Thursday, December 6, 2012

Meter Rant

Hello everyone, I want to give fair warning this is not about living with the disease though it is about living with the disease. I want to vent or rant or whatever you want to call it today. For the last three years I have been on the Animas® One Touch® Ping® as my insulin pump. I have heard many people speak badly about it and others speak good; though my personal experience has been great with it. Here is the rant, my wonderful insurance company has decided to no longer support the One Touch® Meter and test strips, but they are still supporting the pump. This is just great the meter that syncs with my pump directly for dosing communication is no longer supported, let’s just rip the pump away and put me back on shots it would be less complicated than what I am going to have to do now. As if the bag I have to take with me with emergency supplies is not large enough with all the glucose tabs, dextrose pens, spare insets, spare cartridges, extra bottle of insulin, site dressings and a whole host of other things; I now must carry two Glucose meters. The first is this new brand that has been jammed down my throat by the insurance company; the second is my One Touch®. Now if I wanted to spend over $200 a month buying my own test strips I can very well keep using my current meter, but as hard as times are I am lucky to pay gas at times let alone $200 in test strips.

So now I have the new meter that I take my glucose level on, then I have to pull out my old meter and use it. This meter monitors how much “insulin on board” I currently have, for those who do not know “insulin on board” is just a way of saying the amount of insulin that is left in my body since my last bolus dose combined with my normal hourly dose. Each hourly dose is distributed a micro dose every three minutes to equal my actual hourly dose. I enter the amount of carbs I am about to eat, then enter the glucose level from the other meter, then the One Touch® tells me how much I am to bolus dose to keep my insulin in line with my carbs and current glucose level. Then here is what I love the meter communicates with the pump via wireless communication and transmits all the entered information, then actually delivers the correct dosage. I do not touch the pump it stays in my pocket. I want these insurance people to live on what they allow for us as diabetics, we are sort of the outcast of society since we are the biggest insurance cost according to insurance companies. I guess that means we do not deserve the right treatment. Sorry rant over.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


“Riff-raff, street rat, I don’t buy that. If only they’d look closer. Would they see a poor boy? No siree they’d find there’s so much more to me“ (Rice, 1992).

Have you ever felt this way? What if we change the lyrics a little? Overweight, lazy, I don’t buy that. If only they’d look closer. Would they see a Diabetic? No siree they’d find out there’s so much more to me. You can insert any disease or affliction you have into those lyrics, are we truly what our issues make us? Sitting at your house sulking over whatever ails you will never get you far in life. Does our life have a chance of being more, yes it does!

We get up every day to face a world that seems to never understand our issues. We take that first step off the bed and have that instant sensation of pain shoot from the bottom of your foot to the top of your head, the cringe that follows, and the possible muscle spasm all from stepping on something… no all from just stepping. We do not have to step on something to have pain it is just there day in day out, it wakes us in our sleep and sometimes (a lot for me) prevents us from sleeping altogether.

I got into a debate this evening with someone over pain levels as they stated I seem to be in a lot more pain lately. This is sadly true, it has been discovered that the Gabapentin that was dulling the pain of the Neuropathy was making my Diabetes worse at the same time. On the medication I averaged a 360 mg/dl (20 mmol/l) off the medication I am averaging a 135 mg/dl (7.5 mmol/l). The problem is I now bottom out into a hypoglycemic state daily. So on the meds I have a high BG and low pain, off the meds low BG but HIGH pain so which life is better.

Back in January I stated I was going to take a break due to everything and I needed to really find myself again. I have come to a point where I know the Neuropathy and the Diabetes are out to end me, but I will not back down and let it win. I must fight because I have too much in this world worth being around for to just give up. Where do you see yourself in your daily battle with this disease?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Update on life thus far.

It has been a long time since my last posting to the blog. I have been up and down many shaky roads in this time period. My diabetes has developed into more of a pain in my side than I think it is worth, however I am still not letting it defeat me. My blackouts have officially been diagnosed as a seizure disorder. I have learned all new forms of humility over this last summer, I thought I knew what humiliation was all about last year as I twitched and convulsed from the Neuropathy in the middle of Kmart. Just about a month ago I went to the grocery store with my mother; since I am no longer able to drive I try to get out whenever someone is willing to take me somewhere.  Well in the middle of the store I started to smell ammonia around me; I have come to know this as an aura preceding a seizure. I made it to a bench in the back of the store just about the time I sat down the seizure started. 

Now I have also learned I have two types of seizures, the first and most serious is “cranial seizures” where I just pass out cold to the world. The other all my muscles seize in a large contraction, not convulsive like a grand maul but constrictive where I tense up so bad I cannot move. Ok with the description aside let’s go back to my local grocery store.

I sat there on the bench frozen in a constrictive seizure. I could see everyone pass me and could not ask for help. I sat there almost catatonic watching everyone pass by while my cell phone was ringing off the hook, my mother was trying to find me in the store as she was up front looking for me. I was trapped, seeing the people, wanting to scream to get their attention and yet wanting to cry because of the humiliation. No one ever stopped to see if I was ok, not a customer or an employee, so I sat all to myself locked in my own head.

So when I say I am tired of my disease and humiliation, I hope you understand.  I am not giving up the fight I am however taking a temporary pause.

The loss of my own dignity, the humiliation, and society’s general lack of knowledge on the subject has caused me to change my Degree focus for my Bachelors. As of today I started my Bachelors of Science in Human services and Management, this will allow me to become a healthcare social worker. Someone who can listen to a patient and really understand where they are coming from; not nod their head and say it is all in your mind.  I have to stop here or I will go off on a tangent.