Last night I returned from an evening out to see all sorts of posts about an announcement from the BC government. They have decided to expand their insulin pump program to include young adults up to age 25. This is fabulous news! No longer will young adults entering the workforce have to turn off their pumps at age 18.
This is not however the final battle in this war however. There are still people over 25 who desperately need the help of their provincial medical plan to cover their insulin pump expenses. This is a fight that we will all continue until everyone living with diabetes in Canada who require an insulin pump but cannot afford to pay for one, will have access to one.
In BC, the driving force behind the recent change is not happy to sit and savor this latest victory. She is asking that people in British Columbia “please write the Hon. Minister Terry Lake and tell him that funding insulin pumps up to age 25 is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I am begging all of my friends from BC to even just write a short email saying that we need pump funding for all ages of people living with TYPE ONE DIABETES with no age restrictions for people without extended health benefits to pay for them. It could be your family member that is in need of this life saving device. He needs to know that this is unacceptable. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and carbon copy to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (NDP health critic), your MLA and the premier email@example.com .”
Congratulations to BC advocates for getting to this point! Good luck to advocates across Canada who seek to have their provinces follow the example of the Ontario government and fund ALL insulin pumps for people living with diabetes. This is a moment to savor…and then move forward in a war that we will win for everyone with diabetes in Canada who wishes to use an insulin pump.
Details of insulin pump coverage by province can be found at http://diabetesadvocacy.com/pump_coverage.htm
Over the weekend I was sent a link to a blog post. That is nothing unusual. I regularly get links to articles on how to cure diabetes, the evils of sugar, and how to deal with my erectile dysfunction. This article was different however. It was from a man I had met online years ago.
I truly don’t remember how exactly our paths crossed. I have used his online store at times for various diabetes related supplies. I have promoted the things that he does and follow the newsletter that he sends me on occasion. I know that he was helpful in promoting and working on changes to both the Disability Tax Credit and the insulin pump program in Ontario.
Despite all of this, we hadn’t personally connected in quite some time. I was therefore very pleased when I received a note from him over the weekend. It turns out this incredible man who lives with diabetes, is now a Certified Diabetes Educator, successful businessman, and a pharmacist, is also celebrating FIFTY years living with diabetes!
Fifty years! Imagine that! What does fifty years with diabetes look like? How much have things changed? He seems to be healthy and thriving. How has he done it? Was it “easy” for him? Does he have a wonderful support network? What advice does he have?
Tino Montopoli answers those questions and many more in his open letter to people living with diabetes. I encourage you to read it in his entirety. It will move you. It will surprise you. And personally his best advice for anyone, living with diabetes or not is “Never lose sight of your family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Follow your heart and passion to do what you want to do. Never let diabetes stop you from following your dreams.” There is so much more that he shares and so much more to inspire you about life as well as life with diabetes.
In the past few weeks, I have had quite a few people asking me about diabetes life coaching. What is it? What is involved? Can you help me to get my readings under control? Will you help me to fix my dosages?
Life Coaching is a process driven by you. Just like a hockey coach will help to bring out your very best hockey game by offering you skills drills, a life coach will suggest tools and exercises to help you to get the very best out of your life.
As a coach, I cannot change your insulin dosages but I can encourage you to work with your CDE and even suggest some great people who are qualified to do this. I can help you to work with your moods or those of a loved one. I can help you to find coping mechanisms that work for you and your family.
I cannot help you to figure out how to deal with exercise and your diabetes. There are great coaches out there like Ginger Vieria who already do a fabulous job at that and are much better qualified than I am. Again, I can help you to get in touch with someone who can help you.
As a life coach, and a person who has lived with a child with diabetes for the past 14 years, I listen and will offer my own experience. I work with you to find ways to deal with the issues that you are facing each day. A life coach helps you to examine your life as a whole and see how to work on the parts that are out of whack with how you would like things to be. I work to help you to adjust to this new life.
You decide what needs fixing. Together we decide how best for you to fix it. It is then my job to keep you accountable to do whatever we have decided will help to fix things for you.
I am not a counselor, although I may suggest that you see one. I am not a CDE, although they may be what you require. I am a parent. I am a certified life coach. I do have a university degree in psychology. I have been learning about diabetes daily for over 14 years. I have overcome my own obstacles and continue to meet new challenges. As a life coach, I pass along my experiences and help you to find your own way.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me and we will connect to see what is right for you to help you get your life back on a track that you can once again enjoy to the fullest.
The other day I was sweeping the floors and made a discovery that shocked me. There had been one test strip laying on the floor outside of our downstairs bathroom. I have swept around it for weeks. My son left in January and diabetes trash has served to be small reminders of him.
Yes, this shows a small bit of my psychosis. I am an empty-nester who still has issues. I read about it online the other day. It basically said I was crazy and trash is trash but I am not alone in my insanity. I still have part of a cartridge sitting in my car because…well its something my youngest son used. Under normal circumstances, it would have long been thrown away and I would have yelled at him for leaving his junk in my car. He moved away and suddenly this stuff is a treasured possession. Yes, I definitely have issues.
I have not left his room as a shrine (another thing noted in this article on empty nest syndrome). He actually complained the last time he was here because the bed in his room now has a shiny duvet cover that he did not feel was manly. His brother’s bed covering is much more neutral. I talk to both of my sons on a regular basis. They are still a big part of my life but still I do smile now when I come across a test strip…until the other day. On that day I got a little creeped out!
As I have admitted, I will sweep around one test strip. I will leave a dead soldier on the floor of his room and smile as I walk by it to feed the fish. I am not a hoarder nor am I into dirt and garbage piling up. Subtle reminders in places that ideally only I see are fine but let’s not go overboard (see no white jackets required at the moment!). The other day, as I moved my Swifter throughout the small bit of floor space on our lower level, I was surprised to see that the one test strip that I had been watching now had a friend. There were two test strips that had somehow found their way out of a garbage can and onto our floor. This was not good. I put them in a spot together and knew that they would have to be returned to the trash that day.
I continued to clean and tidy but was again surprised to find test strip number three! Okay, I have admitted to not picking up ONE test strip but honestly I do not keep a bunch garbage around “just because” it reminds me of one child. There is a limit even for me so how did I end up with three used test strips on my downstairs floor? I have not had anyone in the house testing their blood in over six weeks. I honestly clean my house and my floors on a regular basis. There is no way for me to now have THREE test strips in one small area.
There was only one reasonable answer. Test strips, like dust bunnies really do reproduce! If only we could get the unused ones to do this, a lot of people would be able to test a lot more for a lot less money!
The test strips have all been moved to the garbage can. The question remains however…will they really stay there this time?
At the end of August, my son got a new pump. We had been lovers of the Cozmo pump for over 10 years. It physically hurt to have to put it away but with no warranty and a child living hundreds of miles away, it seemed best to make sure that he had a pump with a company still behind it if he had any issues.
We both shed a few tears as we put his beloved “Lean Green Pumping Machine” in a box and brought out his new pump. When we sat down with his pump trainer, the trainer dealt with my son. Mom stayed in the background. The trainer talked to him when going through how it worked. My son is too big for me to hover over his shoulder so again, I just sat back and let him learn. It felt a little strange.
After she left, he let me touch the remote bolus and test drive it a bit. Soon though, it was hands off. I could touch it at night if he was out of range but that was it. I had not other reason to use it. If there was a change to be made, he did it. If there was a site change to be done, he did it.
As time went on, I used the pump less and less and I began to put it out of my mind. This was not my new toy to check out. It was his. When we had a problem, I grabbed the manual to help him figure out where to go but again, I checked a book while he was six steps ahead of me navigating through the pump screen itself.
It has been five and a half months since my son started on his new pump and now I can barely figure out how to bolus him with it. On the other hand, he has no problem making corrections, adjustments or anything else required.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about new pumps for our kids. Her child is also holding strong to her Cozmo but they know that a new pump needs to happen sooner rather than later. I casually told the mother not to be concerned about the pump that her child goes on next because she won’t be playing with it. It will be her child’s pump and Mom doesn’t need to know how to operate it.
She thanked me. We have been so used to handling everything, checking out each device, and learning on an ongoing basis that as parents, we can forget that this isn’t our disease. When our children were 2, 3 or 5, this was our disease no matter what anyone else said. Now that our children are 16, 17 or 20 we have very little input. We have been relegated to the sidelines whether we wanted to be or not. We can make suggestions. We can nag a little but our children are now young adults who will do what they feel is best. The only thing we can now hope for is that some of what we have taught them along the way has found a home in their own thought processes. It’s a huge step but we can all do this with one foot in front of the other…and back away from the pump.