Muesday Updates

This post was dictated and then emailed to me, by me, and via my iPhone's dictation feature. 
FTR: This is my first post that was entirely dictated (except for the hyperlinks,) it's my first day back in the real world post surgery, I have a million emails in my inbox and it's a Muesday, so please forgive any and all funkiness.

It's been 13 days since my last post and 15 days since my surgery and I wanted to check in and update you guys.
As per my last video/post, my combo CT wrist & three fingers trigger surgery went well, I'm out of the cast, wearing a brace outside of the house, my incisions are healing nicely and it's been a hell of a learning experience! 

For now, I can't carry anything heavier than 12 ounces, aka, a can of soda or the equivalent of, in that hand/wrist. No weight-bearing which means no push-ups; no using my hand/wrist to get up from my seat, etc., no using my hands pull-up my yoga pants, which is interesting to say the least. 
No fingers from my left hand used to put on/pull up my socks or clothes, and no heavy lifting. It also means stretching my fingers and wrists via exercises 1 million times a day, and limited amount of time on the computer - I am told that last restriction will be lifted super soon and thank God for my iPhone!
***UPDATE: Computer clearance given as of noon, June 1. :) 

In these past two weeks I've learned and or revisited a few of life's lessons and I've learned the importance of asking for and accepting help when I need it.

Like having my friend Dave hold my plate steady so that it won't slide off the table when I tried to grab a fork full of salmon from my dinner plate.
Or having my friend Sue open my mascara when I could not - because while I could put in a new infusion site while in a cast with no problem - I couldn't remove the lid to my new mascara to save my freaking life! 

I am grateful for my sister Cathy who called me from 5 states away and  every day like clock work while I was down for the count

Also, I am incredibly grateful to and for my friend Cath, not my sister Cathy, who is also my friend, but my friend Cathy, twin of Sue and Cath of Cathy and Dave fame, who is also like my sister - and who not only let me stay with her and Dave for 4 for days after surgery, but also went with me to get my surgery and sliced organic apples for me before she went to work every morning!

And I was very thankful for a certain wonder pup named Misty who would snuggle with me and let me know that every thing was going to be OK. 
I relearned how to be still and to rest, because I had no choice - that was what was required- and it was/is hard.

And I'm very thankful for all of my friends in the DOC who texted, emailed, posted, called, and checked in to make sure I was doing OK. THANK YOU. 

I learned to embrace the dictation feature on my iPhone and I am still trying to embrace the dictation feature on my laptop.
FTR and as stated above: I dictated, then emailed myself this post from my iPhone and hopefully it's not too much of a hot mess~

I learned that all surgeries - even hand and wrist, can take a lot out of you and make you more tired than you ever thought possible - and for longer than a couple of days.

I was reminded to go with my gut - that if something doesn't look right with your incisions - and even if you went to the doctor for a check up the day before/get your top stitches removed � go back because you might need antibiotics to prevent/fight an infection.

I learned that everything takes longer with stitches and such - and the importance of celebrating little victories, like being able to wash my hair, first with one and then with both hands. 
 Or slicing an onion with my left hand on Saturday night to put my salad -a huge deal by the way and not as easy as it sounds - the slices were anything but neat or even - but I did it! 
And finally being able to wear pants without elastic waistbands because I could actually zip/button/snap up my own pants.

I have a new appreciation for no longer being in pain caused by carpal tunnel or three trigger fingers on my left wrist and hand.

I'm looking forward to doing things in the next few weeks that caused me pain before. Things like writing long ass stories and the likes there of; gardening, riding my bike, taking notes by hand, and writing cards that no longer look like something a chicken scratched in the dirt.

And believe it or not, I'm looking forward to doing push-ups and sit ups getting back into the swing of upper body workouts.

There was a time when my hands and wrists were oddly strong for being so little - and they are getting stronger each day.

I missed a few things along the way and that didn't make me happy. 

I was able to participate for two days during DBlog Week - I'd planned to do 3 more videos, but thanks to nausea from the painkillers two days after my surgery, 
I had to listen to my body and sit the rest of #Dblogweek out - and that sucked.

Via my Facebook pages/twitter last week and over the weekend, I linked to the news about Charlie Kimball's new Novo Nordisk's Tresiba.Chip Ganassi's  racing team's Indy car (with a new, borrowed number of 42,) at this year's 100th Indy500. 
Posting about  Charlie and the Tresiba's car honoring the Diabetes Community and how honored I was to be chosen as one of the lucky 42 blogger/members of the Diabetes Online Community whose names grace the car.
Because of wrist and hand restrictions, I didn't write about it - or anything else on the my blog. 

But I am linking to a fantastic post and Charlie Kimball interview by Kerri over at sixuntilme  - as always, Kerri is on fleek. 

Over this holiday weekend I stayed on the down low, remembered those who fought to protect our country and never came home, and dreamed of swimming in the ocean. 
Because while I was able to look at the ocean and the beach - I wasn't allowed on or in either officially, until this past Sunday. ;)

Yep, I'm getting back into the swing of things - including airport foolishness, as of this coming Friday - and I am a lucky duck indeed~

Health Care and Inflammation

Do you ever suffer from joint pain or other maladies caused by inflammation? It�s more common than you may think. Inflammation is typically defined as a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.

According to LiveScience, inflammation is a vital part of the body's immune response. It is the body's attempt to heal itself after an injury; defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria; and repair damaged tissue. Without inflammation, wounds would fester and infections could become deadly. 

Inflammation can also be problematic, though, and it plays a role in some chronic diseases. Inflammation is often characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes pain and some immobility. Much more detailed information is located at this website:

In a delicate balance of give-and-take, inflammation begins when pro-inflammatory hormones in your body call out for your white blood cells to come and clear out infection and damaged tissue, according to WomenToWomen. These agents are matched by equally powerful, closely related anti-inflammatory compounds, which move in once the threat is neutralized to begin the healing process.

Acute inflammation that ebbs and flows as needed signifies a well-balanced immune system. But symptoms of inflammation that don�t recede are telling you that the �on� switch to your immune system is stuck. It�s poised on high alert � even when you aren�t in imminent danger. In some cases, what started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, just won�t shut off. More material about inflammation is available at this website:

According to Prevention Magazine, scientists refer to the immune response gone rogue as chronic inflammation and have identified it as a contributor to a wide range of conditions, including heart disease, asthma, and joint pain. Since studies started making these links in the early 2000s, the term inflammation has become somewhat of a buzzword, bandied about by health nuts and doctors alike.

Some physicians consider it such an important predictor of poor health that they monitor patients' blood for a marker of inflammation, called C-reactive protein, as part of a standard workup. This testing is still uncommon, and it's somewhat controversial, but more and more doctors are adjusting to the idea of quantifying how sick is their patient�really. One hundred million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and they deal with it day after day with no clear fix. Twenty-one million have depression, and for many of them, medication and therapy help only so much.

Meanwhile, scientists are still exploring what inflammation is and how it might be responsible for so many health problems like depression and depression symptoms. Much more detail on the connection between inflammation and depression is located at this site:

Inflammation has become a medical hot topic, according to Women�s Health Magazine. More and more research shows that chronic inflammation is involved in heavy-hitting illnesses like the following:
         Heart disease

It all starts with the immune system, the body's first line of defense against any kind of harm. When you're injured or sick, your bone marrow dispatches veritable SWAT teams of white blood cells to root out infection and jump-start the healing process. Sometimes, however, the immune system gets a faulty distress signal and deploys an unnecessary first-aid squad. Those misguided white blood cells still mobilize just like they would if you were actually under the weather, but because there's no infection for them to attack, they end up just hanging around, often for a long, long time.

However, the problem is that your body isn't made to accommodate this kind of unfocused immune activity, and eventually those white blood cells can start damaging your internal organs. They can also needlessly assault other cells the body routinely uses to push off disease, leaving the door cracked open for illnesses such as cancer. More information on inflammation is located at this website:

For centuries, scientists have debated whether inflammation is good or bad for you, according to New Yorker Magazine. Now they believe that it�s both: too little, and microbes fester and spread in the body, or wounds fail to heal; too much, and nearby healthy tissue can be degraded or destroyed. The fire of inflammation must be tightly controlled�turned on at the right moment and, just as critically, turned off.

Understanding and controlling inflammation has become a central goal of modern medical investigation. The internal research arm of the National Institutes of Health recently designated inflammation a priority, mobilizing several hundred scientists and hundreds of millions of dollars to better define its role in health and disease. More detailed material about this topic is available at this site:

According to BodyEcology, there are many reasons why you may suffer from inflammation:
         Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities that may cause a few symptoms.
         An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as dysbiosis. This causes your immune system to overreact to bacteria in your gut and can be without notable symptoms.
         Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation.
         Environmental toxicity from air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals like mercury and lead all contribute to inflammation and have been linked to diseases as varied as endometriosis and cancer.
         Diet and lifestyle: too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, constant dehydration, consumption of too many sodas or caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body.

If you reduce inflammation in your body, you'll not only look and feel younger, but you'll significantly lower your risk for chronic disease. More info on this subject is located at this site:

According to Mercola, the presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis assuming the inflammation can be controlled.

Inflammation is rampant. In fact 1 in 12 women and 1 in 24 men are dealing with full blown autoimmune mediated inflammation. The number of undiagnosed people is going to be much higher. People with inflammation in the early phases of autoimmunity will often claim no dietary involvement. This is an inaccurate assumption however because the autoimmunity is often triggered by factors not strictly related to diet and the diet can become a secondary trigger later in the development of the condition.

If you are dealing with inflammation, then get a comprehensive professional medical evaluation to look at what is perpetuating your personal situation. More information is located at this website:

Inflammation can be good for you when it�s controlled. When it is out of control, then your natural healing process needs help. See your doctor in cases of acute or ongoing inflammation, and recognize the symptoms of how your personal situation have developed. Diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner are worth the time and effort to discover the cause and possible options for your own healthcare when you suffer from inflammation.

Until next time.

Health Care and Lithotripsy

When a kidney stone gets too big to pass in the urinary tract system, trying to migrate from the kidney to the bladder, your doctor or urologist may suggest a procedure known as a lithotripsy. Surgery was the only method to remove stones too large to pass until lithotripsy was developed and replaced it as the most frequent treatment beginning in the 1980s.

The introduction of lithotripsy in the early 1980s revolutionized the treatment of patients with kidney stone disease, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Patients who once required major surgery to remove their stones could be treated with lithotripsy, and not even require an incision. As such, lithotripsy is the only non-invasive treatment for kidney stones, meaning no incision or internal telescopic device is required. More information is available at this website:,p07720/ .

Kidney stones occur when minerals and other substances in the blood crystallize in the kidneys, forming solid masses (stones). Stones may consist of small, sharp-edged crystals, or smoother, heavier formations that resemble polished river rocks. They usually exit the body naturally during urination, according to Healthline.

However, sometimes the body can�t pass larger formations through urination. This can lead to kidney damage. People with kidney stones may experience bleeding, severe pain, or urinary tract infections. When stones begin to cause these types of problems, your doctor may suggest lithotripsy. More info about lithotripsy is located at this site: .

According to the National Kidney Foundation, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a technique for treating stones in the kidney and ureter that does not require surgery. Instead, high energy shock waves are passed through the body and used to break stones into pieces as small as grains of sand. Because of their small size, these pieces can pass more easily from the body along with the urine.

There are two ways to remove stones using shock wave treatment. In one method, the patient is placed in a tub of lukewarm water. Using x-rays or ultrasound to pinpoint the location of the stones, the body is positioned so that the stones are targeted precisely. In the second, more common method, the patient lies on top of a soft cushion or membrane through which the waves pass. About 1-2 thousand shock waves are needed to crush the stones. The complete treatment takes about 45 to 60 minutes. Much more detail about this process is located at this website:

ESWL is usually an outpatient procedure, according to Healthwise. You go home after the treatment and do not have to spend a night in the hospital. After ESWL, stone fragments usually pass in the urine for a few days and cause mild pain. If you have a larger stone, you may need more ESWL or other treatments. ESWL may be used on a person who has a kidney stone that is causing pain or blocking the flow of urine.

Stones that are between 4 mm (0.16 in.) and 2 cm (0.8 in.) in diameter are most likely to be treated with ESWL. ESWL may work best for kidney stones in the kidney or in the part of the ureter close to the kidney. Your surgeon may try to push the stone back into the kidney with a small instrument (ureteroscope) and then use ESWL. More info is available at this site: .

As with any medical procedure, there are always inherent risks to patients. According to the American Urological Association, although manifestations of chronic injury have been identified, it seems likely that the full spectrum of long-term injury�the form and severity of chronic adverse effects�has yet to be determined. It is intuitive that chronic effects derive from acute tissue damage, but very little is known about the progression of tissue changes that link the two.

There is also limited information about treatment dose and the development of chronic effects and whether specific risk factors exist that predispose an individual to long-term effects. Much more clinical data and research is available at this site: .

According to the University of Florida Medical Center, here are some post surgery symptoms you may experience after going through lithotripsy:

         Flank Pain: Most patients experience some degree of discomfort for a day or two after ESWL. The pain is usually described as a dull ache or soreness over the kidney or flank area, and is typically at its worst the evening following surgery. The pain lessens over the following days.

         Blood in Urine: It is normal to see visible blood in the urine for days to several weeks after surgery. It is important during this time of bleeding that you avoid strenuous activity, blood thinning medications, and drink plenty of fluid.

         Fevers: Low grade fevers are not uncommon following any surgical procedure and anesthesia. If you have fevers >101o F, please notify your surgeon and ask to be connected to the urologist on call.

There are some patients who are not suited to undergo lithotripsy. Patients who are pregnant, have active urinary infection, obstruction of the kidney or are on blood thinning medications that cannot be discontinued are not ideal candidates for ESWL treatment. Patients with particular known stone composition including cystine and certain types of calcium phosphate stones are not ideal candidates as these stone types may not fragment well with ESWL due to their dense nature. Much more detailed material is available at this website: .

If your child needs this procedure, follow the directions of your child�s doctor and nurse for caring for your child at home after the treatment. According to AboutKidsHealth, they will usually instruct that your child:
         Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
         Change their diet, if needed.
         Take medication to manage pain and nausea.
         Get plenty of rest.

If your child is toilet trained, your child�s doctor or nurse may also instruct you to strain your child�s urine for several days and will explain how to do this. Straining the urine will enable you to collect any stone particles so that they can be analyzed in a laboratory. Your child�s doctor will use the information about the make-up of the stone to monitor your child and make recommendations (such as changes in diet) to prevent the kidney stones from recurring. A lot of additional material on this healthcare subject is located at this site:

Kidney stones are very painful, and those that don�t pass easily are even worse. As one option for treatment, lithotripsy has its merits in spite of the associated risks. However, if your family has a history of kidney stones, you may possibly encounter this situation at some point. Educate yourself on how to deal with the medical options, the procedure, and its outcome.

Until next time.

Department of Health looking for experts on patient out-of-pocket costs

During the last legislative session, Washington's Department of Health was charged with convening a task force on patient out-of-pocket costs. Senate Bill 6569 directed the task force to focus on two key areas:

1. Evaluating factors that contribute to out-of-pocket costs for patients and to the state.
2. Considering the health and economic impact of out-of-pocket patient costs to patients and to the state.

If you have particular expertise in this area and represent patient groups, insurance companies, pharmacists, pharmacy benefit managers, unions, business associations, or biotechnology representatives please consider joining this important task force.

Members of the task force will be asked to attend no more than four half-day, in-person meetings in the Puget Sound region between July 1 and Dec. 1, 2016.

To be considered for the task force, please respond to DOH Secretary John Weisman's letter by COB May 24, 2016 via email to

#DBlogWeek Day 2: The Other Half Of Diabetes.

The 2nd day of #dblogweek ( I'm a day behind, it's really day 3- don't tell,) and it's all about the other half of diabetes, aka, emotions.

This post is focusing on one particular emotion and it's called GUILT. 
And please forgive the fuzziness & lack of text - I just had surgery.

#dBlogWeek: Message Monday~

Day one of #DBlogWeek and it�s all about the message. And to quote Karen, the creator of #dblogweek, directly: " Message Monday: What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog? (Thank you, Heather Gabel, for this topic suggestion.� 

Living with diabetes isn�t about one thing - it�s about many things. 
The same can be said as to why I blog about diabetes and the messages that are important to me. I can�t pick one message or platform because there are so damn many - all important, each taking their place in front of the line on a rotating scheduled decided by life.
Diabetes and the media: I started blogging in 2007 because I was ticked at Halle Barre and her publicist�s inaccurate diabetes statements that were made in the media. 
I was sick of the diabetes inaccuracies and I needed both the public and the media to get diabetes right. I always considered myself a diabetes mythbuster and I started blog as a way to bust myths and stereotypes wide open and encouraged others to do the same. 
I want people to use the proper words when it comes to diabetes because words matter and words stick - accurate or not.
Humor: I�ve always used humor as a coping mechanism when it came to dealing with life - and life with diabetes, because I felt (and still do,) that if you can laugh about your diabetes, you can own your diabetes. 
I want others to laugh and become empowered because I know what it was like to lose someone I loved to diabetes because they felt like diabetes had all the power. 
Holy Crap, the DOC is AMAZING: About 2 months after I started blogging I realized that there was this amazing community called the DOC, and while I always knew I wasn�t the only one living with diabetes  - I never realized until I found my tribe that I�d been wearing an anchor of diabetes guilt around my neck for a long time - it was heavy and I was tired. 
And I never realized that diabetes burnout was a thing and that there was a loneliness to living with diabetes - until I  found others in the DOC and I no longer felt alone. 
It was because of the DOC that learned to flip my diabetes bitch switch for good, not evil. 

Becoming a Diabetes Advocate because it�s ain�t about me: Finding DOC has turned me into a passionate Diabetes Advocate because it made me realize that it wasn�t about me - it's about us - every single person in the world living with diabetes. 

We are in this together, no matter the diabetes type or which part of the world we live. 
#DiabetesAccessMatters for everyone - as does stripping safely and, and DSMA and that the Blue Circle is global and all encompassing. 
Through blogging I have found friends for life, who've taught and continue to teach me, every single day... and who have been there for me when I lost the one I loved the most

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes: Because of blogging, I�ve learned to not only cultivate my diabetes voice, I've become inspired by other diabetes voices  - and hopefully helping I'm paying it forward and helping others to discover and use their own d voices.

Finally, the big ass message is: WE MATTER. Every single person living with diabetes matters  - every single voice matters - and when added to the chorus of voices - mountains move and we are Khaleesi type of powerful. 
And yep, you know after last night�s Game of Thrones, I had to get a Daenerys Targaryan, aka Khaleesi reference in!

Health Care and Dehydration

When your body doesn�t have enough fluid to maintain its equilibrium to sustain itself, you may be suffering from dehydration. According to osteopathic physician, Dr. Joseph Mercola, your body requires water to work well. In fact, up to 60 percent of your entire body is made of water, 83 percent of your lungs is water and 73 percent of your brain and heart are composed of water. Water is very important to your ability to function, think, breathe and live. More information is found at this website:

Summertime means outdoor activities, prolonged exposure to the sun, and excessive sweating�all of which can lead to dehydration, according to Medicine in Motion. Although dehydration can happen any time of the year, the summer months are of particular concern because of the higher temperatures. When a person has lost more than two percent of their body weight during activity, they are considered to be dehydrated.

The best way to battle dehydration, of course, is to drink lots of water or sports drinks before, during and after any intense physical activity or prolonged exposure to hot temperatures. If ignored, dehydration can lead to other problems such as heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, fatigue or even heat stroke. More information is located at this site:

Fluid concentration does not have to experience a major change before dehydration can occur. Dehydration is mostly caused by fever, serious sweating (after an intense workout, especially in summers), and diarrhea. Dehydration can occur in any age group, but it is most common in young children and older adults. The signs and symptoms of dehydration can be mild or severe. The good news is that your body will notify you if you are getting dehydrated. More details are available at this website:

According to the Mayo Clinic, mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause the following symptoms:
         Dry, sticky mouth
         Sleepiness or tiredness � children are likely to be less active than usual
         Decreased urine output
         No wet diapers for three hours for infants
         Few or no tears when crying
         Dry skin
         Dizziness or lightheadedness

The Mayo Clinic also reports that severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause these symptoms:
         Extreme thirst
         Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
         Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
         Little or no urination � any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
         Sunken eyes
         Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold
         In infants, sunken fontanels � the soft spots on the top of a baby's head
         Low blood pressure
         Rapid heartbeat
         Rapid breathing
         No tears when crying
         In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

Unfortunately, thirst isn't always a reliable gauge of the body's need for water, especially in children and older adults. A better indicator is the color of your urine: Clear or light-colored urine means you're well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration. More details about this health care issue are located at this site:

According to the New York Times, there are some ways to help prevent dehydration:
         Drink plenty of fluids every day, even when you are well. Drink more when the weather is hot or you are exercising.
         If anyone in your family is ill, pay attention to how much they are able to drink. Pay close attention to children and older adults.
         Anyone with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea should drink plenty of fluids. DO NOT wait for signs of dehydration.
         If you think you or someone in your family may become dehydrated, call your health care provider. Do this before the person becomes dehydrated.

For more severe dehydration or heat emergency, you may need to stay in a hospital and receive fluid through a vein (IV). Your health care provider will also treat the cause of the dehydration. Dehydration caused by a stomach virus should get better on its own after a few days. More information is available at this website:

According to Everyday Health, when it comes to total water intake, which includes water gained from foods and other beverages like tea and milk, the  Institute of Medicine recommends that most women get about 2.7 liters of water a day (or about 12 cups), and most men get about 3.7 liters a day (or about 15 cups). Much more detailed information is available at this site:

According to Merck Manuals, seniors are more susceptible to dehydration.  In older people, common causes of dehydration include the following:
         Disorders that make obtaining fluids difficult (usually because of restricted mobility)

Additionally, older people sense thirst more slowly and less intensely than younger people do, so even those who are otherwise well may not drink enough fluids. Seniors usually have a higher percentage of body fat. Because fat tissue contains less water than lean tissue, the total amount of water in the body tends to decrease with age. More detailed material is available at this website:

Children are especially prone to dehydration. Be alert for the warning signs of dehydration in children, and notify the pediatrician immediately if any of them develop. More info is located at this site:

Should you be concerned about dehydration during pregnancy? According to the American Pregnancy Association, the answer is YES. Dehydration is the result of your body losing water faster than you are taking it in. It is a serious issue for the health and wellness of anyone, but for pregnant women, it is especially important to stay well-hydrated.

Pregnant women need more water than the average person, since water plays an important role in the healthy development of your baby. Water helps to form the placenta, which is what a baby relies on to receive nutrients during pregnancy. Water is also used to form the amniotic sac later in pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to avoid dehydration during pregnancy. More information on this topic is located at this site:

Dehydration can be prevented if common sense safety precautions are observed. Don�t let yourself or someone you know lose too much fluid without replacing it right away. Dehydration can happen quickly and unexpectedly. It pays to know the symptoms and how to react when you suffer the symptoms.

Until next time.

Join telephone town hall to get answers to your questions about Social Security, Medicare

Join the King County Library System (KCLS) for a live telephone town hall meeting with specialists from the Social Security Administration and Washington Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)This free event will take place on Wednesday, May 18 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 

Topics will include how to make the most of your Social Security benefits, health insurance and Medicare coverage. 

A telephone town hall is like a radio talk show, but you simply listen on your phone! Experts will take live questions from the audience. 

On the day of the telephone town hall you will receive a telephone call from the library between 10:25 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. Please answer the call and stay on the line, as it could take a few minutes before the call starts. You will hear some introductory remarks and then be connected.

Be sure to include your telephone number in the registration to receive a phone call! 

Brought to you by the Social Security Administration, Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, the KCLS Foundation and AARP.

Register here for the telephone town hall. 

#MypumpMychoice #AccessMatters: I Didn't Choose To Have A Preferred Relationship With Diabetes

By now everyone is talking about UnitedHealthCare and Medtronic�s partnership and the press release that states in part: 
�As part of our ongoing efforts to provide a better member experience, while increasing quality and lowering the overall cost of diabetes care in the United States, UnitedHealthcare has reached an agreement with Medtronic to become the preferred, in-network durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and Commercial members, effective July 1, 2016�
UnitedHealthcare will continue to pay for pump coverage for others brands until those pumps are out of warranty - and once that happens, customers will either have to switch to Medtronic or pay out of pocket for the pump of their choice.

You can read the Press Release in its entirety, HERE, and I highly suggest you do because it's important, no matter which insulin pump you wear, or don't wear - or whether or not UnitedHealthCare is your insurer.

FTR and not surprising, UnitedHealthCare doesn't don�t provide a direct link. Scroll down to �Front and Center,� and click on the 5th bullet point where it says �Medtronic to become preferred DME Provider of Insulin Pumps for Diabetes, Effective July, 2016.� 

I currently wear an out of warranty Medtronic Pump. That�s my choice - and yes, my insurance has a coo-coo high deductible, only partial coverage once crazy high coo-coo deductible is met, and ridiculous amounts of paperwork and labs to prove that yes, �I actually do have diabetes and require a new insulin pump.� 
And all of which make it anything but easy for me to get a new pump - but at least I get to choose said new pump when I actually get one. 

Here's the thing: It�s not like I chose to have a �preferred relationship with diabetes,� over a perfectly functioning pancreas. I didn�t have a choice when I was diagnosed with t1 diabetes almost 4 decades ago, and ever since my choice to live sans D was taken away, having choices in my life has become of paramount importance. 

Choice when it comes to how I live my life. 
Choice when it comes to my body.
Choice when it comes to my diabetes and the tools and methods I use to manage my diabetes.

And slowly, my (and by �my�, I mean OURS - EVERY SINGLE PERSON LIVING WITH DIABETES,) diabetes choices are being compromised and whittled down and have been for years - and that�s bullshit. 

This isn�t just about insulin pump choice - a choice that is both intimate and personal, since we wear them almost 24X7. 
It�s about not having a choice in the future when it comes to CGM choices, Artificial Pancreas choices, insulin, meters and test strip choices - as well as choices regarding insulin pumps - and coverage (or the lack there of,) for all of the above.

This move reinforces the thinking that diabetes is a one size fits all, disease. 

Diabetes isn�t once size fits all disease. Different strokes for different folks, for a disease where 95% of the day to day treatment is in OUR HANDS.

 94 years ago, insulin hit the scene and saved millions of lives -imagine if we still only had access to one type of insulin? 
Crazy, dangerous and unacceptable - to be perfectly frank, we�d be F^cked. 
Same goes for insulin pumps. 

I won�t demonize Medtronic - I have friends who work there with families and mortgages. 
Medtronic as an insulin pump has worked well for me since 2002. 
And my mother was one of the first people on the east coast to have an implantable defibrillator in 1991 - it gave my family an additional 20 years with my amazing mom and I will always be grateful.  

I don't find Medtronic pumps to be an inferior product, nor do I find insulin pumps made by other companies besides Medtronic to be inferior. 

But I won�t ignore the fact that this move is disturbing, sets precedents that don�t benefit patients, and has ramifications  that will adversely effect every PWD for years to come.

As a person with diabetes, I already know Pharma sees me as many things. 
As an Opinion and Thought Leader, a tool to communicate to the masses, and as a dollar sign.

And I'll cop to being all of the above. This dollar sign has a voice - And I�m not afraid to share my thoughts on what I believe is right�. and what I believe is wrong. 

This move is wrong and it hurts a lot of people on both sides. 

I�m asking both Medtronic and UnitedHealthCare to reconsider. 

I�m asking you to use your voice regarding this decision because your voice is so damn important. 

Together, the Diabetes Online Community moves mountains. Alone, we trudge up hills. 


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