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Diabetes Inventory Day – Time to Count

Today it is diabetes inventory day.  How often do you do this?  I usually do it once every 3 or 4 months just to see how much I have and how much I will need to re-order.  Typically, I have a lot more infusion sets than I do reservoirs because I don’t change my site everytime I fill a new reservoir.  This is mainly just due to laziness.  Sometimes it is because I just can’t do it.  I may be driving and filling a new reservoir, or at work, or somewhere that I just don’t feel comfortable or have the opportunity to change the infusion set.  When I get a 90 day supply of my pump supplies the reservoirs are usually gone in those 90 days, but the infusion sets usually last about 5-6 months so I always have enough infusions.  Do you re-use your reservoirs at all?  I do from time to time just so I don’t run out.  Right now I don’t have insurance (looking into picking up Cobra), so I doubt I will be buying supplies any time soon.

I plan on counting everything diabetes related that I have.  Test strips, lancets, syringes, pen needles, infusion sets, reservoirs, sensors, IV prep pads, IV dressings, alcohol swabs, and anything else that I have in my diabetes cabinet.  I am hoping that I have enough of everything to last me at least 90 days because most companies will give you insurance after 90 days of employment.  It’s ironic that I worked for a company that helped uninsured people and now I am one of those uninsured.  My main concern is being able to get insulin.  I really need to work on exercising and eating less so that I use less insulin, especially until I am insured again.

I have no excuses anymore for not going to the gym.  I don’t have a job right now, so I have all the time in the world to go, but I am constantly doing things on the internet now.  These are productive things, so I’m not just sitting online all day looking at Twitter, I am trying to get things accomplished and do work on my clients sites.  That’s also one reason that I have decided to do the diabetes inventory later today because I have the time to count each and everything that I own.

I’ll give all the numbers tomorrow.

DRI 2.0 Connecting the Community – My 2 Cents

dblogI was excited for a while to attend the Diabetes Research Institute’s 2.0.  This conference shows me that the people working towards a goal are finally listening to us web diabetes bloggers.  The list of attendees was amazing.  Just to name a few, Kerri Sparling, Manny Hernandez, Allison Blass, Scott Strumello, Gina Capone, and Sara Knicks.  This was just a one day conference and I unfortunately not be at all places at once but here is my recap of the event.

The day started off great.  The free coffee was spectacular.  Morning started off with finally meeting Manny.  What a great guy he is.  Just as nice and genuine in person as he always has been online.  We briefly discussed how awesome it is that the DRI is connecting with the diabetes community and not just speaking with doctors and researchers.  Manny Hernandez_Chris StockerManny was also very helpful in giving me some key insight about Cobra and certain people that I should speak to in order to get some better information about it.  I told him that with not working at the diabetes company anymore, it felt weird to be at a conference as an attendee and not behind the booth working it, I actually liked it better.

After the breakfast, or lack there of in my opinion, we were herded off into the next room to hear the lectures and updates from three of the top researchers in the world.  To introduce the three speakers was Dr. Nemery, she is a south Florida pediatric endo that is one of the best out there.  She finished her introduction by saying, ” my goal as a pediatric endo is to not have to treat my patients with insulin.”  Well said.  The first speaker was Camillo Ricordi.  It was very difficult to understand his accent, plus he spoke to us like we were also scientists and doctors, so it was tough to understand what he was talking about.  The main thing that I understood from his lecture is that insulin producing cells generated from human embryonic cells protect mice from diabetes.  That sounds like a good start to me.Ask the Researchers_DRI

Next up was Luca Inverardi.  Once again, this lecture was just as difficult to understand.  I believe that the DRI videotaped every session and plans on putting it up on their website or having the videos e-mailed to the attendees, I will find out and you all know.  The last speaker before the next session was Antonello Pileggi.  Now, by the time he started to talk, I think the whole crowd was becoming hungry, very hungry.  It was becoming difficult for me to concentrate because my stomach was taking over my brain.  The next session was the most informative in my mind.  “Ask the Researchers”

One of the first questions asked was asked in a “dummy” type of way, which was better for the people in attendence.  A lot of the research that is done can be classified into two parts, there are the “attacker” cells that cause diabetes and then the “victim” cells that get killed which causes diabetes.  The question asked why all the research is done figuring out how to help the victim cells, but why isn’t research being done to stop the attacker cells?  The scientists discussed that there is research going on in that area, but it doesn’t look as successful as the research being done on the victim cells.  Dr. Jay Skyler is one of the worlds most respectable doctors / researchers of diabetes.  Someone had asked a question on why there is such an epidemic of diabetes now and although there were a lot of answers Dr. Skyler describe it as there being a lot of cases of Type 1 plus type 2, an overweight child with type 1 which makes them become even less insulin sensitive and causes type 1 at a faster rate.  I am not sure how this next statement relates to diabetes, but he talked about how foreign countries feed their young feces in order to expose them to germs at early ages.

The next question was the mFood from DRIost important to me because I had heard so many different numbers and percentages.  “What are the chances that a child of a type 1 will also have diabetes?”  Well here is the breakdown.  If the father has diabetes, then there is a 6% chance, if the mother has diabetes then 3% and then if both parents do, it is 15%.  The reason that the 3% difference is there between men and women is due to unexpected abortions.  The final question was asked about an artificial pancreas.  Although an artificial pancreas can become a great tool in management, it is not a cure.  There is one main reason why.  In type 1 diabetics, when we eat the insulin that we then bolus with, or the artificial pancreas releases will never catch up to the food.  Meaning that 2 hours after you eat, your blood sugar may look normal, but in between those 2 hours your blood sugar has spiked which is still causing high blood sugar numbers.  In order to fix this, you must be able to anticipate the food that you are going to eat.  With an insulin pump or MDI even, you can do this.  You can count your carbs before eating and bolus, 10-15 even 20 minutes before the food touches your mouth.  Which, when lunch time came at the conference, we didn’t know what was for lunch until it was right in front of our face so there were 4 diabetics at my table all wondering when and how much to bolus, not a good move on part of The Signature Grand.

The final part of the conference, well for me at least because I had to leave at 2 p.m. to get somewhere that I had plans for a long time to be at, was about connecting the community and involved a panel with Jeff Hitchcock (Children with Diabetes), Manny, Scott Strumello, Kerri, and Ellen Ullman also with Children with Diabetes.  There were a few questions thatConnecting the Community Panel were prepared for them about how the diabetes OC has helped them, why they started, and advice tips from them.  A few quotes and answers that I really liked from each of them are listed below:

Scott – Diabetes is too much about glycemic control and not about the other feelings that go along with it.

Kerri – There was only bad things about diabetes, there just had to be more to it than that.

Jeff – We all seem to be invisible so this gave us a voice.

Ellen – As a parent, it gives you a chance to vent because you don’t want to do it in front of your kids.

I hope that this was somewhat helpful.  You can check out the other’s blogs as well because I am sure they will have some updates also.

Have a great Monday.

Football Sunday

Today is going to be a relaxing day for me.  After this post I am going to close my laptop and not open it back up.  I am not going to do any work, nothing.  I am going to just lay here all day and watch football.  I haven’t done that in such a long time that I am not going to know what to do without popping open the laptop and doing work.

So, on that note, I will see you all on Monday!

Short and Sweet

Today’s post is not going to be a very in depth one.  This morning I went down to the Diabetes Research Institute’s 2.o Conference, Connecting the Community.  If you were following the #dri20 hashtag on Twitter, you probably know majority of what was going on.  I will be writing an in depth post of my 2 cents from the conference on Monday.

Today is going to consist of primarily watching football and that’s pretty much it.  Not much diabetes stuff going on lately, blood sugars have been good and haven’t been eating very healthy either.  On Monday I will be getting on the phone and doing some serious research about getting set up on Cobra.

Until then folks, have a great weekend.

Changing Jobs – Diabetes Style

Like I mentioned briefly yesterday, I am in the process of changing jobs.  I am no longer working at the diabetes supply company that I used to, so I guess I can take that out of my disclosure of the website now.  I won’t get into details of why I am no longer there, but the most important part is that both sides are happy and it’s time to move on.  I am still running CSI Marketing Solutions LLC, but due to the fact that I have this thing called diabetes I can’t work solely on this, I have to work for a corporation as well in order to have health insurance.  I am currently seeking a new job, and I would love to get a new job doing what I love to do, social media and internet marketing.  If not, then I will find something that I don’t mind doing.

While changing job for most people can be difficult, but when you have diabetes there is a whole other game added to it.  Sure, everybody has bills that they have to pay and families they have to take care of, but when you have diabetes, you have one of the most expensive diseases to manage it and there really isn’t much help out there for you if you don’t have insurance.  There are resources, but they are limited and they can still be way too much for those without a job.

Then when you finally do get a new job, some places don’t give you health insurance right away, let’s say for example a 90 day period before health insurance kicks in.  Well since we have this pre-existing condition BS, we have to prove to the insurance company that we have had credible insurance coverage within 63 days, and if you haven’t then you will not receive insurance for 12 months due to that pre-existing.  So if you have 63 days to prove your coverage, but your insurance doesn’t kick in for 90 days, what are you supposed to do?  If you’re married, which I’m not, you can try to get insurance through your spouse.  Amanda is not working full-time because she is finishing up her degree, also we’re not married so that’s not an option.

The next option is to pick up Cobra.  I don’t know too much about it, but when I had discussed with them two years ago when I thought I was going to have to pick it up, it was going to cost me nearly $650 a month.  How the heck are you supposed to pay for that.  I’m not even sure what it covers, but I’m guessing you still have to pay for strips, insulin, pump supplies, doctors visits, and even blood work?  If you have answers, please let me know.

Gee, I would sure like to have a new health care system that didn’t force you to work for  a corporation in order to get health insurance.  How about you let 50 uninsured diabetics get together on the same insurance plan, just like a small business with 50 employees, and even let their family members on board as well, so let’s say it ends up being 100-150 people on the plan and they pay a premium just like anybody else would for a small business.  Why can’t we do that?  It would be the same thing as a small business.  Oh, I know, because when 50 employees at a small business get a group plan, there is only a few diabetics, so the insurance company still makes their money from the “healthy” people that are just paying a monthly premium.

I better stop now, I’ll get back to this another time.

Lack of Exercise Has Brought Weight Back On

In a post I did earlier in the week, I explained that I was working a lot and not really sleeping at all.  Well, along with that I have been working right through exercise time as well.  My exercise has consisted of throwing footballs and doing a little jogging at football practice when I am coaching, that is about it.  I also have not been eating healthy again because I haven’t really gone to the grocery store in a long time.  I don’t really have the funds right now to go out and by $100 worth of groceries.  Business is good, but there are plenty of other things that require my money at the current time.  Back to the subject, I have put some weight back on unfortunately.  Not a lot, I am still down a few pounds from back in September when I got serious about losing weight, but still not down to what I want to be.

I have a monthly goal of losing 5 pounds before every doctor visit, which at this time is every 4-6 weeks.  I may have to cancel my next visit that is scheduled for later this month because I may not have insurance coverage at the time, we shall see and I should have a better answer shortly about that situation.  Once again, if anybody has information about being on Cobra, I really need your help.  I’ll post more tomorrow, but I no longer work at the diabetes supply company that I worked at for 2 1/2 years.

I will get back into my workout habits again, it doesn’t take much for me to get back into the gym, it’s just making sure that I continue to go everyday, well at least 5 times a week.  I also need to cut back on my coffee intake and fast food.  Lately I have not been cooking breakfast, instead I have just been going to Dunkin Donuts and getting a large coffee and a sausage biscuit (it’s only $0.99 so that’s why.)

Here is my goal and I will keep a daily record on my blog of this starting on Friday November 6, 2009.  I’m going to look for a cool WordPress plugin, if anybody knows of one, let me know, that will put a chart or graph into my blog and I will add it into here.  But I will keep track of my daily calorie intake, as well as how much exercise and energy drinks that I intake.

Tax on Soda, Relocating Fast Food Joints, all in the name of Prevention

I’ve been seeing on some news stations and on the internet lately about the idea of putting a tax on soda and other added sugar drinks.  The idea of this is to cut back on obesity problems and ultimately be a good prevention of diabetes.  I think this is a great idea.  Probably because I don’t drink any sugar drinks, except for orange juice, so I won’t be affected by the tax.  Amanda doesn’t really drink things with sugar in them either because we usually share drinks, so she gets something diabetic friendly.  Now people will think twice before purchasing a regular soda compared to a diet or sugar-free beverage.  Diabetes prevention programs like this can save millions in healthcare costs.

I’ve also seen some articles being written about the relocation of fast food joints and zoning regulations going up for new fast food places.  The idea is simple, keep fast food restaraunts away from schools and little league ball fields.  This again sounds like a great idea to get kids to stay away from fast food and opt for healthier options.  This doesn’t sound too good for the “soccer mom/dad” that may want to just pick up a quick bite to eat before or after a baseball game, or swing through the drive-thru after school in order to get to a parent/teacher conference.  There can still be a quick stop place, but let it be a healthier option, not a greasy burger and fries.  How bout a grilled chicken wrap with some fresh veggies on it, that can be quick and eaten in the car as well.

Obviously there are some big financial implications that this can cause.  It will take a lot of lobbying and local government hours to get these zoning policies passed.  But in the long run, it will be beneficial to all.  The amount of money that beverage companies MAY, and I stress may, lose will be made up in lower healthcare costs.  I don’t think that the berage companies would lose much money in the first place.  All major brands have a diet version of their drinks or at least a reduced sugar version that can be easily substituted for.

What are your thoughts on this, good idea, bad idea, don’t really care?


A New Baby, A New Life

Well the Phillies are still alive and the Eagles kicked butt on Sunday.  I have missed 3 Panthers hockey games now because I have had to stay home to watch the Phillies.  As long as they win, I don’t really care.  I received some good feedback on my post about diabetes being a disability and also want to thank those that commented on my birthday, I appreciate it.  Yesterday I was a little sick and didn’t go to work because I wasn’t sure if I was coming down with something worse and I didn’t want to spread it to any of my co-workers.  When I woke up this morning I felt a little better so I went into work.

I have a lot of research that needs to be done about Cobra.  For those of you that are currently using Cobra, please e-mail me at chris.stocker – at – thelifeofadiabetic dot com.  I’m not going to go into in the blog post today, so if you are interested or have any comments on Cobra, please e-mail me.

Now onto the good news today.  I am officially an uncle as of 3:30 a.m. this morning.  My sister-in-law had been in labor for about a day, but just went to the hospital yesterday after going to see the doctor.  My brother sent me a text early in the morning.  Unfortunately, I am not able to make it up to see her right now.  Her name is Sylvia.  I will post some pictures as soon as I get them (My iPhone can’t get MMS messages).  Hopefully, I can get up there to see her for Thanksgiving, if not then I will definitely see her during Christmas time.  The baby not only brings a new life into this world, but a new life and journey for those involved.  I have a lot of work to get to now, so I will post more about the newborn baby when I can.

Long Days, Late Nights, No Sleep

Last week was filled with a lot of work, I mean a lot of work for me.  I have been working on continuing to re-design this blog because to me it just doesn’t seem right.  Is it easy for you to read, anything distracting you, or fonts too difficult to read?  Along with that blog I have been working on a re-design on the other blog that I write about internet marketing and social media, Chris Stocker, Inc.  I have also been updating the Facebook accounts I have, and my LinkedIn, and Flickr, and about 10 other things including designing a website for my new company, CSI Marketing Solutions, LLC.  I also recently read Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck, which if you want to get things and not sleep for about a week, I recommend that book.

With all of this work, and it’s not been completed yet, I foresee the same thing going on this week as well.  Last week from Monday-Friday I slept, in total, about 15 hours.  I was going to bed at 3:30 and waking up at 6:30 and getting back at it for an hour before I would begin getting ready for work.  See I work a 9-5, and run a business and do contract work on the side so I need about 8-10 hours a day to do that.  Then there is the 2 blogs that I write on a daily basis which adds about another 10 hours a week.  So, adding that up, we’re looking at around 20 hours of work a day, and no time for sleep.  This picture pretty much sums up my week last week.Coffee and SF Red Bull

Typically, the later I stay up, the more my blood sugars go up.  It’s basically a hand in hand thing.  I tend to start eating snacks in the middle of the night as well because I am up later and getting hungry and need to eat something.  I told myself last week that I am not going to let this happen, if I’m staying up later, I will make sure my sugars don’t go crazy.  I have done a pretty damn good job of it.  Throughout the nights my sugar didn’t really go over 200 maybe once or twice.  Here is a breakdown of my morning sugars this past week (my best ever):

Monday – 112

Tuesday – 88

Wednesday – 94

Thursday – 104

Friday – 125

Friday night however ended up being a different story.  My sugar, after being great in the morning, just shot up all day long and didn’t come back down.  It was on average about 325, with a high of 496.  I went to the movies to see Saw VI and I went to the bathroom when I got there and then I usually will go right before the movie starts so I don’t miss any of the movie.  So, I went as soon as the previews started but when I came back I told Amanda that I feel like I already have to go again.  I just thought that maybe my jeans were a little too tight and they were pushing in on my bladder, because that sometimes happens if I’m wearing a pair of jeans that don’t fit me the best.  About halfway through the movie I just had to go again, I couldn’t hold it any longer.  And for those of you that know the Saw movies, you know you can’t miss a second, because something is going to happen.  I literally ran out to the bathroom and ran back within about 20 seconds and didn’t miss anything.  As soon as the movie was over, I had to go again.sawVi

When we got out to the car I tested and that’s when I was at 496.  I was about to correct, but I knew that it was a bad site, so putting more insulin into it wasn’t going to do a damn thing.  I took just a little bit just so it wouldn’t go any higher, I knew it wouldn’t bring it down, but I was just trying to eliminate an even higher number.  Once we got home I took out the old site and was getting the stuff together to put in a new one.  Well guess what, I couldn’t find the pretty blue insertion device to put in the infusion set.  Finally after digging through my room Amanda found it, in the first place that I looked.  In the morning when I woke up my sugar was down to 185, so it went down.  Saturday was a little of the same story, high all day long, but not as high, this was in the mid 200’s.  So, I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Throughout the daytime hours my sugars aren’t going all over the place either.  Even with drinking about 4-5 cups of coffee and drinking at least 1 energy drink, sometimes 2 a day are not affecting my sugars. The coffee usually does, but energy drinks don’t ever make a difference on my sugar levels.  I know that the sleep deprivation is not good for me, but I don’t plan on doing it for a while, just until I get this work finished and everything is up and running.  I just fear that when I am done with the work and want to go to bed early, I’m not going to be able to because I will be so used to staying up later.

We shall see.

My 6th Birthday with Diabetes, 25th Altogether

Today is my birthday and it can turn out to be potentially one of the best birthdays that I ever had.  Reasons are simple, it is an all day New York – Philadelphia day.  At 1 p.m. the Eagles have a huge NFC East match up against the Giants and then at night it is game 4 of the World Series with the Phillies and the Yankees.  Do you think my stress level is going to be high?  I’m not even sure exactly what it is going all day during my birthday because of all the sports, I think it may include a cookout between the games, but not sure.  This is my 25th birthday (yes, I can now legally rent a car and my car insurance rates should go down), and it is the 6th birthday that I have celebrated with diabetes.

My birthday’s haven’t really changed at all since I have been diagnosed.  There is really only one thing that I require for my Brian and Chris_Halloween2birthday, call it high maintenance if you will, but I must have an ice cream cake because the greatest thing in the world is the little chocolate crusty things in the middle layer of the cake.  I get to eat that about once a year, so it’s allowable on my birthday.  My birthday gifts have changed a bit from family members however.  Now when mom and pops ask what I want for my birthday this year, I usually respond with, “How about picking up the costs of my insulin for this 3 month supply.”  That’s usually what the gift is now.  And I am more appreciative of that gift then I am for any other gift out there.

I didn’t get a chance to post any pictures from our company Halloween party from Friday, so here are just a few.  This is my buddy Brian, whChris and 800 lb gorilla_Halloweeno writes one hell of a blog about baseball and baseball cards, dressed up as one of the Disney Imagination Movers and then another with the proverbial 800 pound gorilla that we are all up against half the time in life.  I’m dressed up as a low budget Chase Utley (I have a man-crush on him).  This is also the same thing that I was last year..  I didn’t do any Halloween parties or do anything related to it this year because the Phillies were playing game 3 last night.  I was doing a little “trick – or – Tweeting” though however.

So today is not only my birthday, but also the first day of National Diabetes Month.  It’s also a bunch of other things, but I don’t feel like talking about that stuff.  Start today with spreading awareness.  Tell one person starting today about diabetes, almost like a Pay-it-Forward style.  Do your part, if we all do ours we can create a big movement.  Don’t just do it on November 14 on World Diabetes Day, make it the whole damn month!

Have a great Sunday ya’ll