About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What it feels like to be a glutened (celiac) diabetic, in pictures.

A couple weekends ago, I was glutened by a "gluten free" pizza, from a restaurant here in town that specializes in gluten free pizza and even has a manager with celiac disease. How can that happen? Well, when you order pizza on a busy Friday night, it doesn't matter if the manager has celiac; all that matters is the staff back in the kitchen that is hurried and rushed and making your pizza, that isn't as careful as they should be because they are making 20 pizzas at once and they don't think it will matter to anyone if they don't wash their hands between handling the gluten free and glutened pizza ingredients. It just takes one person in the kitchen, even if everyone else is careful.

These are the little things that celiacs worry about; trying to find a balance between keeping ourselves safe while we try to have a normal life that includes the enjoyment of eating out every once in a while. It's scary eating out because of these occurrences. Eating out is met with nervous anticipation, not the normal excitement that a non-celiac feels.

So here's what went down.

First, I got mild stomach pains, slight discomfort, that intensified rapidly over the course of about an hour or two. By hour two, I was so uncomfortable that I stopped what I was doing and just sat on the couch, sitting in a ball, legs pulled up to my chest.

Throughout the rest of the evening, I got a migraine, severe stomach pain, and had multiple trips to the bathroom keeled over in awful pain. Because of being glutened, I could not absorb insulin properly, and had to use double the amounts I normally would to treat the high blood sugars that resulted from eating pizza, and hoped like heck that I wouldn't over bolus, because my body can't easily absorb carbs to treat a low after being glutened. In short, it can make your diabetes even more unpredictable.

But my baby girl Bella can tell when I'm not well and immediately came to my aide, planting herself right up on my chest and into my face to show her undying support.

(this was me many hours later, still laying down and feeling miserable).

But, I bounced back, like I always do. Life goes on. Can't let these little blips ruin you and take away your sunshine. It can be hard to stay positive sometimes, when you are going through a rough time with your disease(s). Just get through one moment at a time, don't worry about tomorrow just yet. That's how I get through things. One day at a time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How much does diabetes cost per day?

Today I was checking my bg and putting the blood on a test strip that proceeded to error out. Frustrating, right? Frustrating for one, because your insurance only covers a certain # of these precious gems per month, and for two, because these babies equate to $1.34 per test strip. Ouch. I began to wonder, how much does my diabetes actually cost me per day? Has anyone ever sat down and done the math for themselves?

So tonight I decided to figure it out. I am doing the math for a typical day; not a day when your bg sucks and requires you to test more times than normal. This is the out-of-pocket cost, before insurance.


Test strips= $1.34 each x 9 tests per day = $12.06

Insulin (Novolog) Vial (1 vial)= $179.99 (cost obtained from call to Walgreens) / 30 days = $6.00

Lancets (I use a new one each time)= $0.18 each x 9 tests per day = $1.62

Omnipod pod refills= $450 per month for 10 (each worn for 3 days) / 30 days = $15.00

Dexcom refills= Looking at my invoice, it states 3- 4pks (or 3 months' worths) list price is $460.00. That's 12 sensors for $460.00. So, it comes out to be $38.33 per sensor, worn for 1 week each, = $5.48 per day. Follow me?

So, NOT including other diabetes necessities that I use- Unisolve, glucose tabs, alcohol swabs, and Kleenexes to dab my finger tips, this is a day's estimated total:

$40.16 per day.

Holy shiz, that's a lot of money. I have insurance, but like many others I have a high deductible that I must meet before my coverage kicks in. So I do end up paying these prices for a period of time at the beginning of every year until my deductible and out of pocket maximums are met.

Has anyone else calculated their costs? If so, what is your total?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Recap.

It is Sunday in the early evening and I am totally dreading my drive to work tomorrow. Living in Minnesota, I should be used to the winters but I'm really not! We are getting buried under snow and ice right now, and the weather folks are already warning about tomorrow morning's dangerous commute to work. Personally, I am a warm weather person; I need the sun to be happy! I think snow is pretty- in postcard pictures! But not being an outdoorsy-wintery person, I do not enjoy sub zero temps, skiing, snowmobiling or anything else that involves being outside in this weather! I can't wear cute shoes when the parking lots are full of slush and snow, or worse, ice. You just freeze to death walking in your work's parking lot from your car to the building's front door. Uggh. I am SO ready for Spring!! Or a job offer somewhere warm :)

This weekend was pretty lame. I had aggressive low and high blood sugars (mostly high) that left me feeling tired and unmotivated. I did drag myself out of the house on Saturday for a bit to the Mall of America to do a bit of shopping, then stayed home the rest of the day and night doing nothing. Last night, after having unexplained high blood sugars for over 5 hours, I changed my pump site and it made all the difference. I didn't notice any kinks, but something must have been malfunctioning because I was able to get my blood sugar back under control shortly afterwards. And I literally slept half the day today. I woke up at 8:30 this morning only because I heard the ice storm hitting the windows. So I got up, fed and pottied my babygirl Bella, made an omelet, and then fell in and out of sleep on the couch for the next several hours while watching all my recorded episodes of Shahs of Sunset on the Bravo network (don't judge- I need mindless, happy tv sometimes!). It sure made my day go by quickly! I can't believe it's already a "work night!"

I really need to get back on track with my eating. I don't know what's gotten into me but I have eaten BAD and unhealthy over the last week. I don't think I've craved anything healthy all week! Sweets, treats, baked goods, bread, you name it, I've eaten it in the last week. I feel gross and lethargic! I don't benefit in anyway from eating bad, and I don't know why I do it. I think I run to food sometimes as a way of self-medicating myself when I feel bad about things, but I never feel better afterwards. So I need to stop doing it! Plus, my blood sugar always pays a nasty price and it just isn't worth it to me. When I eat on my Paleo diet, I feel great and healthy and strong. My skin doesn't break out, either. Sure, I sometimes will miss the sweets but my blood sugar is so much better when I'm not eating crap that it makes it worth it to avoid it. It's hard this week too with Valentine's Day here and there's lots of candy everywhere and it's on sale at all the stores. I just have to say NO! Plus the cleaner and healthier I eat (read: less processed crap), the less likely I am to accidentally get glutened and suffer for days from that. When you make your own food from scratch, you know what's in it and how it was made so you don't have to worry about cross-contamination from the manufacturing process or from handling. So I feel like I benefit in a couple different ways when I eat healthy and clean- my diabetes behaves more predictably and I don't get glutened.

Tonight I'm having a salad with chicken breast on top, along with green olives, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar w/ oil. I LOVE green olives on my salad. Any olive, really, but green olives kind of give it a little salt and it's yummer.

Tonight I am going to take a nice long bubble bath, make my breakfast egg whites, pack a lunch of baked chicken and plain pureed squash, and then chill on the couch with my precious angel Bella. She really is my world- I love her so much! She's worth all the vacuuming I constantly have to do and all the fur everywhere LOL.

Here's hoping that each of us has a healthy wonderful week. It's a new week; a new time to start things off right- both your attitude and your diet!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Three Years Ago This Week.

Three years ago this week was the week I thought I had stomach flu. I slept in the bathroom for a couple nights with a pillow and a blanket. I woke up every morning exhausted, dragging myself to work, drinking glass after glass of water. I was skinny, REAL skinny; with my size double zero clothes hanging off my frame. I had recently went to a little girls' clothing store and bought girls' size 14 and 16 pants. Innately I knew something wasn't right, but I figured I was just sick. I could never have imagined how much my life was about to change.

By the time I finally went to the doctor, I was unable to climb the stairs to get to my bedroom. I was unable to lift my 28 lb dog. I was unable to get up from a kneeling position on the floor. My muscles were so weak. I was having severe heart palpitations and irregular patterns. But none of these things were the reason I went to the doctor. I didn't want to miss going out to dinner with my friends that night nor the Superbowl the next day, so I was hoping for a quick antibiotic/medication prescription to fix my "flu" problem.

It's still so hard to recall this week, three years ago, without tearing up, knowing now what I didn't know then. That in a few short days, I would be given a devastating diagnosis that would change my story forever.

It's a miracle that I made it through my darkest hour (which turned out to be an entire year), unimaginable that I would be here talking about how good life is, how blessed I am. I've gotten used to insurance battles, adhesive marks I can't get off, eating weird things like sugar packets, and trading in my small, cute clutches for bigger purses to tote around my D-supplies. It's kind of like a diaper bag for diabetes.

I learned that it's easy to have a good attitude when life is good and easy; quite a different challenge with 3 autoimmune diseases and barely enough money to make ends meet. But I did it.

So I won't be writing a dia-versary blog this year on 2/6/13. I don't want to relive the hell I went through that year. I want to stay focused on the good things.