New Year, New Health Insurance

The beginning of 2015 is upon us. With that said, there is always changes with health insurance, deductibles needing to be met and of course, supplies needing to be shipped out! The health insurance through my job actually runs from July 1, 2014 until June 31, 2015, so I don’t need to worry about any health insurance issues starting in 2015. I am about to reach my deductible and I thought it was smooth sailing from now until the end of June.

Now that I am married and have officially changed my last name, I have the luxury of choosing to keep my own health insurance or go onto my husband’s health insurance policy. After doing research between his family policy and mine, it turns out that his insurance is a hell of a lot better that what is offered at my job, with a very minimal deductible to be met. Even after the deductible was met, his insurance will cover my diabetes supplies at 90% (verses the 50% my job was offering).

New Year, New Health Insurance | www.iamatype1diabetic.comFor the last month, I’ve known that I will be changing insurance in 2015. In an effort to save money, I purposely only ordered a one month supply of OmniPods, test strips and insulin. I thought I would be “OK” with the amount of dexcom sensors that I had, so I didn’t order any extra of that.

On December 30th, we received our new health insurance cards in the mail. I quickly called Insulet (maker of Omnipod) to give them my new insurance, as well as Neighborhood Diabetes (where I get my strips from) and Dexcom’s reorder department. They all said I would need to wait until the policy was in full effect on January 1st before they can send out supplies. Because the 2nd was a Friday and many offices did not open, I have to patiently wait to hear back from them in the coming week.

Unfortunately, today I ripped off my last dexcom sensor. I have been at a loss of not checking the reciever every 20 minutes or so! I feel like a teenager who lost their cell phone; waiting impatiently to call the insurance company so a new one can be ordered. I have been testing my blood sugars a lot more than usual today. I feel like my blood sugars have been all over because I can’t see the typical trend from dexcom of where they are headed.

From testing more, I am using more test strips. I seem to be running low on those too!

Luckily tomorrow is Monday and a normal “back to work” day. I will be on the phone first thing to order all my supplies, and pray that they will be delivered quickly. This girl needs to know what her blood sugar number is!

Dexcom Software with Artificial Pancreas Algorithm

FDA Approves Dexcom Software with Artificial Pancreas Algorithm | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

 

 

There has been a lot of good news out this week in the Diabetes Community! Today, I get to share that the FDA approved new Decom software with artificial pancreas algorithm. Earlier this week, I posted about experimental encapsulated cell replacement therapy called VC-01™.  Both are getting us diabetics closer and closer to that “cure” we have been searching for since the invention of insulin!

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Dexcom, Inc., (NASDAQ:DXCM), a leader in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new software for the Dexcom G4® PLATINUM CGM. The new Software 505features the same advanced algorithm as used in artificial pancreas research around the world. The software will impact the performance of the Dexcom G4 PLATINUM, already considered the most accurate CGM system on the market today. The software will be made available free of charge to adult patients using the Dexcom G4 PLATINUM.

“Patients will be able to go online and download the software, or they will receive the software preloaded onto their Dexcom receiver with new orders,” said Terrence Gregg, CEO, Dexcom. “This latest software enhancement to the Dexcom G4 Platinum will make the performance level comparable to episodic blood glucose finger sticks; this is a significant step in the evolution of CGM becoming the standard-of-care over blood glucose meters for people with diabetes.”

Dexcom, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, develops and markets continuous glucose monitoring systems for use by diabetes patients, as well as blood glucose monitoring systems used by healthcare providers in hospital critical care settings.

Available to Dexcom CGM users at no charge, and those who are 18 years and older, the NEW Software 505 features the same algorithm used in the Artificial Pancreas Research and is available to  existing Dexcom customers for free! The Dexcom Update Tool will guide you through the download process. For those who are already using Dexcom G4 PLATINUM, of course you want to download the software! Here is where you can download.

Unfortunately, I cannot. Hopefully, it’s just for the moment. I am an Mac  girl, and this is currently only available for PC! :/

If you don’t currently use Dexcom or have a Continous Glucose Monitor, watch the video below about how it has made life so much easier!

August 8, 2014 -- Our Wedding Day | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

My Heart Beats

Today is the big day. Today is my wedding day.

When Your Around... My Heart Beats Like I've Got Low Blood Sugar | Today's the Big Day! | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Hopefully, I will be having some low blood sugar levels today! I would like to pig out — but I am scared to think that today is going to work out that way… even though I have a (partially) sugar-free wedding cake!

I have no idea what to expect from my blood sugar levels. I have no idea how my nerves, excitement, and those pesky little alcoholic drinks are going to effect me. I have no idea if my pump placement (on my leg currently) is going to change the way in which my body reacts to my insulin. Or if my dexcom is actually going to be close enough to me to do its job.

Will it be a high day, a low day, or an “ok” day? I guess I just have to wait and find out. Stay tuned!

I guess this blog post really doesn’t have a point… but I needed to vent about how scared I am… and how excited I am. Today is the day that every little girl dreams of, and today is this little girl’s big debut.

My fiancé is a great big part of my life, and has helped me to gain better control of my diabetes. He wakes me up every morning to make sure I check my blood sugars, and is on top of my case when I eat things I shouldn’t be eating.

He has been there with me through the thick and the thin, the highs and the low blood sugars, and shows me every morning how much he loves and cares for me. I know he’ll  make a great husband, and I’ll be his imperfect  little wife.

We have been awaiting this day for a year and a half… and it’s finally here! Wish me luck in tying the knot with this lucky man pictured above.

Calibrate on a Steady Trend

Calibrate on a Steady Trend | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

As this image illustrates, you can enhance your CGM sensor precision by calibrating it when on a fairly steady BG trend line. This is helpful anytime and every time you calibrate (i.e., enter a BG reading collected from your standard meter…make sure to use the best technique for this: if not…garbage in, garbage out).

Also, don’t over load the CGM device with all your daily blood sugars, that will often just confuse the software and give ??? readings or simply wrong output data.

One other tip is to aim to calibrate in the range you try to stay in. In other words, if you calibrate at a very high value (over 200 mg/dl), you might have difficulty getting accurate readings down in the 70-150 mg/l range.

Now on the first day of a new sensor session it’s ok to give the system a couple extra readings as the sensor settles in. This particular image is the “re-start” of the same sensor I’ve worn 3 full cycles, now starting a 4th. I might be able to get another week out of this. We’ll see. Share this tip with others as you wish.

New Dexcom G4 System | www.iamatype1diabetic.com

Dexcom Seven Plus Vs. G4

New Dexcom G4 System | www.iamatype1diabetic.com New Dexcom G4 System | www.iamatype1diabetic.com
My new Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor arrived, and I am one happy gal! Put the sensor on Monday night… And it has ALREADY prevented me from having two bad middle-of-the-night low blood sugars. Phew! Maybe I’ll get my fiance off of my back about those bad lows!

The g4 system is quite a bit different from the old seven plus system. Firstly (and most favoritely of mine) is that is comes in an array of colors. I ordered the pink — to match my OmniPod case and my personality. That’s all your choice, I just thought it was a neat idea by Dexcom.

The sensor on the G4 is so much better than the seven plus system too. My blood sugars used to be way off from my meter to my CGM, and of course they are never going to be 100% of the time the same, the new G4 system is certainly winning. The makers of Dexcom certainly stepped up their game with this new system.

The G4 system also has extra alerts if you want to turn them on. Since I am still getting used to the new system, I turned all the alerts on. I want to know when my blood sugars are rising or falling quickly. I want to know when I have been “out of range” or too far away from the machine for it to read my blood sugar levels. I want the snooze to notify me again — if it’s been an 45 minutes (that’s adjustable) and my sugar level hasn’t gone down (for highs) or gone up (for lows).

Another big change is the way you get alarmed with the G4 system. In seven plus, I had my settings always on vibrate. I rarely ever changed it because I would be afraid that I would forget to change it back to vibrate. It never woke me up in the middle of the night. I would leave it on vibrate simply because I didn’t want the alarm to go off at school or work, and have to explain that it was NOT my cell phone. With the G4 system, you can also change the “ringtones” or the alert settings. All of them automatically vibrate first, and if you don’t respond within 5 minutes, then it will correctly ring to alarm. The rep at Dexcom said that was so people using the G4 system wouldn’t have to worry about changing from vibrate to ring and vice verses, as long as they would respond to it in an orderly fashion.

The Dexcom rap called me today explain the differences between seven plus and g4, and asked if I had questions regarding the new system. Honestly, I didn’t really have any questions. I think it was all pretty self explanatory, and how to put on a sensor and use the system itself was similar to the seven plus system.

If you are interested in learning more about how to put on sensor or simply how to use a Dexcom, watch this video. This is from my seven plus system — but like I’ve mentioned, it’s pretty similar. I’ll make a new video in 5 days or so when I change my sensor.

New Dexcom G4 System

New Dexcom G4

Well instead of singing around “in a G6, in a G6″…
I am going to sing around to “in a G4!”

New Dexcom G4 System

I haven’t posted lately about the dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) in a while, but that’s because I stopped using my seven plus system. The readings were always off. It was getting expensive each month for sensors that really wasn’t helping me cope with diabetes any better. AND My insurance co-pay cost to much to get the new system.

So now I am proud to say that in the mail, is a new dexcom G4 system for me. It’s pink — of course! And I can’t wait to try it out. Stay tuned!

Is anyone else using the new dexcom G4 system yet? Have you noticed a big change between the new system and the old?

Questions to a Diabetic

November 16 FAQ – What question do you get asked the most when you tell someone you have diabetes? Do you use any of these opportunities to help teach about diabetes, or do they get annoying? Or both?

Well I do get asked a lot of questions. I do not think they are annoying because I (clearly) like to talk about type 1 diabetes and how it affects my life. I help people to understand what it is like to have diabetes, and try to make them understand how much of a rollercoaster ride I am on each and every day of my life.

I recently made a video about the topic too. Here’s my take on the “Dumb Things People Ask Diabetics.”

New Dexcom G4

Would you spend an additional $400 to upgrade to the new #Dexcom G4? (Without insurance reimbursment!)
Would you spend an additional $400 to upgrade to the new #Dexcom G4? (Without insurance reimbursment!)

I have been receiving a lot of emails from Dexcom advising me to upgrade to the new G4 system from my Seven Plus system. That is great, and I would absolutely love to, but for $400?

According to the email I just read, I can’t even have my insurance reimburse  me for the new system. What would be the benefit anyhow? A better screen. A different senor. More accurate readings? Well, maybe.

I’m pretty much a girly-girl. The fact that they make the new Dexcom G4 with a pink cover is pretty sweet. (I’ve gotten the pink case for my Omnipod meter too!) I don’t know if I am willing to dish out so much money for almost the same thing I already have.

For now, I am going to hold off on ordering it. Thank you Dexcom for thinking about me, but living with type 1 diabetes is already expensive enough!

New Appointment with the Endo

Annoyed by Phone Calls with the Endo (Diabetic Doc)
Annoyed by Phone Calls telling me to test more!

My endocrinologist‘s office called me the other day to simply remind me that I am due for an appointment. I see my endocrinologist every 6 months, and my last appointment was in November.  I guess that is a good thing they called to remind me. The nurse asked if I have been doing ok with dealing with my diabetes, or if I had any questions, I should have kept my big mouth shut!

On a side-note: I have been avoiding all the middle-of-the-night low blood sugars I’ve had in the recent past, but I am sure my hemoglobin A1c number has probably gone up because of it. Yes, I have issues, but what diabetic doesn’t?

So, back to the nurse… I made my appointment. I simply stated that I was getting a lot of lows during the night, and that I changed my basil rates… oh yeah, and that I wanted to get my A1c down.  Then I hung up.

This morning, I got a phone call from Neighborhood Diabetes, the company that mails my test strips. Apparently, my endo’s office called them and said that I need to test my blood sugars more each day! They ordered the company to send me more test strips each month too. My current prescription is for testing 7 times per day. My endo would like to change it to 8 times per day.

I thought the CGM was going to make my life simple, and avoid having to test as much? I guess that ship has sailed. Hopefully the appointment goes over smoothly, even though I am sure I will get a lecture about my A1c — Never fails.