Upgrades!!

Who doesn’t love that phrase when it comes to d-tech? Well, I guess those of you who just got a new pump or CGM right before any upgrade or update was announced and you are stuck for a period of time with the “old” tech. The past few month’s have been a blur of excitement for those of us who have diabetes. From medicare approval to use the Dexcom on your smart phone to multiple pump updates and upgrades from Tandem, Omnipod, and possibly that company that shall remain nameless. Things are moving quickly. I think as of two or three days ago the Libre CGM has been given the push for 14-days of wear approval over the 10-days when they first started.

I think the biggest excitement that is out there right now is on the CGM front. Well it is for me. With the release of the Dexcom G6, I am seeing a faster progression of technology along with what appears to be less wait and issues with getting the FDA clearances for this stuff. I will get into the entire G6 process eventually, but I am very excited about all of the improvements to the technology that is out there.

I think in the past I have mentioned that I have a file on Dropbox to log every conversation that I have with insurance, Edgepark, etc when it comes to trying to upgrade stuff. The upgrade to the Dexcom G6 takes us back to May 8, 2018. Because I have had such unique interactions with Edgepark I figured I would see if I could go somewhere else or even use Dexcom directly. After multiple phone calls and inquiries I was able to confirm that my insurance would deal with Dexcom directly and I could say “Bye Felicia” to them.

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Little did I know this process was not going to be as easy as I had hoped.

While there is no one to directly blame for all  of the issues I ran into, the biggest issues were both from Edgepark and Care Centrix.

The thing that bothers me the most was the amount of time I had to dedicate to this process. Thankfully I have the flexibility to do this. Between phone calls to sort out the insurance process, getting the prescription, getting the approvals, fighting with Edgepark/Care Centrix to get their ongoing approvals released so Dexcom could actually take over as my provider, we are looking at 26 different phone calls. Thankfully, I did not log the times I was on hold (that was mainly Dexcom when they were inundated with calls, but the hold before speaking to people was roughly 30 minutes most times.)

I wasted tons of time over the course of the days trying to resolve things. For the average family with people who are working all day, I can’t imagine finding the time to make these calls during breaks and lunch.

Finally, after month’s of work and phone calls, everything finally resolved itself and 15 days ago I started on the G6. I have to be honest with you. Things are very weird right now. After years of multiple finger pricks and needing to calibrate the CGM and all of that I am still somewhat out of sorts. I had a conversation with someone else about her experiences with the G6, since I was just a few days in.

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Something that has become routine is no longer routine. The first sensor has been pretty spot on. Day 1 things were slightly off. But I also was very paranoid about trusting things.

Now, I don’t test as often, I have come to trust the sensor, and I feel a bit more freedom. The insertion process has been painless. I wish there was less bulky plastic waste, but I have seriously felt nothing and I now have more real estate to get to. As great as being able to use my arms has been, I haven’t been able to utilize all of the upper arm, due to arm flexibility and also the lack of someone to assist me.

I honestly have no complaints now that the insurance process has been handled and resolved. As I said in the beginning things are moving quickly, I can’t wait for the updated software for the Tandem X2. That process is only a weeks away from being a reality. Tech keeps moving to make our lives easier. However, do not become complacent in the overall process, technology is not a cure. It is a good resource to assist us, but it is not the end result. Keep advocating, but also keep fighting for the cure. Only when that has been realized will we see the change many of us have been striving for all of these years.

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If Only…

Each day with diabetes is usually a different “If Only”. Some days, such as this morning it was “If only I did not each that ice cream covered in melted peanut buttery goodness.” While I managed it fine, the PB … Continue reading

Jumping

I thought this title made sense when I typed it. But now, I am not sure if it actually is the proper title. But as I mentioned yesterday when I wrote, I doubt I am going to change things. I am committed at this point or need to be.

In roughly the past 10 years I seem to have issues with retaining my endocrinologist. I am not sure if I ever wrote about the fact that I am on another new endocrinologist. I have lost one to teaching opportunities in Pennsylvania. One for research studies in the California area. I lost my all time favorite a few years back when the practice I was going to dropped my insurance, and she left the practice and her new practice did not take my insurance either. So, I am now on my current one, but I think I may lose her as well. This time though I think it’s because of my own choice.

When my last endo, who I liked a lot as well left the practice for other things, I was assigned to my current Endo. In our first visit together, I thought that she might be worth the hour drive to Clifton for my periodic visits. After today, I am not so sure anymore. It’s not that she was bad. I just didn’t like the fit this time around. I chalked some of the awkwardness in our last meetup with the fact that we were both new to each other. This time not so much.

After being left waiting in the little room for about 30 minutes my doctor finally walks in. She’s not even sitting yet and is already rattling off things from my blood work. Your a1c was … which is different than last visits … Your cholesterol is great, it actually went down … things like this. Your thyroid numbers look good, it looks like the alternating doses is working for you. (no shit, it has been for years). Kidney function checks out, urine looks good. Realizing she didn’t mention Vitamin D, I guess my plan of telling people my doctor told me I had to go play outside worked.

Once we got through with that, we chatted a bit. I mean all health related, but it just felt awkward the entire time. My last doctor and I chatted. We talked technology, pumps, etc. she’s like your basal seems to be working your fasting glucose was 111. That was the entire technology discussion.

She decided that every 4 months worked well for me, since that’s what the old endo did. Asked if I needed any refills, I told her no. But also that I was coming up on year one of my pump in August and would probably need a form filled out for pump supplies. That was it.

I mean I shouldn’t care, since I more or less handle things my own and have a pretty good grasp of things. In the 4ish years I was with my last endo (I keep wanting to type ortho for some reason, but I digress), he’s helped me with one basal adjustment that I missed for random late night rises. Otherwise, we chatted for a few minutes. Took care of what we needed to do.

So now I am on the edge of the precipice. Do I stay or jump? Finding an good endocrinologist is not easy. When I got reassigned to my current location, I was willing to drive the 60ish minutes back to Clifton for my endo, because he felt worth it to me. Today while driving home, I am not so sure anymore. Do I jump or stay? This is a hard choice.

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My friend shared this on my wall 5 minutes ago. Perfect timing.

I don’t have a title yet

I have felt the call to write something these past few weeks, but I am not quite sure where that call will take me just yet. In fact, while it most likely will not change, I originally titled this post, “I don’t have a title yet”. That’s the funny thing with my writing, I let my mind take the reins of this horse and just pray that it dances the proper side of the dirty mind pool.

I think the desire to write today or possibly tomorrow if I get distracted and do not finish this thought comes from my desire to bring a little spark into my life. I am not bragging right now, but the proverbial diabetes gods have been nice to me lately. So there have been no exciting developments or changes in my life. I am grateful that things have been pretty much in my imagined range with a few hiccups as always along the way.

Without cursing myself, which I am sure I just did, I am grateful for the fact that in the past x months, I think I may be close to a year or more my sleep has been good and there have been no major issues of waking up drenched in a cold sweat trying to convince my hands that all they need to do is grab the bottle of glucose tabs on my nightstand and put them in my mouth. Not all over the bed, floor, my face (not in my mouth of course) and anywhere else my hands choose to fling those life saving tablets.

I guess that’s a good thing. A few weeks back I was down at the annual Friends for Life Conference in Orlando. I got to hang out with some of my friends, got to pick on Kerri and Scott, etc. It was good. It was fun. I mean I got to see Donald, so that was pretty bad ass.

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I was hoping to get something out of this conference. But nothing. So maybe I am in burnout. But I don’t feel burnt out. Maybe I am just in autopilot mode. I don’t really care. I was hoping something would inspire me to do something. Nope. So I am going to continue as I am.

I am happy, I am healthy, I have an endo appointment. I am not expecting any surprises. So status quo. I guess that’s fine.

I end this very melancholy, no title post with this picture. I currently have a priest in training in residence with me. He made brownies. He than proceeded to cut a piece out of the center and started eating it. I actually yelled at him, that this is not the fucking way to eat brownies and he took a second piece to somewhat balance it out. But seriously, who the fuck does that??

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Word of the Day – Day 5

Shananigator

That right there could be my entire post for the day. It sums me up in one word. Normally I tell people I am indescribable or possibly just fucking weird.

But let’s look at today’s topic.

Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes!  (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)

I periodically recycle this pic when I have nothing else to say, so I think it applies to yesterday as well.

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This post wasn’t difficult to write, but I was still delayed in it’s writing. Internet went sporadic on Thursday afternoon and it took the better part of a day for company to fix the issue. So anytime we had bandwidth, I was actually working.

There are many ways in which to say who I am. But honestly, I am not the one to say them. This is not a false humility thing. It is a reality of who I am. If you were to ask any person who meets me to describe me, you would get the answer of “Sarcastic” after that, the explanation of who I am varies from person to person, based on our interactions.

If nothing else, I like to think I am normal and calm. But the reality is, I am multiple levels of odd mixed with uniqueness and bizarreness. I am awkward, yet awkwardly funny. I am horrible in groups of people I don’t know, that is really where the awkward escapes and embarrasses me. I am a weird friend with quirks.

Honestly, that is a touch of who I am. I am a cyclist, a hiker, and ultimate frisbee player. I am a gamer, a reader, and a pro napper.

I am many things. Each of these things makes me, me. The one thing my friends do not lump into their descriptions of me, is a person with type-1 diabetes. They know, but it is not who I am. Yes, over the years type-1 has shaped me, but the reality is, I do not let it define me. So, I do not let my friends use it to define me either. It is a part of who I am. But I never let it rule me or anything like that.

So this is me in a nutshell and me going off to get some waffles.