Driving with a Baby, Wife, Dog and Diabetes to PA and Back

Back in August, Amanda and I.. and Lucy (I have to remember to keep adding her) decided to drive up to Pennsylvania for a little summer visit to my family and friends up there. We made this drive last year and it wasn’t that bad. Oh yea, our Cavalier King Charles comes along for the right too. Packing for this trip is usually a breeze for me when it comes to clothes, but the diabetes part is what is stressful. Making sure that I have everything that I need and getting it stored in a nice box that I can have for the month vacation is important for me.

The drive up was not bad at all. I was wearing my MiniMed 530G with Enlite sensor during the drive up. Last year, I didn’t wear my sensor and there was a lot more testing than this year, but if you have ever made a road trip like that (1,200 miles) then you know there is a lot of snacking and eating going on. Wearing the CGM helped give me an idea of where my BG was at when I decided to have a snack. (by snack, that usually meant Chic-Fil-A)

While we were up there, I didn’t have to re-oder insulin or anything like I had to last year. Last year, my insulin was shipped to Florida instead of PA and that wasn’t a fun experience.

After spending an entire month up in PA (and trading in the car we drove up in and bought a new one from a friend’s dealership) it was time to drive home. I decided not to wear my CGM on the ride back, pure laziness, so there was a lot more testing. My blood sugars ran a little higher during the drive back, but that was primarily due to the fact that I wasn’t wearing my CGM.

My legs during the drive would cramp up a lot, so I made sure to move them around whenever I could and walk for a little bit at every stop because I know the importance of getting that blood flowing.

I didn’t post while I was away primarily for the safety reasons of being away from home for a month, so that’s why you haven’t heard much from me. Since I got back, I have been swamped with catching up on work, but things are better now. New month, new start, let’s go.

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Guest Post from Rick and RADiabetes – RABlog Week



First, thank you to Chris for allowing me to post about #RABlog week on his web site. Chris volunteered this space to let me explain #RABlog week which is September 21 to September 27, 2015. This will be our first ever #RABlog week, so I appreciate the opportunity to explain why it is being held and why my web site RADiabetes.com is the sponsor. But first let me answer the biggest question .

Why are you talking about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), I thought you had Diabetes?

I am a person with Type 1 and was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 16. That means I have been a PWD for 41 years. So it is natural that I most closely identify with the diabetes community. But in 2000 I was also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and in 2010 Ankylosing Spondylitis (spinal arthritis). While the three diseases are not related they all result from an over active autoimmune system which destroys things like Beta cells, connective tissue and other necessary stuff. We like to say RA is the body turned on itself. But in truth all autoimmune diseases result from the body turning on itself, so that is nothing new to we type 1’s. (more…)

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YCM logo

YourCareMoments Paid Health Surveys

A few months ago I read a blog post from Christel over at ThePerfectD about getting paid to take diabetes surveys. Over my years of working from home, I have tried as many different “get paid to take survey” websites out there and none of them were ever worked out. Until I found YourCareMoments.

Signing up was extremely easy to do. The surveys are anonymous, however it does require a valid email address to sign up (and get paid!).

First, go to their signup page here – YourCareMoments Registration. Once there you will need to provide your email address, what year you were born, zip code, condition you are diagnosed with, how did you find YourCareMoments (you can select “Other” and type “The Life of a Diabetic”) fill out the CAPTCHA and then you are registered.

Once signed up, you will receive several opportunities throughout the year to participate in the surveys. The surveys are pretty short and not very time consuming, about 10-15 minutes a piece and they pay $6-$10 per survey. So, if you think about that, for 15 minute survey, that’s like getting paid $24-$40/hr, not too shabby for taking a survey about your health.

You might be asking, what is the information used for and who is it given to? YourCareMoments will analyze the information from the survey and share with pharma companies that are interested in hearing our (the patient’s) voice. They are currently seeking anyone that is 18 years or older living in the United States that have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

If you are currently taking the following drugs then it would be beneficial to sign up now because they are seeking survey opportunities based around these drugs:

  • Afrezza
  • Glyxambi
  • Trluicity
  • Tanzeum
  • Jardiance
  • Tradjenta

Please note that names and addresses are not collected and are not required for payment either. Payment is made via PayPal. I received my payment within a few days of taking my first survey.

As I mentioned, when I first heard about Zitter Health Insights and their YourCareMoments survey opportunities from Christel, I knew it had to be legit. She said it was legit, she said she trusted them, then there was no doubt that I did too. And after completing my first survey, I confirmed that they are legit.

Even if the surveys did not pay, I would still participate. Why? Because these surveys provide the opportunity to voice my opinion and let the pharma companies know what our voices and opinions are.

What is better than helping those of us living with diabetes, type 1 and type 2, by providing your opinions and answers to the survey questions.

Please visit my disclosure page for all disclosure information.

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pump-cation (2)

A Pump-cation Leads to Reviewing Logging Apps


Does that word make you cringe too? Just when I hear it or think about it, I instantly think, “Ugh, so annoying” Even though I know in the back of my head it is worth it and the data I am going to get from it will be so much more beneficial then if I don’t do it. Why am I even bringing this up?

Last month I had a lot of vacation time with my parents then with in-laws, so there was a lot of time going in the pool and constantly being on the go. For a week, I decided that I was going to take a pump-cation also, which means no insulin pump, no CGM. So without the CGM that meant that I had no real-time data to let me know what my blood sugars were like.

I remember when I was first diagnosed, I used to like in a notebook like I was the World Blood Sugar Logging Champion. Now, I don’t even remember how I used to do it or what I used to write in that notebook.

I decided that I was just going to log them in my notes in my phone and just look over the data when I had a chance. I didn’t care to have a graph or chart or see trends, I knew I was taking a little vacation from all of that stuff. I just wanted to test, see what my number was, correct if need be, then move on and wait until the next time came, but I wanted to be able to have the info in case I needed it for some odd reason.

After that week experience I decided that I was going to start reading a bunch of reviews from others in the community about the many diabetes logging apps available. After reading a bunch, I knew that I had to just try them out myself and see which one worked the best for me.

I’m still in the process of figuring that out and reviewing a few of them myself, so I will definitely share my thoughts once I actually collect them.

What is your favorite diabetes logging app?

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It Took Yardwork to Understand How Out of Shape I Am

I moved from a traffic filled, noisy, hustle and bustle city to out in the country with dirt roads and tractors about 6 months. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do since I was young. Living out here does however come with an acre of land and a lot of yard work to do. Once every two weeks I have to go around and pick up all of the palm fronds that have fell in the yard, along with the hundreds of pine cones that have fell from the 20 pine trees I have in my yard. I pick up the pine cones because I don’t want the tractor mower riding over them. What does this all have to do with diabetes?

Well, one day I decided to do the yard pickup, cut the grass, weed whack, and use the blower to blow leafs off of the roof, and about halfway through I had to sit down and relax and felt like my heart was about to pump out of my chest and I started to feel a little nauseous. I knew at that time that if I can’t even handle doing yard work, how am I supposed to live a long healthy life for my daughter? It took some yard work for me to realize how bad it has gotten. No exercising, no controlling what I eat, just put it on a plate, shoot up some insulin and go back out and eat more. Then as soon as I’m done, just sit on the couch and watch sports because I’m too tired from sitting in my office chair all day long.

Typing this out makes me understand how pathetic that sounds and how many excuses I have given over the years and that every day that goes by that I continue to give an excuse, is probably another day I’m losing out on in the end.

My problem is that I don’t have a gym anywhere near me (closest store is 20 minutes away). So, I need to do things on my own at home. I hate going for walks outside during the summer because it feels like 95 degrees even at 3 a.m. down here in south Florida. Wait, I feel like I’m making another excuse. I used to have an exercise bike, but I rode that till I broke it, literally. The batteries went dead and leaked and ruined the electrical so now there is only one level that works, and I don’t see the point in that.

My goal is to purchase an elliptical machine, which is exactly what I use when I do actually go to a gym. Only problem is that they are so damn expensive, but the investment in my health is well worth it.

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Deep Sea Diabetes

Last month my parents were down here for a little vacation to visit their grand daughter. During this trip, my dad really wanted to get out on the ocean and do some deep sea fishing. We decided we were going to take out a large charter boat, even though we knew we weren’t likely to catch much because of the amount of people that were going to be on the boat.

The night before I got everything together that I knew I was going to take with me because we had to get up pretty early. I packed the cooler with:

  • Water
  • Gatorade
  • Regular Soda
  • Skittles
  • Sunscreen
  • Syringe, insulin, meter (packed in ziplock and kept on the outer pocket of the cooler)

In the morning I ate a bagel because I wanted a food that I knew would keep my BG levels above 160. This is one of the few times that I don’t mind my BG going over 160-180 and not doing anything to correct it. I knew that the heat and the activity level of reeling in fishing line would lower my BG levels naturally, so I didn’t want any extra help with the insulin.

Once on the boat, I actually decided to detach myself from the pump for a little while because it was very crowded and lines were being crossed so people were walking in and out and in front of and behind of everyone and I didn’t want to take the chance of the tubing getting snagged (no fishing pun intended, well kinda), on anyone.

Unfortunately, I was right about catching fish. My dad and I both hooked two fish, but it was at the same time we were surrounded by sharks and they were having a feeding frenzy on everyone who was hooking fishing. The good news about the trip is that I didn’t have any extreme lows. We moved to a different fishing spot 2 times, so during those 10-15 minute breaks I drank some water and snacked on a few Skittles.

This was only the 3rd time in the 11 years I’ve been diagnosed that I’ve been out in the ocean and all 3 times I’ve had successful trips.

Here’s to the next one being just as fun.

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Are You Ready for Some Football

Did reading that title just give you the chills? Because I know it did to me. The beginning of football, even pre-season games is better than any Christmas morning feeling I ever had as a kid. I grew up playing the sport, I’ve studied the game, I’ve crafted the game and now I watch the game as much as I possibly can. And yes, I am a huge fantasy football player.

Which leads me to today’s post. Last year, I got started in one day / week fantasy sports such as Fan Duel and Draft Kings. I started out just playing free leagues for fun and then eventually started playing for money. Every week a group of my friends still do weekly free leagues just for bragging rights for the week. So, I thought, why not do this with my online diabetes friends too. Why just bond over diabetes, why not bond and trash talk a little bit over football with some of the people I interact with online.

So, tonight is a pre-season league for Draft Kings (FanDuel doesn’t do pre-season), so I am creating a free 10 person league which means you do not need to deposit any money at all.

Sign up for Fan Duel and Draft Kings now and I will post links to the free contests every Sunday.

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It’s Been Far Too Long

Wow, it has been far too long since I last posted here. June 15 was the last post and before that May 22. First, I just want to say that I haven’t given up on the blog or advocating for those living with diabetes. I am still here and if you follow me on Twitter, I’m still pretty active over there, just haven’t been posting much on the blog.

So, what is the reason? (more…)

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Why Target? Why?

I am a huge fan of Target. My wife made me a huge fan of Target. I’m so much of a fan, that I changed my RX there. Well, that was to give my wife and I an excuse to go to Target twice a month to pick up our prescriptions. But now, they did me wrong. I’ve had plenty of bad encounters with CVS / Caremark pharmacies in the past.

This really upsets me that Target sold the business to them. Target also provided 5% discount on an entire days worth of shopping for filling 5 prescriptions, so between my wife and I we fill 5 a month. So that meant that once a month we would do our large grocery shopping at Target and take an additional 5% off. Sure, that’s only $5, but every penny counts.

Looks like I will be switching to Walgreens or Publix pharmacy now.

Anybody know if Walgreens has a rewards program for switching prescriptions to them?

Here is a link to the New York Times article about the purchase of Target’s Pharmacy by CVS – http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/business/dealbook/cvs-agrees-to-buy-targets-pharmacy-business-for-1-9-billion.html

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Omron BP 786 Blood Pressure Monitor Review

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.

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