Favorites and Motivations

Not feeling to great this weekend so I am a day late on yesterday’s post. The topic is (was?):

If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written? Is it diabetes related or just life related? If you are a new blogger and don’t have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog? (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.)

I was debating between two posts of which one to pick and I decided to go with Managing Blood Sugar with Gastroparesis. I picked that one because I still get people sending me messages about it. It is very sad but most doctors tend to write you off when you have a problem and don’t try to help you figure things out.

Salad gifA lot of people don’t really understand that some foods are worse than others to digest and no one has ever talked to them about that. Broccoli and oranges are the two hardest foods to digest and I once talked to someone that was eating broccoli every day with gastroparesis. No one ever bothered to ask her what she was eating.  I miss having my veggies every day but being sick in my stomach every day is not worth it.

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Apidra and Medicare: Good News!

Apidra and LevemirLast week after a reader contacted me that Apidra was not coming up on the Medicare search tool, I contacted Sanofi-Aventis. I came home Friday to find an email with some good news. Apparently, Medicare made a mistake in not including Apidra in the search tool. Most Medicare plans will still cover Apidra. Unfortunately, because the search tool will not help you, you have to go to each available plan’s website (or call them) to find out whether or not they will cover Apidra. The person at Sanofi also told me that if it is not coming up on the plan’s list, to call them to make sure because they might not have the latest available updates on the website.

My pharmacy was closed when we got back from Pittsburgh Friday evening, so I gave my two prescriptions to my mother to pick up. Saturday morning, I logged into my plan’s website to see if the Dakin’s solution would be covered – the wound center told me that it might not be covered. I noticed that they had the 2013 formulary up so I looked to see if Apidra was on there and it wasn’t. I then looked at one of the other plans in my area and they did have it.

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Gastroparesis: Early Signs

I will often see a discussion with someone having problems with their blood sugar and another person will suggest gastroparesis.  The person having problems will say they don’t have gastroparesis because they are not sick in their stomach.  I remember one conversation in particular on TuDiabetes that my friend Natalie suggested gastroparesis based on what the person’s blood sugar was doing.  Of course, the person did not think they had gastroparesis.

DoctorI was officially diagnosed with gastroparesis in September, 2003.  I got really sick in my stomach over Easter weekend that year.  When I started doing research on it, it really sounded like gastroparesis. When I went in to see my PCP, his response was that I didn’t look that sick and if I still didn’t feel great in two weeks, I should come back and he would put me in the hospital to get fluids in me.  If that didn’t work, they would call in a gastroenterologist.  Needless to say, that was the last time I saw that doctor!  Fortunately my insurance did not require a referral to a specialist and I made my own appointment with a gastroenterologist.

I had a long wait to get in with a gastroenterologist, but in the meantime, I gathered up all the stomach tests I had done over the years.  I actually had two different tests suggesting gastroparesis.  The first of those tests was an Upper GI done in July, 1995 – eight years before I had any real signs of gastroparesis! [Read more…]

Gastroparesis and Apidra

Levemir and ApidraI first started using Apidra in the spring of 2008. I saw people talking about it on a message board and wanted to try it. I had some concerns that it would be too fast for me with gastroparesis and my PCP had those same concerns. He didn’t have any patients using it, but one of the nurses in his practice was diabetic and used it. He said that she really liked it. Fortunately for me, even though he had concerns, he was willing to let me try it. He gave me one of the “OptiStick” pens but did not give me a script to get refills. When I asked to try Levemir, he had given me the pen plus a script to get more. I am guessing he didn’t think the Apidra would work!

I love Apidra – I believe that it is currently the best insulin on the market to manage gastroparesis with.

As far as Apidra being super fast, that is not my experience with it. This chart on WebMD comparing insulin has the onset for Apidra at 20-30 minutes. It has the onset for Humalog at 15-30 minutes and Novolog at 10-20 minutes. According to that chart, Apidra is actually the slowest of the three fast acting insulins. For me, it takes about 20 minutes to kick in. In talking to other people, 20 minutes seems to be a common kick-in time.

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I Write About My Health Because …

Wego Health Writer’s Challenge

The prompt for Day 4 of the Wego Health Writer’s Challenge is “I write about my health because…”

Prior to when I started my blog two years ago, a friend of mine had been encouraging me to write about what I went thru with my foot, but I wasn’t interested in writing.  After I found the DOC (which is the diabetes online community for you non-D people), I found help in managing my blood sugar with gastroparesis.  Prior to my finding the DOC, I never received help from doctors.  I was very frustrated and felt hopeless.  With help from my friends in the DOC, I was able to turn things around.

When I went online and started talking to other people, I realized that I was not alone.  There were a lot of people out there just like me that felt alone also.  It felt good to talk to people and share ideas.  I am a left handed person that grew up in a right handed world and I know just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work the same way for you.  The more ideas that someone can get, the better chance they have of finding one that will work for them.  I wanted to be able to share the things I have learned with other people.

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Gastroparesis: Is it Really?

StomachI have talked to a few people online that thought they had gastroparesis, but their doctor’s didn’t think that it was necessary to do the testing to confirm that. Diabetes in Control had an article about a study done by the Mayo Clinic that showed only 5% of Type 1s actually get gastroparesis and only 1% of Type 2s. They felt that anytime a diabetic has a stomach issue, gastroparesis is the diagnosis. You can read the full article here.

I know that I have seen much larger percentages. I just did a quick Google search while writing this and saw numbers as high as 55% of diabetics having gastroparesis. The article doesn’t state anything about the population of the people they studied. My feeling about most complications is that those of us that have been diagnosed longer have a greater chance of getting complications because the things we know and do today did not exist back then. If this study has only followed fairly newly diagnosed people (the study did last 10 years) that mostly only ever used the newer insulins and knew to test after meals, then that could explain the lower rate.

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