Short-Term Health Plans Limited To Three Months?

The government is considering placing limits on short-term (temporary) health insurance plans. This could go into effect on January 1, 2017 and would limit the enrollment in short-term plans to around 3 months maximum with no renewals.  From CNBC...

Federal officials Wednesday moved to improve the financial outlook of Obamacare insurance plans by calling for limits on increasingly popular short-term health plans that are siphoning off healthier customers from coverage sold both on government marketplaces and outside those exchanges.
The government's move would limit short-term health coverage for an individual to less than three months each year and bar renewal, as opposed to the almost 12-month term that some of those non-Obamacare-compliant plans are offering, along with a chance to renew.
The proposed rule, one of several moves announced Wednesday, is designed to nudge those healthier customers now in short-term plans into Obamacare plans sold on and outside of government-run exchanges, and improve their so-called risk pool, by balancing out less-healthy customers.
I believe we may see some guidance on this in October from the government.  

Diabetes Brain - 2016 Fall Edition~

Diabetes always has a way of creeping into other areas of my life like a weird word association game. Sometimes funny, sometimes not at all. Sometimes it makes no sense, other times, Diabetes Brain makes perfect sense. Also, I'm weird. 
######

1. Went to check the daily totals on my insulin pump this morning, instead I reached for my iPhone and punched in my security code, then sat there looking at the screen for 10 seconds before I realized I�d picked up the wrong device. TRUE STORY.
Sidebar: THE MACHINES ARE TAKING OVER.

2. Whenever I look at food posts on Instagram and Pinterest, I immediately wonder the carb count, then I start calculating the carbs. 
Then I start to wonder about the fiber count and then I go down the diabetes, food pretty pictures, and fictional verses non fictional carb, rabbit hole.

3.Speaking of food. I recently realized I haven�t bought orange juice in years. 
Yep, totally D related and having to do with hitting the Orange Juice Wall when it comes to treating lows.

4. When I check into hotel rooms I automatically put my diabetes low stash on the nightstand. 

5. Sometimes when I�m in the middle of a conversation and fiddling with my insulin pump near a table or a counter, I check my pump, place it on said table or counter, and then go back to the conversation. 
And 9 times out of 10, when the conversation is over or I need to grab something from another room, I walk away and bungipumping ensues. 

6. Random but true: I kid you not, I cannot remember the last time I drank beer. 
Beer requires too much math so I stick to wine or vodka with club.

7. Lately I�ve started to throw out my used test strip as soon as I�m done with it. WEIRD. 

8. Sherlocking diabetes on the TV. 
Watched a rerun of Rizzoli & Isles a few weeks ago, even though I�d seen it before.
 It was an interesting episode because the murder victim had diabetes. 
D was not the COD, but the murder had an intimate knowledge of D
And even though I�d watched it before, I still felt let down when it became clear that the writers of R&I tried, but didn�t quite succeed re: diabetes reality as a plot line. 
Still, it was a good attempt. The episode didn't spread D myths or falsehoods, but they were off re: the actualities of living with diabetes. 
Seriously, what 30 something D adult female carries a log book and takes copious notes re: food and blood sugars every time she pricks her finger?  OR am I projecting? 
Also and spoiler alert: If someone secretly replaced the insulin in my pump with something other than insulin, I would have known something was up because I would have felt like shit because of high blood sugars and all that goes with them. 
Also, if doesn't smell like band-aids or scotch - it ain't insulin.
I would have tossed out the insulin in my pump - and I would have been correcting with injections after I switched out my reservoir. 
UNLESS....  what if hypothetically, R&I's victim ( a PWD, even though she's completely made up fictional character in a fictional television show, I'm still compelled to get into her PWD head,) was worried about throwing out the insulin/insulin imposter because insulin is so f*v$ing expensive? 
And now I'm down the diabetes as a plot-line, rabbit hole!

9. Speaking of insulin, the price of insulin and diabetes related supplies and costs keeps me up at night. This is nothing new nor is it even slightly amusing. 
It�s scary and it�s real and I know I�m not the only one who feels this way. 

10. Re: Smart insulins , (aka insulin with a brain) is on the horizon for those us who require insulin to live - and that's great - I'm all for having access, using and utilizing smarter, faster, insulin. 
But I struggle to pay for the "dumb insulins" that available to us now, so how the hell will I be able to afford the smart ones? 

Health Care and Fainting

Have you ever passed out, or fainted? What caused it, and did you get a doctor to help you with a possible diagnosis? Do you remember what happened right before you blacked out, or is that memory still foggy? Was it caused by an accident or an illness? Have you had repetitive occasions of fainting spells? These are very common questions that you may hear from a doctor that examines you after you�ve fainted.

According to Healthline.com, fainting happens when you lose consciousness for a short amount of time because your brain isn�t getting enough oxygen. The medical term for fainting is syncope, but it�s more commonly known as �passing out.� A fainting spell generally lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes. They have listed 41 possible scenarios that can lead to this situation. Read more at this site:   http://www.healthline.com/symptom/fainting .

Fainting can happen to anyone at any age. When someone faints, it's usually because changes in the nervous system and circulatory system cause a temporary drop in the amount of blood reaching the brain. When the blood supply to the brain is decreased, a person loses consciousness and falls over. After lying down, a person's head is at the same level as the heart, which helps restore blood flow to the brain. So the person usually recovers after a minute or two, according to Kidshealth.org.

Fainting is pretty common in teens. The good news is that most of the time it's not a sign of something serious. More details are available at this site: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/fainting.html .

When you faint, you not only lose consciousness, you also lose muscle tone and the color in your face, according to the NY Times. Before fainting, you may also feel weak, nauseated, and have the sense that your vision is constricting (tunnel vision) or noises are fading into the background. Fainting may occur while or after you:

Cough very hard
Have a bowel movement (especially if you are straining)
Have been standing in one place for too long
Urinate
Fainting can also be related to:
Emotional distress
Fear
Severe pain

Other causes of fainting can be attributed to these events:
Certain medicines, including those used for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and allergies (these drugs may cause a drop in blood pressure)
Drug or alcohol use
Hyperventilation
Low blood sugar
Seizures
Sudden drop in blood pressure (such as from bleeding or being severely dehydrated)
Standing up very suddenly from a lying position

Less common but more serious reasons for fainting include heart disease (such as abnormal heart rhythm or heart attack) and stroke. These conditions are more likely in persons over age 65. More info on fainting can be found at this website: http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/fainting/overview.html .

According to the American Heart Association, Some forms of syncope suggest a serious disorder:
Those occurring with exercise.
Those associated with palpitations or irregularities of the heart.
Those associated with family history of recurrent syncope or sudden death.

What is neurally mediated syncope? Neurally mediated syncope (NMS) is called also neurocardiogenic, vasovagal, vasodepressor or reflex mediated syncope. It's a benign (and the most frequent) cause of fainting. However, life-threatening conditions may also manifest as syncope. NMS is more common in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age. NMS happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness.

Typical NMS occurs while standing and is often preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness and visual "grayout." If the syncope is prolonged, it can trigger a seizure. Placing the person in a reclining position will restore blood flow and consciousness and end the seizure. More details are located here: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofArrhythmia/Syncope-Fainting_UCM_430006_Article.jsp#.V-Um5XlTGUk

According to this website, http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/fainting.printerview.all.html , before fainting, you may feel lightheaded, dizzy, like the room is spinning, sick to your stomach. You may also have blurry vision or a hard time hearing. If you feel like you're going to faint, lie down. If you can't lie down, sit and bend forward with your head between your knees. This helps get the blood flowing to your brain. Wait until you feel better before trying to stand up. When you stand up, do so slowly.

Your doctor will probably ask you about what was happening or what you were doing when you fainted. He or she may ask you for details about how you felt right before and right after you fainted. Your doctor will probably also want to examine you and may perform some tests to find out why you fainted.

If you have a history of fainting, follow your health care provider's instructions for how to prevent fainting, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). For example, if you know the situations that cause you to faint, avoid or change them. You can also take immediate treatment steps when someone else has fainted:

Check the person's airway and breathing. If necessary, call 911 and begin rescue breathing and CPR.
Loosen tight clothing around the neck.
Raise the person's feet above the level of the heart (about 12 inches).
If the person has vomited, turn him or her onto their side to prevent choking.
Keep the person lying down for at least 10 to 15 minutes, preferably in a cool and quiet space. If this is not possible, sit the person forward with the head between the knees.

Call 911 if the person who fainted:

Fell from a height, especially if injured or bleeding.
Does not become alert quickly (within a couple of minutes).
Is pregnant.
Is over age 50.
Has diabetes (check for medical identification bracelets).
Feels chest pain, pressure, or discomfort.
Has a pounding or irregular heartbeat.
Has a loss of speech, vision problems, or is unable to move one or more limbs.
Has convulsions, a tongue injury, or a loss of bladder or bowel control.

Even if it is not an emergency situation, you should be seen by a provider if you have never fainted before, if you faint often, or if you have new symptoms with fainting. Call for an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. More info on fainting is at this website:  http://umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/fainting .

Fainting is usually temporary situation, but it may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. For serious syncope episodes, get immediate medical attention. At a minimum, consult your family physician or a healthcare professional when you have any fainting occurrence. It pays to be aware of your health and any potential problems for any reason.

Until next time.

#TBT: Diabetes Life And Calling All Midvale Alum ~

Originally posted the following on 2.14.08, back when the blog was all sorts of new. 
As of late my life has been a series of occurrences right out of The Far Side cartoons and captions in real life, so I thought I'd revisit this post - Hope you dig.
#### 

OK - favorite"Far Side" pic ever!

The above carton reminds of me of this life of mine. 

While I'm an excellent dancer when the music is on, I'm a bit clumsy in real life...on occasion. Sometimes the blatantly obvious, is not so very for those of us who are Midvale alum.

For instance.....I've actually put my my pump battery in backwards and then wondered why "the damn thing wouldn't work!"

I've walked into, and almost through a screen door - with coffee in hand. No damage to the screen, but I ended up wearing my coffee.

I've put my test strip in the machine upside down and then wondered where the area was to place my drop of blood.

Once, in High School when I was deep in conversation with my 3 best buds, I actually walked smack into Stop sign because I was enthralled over my friends latest escapades, I looked at them instead of looking ahead. I don't know which hurt more, my head or my pride.

I used to give my insulin
 shots through my clothes to save time - andto secretly impress my friends. Of course, only when I was wearing white or some other light color, would a drop of blood decide to appear. Ironically it never once happened when I was wearing black, purple, or blue.

We all know about pump tubing and doorknobs. It's a global issue, nuff said.

I won't even tell you how I broke my arm a few years ago. Let's just say it involved preventing
 a cordless phone from falling down a flight of 16 steps - by blocking its descent at the top of the stairs,
I inadvertently caused myself to fall and ended up at the bottom.

We all push when we should pull at times, but we learn and move forward just the same.
It's very similar to dealing with our Diabetes. Just when we think we know it all about this disease, it throws us curve ball or two, forcing us to learn yet another set of rules regarding the Big D.
And we do, because we can....And because we must.

Fingers Crossed

I lift up my shirt and poke a round my abdomen with my finger - making sure the spot I eventually choose for my site change will be free of lumps, bumps, marks, redness and any weird tender to the touch. 
Real estate is slim on my belly and I must choose wisely. 
I find a spot that looks and feels right, grab the skin and slide the needle of the cannula in. 
This morning�s 11a.m. site change went in easy and as it did, I let out a sigh of relief. 

Sidebar: Sometimes I don�t realize how much and or often I hold my breath when it comes to diabetes related things, until I actually stop holding my breath. 

I filled filled the cannula and silently said, �fingers crossed,� - and then I tweeted that thought because I know I�m not the only one.  
Now all I can do was wait to see if it took. 
After 3 days of a damn near perfect site - this new site could work, suck at sucking up insulin, or be some strange hybrid of working and not all rolled into one. - what I like to refer to as a zombie infusion site. 

I�ve been considering (and by considering I mean that I keep telling myself that I really should and then completely ignoring what I said,) attempting an infusion site in my arm - the thought of tangled tubing makes me wince at the thought - but diabetes requires us to be brave and try new things because we must - and an arm infusion site is on the docket in the next few weeks, (first week in October,) like it or not. 


Current #Bgnow as of two seconds ago 180 - not terrible after a breakfast of lots of fresh pineapple,(pineapple tends to make me go higher in the mornings but I couldn�t resist,) eggs and 2 cups of coffee, and a site change mid morning. 
And so far so good, for now.~

Areas hit by wildfire are at risk for flood damage � are you covered?


We are reaching the end of a �normal� fire season, thanks to this year�s snowpack and spring rain. While that is good news, the more than 15,000 acres that have burned are at higher risk for flash flooding and mudflows. Vegetation absorbs water and reduces runoff that causes mudflows. Even areas that are not historically prone to flood are at risk due to the landscape changes caused by fire. Flood risk remains high until vegetation grows back, up to five years after the fire. That means that the million-plus acres that burned the last two summers are still at higher risk for flooding and mudflows. 
Photo courtesy Washington state Department of Natural Resources

Homeowner�s and commercial insurance policies do not cover flood or mudflow damage. Consumers who want to protect their property must purchase a flood policy, available only through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Most properties qualify for flood insurance, as long as it is located in a community that participates in the program.

Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before your flood insurance policy takes effect. This time of year is a good time to do some research into flood insurance, before the fall and winter weather that can bring floods start in earnest.

More information:
Questions? Get more information about flood insurance or contact our consumer advocates.

PLEASE Talk With Your Children About The Choking Game

This post has nothing to do with diabetes.
This post is about an 11 year old boy named Garrett Pope Jr. - Garrett was my cousin�s grandson and my second cousin�s son - which makes Garrett my cousin, twice removed.
Last week Garrett lost his life to "The Choking Game," a deadly game where children and teens cut off their airwaves to get to the point where they reach euphoria. 
This game has been around for decades and I remember hearing about it when I was in middle school.
Garrett's father posted what happened to his oldest son on The Concerned Citizens of Indian Land�s facebook page , and his heartfelt words (which I've cut and pasted below,) have gone viral via social media and news channels. 

I'm sharing what happened because I don't want it to happen to anyone else.

Please read Garrett Sr's powerful words, learn from them, and have a discussion with your children so that this tragedy won�t happen to another family - and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
Please share Garrett�s story with your friends and family, you will save lives and prevent much heartache in the process.
#####  
Garrett, first Day of 6th Grade.
�My name is Garrett Pope, and I�m the father of the 11 year old boy, Garrett Jr., who passed away tragically this past Wednesday. He was our oldest son, a 6th grade student at the middle school, had just started to play football on Tuesday night, wanted to go to Clemson, was funny, smart, and an amazing son to us and brother to his siblings. I know that there are a lot of rumors out there at to what happened, and my family would like to share some words of caution. The Lancaster County Coroners office has determined that this was an accidental death caused by him playing something called �The Choking Game�. It is where kids cut off their airwaves just enough to get a sense of euphoria. I�m including a link here for more information.
We do not know where Garrett learned this, but the logical source would be from other kids in school, or in our neighborhood. Our tablets and computers show no online research that he might have done. I�ve spoken to the principle about making sure that teachers are aware of this �game�. I work in the media industry, and local news outlets will be following up with more widespread coverage. Please know that his senseless death was not intentional. He took this terrible �game� too far. My family has never felt pain like this before, and we don�t anyone else to go through what we are going through. Please talk about this with your kids, and do everything you can to prevent a similar tragedy. He was so young and impressionable, he didn�t know what he was doing, and made a terrible mistake.
We miss him.� 

To read more about Garrett, click HEREHERE and HERE

AGoFundMe page has been set up in Garrett�s honor and all contributions will go towards something truly beautiful and lasting. 

Garrett loved to read and all donations to his GoFundMePage page will go to the Indian Land Elementary and Middle Schools to further develop their schools reading programs. 

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...