If You Do One Thing Besides Diabetes Today, Let It Be This: #SuspendBidding

If you do one thing besides diabetes today (which is a lot all by itself), please take a moment to click on this:

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Why should you do this? Why does it matter to you?

A few clicks can help suspend the Competitive Bidding Program, which was Medicare’s less than brilliant plan to save Medicare money by asking suppliers of diabetes testing supplies to bid for the privilege of selling test supplies to beneficiaries. What happened? Sure, the cost of strips went down… and so did the number of suppliers, the types of supplies offered (think: the cheapest on the market aren’t always the most accurate) and the ways to get the supplies were changed.

What increased? Costs to beneficiaries, hospital stays, and unnecessary deaths.

Despite warnings by other government agencies and organizations, the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid stuck their fingers in their ears and hummed: “We can’t hear you.”

But we can hum louder. And we can prevent needless deaths and disruption of access to diabetes supplies.

This directly impacts 11 million Americans on Medicare and indirectly impacts ALL of us. Your child or spouse or friend or coworker will someone be on Medicare and find themselves with restrictive access. But thinking ahead? It’s a slippery slope – first Medicare, then Medicaid, then private insurance companies decide that if Medicare and Medicaid are doing this, they can, too. The US Healthcare system is not saving money; exactly the opposite.

How can you help?

Click this pretty image:

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Tell Congress to suspend bidding of the Competitive Bidding Program immediately until there is a congressional oversight hearing to prove that not a single person with diabetes is being harmed by this program. (Hint: There is scientific proof that people with diabetes are being harmed.)

Want more facts and ways to share these facts? Head on over to: www.diabetespac.org/suspendbidding

 

Want pretty pictures to share on social media? Download these:

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Want a handy-dandy infographic to share? Here:

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So, in between checking blood glucose levels, deciding what to eat and how many carbs is in that meal, taking insulin or medication, fighting with insurance companies and staying healthy, please do just one more thing today and help spread the facts about #suspendbidding (and take action!).

It will probably be the easiest thing you will do today.

Thank you.

Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

In case you need to print it out and show it to someone who might not understand just how incredibly easy it is to manage diabetes on a daily basis. (I can’t even type it without laughing.)

I’m sure I skipped a few key steps in the flow chart.

Easy Flowchart for High BG Management

P.S. This was my day today.

Definition of Insanity: The Diabetes UnConference Las Vegas 2016

un-diabetes-conference-fullcolor-iconCall me insane. I’ll agree with you happily. 

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. (There are many who attributed that definition to Einstein or Twain, wrongly so, but it’s catchy and apropos, so who cares?)

The second Diabetes UnConference, held in Las Vegas from March 11 to March 13, 2016 proves that I am insane, because I wanted a different result.

The Diabetes Collective provides the framework, the facilitators, and many of the same topics. But what makes each conference different is the attendees and their inputs and insights. And not only was the conference different from the first held over a year ago, the outcome was different, too.

We had alumni return, volunteering their time to help ensure the “behind the scenes” items ran smoothly. They provided soothing continuity to me, a reminder that other people believe in this mission to provide safe, protective environments to talk about the psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes with others impacted by diabetes. My facilitators, many of them alumni themselves, gave their all to guide the conversations around the topics the attendees chose.

And the new attendees were… breathtaking. Some knew what to expect because they had friends who attended last year, but others came bravely, baring their souls. They have won my heart with their willingness to participate and add their voices to our community.

We also included a new group: PLUs, otherwise known as People who Love Us. Spouses, siblings, parents and significant others joined us this year, creating their own safe space to share. Do I know what they discussed? Nope. I’m not a PLU and because we honor the policy of not sharing what is said inside the sessions, all I can tell you is that some powerful bonds were created.

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2,521 years of diabetes was the final total in the room.

Some triumphant years, some scary years, but when I looked at all the fortitude and determination in those faces surrounding me, I felt like there was nothing that we couldn’t do together. We had Joslin Medalists (50+ years) and those who had been diagnosed less than a year ago. Some Type 2, some Type 1, some who were impacted by diabetes in their lives but living with functioning pancreases. We can move mountains or, if nothing else, support each other through peer support.

Tears. Laughter. Anger. Frustration. All to be expected. After all, this is my tribe. And I love each of them not because of the connection… I love them for who they are at the very core of their beings – and it has nothing to do with diabetes. And what was different? Everything, because my tribe chose the topics and then bared their souls. New year, new souls.

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I look forward to growing our tribe at the next Diabetes UnConference in Atlantic City in September and being completely insane again.

Happily insane.

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts From Gate 31

819412_43058630It’s happening. I’m sitting at Gate 31, waiting for the plane to take me to Las Vegas. The second Diabetes UnConference is this weekend, with a packed schedule of fun leading up to it. I’m grateful for the alumni, the new attendees, the facilitators, the sponsors, and John and The Kid. If there was a color for grateful, I’m be a blazing light of it.

But while I’ve been wrapped up in all the goodness that comes with this, other amazing things are happening in the community.

There are people to celebrate:

There are people who share their voices:

And then there is just…. happy.

My flight has just been called. I’m ready… for just about everything.

 

 

Floating…

It’s been quiet around here at the blog, but I’m not being quiet in other places. Lots going on and I’m happy with the way it’s all going… it’s just going at full speed most of the day (and night).

Zero complaints, because truth? I love my life right now. As I texted with Heather Gabel earlier today, the only way I can describe it is: “happily terrified.”

Here’s some things I’m involved with or care about… in no particular order.

The Diabetes UnConference Las Vegas 2016

IMG_6147Crunch time. Registration is still open, but we’ve got a only a few spots left for attendees. To think that in less than 30 days, I’ll be in Las Vegas with some of my most favorite people in the world – and that I’ll get to meet more new favorite people, well… swoon.

These people are my tribe. They believe in peer support and the power it wields. I expect laughter and tears and new inside jokes as well as some old ones (#vegasdust, #claptwice). There’s a lot to do between now and then.

The Diabetes Pre-UnConference Sessions

The Diabetes Collective (the non-profit I founded in 2014) is hosting the Friday, March 11, 2016 Pre-UnConference sessions, which will be free and open to the public. The focus is diabetes, but not necessarily psychosocial – we’ve got Moira McCarthy Stanford sharing her ideas on how to put the fun in fundraising for diabetes research and a session on how not to lose your mind with diabetes. There’s much more; take a look.

If you’re in the area (or road trip!), join us. You can register here.

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition

We held our first DPAC Insiders dialog this week and while I knew what we were planning to do in 2016 in terms of diabetes policy advocacy, talking about it makes me even more excited.

Bennet and I will be doing DPAC Diabetes Advocacy Boot Camps online and in person to assist passionate people in becoming effective advocates for diabetes policy. It’s certainly not the same as raising diabetes awareness or being an advocate for myself.

In fact, if you want to join us in person, you can register for one of two DPAC DABCs: at the Pre-UnConference session or at the CWD Friends for Life Falls Church. (You need to register!)

HealtheVoices 2016

043774-151123_HealtheVoices Application Announcement 1.25.16

This is the HealtheVoices Conference‘s second year and I’m honored to have been chosen to be part of the advisory team this year. For those who are online advocates of ANY health condition, this is an amazing and empowering experience. I learned so much about other health communities and a little about how I view myself as an advocate.

Here’s my recap of the 2015 conference. Worth a gander.

If you are on social media (have a blog, Twitter following, Instagram groupies) talking about a health condition, I encourage you to apply. While I can’t publicly talk about them yet, the keynote speakers and the sessions are going to rock socks off.

This year, it’ll be in the Windy City (a.k.a. Chicago).

The application deadline is February 22, 2016. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Please note: Janssen Global Services paid for my travel expenses for the conference in 2015. I am being compensated for my time and travel expenses in 2016. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Still Pump Breaking

I’m tinkering. Experimenting. The lows are significantly better because I reduced the Tresiba dosage. I’m having issues with the nano pen needle length (insulin is leaking out, despite keeping the needle in long enough for it to do its thing) and I’ve got my pharmacy special ordering syringes with half-unit dosing. I appreciate the DOC for commenting and sharing their thoughts, tips, and suggestions so that I can have an alternative to insulin pumping. You all rock.

And Everything Else

You gotta read this. Biohacking. Whoa.

But as far as I go..

  • There’s stuff percolating with PatientsLikeMe.
  • Still doing interesting things with the Diabetes Advisory Council.
  • I signed up to run my first 5K in May.
  • There’s upcoming trips to DC and Tweet-Ins planned soon.
  • I’m using this to get a lot of writing done (everywhere but on this blog, it seems) to cut down on the noise in my head.

 

And then there’s these goofballs, who keep me grounded…

even when I’m floating.

Selfies with goofballs. It's like dancing with wolves but without dancing. Or wolves. I love these two.
Selfies with goofballs. It’s like dancing with wolves but without dancing. Or wolves. I love these two.