World Diabetes Day Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to those who commented to enter my giveaway!  It is currently after 5pm on World Diabetes Day so here are the winners.  (I randomly chose three numbers between 1 and 9 for the number of comments and the prizes were in the order listed in my post).

The winner of a copy of Daniele’s new book is Karen.

The winner of the blue Prikkedief supply case is Melody.

The winner of the pink Prikkedief supply case is Andrea.

I would appreciate if the winners could send me an email ( with your mailing address.  

Cograts and enjoy your new goodies :)

World Diabetes Day Giveaway. 

Hi! Yup I’m still around :) Things have been hectic around here lately but I’m still alive & kicking! 

Since World Diabetes Day is just two days away, I couldn’t think of a better time to give some things to my readers. In honor of the day on Saturday (by midnight), I will randomly choose three people who have left a comment on this post, to win one of the below items. 

 A copy of the new book by the wonderful Daniele, the Diabetes Dominator.  I just started reading it myself, but I’m already sure it’s going to be a great read :) 

One of two diabetes supply cases from Prikkedief. One is blue with a gold zipper and one is pink with the same color zipper. (The picture of the inside is just for reference – they are both the same on the inside).   


All you have to do is leave a comment here. Unfortunately you won’t know which you could be selected for, but they’re all great wins!  

Good luck and happy world diabetes day :) 


So summer 2015 is almost over already.  And only 4 months left of this year.  How on earth did that happen??!?  This year is completely flying by.  It’s been months since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d give a general update.  In case anyone wants to know :)

Since mid-March, I’ve been back on my beloved OmniPod.  I switched to a different pump at the end of last year because of insurance changes.  My durable medical equipment is no longer covered at 100% and the cost of pods are significantly more expensive compared to traditional pump infusion sets and reservoirs.  However, I received a promotion at work in March that came with a decent raise.  So I jumped back on the OmniPod since I could afford it better.  And I’m one happy pumper!

I was using Apidra in my insulin pumps for over 3 years.  Come January 1st, my insurance stopped covering it.  Since they were already not covering Humalog, that left me with switching to Novolog.  I used Novolog for some time before switching to Apidra and it worked ok.  So I went back to it.  Until recent weeks, I was noticing high postprandial readings and realized it could’ve been the insulin.  One of the benefits I found from Apidra was better postprandials.  I consulted my CDE about it and she offered to file a pre authorization for me.  I figured why not?  Well it was approved!  So I am now able to get Apidra for the next year.  Phew.

I had my quarterly appointment last week with my retina specialist.  Since it’s going on 4 years since I was diagnosed with retinopathy/DME, these appointments are always a little nerve racking.  But I received a good report!  After just one treatment of Lucentis, my eyes have been stable since.  For this I am EXTREMELY thankful.

Other things have been a bit hectic over the past two months.  I’ve had numerous doctor appointments with no end in sight yet.  It started with a trip to a cardiologist, which was a first for me.  I mainly went for peace of mind and not because I was having symptoms.  Of course with type 1 diabetes, especially having it for a long time, the higher chance is there for heart issues.  I had an echo-cardiogram and a stress test which thankfully came back normal.  Although not without major anxiety.  I was having some periods of dizziness so that lead to a bunch of tests including a cat scan of my frontal bone and carotid artery test.  Luckily those were normal and the dizziness subsided.  I had a full blood panel completed which did not reveal any major health issues.  It did show that my A1c went up a bit but I’m hoping Apidra will help get that back down.  I found my very first primary doctor.  I do not actually see the need for one since I have a multitude of specialists and see my endocrinologist regularly.  However it seems for certain things, she may actually be helpful.  And I liked her so that’s a plus.

I’ve been dealing with leg pain when walking for years and years.  I had an NCV test done a few years ago which showed no signs of nerve damage.  I also had an arterial doppler done two years ago which showed no sign of any vascular abnormalities.  Along with the echo-cardiogram and stress test, my cardiologist ordered an ABI test, which tests for peripheral artery disease.  This test was inconclusive which in one way is a good thing since there was no definite sign of PAD.  My primary doctor ran blood work to check muscle enzyme levels.  Normal.  She referred me to a neurologist who I saw today for a consult.  She ordered an MRI and an EMG which I will have done in the coming weeks.  She thinks it is a mechanical issue which I’m not even really sure of what that means.  This chapter is to be continued.

I was diagnosed with gastroparesis a few years ago and IBS before that.  And they have not been playing nice lately :(  I’m paying a visit to my gastroenterologist next week (she’s probably feeling left out!) to see if we need to explore other treatment options.  And praying she doesn’t want to send me for any tests!

While all of these issues may not be diabetes related, they have most certainly been explored more thoroughly and seriously because of it.  My head is spinning because of all the appointments and tests, and it’s hard not to get down from it all, I’m trying to remain positive.  Staying on top of my health is something within my control.  I am more than happy to endure endless tests and meetings with doctors if that means I can identify issues early and treat them accordingly.  Diabetes be damned.


Gentler Testing.

As of today, I have done approximately 48,836 blood glucose checks.  That is an estimate based on the 33+ years I have had type 1 diabetes, checking on a low estimate of 4 times a day.  The past number of years I have checked daily many more times than that however I wanted to take into consideration the first couple of years not having a glucose meter to check with or the number of years I unfortunately checked less than that.  So that’s the number I calculated and I’m sticking to it :)

It’s no wonder my fingertips are a mess!  I cannot tell you how often I need to re-stick myself in order to get blood from my fingertip.  My fingers are marked with scars and are hard to the touch.  It may sound gross but it comes with the territory.  When the team at Genteel reached out to me, asking if I’d like to try their lancing device, of course I said yes.  Why wouldn’t I want to see if there is a gentler-on-my-fingertips way to check my BG?

My very first impressions when receiving the Genteel device was that it was pretty (of course I got the princess pink).  And big.  But those were just based on how it looked and nothing yet on how it works.  After reading the material on how to use it – it comes with various contact tips for different depths of penetration so I chose the one I thought best suited for my fingers – I gave it a try.  To my surprise, it didn’t hurt at all!  You can also use the Genteel to test on other areas, not just your fingertips.  I may be a creature of habit (a 30 year habit) so I haven’t branched out to other areas.  But I may give it a try at some point ;)  You can also use multiple types of lancets with this device which is a great feature since it doesn’t limit you to just one particular type.


Overall the device is comfortable for your fingers.  It also comes in various colors (yes I do like “pretty” diabetes devices and accessories.  And choices.) and the stickers are a cute feature for kids to dress theirs up.  I even put a sticker on mine :)  One thing I honestly didn’t love about it is that it’s pretty bulky.  However comfort should precede looks if it’s an important enough feature.  Your diabetes may vary of course.

The great team over at Genteel ( have provided a code to be used for readers here, for $10 off the purchase of your own Genteel lancing device.  The code to use during purchase is “stacey10off”.  Keep in mind they have a 120 day money back guarantee in case you’re concerned about buying something you haven’t tried before.

After all these years of fingersticks, I actually never knew this (from Genteel’s website) “All lancing devices on the market today mainly rely on extracting blood from the fingertips, because they are the primary area where blood capillaries are closest to the surface of the skin. Unfortunately, they also have the most abundant supply of pain nerves.”  See, it’s never too late to learn!

Top of The World.

Last night I got home from the first ever Diabetes UnConference in Las Vegas.  During my trip home, I saw on social media that Stephen wrote a blog post about it and I thought to myself, wow he’s quick!  But then I thought, he had the right idea.  While it’s still fresh in my mind I wanted to share my thoughts.


The above photo is when we were on top of Las Vegas.  We took a ride on the High Roller (an observation wheel that goes 550 feet up and gives the most amazing panoramic views of Vegas).  It was incredible.

I’ve been to numerous diabetes conferences before.  And I was always happy to attend them not only to learn from the experts or panelists but also to connect with others from the diabetes community.    This was a little different.  The goal of the first UnConference was to allow the attendees to create the agenda, using various methods for us all to share with and learn from each other as peers.  I think it did that very well.  Nothing was shared on social media and I won’t even share explicit details here.  Just imagine being with about 90 other people with diabetes who get it, talking about what is important to all of us and I probably don’t even need to go into much detail.  As wonderful and important as online connections are, in-real-life connections are that much more powerful.  And stick with you forever.

Christel asked us to write down one word to describe how we were feeling at the end.  (I hope I don’t get in trouble for sharing this part!)  I was, and still am, feeling extremely thankful.  Finding the diabetes online community about 8 1/2 years ago when I was getting my first insulin pump was the best thing that ever happened to me.  And it has been extraordinary to watch it continue to grow over the years.  I’ve learned more over that time period than I did the first 24 years as a person with T1.  And I’m not exaggerating.  I wish so much that my father would have had the same opportunity.  I think it would have been so good for him and maybe things could have turned out differently.  The diabetes community (both online and off) has had an immensely positive impact on my life and for that I will forever be thankful.  I wish that every person with diabetes has this same opportunity and I will do whatever I can to reach those who may not have it yet.


This above photo is one of the amazing views from the sky during my flight home back to the East Coast.  Looking through the (few) pictures I took during the weekend, I sensed a theme.  We were on top of Vegas.  I was on top of the sky.  And what I was left feeling – on top of the world.

Accuracy. And Lots of Links.

Glucose meter accuracy is one thing that I feel very strongly about.  As everyone living with diabetes should.  I have been able to keep my A1c under 7% for the past 2+ years, something I have never done before in my 33 years with T1D.  But one of the things I need in order to be able to do that is an accurate glucose meter.

When using the OmniPod insulin pump, I mainly used the PDM as a glucose meter since it was built in – it uses Abbott Freestyle test strips.  I also have a One Touch Verio IQ meter which I posted about some time ago, really liking all of its features.  Even though it reads a bit higher compared to other meters for me, I’ve been using that as my main meter since shortly before I switched to the Tandem t:slim pump.

When Dexcom recently announced a software update to their G4 CGM product for more overall accurate results, of course I was thrilled.  I downloaded the update as soon as I could a few weeks ago.  Since the G4 was already very accurate for me (in terms of being in line with my fingersticks) even better accuracy sounded amazing!    Until it started reading off to my glucose meter and it’s been like that for the past few weeks, driving me crazy.  Has anyone else noticed this?

I received an email last week regarding the results of a J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey that noted Bayer ranks highest in overall satisfaction.  In the report, it also states “In addition to these results, Bayer recently presented data from two new analyses of previously published studies at the Diabetes Technology Society Annual Meeting 2014 that demonstrated the impressive accuracy of Bayer meters”.  This got me thinking to my own Bayer Contour Next Link USB meter that was tucked away.  I’ve tried it in the past and liked it and recall it being very close to my Dexcom readings.  So I decided to give it a try again.


(In the above picture, the Dexcom had been calibrated with the Verio) I’ve done my share of meter comparisons and I don’t want to do that anymore.  Not only is each meter different, it stresses me out completely to do this.  So I’d rather not drive myself crazy if I can help it :)

Since Friday evening, there is definitely a notable difference of having readings much closer to my Dexcom than the Verio has had recently.  All I want is a meter and CGM I can trust for accuracy and consistency.  Since I already trust the Dexcom after 6 years of use, I need a glucose meter that will give me the same experience.  My diabetes management cannot be at its best without it.


 (While I have mentioned specific glucose meter brands in my post, I am in no way bad mouthing any of them.  Everyone’s experiences vary and I am only writing about my own.) 

Another Year.

I know I can’t be the only one who is wondering where on earth 2014 went.  I seriously feel like it just began!  It wasn’t a great year for me but it wasn’t a completely horrible one either.  I still have much to be thankful for and look forward to in the new year.

One thing I am NOT looking forward to is a decrease in my health insurance benefits.  Beginning on January 1st, my coverage will no longer be 100% and I will also have a deductible for the very first time in my 16 year career.  While this may seem like the norm to many, and I am completely aware of that, it is a big change for me.  With that in mind, I made a decision a couple of months ago to change insulin pumps.  I was using the OmniPod for over two and a half years.  I loved it.  Had few issues and really loved being tubeless.  However, the cost for my insurance for a 3 month supply of pods is well over $1,000 more than traditional infusion sets for a tubed pump.  In trying to budget medical expenses and cut where I can, I decided to forgo my OmniPod for a tubed insulin pump.  I have an Animas Ping that is still under warranty but I don’t love it (it is the pump I used before switching to the pods).  I was using it for a few weeks and disliking the average 180 units of insulin per reservoir, the scrolling,  the battery changing and associated rewind and priming necessary with each change.  Since I was always interested in the Tandem t:slim, I decided to take the plunge.  It was an investment I decided to make out of my own pocket and since I couldn’t get a trial with one, I took comfort in their 30 day return policy.  However it has been about 2 months since I began using it and couldn’t be happier with it!


I set it up myself (and I do not suggest every person doing this) and it literally took about 10 minutes.  The priming takes a bit longer compared to other pumps but that is not a deal breaker for me.  I knew the touch screen was going to make operating it easier but I didn’t realize just how much.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to like having to charge it.  But this battery lasts forever!  And charges really quickly!  Other electronic device makers should take note!  I was using Apidra when I first started with the t:slim with no apparent issues.  However my insurance decided to change that for me as well and stop covering it beginning January 1st.  I asked my CDE for a sample of Novolog (the only short acting insulin my insurance will now cover) to see if it worked well for me.  It does so I switched that too.  All in all it’s been a good transition and I actually don’t miss my OmniPod as much as I thought I would.

My last endocrinologist appointment went ok.  It was rather short lived since she was called out for a consultation with another doctor but she did say I was easy :)  My A1c is stable and the rest of my blood and urine work were all normal, thankfully.  I have an appointment for some bladder test that may reveal another complication but more on that next month.  My last retina specialist appointment went well and showed no evidence of macular edema or subretinal fluid which was music to my ears!  That means my retinopathy has been stable for over 3 years thanks to Lucentis.

December 24th marked 33 years of T1D for me.  It’s hard to believe that much time has gone by but it came with very mixed emotions.  Over the past few years I’ve had a few things start to turn up which get me down from time to time but overall I’m still doing well and am very grateful for that.  And that is what I need to concentrate on.  To keep it that way :)

I want to wish all of my readers and friends very happy holidays.  I wish you all a healthy and happy new year.