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Sharing Diabetes and Supplement Information #1: Introduction, Invokana, and ACA


First post in a series…

When I started writing this post two days ago, I had intended it to be just a “quick” post.

SIGH

Well, it is turning into quite the project.  And waaaaaaaaay too long for a single post.  So, here is the “introduction” and the 411 on Invokana.

For those who aren’t hip to all the current jargon…  “411” is what the kid’s these days call “information.”

Questions! I got Questions!

confused kittyBecause of a recent doctor’s visit, I have a bunch of questions.  And I went online and started doing some research, trying to get answers to those questions.

After a little bit, it occurred to me that I should put the information I found into a blog post.  Sort of a one-stop shop with links, where I use my searching skills to save you folks a lot of time.

I know that I’ve had a recent surge of new subscribers who found my blog because of the Diabetes information that I’ve posted.

So, if any of you folks have answers  or comments based on your own experience then, please SHARE them in the comments at the end of this post.

Standard Disclaimer:
I am NOT a doctor.  I am not offering medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor before making any medical decisions.

A bit of background…

How to measure your bodyI was diagnosed with diabetes in June of this year.  I started taking Invokana and Janumet in mid-June and started testing my AM fasting blood sugar levels in late June.

I’m visiting my doctor once a month right now so that my doctor can keep a close watch on things not only because I’m a newly diagnosed diabetic, but because I’m “obese” (workin’ on that!) and I have high blood pressure (workin’ on that too!)

One bonus of going to see my doctor monthly is that it really helps me; just knowing that I’m going to weigh in and will have my blood pressure checked, keeps me on track.  To date, I’ve lost 27-30 lbs since my heaviest weight of 333 lbs.  Yay!

My weight fluctuates a little, of course.  This morning I weighed 305 which gives me a 28lb loss to date.  But the good news is that I’m nearing at a threshold / plateau breaker of 300 lbs.  Unfortunately my body is resisting going past that hurdle.  Grrrrrrrrrr

At last month’s regular visit, about four weeks ago, I had a really BIG blood work panel done when I was at my doctor’s office.  That visit was the 3 month anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis; which is why she did the big blood work panel  — 3 months after I had been taking the two diabetes medications.

Well, last week, at this month’s doctor visit, she gave this multi-page report that were the results from the blood work.

OMG!  It was huge.

Who knew that you could discover so much about a person just from their blood!  A bit overwhelming actually.

Good & Bad News in the Report

Read the rest of this entry

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Janumet, Invokana and Diabetic Discount Drama!


How I got Invokana
and Janumet for “Almost Free”

For those who are regular readers of my blog, I ask for your understanding.  Alas, this post will be DRAMA free!  Eeeeeekkkk!  Aaaaaiiiieeeeee!  Yes, I know, it is hard to believe that I can do a post with no drama… … well with a minimal amount of drama, but tis true.  🙂

So… about getting drugs for “almost free” …

It helps if you have insurance

Actually, it REALLY helps if you have insurance.ACA image 

If you are a low income individual without insurance; or if you are a small business owner who wants to see if you can get a better deal; or if you are just curious, then head on over to Healthcare.gov and get all the information on how to use the insurance exchanges and perhaps qualify for subsidies.

It may, depending on your circumstances be possible for you to sign up even though open enrollment has closed.

Also, it MIGHT also be possible for you to get your health insurance for FREE or for you to receive substantial subsidies from the Federal Government (US Residents only) to help you pay for your health insurance.
..
Speaking from a personal point of view, without the insurance that I get thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, my life would be in mortal danger.

No drama.

No kidding.

100% truth.

If you have insurance, the insurance should pay MOST of the cost of these drugs

Drug Formulary Yes and No

But every insurance policy is different; you need to check to be sure.

Using myself as an example: when I first tried to fill the prescription for these two drugs, I discovered that my copay for each drug, after the insurance was applied, was $100 (100 x 2 =$200 per month).

Eeeeeeeekkkk!! oh, oopps I said no drama.  My bad.  Moving on. 😉

To find out how much your copay is going to be before you go by the pharmacy, ou have to check something called a “drug formulary.

You can usually find the Drug Formulary in a PDF file or as a searchable database on your insurance company’s website.  Or you can call the customer service 800 # for your insurance company and ask for a paper copy be mailed to you.

Check the back of your

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Once more dear friends…


Mea Maxima Culpa

Good Me-Bad Me ©2011Yes, I know this blog is supposed to be mainly about me getting healthy again.

Yes, I know that I’ve been on and off the “live healthy” wagon so often that I should be getting frequent flyer miles (if I mix my metaphors momentarily) << say that aloud it sounds cool!

Yes, I know that I have been very much NOT blogging of late.

sigh

So I’m going to share some stuff with you which I’ve been doing this morning.  I’m doing this “stuff” this “morning” because my THIRD monthly visit with my most awesome doctor: Karen King is fast approaching and I want to be able to truthfully tell her that I’ve begun the very long process to get healthy again.  Woot!

When I went on my first visit to her back at the beginning of May, I told her that I needed help getting healthy and asked her to put me on a medically supervised weight loss plan.  Which basically amounts to coming in every month to weigh in and have her give me a mini-check up and monitor things so that I don’t actually end up doing myself injury as I try and get healthy.

I have Type 2 Diabetes

Hi, my name is Tony.  I’m a Diabetic.

and the teeming masses say “Hi Tony

Kinda scary actually.  I freaked a little bit when I found out.

My doctor says that Read the rest of this entry

What’s up Doc? Quick Medical Report…


This really will be short… and to the point.. and with minimal drama..

Promise!   Yes, oh dear readers, I can do a no-drama post, I just prefer not to do so…  LOL

I am pretty sure I’ve blogged about not having any health insurance and not being able to afford health care…

Well thanks to the Affordable Care Act, what most folks call Obamacare (hisssssss a name I really hate), I now have insurance.

Bravo to the Obama Administration and to all the folks who worked on getting this in place.

Boooooo!  Hisssssss to Blue Cross Blue Shield for taking so long to get my account set up so that I could actually USE the insurance!

Well, Monday was my first visit to the doctor in a long time.  I had quite the laundry list. Here is the brief version.

  • I have a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder.   I injured it over a year ago, but had no idea what was going on in there. The doc gave me exercises to do.  I’ll start doing them this weekend.  I need to read up online about the injury and what to do about it, now that I know what it is.

    This is a HUGE thing.  I had no idea what was the cause of the injury and when it first occurred, it was a major factor in why I stopped dancing and going to the studio to practice.  I couldn’t dance with the arm not functional.  No matter how I tried to “baby” the arm, any dance moment caused associated movement in the shoulder and arm and caused excruciating pain.  Now that I know the cause I can work on making it better through self applied physical therapy and exercises.  If the exercises don’t work then I can ask my doctor for a referral to a Physical Therapist or to have a MRI done.

    I now have options.  I can move forward.  This is a HUGE deal!  Woot!  Happy Dance in progress!
    ..

  • My blood pressure  medication prescription has been renewed.  I just picked up the Rx so I can now start taking it again.  My blood pressure was a little high but now that I’m back on the meds, that should improve.  It should improve better as my body starts to get used to the idea that I’m going to be exercising on a regular basis.
    ..
  • I got my depression medication prescription renewed and I just picked it up.  I’ve been out of the drug for about 5 weeks now.  I’ll start taking it again which should help things.  And my doctor is setting me up a referral to visit a specialist to be evaluated to see if the medication needs to be adjusted.  My unprofessional layman’s opinion is that it does.   To me it seems that it is not as effective now as it was when I first started taking it over 2 years ago, in late 2011.
    ..
  • I got a renewal for my allergy medication which is a BIG deal.  I am allergic to dust and dust mites.

    I know this because I had the allergy panel done about 3 years ago and that was the result.  Having the medication is very important because, for some reason the neighborhood that I live in seems to be the most dusty place I’ve ever lived!  During the day things are not so bad but at night, my entire sinus / nasal passages become clogged up.

    The tissues swell and there is icky stuff clogging the remaining space.   Add in the complications presented by being a person of some size…  *sigh* and you have a very unpleasant situation.

    Without the medication,  I wake up several times a night gasping and coughing and unable to breathe.

    With the medication, I’m able to breathe MUCH easier and I’m able to get a more restful sleep.  A more restful sleep means more energy (both mental and physical) in the day and more energy in the day means I’m more likely to exercise which means a positive feedback loop is established! Yay! Woot! Doing a happy dance!
    ..

  • A couple of prescription creams and ointments for minor skin stuff like rashes, athletes feet, blemishes, etc got refilled;  The pharmacy was out of them and they are on order, so I’ll pick them up tomorrow.  I had switched to over the counter medications for these things but the prescription strength stuff is WAY more effective.

    I realize that in the grand scheme of things, these are minor issues.  However, they are important in the sense that I’ll feel better having these issues taken care of, and treated, which will make me feel better about myself which will improve my overall quality of life which feeds into the whole positive energy feedback loop thingie which contributes to moving me out of the abyss and toward health and fitness.

So there you have it.  A moderately brief update on how the doctor’s appointment went.

Yay!  Yippeee!  Happy Dance!  Can we say “forward progress!?”  Yeppers!  We can!

See ya on the dance floor (eventually)

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