Cocktails for a Cure Event

Come out for some drinks and a pig roast. All proceeds support Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)! Awesome event! See flyer below for more details.

CocktailsForACureJDRFFlyer

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Oxymoron?!?

The pictures below are scans of a newsletter that was sent to me via my local insurance company. It’s titled “Understanding Diabetes.” It was mailed along with an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) in regards to my deductible insurance plan stating how much I would owe for prescriptions and appointments after the insurance company’s payment and that a bill would be mailed to me shortly thereafter. I actually chuckled/smirked when I saw this. Obviously the insurance company knows I have diabetes. They can tell just by looking at the claims for my medications, my lab tests, and my appointments.

“What is Diabetes?”, “There are two major types of diabetes,” and “Did you know?” are 3 of the headers on this information sheet. What is Diabetes? Well, it’s an auto-immune disease that I live with every single day. I have good days and bad days with it. I have highs and lows. And then they make the comment “being overweight and lack of exercise can be a cause” of diabetes. Um, not in my case, insurance company! I’d really like to know who’s responsible for saying these types of letters should go in the mail with the Explanations of Benefits. Even though I found it a bit offensive, I can’t help but laugh at it now. Why don’t you mail something that is more generic for all of your insurance company policy holders? For example, an information sheet about healthy eating since that would benefit EVERYONE!

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Exclusion

This should probably be titled, “True Story, Part 3″ but this title is more direct. By the way, did you miss me? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted.

I work with a really great group of people. Some of us hang out outside of work and we have our own little “work family” so to speak. We are really good about celebrating special occasions around here whether it be a going-away party if someone leaves or a retirement party, baby shower, bridal shower, graduations, etc. We also celebrate birthdays. We call them “surprise” parties, even though we always know we will get one, we’re just not always sure the exact day or time of day. We’ve had various treats served at these birthday parties, ranging from cookie cake to make-your-own ice cream sundaes, to brownies, to various other sweet treats.

Last week, however, I was pushed over the edge by what I, as a diabetic, consider an ignorant comment. Since the beginning of this year, I have been making strides to not only improve my own glucose levels (amount of glucose in my blood – ideal number is 70-150 before and after all meals) and A1c (3 month average of overall glucose control – ideal percentage in USA is 4-6% or 5-7% depending on who you ask), but incorporating more exercise into my daily routine and recording what I am consuming using a great app titled “Lose It!” It’s amazing how much better you eat when you are aware of how many calories and carbohydrates are in an item. While I have been exercising regularly, though I’ve “fallen off the wagon” over the last few weeks or so, I really haven’t lost as much weight as I was hoping. (I know that taking insulin and having better glucose control almost seems to make this feat impossible, however. I don’t like this fact and I don’t have to like it either, but I digress because I am happy with the food choices I am making). What does this have to do with last week and exclusion, you ask?

On the last Wednesday of every month, our area of the department is given a cookie tray for employee satisfaction. Now while I would prefer that we were offered a healthier alternative such as a fruit or veggie tray, I understand that it is much more cost-effective to purchase cookies and that I am only 1 of 12 people who should avoid the cookies. Several times, I can avoid that cookie tray like nobody’s business. Other times, I grab a sugar, oatmeal raisin, or chocolate chip cookie, because I’m human and I want one, diabetes and all! (I am by no means advocating eating cookies!) Other times, I want one and by the time I go to get one, there are ALL gone. 12 people eating close to 40 cookies – you do the math. That means someone or a few people are eating more than one. Oftentimes because of this, I complain that I wasn’t even given a chance to eat a cookie. Again, I am not advocating eating junk food or non-diabetic friendly foods, but I would like the option to have a cookie if I want one. I can eat it and take insulin to cover for the grams of carbohydrates consumed. One time, I made the “mistake” (sarcasm) of complaining that the cookies were gone and that it was unfair that a few of us didn’t get any. (A coworker also stated she didn’t have one either and she does not have diabetes.)

Last week, at one of our birthday celebrations, the dessert of choice was an ice cream cake. Here is the brief conversation that occurred approximately 2 hours after the ice cream cake birthday celebration:

Coworker: “We saved you a piece of ice cream cake since you weren’t able to make it back to the party.” (I wasn’t able to get away from my desk at the time of the celebration)

Me: “Oh, that’s okay. I’ve decided to pick my poison this week so I’m skipping out on the ice cream cake.”

Coworker: “Okay, but just so you know, we saved you a piece so you weren’t excluded.” (Coworker is the same as the one I mentioned about being upset about the cookies being gone)

Boy, did that burn me! Excluded! Excluded? Excluded?!?! You exclude me EVERY SINGLE CELEBRATION by not having something diabetic-friendly! Boy did that comment piss me off!

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is even though I do get annoyed when I am not given the option because we all know that YES, DIABETICS CAN EAT SWEETS, the exclusion at every single event and not having a healthier option trumped the TECHNICALLY “not exclusion” of saving me a piece of ice cream cake. After all, we’d all be better off if we ate a little healthier, diabetic or not!

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Weekend for Women 2014

I am so glad that my normal blogging day occurred so quickly after returning home from the conference!

I had the opportunity to attend the DiabetesSisters (www.diabetessisters.org) Weekend for Women Conference in Washington, DC (Embassy Suites, Alexandria, VA) this past weekend for the first time! I am so glad that I did! Not only did I make new friends, but I learned things that I never knew before (even though I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes for 21+ years). The most important part of the weekend, however, was being in a room surrounded by other diabetics and not be afraid to cry when a topic touches you emotionally, being able to test your blood sugar right there in the wide open without people giving you “the look” of oh-my-God-what-is-she-doing horror, remembering the sound of my insulin pump as others’ were beeping, etc. It was great to not be alone! Sickness, low blood sugars, high blood sugars, eating whatever we wanted and not having anyone ask, “Should you be eating that?” were all shared together with our own support system. I want to especially thank Brandy Barnes, the Founder and CEO of DiabetesSisters for forming such an AMAZING organization. Words cannot express how much I have learned from your organization, this conference, and the PODS Meetups I’ve attended! I also want to thank Anna Norton, Operations Manager, for all of your hard work and answering my numerous questions in preparation for, and at, the conference! You ladies are amazing and I can never thank you both enough! My life has been changed and I can’t wait to attend another conference in the future!

Here are some pictures of Old Town Alexandria, VA, Washington, DC, Embassy Suites, and of course, My DiabetesSisters:

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You know you’re in the home of a diabetic when…

You see these things all over the place:

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Honestly, we throw them in the trash, but they always seem to follow us around like little puppies.

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Attention!

I wore a Medic Alert bracelet and neck charm under my parents’ supervision when I was a child, but grew to resent it. After going through my rebellious streak and not wanting people to know I have diabetes, I finally got back on the wagon and decided that there is no harm in people knowing that I have diabetes. You never know when the situation may arise that someone needs to know. I could be stranded or having a low blood sugar while out in public or on the road. It would be helpful for people to know what to do. So, dun-dun-dun, I introduce you all to my new stainless steel medic alert bracelet:

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The purpose of showing off my new metal? For you to all be aware of Medic Alert bracelets. You could save someone’s life!

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Every last drop…CORRECTION

My friend Melissa pointed out that Maxwell House (R) is “good ’til the last drop” not Folger’s, as I incorrectly stated in one of my previous posts (http://julietalksdiabetes.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/every-last-drop/). My apologies to all the Maxwells in the world. I do still suck the life out of those juice boxes, though! And that’s not going to change anytime soon.

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