Thursday, January 31, 2013
This post is my January entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/january-dsma-blog-carnival-2/“
New Year with Diabetes: Striving for __________ in 2013!
What I'm striving for this year is not directly related to diabetes but I've been thinking about this prompt for the better part of the month and have been wanting to touch on it.
I'm striving for more positivity in my life.
Ever feel like society has forgotten its manners?
Or people in general aren't as courteous towards each other?
I've really started noticing it more and more this past year. It's as though no one has time to say "excuse me" or give a friendly wave in traffic when some one's let you into a long line. People can be so quick to argue and be rude. It's the little things that I notice. I'm a firm believer of "what goes around, comes around". I've always believed that if I treat people the way I would want to be treated, that I would get the same treatment in return. It just doesn't feel like that's the case anymore. And because I feel like few people care to be pleasant, I find myself not caring any more either. It feels like a lost cause.
I work in fairly negative work environment also but I love my job. It's the kind of job that can test your faith in humanity and it's easy to have the negativity of the world rub off on you.
I'm tired of all the negativity and I have let it get the better of me.
I want to find a way not to worry about whether some one else is having a bad day, or let their moods affect my day or life. It can be tough to stay positive and upbeat sometimes, but I'm determined to find a way. Sometimes we don't have a choice in choosing who we spend our days with, so simply avoiding negative people is not a solution. I have to find a way to make the best of it, for my own sanity.
So, like I said, this is not directly related to diabetes. But let's be honest, overall well-being can't hurt anything.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I met with my Endo today for my 4 month appointment and review. My latest A1C has come back at 6.5, which is down from 7.1 when I last saw her in late September.
Don't get too excited for me yet. I made that mistake already today. Looks fantastic on paper, I know. But like everything else related to diabetes, everything isn't always as it seems.
At first I was ecstatic to see this number as I had been having a bit of a roller coaster ride for the first 2 months since my last appointment. You may remember me saying here that I was having a lot of high blood sugars between meals and after fasting overnight. I hoped that physical activity might keep these highs in line, but I ended up having to increase my basal insulin. I was given instructions to tweak it bit by bit until I fell within range again. I was previously taking 10 units a day and am now up to 25 units. Apparently this is too much too fast and I got a little trigger happy with my insulin pen. Although it has resolved my between meal highs, I am now running a little too low in other areas. My typical morning bg is around 4.7 - 5.0 or so. At first I knew that for me that may not be a comfortable number as it was a little on the low side, but then I just got used to seeing it and feeling ok so I stuck with it in hopes that I would be able to achieve an A1C under 7.
There I go with striving for a specific number again, rather than doing what is safer for me. So much focus on diabetes control and management is based on that damn A1C. Sometimes I think it would be best to never know what I'm at. I'm a perfectionist so I get a number in my head and do whatever I can to reach that number, even if it means living a little on the edge.
My endo and I have decided that I need to scale back on the basal insulin for the next bit and she is going to review my numbers in about a week and see how I'm doing. I'm dropping down to 20 units and will monitor my pre and post meal bg's.
I'm hoping this trial and error period is relatively short this time around because I love feeling like "I got this!" even though I know diabetes always seems to crush that feeling eventually.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Cherise over at the DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) suggested the DOC get to know each other a little bit better. She posted 48 questions to answer and to blog about. I love doing stuff like this and had also been wanting to include more stuff about me, that doesn't always include diabetes.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
No, but my middle name is named after my Mom.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Last Thursday night.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Ugh. No. I'm blaming it on the fact that I'm left handed though. People say left handed people have messier writing.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Does a cat count??
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I would hope so! I can be hard to get to know at first, but I would give the shirt off my back.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yes! I love sarcasm!!
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes, but I wish they were gone. They often cause troubles.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
My life would have to depend on it. And even then I would have a hard time going through with it. I am getting more and more afraid of heights as I get older.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Depends on the situation. I can be a softy.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Chocolate chip cookie dough.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
15. RED OR PINK?
Pink. I'm not a girly girl though. I just prefer it over red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
The technique involved in baking something edible for once.
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm not wearing shoes. I'm wearing cozy white sport ankle socks.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Salad with chicken and avocado. Yup, I'm a rebel!!
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The hum of the refrigerator. And also the squeaking of snow under car tires outside; it's a frigid one here today.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Fresh baked bread or clean laundry.
24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
Not overly important. I care about politics but I don't follow it very closely.
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Hockey (Go Jets Go!!) and baseball.
27. HAIR COLOR?
Just changed it from blonde to red today!! :)
28. EYE COLOR?
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Promised Land. It was ok.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
A white cozy zip up fleece.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
I'm not a huge dessert eater. I like chocolate cake though.
36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
TV, but my computer is very slowly becoming my BFF.
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
I don't have a mouse pad.
40. FAVORITE SOUND?
Soft rain falling outside. Especially at night.
41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
90's music. Is that a genre?
42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I am ridiculously good at never forgetting a face. Sometimes it creeps people out at how well I am able to remember who they are and how I/we know them. Don't ask me their name though!
44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
I was born in Lahr, Germany. I'm an army brat.
45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada.
46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
It's an apartment and its white.
47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
I thought this would take longer, but it's been fun! Look forward to reading other peoples!!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
This isn't the first time and it definitely won't be the last time I vent my frustration about how expensive diabetes supplies are. Grab a coffee or a snack because this is a long rant....
On Friday, I headed to the pharmacy to stock up on some supplies I was running short on. My test strips were also on sale so I wanted to take advantage and get a little extra while they were a smidge cheaper.
This is what I bought:
- 200 iBGStar test strips
- One month supply of my Hypertension meds
- 5 penfill vials of Novorapid insulin
- 5 pre-filled pens of Lantus
For a grand total of.....drum roll please....
Being that it's finally a new year, my benefits are back into full swing - for now anyway. I have horrible benefits through my employer. I run out of coverage about half way through the year. So of the above mentioned bill, $97 of it I get no reimbursement whatsoever as my Lantus is not covered by my benefits or by our provincial Pharmacare plan. The only way it will be covered is if I have night time lows on NPH which I decided was best not to mess around with especially working shift work. That leaves $238 of which I will get 80% back, so this trip to the pharmacy is really costing me $145.
The test strips will last a little over a month; the hypertension meds are only for a month, the Novorapid tends to last me 2 months depending on how I'm eating and the Lantus only lasts 2 months. Right now that is working out to $70 a month on average for my supplies but when my benefits eventually run out it will be a lovely $170-$200 a month. Ugh.
At this point, I want to say that despite all this, I am grateful that I have benefits at all and even more grateful that I live in Canada where I pay for very little when it comes to getting medical care. I just don't understand how the average person affords this disease. I have a good job and make good money. I also work for the government which you would think would have a much better benefit plan than what it does. $1000 cap off per year for prescription drugs is peanuts when you have a chronic disease, but at least I have a benefits package. Sadly, many people do not. Last year I spent $2500 from February to December. But how does someone working an average paying job cover the costs of managing their diabetes? How can they afford not to?
Proper management of diabetes can reduce the risk of all kinds of complications that further add to the cost of a persons medical bills as well as the cost to the Canadian health care system. Therefore, it would make sense that the Canadian Government and the Manitoba Government provide more assistance to Canadians living with this disease as it is cheaper to assist someone with maintaining proper diabetes management rather than having to pay to treat the complications that will result from not managing it well.
I pulled some information from the Canadian Diabetes Association website:
"Compared to people without diabetes, people with diabetes were hospitalized at higher rates for:
- Heart attack
- Chronic kidney disease
- Lower limb amputations.
The strain on outpatient resources or in the primary care setting in Canada means that adults with diabetes have 2 times more visits to their family doctor and specialist for:
• Anxiety • Depression
• Retinopathy • Obesity • Neuropathy • Erectile dysfunction • Foot ulcers
Assuming that the costs of treating diabetes remain constant between 2000 to 2020, the direct costs of the disease, including direct treatment costs, and incremental costs of treating secondary complications associated with diabetes will rise from $1.1 billion annually (already 3.5% of public spending on healthcare) to $3.1 billion by 2020 "These numbers should be a wake up call for our Government. Manitoba has one of the highest rates of diabetes per capita and yet we only just received a juvenile insulin pump program in our province last year. Still no word on an adult insulin pump program. I'm still crossing my fingers because without a program like this, I would most likely not be able to afford to switch to a pump.
I want to be clear, I am not posting about this to make you feel sorry for me. I'm posting because sometimes I need to vent about this kind of thing and I also feel it's important to spread awareness about this issue.
At the end of the day, I can't afford not to spend whatever money is necessary to keep myself as healthy as possible.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Well, 2013 is upon us and, like most people, this is a time that I like to reflect on the year prior, and ponder my plans for the following year.
2012 turned out to be a bigger year than I could have imagined.
In February, I received news that I was now going to be a Type 1 diabetic. Whether I liked it or not, this was going to consume a good majority of the year. I remained optimistic and still do. There were good days and bad days, which will undoubtedly continue for the rest of my life. This diagnosis led to the creation of this blog, which had been something I had wanted to do for the better part of my 20's. In the beginning, blogging was going to be a way to deal with my thoughts and feelings relating to diabetes. It was a way to get things off my chest. I had no idea at the time that it was going to introduce me to the world of the DOC (Diabetes Online Community). I have since started following several blogs by other PWD and gotten to know them via facebook, twitter and email. I realise it can kind of sound like online dating, but when it comes to the challenges that diabetes brings, these people get it and get what I'm dealing with. They live it everyday just like I do. And most of them have been at it for a very long time, so for someone newly diagnosed their knowledge is invaluable to me! Thanks DOC!
Other than learning about diabetes, my year was pretty typical. I did however take a trip to South East Asia for a month which was a trip I had been wanting to take for many years. The boyfriend and I took our usual trips to Thunder Bay, ON to visit family and to Vegas for some time away from it all!
2013 will likely be a big year as well. There are plans in the works to finally purchase our very own home which will be a welcome change for us. Other than that, my year looks pretty quiet.
But we all know that sometimes life has other plans for us!