endo appt new diet

Endo Appointment Leads to New Diet and New Changes

I haven’t been to the endo in 7 months. I had 3 different appointments all get cancelled and rescheduled for multiple different reasons. I was flying back to south Florida from the north on Sunday and was hoping that the winter up there wasn’t going to delay me and make me cancel my appointment again on Monday. My endo office made it clear that I needed to be at this appointment or there would be no more prescriptions written, which is completely understandable in my eyes.

I got my blood work done up in PA while I was up there, but I wasn’t sure it was going to be completed in time for the appointment, but luckily it was.

But, just like I thought, the blood work was not good.

I was previously on a statin and something for my triglycerides because they were extremely high. I had ran out of refills and my primary doctor would not call in any refills, I had to set an appointment. Well, I should say, my FORMER primary doctor, because he no longer is because of that. Since I could not get refills (they were prescribed by PCP, not my endo), I stopped taking the pills. For this reason, I knew my cholesterol and triglycerides were going to be off the charts. And they were.

I also hit my highest weight I have ever reached. I’m actually quite embarrassed by it, and I don’t get embarrassed easily.

We had a very nice heart to heart conversation about your 30’s being different than your 20’s. I’m now married, with a kid, own a home, own a business and have a shit load of other stressful items, so life is a bit different.

We also talked about how my body is already at a disadvantage by having diabetes, so we have to try and level the playing field. Also, in order to get my labs back at a normal level, I really needed to make changes. I am now back on a generic Lipitor, triglyceride meds, blood pressure and Vitamin D. My pill collection is growing.

I used to be anti-medication because once you start, it’s tough to stop. But I am at a point in my life that I just want to be healthy, and if taking a pill is necessary to reach that goal, then so be it.

I also needed to lose weight. My insulin usage is out of control, my basals are so damn high, and I get it, as long as my levels are under control, it doesn’t matter how much insulin I use. However, I need to cut that back by cutting out my diet a bit.

new-dietSo, she put me on a diet that I have been doing for 2 days now and I feel confident in sticking to this diet. Basically, this is the diet:

Breakfast – 3 egg omelette. One day with cheese, the next day with ham. Alternating back and forth.

Lunch – As big of a salad as I want. Vinegar based dressing. No croutons

Dinner – 6 oz of meat ( 8 oz of fish). Non-starchy veggies.

Snacks – Mixed nuts. I have set aside a certain amount for the day and I have been eating it throughout the day.

So far, it has been great. My blood sugar levels have been nearly perfect (perfect to me).

I am excited to continue on with these changes and losing the weight and becoming a better person.

Follow me on Snapchat to follow my journey on this new diet and new changes. Just screenshot the image below and follow the steps:

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Time to Spare a Rose and Save a Child

February 1 not just brings the first day of February, but it also brings the start (you can donate any time of the year) of Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign. If you have not heard of this great campaign yet, then now is the time to get involved.

The concept is as easy as it can get. When you go to buy your significant other, or others if you’re into that, just buy one less rose and use that money to donate to the IDF. So, you are sparing a rose.

What does Spare a Rose help fund?

The rose that you spare is going to help fund the IDF’s Life for a Child program which provides insulin and supporting to developing nations that are in need.

You are now also able to choose to provide a monthly on-going gift for as little as $5.00/month. In fact, if 3 dozen monthly donations are funded within the first 3 days, Bennet Dunlap from YDMV.net will wear his Disney Map Tights to the Friends for Life banquet this summer. That in itself sounds like fun.

For more information on how to donate and Spare a Rose, head on over to the Spare A Rose website.

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Leaving the Hospital with More than What You Came In With

When you first read this title you may be thinking that I’m talking about leaving with more debt or more bills, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about potentially going into the hospital for a diabetes related issue and leaving with something else, such as Hepatitis B.

When I recently went to the ER a couple of months ago because I thought my appendix was bursting (which it was not, it was a muscle strain), the ER nurse had asked me if I wanted her to check my BG with the hospital meter. My quick response was, absolutely not. I am known as a pretty big germaphobe. I don’t avoid every single germ possible or walk around with a gallon of sanitizer, but I do try to avoid any areas or situations that may just look full of germs (Yes, I know, the entire planet is filled with germs).

I bring up this story because if I allowed the ER nurse to test my blood sugar with the hospital machine, I could have been putting myself at risk. This just doesn’t sound like something that should happen. That a hospital setting could pass a disease onto me. Well, it shouldn’t, but unfortunately it is a possibility.

There is a webinar coming up on Tuesday, January 26th at 12 PM that I highly recommend you attend. Not just you, but anyone you know, because it is not just related to people with diabetes, but anybody going to a hospital.

The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition is hosting a webinar with Dr. Pamela Allweiss, MD, MPH, Medical Officer for the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She will be discussing the risks of virus transmissions in healthcare settings in the United States.

Register for this webinar today and share with at least one person that would be interested in learning about this serious problem and some ways that we can make it stop.

For a little more information of how Hepatitis B can be spread in a healthcare setting, check out Christel’s post at The Perfect D.

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10 Hours on the Phone with Florida Blue and Marketplace

My wife and I have been covered under an insurance plan from her employer for a couple of years now. Since she is no longer working, we were able to still use the insurance, but in January, we were going to have to switch to COBRA and as we all know, it was going to be crazy expensive.

So, I decided that I was going to go out and get insurance for myself. Just to be able to say that felt so damn amazing. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I am able to go out and search for my own insurance and include my wife and daughter on that policy. The downside? I had never searched for health insurance before, so I was absolutely clueless where to start.
On December 15, because why wouldn’t I wait until the last day in order to get coverage starting January 1, I sat on the phone with Florida BCBS for nearly 3-4 hours trying to get an application in for a marketplace plan. I knew that I would be receiving a subsidy, so I didn’t want to get a plan directly through Florida Blue, but wanted a marketplace plan that was Florida Blue’s.

This took so long because I needed to have myself, my wife and my daughter all added into this application and added to the plan.

After several hours, I was done. I chose a plan, I knew how much my premium was going to be and everything was set. All I had to do was pay my premium before January 1 and I was good to go.
January 2 came and I had already paid my premium, so I called Florida Blue to find out what my member ID was because I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday, as well as my daughter. When I called, they couldn’t give me my ID # yet because it hadn’t been populated. Also, they told me that my daughter was actually not even enrolled on my plan.

WHHAAATTT???!!!!????

I just about lost it. I had spent hours on the phone with Florida Blue confirming that she was on the insurance. There was nothing else Florida Blue could do, I had to go and call the Marketplace to make changes.

I finally spoke to someone at the Marketplace and they explained the situation that my daughter was on the application, however, was not added to the plan and that it was an error on their end. So, I had to spend 3 more hours on the phone with the Marketplace again to re-do the application, get my daughter added and then had to wait and speak to a level 2 customer service rep to get my daughter’s insurance backdated to January 1 as opposed to February 1 since I was doing this after the cutoff date. This entire process took nearly 5 hours on my Saturday.

I called Florida Blue back today in order to get my member ID because I need prescriptions and labs done. Finally, they had my member ID and I asked out of curiosity if my daughter was added…..and she was!!!!

It was the first piece of good news I heard from an insurance company in a really long time.
My advice to others who go to the Marketplace for the first time is ask a million questions, confirm things hundreds of times, get names, employee ID #’s, extensions, speak to managers, do whatever you need to do in order to ensure that your information is being handled properly.

After over 10 hours on the phone with insurance over 2 days, I think everything is good to go. Until the next phone call.

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New Year, New M….Lancet

The new year is here, but to me, I just see it as having to change the 5 to a 6 when I write out a date, which I messed up this morning at my daughter’s doctor appointment. I’ve done the resolution thing in the past and I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t work for me. If you make resolutions and stick to them, awesome, I have nothing against them or people that do, so please keep your… “well, I use them and you offended me” comments to yourself.

So, the beginning of the new year for me means that it’s new lancet time. Since I use the Fastclix lancing device, that just means a new drum. I tend to switch to a new lancet once a month (or when I remember). I can see the healthcare professions who are reading this cringing right now.

Just for my own personal knowledge and fun. Please answer the poll question below:

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gift ideas for diabetic

Gift Ideas for People with Diabetes This Holiday Season

If you are reading this, then you probably have diabetes yourself, so I recommend that you share this post with your family members and friends.

If you have a loved one that is living with diabetes, or a co-worker, or you just want to spoil yourself, then what better time to show them how much you love them than with a diabetes related gift for the holidays.

I’ve put together a list of items below that I think would make the best holiday gifts for people with diabetes. Also, please add additional gift ideas in the comment section below. Just as an FYI, most of the products I’m listing were created by people with diabetes or a parent of someone with diabetes.

Diabetic Dabs

If your glucose meter bag is anything like mine, then it is filled with blood. There are people who lick their finger after testing, some wipe with a wet wipe or napkin, some just wipe their finger on the inside of their meter bag (me!) or some carry around some bulky product to wipe it with. Diabetic Dabs make it easy to just stick to the inside of your meter bag and simply “dab” your finger into the gauze cloth without making a huge mess. – http://diabeticdabs.com/

Books About Diabetes

I’m not going to list all of the books here, I am just going to link to my recent post about my favorite diabetes books. These are all great gift ideas and the best part is that if you know multiple people, you can just buy several!

PumpStash

There are several products out there that were created by those living with diabetes to make it easier to hold your insulin pump while playing sports, or even just everyday wear. Corrine started this company and created this product. She created the product to help her store her pump more easily by adding a pocket to the back of spandex. – http://www.pumpstash.com/

Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry

If you are anything like me, then you hate the thought of having to wear some sort of medical ID bracelet or necklace. In fact, I don’t even wear one because they annoy me, especially the really plain ugly ones. So, this could be a great gift idea for someone who doesn’t currently wear a medical ID bracelet because they aren’t fashionable or cool. Remember my niece who was recently diagnosed? Well, my sister in law bought her an ID bracelet from here and she absolutely loves it and doesn’t mind wearing it. – https://www.laurenshope.com/

Use the coupon code FAN for 10% off an order

Pump Peelz

If you know someone who rocks an insulin pump, then why not help them add a little flare to it with an insulin pump skin. You can choose from their favorite NFL team to a color, to a simple design (I’m into all things camo). Pump Peelz offers skins for Dexcom, Animas Ping / Vibe, tSlim, OmniPod, Medtronic, Pebble Watch, VerioIQ and more – http://pumppeelz.com/

Charity Donation

If you’re not sure if any of these gifts will work for the person with diabetes that you know, then simply make a cash donation in their honor to their charity of choice. I have done this in the past with birthday gift ideas and it worked out quite well.

Sponsor a Trip

This gift could be pricey, but if you have the budget and means, then why not? Pay for their trip to a diabetes conference in 2016. Christel has the ultimate list of diabetes conferences in 2016. (as well as the diabetes UNconference). I would say that the vast majority of us living with diabetes would love to attend some of the meetups and conferences but just simply can’t afford them, so of course this would make the perfect gift!

Etsy Items

There are a TON of diabetes related items on Etsy. If you just do a search for Diabetes (which I have done here for you), you will find a lot of items.  A lot of items on Etsy can actually be personalized for a few extra dollars.

Cupcakes

Every person with diabetes I ever met has loved cupcakes, so you can’t go wrong there!

If you have any additional gift ideas for someone with diabetes, or someone who loves / cares for someone with diabetes, then please add in the comments below or share on Facebook.

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The Last Day of Diabetes Awareness Month

It has been a great month. Just like the last 8 months (since my daughter has been born), this month have flew by. There’s been a lot of advocating, a lot of new connections, a few arguments and bickering here and there (which is going to happen), and even a family member being diagnosed.

I learned a lot this month from my peers and from all of the Twitter chats and daily Facebook posts from others. I try to not only spend my time advocating, but also trying to learn new ways of advocating and learn more about this disease.

Now that the month is over, does that mean I’m done advocating? Absolutely not. This month just had a lot of media and press around it, so it was important to take advantage of that additional coverage.

I would call this year’s Diabetes Awareness Month a success.

Don’t stop now. Keep going. Keep advocating. Keep writing. Keep tweeting. Keep posting. Keep doing whatever you did.

What was one thing that you learned this month?

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A Family Diagnosis

A couple of weeks ago, I received a text that I never thought I would have received. My sister in law texted me, “her blood sugar is over 400, we are taking her to the ER now.” My initial response was….”wait, what??!!!??”

My 6 year old niece (who we will call S), who did not have diabetes, was being taken to the ER after going to the doctor and her blood sugar was tested at over 400.

My heart just absolutely sank. I didn’t even know what to think at first because I definitely was not expecting anything like this to happen.

As I was texting my sister in law back to try and figure out what the hell was going on, my brother called me and I could tell the hurt, fear, and sadness in his voice. After telling me that S was going to the hospital, his very first question was, “what does this mean? Does this mean she can be normal and still live a normal life and do things normal kids do?”

I am sure this is a very common question amongst parents of newly diagnosed, but as someone who blogs about living a normal life with diabetes, my answer was obviously…. absolutely she can! She can continue to do girl scouts and dance and whatever else she wants to do.

FOT9D51The first day or two was filled with questions and phone calls from my brother and sister in law wondering about what her life is going to be like from here on out. Being someone with diabetes, I realized, it is a lot easier to talk to someone else who has diabetes as opposed to trying to talk to a parent of a newly diagnosed child.

To add to this, she was diagnosed on a Friday and her birthday was the following Tuesday and her birthday party was that upcoming Sunday. Unfortunately, her birthday party had to be cancelled and she missed out on Trick or Treating, so try explaining that to a child as well.

After I was able to collect my thoughts as an uncle, my advocate side of me jumped right in. I wanted to make sure that they have the best information possible from the best people, so I just started texting my brother Facebook groups, blog URL’s, books, people’s phone numbers, etc. I just wanted them to feel as safe and comforting as possible.

And obviously there were plenty of people that stepped up right away and provided information about how to handle their feelings, how to create a 504 plan, how to handle 3 a.m. blood sugar checks, how to parent a child with type 1 diabetes, etc.imagejpeg_0

So, let’s jump forward almost a month to now.

My niece is doing freaking awesome! She went from being absolutely petrified of her shots (she asked mommy why she was hurting her with the needle) and she is now testing her own blood sugar and giving herself shots by herself (with a little help from mommy and daddy). But to hear about this turnaround is amazing to me, especially in such a short amount of time.

My niece’s favorite color has been blue for as long as I can remember, so when I told my sister in law that Blue is the diabetes color, S was elated. I then told her about Blue Friday’s and how it’s important to wear blue and spread awareness for diabetes on Friday’s. After that, S wanted blue shoes, blue shirts, blue hats, blue everything.

In fact, on World Diabetes Day, which just so happened to be her re-scheduled birthday party that she missed when she was in the hospital, my brother, sister in law, 2 nieces and nephew all wore blue to the birthday party. The two girls also decided to use the Novo Nordisk #LaceUp4Diabetes shoelaces as hair ties to rock even more blue.

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Is it just a coincidence too that her favorite animal was already a Unicorn? And now she loves Unicorns even more just like everyone else in the diabetes community.imagejpeg_0-4 copy

As I try to explain to my brother that yes, a diagnosis sucks, but in today’s world and the technology that we have and the community of support that is provided within the Diabetes Community, if there had to be a chronic disease that she was diagnosed with, at least it was diabetes. I know that may not sound good, but it could have always been worse.

Now, they are already gearing up for a Dexcom training and are already exploring the different options for insulin pumps. My brother and sister in law are lurking now in all the Facebook groups and Children with Diabetes forums and my sister in law even created a Twitter account because they want to learn and want to participate.

I want to thank everyone that gave a helping hand when I reached out for help. Some of you may not even know that you helped, but either a book or post that you wrote did. Please know that I am forever grateful for what you did in a time when my family needed you most.

Moving forward, my niece LOVES arts and crafts, so I have already shared some ideas of things that they can do that gives a positive outlook on her diabetes and doesn’t make her hate the disease and hate having to do what she needs to do in order to manage it.

FOT640I would love if you could please comment below or on Facebook different activities (using insulin vials as Christmas lights, Diabetes Art Day, etc.) that my sister in law can do with her that would be awesome. Also, any resources that you may have, for example, Children with Diabetes forums, Kids First Diabetes Second book, etc. please list them all below in the comments. My sister in law and brother will be reading this, so I hope to share with them plenty of additional information that I haven’t been able to share.

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What I Learned from World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day was a very long and tiresome day for me this year. I normally don’t really do anything to celebrate the day, I used to use it as a vacation day from everything I do with diabetes. Last year I participated actively for about 6-7 hours of the World Diabetes Day Chat, but this year, my goal was to break the record, in fact I wanted to actively participate in the entire event.

And I did.

Throughout the 13,14, 15 hours ( I don’t even know how long it was), I attempted to answer every question asked by every moderator. There were a couple of reasons why I did this. First, because I wanted to motivate someone to do something. I was hoping just one person would say to themselves, “if he’s been tweeting all day, I can find 5 minutes to send an email to my local reps.” Secondly, I wanted to show people that we all have time. I know we all live busy lives, but if you audit your day, you can find some time to do more advocacy related things that you feel like you don’t have the time to do. And lastly, I wanted to get a better understanding and feeling for how the DOC felt towards all of the topics that were being discussed.

So, what did I learn during this all day chat? A lot.

I learned that the DOC comes together like a boss. I learned that even when there were disagreements about certain things, there was still a common goal in the end, just maybe the paths were a little different. I learned that there are a lot of people that want to help and do more, but just don’t know they can do. I also learned that when we come together as a community like we did on Saturday, our voices are heard a hell of a lot louder than when we are just individuals shouting.

I learned how I can advocate better and how I can do things differently to better manage my own diabetes. I also learned that it’s very easy for your words to be taken out of context in just one tweet (well, I guess I already knew that).

What did you learn from the World Diabetes Day Chat? Comment below.

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