Wednesday, January 26, 2011

fair trade?

Every day around 3:30p, my boys come bursting through the door, home from school. They are so excited to tell me about their day. Jackets, shoes, and backpacks go flying here and there.
The other day, Bryce came running in telling me about these charms that he got. Charms are these little plastic things used as incentives at his school. The kids get them for good behavior and doing good work in various subjects. I was excited to find out how he earned his charms. Bryce told me the story, "I didn't get them from school...Cole gave them to me. I gave him my Skittles since I don't like them much and he gave me these charms" Great!!! Trading his low treatments for charms! Wonder if this was a fair trade.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?

We don't check ketones often. Bryce rarely gets them...ok, once when he was throwing up, but that was it. We always just used the urine test strips but through the DOC, I heard about BLOOD ketone testing. At our endo appnt just over 3 months ago, I asked about it. He gave us a meter and some strips. I still have 7 of the 10 test strips. After reading the Reyna's post about blood ketone testing, I decided to call our insurance company to find out if they were covered....

OMG!!! I think insurance companies hire dumb people to field their questions. They never know anything and can't seem to understand whatever it is I am trying to tell them/ask them, etc.
me: "do you cover blood ketone test strips?"
CS: She says she has to look, "yes, test strips are covered with a limit"
me: "what is the limit?"
CS: "well blood glucose test strips have a limit of 200 a month"
me: "ok, but I am not talking about blood GLUCOSE test strips, I am talking about blood KETONE test strips"
CS: "it says you can have two different brands"
me: "well they test different things, are you sure they are part of the same limit?"

No matter how I tried to explain it, she could not seem to understand that a blood glucose test strip and a blood ketone test strip are DIFFERENT things. She finally said she would fax a pre-authorization or something to our doctor. I was about to pull my hair out, so gave up.
A couple days later, I went to the pharmacy to pick up all our prescriptions. Of course, insurance denied the blood ketone strips because I was getting our bg test strips. Ergh, but expected. The gal at the pharmacy said she would call my insurance company and see what she could do. Today she called me back. She told me that she explained the difference in the two tests strips. Found out that the blood ketone strips are not supposed to be covered under pharmacy but under medical (wtf?) but they would allow it this month under the highest copay ($50). I asked how many I get, she said 100. Considering how much I hear they are, I am not complaining, plus we have the Freestyle plan thing where Abbott covers part of the copay (not sure how much but think it is $25) Maybe it was a pharmacist explaining it or maybe it was a somewhat intelligent customer service rep. Regardless, we will be getting blood ketone test strips. We are armed and loaded....may we not need them (much!)

into the unknown

Due to this stellar economy, my husband was laid off last week. Luckily we are waiting on an offer from another company so this bout of unemployment should be short lived. This new company does not offer medical until after one full month of employment (this would mean March). Normally this would be no big deal but with a child with diabetes, it is HUGE!! He talked to his ex-company and they are allowing us to continue our medical benefits through till the end of February. Regardless, we stocked up on all our D supplies while we could apply it to our FSA. I filled all our prescriptions, ordered all our pump and Dexcom supplies. Now I guess we hold on and see what happens.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

for my friend

I have this friend, M. Our lives were set up perfectly to come together when they did. Her daughter, G, and my oldest son were in Kindergarten together a few years ago. We both volunteered to do the Art Literacy program each month and our children were the high achievers in class. So we knew each other and talked school stuff (mostly how much we disliked the Kindy teacher and what artist we were going to present) Then October rolled around and Bryce was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I was in shock to say the least. When we returned to school, my son's teacher told me that this girl in class had diabetes and would it be okay for her mom to talk to me about it. This mom turned out to be my art lit partner and my friend. I had no idea her daughter had diabetes. I knew G left class often but had no idea why. M swears she told me about her diabetes but if she did, I blew it off...why would I care? Anyhow, M and I have become great friends. While our style of D management is TOTALLY different, we know the beast we deal with is the same.
G was also diagnosed at 3 and a half, like Bryce. She is now 8 years old. She has been on MDI for close to 5 years. M likes to micromanage her daughter's D (most of us do) But that's not easy when on shots. I have been talking to her for over a year and a half about how much we love our pump. Money has always been the issue as to why G didn't have one. Not really lack of money, just priorities of where it went. Plus her diabetes clinic is more conservative and doesn't push pump therapy. Well this Christmas, G's grandparents bought her a pump! A PINK Animas Ping! Next week G starts her saline trial and should be up and running shortly after. I am so excited for G to be on a pump...I KNOW it will be best for how M wants to manage G's D.
So yesterday, I crocheted a pump pack for G. I think it came out pretty cute. Bryce wants me to make him one now...not pink and purple of course. Think I am done making scarves...on to pump packs! Shoot, by the end of the month, I may have hundreds of them ;-)

Hope G likes it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

right on grandma!!

Each month, I meet up with a great group of D moms to chat over coffee. We have a couple regulars there every month, a few that come when they can, and almost every month have a new person join us. Today, the new person really impressed me. Wanna know why? Because she was the GRANDMA! Her 5 year old granddaughter was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago. She listened to our stories, asked questions, took notes. I LOVED how interested she was in learning all she could. Boy what I would give for that kind of interest and initiative by my mom (but that is for a whole other blog post!!) At only 2 weeks into this, the parents are overwhelmed (of course) and the mom has yet to give a shot (she will do it plenty!) But with the support of Grandma (and the rest of us) they will be just fine!

Way to go Grandma!!! Gold star in my book!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

arm site

Decided to finish our bottle of Novolog before trying the Apidra we got from our endo yesterday. Since I am not liking what his numbers have been doing, I wanted to try something new so we put the set on his arm. He was NOT happy about this!! Bryce has only wanted us to use his bottom. Last week I snuck in at night and stuck his Dex sensor in his arm. He ended up being ok with that and wanted to try his arm for his set but ONLY if I did it while he slept. I couldn't wait today, he needed a set change and he needed it before lunch. So I pulled the "I'm the Mommy and I am doing what is best for you whether you like it or not" Well he didn't like it. He cried. Not cuz it hurt but cuz he was scared. I felt bad after.

I really hate diabetes!

I hate that he has a needle stuck in him at all times so he can survive. I hate that I have to stick it in him. I hate that he gets high numbers and doesn't get to eat when or what his brothers do, but has to wait "till the insulin kicks in" and his "numbers aren't so high" I hate that that makes him angry and he says things like "I hate having diabetes!" "why do I have to have diabetes?" "it's not fair!" I hate diabetes!

Ok, venting over. I was just going to post how we weren't trying the Apidra but were trying the arm and we'll see if that helps. Got a little side tracked! Oops :-)

Anyhoo, we will see how all goes this weekend.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Endo visit to start the year

Today was Bryce's endo appointment...

A1c was up to 7.7 (last time 7.5)

While I am disappointed that we are going the wrong direction, we had issues with kinked cannulas, illnesses, and major growth spurts, not to mention plenty of holiday treats.

After looking over all our numbers, the doctor decided we didn't need to make any changes. That is always reassuring.

I asked about Apidra. Our endo has never tried it (he is type 1). He said the studies don't indicate a significant difference over Novolog/Humalog and there aren't many trials done in pumps. He only knows of one family in office that uses it. I told him about some experiences in the DOC of less spiking, said I wanted to try it. He was all for it and gave me a couple vials. I love that he is always up for whatever I suggest and willing to let us try something new.

Now to figure out WHEN we are going to try it. Should we start it with the next set change? Or do I wait till I have used up the bottle of Novolog we just opened last week?

Anyhow, this year I WILL be a better pancreas. I am DONE with those crazy highs. Maybe Apidra will be the answer, maybe not. Regardless, I will work my butt off to figure this out!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

need coffee?

If you haven't already, head over to D-Mom Blog for a coffee maker giveaway to jump start your morning...

what do I really want?

I really want a CURE....

but if I can't have that, some consistently in range numbers would be nice.

I don't think that is asking for much. I mean, it should be easy...THIS much insulin will cover THIS many carbs and should result in THIS blood sugar number. Right? Haha, yeah right! If you think that is possible, then you obviously aren't living a life with D!!

I wouldn't mind doing what I do if I could guarantee good blood sugar levels.

Do I mind testing my son's blood sugar numbers multiple times a day? Do I mind inserting devices under his delicate skin a couple times a week? Do I mind have to measure all that he eats and calculate his carbs? OF COURSE I do!! It sucks. But what sucks more is that doing these things, and doing them diligently STILL does not yield great numbers. Now if doing the things that we do gave great numbers on a consistent basis, I wouldn't mind so much. I may not be so bent on finding a cure. I may not post about diabetes all the time or raise funds for JDRF. I would test my son, inject him with insulin, and live life... maybe funding for another cause. But that is NOT life with D. Life with D is unpredictable at best. It is stressful, mind numbing, all consuming, and doesn't play by any rules.

I hate that I can run basal tests, tweak I:C ratios, factor in activity levels & glycemic indexes of food, measure and weigh everything, calculate carb counts, etc. and still have no clue what to expect in his blood sugar numbers because not one day is the same (even if the food and activity are...go figure!!)

It is frustrating to have my son go from 125 to 524 after eating an F'ing bagel (that he was bolused like 5u for!), have to do an unexpected site change and hefty correction boluses, have him be in range 2 hours later then to drop to 54 an hour after that, only to shoot back up to 368 after treatment (2 dang glucose tabs!!) It is no wonder the boy GROWLED when we tried to talk to him. How can that feel good in his little body?

So what do I really want?

I want good numbers. I want this to be easier. I want D to play by some rules.

Do I want a CURE?

but I would be fine if all this was just easier and more consistent.

I think both are pretty elusive. Well, maybe a CURE is more realistic.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sweet Sugar Bolus Candy Hearts Style!

Head over to Candy Hearts for not one but TWO MEGA GIVEAWAYS!!
If you win, there are plenty of things you can share with me ;-) So don't forget who sent you there!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nighttime Sneak Attack

For the past few months, Bryce has had a lot of anxiety before set and sensor changes making it a long drawn out process that only frustrates us both. A couple weeks ago, I had to do a set change in the middle of the night while he slept because of some highs that would just not come down. My husband and I were amazed at how easy and quick that was. And when he woke up, Bryce was excited to know he had a new set and never felt it. Is this the way to go?? Maybe?

Well this is about one nighttime sneak attack that may have changed the way we do things from now on....

Earlier this week, it was time for a Dex sensor change. We were getting great readings over the busy Christmas weekend so I just tricked it out and reset the sensor. So when we started getting triple arrows right before bed on the 3rd day (really day 10), I knew we needed to change it that night. So I waited till he was asleep. When I went in, he was laying on the wrong side from where I wanted to put the new sensor. I tried to roll him over to get access to his backside (which is the only place he will let us put his sets and sensors) but to no avail...he kept rolling onto his back or the other side. During one of his rolls, his arm was perfectly exposed. Should I do it? I have heard of great results from arm placements but he adamantly refuses to try. But he was asleep. Should I do it? After much debate with myself (and a little talk with the hubby) I decided to try. Those of you with Dex, know that insertion is no easy process to I was nervous he would wake up, freak out, and there would go an expensive sensor to waste. So I took my time. He moved a little when I rubbed the alcohol on the spot and placed the sensor's sticker. When I injected the sensor, he said "Ow, Mommy" but quickly fell back asleep. I quickly disconnected the injector, got the transmitter in, broke off the clip thing, and started up the sensor. When Bryce woke up in the morning, I told him I put in the new sensor, he said he knew that cuz he felt it. I asked him if he knew where it was and he said, "over here" and pointed to his backside. I asked "are you sure?" and he said "you better not have put it on my tummy!!" Told him to check. Decided to not say anything else. Later in the day, he discovered it was on his arm...he was NOT happy. That is, until my hubby told him it made him look like a robot. He LOVED that and thinks it is cool now, even wants to try his pump set on his other arm. And the best thing is, our readings have been more accurate!

Think we have a new way of doing things now...