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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

Insurance Lessons Learned


…In the School of Hard Knocks

david vs goliath corpBecause right now I’m doing a lot of insurance related things I thought I’d share some “tips” drawn from my own experiences.

Disclaimer:  EVERYBODY is different. I believe these tips to apply to most people but you need to double check when applying them to your own situation.

None of this stuff is new, there are tons of sites out on the Interwebz that can tell you this stuff…

HOWEVER…  whatcha get here is proof that those “tips” — well these “tips” actually do produce results.  I’ve “been there” and “done that” and have the battle scars to prove it.

So, hopefully my experience can help you minimize the pain of dealing with insurance companies whose primary goal is to make money.

You gotta know the rules

My personal experience has shown me that “Insurance companies are NOT your friends“.  Insurance companies are not there to make you healthy or to get you healthy.

They are there to make money. They are a BUSINESS and the less that you use your insurance, the MORE money they make.

Which seems counter productive from the view point of us folks who NEED the medical services.  The insurance company will say “NO” unless they are required by law or by contract to say “yes”.

Don’t misunderstand me — I am not advocating that you try to stick it to the insurance companies and rack up unneeded medical costs.  That is called “fraud” and will get you in trouble.  But what I am saying is that if you and your doctor think you need it then make the insurance company do EVERYTHING it is obligated to do.

Insurance companies are restricted by laws and by the contract to which you agree when you buy the policy.  But they are counting on your ignorance to not utilize all of your benefits.

And they do NOT make it easy to figure out exactly what you can get.  sigh

To protect yourself, you will need two VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS:

  1. Your Policy Handbook — This is your contract with your insurance company. It has TONS of information about your benefits under the policy and sometimes has forms and/or procedural information.  Often, near the front is a “summary chart” that gives you the basics of your policy including Out of Pocket Maximums, Copay information for doctors and drugs
  2. Your Drug Formulary — This is a list of the drugs which are covered or not covered under your policy and the level at which they are covered.  Prices and coverage vary from plan to plan even within the same company.  (see the above disclaimer)

Often these are available online either as a webpage or as a PDF file.  The Drug Formulary is often available as a searchable interface online.

Save EVERYTHING!!!!

Save a copy of every email sent and received.  EVERYTHING!!!!

Why?

Read the rest of this entry

Blood Glucose Meters, Strips, and Sticking it to Yourself Daily


SCOTUS Hangover…  (a brief aside before we talk Diabetes)

After yesterday’s Historic ruling on Gay Marriage (Read my post: Justice Arrives Like a Thunderbolt!) I must confess that I want the celebration to continue.  It feels weird picking up writing on this blog post on Saturday, where I left off on Wed evening.

Yesterday my Facebook feed exploded with joy and rainbows!  I had to be part of the excitement, so went out last night, saw the rally at Oaklawn & Cedar Springs and hung out with my cousin and a friend I had not seen in approximately 20 years.  The joy, the love, the relief that Marriage Equality is now law, and the energy last night being around my fellow LGBT folk, was just amazing.

AND when I started writing this post, back on Wed night, the fate of the Affordable Care & Patient Protection Act was not yet announced.  That was upheld on Thursday.  Yay!  So, in less than 48 hours, two of the most important Supreme Court decisions of my lifetime came back to back — both of which directly impact me.  Wow!

I’m now free to marry who I love, assuming I can find a fella!  LOL

And I’m now fairly certain that I will always have access to quality health care.  Yay!

I’m going to do something weird in this post.  The “comments” from Wed night are going to stay, but where I was expressing doubt, I’m going to put an BEFORE label and add an AFTER comment.

Why? Because the ACA law is important.  It is important to me on a very real, very personal, very day-to-day level.  And by doing it this way, anyone who reads my blog may perhaps realize that this is not a philosophical debate.  It is literally about life and death.  Read on faithful readers, read on…

Uhmmm… by the way, we’ll keep the fact that as a newly diagnosed diabetic I should not have been drinking beer last night between thee and me.  Nobody tell my doctor!  Sssssshhhhhhh!

“You Need a Blood Glucose Meter…”

blood meters…said my doctor.  And I said “What’s a Glucose and why is it in my blood?

Ok, maybe I didn’t actually say that.  But to me Glucose is something that is related to Gatorade, a distant cousin of Fructose and Sucrose and… well, you get the idea.  It is sugar.  It is all sugar.  And “sugar” is a special kind of carbohydrate.

Standard disclaimer…  I’m not a doctor –  You should verify everything I say and always consult with your doctor on medical decisions.

What I’m sharing with you here is info I’ve learned since being diagnosed with Diabetes and that info has gone into Tony’s head and been mixed around with all the other stuff up there and seasoned with a bit of my patented “Ton-NAY Drama” and is being blurted out here for the enjoyment and befuddlement of you, my loyal readers.

All two of you —  two, or is it thousand?  the whole number thing confuses me.  😉 Read the rest of this entry

Where Tony’s been hiding and Thank Heaven for the Affordable Care Act


I’ve been out of the loop…

I heard through the grapevine that people from the dance world have been asking “Where’s Tony?”  Hmmm…  Is that kinda like “Where’s Waldo but in cowboy boots?  Read on if you’re curious about what’s been going on and why I’ve not been around the dance scene lately

But first… let me share some good news!  On Jan 1st, I’m getting health insurance and…

I’m going to be able to see the Doctor!!!!!!

Handsome Doctor (CC)No, not the cutie to the right..  LOL  YummME!

First of all… some ground rules:

In this post I’m going to be voicing my opinion at great length on a “hot button topic,” the Affordable Care Act”, something which I’ve never really done on my blog before.

But this is important folks!  And, to answer the question of “Where has Tony been? well, it is sorta necessary.

Setting that aside though for the moment, it is important to let folks know that the the ACA not some remote political fight.  There are real people benefiting from this law.  People like me.  By sharing my story perhaps anyone who reads this can put a “real face” to the issue.

Having said that, I recognize that others may disagree and want to comment and/or voice a rebuttal to what I have to say, which is fine.

However… “No rude or mean comments!!!”  If anyone chooses to make a comment on this post, then awesome, but if you don’t like the ACA (I refuse to call it “Obamacare”) then also fine, you are welcome to post an intelligent politely worded comment and disagree with me.

I have absolutely no problems with people holding different opinions than I, nor with people voicing those opinions, BUT there is no need to be rude or mean or demeaning while doing it.   Any such posts will be deleted, not approved for posting,  and I’ll remove you from my “follow” list immediately.  So just don’t go there!

Say it nicely or don’t say it at all! There is too much of that kind of BS in Washington.  I don’t have to put up with it on my blog.

Now… where was I?   LOL  I do that a lot don’t I… start out with one idea then BAM “Squirrel” I’m off on another topic!  Woot!  I should make a tee-shirt…  Hmmmm… now there’s an idea!  Woot!

I have an awesome Doctor!

LOL kitty RXHer name is Karen King; she is caring and kind and sweet, and efficient and knows her stuff and well, she’s just AWESOME!  And for almost 2 years I haven’t been able to see her about stuff that I really do need to see her about.

Uh… you guys did catch that right?  LET ME REPEAT:

For ALMOST TWO YEARS  I have needed to go to the doctor and to the dentist for things and have not been able to do so because I can’t afford it.  We live in the richest nation on the planet and a citizen of that country like myself has to go without healthcare because of money?

It is just wrong, that a person, an individual, has to ignore health issues and scrabble and scramble to make ends meet while corporations are sitting on BILLIONS of dollars protected by loopholes in the tax law written by the guys they helped elect allow them to keep piling up the wealth while people in this country go homeless and hungry and without health care?

Almost EVERY other major industrialized Western nation on the planet has UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE for its citizens.  And we don’t?  There is something wrong with this picture.

ACA is getting a bad rap and it should not!

A case study of 1 — “Moi” who thinks it is AMAZING!

ACA imageRather than jump immediately into this big huge philosophical discussion of the ACA and it’s relative merits, let’s talk about this in a “real world” kind of thing.

Bringing it down to a “real person” level

Putting a face on it…  My face to be precise.

And after I’m done…  Read the rest of this entry

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