Diabetes Doesn’t Take a Day Off

Last week I had an upper endoscopy done to diagnosis some ‘mystery’ GI symptoms I’ve been having on & off for a year. I was so impressed by the concern the staff took to my diabetes. This was the first time any health care professionals (besides my PCP & Endo) even cared about my pump settings & what my blood sugar was!

Last year when I was seen at the hospital for this pain they never even asked what my blood sugar was let alone to test it themselves! I feel that as soon as the nurses and doctor find out I have type 1 & wear an insulin pump, they just let me handle it. I’ve had a doctor tell me, “you can do a better job at that than me”. Sad but SO very true! My diabetes affects so much of my physiology & my body’s response to illness. It’s relevant to anything that I’m being treated for.

During my procedure I set my pump to deliver a temporary basal rate that was 50% of what I would typically get. I wanted to ensure that I would not have a hypoglycemic episode after being NPO for so long /while I was under sedation. My blood sugar was checked pre-op & was 112. As soon as I opened my eyes & saw my Uncle sitting next to me I asked “Is my blood sugar okay”? I began to fumble around under the blanket to find my pump so that I could view my continuous glucose monitor. To my surprise, the nurse had checked my blood sugar during the procedure & came into the post op room very quickly to test it again. 103. Success!

I say all of this to show that diabetes does not take a day off. When I’m too sick to even lift my head… I have to test my blood sugar (more often actually). When I’m under sedation… I have to make sure my blood sugar is under control. I literally had to think ahead to program my temporary basal rate so that I could manage my diabetes when I was knocked out. Most days I don’t pay attention to just how much time during each day I spend on things diabetes related. The day of my procedure I definitely look a step back to look at everything. Managing diabetes can feel like a 2nd job sometimes. No wonder we can get burnt out! When my pump beeps & wakes me up at night telling me I’m too low or too high is it easier to press a single button to silence & go back to sleep? YES! When my pump beeps during a chaotic shift at work to let me know I’ve got less than 20 units remaining, would it be easier to take it off & refill it when I get home? Absolutely! But… diabetes doesn’t take a day off so neither do it.

Love, health & happiness,

Jessica Lynn

Some Diabetes Humor… it’s better to laugh than cry 😉

It's only funny because I do!  :):

Oh yes it does:

Type 1 Diabetes Memes:

Type 1 Diabetes Myths

Diabetes myths debunked:

Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.

Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths each year than breast cancer & AIDS combined.

Myth: Eating too much sugar will cause diabetes.

Fact: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics & unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease (it is an autoimmune disease). Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics & lifestyle factors.

Myth: People with diabetes should eat a special diet or special ‘diabetic food’.

Fact: A healthy meal for people with diabetes is the same type of meal that would be considered healthy for anyone.

Myth: Type 1 diabetes is a ‘children’s disease’.

Fact: A person can be diagnosed at any age & you can never outgrow it. More than 1/2 of the people diagnosed with Type 1 are over the age of 18.

Myth: Insulin cures Type 1 diabetes.

Fact:The use of external (man made) insulin manages the disease. Currently, there is no cure.

Love, health & happiness,

Jessica Lynn

This literally was just my reaction when my friend asked what type one diabetes was and she said she knew it didn't have to do with sugar. @Allison j.d.m j.d.m Rice Stoudnour:

When Non Diabetics Post Pictures Of Junk Food And Do That!!!:

Insurance Open Enrollment

Long time no see sugarnspice diabetes blog! I couldn’t think of a better time to reconnect than insurance open enrollment time! While I was enjoying some R&R in Puerto Rico I was informed by co workers that our office was changing medical insurance carries for 2016. When I arrived home I was shocked by the premium increase as well as how the coverage differed! My office offers a high deductible plan (to use with a Health Care Spending Account) & a PPO plan (with the option of having a Flexible Spending Account). It should go without saying that as a Type 1 diabetic, I require the PPO plan.

As it turns out, in 2016 my out of pocket cost will increase by $132/month & I will have to pay more out of pocket for insulin pump supplies due to changes in coverage. I am grateful to not require a family plan as the increase on that plan is $540/month! The last few weeks have been stressful as I’ve had to sort through this. I do not qualify for tax credits/subsidies on plans offered through the Healthcare Market Place because my employer offers group coverage that is considered “affordable” & meets the standards. Here is a definition from the healthcare.gov website:

Employer insurance is considered affordable under the health care law if the employee’s share of the premium for the lowest priced plan available that would cover the employee only — not the employee’s family — is 9.56% or less of their household income. People offered job-based coverage that’s affordable and provides minimum value aren’t eligible for a premium tax credit if they buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The PPO plan offered by my employer DOES exceed 9.56% of my household income. You ask why then would I not be eligible for tax credits/subsidies on plans offered through the Healthcare Market Place? Well… because my employer also offers that high deductible plan which does not exceed that set amount.How would any Type 1 diabetic survive on a high deductible plan? I certainly could not survive with a $6,000 deductible (& then still paying 20% after that) & $8,000 out of pocket max. Therefore, I have no choice then to sign up for the PPO & figure out the finances later. My bank account can not afford having this insurance but my health can not afford not to have insurance.

Side note #1: Can someone please explain to me why insulin pump supplies (not the actual pump) are covered under Durable Medical Equipment (DME) & not pharmacy benefits?! Here is a quote from the Social Security website:

Durable medical equipment is equipment which can withstand repeated use…

Last time I checked, my disposable insulin reservoirs & infusion sets can NOT be reused.

Side note #2: Why is it that abortion services (elective & non elective) are covered on my new plan at the low cost of a $20-$40 co-pay (depending on the type of setting it’s done in) & I’ve been stressed to tears trying to figure out how to make the coverage for my pump supplies work?! This is so discouraging.

This post is more or less a rant but I hope that it sheds some light on one diabetics situation. I wish everyone luck with their own situations during the 2016 open enrollment time.

Love, health & happiness,

Jessica Lynn