Tag Archives: diabetes

A Letter to Patients With Chronic Disease…

18 Aug

I think this blog entry, from distractible.org, offers an interesting perspective… Food for thought for those of us living with chronic illness and food for thought to everyone in the medical profession who may come in contact with PEOPLE with chronic illness.  I do suggest that folks who think that those of us with chronic illness are just negative and whiny, especially about the medical profession, read the comments after the letter from Dr. Rob.

Be sure to add your comment there, or here. That is totally up to you, my dearies :-)

Here’s the link:

A Letter to Patients With Chronic Disease.

xo

Bek

Thirty nine minutes until midnight….

14 Jan

Just Keep Swimming.....

It’s almost midnight.  1 hour and 32 minutes and our health insurance expires.

I’m not irresponsible.  Really. If anything I’m too responsible.

I have faith that my husband will be approved for an individual plan and that my son will be approved for the care he needs, but it is taking some time.

The next time I will be covered for medical care will be July of this year.

I’m terrified.

I feel the countdown in my veins the way I felt the anticipation of the feeling of falling –that gut in your throat verge of crapping your shorts feeling of falling- when I jumped almost three stories into the azure Caribbean bay almost 10 years ago. 10 years ago.  My body was healthy and strong. Complex in it’s nuances, but nowhere near as damaged as it is now.

1 hour 28 minutes.

I am without medical insurance because I did the right thing. I called customer service two years ago and again eighteen months ago and asked questions to make sure I understood the material, so nothing could possibly go wrong.  Unfortunately, customer service has, as it turns out, less of a grasp on the materials than I do.  The agency has concocted it’s own definition of one small word that is worlds apart from any other definition.  And it is that discrepancy that leaves me wondering what will happen to this broken body in the next six and a half months.

I paid $2000 per month for COBRA + copays for the three of us.  Because of this, I have to wait. F&$% being responsible. I could have just said screw it and lapsed and the boys may have qualified for medical care (better medical care than under our COBRA plan- at least for kiddo’s autism related OT and language therapy). But putting kiddo at risk of not having coverage, and risking spouse being unable to find a plan because of a pre-existing condition, was not an option.  And we couldn’t risk me going over to the medicare plan I had turned down due to group/employer coverage under spouse’s job because medicare was out of our financial means-more so than $2000 for COBRA and copays (or $750-$1000/month which is my share of that expense).  (Yes, you read that right-medicare more expensive out of pocket than COBRA/private coverage. I’ll share my comparison chart here once I update it.)  So for my forty five minutes on hold, I got an incorrect answer. And now the costs could be a burden until I die. Perhaps even longer.

I don’t even get my 45 minutes back to spend with my kid.

I am furious. I am sad. I feel, like my broken body has been pulling me away from my little boy since I got sick and now somebody who was completely incompetent in their work is pulling me away from that sweet child even more.  And I’m furious at the economy and the spouse playing Spore while I sweat and struggle to make sure everyone else is taken care of.  I want someone to share the energy and the drive for something better, for providing for our child, to share the load and the burden so I don’t have to be buried faster.

I want someone to say “Hey, I’m here. Slow down. We can do this together. We are in this together.  I won’t stop to rest while you carry on with your broken back and your unbalanced and heavy load. We’ll carry it together and then we can sit back and enjoy the world together.”

1 hour 14 minutes.

I warned my family last night, “If you are going to get sick do it tomorrow”.

I feel like there should be fireworks.

Or some sort of fanfare.

Or maybe we should have juggled knives or eaten fire or something before the 24 hour countdown to this particular midnight.

But regular activities, the danger of everyday things looms over me for the next 6.5 months.  On top of my already dysfunctional body. My personal time bomb.

My quest for answers about my newer inflammation – in my chestwall, my ribs, my joints, the inside of my eyes, the growth in my sinuses- is paused.  But the discomfort persists. It’s not white hot pain and pressure like my busted and deformed spine.  It is a deep ache when I move, like I feel asleep (in my pasty whiteness) on the beach for hours… My fingers, my knees, my ankles, my feet, my elbows, and my ribs feel like that sunburn pulling raw skin taut. But there is no aloe. And the pain meds don’t relieve it and I’m allergic to NSAIDS.  And it feels like pneumonia too, but it isn’t, it’s just the inflammation in the cartilage of the ribs.

This on top of osteoarthritis, and Type 1/Juvenile Diabetes, and a laundry list of other things. And I’m just so exhausted and I haven’t had a day off in almost 7 years.

So I’ll wait. And I’ll sleep. And I’ll hope. And I’ll sleep when kid is at school. And I am realizing how many things I do in a given day, even when mostly bedridden, that under these circumstance, could be risky.  And I can’t afford that.

I will have to make what art I can without flame, without grinding equipment.

For six and a half months.

58 minutes left.

I only hope that I make it through.  When I come out at the other end, I hope I will have moved on, but I can never forgive the time lost, that belonged to my sweet little boy.

54 minutes.  If I’m going to get sick, I had better do it soon.

My dark humor is coming in handy during this challenging (read: totally miserable and f’d up) time.

Things that occurred to me:

If I’m going to off myself, I had better succeed.  Oh well, 50 minutes left, surely any attempts to resuscitate me would fall after midnight, and no coverage and I know 911 and the hospital do not have a money back guarantee.

To paraphrase Dorothy Parker:

I might as well live.

The other thought I have:

That this is an opportunity to test some alternative (at home, dietary and physical therapy) ideas regarding my bone and joint pain.  Nothing risky, but perhaps I’ll track my personal routine changes here, as well as the results and the costs….

And to top it all off, school wants to put kiddo in 1st grade NOW. More on that tomorrow.

I think I am rapidly becoming exempt from managing all of this with any grace.

My smother calling to complain how I don’t bother to bring Alex to visit her or have coffee will seriously put me way over the edge. How far over the edge?  Like point of no return over the edge.

Please, nobody test this.

I have 44 minutes left. Perhaps I should shower now, so I won’t risk falling in the morning, when my coverage is nil.

I am a bit grateful that I accidentally ordered a refrigerator size box of bubble wrap from Amazon.com.  I’m thinking that a suit of bubble wrap and a helmet would be a good start for me.

Anyway, hugs all around.

Xo

B

41 minutes to midnight…..

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Thirsty? Tired? Peeing like a race horse?

14 Nov

Know the symptoms and save a life!

 

Understand diabetes: know the warning signs | World Diabetes Day.

Adventures of The Sneaky Chef in the Cave of the Aspie Kid

15 Jul

Boy Genius

A couple of months ago I intended to blog on this fabulous book (The Sneaky Chef) we had bought, hoping to increase nutritional value for our whole family, particularly Alex. I mentioned Alex’s food quirks and “rules” a little in my post “Islands in the Stream” and promised to check back in about the book.

Well, here I am. A little older, a little wiser, a lot more cooking under my belt than I typically do. I enjoyed my experiments and the creativity exercised in the kitchen. I really enjoyed that because of my abnormal level of fatigue and pain (yay, isn’t arthritis fun!) Jeff did the dishes and the grocery shopping so I could focus on inoculating tasty and fun foods with extra nutrition to make one of kiddo’s primary personal goals (and one of our goals as his parents) come to fruition.

Alex wants to grow up big and strong and healthy.

And we want him to grow up big and strong and healthy as well. (By big we mean: Not frail)

We have always avoided the concept of “the clean plate club” as in my million plus years of Weight Watchers meetings I had seen and heard of the fallout of such parenting & nutritional methods. And, as someone who has been on a diet since 3 weeks old (yes, you heard me: weeks) and I am still experiencing the fallout from that (I’ll cover that in another entry, at another time. Promise.)

So I am particularly sensitive to not taking the warden approach to nutrition. Our goal for Alex, in all aspects of his life, was to give him the tools to be able to make the best decisions, for himself, in his life. This applies to work, health, his personal life, etc… I do want to thank Early Intervention for asking us the important question of what we want for him and his life. We learned to keep it non-specific enough that we don’t suffocate him with our expectations, but enough that we can build goals. Good and important stuff.

So, we decided to start “Sneaky-cheffing” more nutrition into his regular foods and he even helped me (we both got so messy! he didn’t freak out completely! it was wonderful!) prepare a few recipes.

But guess what we found out? Our experiment reiterated that kiddo will probably never eat a casserole or anything remotely resembling a casserole- even homemade macaroni & cheese with real cheese rather than packet of powdery stuff is too much of a multiple texture experience for him. He’ll eat Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese but not the stuff I spent so much time planning and prepping and cooking. He also won’t eat any whole vegetables other than carrots. Think about it: Carrots are the same consistency all the way through- I can’t think of another vegetable that does that…Maybe peeled and cooked potato chunks-but then there’s a certain graininess, and with sweet potatoes a certain stringiness… Anyway, this goes beyond regular little kid dislikes and pickiness- these textures actually make Alex dry heave (or barf. Depending how deep we are into the meal.)

Some ideas from The Sneaky Chef worked beautifully- the idea of adding extra nutrition everywhere has stuck with me- even as far as adding water to a recipe (or instructions on a box)- I don’t add water (well not every time, I still need to work on the planning thing!) but use a nutritious liquid instead. I learned that blueberry juice doesn’t curdle milk and makes a fun colored alternative to plain white milk (or soy milk…Alex seems to change his preferences every couple of weeks)…

I also learned that we can sneak some of the purees suggested in the book into some foods, without objection.

Then Alex saw the jars. Ok, when I first started using the book I made my own purees. But as backups we had the recommended jars of baby food (not all of the purees are available as baby foods, and the homemade purees and mixes are much cheaper and not difficult to make and freeze).
Alex saw the jars. I took a deep breath. He voiced a little panic about baby food being for babies.

So I asked him (remember, he is deeply logical and literal and rule based. Think Spock to the nth power):
ME:Who eats baby food?
ALEX: Babies
ME: Are you a baby?
ALEX: No. I’m a big guy. BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGG! (makes war face and flexes and almost knocks himself over)
ME: What do you eat?
ALEX: Big Guy food.
ME: If you eat a cracker is it Big Guy food?
ALEX: Yes.
ME: So if you are not a baby and you eat the stuff in this jar then what is it?
ALEX: I’m not a baby!
ME: That’s right! You are a big guy! SO, if you eat the stuff in this jar & you are not a baby then the food in this jar cannot be baby food! It’s only baby food if a baby is eating it.
If a BIG GUY is eating it, it’s called “PUREE”!
ALEX: I like puree!
ME: YAY!

So, after all of our experiments trying to sneak “puree” into his foods we found out that Alex doesn’t like it mixed in. He likes it plain and separate from his regular food.

Of course, he has to announce, at the start of the meal, “It’s only baby food if a baby is eating it. If I eat it then it’s puree!”. Seriously. He says it every time.

Perhaps, if he adjusts to the taste this way, he’ll be more accepting of various textures eventually. Until then, I’m happy to serve him his vegetables in this manner.

A wise person once said, in regards to parenting, “Pick your battles”.

As he slugs down jars of summer vegetables (a sneaky way of disguising what actual veggies are in there- summer veggies are ok, broccoli & spinach, etc -not so much. Don’t forget, on top of our Adventures with Asperger’s, our Alex is still a kid. Sometimes, I guess that maybe it’s like having twins.) I realize that we both are winning and we can focus on moving forward to bigger and better things. I try to point out that it’s like a bisque, but he corrects me “Puree!”

I still think The Sneaky Chef is totally worth the purchase (Amazon has copies from <$2.00 + shipping to brand new…any which way, I think it's worth it) it was a great jumping off place for figuring out some small ways to enhance nutrition for the whole family.

(We have been getting various supplies through Amazon.com lately- yes, the Prime program is awesome! They do carry Earth's Best in 12 packs and Annie's Mac n' Cheese as a 6 pack- actually, with Prime, it winds up being less expensive than our chain supermarket and they are delivered right to our door. I'll post a link to my amazon store soon, where I'll have all of the things I have mentioned with links, to make things easier for everyone!)

xo
Bek

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Best Ever.

24 Nov

Another reason why….

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

And the award for best accessory ever goes to:
Caitlin of Moxie and Oliver!

I fell in love with this koi and sakura pattern from Moxie and Oliver as soon as I saw it on one of the fabulous guitar straps in Caitlin’s shop…
I had to have something…

So, for my birthday present this year, I asked the fabulous Miss Caitlin to conjure up a pouch to hold my Dexcom CGMS… What she made was this gorgeous accessory which is a slightly size modified version of her belt bags. This pouch has a sturdy snapping loop on the back, so I can attach it to a belt loop (I don’t always wear a belt, she does make them so they attach to a belt as well)…. This is much more secure for me as the clip on the case that came with the Dexcom is a slippery little bugger and I was constantly worried about one day hearing that horrible splash or feeling an empty place where the Dexcom should have been perched… Now I need not fear that event, and I can focus on other, happier things (like plotting what else I could order with this pattern… A girl can dream, right?)

The pattern is gorgeous, the quality is superb…The leather is thick and sturdy but it is not heavy….Experience tells me that, like my Poppy purse from Moxie and Oliver, this will break in perfectly….

And, even when wearing just jeans and a t-shirt for a run to the store, I feel a little extra fabulous and I don’t feel like a crazed gadget freak, as I can carry either my cgms or my glucose meter stuff in the pouch, and slip the other ‘betes stuff into pockets… I feel much more human with this fabulous pack adorning my waist, than I do with all of my tubes, buttons, and screens dangling around…

I swear, this gorgeous pouch of fabulousness makes me stand taller and feel fabulous, even on the rougher days. I can’t wait for the day when there is a cure, and I don’t need these gadgets, then I’ll tuck a few dollars and my ID into this baby and hit the town!

Thank you Caitlin! Thanks for rockin’ so hard!

Now go visit Moxie and Oliver for more amazing, handcrafted, leather artistry.

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