Grief Then. Grief Now.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night from a nightmare.  My heart was pounding so hard I swore Joe could hear or feel it.  It was about finding out my father passed away.  When I woke up I realized it wasn’t really a dream, but a recollection.

Today marks ten years that my father passed away.  Ten years.  As much as I hate it, my life has gone on.  So much has happened in the past ten years, especially in my diabetes life, that I wish I could share with him.  I know he is watching over me but I wish he was here in real life.  I still have those moments where my heart truly aches from missing him.

I would give anything to be able to talk to him again.  Hug him.  Hold his hand.  Make tea for him.  And as long as I live, I will hate diabetes for taking that away from me.  But today I won’t let diabetes win.  I’m not going to reflect on what I lost.  I am going to celebrate the wonderful father I had.  I am going to remember the good times we shared.  I am going to cherish his memory.

In my dreams
I’ll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I’ll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be
Lyrics from There You’ll Be by Faith Hill, the song we danced to at my wedding

IMG_0060

T.G.I.F.

Since I whined like a little baby yesterday, I just wanted to reflect on the fact that indeed things could be much worse.  I am still a very blessed person and just have a bit on my plate at the moment.  I’ve seen a quote a few times recently “It’s a bad day, not a bad life”.  In my case it’s been a bad week but it still holds true and I know that 🙂

 

I’m looking forward to the weekend and hope that you all have a great one!

Good-Weekend-Graphics-3

Frustrations Galore.

This has been one rough week and I cannot wait until it is behind me.

  • My boss is on vacation so I’ve been filling in for him.  That has lead to some hectic times in the office.  It’s great being in charge sometimes but I am looking forward to having that extra load lifted come Monday!  Also at work, being part of a huge organization can create complicated processes and frustration that are truly unnecessary.
  • I was expecting a shipment at home from Modell’s (new sneaks baby) this week.  It was initially shipped via FedEx SmartPost which means that FedEx brings it to the US Post Office who then delivers it.  In tracking this shipment, I saw that it went from my city, to the next one over, then to New Jersey, a whole other state.  I cannot begin to tell you the frustration I had in trying to get to the bottom of where it was going to wind up.  Sitting silent on your end of the phone because you cannot get passed the automated voice prompt in order to speak to a real person.  USPS needs to improve their telephone customer service system!
  • Insurance.  I admit I’ve never really had to deal with insurance woes.  My coverage is above average and never resulted in denied claims or anything of that nature.  This year, my employer switched to Anthem BCBS and I hate them.  Every shipment of pods that I get from Edgepark is initially denied, they request medical records (of what kind, I have no idea) and take 2 months or more to finally approve.  My last order from 5/22/13 is still not approved.  This is the third time they’ve done this and Edgepark will rightfully be hesitant to send my next shipment which is scheduled for 8/3.  I’ve attempted to work something out with them so that this does not happen every time to no avail.  This has become so frustrating and now also worrisome that I will not receive my pods in a timely manner.
  • My employer offers a health advocate service and I figured my insurance approval for pods issue was the perfect opportunity to engage such a service.  This is what I was told by them today “Unfortunately, the distributor has the right to hold any shipment if payment is not received.  Your only option would be to pay the charges and submit the bill to the insurance carrier for reimbursement as the request for medical records are to determine medical necessity.”  Hello more frustration.
  • Insurance.  I admit I’ve never dealt with insurance woes.  My (previous) pump was an Animas Ping that came out of warranty last month.  I received a new one with word from Animas that no preauthorization was required and that it was covered 100% under my durable medical equipment coverage.  Anthem has approved this claim with the amount of the pump not covered.  Animas claims they are working on it and assured me I would not have to pay for the pump.  I informed them more than once I am NOT paying $6,000 for the pump.  So incredibly frustrating.
  • My endo appointment was last week and not only did my A1c go up a bit, so did my cholesterol.  This is the first time ever that it’s been slightly elevated so I’m not terribly concerned.  However I am trying to think of what could have possibly caused it and am extremely frustrated that I can’t seem to narrow it down to anything in particular.  If anything, I’ve been exercising more and eating a bit better!
  • In the 18 months I’ve been using the OmniPod system, I have had very few issues with pod failures and other problems.  Last week when it was about 100 degrees in NY, I changed a pod to my lower back only to sweat it off in 5-10 minutes flat.  Since I was afraid of sweating more pods off, I was mainly using my abdomen for pod sites, although still rotating areas as much as I could.  One pod turned into a bleeder and when I took it off looked possibly infected.  Luckily I tended it to right away and it was not actually infected.  The pod after that started leaking insulin and left a huge welt on my belly.  Thinking I should give my abdomen a break and with slightly cooler weather, I turned to my top butt for the next pod.  Which also turned into a bleeder.  Three pods in a row that had to come off early and resulted in high BG.  Insulet is replacing 2 of the 3 pods however that does not replace the frustration it has been to deal with this issue.  I am extremely thankful that I have an alternate pump to use instead for the time being.

Can I scream now??!  I hope you are having a much less frustrating week!

Portable Pancreas Girl Giveaway.

A couple of weeks ago, I turned to my friends and readers to help me choose a new medical alert bracelet from Lauren’s Hope.  The winner of the “contest” was the Olivia and I received it from the team over there a few days later.

IMG_2901

IMG_2899

This bracelet is absolutely beautiful.  Purple and grey are my favorite colors so this is perfect for me!  It’s a pretty, dainty style but not too much for every day wear.  I thought maybe I wouldn’t like the three strands but I actually do.  It’s quite comfortable.  I’ve been wearing it every day since I received it and I see no signs of that yet.

Now for the surprise.  The team over at Lauren’s Hope would like to offer an opportunity for you guys as readers, to get your own medical alert!  There are three ways you can participate.  1) leave a comment on this particular blog post 2) tweet about this giveaway using the hashtags #ppggiveaway and #laurenshope 3) leave a comment on my share of this post on Facebook (for my friends).  At 5pm on Thursday July 18th, I will randomly select a winner of a $50 gift certificate to use at Lauren’s Hope for your choice of a medical alert accessory.

The winner will be announced here on Friday, July 19th.  If you happen to not be the winner, you can still get 10% off a purchase using the coupon code FAN.

Good luck!!! 🙂

Pump It Up.

I have always struggled with maintaining an exercise regimen. I’ve tried gyms and never stick with it so wind up cancelling my membership. I do my best working out at home so I have tried numerous workout programs. My generous hubby got me an elliptical a few years ago which did get some good use but not consistently. I liked the Biggest Loser Challenge game for the Wii for a while and Zumba for Xbox Kinect. Those didn’t last either. I even did a Kettlenetics program for a short time. I worked with Ginger for a bit and worked on some routines that she gave me. I didn’t mind them but wasn’t something I really enjoyed doing either (sorry G!!) . For some reason I never stay motivated enough to keep up with something. That is until recently.

Working with Ginger, I learned how your body and BG are affected differently from different types of exercise.  Ultimately weight training or intervals are better for losing weight as well as for managing BG.  (I will not pretend to be the expert and get into all the details here! 😉 ) I’ve heard about programs like P90X and Insanity, that they are difficult but result provoking.  For some reason though, I never had any interest in trying them.  However, my fellow T1D friend Jen, posted a few times about a fitness program called Les Mills Pump on Facebook and it got me intrigued.  I chatted a little with her about it and figured I’d give it a try.  Well, I love it!  It’s a 90 day program consisting of eight different workout DVD’s of lighter weight training at high repetitions.  It comes with a schedule that you should adhere to that I don’t exactly follow but have been working out 4-5 days a week which is a HUGE improvement for me.  Along with that program I am also alternating some HIIT spin workouts on my newer spin bike courtesy again of my generous hubby 🙂  Although the program is suited for 90 days, I can see this as something I’ll stick with much longer than that.

Have I noticed any weight loss yet?  Not exactly.  But I am hoping to see a difference in my body soon.  I am not only doing this to lose weight.  My BG have been fabulous (for the most part of course – it is diabetes we are talking about here) and I feel great.  More important is that I actually look forward to working out when I get home from work or on the weekends and it doesn’t feel so much like a chore anymore!  I truly find motivation from others.  Their posts.  Their pictures.  Their stories.  I hope that this pushes a little motivation your way if you are in need of some!

IMG_2407

From Arnold Sports Festival Facebook Page

imagesCAMGLQB0

(image credit goes to the internet for these)

**I do not have any relations with Beach Body or Nintendo or Microsoft nor do they have any idea I even wrote this post.  I do not work for Ginger or Jen but am lucky to be friends with them from the diabetes community.  I would however recommend getting to know both of them 🙂  Thank you to both of them for sharing their knowledge and motivation with others.  It is greatly appreciated.  And also a thank you to my husband for always being supportive of my overall health and encouraging me to do things that will keep me healthy.**

Talking with a True Inspiration.

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kris Freeman. If you are not familiar with who he is, I hope I can help with introducing a great person in the diabetes community. Kris is a professional American cross-country skier. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 19 years old.

Kris Freeman

(image credit: Lilly Diabetes)  

Kris has been partnering with Eli Lilly since 2002 for advocacy. He wants to teach others “don’t let go of dreams because of diagnosis”.  This year he will be the guest of honor at 10 diabetes camps across the country in conjunction with the Lilly Camp Care Package program.  Kris feels that in a setting such as diabetes camps, people with diabetes can draw together for support and be more mentally equipped to handle the day to day challenges. I could not agree more with him. I have never attended diabetes camp but I have attended other events or just meet ups and have made so many friends along the way.  My attitude or my outlook would not be where it is today without that support, that’s for sure.

I’ve been working out more than usual recently. By that I mean 4-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes. And I felt so accomplished for this. Until I spoke with Kris that is! A basic day for Kris would include about 4 hours of some sort of training. A 2 hour roller ski, an 8 mile run, 2 mile swim. Then when he is training for the Olympics (which are coming up in a few months!) that is taken to a whole other level. He does 100 mile bike rides, 5km road races. Six days a week with only one off day a week. Whoa. Now I’m not a professional athlete but that kind of workout schedule still impresses the hell out of me.

Kris is a fellow OmniPodder and Dexcom user. I could imagine that being an athlete like himself, wearing the pod vs. a conventional insulin pump would be much more practical and easy. I asked him what his favorite site was for the pods and believe it or not, it’s his pecs! Beside his triceps, that is where he most wears his pods.  He never takes a Dexcom break and likes that he can be more discreet, able to check his BG with a glance at the Dexcom instead of having to do a fingerstick among his non diabetic peers.  I think we can all appreciate that!

In addition to using modern technology and heavy duty sports training to manage his BG, he also is a big believer in a high glycemic diet.  He is always thinking about his blood sugar.  I sit on my butt all day for work and think about my BG constantly so I can only imagine that being as active as he is would make me think about it even more.  A rhythmic diet full of fruits and vegetables, high in protein for breakfast and high in carbs for dinner is what he finds works best for him.

One thing Kris said resonated with me very much. He said that diabetes doesn’t go away but learning about it makes it easier. After living with T1D for 31 and a half years, I myself am still learning. And I have to agree that the more you know and understand, the easier it can be to deal with.  After being told to forget about his Olympic goals after diagnosis and dealing with road bumps along the way, it never even occurred to Kris to give up.  That is what makes him stand out.  What makes him a true inspiration.

Thank you so much Kris for taking time to speak with me. It was a pleasure hearing from someone as inspiring as you.  And best wishes for your upcoming endeavor in the winter Olympics!