Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Still no sensors

The referral I got was for the wrong endo.
Then edgepark dropped my account.
I gave up. I have a doctor appointment for September 9th with the primary care doc; maybe we can get it cleared then.

Minimed sent me a letter saying there's a recall of the infusion sites I have. I haven't decided whether to call them and have them replaced, or not.

I've been having a lot of nocturnal hypo- and hyper- glycemia with strange dreams.

And 11 days ago, I developed a sudden and severe headache. My blood sugar was 39. However, the blood sugar's gone up and the headache has persisted. For 11 days!!! Tired of that.

I am currently taking the first group of classes towards my foster care licensure. That is going reasonably well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

HMO Experience So Far

1. When I went to get my insulin, test strips, and syringes at Walmart, my insurance paid 100% of the syringe cost (450 free syringes!), and 0% of the test strips and insulin. I spent $170 buying two vials of R and 500 Relion Prime test strips.

2. I called Dexcom to see if my insurance would pay for sensors. They said yes, BUT I have to go through EdgePark.
I called Edgepark. They said my insurance would cover 100% after a $200 deductible, however, we needed a new letter of necessity from my endo. I asked if they needed a referral for the endo. They said no.
A week later I got a call from my endo's office saying that they'd tried to write me the letter of necessity but were told I needed a referral. They'd tried to get the referral themselves, but were told I needed to get it myself.
I called the clinic that I listed as my primary care providers. They said usually you have to come in in person, and it takes 2-3 weeks to get a referral, but they'd leave a note for my provider.
Two days later- on a Sunday- I got a call from my provider asking me what was going on. I told her. By the end of the phone call she had faxed a referral to the endo.
On Tuesday EdgePark called to say that I needed a referral and asked what the phone number of my primary provider was. Hahaha! Ahead of you, edgepark. Way ahead of you.

Anyways, after three weeks of this ball game I've used up my sensors. Don't know how long till I get any.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Was it pumping? Or was it that CGM?

So...  I've been back on shots for almost three months now and YAY shots. I've had more lows but whereas I don't think I stayed under 200 for an entire day even once on the pump (maybe I did once or twice), I've been averaging staying under 200 once/twice per week again. I am not sure if this is really the shots or the Dexcom.

I have been bad about calibrating lately. I had a run of not so great sensors, but the current one is in its third week and so accurate that even though I have had the blood drop flashing at me for five hours, when I tested just now, Dexcom was reading 119, and my meter read 119 as well. That doesn't really motivate me to test more ... SMIRK.

The HMO insurance was finally processed today, and backdated June 1st. The only think I've used insurance for so far was buying insulin and syringes and we'll see if the HMO pays for it given that it was prescribed by the endocrinologist; a specialist I didn't have a referral for.

Sunday, June 07, 2015


The Daisy - Diabetes AutoImmunity Study in the Young - is one I've read about before (maybe even posted about before). It follows children with close family members with type 1 diabetes, from birth, looking to try to find out what causes type 1 diabetes. The study has been ongoing for a little more than ten years.
Today, DAISY released something of a bombshell. The study authors say that among the 142 children with diabetes antibodies, the 42 children who have diabetes now consumed significantly more sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks, and the association is strong enough to say that it's not random.

Now, if I was reading this without an emotional investment- or perhaps because I've heard "You're so skinny you must have a sweet tooth" I would probably read this as saying that sugar causes type 1 diabetes.

However, the study authors don't QUITE say that. What they are saying however, is that it's very likely that sugar speeds up the development of type 1 diabetes in those who are developing it. Sugar intake didn't, after all, change the risk of having antibodies, and the kids in the study are all still below the median age of type 1 diabetes diagnosis; among the 100 kids who are antibody positive but still non-diabetic  are surely many kids who will have diabetes ten years from now.
Looking at this data, it's possible that after ten years the association between sugar consumption and having diabetes will be gone, because the sugar didn't really change who got it, just how fast.
It's also possible that sugar intake will turn out to have caused diabetes in some of the antibody positive- we know that some people with diabetes antibodies stay non-diabetic.

Past papers I have read on nutrient consumption in relatives of type 1 diabetics did not show any relation between sugar consumption and developing diabetes. However, they didn't look only at antibody positive people; and perhaps the sugar consumption only matters after the antibodies are there- maybe the overall impact is too tiny to see when you look at a large population.

Depending on how the study comes out ten years hence, I may find myself in the smug position of being able to say that how much sugar I ate has nothing to do with ME developing diabetes (dx at age 17 after all). Or... I may not.

For the record, the first monetary purchase I ever made (illicitly, at age 3) was a sugar-sweetened beverage. My household eats a much lower-sugar diet than most American households, and especially we did then. I spent more than two years eating nothing with "sugar" or "corn syrup" in the ingredients when I was a preteen. However, I do have a sweet tooth. And at this point? I'm not regretting it yet.

The full text is NOT free. Here's the abstract.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Again Insurance

My new  plan went into affect Monday, but I didn't get an insurance card in the mail. I went to talk to the guy at work in charge of getting us all insured and all that, and found that our insurance cards wouldn't be out for a while, because our enrollments weren't in the system. We could use our old insurance cards, and after the new insurance was in the computer, we would get either a refund or a bill for the difference between what old insurance and new insurance covers.

That means, I can't go to the pharmacy, have them fill a prescription using my card, and find out how much I'm paying for anything! Or find out if my new insurance (an HMO) is even going to pay for any prescriptions written back when I was on the PPO.

Is this legal?

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


Bisphenol A is a compound found in plastics. More than 40 years ago, it was reported to cause metabolic syndrome in rats, and some countries have banned its sale in utensils; in the United States we continue to drink out of bottles made with BPA.
This meta-analysis of human studies provisionally published yesterday looks to me like it confirms the link between BPA and type 2 diabetes. The authors of the meta-analysis claim that the evidence supports but does not definitively show that BPA is harmful. Well... all I'll say is, I'm convinced I don't want to drink out of BPA containing vessels nor have children drink out of them.
The authors of the study brought me up short though, when they said that the plastics alternatives often used when BPA is banned appear to have similar metabolic effects.... uh oh

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dehydrated Musing

Among the symptoms that I have both while hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic are thirst and dehydration, particularly dehydration when waking up (when I've been high or low for a while without drinking because I've been asleep).

On Saturday I woke up at 3 AM, feeling dizzy and needing to pee. I went to the bathroom and went like a racehorse; I then checked my bg on dehydrated tingly fingers. 60 mg/dl.

I started wondering if maybe the kidneys make more urine in order to concentrate the blood  sugar when your blood sugar is low-ish, as a defensive mechanism for sleeping people.

Anybody know?

Friday, May 29, 2015


Over the years I've observed that people tend to have one of three attitudes towards diabetes complications:

- Fatalistic. The complications will happen to me. I cannot prevent them. I'm doooomed...

-Messianic. The complications will not happen to ME because I know the secret of diabetes control! And therefore I will never have any complications.

-Oblivious comes in three flavors:
Type Young Oblivious- kids who are not really aware of complications.
Type Two Oblivious - adults who see diabetes as a really minor medical issue of no real significance (a subset of type 2 diabetics, mostly)
Type Cure Oblivious- people who believe that a cure for diabetes will render complications moot point soon enough that they won't matter for us. Just hold on to your health for five more years and you're good.

In real life, none of us knows our future, but uncertainty is difficult to live with, hence our tendency to assume the best or worst.

Those who have read my blog much probably know that I lean towards being fatalistic regarding my future. I have spent a lot of blog space expounding on studies showing high complication rates for diabetics with fairly good blood sugar control, talking about the difficulty in getting that fairly good blood sugar control, agonizing over whether various extra health problems are related to diabetes, and being generally pessimistic about the whole thing.

Yesterday my mother and I went to my bank and I cashed in my savings bonds and my mother wrote me a check and at home I signed a paper saying she was loaning me money (for tax purposes- without it she'd get charged gift tax) that I am supposed to pay back over ten years (I intend to pay it back in half that time) and I kept thinking about the leap of faith I am taking, and the leap of faith that I am asking others to make for me:
Faith that I will be in good enough health to work for another ten years to repay a loan.
Faith that I will stay in good enough health to take care of children all the way through to adulthood.
Faith that I will be able to climb the stairs to the condo for long enough to repay the investment.

I am humbled.
I am grateful.
I am scared.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Holiday Weekend

On Friday I left work shortly before 5 PM and checked my Dexcom. It turned on showing... static. Nothing but a black gray and white array of dots. Be still my heart! I tried again and it said: Out of Range for 4:53:06. Waited a minute and tried it again: Out of Range for 19:35:34.

OK, called Dexcom. After being on hold a while, a customer service tech (named Matthew) called back while I was on the bus. While on the phone with him, the Dexcom changed to say Error HWRF Call Tech Support. He told me in that case I should press the restart button with a paper clip. I got home and pressed the restart button and it started up, but asked me to input the time and date, and showed no bg history on the graph. He said that's not what it's supposed to do, and that they'd send me a new Dexcom. He also said the FDA required them to ask my weight, and that if there was water damage (which he didn't suspect) that there'd be a $199 charge.

I was going to use the other Dexcom G4 (which still works) but the sensor failed and so I yanked it and gave up the ghost.

Saturday I tested my bg 6 times and it ranged from 79 to 106; WOW!

Then Sunday my bg meter gave errors for four strips in a row. I thought it was broken, but a few hours later it worked again (I was 186).

I don't know what was up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Big Day

Today I deliver earnest money for a condo! It was January when I first started viewing places (and didn't even know what earnest money was). This is the third condo I've put in an offer on. The first one was counteroffered but for more money than I was willing to pay for it. The second was kind of accepted but the owner died and then the heirs didn't agree about selling it to me and after waiting more than a month I said forget it, you guys still don't know what you're doing, I'm looking elsewhere. I really liked that place though. Anyways, the third place I offered on last week, they counter-offered, I counter-counter-offered, they counter-counter-counter offered, I said OK.

Today the How-Long-Will-One-Vial-of-NPH-Last experiment ends. The NPH isn't dead but the blood sugar's been crazy for four days and yesterday the protamine started sticking to the sides of the vial. I haven't quite made up my mind whether I resume pumping tonight, or go on Lantus. Then I think I'll go back to NPH; it's just so darn cheap.  And the answer to how long it was good for? I think 10 weeks. It was not refrigerated at any part of those 10 weeks, FYI, and my bg average was around 140 for the entire period.

My middle brother, the one I never did interview here, is starting a 24 hour trial period at a group home today. The home is trying out  three candidates for one slot... and I can't imagine they'll pick him. But I have the whole night all to myself!