Why I Became a MiniMed Ambassador

A few months ago my application to become a MiniMed Ambassador was approved. This was very exciting for me, as it was something that I wanted to do for a while. I did not want to apply for the program until I felt that I had enough time to manage anything that would be asked of me from the program. For example, being able to respond to people who are looking for help.

The main reason that I wanted to become a MiniMed Ambassador was simple. It was because when I first was given the choice to go onto a pump, I was excited, but I had so many questions. At that time, almost 10 years ago, the only person that I could ask questions to was my CDE, who was also my certified pump trainer. My questions ranged from, can I swim with it? Can I shower with it? Is it surgically implanted inside me? (Yes, that was one of my questions because I initially thought that’s what the pump was. An infusion site sounded like a medical procedure to me!)

Throughout my 7 years of writing this blog (wow, time flies), I have had so many questions asked to me about going on an insulin pump. It’s probably the questions I get asked the most. So, I knew that as a MiniMed Ambassador, I could help people answer those questions.

I am proud to call myself an Ambassador along with all of the other great people.

You can check out my profile, as well as everyone else’s.

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Dlog Week – Cleaning Out My Closet

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.

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OptumRX Strikes Again

As I’ve mentioned, I have been spending the last month up here in Pennsylvania. I initially thought that I could wait until I got back to Florida to order my insulin, but that didn’t work out. So on Thursday evening I called to re order my insulin….but there were not any refills left.

Well here is the first issue. After my last visit to the endo they faxed prescriptions for test strips and insulin, so how is there 2 strip refills left but no insulin? That didnt make any sense to me but no worries let’s move on.

It was late on Thursday so my doc office was closed so I had to wait until Friday morning to get the renewed RX sent in.

I was running low on insulin so I figured that I would request the RX to be sent to a local retail pharmacy so that I can pick it up on Friday or maybe Saturday since Optum wouldn’t deliver it until Monday.

When I went to the retail pharmacy they told me they didn’t have enough to fill the order so there wouldn’t be enough until Monday.

Ok still no worries because I have enough until then.

So yesterday I went to the retail pharmacy to pick up my one into insulin order finally and she said, “ok that will be $110”

Huh, excuse me? $110 that’s supposed to be $10 or $30 at most. Apparently there is a $100 deductible on retail pharmacy prescription but not mail order. Well, there’s no way I was paying $110 for one month because I don’t ever use retail so that $100 will just be a waste.

Ok now it’s getting time to worry.

I called in to Optum RX to get the mail order filled instead of the retail and only need to pay the $25 for 90 days like usual.

I know that Optum RX has a 24 hour order processing policy but really, how long does it take to process an insulin order.

Well as I’m sure you guessed the order didn’t process and ship yesterday so now it will ship today and won’t be delivered until tomorrow.

So now I have a 90 day supply coming to me tomorrow but I don’t have enough insulin to get me by till tomorrow so I asked if there was a way to get one vial of insulin to get me through till tomorrow.

Their answer… Yes you can pick up the vial from the retail pharmacy and we will grant an override but you will need to pay the $100 deductible. Well thank you very much but that doesn’t help me at all because that’s what started this whole damn thing.

This is just ridiculous. I know it’s the policy and I know it’s the rules but I do not use retail and will not the rest of the year but I need to pay the $100 deductible for 24 hours of insulin.

I am fortunate enough to be able to pay the $100 deductible because I have no choice but what if I didn’t. What if I couldn’t afford the deductible, how would I get my insulin? That one emergency vial of insulin is a hell of a lot cheaper than the trip to the ER that it will cause.

I am being charged $25 for 16 vials of insulin but I need to pay $110 for one emergency vial?

I have been with UHC and Optum for well over a year and they can see that I haven’t filled any retail RX so it’s not like I am trying to get over on them some how.

At the end of the day I am grateful to have the insurance and only needing to pay the little amount that I do. I went 2 years with no health insurance so I know the feeling of spending $100 for just one vial, but this is why I pay several hundred a month for insurance.

Something needs to change for emergency situations.

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Powering Through Diabetes During a Client Meeting

This is another post in my series of posts about Powering Through the Extraordinary with my agreement with Duracell and Accu-Chek.  As I mentioned in my initial post about the series, I wanted to talk about the daily events that pop up in the life of being an entrepreneur with Type 1 diabetes and being able to power through those struggles or high stress levels.

As with any area of business that you may be in, entrepreneur or not, meetings can take up a large amount of time.  There is preparing for the meeting, thinking about the meeting, going through the actual meeting and then handling the follow up of the meeting afterwards.  Client meetings for me can become very stressful, especially when it is a new potential client.  As the person who writes the checks for the business, if these meetings go south, it can be bad news for the company.  This obviously causes me a lot of stress. (more…)

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Gluten-Free – More Like Just Less Gluten

My new diet is very simple and basic concepts. Eat less calories. I know there is a lot of debate out there about low-carb, no carb, gluten free, low fat, low calorie. Whose to say which one is the best? I think the best one is the one that works best for you. I’ve done the low to no carb thing and every day I was feeling light headed by night time, so clearly that wasn’t working for me, but doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work for somebody else. (more…)

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3,000 Mile Challenge

I have been very competitive my whole life. I don’t know if it stems from being a younger brother and competing with my older brother, or my long athletic career, or even the fact that I run my own business. But one thing that I do know is that I love a good challenge. When I am challenged, either by myself or by somebody else, I seem to turn on a different switch and my body and I am more motivated to do something than if I wasn’t challenged. (more…)

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Finally a Normal Day

Today is my first day back from my holiday vacation to Pennsylvania. I actually got back last night, but it was late. So waking up today in my own bed (actually I was waking up in my own bed in PA too, except it was my old bed) felt great. Not waking up in my parents house sucked a bit because visiting family and being in your home town is always fun, but it was time to get back to the normal way of things. (more…)

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Take Action Now

What the $%^& Are You Doing?

What the BLEEP are you doing?  That’s a question that I asked myself yesterday.  This question came after a lunchtime twitter conversation that I had with Kelly and Courtney.  It first started off about PR companies and their lousy pitches to diabetics about losing weight and blah blah blah.  It then turned into a conversation about how I actually do need to lose weight and it brought up some of my horrible eating habits that I know that I have.

And then I asked myself that question.  How many times have I said that I was going to stop eating unhealthy. How many times have I said that I was going to exercise more. How many times have I said that I was going to blog more. Or do this more, and do that more and then I just don’t do it.  This isn’t just in my “diabetes world” but also in the other worlds I live in, like running my own business.  I have a to-do list of things I want to do to help grow my company about 10 pages long and none of them are getting done.  Why?  I know I’m short on time, but I know that I can better manage my time.

Which leads me to think about my time. The more of this unhealthiness that I put myself through the less time in the end I may even have.  What the $%^& are you doing Chris?!?

I think yesterday really lit a fire under my ass.  I’ve been reading a lot of productivity and time management books and blogs and listening to podcasts over the last few months to help me become a better business owner and person.  It has led to a lot of note-taking and to-do’s but not action.  It’s time for some action.

And isn’t it funny how one simple twitter conversation can make such a huge difference?


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