess at the carb counts.   

  
Today’s potluck produced some very successful blood sugar numbers. Only over 180 for 10 minutes the entire day say what!? Unheard of! I’m pretty proud of the accomplishment. Tomorrow’s a new day and the next potluck will be yet another challenge in a never ending stream of challenges, but I feel good knowing that I can enjoy potluck days just like everyone else. 

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Confidence

So far, 2016 has been a journey of self-discovery in both my personal and professional life. One of my main points of focus in both aspects of my life has been working on my confidence. 

A lot has changed in a few short months. At work, I would be placed in a situation where I needed to make a decision that was slightly above my pay grade, but I was capable of making those decisions – I just wasn’t ever confident in actually doing it. Now that I’m having to make more and more of them, and being expected to now that I am acting as a “team captain” of sorts, I have been working on exuding confidence in my decisions and accepting critique if I make the wrong decision. So far, so good. 

 
In my personal life, it’s been somewhat similar. Allen and I were faced with an important decision to make – and we needed to be confident in our choice. The stakes were impossibly high, and the stress had pushed my heart rate and blood sugar averages both even higher. After a lot of talking and soul-searching, we made the decision to leave our church that we’ve attended for the last 10 years. 
(I have to sidebar here for a couple reasons. First, people don’t just LEAVE the church organization we were attending. Especially people who are seen as lifers – ones that will be there forever, which we were. Second, we didn’t leave on bad terms – in fact, we were given the Pastor’s blessing to leave the church and were told that we were welcome back at any time. It was incredibly amicable.)

  
However, no one really knows the full reasons behind our decision to leave, and due to that, plus the fact that nobody leaves the church, we’ve been ostracized by our peers. Being treated as if you’re dead is harder than I even imagined. Especially when it’s people you’ve grown up with for the past 10 years – people you’ve watched graduate high school (and did their senior pictures), people whose weddings you’ve attended (and even photographed), people who have spent countless hours at your house for youth nights and who you called honest-to-God friends before you made the decision to leave. 

It hurts that your supposed “friends and family” for the last decade don’t even ASK what happened – they assume they know, or just don’t even care. But, I’m confident in knowing that our true friends will be there for us as we go through this adjustment period. I’m confident that we’ll come out of this stronger, smarter and better off. I’m also confident that we made the right decision for our health, happiness, and overall life direction. And lastly, I’m confident that if people truly care about what’s going on in our lives, why we left, or want to be our friends, then they’ll come around. Otherwise, it was all fake, and we’re better off without it. 

Why am I talking about all this? Well, my Fitbit had made sure I knew that my resting heart rate was way too high, and my Dexcom made it painfully obvious that I was dealing with stress highs. In the days after we left, my blood sugar and heart rate averages both dropped dramatically. 

   
Confidence is so important, and it’s something I’ve always struggled with, but no more. I want to be the best me that I can be, in every aspect of my life.   

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Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk – Unless You’re Low

I reached a new level of low blood sugar last night – not in terms of actual mg/dl number, but in the events that transpired. 

When I went to bed last night, my blood sugar was a little high but on its way down. I woke up twice to correct for the low in the night, eating a total of three rolls of smarties. 

Then at 3am, my husband rolled over and woke me up, complaining that both my Dexcom and my Enlite cgms were alarming (because I’m running both at the moment for a future blog post). In my low and half-asleep stupor, I yelled at him that I had already eaten a bunch of smarties, before I finally rolled out of bed to get a glass of milk. 

I made it to the kitchen, tested my blood sugar (72) and calibrated both cgms. I grabbed the chocolate milk and began pouring it into a glass. But I started to feel weird, like I was going to pass out. I raised the glass up to my lips and immediately it fell out of my hands and spilled all over the counter, the floor, my dexcom and myself. The room was spinning. I stumbled and sat down on the floor of the kitchen and mustered up enough strength to yell for my husband. 

Allen jumped out of bed and, seeing what had happened, quickly poured me a new glass of milk. He got a towel to clean up the mess, and also grabbed his phone to snap a picture of the mess, because he knew I’d want it for my blog. 

    
Meanwhile I sat in a ball on the floor, drinking my milk and trying not to cry. I was so embarrassed that I had lost control like that, especially when I wasn’t even all that low! But every low is different and diabetes is still unpredictable. I’m just thankful that the cgm technology I am lucky enough to have did its job and woke Allen up. 

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Frankensensor! 

It’s spooky. It’s weird. It’s gross. It’s the Frankensensor!

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The Survival Guide for Being Newly Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as an Adult

Having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 22, I was thrust into a whole new world in my already established life. I was married, freshly graduated from college, working as a low-level manager at a big box store. For those first 6 months or so, I was completely on my own in this new reality. Any time I tried finding info on what to expect as a newly diagnosed adult T1, I’d only be able to find things parents had written about their newly diagnosed kids, or adult T1s who had been diagnosed as kids. There are so many things I wish I would have known, so I’ve compiled them into this list.

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A Mazda and a Maserati

The Enlite CGM system was the reason I ended up getting the Medtronic Minimed 530G as my first insulin pump in December 2013. I really liked the idea of only having to wear one device on me at all times. And the Dexcom wasn’t compatible with the pump I really wanted, the Tandem T-Slim. So I ended up trusting my endo and went with the 530G with Enlite.

A few months after receiving my pump, I heard about Nightscout for the first time. It was a Dexcom exclusive movement in the early days. I became a lurker on the CGM in the Cloud Facebook page, waiting anxiously for the day that Nightscout would work with my Enlite. And finally at the end of 2014, I was notified that Nightscout for Enlite had been born and was testing. It took me a few months to get the supplies, but eventually, I was in the Cloud with a rig of my own!

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The Day I Vowed to Never Eat Another Poptart

May it go down in history that today is the day I vow to never eat another poptart as long as I live.

It’s a common misunderstanding that diabetics can’t eat sugar. Of course we can. Sugar saves my life on a weekly basis. Without it, I could easily die from a low blood sugar. So when I choose to enjoy something high in sugar (or carbs) I must take that into account and give myself the proper amount of insulin for it.


Enter this morning’s poptart. Seemingly innocent enough. They were on sale this week at Kroger so my husband, being a poptart addict, picked up three boxes. He got this one specifically for me because it’s one of my favorites.

I woke up this morning at 6am with a BG of 106. Lately I’ve been trying to curb my dawn phenomenon with some well-timed manual boluses to head off the rise so I did one when I got to work at 7am as I was at 139 at that point. Around 8:30am, I was approaching 180, having apparently failed at avoiding the high. So I bolused for my poptart and have extra insulin to help with the dawn phenomenon induced high. And I ate the crap out of those pop tarts cause they were delicious.

Then it all went to garbage.

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