Thursday, January 29, 2015

Diabetesalicious-Lite: Diabetes Dark Ages, Alecia On The APP/AP, Fearless/Fearful, Positive D Visuals, CWD-FFL15 & #SpareARose

I’ve written about the Diabetes Dark Ages a lot on Diabetesaliciousness, because (and lucky me,) I was diagnosed just as that chapter of diabetes history was coming to a close  and diabetes technologies were coming into play - and my memories are vivid.  
I wrote a piece on the D Dark Ages over at SuiteD and I'd love it if you click HERE, check it out and let me know what you think~

Speaking of Diabetes Technology/technologies, t1 and SurfaceFine blogger, Alecia Wesner is featured in today’s NY Daily News, re; her "app-tastic' experience on the AP. 
Click HERE and read about our fearless and fantastical friend's experience! 
Also: I WANT.

Fearless and fearful, similar versions of the same root word, with very different meanings. We all find ourselves walking a fine line when it comes to being fearless and fearful in all aspects of our lives, including our lives with diabetes. 
And if we're lucky, we find ourselves a place to exist and flourish in the in-between of both words and worlds
Not being so fearless to the point of of being flipping crazy, and not being so fearful that we allow ourselves or others to be imprisoned by our fears.
After 37 years of living with diabetes, I've seen a hell of a lot and I've learned and continue to learn everyday. 
For me, the 24X7/365 requirements of my diabetes life include; continual education, (of myself and others,) the latest in diabetes technology, copious amounts of laughter, lots tenacity, acknowledging and then doing what I fear when required, while remembering to focus on the positive & help others in the process. 
Also, I require boatloads of hope and positive diabetes visuals - we all do! 

Re: positive diabetes visuals, take a look at Moira's positive & empowering post over at Despite Diabetes.   

Speaking of positive and empowering, here's a sneak peek at the initial and not yet complete/still fantastical work in progress, Adult Program for the 2015 Children With Diabetes- Friends For Life Conference! 
Sidebar: The Kids Program isn't up and running yet, but I guarantee it's sure to please!
Continue to watch for updates and details & see you in Florida! :) 

Lastly and also in the positive/empowering vein: The Super Bowl isn’t the only thing kicking off on February 1 - SpareARose also 'kicks-off' on Super Bowl Sunday and quite frankly, my bet's on #SpareARose for the win!  
11 roses are better than a dozen and for the cost of 1 rose (5 bucks) you're literally sparing a rose and saving a child. 5 dollars provides life saving insulin for a month to a child with diabetes in third world/developing country!  It's a sure bet on game day and it'sthe best money you'll spend on Valentine's Day.  

Order your "spared rose and or roses," here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Winners Of The Lilly Diabetes/Disney T1 Diabetes Books & L.L.Bean® Backpacks Are..........

Thanks to Tuesday's schedule getting moved to Monday because of the impending snowstorm, today's post was ever so slightly delayed. 
With that being said, I'm proud to announce that the 8 winners of the Lilly Diabetes/Disney Backpacks are: 
Abby Travis
Emily Evans 
Tracy T1 D Kyson
Patty Knight 
Andrea Rotterman 
CONGRATS & please email me at: KellyKunik (at) gmail (dot) com, with your mailing addresses  by Wednesday so I can get your bookpacks out to you on Thursday! 
If I don't hear from you by Thursday morning I'll have to give your prize to someone else - And I don't want to do that. 
And if you didn't win - The books are available in digital format at:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Giveaway: Lilly Diabetes/Disney Type 1 Diabetes Book Shelf & L.L.Bean® Backpacks!

A bounty of Lilly/Disney books & and a L.L. Bean® backback to boot! 
Lilly Diabetes sent me a boatload of chartreuse (one of my favorite colors,) L.L.Bean® packpacks that were specially designed by the  over at Lilly Diabetes and L.L.Bean®. 
Each backpack comes with a customized Emergency Contact tag sewn inside. 
 I’ve photoshopped my name/info on the tags :) 
Not only do you get the backpacks come with the special tags sewn in & ready for you to fill out, they are filled with the entire LillyDisney Type 1 Diabetes Bookshelf!  
Keep in mind that books aren’t available for purchase so it’s a big deal. 
Detailed descriptions of the books can be found here:
For the record: I've read everyone of these books and they're wonderful & I wish they'd been around when I was growing up with type 1!
On Monday, January 26th, I’ll pick 8 winners and share the remaining 4 backpacks with local children with diabetes in my area, including two who were diagnosed in December. 
How to enter: EASY. Leave a comment stating why you’d like to win the Lilly/Disney book  L.L.Bean® filled packpacks and I’ll announce the winners on Monday morning.
**VERY IMPORTANT: In order to win, I must be able to contact you - If your blogger profile doesn’t have a current email address, add one ASAP. 
*This contest is for U.S. residents only. 
All winners chosen by
Good luck and check back on Monday to see if you’ve won! 

** For those who don't win the bookracks, the books are available at most pediatric endocrinologist offices & in digital format at:

** If you are one of the winners, PLEASE don't use a box cutter/or any other tool when opening your prize, you might rip the backpack - And nobody wants that~ 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

FYI: Insurance Co's - Life With Diabetes & Dealing With/Trying To Prevent "Real People Sick" = A Lot Of Insulin, Test Strips, Infusion Sets, ETC.

I’m thankful that I have technology and the extra insulin to fight off whatever’s going on inside me right now. But the cost of the all the extras is stressing me out and puts me on the defensive with my insurance company - And I don't feel like playing defense all the time - especially when I'm trying to prevent "real people" sick from occurring.
Why do I, and by “I” of course I mean “WE,” need to continually play defense, even when we feel like skipping the game entirely and sitting on the sidelines until we're ready to grab the ball. 
And yeah, I can't believe I'm using a sports euphemism - I'm so much more of an "Arts & Entertainment" Chick. 
Because I’m fighting off some sort of something in the cold/infection variety since Sunday, I’ve been dealing with elevated blood sugars, a scratchy throat and slightly higher than normal body temp between 98.9 & 99.2. 
I've been popping extra Vitamin C, craving early bedtimes, chicken soup and spicy food.   

And because of diabetes technology, I’ve increased my temp basal rate to 129% and that seems to keep my blood sugars in the normal range and I can go about my day without skipping to many beats. 
It also means I’ve been going through insulin like water (between 54 and 56 units per day on average since Sunday) and the same goes for infusion sets. I’m literally changing out my site every 24 hours - And not because I want to, but because it’s been syphoning so much insulin subcutaneous , it literally craps out somewhere between the 24 & 32 hour mark. 

The good news: Like I said, nothing has to be put on the back burner during the day and fingers crossed that soon I can get back to a normal amount of insulin. 
The not so great news: How does one explain to their insurance company that they are going through insulin and infusion sets because their body is actually preventing "real people sick," from occurring, thus requiring  a shitload of insulin, test strips and  pump silhouettes in order to do so? 

Your diabetes may vary, (YDMV) doesn’t fall into the insurance RX math of diabetes. 
Not only do insurance companies not understand the “diabetes math” of it all, but that don’t understand that that “your diabetes may vary,” depending on the day, the week and the year. 
You might be staving off an infection in January that require copious amounts of everything - no matter what the insurance company thinks you require. 
Which means by the time you're better, you’ve already gone through 1 box of Silhouette infusion sets and have started into your second box, both of which were part of the four boxes included in your 3 month supply (FTR: I have pay extra for that fourth box,) that was delivered on December 29th. 

No matter if you’re using a insulin pump or multiple daily injections, when your body is fighting off an infection and trying its best to stay healthy, you’re going to require more insulin and supplies - And don’t even get me started on dead spots and scar tissue.  Insurance doesn’t understand or care. 
I’m lucky, my Endo gives me insulin samples  - And I still have a 3 unopened bottles before my mid February appointment - but by the looks of things - I’m going to  be cutting it close. 
As of today, I've gone through one whole bottle of insulin since January 10th.  
This afternoon I will start a new one - What if I go through that one in 13 days? 
What about PWDs who don’t have insurance? 
What about Children in developing countries who don’t have access to insulin? 
Sidebar: Spare A Rose is just around the corner, you can literally  “spare a rose, save a child,” and provide 1 month of insulin for a child in a developing country for just 5$
And you know what? It's the best 5 bucks you'll ever spend! CHECK IT OUT!

People with working pancreases require more insulin when they’re fighting off any sort infection, so do we. 
People with working pancreases require more insulin when they eat certain foods. 
So  do we.
We have to pay for our insulin, infusion sets, test strips, extra and otherwise - And we have to pay extra when our bodies require extra - And that SUCKS. 

I wish insurance companies would allow for a cushion, a backup of supplies for all the variables of life and life with diabetes. 
Real people sick/preventing RPS and what is required for both. Insulin requirements varying from day to day, sick or not. Deadspots, tile floors and their magnetic pull towards the last bottle of insulin. Error messages on meters and CGM transmitters that get funky before their time. 

Anyway, that's how I'm feeling and I just needed to share, because I know I'm not the only one who's dealing with all of the above - And we are in this together.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Time With Family & Encouraging Words ~

Because being with a person who has known you since you were born and loves you no matter what is fantastical - And home is where the heart is, not bricks and sticks~
Sunset Sisters
Kelly and Cathy. 
Last week’s extended vacation with my sister Cathy and her husband C was just what I needed to regroup, recharge and reconnect. We laughed, we talked, walked and ate great food - "it was better than Cats!" Seriously though, it was pure heaven. 
There were a few moments that were challenging with diabetes, but not too many. 
A couple of middle of the night lows after red wine and carb filled dinners, (and even after I halved my correction bolus before I went to sleep because of the red wine,) one challenging AM blood sugar and a continual guesstimation of carbs that weren’t always perfect. 
At one point, while I was calculating the carbs for our grilled french bread, cheddar and steak sandwiches & carrot and ginger soup lunch, my sister sans D, said to me: God, diabetes is like having a full time job - You’re always figuring things out - And you stay calm and seem to have a handle on it. How do you do that? 
Me: It totally is and I don’t always have a handle on it, or stay calm - TRUST ME.  
I just try my best. Sometimes trying works and sometimes it doesn’t and for all sorts of reasons. Mistaken carb calculations, dead infusion sites, skunky insulin... or just because diabetes feels like messing with me. But I try and keep on trying... one day at a time, and every day. 
Cathy: Well, you’re doing great - And I’m really proud of you and how you deal with your diabetes - And your blog, too - Keep up the great work! 
Me: Thanks, sista! 
And I might have actually blushed when she said those words and inside I was bursting with all sorts of good feelings - Because a little encouragement and acknowledgement from someone you love and respect and think the world of, goes a hell of a long way - in life and life with diabetes! 
Diabetes is always with us, even on vacation, it's a never ending and thankless and very misunderstood job. 
So when someone you love acknowledges your efforts, it makes your heart sing and it makes you try even harder to do your best. 

Now that I'm back home, I'm so grateful for the time we spent together, I miss them terribly and I'm already planning my next visit!   

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Flight Canceled, Family Time, Diabetes Supplies & Gratitude~

5 minutes before my brother-in-law dropped me off at the airport last night, I decided to check my flight status again... just in case, even though I'd checked twice in the last hour. Once, right before we'd left the house, and the second, 15 minutes into our 35 minute ride to Myrtle Beach International Airport.
My flight's departure time had already been delayed twice and the weather was craptastic up and down the east coast.
And as luck would have it, my return flight home had been cancelled somewhere in those twenty minutes between checks - and just as we pulled up at "drop-off," I received an official email from the airline informing me that my flight was a no-go. 
While my BIL waited patiently in the Cell Phone lot, I stood in a long line to re-book my flight - And by the time it was my turn to go to the Check-In, I was informed that the next available flight back to the little airport I'd flown out of and where my car was currently parked, was Wednesday night. 
Seriously, I kid you not.
On one hand I was really happy to be spending more time with my amazing sister and brother-in-law because I missed them something fierce.
On the other hand, a million things were going through my mind at warp speed.
I'd have to cancel my Tuesday afternoon Endo appointment - you know, the one I should have scheduled for last month, but for some reason, didn't. 
I had work. But I could do most of it remotely. 
I was down to my last pair of clean socks and underwear and needed to do laundry, ASAP. Not a problem since my sister had both a washer, dryer and some super cute clothes if I needed to borrow shirts, dresses, etc. 

Then of course there was the whole diabetes thing - And while I waited in line, I quickly calculated the extra supplies I had in my messenger bag: 
4 infusion sets and reservoirs
1 bottle of insulin that was 3/4's full
40 test strips
1 spare pump battery
2 extra days of oral meds.

I'd be OK, but I was still worried.
For some reason, my infusion sites had only been lasting two days during my trip instead of three and I had no idea why - And I'd changed my site twice on Sunday because of a deadspot. So yeah, the fear of running out was in the back, middle and front of my mind. 
Normally, I ALWAYS travel with three or four days of backup oral meds on short trips 
( 4 days and under), instead of the extra two day supply I had with me. 

When we got back to my temporary home, I went to the guestroom, unzipped my suitcase and located the extra container of test strips I ALWAYS keep in my toiletry bag for emergencies... Except this canister was two months past the expiration date. 
CRAP - I thought I'd switched the old test strips with a new container of strips before I left... didn't I? 
Did I leave the new canister on my nightstand?  Oh God, I hope I did. 
Wait, let me think. OK, I threw out an empty container, but but did I mistakenly throw out the new test strips, too? For the life of me I couldn't remember.

I couldn't worry (FREAK OUT) about the test strips because I had no control over that situation until I got home. Nope. instead, I hung out with my family, watched "Orange Is The New Black," on Netflix & had a glass of wine.  
And when I woke up this morning, I focused on what I did have.. and what I currently had control over.
1. I was/am grateful to be spending more time with my family and turns out, they are really happy to have me stay an extra few days
2.  I was/am thankful that I have the ability and the flexibility to work remotely this week
3. I'm thankful that I was even able to book a flight out onWednesday night because the weather is reeking havoc with flights everywhere 
4. I'm grateful that I was able reschedule my Endo appointment this morning for the second week in February - And grateful that Angie at the Endo's office was incredibly understanding & put me on the top of the patient cancellation list
5. I reminded myself that if for some inexplicable reasons I needed to change my infusion site today and Wednesday, I'd still have two sets for back up. 
6. As long as I made it home Wednesday night, I'd be cool re: my orals - And if not - There's a CVS and a Walgreen's nearby.
7. And if for some reason I needed pump/test strip supplies - I am grateful for all the options I have. I can call Medtronic, checkout HelpAround app on my smart phone & put out a call to my beloved DOC.

 Yep, I'm going to take the lessons learned, live in the moment and choose gratitude. 
Because in the grand scheme of things, this is far from a disaster and I am a lucky duck, indeed~

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Prolonging The Fasting Labs Agony & Lesson Learned.

I hate getting my labs done. 
HATE IT. Labs stress me out because of all the what ifs and the whole fasting after midnight thing doesn't help matters - So I normally get my labs done the week before. 
And that usually works  - except of course when it doesn't
It’s my own fault for waiting until the day before I get on a plane to do my fasting labs for my Endo appointment next Tuesday. 
I should have gone two days ago, like I'd originally planned - I should have given myself a safety net incase I needed a do over re: the whole fasting thing. 
But, I didn’t. 
Nope, Einstein here waited until today because what could possibly go wrong?! 
After all, in my head I had it all planned out.  
Wake up at 6:30 a.m, be at the lab by 7a.m, get back home, shower, work, finish packing and be in bed by 10pm so I could be at the airport by 5 am. 
Except I didn’t wake up at 6:00 this morning. I woke up at 1:40 am this morning with a low blood sugar - which I treated, because of course. And then I woke up again at 5am, checked my blood sugar, which was now 230, gave myself 1/4 of my correction bolus so I wouldn’t go low AGAIN. And all of the above me meant I had to prolong my fasting labs - which meant I didn’t drink my morning coffee until lunch time today - And that TOTALLY SUCKED. 
The word doesn’t give a shit if you haven’t eaten your breakfast, are severely coffee deprived and that you have to get your fasting labs done no matter what. 
And nobody cares if your schedule goes to hell in a hand-basket. 
Diabetes or not, we have to do, what we have to do - And being a grown up isn't all it's cracked up to be,  
Labs are done, I just finished packing and with any luck, I should be in bed before 11pm. 

Lessons learned and reinforced: I will NEVER wait until the absolute last moment to do my fasting labs again!