Since switching back to taking shots from a syringe, I was using Levemir that was being provided by my endo since I couldn’t get the insulin through insurance. I went a few days without any basal insulin and was tracking my blood sugar a lot closer than normal. What did I find? My control was a lot better than it was on the pump and with using basal insulin. How can this be? This goes against everything that I’ve learned about diabetes in my almost 10 years of living with it. Basal rates with the pump and basal insulin when on MDI.
I decided to continue down that path for a while. It’s now been about 3 weeks since I have gone without any Levemir or Lantus and usingly Humalog only. I have had more lows during this time because I take a few extra units at meal time to cover for the “basal”, but these lows are tending to occur right around the next meal time. How perfect is that? You’re blood sugar gets a little low right before you eat your next meal. I tried to do that while I was on the pump all the time and I just couldn’t get it to work.
There’s always a lot of talk about YDMV, Your Diabetes May Vary, and this is definitely a way that my diabetes has varied. In fact, I do not recommend trying this at home, or work, or anywhere, especially without talking to your doctor about it. My doctor is not thrilled about this decision I made, but she has said, “if your numbers are in range, then it’s a good, working plan”.
I have some travel plans coming up soon, my honeymoon, and I’m curious to see how this plan is going to work in vacation mode. Vacation mode means, over-eating at every meal, and adding a few extra meals during the day, no exercise, alcohol and fun.
If this is a way for me to better control my blood sugar, then I’m in!
A few months ago I was sent some new pen needles from BD to use and review. As you can tell, I’m a little backed up on all my product and books reviews. This around the same time that I switched back to insulin pens and went off the pump (which I’m still off). When I was first diagnosed, I was using pens and I just used the pen needles that my doctor wrote a prescription for. I didn’t really have any preference. When I went back on the pens a few months ago, I still didn’t have a preference. I had a box of pen needles that were a sample from a while back that I had for pump emergencies that I was using at the beginning of this latest time on the pens.
Then, I was sent the BD Ultra-Fine Nano (4mm x 32G) pen needles, so I decided to give them a shot and write a review on them.
When I first saw the needles, I thought, wow these are pretty short and I don’t know if they are going to work for me. Since I’ve been diagnosed, I have put on a lot of weight, and I have a lot of body fat. So typically, I need longer needles or infusion sets so I can fully absorb the insulin. Surprisingly, that was not the case with these needles.
I used these pen needles in my stomach, leg and arm, so I tried them out in all 3 areas that I usually take my shots. All three areas absorbed the insulin perfectly fine.
I know we have all heard before from other companies about things being painless or whatever words they want to use, but I must say, this was as close to that as possible. BD did not make any claims of painless, that is strictly just my opinion and words not theirs! I really did not feel the pen needle go in or come out.
All in all, I really liked the pen needle. I have since switched to insulin vials and syringes, old school, and am no longer using the pens, so I have stopped using the pen needles. However, if I had to go back to the pens, I would continue using the BD pen needles.
**Disclosure – I was provided the pen needle samples for free and was asked to write a review on them. I was not compensated in any form by BD. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are mine and were not influenced in any way by BD.
Yesterday I posted about the excitement that I had about ordering and receiving my first 90 day supply order since having insurance for the first time in 15 months. However, I also had to add an update because after coming home and opening the box, there was 3 vials of Humulin in this box.
I started thinking about why their would be Humulin N in this box and not Humalog, so right away I called the insurance company. They told me that the RX they had on file that the doctor faxed over was for Humulin N, 10 units a day, which meant 3 vials for a 90 day supply. What is this? I’ve never used Humulin N in my life. In fact, I didn’t even know what Humulin N is!
So I asked OptumRX what the process was to return this insulin and to get my $25 back for this 90 day supply because I will never use this insulin and it’s just going to go to waste. Well, since they shipped the insulin that the doctor faxed over, they cannot refund the money and they cannot accept the insulin back as a return. I mentioned that it was a doctor mistake and I’m not even using Humulin so it’s not an actual doctor’s order because I don’t use this stuff, never have.
Their answer, “Sorry, sir, we apologize for the inconvenience, but we cannot refund the $25 or accept the insulin back as a return”
One day back with an insurance company and already the hoops, loops, obstacles, and BS has started. I also mentioned yesterday that I will never complain about insurance or pharmacies again because I have lived without having them, so I am completely grateful for this and the $25 loss is well worth it, as long as the correct insulin is ordered and shipped.
I called the doctors office this morning and explained the situation. The doctor’s assistant is the one who faxed over the RX and there was a bit of confusion….so, let me explain.
During my last visit, we discussed ways to try and cut out these highs in the morning. Here’s an example of one, I woke up this morning at 124 @6:30 a.m. I fell back asleep until 9:30 and my blood sugar was 325. That’s it, no food, no coffee, nothing, just simply waking up increases my blood sugars crazy high. So, my doctor recommended taking 10 units of Humulin N at night before bed to try and stop those lows.
There was the confusion, I guess.
Doctor’s assistant saw the visit notes and saw Humulin and did not see anything about Humalog, because I was on Apidra, but it’s too expensive right now and went with Humalog. Even though I told the receptionist Humalog, and I know she didn’t get it wrong because she’s probably the best doctor’s receptionist I’ve ever had before.
Bottom line is that the issue is fixed….I hope. My credit card was charged another $25, so I’m assuming I should be getting an email later tonight about the order shipping and hopefully will get it tomorrow. If not, it’s back to the doctor for a sample vial of insulin to get me through the weekend.
It’s been approximately 15 months since the last time that I was able to go to my mailbox and pick up a 90 day supply of insulin from the insurance company, and damn it feels good. It felt great yesterday to call the insurance company and set up my mail order account with OptumRX, which this is my first time dealing with them, I’ve previously dealt with Medco with United Healthcare.
The customer service rep answered all the questions that I had about my new insurance and the costs and it was a very simple process to set up my account and get my first order submitted. Called the doctor and had them fax a prescription which I figured would take several days for it to be input into the computer and then another day for the order to process. That was not the case. I called my doctor around 10 a.m. and I received an email last night around 7 p.m. that my order was processed and had a tracking number. That tracking number showed that the package was already picked up and headed my way to south Florida.
The insulin pricing was a bit different then previous insurances that I used in the past. And insulin in a vial vs insulin pens were different as well. For example, the Humalog insulin vials were a tier 1, but the Humalog insulin pens were a tier 2. The Novolog vials were tier 2 and so were the insulin pens, but the insulin pen refills were tier 3. Apidra of course was a tier 3.
Just for my own curiosity, is Apidra NOT a tier 3 for any of your insurances?
Going from what I was paying out of pocket for insulin, which could have been a lot more if it wasn’t for some of the awesome people in the DOC, to only having to pay $25 for a 90 day supply, I cannot find words for the way it feels.
Next up is test strips. All of the supplies are covered under my medical and not pharmacy, so that’s a whole other story. The new year for insurance starts in November, so why waste money on a deductible now, when it will just need to be re-paid again in a month and a half. But that also means I have to stretch out the life of the current strips that I have.
No matter what, I will never complain about an insurance issue, the costs of supplies or a deductible or anything! I hope that I can eventually help others as much as people helped me get through this tough time.
***Update*** I wrote this post before I opened up the package. I received the package and went to Starbucks to write this post. Upon opening the box when I got home, the package contained 3 vials of Humulin N. I use 5 vials of Humalog a month, and have never used Humulin, so this is a big mistake. Then I remembered that during my last appointment two weeks ago, I spoke with my doctor about possibly using 10 units a night of Humulin to help with the morning highs and that’s where the confusion may have came in. So, although the pharmacy did not make a mistake and I have been billed for the $25 for the insulin that I will never use, I can’t really complain about them.
Yesterday was not a fun day. Basically, it went like this. Sat in my office chair almost all day, didn’t eat lunch because I completely forgot all about it, before dinner had a 581 blood sugar and before I went to bed it was 115. So what happened in between? I honestly don’t know.
Around 2 o’clock I tested and the meter read 145 and I went right back to work and didn’t even eat anything. I did forget to take my Levemir in the morning, but I didn’t want to take the morning dose so late and then would need to adjust the night time dosage of it as well. I am taking half my Levemir at night and half in the morning. After a quick trip to Target, which everyday is either a trip to Target, Walmart or the Dollar Store when you are married to a teacher.
Our spaghetti and meatballs were almost done so I decided to test again….581. Wait, what did the meter just say? I tested again, now it just said HI, like it was playing with me. I told Amanda that it was crazy high, so I would not be eating dinner with her and I would eat later. After taking a massive amount of insulin for a correction and drinking a lot of water it was beginning to come down. That wasn’t my only issue at this time.
I also have a caffeine addiction, a really bad one. If I don’t drink an energy drink or a large coffee after lunch, I begin to get nauseous and light headed around dinner time. If I don’t have that caffeine, I have to take a nap or lay down for a bit and then I feel all better, that is until I drink a soda with my dinner. With that little side story, I didn’t have an energy drink yesterday, so mixed with the high blood sugar was also the caffeine withdrawal I was dealing with it, so it was time to take a nap while Amanda ate and hope that my sugar came down enough to be able to eat when I woke up.
I slept for a little over an hour and when I woke up my sugar was now down to 310 or so. I still wanted to wait a bit for it to get down below 200 because I just cooked spaghetti and meatballs, you better believe I was eating it. Once it went below 200, I bolused again for the meal and ate. The rest
of the night my numbers were great, hovering around 115-140. When I went to bed my blood sugar was 115.
I did wake up in the middle of the night with a low, but with some bedside Skittles that was fixed pretty quickly. Now on to today for a whole other advantage with diabetes. Can’t wait!
Well, it wasn’t really a weekend at Disney, but Orlando / Kississimme / Lake Buena Vista, but it’s just easier to say Disney. Amanda and I absolutely love coming to Orlando for a weekend trip because it’s not too far from our house and we love the Disney atmosphere, because, well, who doesn’t love Disney.
We decided to take a pre-mini honeymoon over Labor Day weekend to just relax and venture around Downtown Disney. This was my first trip to Disney (Orlando) not wearing an insulin pump. Every other time I went, I was on a pump and eating all the wonderful snacks and sweets there was very easy. Just hit a few buttons and bam, insulin delivery. Things were a tad bit different this time.
Our first night there, we decided to go to Uno’s, it’s one of our traditions when going to Orlando. If you have never been to Uno’s or have never have Chicago deep-dish pizza then you really haven’t lived your life to the fullest yet. I have come to the conclusion that there is no logical reasoning in how to bolus for this meal. It’s a “damn, I better take a shit load of insulin and just deal with the low if it comes later” kind of thing. (Remember kids, don’t try this at home, even with your parents’ permission.)
Not only was I not using an insulin pump, I was fresh out of insulin pens and was using the old school syringe and vial method of insulin delivery. The bathrooms in Uno’s was perfect for a dude who had to take an insulin shot in private. If I am drawing insulin from a vial with a syringe, I will tend to go to the restroom to do so, if it’s from a pen, I’ll shoot it up right at the table.
After Uno’s we decided to head on over to Downtown Disney, which was walking distance from our hotel, so I thought the walk would definitely help with the carbs and blood sugar dilemna that I thought I would be having because of that amazing deep dish pizza. Guess who’s blood sugar went low while at Downtown Disney after walking around for almost two hours? Guess who was also ordering a Mickey Mouse rice crispy treat covered in dark chocolate, then smothered in Reece’s Pieces and topped with a white chocolate swirl?
If there was ever a perfect time for a low blood sugar it was then.
The next day was all about the outlets. If you haven’t been to Orlando, they have three sets of Outlets, two of them are the nationwide Premium Outlets and they also have a smaller Lake Buena Vista Outlets. It’s usually Amanda’s goal to hit all three! Fortunately, for me, it was about 95 degrees all day and Amanda was over it after the first stop of outlets. I was also about over standing out in the heat and was feeling like I needed to eat because my blood sugar was trending down. Quick lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack raised my sugar a bit too high than I would have liked a couple hours after eating. (This exact Joe’s Crab Shack was robbed the very next day).
I knew that we were going to CityWalk at Universal Studios and would be out pretty late, so I don’t like not having a “stable” blood sugar before going out for a long night. This was definitely one of those unstable times, high morning, low before lunch, higher after lunch, high before dinner, etc.
After making pit stops to Margaritaville, Fat Tuesday’s, and Pat O’Briens, it was time to get some food. When we decided to eat at the food court in CityWalk, I didn’t realize there was no bathrooom and I have to go all the way downstairs and have a pretty long walk to get there, just to take an insulin shot, so I went against what I said earlier about not drawing up a syringe at a table. I not only had to take my bolus, but it was also time for my Levemir, so it was a double shot! No weird looks, so I would call it a success.
All in all, my last trip to Disney, without an insulin pump was not that bad. I thought that it would be more of a pain in the ass to draw up shots everytime that I wanted to snack, but I found myself just not snacking as much as I would have if I was wearing my pump.
Next up, the real honeymoon on a cruise, now that’s going to be interesting.
Less than one week away from getting insurance again. I am super excited and haven’t been this excited in a long time. It’s been a struggle without the insurance and I would never want to have to live through it again. My A1C has gone up since I haven’t had insurance and easy access to supplies, but luckily the DOC pulled through and really helped me.
I can’t wait to be able to help others in the DOC out.
September 1 just please hurry up and get here!
Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad is by far one of the best books that I have read in a long time. That could be the end of this review but I should probably tell you why it’s one of the best. It has taking me a long time to finally write the review, but I finished this book in less than 2 days because I couldn’t put it down.
As some of you may know, I work home. I work for myself, actually for my clients, but you get the point. Amanda is a teacher, so that means she is gone most of the day and I am home all day. Since I feel that being a teacher is one of the most important jobs in our world and I understand how hard she works, I like to make sure the house is cleaned, dishes are done, food is cooked and laundry is done. So, even though we don’t have kids, I am a stay at home dad in training.
When I first met Scott in real life in Indianapolis, I loved the fact that he was a stay at home dad and I couldn’t wait to read the book. There were so many different stories in the book that I caught myself saying, wow, I had that same discussion or thought with Amanda.
Scott does an amazing job telling the story of a stay at home dad by making it funny and serious at different times. Honestly, I think he makes it look cool to be a stay at home dad. Tie in a little sports and diabetes, and you have yourself a best seller
A few of my favorite chapters in the book are:
- The Path to Parenthood Starts with Sex
- I May Be Growing Ovaries
- Her Breathe Smells Funny
- I Remember Having Sex..and the Baby Proves It
- Could I See You in the Basement for a Minute?
I would definitely (this is so cliche, but oh well) recommend this book to my friends and family. In fact, the copy that I have has now been read by myself, my mother, grandmother, and I read most of it out loud to my wife because I was laughing so much throughout it.
If you haven’t read this book already, I hope you enjoy.
Getting a low blood sugar in the middle of the night really does affect all the people in the house. I have had a low blood sugar a few nights in a row and it sucks when I do because I feel bad because it wakes Amanda up. She’s a teacher and with school starting back up again, she needs to get up around 5:30 – 6:00 and when I wake up at 2-3 a.m. with a low blood sugar making noise to get candy or to go out into the kitchen to get some OJ, she always wakes up and stays awake a bit to make sure that I am feeling ok.
This low blood sugar then affects her sleep and trust me, she needs her sleep.
During wedding week when all of my family was here I had a low blood sugar at my house before we were leaving to head over to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. At this time, I had my parents, grandmother and her husband, and a few others in my house. I tested and mentioned that I was having a low blood sugar and I needed some juice. My mother and grandmother kicked into action real quick. Mother got the juice, grandmother made a half of sandwich. Then for the next 30 minutes they were both asking me if I felt fine, was everything ok, did I need something else, etc.
This is yet another way that shows how much diabetes affects not just the person living with it, but those that surround them and I’d like to give a big thank you to all of those people.
Check out my post today over at dLife Blogabetes on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy method of treating foot wounds.
Here is the link, now go read - http://www.dlife.com/diabetes-blog/?blogId=8560257