What to bring abroad as a Type-1 Diabetic?

 

Later I will show you what I personally put in my carry on bag when flying, especially abroad.

Find out more in the video. Below you can find a generalization list that the ADA recommends that Diabetics carry on their trips.

  • Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, biojectors, epipens, infusers and preloaded syringes)
  • Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication
  • Lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions
  • Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter and needle)—insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin
  • Glucagon emergency kit
  • Urine ketone test strips
  • Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container
  • Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for storing used syringes and test strips
  • Liquids (to include water, juice or liquid nutrition) or gels
  • Continuous blood glucose monitors
  • All diabetes related medication, equipment, and supplies

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/know-your-rights/discrimination/public-accommodations/air-travel-and-diabetes/what-can-i-bring-with-me.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/#sthash.m1A3j36C.dpuf

 

Advertisements

I am a Type 1 Diabetic who is under insured

Ive been a Type 1 diabetic since the early 90’s and I will forever live with this disease. There are (currently) no cures and I forever depend on insulin injections to live. There’s no alternative treatment. Diet and Exercise will not change that either.

Short and sweet: Without insulin I will DIE.

So, like with most medical issues someone would have, it takes a lot of doctors appointments, medical supplies and prescriptions to manage this disease. In order to have a health life you cannot play games. You have to ensure that you have enough testing supplies, needle tips, insulin, lancets, alcohol swabs and other things on a daily basis.

Affording these things are important. I always had a job since I was 14. I primarily needed to work for the Health Insurance. Being uninsured as a diabetic is a nightmare and very dangerous. The cost of supplies are extremely expensive at retail costs.

Here are the facts:
– People with diabetes who use insulin need this medication every day in order to live.
– The cost of insulin has risen steadily and steeply, creating financial hardships for individuals who rely on it to survive, particularly those who are uninsured or underinsured. Between 2002 and 2013, the average price of insulin nearly tripled.
– Insulin is frequently cited as one of the most expensive categories of drugs by private and government health care payers, with insulin leading the list of price hikes for non-generic drugs in a recent government report on Medicare spending.
– Insulin pricing is driven by a complex supply chain consisting of many players including manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers and pharmacies.
– In much of Europe, insulin costs about a sixth of what it does in the United States; and
– The increased cost of insulin has resulted in a growing number of people with diabetes telling their health care providers they are unable to afford the insulin prescribed for them, thus exposing them to serious long and short term health consequences.

Since 2014(ish) the costs of my insulin are HUNDREDS of dollars (even after my coverage) a month. If you tally up the entire costs for everything I use a month……….I would pay over 400 dollars. As of this year, the cost of my copay went up and it’s getting impossible to afford. Being a diabetic I have these costs, plus my bills, food and gas. I could never live on my own at the rate things are for me currently.

I honestly have made my medications stretch. I have manipulated my insulin and not given myself the right amounts so I wouldn’t run out before I had money. I’ve called my insurance company, my providers, manufacturers and advocates to express my situation. I am not alone. I am just one out of thousands who have the same issue.

My main issue is my health coverage. I do not have options that would suit me and diabetes. I do not have the luxury or option for better coverage than what I currently have. Actually, we will never get anything better. I’ve spoken to the VP of HR and Benefits and was told this too. We will never have an HMO or PPO. We will only have an HRA or HSA. Thats it. I’m underinsured.

There’s something that you can do to help me. Sign this petition and tell your friends and family to sign and help. By being unable to afford insulin it will cause more harm than good to my life.

This should not be an issue, unfortunately it is.

https://donations.diabetes.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=SD_Grassroots_Advocacy_Petition_Page

I haven’t posted on Youtube because of my General Anxiety Disorder

If you don’t know by now, I have General Anxiety Disorder. You can learn more about it by visiting my Youtube Channel and watching this video:

I know this video is older, but the same information applies. I actually have had medication changes since then, but I am still managing my anxiety with medications.

My Diabetes gives me a lot of anxiety and depression. I worry nonstop about things that I know isn’t anything that I should be concerned about at this time, but I worry.

I want to make an updated video about my anxiety with my diabetes and the things that I have been dealing with lately. In fact, the reason why I haven’t made any youtube videos in a while is because of my anxiety and depression. I desperately want to make more videos, but I have far too much going on inside my head to actually sit down and make a video. Instead I am trying to fix myself and focus on me before I venture back into making content for my channel.

People don’t realize exactly how much time it takes to make a video. The prepping, the setup, the personal things I do (hair, makeup, etc) and the actual recording and editing. If I am not in the right mood to make videos it will definitely show and I don’t want to put out content that will bother me personally. I don’t want my viewers to see crap videos.

So, I am thinking about actually making a new video discussing this. Discussing my anxiety, provide some sort of update and maybe discuss what has been going on in my world. I’m just dealing with a lot of anxiety right now and filming is the last thing I want to do. So I appreciate your patience with my lack of content, but I’ll be back eventually, I swear.

Applications I use for my Diabetes

There are a few things that I use religiously on my phone (besides Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Texting – whoa, I spend too much time on my phone!) to help me daily with my Diabetes.

These apps are also very helpful for anyone who wants to just be healthy or are in the Fitness world, too. These are things that I personally use and have found to be easiest for me. What I do may not work for you, but I am just sharing my personal experiences. I am by no way a medical professional, but I like to think I am an expert with handling and living with Type 1 Diabetes.

First, my favorite and most important App that I use is MyFitnessPal. This is my go to application to log every little thing that I put into my mouth. Not only is it good for measuring your Macros and Calories, it helps with your Carb Counting. Now, if you’re unaware of this, Carb Counting is a MUST for living with Diabetes. I don’t mean counting carbs in order to lose weight, I mean knowing how many carbs that you’re eating to be sure you’re giving yourself the right amount of insulin. I can explain what that means in another post, but that’s your main equation that you’ll have to use when living with diabetes. As I was saying, its very helpful with the carb count. Sometimes you’re out and about and you’re not able to bring food that you personally have made. With MFP you can scan barcodes to log in the food that you eat and get the macros. Also, sometimes you’ll be able to find nearby restaurants and be able to estimate what the macros are in your meal (but thats hit or miss as sometimes people manually enter in the information and it may not be 100% accurate). Not only do I log my food in this app, I also log in my exercise. You’re able to manually enter in the activities that you do and log it. This is very helpful in know what you ate on days that you exercised.

Second, my other go-to app on my phone that I use is mySugr. For iPhone users you can get it here. And if you are an android user you can find it here. I will be honest and say that I don’t use it to it’s full potential. I just enter in my sugars (almost religiously, but I do get lazy) into it. I want to learn more about it and play around with it (it is on my to-do list though, I swear). It’s really user friendly and I’d much rather use this than the old fashioned option of writing it down.

What I do with this is that I do take the data from this app and log it into an excel spreadsheet, but thats just what I do personally.

Lastly, another app that I use is called My Water. iPhone users can find it here. I don’t know if Android uses this exact app, but I am sure there are many others similar to this one. What most Diabetics should do is drink a lot of water. Not only is water good for you, but hydration is very important with controlling your blood sugar. Sometimes, just being dehydrated can cause high blood sugar. I AM HORRIBLE AT DRINKING WATER. I always forget to drink it. I mean, I do drink coffee like it’s water, but that doesn’t count. I mean, clean, unflavored water. So I installed this recently to remind me to drink more water. It send notifications to your phone with messages to drink more water. It has this cool feature where it shows you how many ounces you have drank, the percentage of water you consumed and it looks like a glass of water. It’s motion activated so the water will move back and forth as if you’re tipping a glass.

What I like is reaching goals, numerically. So if I see that I am 90% close to my water goal, I will drink more water. I’m actually like that with everything. If I see a number I need to reach, I will force myself to get to it. But, I do need reminders. I’m lazy and forgetful!

So, thats what I use on my phone. Im sure there are plenty of other apps that are helpful and useful for fitness, health and diabetes. If you know of others that you personally use please let me know below in the comments! I like to try new things.

Working out with Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is a science. 

Every little thing that you do, eat, drink and feel can and will affect your diabetes. What works one day may or may not work the next. In order to manage your diabetes you need to be smarter than Einstein. If you don’t like math, you will not have any other choice to be a master of math while living with this lovely disease.

Adding. Subtracting. Logging. Monitoring. This is what you do. If you don’t, then you’re asking to trouble. Everything that you do will affect your blood sugar. Let me repeat, EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO WILL AFFECT YOUR BLOOD SUGAR. You can be a master of math and still get stumped.

So, working out is a fun game (sarcasm) that you can easily win. If you’re like me, someone who works in an office that has a somewhat sedentary life, working out may be  a slight shock to your body. As a matter of fact, I think that may be something that affects everyone, but I am not a doctor, so I don’t know this. Anyhow, working out. When you exercise there’s a lot of different factors to consider.

  • your blood glucose level before starting activity,
  • the intensity of the activity,
  • the length of time you are active,
  • and changes you’ve made to insulin doses.

So, short and sweet; Trial and Error will be your friend. I personally log everything that I eat in the app called MyFitnessPal so I am aware of the food I eat (everyday). This is key when you’re working out so you can see what you eat on the days that you exercise. Also, this will help you track trends with your blood sugar and how your body responds to activity.

There are two reactions to working out as a Diabetic.

  • Low Blood Sugar
  • High Blood Sugar

Yes, your sugar can go up when you work out. Does this confuse you? Yeah, it confuses me too. The Joslin Diabetes Center explains it easier than I could:

When you exercise your muscles need more glucose to supply energy. In response, your liver increases the amount of glucose it releases into your bloodstream. Remember, however, that the glucose needs insulin in order to be used by your muscles. So if you do not have enough insulin available, your blood glucose levels can actually increase right after exercise. Basically, stimulated by the demand from your exercising muscles, your body is pouring glucose into your bloodstream. If you do not have enough insulin available to “unlock the door” to your muscles, the glucose cannot get into your muscles to provide needed energy. The end result is that glucose backs-up in your bloodstream, causing higher blood glucose readings.

Does that help? Well, let me confuse you even more! Joslin Diabetes Center also explains this (easier than I could):

One of the most common causes of low blood glucose is too much physical activity. In fact, moderate to intense exercise may cause your blood glucose to drop for the next 24 hours following exercise. This post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the “lag effect” of exercise.

OK, so take into consideration of the first quote and add in the factor of the one above. Let that sink in for a second. Does that make your brain hurt? Yeah, it makes mine hurt, too. So, whenever I exercise I do the following:

  • Be sure to eat something no later than 1 hour before working out
  • Test your blood sugar when arriving to the gym
    • If my sugar is at a comfortable range (to me that’s anything over 140) I will continue to exercise
    • If my sugar is too low (under 120) I will eat 15 grams of carbohydrates
    • If my sugar is too high (over 230) I will test for Ketones. If I don’t have ketones then I will work out
  • I’ll work out no more than 1 hour before I re-test. Usually by then my blood sugar will be in the low 100’s and sometimes lower
  • I’ll then eat another snack of 15 grams of carbohydrates and either work out some more or call it a day
  • 1 hour after I last tested I will test again

USUALLY, my blood sugar will be in the mid 200’s. I then correct my blood sugar accordingly and then monitor it. SOMETIMES I WILL DROP HOURS LATER WHEN MY SUGAR REGULATES AND LEVELS OUT. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Logging your exercise, the time of day that you work out, the time you last ate, the last time you gave yourself insulin and your mood will be key. If you’re still with me and reading this, I’m sure you’re thinking “that’s just way too much work”. Unfortunately, it can be. However, exercise is a key element of staying healthy and keeping control of your blood sugars (double edge sword, really!). So, if you want to be healthy, lose weight or just stay active you need to work HARD for this.

If you’re curious about my routine, my diet or how I manage my blood sugar when working out, please ask me questions in the comment section. If I get enough I can make a followup post.

 

Hello WordPress

Welcome to the very first post in my blog! I hate to get your hopes up, but I don’t think this post is going to be really exciting. I’m just posting something in here while I am customizing everything.

But, since you are here and reading this (thank you so much!), I might as well explain what I plan to do with this. I am creating this blog to write about:

  • My Diabetes
  • My Fitness/Workout Routine
  • My Anxiety and Stress
  • Reviews for who knows what (movies, hauls, products????)

I’m just getting used to editing this and I am sure it’s going to go through a massive re-do, but I am just setting an outline for now.

Again, thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy everything that I write.