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Interesting eyeglass day

I found out about a great deal in eyeglasses in my neighborhood so I decided to finally break down and get two new pairs.  That was the great de

Called my eye doctor and said, can I get my prescription, I'll pick it up in a little bit.  They said fine, no problem.

I get there and they can't find it, even though they printed it and had the doctor sign it.

I get to the eye glass place and notice that the date is over two years old.  Whoops, wrong one.  So I call them and go back and get the right one.

Glasses get made up, and it COULD be my brain, but I'm pretty sure the right eye is completely wrong.  Guess what, that happened with my contacts, and they had to replace the contacts with the right prescription.

So I am trying the glasses again in the morning, if they are wrong, showing up at the doctor's office first thing, getting the right prescription and getting the two pairs fixed.

I have been barely putting up with the office staff for the past few years but love the doctor and I think one of her assistants wrote the wrong number in the first place.

 

 

 

 


Victoza update

I'm on my 4th pen.

Blood sugar is stable -- we eliminated the meal time insulin since that isn't approved on the package and caused problems, and reduce the basal to half.  I've been upping the basal by .25 units both patterns, morning and night until my fasting blood sugar drops to a good level.  I'm been waking up with blood sugars at 140. 

My TDD is down to 20 units from around 60 to 80 units.

My weight is slowing dropping.

All good.

I tried going off pump on Friday, but my blood sugar climbed too much without it.  It's easier to use the pump then give injections.

I currently have about 6 months worth of supplies and over a year's worth of insulin at my current rate.

Still hard to wrap my head around that I don't need to pump.  But then Victoza came out way before I went on the pump.


Victoza Approved!

Which means I have a lot of extra insulin and infusion sets.  

It also means I will be paying Victoza next year instead of insulin, reservoirs, infusion sets and sensors.  And it means that my low blood sugar awareness is gone.  So much so that I feel comfortable working out in the pool at LA Fitness.

 

 


Next Year's Insurance

I think I've finally wrapped my head around this and have some good plans.

One of the first things I've done is gotten a new credit card with some good incentives.  Lower APR, $200 bonus, and some rewards.  I'm going to use it for medical expenses only and pay it off as quick as I can.

Here's the deal, old insurance had $400 deductible and $295 a month premium. 

New insurance has a $1500 deductible and $200 a month premium.   So the yearly cost is $460 more.  

Then I pay 20% of everything until I hit $5650.  Then I max out.  Those of you who are insulin dependent know I'm going to hit that quickly.

The nice thing about all of this, that I know health care is going to cost each year, until the legislature meets in two years and screws us further.


Victoza Status

I've got a couple of more days left on this pen and I need to check the expiration dates on the other two.

I think that the insurance company doesn't want to cover it because they just bought a 3 months supply of insulin for me.  That's fair but they could actually tell me that up front.  So far, I've gotten --we didn't get anything from the doctor.   The doctor has their fax now so if I don't hear from the insurance company by next Thursday, I'll push the doctors office again.

I've got about a years worth of supplies if I use them correctly, maybe less, not sure because I've been hoarding.  I've got quite a bit of insulin too.  I think the best thing to do is try one more time next week on insurance approval.  Then try again each month until they approve it.

I can lose weight on the pump but I have to work harder at it.

I still want to use the pump for basal insulin until I'm totally out of supplies and not buy any more.

 


Victoza

Pros and Cons

  • It's expensive.  Without insurance, $900 a month.  That means I'll meet my deductible in two and half months if nothing else goes on, and then I'll be paying $180 out of pocket.  That also means I'll probably meet my max out of pocket.  On the other hand, pump supplies and insulin are a lot more expensive.
  • I still have around 11 boxes of infusion sets and a bunch of insulin.  But right now, I'm using half of my old basal, doing some small corrections.  
  • I'm losing weight.  The doctors office saw 3 pounds in two weeks.  
  • CVS/Caremark are being jerks about it.  Now this COULD be my doctor's office but they want pre-authorization and that hasn't happened yet.  I was given two sample pens and right now, I have 8 days left.  I'm going to try to get another sample box tomorrow AND have already started pushing the pre-authorization.  I'm willing to be since the plan is changing on January 1, CVS/Caremark is dragging their feet.  I hate feeling like a drug addict.
  • My blood sugar is super smooth with the current pump settings.  I'm waking up with 120-130 blood sugar (yes, I would like it lower), and I'm not having to count carbs.  I haven't seen a blood sugar higher than 180 since we decided on these pump settings. 
  • I'm using 19 units of insulin now and was using 65 units of insulin.

Finally Finished a Champion Dog

When I was in sixth grade and for two years after we lived near people with show dogs, Basinji’s. My sister and I earned pocket money helping take care of them.  As a result, I got to work as a candy stripper in the neonatal unit, but my sister got to help show their dogs.  I have wanted to show my own dog every since though being the first candy stripper in a neonatal unit at that hospital was cool.  

When I finally got in to a situation where a dog made sense, I was married and my husband said any dog as long as it was a beagle.   I didn’t know any better and bought a field beagle.  I did show her in conformation but didn’t get anywhere in conformation though she did end up being the Number One Obedience beagle in the country. 

Several dogs later, some Police K9 work, and I got my first conformation beagle, Macy. I did show her, but she is definitely a pet.  She has done well in agility, but retired now, at 12.

My next beagle, Dulce, did better, winning a point in Mississippi.  She is my diabetes alert dog.

 Macy, Dulce and my new girl are all from the same breeder, who I have known for over 25 years.  Macy is out of Ben who is considered the number one beagle of all time by many dog people. Dulce is out of PD, who is also out of Ben, and also did well.

Summer and I have been training at conformation classes since I got her, a little over a year ago,  and have also been training for agility.  She loves both classes. 


Earthshattering last couple of weeks

Two weeks ago today, I saw an endocrinologist for the first time since February.  I like her and saw her again today.

She asked me a question that hadn't been asked in a really long time -- what happens if you aren't on the pump?  I told her I didn't know.

They, the CDE and the Endocrinologist wanted me to try a new type of diabetes drug.  They suggested with Victoza or Januvia.  I chose Victoza since I've had bad days with drugs stuck in my body too long.

I saw a lot of lows, even the first week on Victoza and this week has been worse.  I made a series of mistakes with my insulin pump which should have put me in the hospital with a high blood sugar and I came out of it with a blood sugar of 180.

So I turned off my pump, but still used it to track my blood sugar.  My blood sugar slowly climbed but not the way it should have, so I made an appointment to see the endo again.

Frustrations

Office didn't remember I had been there two weeks ago.  

Couldn't download my pump and it was because I was on a temp basal.

The worse part was that the CDE and Endo couldn't comprehend that I didn't just want to ditch the pump and a years worth of supplies when patients couldn't get any.  But there is no legal way to transfer those supplies and I don't just want to throw them out.

So right now, I'm using a 50% of previous basal, watching my blood sugars and doing Victoza.  And I'm quite sure that CVS/Caremark is dragging their feet on filling the Victoza so they don't have to give it to me at $65 for the first 3 months.

ARGH!

 


Finally got to see an endo



A1c is 7.9

My endo of 15 years retired in January. I saw a doctor he liked in March as a meet and greet. In April I got notice that his practice was shutting down but that he was opening a new office in a month.  

Long story short, I saw a doctor at his practice. I like her but she is pregnant and so won’t be available. He wasn’t available because he isn’t in my insurance network. 

She was great and added Victoza. So far I like but it scares me a bit. There is a possibility I could go on it alone, which I wouldn’t mind.  

They also made some pump adjustments. 

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My Experience With Statins and High Cholesterol

This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.

 Long term readers of my blog will remember that my father and I were both diagnosed with diabetes when we were 42.  Shortly after his diabetes diagnosis, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  I have been lucky, because I remain heart healthy. I believe partly due to statin medications.

 I have been on various forms of statins for the past twenty years. Before being put on a statin, my cholesterol numbers were high and nothing I did, including lose weight, helped. I was very concerned since high cholesterol is linked to heart disease.

 Last year, I started having pain in my muscles and my medical team suspected it may be a side effect of my statin. Sure enough, after I stopped the statin, the pain was relieved. It eventually went away, but to my dismay, my cholesterol numbers rose again. The good news is that I am now on a different statin, at a lower dose.  The pain hasn’t come back, and my numbers are back in a healthy range. If you are struggling with side effects from taking a statin, it is important to talk to your doctor as there may be other options available to you.

 As a result of my experiences, I am proud to support a new educational campaign called Take Cholesterol to Heart to help people understand their treatment options for high cholesterol and motivate them to speak up if they are thinking about stopping their statin. Take Cholesterol to Heart provides great tools and strategies to help people “master the cholesterol conversation” with their doctor. As you may know, there are multiple statin medicines, so it’s important to talk regularly with your doctor about your treatment plan, including a statin, that is right for you.

 My experience shows that sometimes just a small change can make a difference.

 Regis Philbin, TV legend and heart disease survivor, joined Take Cholesterol to Heart to share his experience having a conversation with his doctor about high cholesterol and finding the right statin for him. Check out his story in this short video:

 

 

 

If you or someone you love takes a statin, please visit TakeCholesteroltoHeart.com for a number of helpful resources, including a doctor/patient discussion guide, a quiz on statins and tips for caregivers

 

 

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and should not be construed to constitute medical advice. My personal story and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to give medical advice. Please talk with your doctor about your individual medical situation.

 * Harris Poll conducted ACTION: The Statin Survey (Understanding Patient Adherence and Concerns with Statins, and Medication Discussions with Physicians) online on behalf of Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., within the United States from July 7- August 4, 2017, among 5,014 U.S. adults aged 45 or older, who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, and have ever used a statin to treat high cholesterol. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Erin Bittner at W2O Group, 212-301-7226. 

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