Diabetes, Family History And The Stress Of A Stress Test

 An insider look at what went on in my head before, during, and after my stress test.  
It�s also a great primer on using your words wisely as HealthCare Professional. 
I didn�t sleep well the night before my stress test. 
Nerves, combined with the third day of out of the blue, higher than normal blood sugars resulting in copious amounts of insulin, especially in the evening, followed by 3 am crashes, did not make for being well rested. 

I was tired as I drove the 45 minutes to the cardiologist's office - I'd never been to the practice's Satellite office and Siri did an excellent job of getting me there. 
I arrived 10 minutes early and tried to relax by taking deep breaths and watching Family Feud that was on the big screen TV in the lobby. 
25 minutes later the nurse came to get me. She apologized for the wait and told me that it was her first day at this branch. 
�That�s Ok, me too. We�ll figure it out together,� I said. 

We walked into the exam room filled with a treadmill and monitors and I immediately recognized the Technician who would be administering the stress test. 
It was Eastern European Dude, the same guy who had administered my stress test back back in 2012. 
I totally remembered him. I also remembered flipping out so bad from the fear of the what ifs that my sister had to calm me down so I wouldn�t burst into tears. 
When you have a crap family history combined with a chronic illness, it�s easy to let the what ifs drive you crazy - and I almost had. 

Of course I didn�t remind him of that - I just smiled and said hello. 
The nurse draws back the curtains in the room, tells me undress from the waist up and hands me a blue gown and says �flaps in the front,� and closes the curtain. 
I hate this part - I hate that I have to be partially naked and totally exposed in front of 3 strangers for a test that scares the fuck out of me.
My nerves are making me breath deeper and I tell her I�m ready. 
She opens the curtain, steps in and closes again. 
She puts foul smelling gelatinous gel on my chest that will help the  sticky part of the leeds, stick and stay. 
We walk over to the treadmill and I stand on it. 

We go over my impressive family history and the nurse clips a heavy belt around my waist and plugs the leeds from chest into the belt. Then she gingerly clips my insulin pump onto the belt so I would have to take it off. 
She explains the Stress Test.
3 minute increments of speed and varying inclines on the treadmill, starting out low and slow and reaching speeds of fast and on an incline. 
My blood pressure and heart rate will continue to be monitored the whole time. 
When the treadmill stops - they will literally throw me on a table and Eastern European Eastern European Dude have less than 2 minutes to get images of my heart and its chambers.
Those images will tell us if my heart is healthy and if there are any blockages around the heart. 
She finishes by telling me that if I feel anything that doesn�t feel right, I am to press the red button and we will stop immediately. 
I think back to 2012,  I was on there for about 16 minutes, the last few minutes I was running the treadmill at top speed and at an incline of 13 - everyone in the room was telling me how great I was doing and that my heart was as strong as a horse. 

4 years later and I wonder what will happen this time.

Yep, I know the drill. 

I think of my father and his brothers - skinny men with skinny legs and blocked arteries. 
I think of my mother - a scarlet fever baby with a damaged heart muscle, who became a Pro skater and mother of 6 - all with an arrhythmic heart that beat to it's own drum.
I think of her mother who died from heart issues and her father, a lumberjack who owned the mill and had a heart attack in the snow on Christmas Day and refused to die. 
Instead, he crawled for 2 miles in the snow until he got to his competitors camp. 
They snowmobiled him to the hospital and he lived another 35 years. 
I think of other family members.

I remind myself that I come from strong stock and that knowledge is power. 
I stand on the treadmill, both hands on the bar and practice my yoga breathing. 
I watch my heart rate on the monitor and the numbers keep going between 88 beats per minute and 104. 
My nerves are fucking with me big time now. 
I close my eyes and think of ocean waves and breathing with their ebb and flow. 
Dr. X walks in with a smile on his face - and immediately says: Hi, I�m Dr. O andmygoodness you�re too young for this test! 
My eyes flicker to the monitor screen and my heart rate jumps to 106 beats per minute and my yoga breathing goes out the window. 

I want to scream at him for saying that because I�m stressed enough and his words are making things worse. 
But I can't because it's a fucking stress test.
Instead I take a deep breath, smile and tell him that I have shitty family history and that my cardiologist likes to have an updated road map of my heart so I can remain healthy.
I try my best not to shed a tear, but I feel my face turning red. 
Then I tell him I have WhiteCoat Syndrome and that he should be prepared
Dr. X takes my blood pressure and says: I see that. 

I can tell he knows that he made a mistake. 
He�s a nice guy and he�s trying to make things right. He asks me about my summer and asks me if I've been to the beach. I tell him that I love to swim and body surf and he seems impressed.
He asks me how the waves have been and I mention storms brewing in the the Atlantic. 
Then he tells that my numbers are going to go up during this test - which is what they are supposed to do and not to worry. 

The test starts and I walk the treadmill and I try and think about the ocean because it makes me calm.
 For some reason I keep breathing heavy - and it's unusual and weird and it makes me worry. 
Dr. X asks me if I always breathe deep like that when I work out.
I tell him no - and I tell him that I'm scared. 
He tells me he 'gets it, and that it�s my nerves and that I�m doing great. 
We talk about exercise and the heatwave and I tell him my workout schedule has been shitty.
�Everyones has,� he says and tells me not to worry. 
The incline goes up and I go faster - not at a running pace yet, but close. 
I want to run. I want to run off the treadmill, out of the exam and run as far away as humanly possible.
But knowledge is power, even if obtaining that knowledge is stressful and scary. 

9 minutes in they give me a 30 second STOP warning. 
30 seconds later, the treadmill stops, I lie on the exam table next to the treadmill and turn on my left side and with my left arm up.
Eastern European Dude jumps on top of me puts something cold under my left breast and tells me to take a deep breath and hold my breath. 
I do. 
�Now release, then take another deep breath, let a little out and hold!� 
And I do. 
And then I do it again, and again, and again, and again, and again. 

Then it�s over. 

I sit up on the table and mutter to myself, �you're not even going to buy me dinner?�
The Dr stand in front of me tells me that all is well, that everything looks great. 
My heart is strong - no blockages. 
He points out the my blood pressure is decreasing at a great rate and is now lower than before the test.

�Are you sure? Then why didn�t I get to run this time?
He explains that my graphs were great and that the info they were giving was just what that wanted -  and that my leeds were close to giving feedback (not the good kind, the kind that would make us start the test all over again,) so they stopped. 
�Also, your nerves made your blood pressure on the high side - which happens - so we stopped. You�re great and you did great. I�ll write up your report, send it to your Cardiologist and you�ll get a copy too. You're OK, Kel.� 

I get ready to leave, say my goodbyes and sit in the lobby and answer 3 text messages and some emails. I�m calm now. I�m good. I am A-OK. 

I get up from my seat, walk through the automatic doors of the building and into to the sun. My eyes start to tear and I try to not Oprah ugly cry it, in the parking lot. 

I am good, all is fucking fantastic, I am luckier than many and I know it. 

But the staying well, the being strong and the what ifs of it all, have gotten to me as of late and right now they are hard to shake. 
I sit my car and breathe deep - and just as I put my keys in the ignition, I hear the Dr�s voice in my head saying; �Ohmygoodness, you�re too young to be here.� 

And I respond  out loud to the voice in my head like I'd wanted to respond in the room. 
�I am here because I want to stay healthy.
I am here because I have a shitty family history and type 1 diabetes and I�ve been working my damnedest to stay healthy.
I am here and you're a nice guy and you seem like a good Doctor, but you need to work on your greeting, because right now you made my heart rate increase and God only knows what you�re doing to my blood pressure.
I am here because I want to stay healthy, so please watch what you say and help me do that.� 

And then I drive home, but stop halfway tand dictate a version of this post onto my phone's voice recorder. 
 I had let it all out before I could let it go and continue on my journey

Slate.Com : With Diabetes, "Even" Little Words Matter

This post started out as a post about the disgusting Mylan epi-pen price increase and how it mirrors the insulin prices increases, but then it turned into an article about Slate.com�s diabetes headline from yesterday, because the word "even" in the article title rubs me the wrong way.

I�m still working on the epi-pen article - and neither post is an Insulin verses Epi-pen article. Nope - both diseases are life threatening, both medications save lives and both price increases are appalling and I'm enraged at the eli pen price increase. 
Today�s post is about words - specifically the word �EVEN.� 
And how even little words can negate a price increase and add to diabetes stigma. 
Yesterday, Slate.com ran an article with the headline: Good Lord, Even The Price of Insulin Is Skyrocketing.

Yep Slate, this is nothing new. 
The price of insulin has been skyrocketing for years -I now pay more for insulin than I did back in 1997 and more than my parents did when I was diagnosed way back in 1977. 
 Insulin is also a life saving drug, but nobody except those living with diabetes seems to care about the continual price increases. 

The Diabetes Online Community has been writing about about the high cost of diabetes for years - including the ridiculousness that is the ever increasing cost of insulins. 
Check out HERE, HERE, and HERE for a small sample of DOC voices on the subject.
Recently, the DOC has rallied behind #diabetesaccessmatters, because you bet your sweet ass it does.

Thank you, thank-you, thank-you  for featuring the insulin price increases in your publication. 
But,and of course there's a but. 
BUT what's with using the word "even" in your title? 
Using the word �even� in your title re: skyrocketing insulin prices detracts from the impact that those stratospheric price increases have on every single person living with diabetes who struggle to pay those skyrocketing prices in order to stay alive. 
Sidebar: You might say semantics, but not just my POV, btw. 

The word �even� lessens the struggle that millions of people living with diabetes are going through daily in order to pay for the insulin they/we require order to live. 
Diabetes is not cheap - and today it's more expensive than ever.

Wuestion: Would you have used the word �even,� to describe price increases for diseases such as crohn�s, life threatening allergies, or cancers? 
Nope, I don�t believe you would, so why is OK to use that word and in that context when describing the price increase of drugs for a group of diseases (type 1 diabetes, type 1.5, type 2 diabetes,) that millions and millions of people live with?

Not OK and here�s why. 
  1. By using the word �even,� you�re subconsciously adding to diabetes shaming and adding to the stigma associated with diabetes
Being diagnosed with diabetes is often perceived as a character flaw, so maybe for some people reading your article, it might be considered OK for those of us who need insulin to stay alive, to pay a little more. 
It�s not OK.
Diabetes is not a character flaw - diabetes is hard fucking work and I haven�t had a vacation from my t1 diabetes in well over 3 decades. 
I�ve lived with diabetes longer than I haven't and diabetes accompanied me from third grade until I graduated from college and every day since. 
Diabetes was with me as I watched my favorite sister get married, went with me on my first date, stumble along side me through my first sexual experience and every one since. 
Diabetes has been my traveling companion to a dozen countries and at least 15 states. 

 Diabetes has made the move with me to different states; stood by me as I buried both my parents, discovered the Diabetes Online Community, and sat in the third row with me when my niece made her Broadway debut.
Type 1 Diabetes took the life of my older sister Debbie and broke my parents heart in the process. 
Diabetes has made me feel guilty and diabetes has me saying I'm sorry, even when I am anything but. 
Diabetes been the longest relationship I�ve ever had - braking up with diabetes is not an option at this time because there is no cure for my type 1 diabetes. 

Don�t even get me started on Diabetes Burnout!

Speaking of cure, the use of the word �even,� makes my disease seem less cure worthy and in actually, has the potential to lessen funds raised to find the D cure. 

But back to diabetes day to day - and the shear cost of living with diabetes. 
I know people with diabetes (type 1, t1.5, and type 2,) who can�t afford the cost of their insulin, or other medications, test strips, and diabetes durable medical equipment (insulin pumps, CGMs,) and play Russian roulette with their health every month because they�ve either run out of their meds/supplies before their prescriptions are due to be filled.
Or worse, they don�t have insurance and go without out because they�ve run out of money.  
Unfortunately, diabetes is not the same disease every day - some days you require more insulin, some days you require less. Sometimes you need to check your blood sugars 10 times a day, other times 7 will suffice. 
But if you live with diabetes, you're lucky if your insurance will pay for 5 test strips a day. And if you have diabetes and are on medicare - you only get 3 test strips covered per day. 
Did I mention that test strips are the litmus tests that people with diabetes use (as well as CGMS - but that a whole other insurance ball of wax for another post,) use to monitor their blood sugars and measure out their insulin. 
Insulin can kill if you admisister too much or too little - so YES, checking blood sugar is CRUCIAL AND EXPENSIVE.
Speaking of insurance - people with diabetes  (PEOPLE WITH ANY ILLNESS,) spend more time arguing with their insurance company over denials, mistakes, and fighting for lifesaving medications and procedures. 

So Slate, when you use the word �even� in your title, you aren�t doing PWD (people with diabetes,) a favor- because the majority of the public already think it�s our fault we have diabetes.  
Nobody, no matter the diabetes type, deserves to be treated any less than with respect because of their diabetes status. 

If you want more info regarding what it�s really like to live with diabetes, ask the thousands of people in the Diabetes Online Community who will be willing to share what it�s really like to live with diabetes - step by step, deductible by deductible, crazy ass high co-pay by co-pay. 

Lastly Slate, you�re a HUGE publication and online presence - and a great one.
I read your site daily and I learn and laugh from your posts. 
 Your words, even small ones have power, so please use them wisely. 

Life and Diabetes Hacks - AKA, Chilled Sharpie Marker FTW & My Sanity

I�ve been tweeking things up as of late in life and life with diabetes  - and by �tweeking,� of course I'm talking about life hacks. 
Nothing crazy, but still - little changes = big ones. 

Chilled Sharpie Marker FTW & My Sanity
I�ve started keeping a Sharpie Marker in the fridge, on the shelf where I keep my insulin. 
That way every time I start a new insulin bottle I can mark the date the bottle was started on the bottle and the box - no more wondering when said bottle was opened, or not being able to remember which insulin was the one that was temporarily lost in the fridge and required opening a new one, and not being able to remember what was which, when the lost bottle was found.  
**I also keep spare insulin reservoirs and a couple needles in the fridge because it saves me some extra steps. I can fill up my insulin reservoir while standing at my fridge. Sanity saving for sure.

Switching from Juice Boxes To Cute Little Juice Cans
I recently switched from juice-boxes to aluminum bottles of Dole� Pineapple juice cans - and keep 2 by my bed - just in case. 
The reason for the switch was easy. 
One day I went to the local grocery store and they were out of my favorite juice-boxes. Bummer, until I noticed the little Dole�  Pineapple juice cans on the bottom shelf.
  1. They cost the same price as juice bottles
  2. I think they are recyclable
  3. 6 ounces each with 24 grams of carbs, one usually is all I need to treat a middle of the night low, but YDMV
  4. The cans are more durable (as in they don�t get smashed, especially when I toss one in my bag to go for a workout,) and they remind me of my childhood.
No More Bottled Water For Me
I made the switch to Brita filtered water bottles and Brita filter pitchers quite some time ago and I couldn�t be happier. 
I still feel guilty about all the plastic bottles of water I�ve been responsible for over the years, but at least I�m no longer adding to the problem.
The Brita Sports bottles are 20 ounces, come with their own replaceable water filters and they pay themselves 10 fold. 
I believe mine cost $8.99 each and I cannot remember the last time I purchased bottled water. 
I also have a really nifty Thermos Water Bottle with a flip lid that holds 20+ ounces and allows me to add up the times I refill it via a twisty cap that keeps track. VERY cool and both Brita and Thermos bottles are PBA free. 

Speaking Of Bottled Water And Not Buying It 
I now only buy seltzer water in packages of 12,12 ounce cans.  Soda companies like Coke and Pepsi see the sparkling water marketing growing larger every year and are jumping on it - said companies (and others,) are down sizing the cans in both can size and cans per package, so they can make more money. I won�t purchase from those companies because that�s a crappy thing to do to their customers.  

Back To Filtered Water
I keep a recycled glass 64 ounce milk bottle in the  fridge filled with filtered water because EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER IN GLASS. 

Speaking of Water And Keeping Hydrated 
For as much water as I drink (and I drink freaking tons,) not to mention I moisturize like crazy, my skin is still very dry. 
I think my dry skin has to do with diabetes and being on several different medications to stay healthy. 
I�m trying out some different options and will report back on my findings, so stay tuned~

Breakfast and Morning Snacks Upgrade, Thanks To Summer Fruits and Veggies
Not really change, but still worth sharing. 
Every morning I make a fresh smoothie with frozen blueberries or what every fruit I�ve purchased at the local farmers market and lots of fresh basil and mint and protein powder -it�s yummy quick and easy to bolus for. 
And when I feel like grazing mid morning - I have a kind bar and about  3/4�s of a cup of sweet yellow grape tomatoes. 
I get almost 2 servings of veggies from those sweet delicious tiny tomatoes and damn if they aren�t tasty!

My Canned Tuna Ah-HA Moment - GAME CHANGER
So back May when I had my surgeries and stayed with my friends for a few days to recover - I discovered something that changed my tuna salad loving, life!
My friends C & D keep their cans of tuna refrigerated,  that way when they make tuna salad, the tuna is already chilled. 
OK, this changed my life because in all of my years, my family NEVER kept canned goods in the fridge - they were always kept in the pantry. 
But over the years whenever I was hangry for a tuna salad, I would grab a can, drain it, throw some horseradish and mayo in (both already chilled,) and never had the patience to let the tuna salad chill - I�d end end up eating it slightly below room temp and some of the magic was gone. 
Now, I always throw the tuna cans right in the fridge - no need to wait for the tuna to chill. 
Tuna salad magic is back and seriously life changing! 

And you have any little life/ diabetes hacks you feel like sharing, that would be cool~ 

Novo Nordisk, AskScreenKnow�, Rev Run, T2 Diabetes & The "Am I At Risk?" Campaign

Diabetes, "it's tricky," no matter the type.

Today I'm writing about t2 risk assessment because as a person with t1, I have friends and family members with type 2 - and I have many friends and family members who might be t2 - and I know I'm not the only one.
This one is for them - because knowledge is power and we are in this together~
Novo Nordisk has a site call AskScreenKnow.com, (part of their Cornerstones4Care program,) that urges Americans to learn their risks when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes and gives them the tools to do so.
The site is all about encouraging people to know their diabetes risk factors and allows them to via a free diabetes risk assessment
Novo has teamed up with Rev Run (yep, that Rev Run,) and his very cool wife Justine, who both have loved ones diagnosed with type 2 - and have their own D risk factors.
Along with the easy and quick t2 diabetes risk assessment, the site is  filled with videos from Run and his wife Justine, including videos re: healthy recipes, exercise,etc. It's good stuff.  

Yesterday I was able to talk with Rev Run and Certified Diabetes Educator and Health Consultant, Jeannette Jordan about AskScreenKnow and Novo�s �Am I At Risk?� Campaign, currently touring the country and whose temporary housing in my own back yard - Philadelphia�s famous 30th Street Station, now through August 21st. 

Here�s our convo. 

Kelly: Tell us about AskScreenKnow and Novo's �Am I At Risk?� Campaign.
RevRun: AskScreenKnow.com is actually website and people need to go there - first and for-most and get there risk factor assessment for type 2 diabetes. 
I�ve been working with NN for a few years now. ago. 
I found out that my father had Diabetes years ago and that his diagnoses made me at risk. My manager, Mike Leman was talking to some people at Novo, telling about his father (who was also diagnosed with t2,) and my father and we thought it was a perfect match because I do �Words of Wisdom.�  I speak to people about all types of wisdom and I thought, it must be time to talk to people about health. 
So I took my screening and found out that I didn�t have diabetes, but I had so many risk factors, that I wanted to push this so everyone would know that they could be at risk.
�Am I at Risk?" is an interactive display at 30th Street station - there�s an iPad right there on the display where you can take your risk assessment.
Novo's "Am I At Risk?"  Campaign at 30th St. Station in Philadelphia
If you can�t get down to 30th St Station in Philly, you can go on your computer and take the assessment right there on AskScreenKnow.com
It�s really about knowing and recognizing your risk factors. 
Me: That�s so important because I think a lot of people are afraid to know their risk factors when it comes to their health - whether it�s diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. 
RevRun: Yeah, they�re afraid, but I tell people to do it afraid. 
That�s one of my favorite quotes because afraid might not go away, so you need to walk yourself to the Dr. and figure it out. 

Kelly: YES! I love the pledge on the site after the assessment. I think it�s a great thing that people pledge to make an appointment with their Doctor within 3 to six months of taking the assessment, because it�s always going to be in the back of their heads. 

RevRun: It�s always is in the back of their mind, and it�s always in the back of my mind. every single time I�m taking care of myself, walking, eating healthy. 
I�m always wondering, is this the correct portion, etc. 

Kelly: I know that small changes really equal big ones - can you let us know what small changes you and your family are doing to stay the course? 
RevRun: I go walking quite a bit. I find walking to be very effective - 
Kelly: ME TOO.
Rev Run: I don�t walk very fast or very slow - I keep myself in the middle and I know I have to keep myself very active- that�s always on my mind. It�s always on my mind and I walk daily. 
I watch what I�m eating and I make sure I don�t cheat - I watch myself - I make sure I don�t cheat . Sometimes I find myself a little bit off the beaten path
Kelly: You need to treat every now and then - I don�t like to use the word cheat but I do like to use the word treat. When you tell someone that they can�t do this, this and this, and that they have to do this, this and that, it�s a lot. 
I think a treat every now and then makes it easier to to the right thing most of the time. 

Lots of laughter from Rev Run and CDE and AskScreenKnow  Health Consultant, Jeannette Jordan

Jeannette Jordan: You�re exactly right! To take everything away from people that they love and enjoy, it becomes very difficult - and they�ll do it for a little while, but then they�ll stop. 
But small life style changes can yield big results and as Rev said, walking is one thing, and as a Certified Diabetes Educator, we also encourage people to look at what they�re drinking  - a lot of people drink sweetened drinks like sodas, juices, sweet tea. 
 And I�ve found if people make the switch to calorie free/sugar free beverages, they reduce their carb intake drastically, because we drink all day. 
Also, just cutting down their portion sizes goes a long way. 
According to the ADA, 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

RevRun: We also have recipes on AskScreenKnow.com and they are very healthy and Very tasty 
Kelly: Yes I know, and as soon as this heatwave is over, Im trying that  backed chicken recipe! 
Rev Run: That�s a good one!
Me: Actually, I want to try them all. 

Kelly: Jeannette - On a personal note, I want to thank you for what you and other Certified Diabetes Educators do  - you guys show us the way!
Jeannette: Thank you! 

So then I explained to Rev Run what/who t3�s are and asked him what advice he has for t1,t2, and t3s: 
Kelly: What advice do you have for t1, t2,t3s 

RevRun:  There are so many faces that make-up t3s, and that�s what were talking about the diversity - everyone needs to know their risk factors when it comes to t2 - if you you�re at risk and don�t know - get assessed. 

Kelly: What advice do you for anyone living with diabetes, no matter the type? 
RevRun: Everything in moderation, portions control, walk, keep a balanced life and see your Dr. regularly. 
Rev and Jeannette, thanks for talking with me(and by me, of course I mean us,) Novo Nordisk's AskScreenKnow,  the "Am I At Risk Campaign and thank you for being Diabetes Advocates! 
If you have a friend or a love one who you think would benefit from a type 2 diabetes assessment (btw, it takes less than 10 seconds,) send them to AskScreenKnow.com
Go a step further and sit next to them while they take the assessment 
We are in this together and there is strength in numbers! 
AskScreenKnow.com is the website. 
 The interactive �Am I At Risk� Campaign will be at 30th Street Station until August, 21, then heads to Minneapolis to The Mall of America from Aug 26-28! 

RevRun can be found on twitter @RevRunWisdom, so if have a question for him - send him a tweet using the hashtag #RevOnASK
RevRun can also be found on  Instagram @revwon

*Jeannette F. Jordan is a national expert, author, and public speaker on nutrition, diabetes prevention, and healthy living. She�s a registered dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and former spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association@

Consumers should be wary of short-term health plans

Consumers looking for health insurance outside of the annual open enrollment period should be wary of short term health plans. These plans may be marketed as alternatives to Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance, but they could leave you without adequate coverage and facing financial penalties at tax time. 

Originally, short-term health plans were sold as a stop-gap measure until you could get real major medical coverage. After the ACA kicked in, people had many other options for coverage, but these limited plans were still being marketed to consumers as a viable alternative. However, short-term  plans do not count as 'minimum essential coverage' under the ACA - meaning you'll have to pay a tax penalty. They also do not cover the 10 essential health benefits, can limit your annual benefits to $100,000 or less, and deny you coverage for any pre-existing conditions. 

These policies are sold year-round, unlike ACA-plans that must be purchased during the annual open enrollment period, unless you qualify for a special enrollment. Some states allow for coverage to last up to a year and policies can be renewed. This effectively takes people out of the insurance pool that the ACA was designed to expand, leading to increased costs for everyone. 

In an effort to bring the limited short-term health plans back to their original purpose and to protect consumers, the federal government is proposing a regulation to limit the duration of these policies to three months and increase consumer awareness of their limitations.

Insurance Commissioner Kreidler agrees with this effort and sent a letter yesterday in support of the new regulation.

I Don't Feel Like Diabetes Today - But Thanks To The DOC, I'm A Buttercup, So I will~

Because when you know you're not alone, you can "suck it up,Buttercup," with the best of them~
Today I am a Buttercup~
I don�t feel like doing diabetes today. 
Yep, I don�t feel like bloody dealing with diabetes in any shape or form.
And today for some reason, the thought of constantly checking my blood sugars and counting carbs each time I contemplate putting food into my body/ wondering if I need a correction bolus to even things out, makes me want to scream.

Nor do I feel like dealing with a lunchtime elevated blood sugar and downing tons of water that will make me pee like a racehorse. 
I�m annoyed that after three days of damn near perfect numbers, I stubbornly waited to switch out my site and paid for my bull-headedness with a 263 #bgnow.
I don�t feel like worrying that this brand new pump infusion site, may or may not syphon insulin and I didn't like realizing after the fact, that I placed said infusion site in a spot that will be difficult to access when I go swimming on the beach this weekend. 
If the site does indeed suck up insulin as opposed to just sucking, I can already see myself struggling to disconnect and connect  - sitting on my beach chair and draping myself in towels, stretching my legs and the leg of my bathing suit towards my chest and fumbling until I hear the �click� that means insulin will once again be subcutaneous flowing through my body. 

Of course I could put in a new site, but real-estate is valuable on the island of Kelly K, and if this site does work I  wont replace it until Sunday morning. 
Speaking of insulin - I don�t feel like worrying that my insulin will go skunky because tomorrow the humidity will be back with a vengeance.

Yep, I don�t feel like dealing with diabetes today. 

I will, because I must - and so will you.

But it feels really good to say I don�t feel like dealing with diabetes today, because somehow saying it out-loud/typing it out-loud and sharing those wordsfor all the world to see, and giving me the strength to �suck it up, Buttercup, it� and do what needs to be done. 

Sharing these thoughts with you reinforces the fact that I am not in this alone, which means I can "suck it up, Buttercup," with the best of them! 

So thanks guys and carry on!  

Learn more about Medicare at free event Aug. 6 in Kent

Are you new to Medicare? The Office of the Insurance Commissioner�s Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) will be at the Kent Senior Activity Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6

You will learn about:
  • Medicare parts A, B, C and D
  • Your Medicare benefits and options
  • How to get help paying for Medicare if you qualify
Find registration and parking information for this event.

Other resources:
Do you have Medicare questions? Call 1-800-562-6900.

Breastfeeding and insurance: learn your rights

This week is World Breastfeeding Week, when people from all over the world celebrate breastfeeding. It may surprise you to hear that there�s a connection between breastfeeding and insurance.

The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to provide breastfeeding and lactation support, equipment and counseling to women during and after pregnancy as long as they are breastfeeding.

  • While insurers must cover breast pumps, plan vary by what type of pump they cover, if they help pay for a rental or purchased pump, and if the pump needs to be pre-authorized. Contact your insurance company to find out what your plan covers. 
  • Insurance plans must also cover lactation support for mothers and babies who are having trouble with breastfeeding or pumping. 

According to womenshealth.gov, babies who are breastfed have lower risks of many health conditions including asthma, ear infections, SIDS, type 2 diabetes and respiratory infections. Breastfeeding also benefits mothers� health, promotes infant-mother bonding and is more economical than buying formula.

Find more information:

Read more about women�s health insurance rights on our website. Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

New Medicare cards are coming starting in April

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing redesigned Medicare cards to beneficiaries in Washington state aft...