Thursday, June 30, 2016

Is this real life?

The past few weeks have been anything but normal. It has been a whirlwind of emotions. If you are connected with me on social media you are most likely aware of what has been going on but you may have missed my posts thanks to how social media algorithms are set up. 

Before Memorial Day I joined a community pool since I do not have a pool at my house (the downside of being a home owner I suppose). I had been there a few times before and have truly enjoyed it. The pool with the sunshine is my happy place. It is where I center myself and truly relax and recharge myself. 

My plans for the weekend of June 11 was to basically spend the entire weekend at the pool. I even inflated my raft to really enjoy the pool and enhance my tan. I arrived at the pool when it opened at 11 (I really wish they would open at 10) and set up camp. 

I decided to start the day on my raft in the water. I got in and began to float away and then let loose the expletives. I forgot to remove my insulin pump which is not waterproof. The day was not off to a good start. I managed to get out of the pool without getting my pump more wet. I dried it off and called Medtronic's help line. We ran some tests and it seemed my pump survived my stupidity. Phew! I watched my pump very carefully the rest of the weekend and it worked. 

Crisis averted. I worked on my tan and laid on my raft a few times. Around 2 p.m. I decided it was time to head home as I had a lot on my to-do list and I knew I'd be back at the pool the next day. I prepared to leave and gathered my items. As always, I went to pull out my keys before I left. I'm not sure why I have this habit but I do. And cue panic. My keys were not there. I dumped out my tote bag and turned it inside out. No keys. I looked under the lounge chair I'd been laying on. No keys. I walked over to the pool staff and asked if someone had turned in keys or perhaps I had taken them with me when I asked them for medical adhesive tape to secure my infusion site. No keys. They thought I was nuts and helped me look through my items again. Still no keys. 

We went inside and up the stairs to the main desk. Nope. No one turned in any keys. They still didn't believe me when I said my car had been stolen so they told me to go look in the parking lot, confident I'd see my car. I walked out to the nearly empty parking lot and my car was not there. I returned to the main desk and called the police to file a report. While we waited for the police to arrive, we speculated about who took my keys. At that point the other lifeguard brought up a baggie from the pool. While dumping out my tote bag, I had left my ziplock bag with my CGM receiver in it. Whoops. 

I speculated it was the kid who had been on the one side of me instead of the more adult (around my age perhaps) lady on the other side. The kid was 13 or 14. He had been in the pool, playing with a mom and her toddler and seemed like a good kid. The staff and I shared info we had heard him say and what we knew of him (basically nothing). The police arrived and I filed a report. The Sergeant put out an APB for my car. After he left I called my insurance agent to give him a heads up, called my mom and the guy I've been dating. I also had been texting my sisters. You have to love the first time they hear from me in at least a week is me sending them a message of "My car has been stolen." At some point while all that was going on, and I hadn't quite processed what was next, the Sergeant called and left me a voice mail. They had found my car and were in pursuit of it! 

Squee! They had found my car. He said he'd call back and come and get me if it was still drivable after they stopped it. Since he said that I decided to chill at the fitness center until I heard back. He eventually called back and informed me how they had lost my car but then with the help of a suburb's police department, had found it again...down south by the airport. He also mentioned it was not drivable. He gave me the info of how someone would be in contact with me as to where my car would end up and what not. He did verify it was a 14-year old they caught with my car (as well as others). 

From there I called a cab to take me home and scheduled a locksmith to meet me at my house to change my locks. The Sergeant had informed me they weren't sure where all my keys were nor when if they were found when I'd get them back. 

My car made the news. I didn't see it on all the channels but many friends sent me messages saying they saw it on the news on Sunday morning as well as Saturday night. 


The follow up has been crazy. I've tried to get the police reports but even though I was the victim I can't get them because the juvenile is protected as he is under age. A little frustrating but after hearing conflicting stories from one of the police departments, I may be able to get it. The other department requires me requesting the report from the legal team. 

I filed the claim with insurance and they arranged for Enterprise to bring me a car on Sunday. Turns out the Enterprise won't due that on Sundays and I ended up walking 3.3 miles to go get a rental car because I needed a car to get around, especially to work. 

On Tuesday night as I was nearly home, the insurance adjuster called and informed me unfortunately my car was deemed a total loss. Cue the tears. My car had been my first true adult purchase. It was a 2007 Toyota Camry XLE V6. It didn't even have 80,000 miles. I did everything I could to take care of it. I wanted it to last me 10 years and it nearly did. I had paid it off in 2011. Ugh!!! It did not deserve to be killed like this. 

On Friday, I went to the lot where my car was and collected my belongings. I tried to make the best of it but the entire time while driving thee and waiting for them to bring my car to the front I just wanted to vomit. I was very confused because none of my belongings were in my car except for the manual in the glove box, my garage door opener in the spot for it on the roof and gum in the center console. I wasn't able to check the console in the back seat (or the pockets behind the front seats) because my missing tire and bumper were shoved into the backseat. I did start my car to write down the radio stations I had programed into it and to pull out the CDs in the CD player. 

I popped the trunk because I knew I had had items in there. SURPRISE! There was the suspect's book bag as well as some of my other items (there were manila envelopes with my papers/license plate on the dash) so I grabbed all that and went back inside. We proceeded to call the police so they could take the kid's stuff and go through it so I could get my stuff. The zipper wasn't full closed on it and I saw my umbrella in it. I'm not sure if the kid had put all my stuff in his bag or if the people at the lot had done that. Either way, I'm out about $10 since I had that in the drawer on the far left of the dash and it was found no where. A moment of hilarity though, besides his book bag, he had left his towel, swim trunks, shirt and cell phone in my car. The police office and I parted ways and I made my way home with a few stops to inquire about potential new vehicles. 

I am exhausted from all this. I managed to find a wonderful new car so that is exciting but damn it, now I'm going to have more expensive car insurance and let me tell you -- car insurance in this state is not cheap. Although state law says I can go after retribution I'm not sure how because there is no way for me to obtain the kid's info or his parents' info. I plan to request insurance to go after it though to keep my name out of court records so the kid will never know my name. There is still plenty of other little things to deal with. I've lost out on five pool days. I'm going to attempt to work up the nerve to return to the pool this holiday weekend but I'm pretty apprehensive, especially with a beautiful new vehicle. 



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dblog week: Language and diabetes

Click for the Language and Diabetes - Wednesday 5/18 Link List.There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don't care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.
Today was a busy, busy day but a truly wonderful day, despite causing the alarm to go off at work when I got there before anyone else had arrived. Whoops! I spent most of the day at a PRSA Professional Development Day conference. My PRSA people are equivalent to my diabetes people. They create a happy, safe place for me. Today those worlds collided when one of my favorite #dsma friends came to town to attend the conference. YAY! It was great to spend the day with here even though most of the day was spent listening and learning rather than chatting and giggling. 

Since my day was so busy (and yes, I'm about to curl up and work from home while cheering the Thunder on to a victory), this blog won't be much but it will mean a lot to me. 

When I think of diabetes and language I don't think about if we should say "person with diabetes" versus "diabetic". I actually think of the power of words others have said to me about diabetes. I blogged about it shortly after it happened. 

I've shared it several times. I'm over it but I still think it is important to use as a lesson. A lesson of there are incredibly stupid, ignorant people in our society. A lesson of how if we believe we are advocates we should never stop trying to educate people about diabetes. A lesson we should never be ashamed or our diabetes. A lesson we should think of what we say. Prior to attending MasterLab in 2015 I felt there was a disconnect between people who have the various types of diabetes. I still believe that. Rather than uniting under the large umbrella of diabetes and fighting together to secure better care, we are not speaking with each other and fighting our own battles. The power we would have if we held our own unique "personalities" under the same umbrella would be world and life changing. 

With all of that said, here is what I wrote several years. When you read it think of the bigger picture of what you say and the impact it can have, even if those weren't your intentions. We become so irate when people make jokes about diabetes but how often do we joke about the battles other people have? 

From April 2014: 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dblog Week: The other half of diabetes

Click for the The Other Half of Diabetes - Tuesday 5/17 Link List.We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)
How does diabetes affect me (and my loved ones) mentally or emotionally? How does it not affect us all? There is a reason I firmly believe people with diabetes should spend time with mental health professionals. It isn't people with diabetes are crazy, it is the fact diabetes is a crazy game and can change at the drop of a hat. Anything and everything impacts it. It is a lot of handle. And comprehend. And still be a well-adjusted adult. 

A doctor once suggested I see a psychiatrist. I rolled my eyes but went. And  it helped. It became a type of "safe place." I was able to vent and yell and cry if needed. I was able to complain about how much it stunk having to count every single gram of carbohydrates. The bonus for me was this psychiatrist specialized in people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. They may not completely understand my illness but they understand it and its nuances far better than most. 

Mental health isn't an option for everyone though. In fact, it currently isn't an option for me because the doctor's office hours do not jive with my work schedule and he is ├╝ber popular and it is extremely hard to get an appointment. You know what works just as well? Friends. Puppies. The diabetes online community (doc). I have met some incredible people through the DOC. Most only online but some in person. And just as I get them, they get me. I can shoot a quick note about the excitement of a device free shower and they get it. I can break down in tears from a horrific low blood sugar and they don't tell me to grow up. The best part is, I don't have to hide any aspect of my life from them because they get it. All of the components to my life as a person with diabetes can be overwhelming and exhausting and those without it can become tired and just want you to shut up if you go on and on and on. I have to be honest, usually I go on and on an on because I'm just sharing my normal life as others go on and on and on about their kids but also to continue to always attempt to educate others.

Those friends, whether they belong to the DOC or not, are crucial to survival. My puppy also helps me with the mental and emotional parts. Rocky isn't a puppy anymore -- he is eight years old but I still treat him as a puppy. And he is all about snuggling. He also seems to always know when I'm about to break from just being over all of this and refuses to leave my lap. Those few moments of curling up with him put me at peace and make everything seem perfect in the world. He is really the only living creature I release any tears to. He doesn't judge. He just loves me unconditionally. Everyone should have a Rocky in their life. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dblog Week -- Message Monday

Click for the Message Monday - Monday 5/16 Link List.
Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?

Oh I am a slacker! I forgot to sign up and of course this week is chaotic with work, PRSA and everything else. I'm going to do my best to fully participate though. 

What is the most important diabetes awareness message to me? I think to me is it pushing the message I am a human first and i just happen to have diabetes. Maybe that is why I blog about all sorts of things such as Stitch Fix, cooking and random musings. (Yes, I'm fully aware my blog has been lacking since I started my new job this past September). 

If I wanted to be primarily known as a person with diabetes, I'd push diabetes 24/7. But I'm a human. With at least a million other facets to who I am than just my diabetes. As a kid, I always felt everyone viewed me as a person with diabetes first who happened to be someone's daughter, sister, student, classmate, teammate, etc. Even my endocrinologists seemed to view me as just another person with diabetes. 

Perhaps being viewed this way led to a lot of my rebellion and lack of ambition/motivation to actually care about myself and my health. I was defined as a youngster my the number of my glucose monitor. If I was high (because emotions, sunshine/heat or who knows why), I'd face the third degree about what candy I must have secretly eaten. Why bother trying if my numbers could be impacted by things I couldn't control. 

But then I found my previous doctor (she left the field so I have a new one who is just as amazing), who treated me like a human. She asked about my life. She bragged to others in the office when I bought my house, she bragged about me earning my APR. She gave me hugs. She cared about me and saw me as a human who happened to have this pesky disease rather than a diabetic who also happens to be a human with who knows how many interests. 

JDRF has started their "Type 1 diabetes looks like me" campaign and is shares a similar message as what I am unintentionally pushing out -- diabetes does not define me. I refuse to let it. If I let it define me, it wins. I'm competitive. I refuse to win. 

Just because I don't let it define me doesn't mean I don't care and I don't advocate for better situations for those of us with diabetes. I do care. I do my best to advocate but I don't want diabetes to be the first word people use to describe me. I much prefer mischievous or witty or adrenaline junkie or ambitious or heck, even "ethnicity unknown" (ha! inside joke!)

So, that is my message with my blog and social media. It isn't a common/traditional message and at times it seems others may view me not so favorably but I'm okay with this. I have no issue with those who let a disease define them but it isn't the path I choose for me. Which is wonderful. I truly love how everyone in the DOC is so different. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Changing technology -- CGM edition

I'm not the biggest fan of change and yet here we are, I'm making changes. This one is kind of big and yet it isn't. Since the fall, my endocrinologist has wanted me to consider switching my Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) system. And I kept pushing back about not wanting to change. And how loyal I am to Medtronic (Seriously. I love them). And how things were just fine as they were; there was no need to change. 

But when 2016 began, I encounter quite a few hurdles. My sensors consistently were failing. I had three weeks in a row of them failing. They always failed within 24 hours of putting them in on a Sunday. Of course they failed while I was at work which meant I wouldn't be able to insert a new one until the evening...after dinner. I'm not a fan of that. 

I also had several horrific low blood sugars which involved some blackouts, vomiting and who knows what else. Not ideal. I needed to evaluate and see what was not only causing them (still not sure) but why I wasn't catching them early enough to prevent the horrid of what they ultimately became. I've learned, unlike most others, I get pretty sleepy when I'm low and just want to "sleep the low off." Yep, I'm a winner. I also tend to sleep on my stomach. Where do I attach my pump while sleeping/laying down? on the waistband of my shorts/pants. So more often than not my pump, which is what beeps at me when high or low, is muffled between my body and the mattress and therefore I'm not hearing the alarms. Not ideal. 

With all of that, I agreed with my endocrinologist to do a trial run of the Dexcom CGM. Many are always saying how it is far more accurate than my Medtronic Enlite. Again, my loyalty to Medtronic wanted to prove that opinion wrong. So, I signed up for a trail run of the Dexcom and wore both at the same time. 

I put the Enlite on in the morning on Sunday and the Dex was put on towards the end of the work day on Monday. For the first two days or so, the Enlite readings were far more accurate. Then they both were pretty accurate and alternated on which was more accurate. Usually whichever was more accurate was only more accurate by a number or two. Say was 121 compared to 120 when my meter was 122 or 123. Nothing significant. 

Basically, those who rip Medtronic for not being accurate can shut it. 

Ultimately though, I have chosen to switch, at least for the time being. Reasons for me switching include:
  • Having an alarm to sound not coming from my pump so I will actually hear it and not ignore it and/or sleep through it;
  • The Dexcom app refreshes far quicker than the Medtronic one; 
  • I am able to eat while calibrating the Dex unlike my Enlite because no joke, more often than not, I went low while calibrating; and
  • It works with my Apple Watch so I'm able to discreetly check my numbers while at work. 
I am still in tears and feeling guilty about switching. If (we should be honest and say when, not if) Medtronic makes changes to their system, I will switch back. But at this point in my life, especially as a single person who lives alone (ugh, it hurt to type those words), I need a CGM I know I will hear because this horrific low blood sugars are too much and eventually could have a less than desirable result. I haven't found a way to tell my friends at Medtronic I've switched. I'm not grown enough to send them a message. I suppose they may read my blog (or perhaps they won't), but I know I'm taking the cowards way out by just posting a blog rather than sending them a message. And I'm sure for at least three months I will continue to feel guilty. I just need to remind myself I'm doing what is best for me and my health and care. And I subconsciously I know that is what they will care most about. But dang it, I feel guilty. 

And with publishing this post (a Sunday), I will be preparing to insert my first Dexcom sensor. My last Medtronic Enlite sensor finished Saturday evening. I'm feeling pretty bittersweet. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Subscription boxes: Meal edition

I like adventure. I tend to like trying new things. Trying new foods? Not so much. Most who know me well are aware of how picky of an eater I can be. Seriously. Have you heard my rant filled with hate towards tomatoes? So, I'm a picky eater. And if know me, you are also aware of how I am slightly fascinated with subscription boxes. They were a unique concept but now nearly everything has a subscription box. Even though the market place is starting to become saturated with subscription boxes, they still intrigue me. 

Which brings us to the past two months. 
Ingredients from my second Blue Apron box. 

I've been quite aware of Blue Apron's existence to seeing their information everywhere. A wonderful friend of mine was gifted Blue Apron for Christmas. When she had a free trial to give, she graciously gave it to me. I love to cook and I'm wanting to try new foods. Seemed like a pretty good deal. With the free trial I received two boxes.  I was excited when the first one arrived and couldn't wait to get started. 

The first meal I made was incredible despite one tiny error on my part when making the sauce. Couldn't even tell when eating it. The five meals which followed left quite a bit to be desired. But I was excited to try new foods. 

Some things I enjoyed from my two boxes were:
  • Being the advertising nerd I am, I really enjoyed the packaging;
  • The food was extremely high quality; 
  • I enjoyed getting to pick which three meals I would receive; 
  • For the most part the instructions were clear as long as you read them completely through before beginning; and 
  • I found new foods I enjoyed and other foods I won't need to ever eat again. 
Some things I did not particularly enjoy from my two Blue Apron boxes were:
  • Sometimes the instructions were not the clearest. I'm not the most accomplished home cook but I like to think I have a pretty strong understanding of how the world of the kitchen works; 
  • I was frustrated when picking my three meals out of six because often I would select one choice and then the one of the other choices I was interested in was not available because of my first choice. This made selecting meals a little more difficult than I would have liked; 
  • The instructions regarding the collard greens failed. It was similar to what I imaging making popcorn on the stove to be ... the greens flew everywhere in the kitchen; and
  • No nutrition information was provided. When I inquired about this they said they aren't able to provide nutrition information because the amount included_ can vary and they aren't able to take into account the amount of olive oil you use. Personally, I think they are just slacking by not providing any nutritional information, even on their website. 
Overall, Blue Apron wasn't bad. It felt a little too fancy for my tastes but perhaps this is because I'm such a picky eater. I do have another box coming soon -- one of which I am paying for. It arrives this weekend with three recipes I'm nervous but excited to try: Korean Bao Sliders with Gochujang Mayo & Sweet Potato Tempura; Za'atar Chicken & Pearl Couscous with Asparagus and Pink Lemon Compote; and Creamy Lemon Pasta with English Peas, Mint & Garlic Breadcrumbs. I tried pork recently. It failed. Not sure about these sliders but I need to try new things, right? I also am getting the following week's box with Zucchini and Parmesan Quiche with Green Leaf Lettuce Salad & Pink Lemon Vinaigrette; Vadouvan Chickpea Burgers with Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds and Yogurt Sauce; and Spicy Peanut Noodles with Snow Peas, Pea Tips & Garlic Peanuts. 

Below are the six meals I created from my two Blue Apron boxes. My serving sizes are much smaller that what most probably eat. The amount of food you get is quite a bit. I could have had four meals out of how much risotto the recipe made. 
This meal was delicious. It was the first time
I've had sweet potatoes and I can't wait to have them again. 
The curry was fantastic. Even as leftovers.
I love coconut but never want grits again.
The collard greens nearly killed me. 

Oh I love risotto so I was extremely excited.
This risotto was a big fat thumbs down as was the salad.

The steak was delicious. The fingerling potatoes were eh.
The kale wasn't horrible so perhaps another time. 

The chicken was great. I struggled with making the
potatoes correctly so not a complete winner.
The red cabbage? Never again. 

I tried and will never have to make this again. 

Ingredients from my second Hello Fresh box. 

In a previous issue of Food Network Magazine, they had a comparison chart of all the meal subscription boxes. I've hung on to it. I think it ran in the fall of 2015. A former coworker has been sharing her Hello Fresh adventure on Facebook and provided me a free trial of Hello Fresh. At this point, I kind of want to try all of the various boxes to compare them all. 

Hello Fresh has been quite enjoyable. Things I have enjoyed from the free trial include: 
  • Nutrition information is included although not specific serving sizes; 
  • The recipes are quite a bit more simple; 
  • You aren't limited when choosing your recipes like Blue Apron although you only get five options; 
  • The recipes are more common or I suppose just not as fancy; 
  • I liked how even though I was on my free two week trial I was able to give out four trails to family and friends; and 
  • I haven't been stressed when making them (I was stressed a few times with Blue Apron). 
Things I didn't enjoy: 
  • The packaging wasn't nearly as nice; 
  • Some of the fresh produce didn't seem to be the best quality. In fact the pork chops packaging was leaking a little in the box; and 
  • Way too many tomatoes in the recipes. 
Below are the meals I created. Even though I find tomatoes disgusting I kept my Stitch Fix mantra of trying everything as I was supposed to. I really enjoyed quite a bit and there are several items I will probably attempt to make on my own. I currently have no plans for future Hello Fresh boxes but am keeping my eyes on the menu to see if one strikes my fancy. 

This could have been amazing. It was not. The steak was
way too thick and I didn't think to pound it down (I only
buy flat iron steaks) so it was pretty rare on the inside
despite the outer parts being done. The steak took too
long so the succotash was a little too soft for my liking. 

This was great although I learned I'm not a fan of brown
rice. I didn't eat the mushrooms (idk!) but still used them
in the recipe. Will make again. 
Again, could have done without the tomatoes but
overall was a great meal and didn't feel too heavy as
pasta can sometimes. 

My first time having a Juicy Lucy. It doesn't look pretty
but it was delicious. I love the balsamic vinegar dressing
which is what you made for salad. Would have used
spinach for the salad though. 

Another great recipe. I'll make it again. Probably on
the grill this summer. Didn't touch the tomatoes. 
This one. Nope. The yard guy came and I had to help
him in regards to pointing out some yard work so the
cakes burned. My first time trying a pork chop....
couldn't even finish the first bite. Only one massive
failure isn't bad though. 

So, that was my experience of two meal subscription boxes. Hello Fresh is a little more expensive (maybe by five dollars) but I think their meals were more winners than Blue Apron. Blue Apron reignited my love and passion for cooking so that is plus in their column. The boxes run about $60 which seems like a lot of money. For the quality and fanciness of Blue Apron, it seems justified. For the poor packaging and some less than desirable produce, not so much for Hello Fresh. I wish there was a subscription box for families of one. Looking at the positive side of things though, if I had enjoyed every single meal from one box, I would have had six entire meals just for me. Ten dollars a meal is still more than my usual meals which unless I'm being fancy (four cheese risotto for the win!), usually costs about two or three dollars. I'm a simple person. 

Overall, I will stay "subscribed" to both boxes but probably won't order very often. I have my calendar set to remind me to look each week so I don't get a box I have no interest in. 

If you'd like to use my referral code for Hello Fresh, it is WQ7YBN. If you get a subscription box (either companies), I hope you enjoy the adventure. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

The cost of living

There is a cost for everyone in order to survive and stay alive. Fortunately, most people just have to consider the cost of food, shelter, air and other basic necessities. I am not as fortunate. If you've been reading my blog, you are well aware I have this little chronic illness known as type 1 diabetes. In fact, on Tuesday, I will celebrate my 26th diaversary. Twenty-six years and I'm still alive and kicking, although I'm not always sure how I've made it so long because I had quite the rebellious streak in regards to proper management. In addition to all of the basic needs you all have, I need to purchase insulin to survive. Insulin is the equivalent of life support it. Without, I die. Then again, if I take too much or too little, I could also die so there is quite the fine line survival with this so-called life support. 

At the start of the year, I switched my insurance plans. Recently I went in to pick up my refill of insulin. And this is what the register displayed for two vials:

Go ahead and let expletives ramble in your head. As I attempted to not break down in tears in the pharmacy and continue with my other shopping, I called my mom. Mom and I bonded as I browsed the greeting cards finding a card for my niece's birthday. Mom went on a rant. I was ranting. I fought the tears thankfully. Mom remembered when insulin cost $11 a vial and was promised the price would never, ever rise. I fully admit, I'm not the best at math but clearly it was a lie back in the day and prices have obviously risen. 

It is interesting because the price of insulin has been a hot topic since the start of the year. To be honest, it is always a hot topic among people with diabetes but now others are taking notice and making waves. 

For example, on January 29, an article was published on Market Watch titled Eli Lilly's revenue boosted by jacking up cost of insulin for diabetics. Revenues for Humalog, their fast-acting insulin, increased by 20 percent. When the company had a call about earnings, they were asked about the pricing. John Lechleiter, chief executive officer, said "higher prices makes sense because it helps the company fund the research needed to find better treatment methods or a cure." 

Okay, that makes sense. Except I'm not hearing a thing anywhere about any research they are doing. I'm hearing lots about Tidepool and Nightscout and a researcher on the East Coast whose son has type 1 diabetes and is determined to develop an artificial pancreas before his son goes to college. But I'm not hearing a darn thing about what Eli Lilly is doing. Since I'm hearing nothing, I can't quite buy into Mr. Lechleiter's reasoning. 

Did you know the World Health Organization considers insulin an essential medicine? Obviously. It keeps me and millions of others alive so I think it is essential. But maybe I'm too biased. As an essential medicine, insulin should be "at a price the individual and community can afford." I'll be honest, I'd like insulin to be free but I'd use the money saved to go buy high-end shoes. But I would like insulin to be affordable so myself and other patients don't have to compromise our health. Some people restrict how much food they consume to restrict how much insulin they use so they don't have to spend so much money buying more insulin. By doing this, they are depriving themselves of valuable nutrients. And people skip checkups to save money because those cost money too. As someone with diabetes, I must have a general checkup, my diabetes checkups, my woman's checkup (diabetes can cause havoc there), my eye checkup (diabetes can cause blindness) and my dental checkup (again, diabetes causes problems). I don't get a choice unless I want to put myself at risk for complications. These are just a few of the aspects. 

Just over a month ago, Kasia Lipska, who is a doctor, wrote a powerful op-ed piece in the New York Times about why the insulin racket needs to be broken up. Why prices are getting out of control. Why people should have to make compromises to afford this versus that to stay alive. Dr. Lipska explains the issue of patents and manufacturing insulin and why no generic insulin exists in the marketplace. If I tried to summarize the article, I would not do it justice. Please take a few minutes to read the article here

How is it the diabetes world can be making such amazing strides (our technology is a million times more advanced than what it was when I was in high school not that long ago) yet we can't make insulin affordable for everyone who needs it? The diabetes community is finally finding its voice. Find #WereNotWaiting on social media to see how we are pushing and finally demanding better lives. 

But also, the insulin needs to be made affordable because with each price increase my hopes for a cure die a little. I know it does for other people with diabetes. It dies because we see the pharmaceutical companies looking at us like cash cows. I see a thought bubble above their heads stating "As long as they need insulin to live, they will pay what they have to, so no need for a cure. By the way, was the offer accepted on the private island I want?" I may be wrong in thinking this is how they see us but I don't believe I'm wrong to have developed this opinion because if they truly wanted to make life a little better for us as we battle and conquer a chronic disease, they'd make insulin affordable which would help eliminate the stress and fear of if we can afford our medical necessities to live another day. 

Thanks for reading this post. It is from my heart and is extremely important to me. For those not closely connected to diabetes, I hope it has opened your eyes to yet another aspect of life for people with diabetes. 

And here are some older pieces in the media about the cost of insulin: 
NPR: Why is insulin so expensive in the U.S.?
CBS News: How drug companies keep insulin prices high
Seattle Times: Patients shocked as insulin prices climb higher