Monday, April 28, 2008

Raise your voice for all to hear...

This week marks the beginning of the American Diabetes Association's Call to Congress. I know some of the members of the Diabetes OC are attending but I think this is really important as we continue to raise our voice about having type 1 diabetes.

ADA is encouraging individuals to call their Representative and Senators toll-free at 877-ADA-2008 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM (EST) from April 28 – May 2, 2008, and tell them we need more money for diabetes! Diabetes costs this country more than $174 billion dollars a year (Can you even imagine how much money this is??)

Make sure to tell them to support legislation that will increase research and prevention funding for diabetes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Share with them any personal connection to diabetes your wish to share and make sure Congress understands the effect diabetes has on the lives of the millions of people living with this disease. Help represent everyone living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Dex Update

Today marks the 3rd day with my 2nd Dexcom sensor. On Thursday night, I got a failed sensor error from my 1st sensor. I restarted but that was short lived. On Friday, during my Adobe InDesign class, I got another failed sensor error and made a trek back to my CDE's office for another one. I've been doing marvelously since and have managed to avoid a few lows and reduce a few of the afternoon highs. I'm still at a loss for what the heck is happening to me at night and tomorrow I'm trying my hand on the treadmill to see what exactly is happening during my exercise routine.

Overall, the Dex and I are friends. So much so that I was thinking that this was the next step in my diabetes management process. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn't seem to be loving that idea so after the wedding (and when I have alittle more cash to spend liberally) I'll pick up my sword and head into this battle with hopes of some reimbursement. As I've only been out on my own a year and really don't have much insurance company experience, I'm overwhelmed with what to do. I've been provided some guidance by the people at Dexcom, but I really wish someone would write "Dealing With Insurance Companies When You Have Type 1 Diabetes". If someone had told me a few months ago when I started my job, that I would need a PPO plan I might have done that...or if someone would explain how to file an appeal....or if someone could tell me how successful they were at getting coverage and what they did....all in a hand dandy book, that could be a GREAT resource, especially for us 20 somethings navigating new waters on different plans than our parents.

So, I'm using the next few days to learn as much as I can about the Dex and to prepare for my bridal shower (thrown by my wonderful maid of honor, my sister!, with help from my mom) and my bachelorette party (dinner at the Melting Pot, then a surprise that I have no idea about) and get ready for this wedding that goes down in a little over 6 weeks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

All hooked up to the Dexcom

I got hooked up to the Dexcom this morning and I'm totally loving it so far. It's pretty cool seeing the trends (and reporting my blood sugar to all my friends at work).

More info tomorrow as I get more data.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raising my voice today and everyday

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on July 23, 2002. There are several things about that day that stick out in my mind, and there are a few things about that day that I don't remember.

On that day, I had the day off from my job as a Guest Service Representative at Target and was convinced my allergy medicine was making me tired and thirsty. I was watching Bold and the Beautiful on CBS while eating a "double cheese" grilled cheese sandwich after a routine doctor's appointment when my mom walked down our stairs and told me that I had diabetes. I imagine it was the hardest thing she's ever had to tell me, but I'm not quite sure we knew then what diabetes meant for someone my age. I don't remember crying, but I do remember being worried I was going to be fired from my job because I had to work the next day. I was told I was going to the hospital and should plan to be there for several days. It's funny what matters to you when you're 17.

I don't remember how the conversation with my boyfriend Ross went or how the conversation between my parents went. I remember battling DC rush hour traffic to get Walter Reed and being admitted and hooked up to an IV. I remember being cold and feeling out of place in the children's ward. I remember my mom, dad, and sister reluctantly leaving me that night to go home and get things in order. I remember being awoken several times that night by nurses just a few months older than me who would bring me People Magazine and chat about high school, the sports that I played, and my budding social life.

I remember getting the bag of information and trying to absorb so much information the first few days. I remember that first shot and those first few finger pokes. I was learning about how my body worked and realizing that my life would never be the same. Then we were turned loose to deal with this disease. I remember the ride home with my mom and talking about Steel Magnolias and having a family and her telling me it would be okay and we'd get through the journey together (we'd already experienced it a month earlier with my sister's diagnosis of JRA). I remember crying at my favorite bbq restaurant and my dad telling me it was okay to have a few fries as long as I counted the carbs, like I'd learned. I remember my dad saying that he'd take away my diabetes if he could.

I don't remember ever knowing what diabetes was before my diagnosis or ever thinking about what I would do if my life was changed by a disease. I don't really remember how sick I really was. I don't remember ever advocating for my own health, or even ever really listening to my body. I don't remember if I'd ever knew the distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The most important thing I remember hearing was something that my dad continues to say to me even after living with diabetes for almost 6 years. He said that there has to be reason why diabetes has affected my life. I've always taken that to heart and realized that without diabetes, I probably wouldn't be in the career I'm in, or have the hobbies that I do. I wouldn't know about the wonderful community that exists online for people like me.

So today on our self-proclaimed T1 Diabetes Awareness Day, I promise to try everyday to sound the alert about diabetes and how it's affected the life I lead. Because I think that's what I'm supposed to do...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring has sprung

It's spring in the DC area (FINALLY!) and even though thunderstorms are predicted for tonight, nothing can rain on the fact that it's absolutely GORGEOUS outside. A warm 65 degrees keeps me hopefully that in just a few months it'll be summertime.

This is the only free weekend I have for the next few months and I'm hoping to take advantage of it by sending out our wedding invitations and shopping for my beautiful bridesmaids' gifts. We're less than 2 months away from our wedding and I'm more excited than anything else (well, and alittle bit stressed about making it the most perfect day ever). So much has already been done, but I still have a good sized list of things to do.

I'm also taking a new step in my diabetes management by taking a Dexcom 7 on a trial run starting Tuesday. My numbers have been surprisingly good the last week (an average of 147mg/dl according to my Cozmo history) and I'm hoping that the Dex will let me fine tune the use of my pump. If things go well, I'm going to pursue adding this to the management program permanently.

Friday, April 04, 2008

It's gonna take some time...

This week went by quicker than I thought it would. I spent last weekend hanging out with my dad in Martinsville, VA at the Craftsman Truck Series race. We have a very good friend, Timothy Peters, who self-funded a car to compete. My dad "spots" for Timothy (aka he stands on top of a tower and is basically Timothy's eyes around the track). My job for the weekend was to observe and try to engage some people who may be interested in sponsoring Timothy for more races this season. I had a stack of business cards, but unfortunately didn't hand out one. We qualified 6th and finished 19th (Timothy got in a pretty big wreck). I hung out with the pit crew and tried to learn about the business. (Bring a grill, pack a heavy coat always, stuff like that).

Work has been busy, but I want to do more!! I'm going to take a web design class this summer or fall so that I can do some web design projects.

Almost the weekend...thank goodness!