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Omron BP 786 Blood Pressure Monitor Review

2015 May 22
omron1d

About 6 months ago, I received an email about doing a review of an Omron Blood Pressure monitor, and I agreed to use the product and write a review on it. Full disclosure here.

Like many of the products that I have been sent, it took me a while to get to (I am doing a weekly product review now, so time has freed up a bit). The day that I finally decided to open it, was out of necessity than anything else.

The night before, I was laying in bed, and I just felt off. I felt like my heart  was racing and pumping a lot hearder than what it normally is and something just felt off. So, the next day I said, “Oh yea, I have a blood pressure monitor, let’s check the blood pressure” and bam, there was my problem. My blood pressure was about 146/97. Whoa.

First thing I did was email my doctor (yes, email because she responds back pretty quickly). She told me to check it again in a couple of hours and if it didn’t come down then she wanted me to come in to the office.

Well, by the end of the day, I was started  on blood pressure medication. Started on Lisinopril, but have since changed to Lossarten.

So, with that back story , I can now get to the review of the product, because it really did help me a lot because without it, I probably wouldn’t have cheked my blood presure anywhere else or called a doctor, I would have just waited until the next appointment.

The exact model of the monitor is the Omron BP786 Blood Pressure Monitor

The set up of the blood pressure monitor was pretty easy to do with the instructions included. It basically came with two main parts, the monitor and the arm band sensor. Setting the monitor up was also pretty easy. The arm piece connects to the actual monitor itself on the side.

Once the monitor is plugged in (also can use 4 AA batteries) and turned on the arm cuff will begin to tighten on you. This process lasts for approximately 30-60 seconds. Once it releases, the screen shows a countdown for 60 seconds which is when the next reading is going to begin. The monitor takes 3 separate readings in order to provide the most accurate results.

omron2dAfter the 3rd reading, the monitor display will show you the SYS / DIA (mmHg) as well as your Pulse/min.

There are arrows that also allow you to backtrack and take a look at your previous testing results. This was helpful for me because sometimes I would forgoet to record ythe blood pressure results the previous time (sort of like my lack of BG logging).

This particular model also comes with a second person option. Meaning you can flip the switch on the bottom of the monitor to track results for a second person so that your data stays yours, and their data stays theirs.

Overall, I am extremely happy with this blood pressure monitor and would definitely recommend it to others. I have seen this monitor in Walmart and Target before, but I’ve also included a link to Amazon.

Medtronic Announces Asante Support Program

2015 May 21

Medtronic has announced its Asante Support Program.

Medtronic is offering Asante customers a re-certified MiniMed 530G insulin pump for $1,200, which can potentially reduce to $0 by doing things like taking surveys and uploading to CareLink.

If someone is interested in gaining the value of an integrated system and Threshold Suspend, then the CGM Starter Kit is separate. The out-of-pocket costs for CGM’s vary by insurance plan.

Asante customers can find more information here:

https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/campaigns/Agppc.20150518/

 

UHC Approving Medtronic Minimed 530G

2015 May 18

Two weeks ago I posted about the whole denial and approval process of my Minimed 530G system and was asked by Mike Hoskins if this is typical for all insurers or just UHC? I do not have information about the other insurers, but I was told by Medtronic that UHC is now approving requests for the Minimed 530G with Enlite.

Here is a statement from Medtronic:

“There was a period of time where UHC was not covering MiniMed 530G with Enlite. However, this has recently changed. If you know anyone in the community who experienced similar coverage issues with UHC, feel free to let them know UHC is now approving MiniMed 530G for people who meet their criteria.”

So, if you have been denied before with UHC, please reach out again and see if your luck has changed.

Dlog Week – Cleaning Out My Closet

2015 May 13
dblog-week-2015

As a big Eminem fan (I don’t listen to rap anymore because today’s rap is whack!), the first thing that came to my mind was his song, Cleanin Out My Closet, but then I thought about how this subject relates to me in a diabetes way. I wish I could share an image with you right now, but unfortunately, I can’t because even after 3 months, I’m still not fully unpacked.

When I was packing back in January to move to my first house, I found a lot of diabetes supplies and products around the house. I started to throw them all into a box, but then that box turned into two, which by the end was a total of 5 boxes. These are all now hanging out in my garage just waiting to be unpacked.

What is all contained in these boxes do you ask?

Old meters that I either had as a demo or received from my doctor that I no longer use. I counted about 20-25 different meters sitting in the box, but I do not have strips for any of them, which is why they are sitting there.

There are a lot of different cookbooks in there because it seems like everyday I am getting an email from another PR rep about a new amazing cookbook that is going to change the lives of us living with diabetes.

There are a bunch of other random products that have been sent to me that were to be reviewed that I just have not gotten to.

So, since this topic came up for today’s DBlog Week prompt, I am setting a goal to go through these boxes. For the products that I need to review, I am going to review. For products that I can give away, I’m going to give away. And all the other crap, well I’m going to hang onto it because I love seeing diabetes technology from the 70’s-80’s, so I know that all this “hi-tech” stuff that we have now is going to be nothing since the future is filled with more sensor technology and wearable technology.

I know this is something that Scott Johnson already does and I am going to join in on the fun. I will announce when these giveaways and product reviews will come.

DBlog Week-ing about Keeping it to Myself

2015 May 12
dblog-week-2015

I was never really the type of person to talk a lot about myself and my feelings (except maybe sports, I was pretty cocky when it came to that). Once I was diagnosed, I was still a little shy about my diabetes and telling people, but I got over that within a few months. The main reason was because I wanted to educate people about diabetes, so I was always willing to answer questions or talk about the disease. Obviously, once I started the blog almost 10 years ago, I’ve talked about a lot of stuff, but there are a few areas that I haven’t really shared much about.

The one topic related to diabetes that I don’t speak about much, almost zero amount of times, is – sex.

Why?

There are a couple reasons. First, my mother and I think my mother-in-law sometimes, read my blog. I just had my first child, so yes, I think everyone knows how that happened, but at the same time, this isn’t 50 Shades of Grey Diabetes.

There are a lot of specific topics in the sex realm that can be talked about, but I haven’t spent much time on it (even though I think that maybe these topics should be discussed more frequently):

  • How to deal with a low blood sugar when the mood is hitting
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Where the hell does my pump go?
  • Is it ok to disconnect during?
  • Many more topics…

I Can Own My Own Business with Type 1 Diabetes

2015 May 11
dblog-week-2015

I would never say that I am glad that I have diabetes, because no matter what, it’s still diabetes. However, I am thankful for how my life has turned out because of being diagnosed with diabetes. Before I get into the “I Can” portion of this, I want to provide a little background for that story.

After I was diagnosed, I lived back at home for about a year before deciding that I was going to go to college in south Florida near the beach. If I was never diagnosed, I would have never made this decision because I was happy where I was at. However, the diagnosis made me feel like I need to do something fun with my life and live life to the fullest, so off to south Florida I went…….and then I met Amanda, who is now my wife and the mother to my beautiful daughter.

None of this would have happened without being diagnosed. I am not a believer in “things happen for a reason” but I do know that without diabetes, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Now, for the I Can part of this. Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to own my own business, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to be my own boss. After being diagnosed and learning the ins and outs of insurance and knowing that getting insurance as a T1 was going to be nearly impossible, I thought that there was no way that I could own a business.

Well, guess what, I DO own my own business, a quite successful one at that. I DO have insurance. So you CAN own your own business with Type 1 Diabetes. 10 years ago around diagnosis, I was discouraged and didn’t think that I would be able to do this. I thought that I would have to work for someone else just so I could have healthcare coverage.

Now, not only do I know that diabetes can’t stop me from owning my own business, I owe diabetes a thank you for helping me start my own business!

My Denial and Approval Process of the Minimed 530G

2015 May 5
Medtronic Diabetes Customer Service

As some of you may know, I was offered a free trial of the Minimed 530G (Disclosure Post) and have been using it ever since. Once the trial was over, I made the decision to stay on the 530G system and the process of getting it covered by insurance was about to begin. And it was a long process.

After the first submission to UnitedHealthcare, it was denied. I received a phone call from my local Medtronic rep, as well as the marketing team at Medtronic who was working with me throughout the trial process and my endo. They all explained to me that this was a very typical response the first time around, but that they were going to submit a letter to the insurance company to get an approval the second time around.

However, the team already knew that the second claim was going to be denied as well. They explained to me that usually it takes three attempts and then after that third attempt is when it finally gets approved.

Long story short, that’s exactly how it happened.

Normally, I would have been pretty upset and irritated that every time I received a letter from UHC, it was a denial letter. But, for the fact that I already knew I would receive these denial letters, it made it a lot easier. Also, the fact that I just had to sit back and do absolutely nothing and that my healthcare team and Medtronic themselves were working for me, was pretty comforting.

After that initial denial letter, I was sent the following PDF from the Medtronic team that outline the documents needed from your healthcare professional and the appeal process and what you can do to speed up the approval process.

Download the MiniMed® 530G with Enlite® Coverage Tool Kit

Now that the process is over and the system was approved and that I have received the product in the mail is very exciting. I can’t wait to get it all set up and start using my own instead of the trial demo product.

My Decision to Use ViaCord for Cord Blood Banking

2015 May 4
viacord

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine entirely. I received a $300 discount on the one time processing fee from ViaCord in exchange for writing a post about my experience. This discount was offered after I had made my decision to bank with them.

Once Amanda and I found out that we were going to be having our first child, I was hit with a full mix of emotions. I wrote about this over at Medtronic’s Loop-Blog, so I won’t go into too much detail here about that. One of the things on my list was whether or not to do cord blood banking. I was told by a lot of type 1 parents that it is a no brainer and that they did it because you never know what the future will hold. Based on that feedback, I knew I was going to do it, but I didn’t know what company I was going to use or how I was going to do it.

I had been collecting information about all of the different companies that do cord blood banking whenever I went to any sort of doctor visit or anything baby related that had information available. As time went by, I had narrowed down my choices to just 2 different companies. A week before the due date and I still hadn’t chosen a company or made a final decision. I know, I am a huge procrastinator.

On March 18, I finally decided that I was going to call ViaCord to set up our cord blood banking. Our due date was March 23 and we had just come home from a doctor’s appointment and Amanda was less than 1 cm, so I knew that I had a few days to get the package in the mail.

Setting up the account with ViaCord was very smooth. The person I spoke with was very friendly and very easy to deal with. After setting up the account, she alerted me that they will be shipping out the collection box to me overnight and I should receive it the next day. Later in the night, I received an email with the tracking number and said it should be at my house by 8 p.m. the next day. Perfect! Plenty of time for delivery.

Then, the next day happened. Amanda woke up and she felt “different” then she had felt all through her pregnancy. And then it happened, she started to feel contractions. It was about 1 p.m. and I remembered that the ViaCord package had not been delivered by FedEx yet and I had to take the box with me to the hospital. At about 4:00 p.m. we called the OB and they instructed us to head to the hospital. As I was collecting the “Go Bag” and packing up the car, I could hear the engine of a nice Fed Ex truck coming down the street. And there it was, my ViaCord collection box just in time of going to the hospital.

Honestly, I don’t think they could have even written something like this for a movie! It arrived 10 minutes before we were leaving for the hospital.

The entire cord blood collection process was simple. Once I told the nurses we were doing it, they drew blood from Amanda first and then collected the cord blood after the delivery process happened. The doctor did all the work, and I tried to watch a bit, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of my daughter.

After that, I made a phone call to the 24 hour phone service to schedule for the package to be picked up the next morning. At about 6:45 AM, a courier picked the package up and took it off to the airport.

I received an email the next day stating that everything arrived in good condition and that it will take a couple weeks for the processing of the cord blood to take place.

After a couple of weeks, I did receive that email and stated that everything with the collection samples were good to go.

Overall, I am happy that I made the decision to do cord blood banking. There was not much effort on my end and it was something that the doctors and nurses seemed very well versed in.

Summarizing My Year in a Post

2015 April 29

So the last year of my life has been a complete whirlwind. It’s been filled with a lot of positives, some negatives, and some things just in the middle somewhere. Within that past year I found out I was having a daughter, I’ve since had my daughter (6 weeks old already!), grew my business to a whole other level that I wasn’t expecting to hit this year, and many more exciting events.

My diabetes side of things is where my life took a hit. Health wise, my A1C’s have remained stable and at a level that I am comfortable with. Not my goal levels, but am comfortable with. I have gone on blood pressure medication after a week of feeling off and having symptoms of high blood pressure. I started off using Lisinopril, but I had a cough reaction to it and had to switch.

I also added a weekly Vitamin D pill to my life, along with a daily cholesterol pill (generic Lipitor). However, I was switched to a different medication because my triglycerides are so damn high because I eat unhealthy and don’t exercise at all.

I obviously have not written much over the last year. That includes here, dLife, Medtronic, and a few other places where I provide some content here and there for. I admittedly just could not find the time to do it. When I had free time, it seemed as though this diabetes stuff ended up lower on the to-do list than I thought that it would.

After the birth of my daughter, I found myself in a position that felt similar to when I was first diagnosed. I was new to something and I did not have the answers, so I began reaching out to my brother and family members who have kids looking for advice. And then it hit me, that’s how I got involved in the diabetes community in the first place and the reason that I continued to blog was because if I could just help one person who had an issue or a question with one of my posts, my job was done. And I realized that by not putting out any new posts, how am I helping anyone?

So, that’s when the light bulb went off and I said to myself, stop with the f*cking excuses and get back to doing the sh*t that you love to do.

So, here I am, back at it and for good this time.

Baby Stocker Has Arrived

2015 March 25

Our daughter decided to make her entrance into this world already almost a full week ago. We will not be posting pictures online for a few months, but we will share when we are ready to. She came out nice and healthy and so is mommy.