Birthday Wishes and Diabetes Dreams

Another year passes, and how do I feel? Pretty darn good, most days, despite the chronic illness. If I do get the chance to blow out any candles today, what would I wish for? Pretty simple (hoping disclosure won’t jinx me here):

Bday_candle_icon

Continued good health for myself and my family. May my three beautiful girls never have to experience diabetes any more up-close-and-personal than they are now, observing me.

Bday_candle_iconA society that can pull together enough to take a long-term view of our state of affairs, and “prepare the economy for our children and grandchildren.”

Bday_candle_iconI’d like to also say an end to Global Warming, War, and Hunger — but I’m trying to keep it modest here. Unless I happen to find Aladdin’s Magic Lamp; see Badshoe’s list of wishes for better diabetes care.

In fact, Bennet quite inspired me to share some of my most pressing D-Care Dreams today. Pending a CURE, I would love to see the following materialize in my lifetime:

Dream_icon Insurance coverage that actually provides for “health maintenance.” That means funds for educational classes, seminars, and the tools and devices required for “aggressive therapy,” as long as the patient can prove they’re dedicated to achieving improved results. No more being punished for changing doctors, changing meds, or choosing a venue outside your “medical group” for the best care. Yes I know, pigs still don’t fly.

Dream_icon Less letting of my own blood for managing this disease. Semi-invasive, non-invasive, no more finger pokes at all, ever — bring it on.

Dream_icon An insulin pump combined with CGM that only pokes you in one place (or less). As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t have to be a “closed loop.” In fact, I’d pretty much insist on being the “brain” that connects the pump and monitor, so I’m still the one calling the shots (no pun intended). I just want these two devices to work together, and do so without the need for two separate cannulas sticking into me.

Dream_icon A pump that has a built-in glucose store, so I could just push a button and administer a little sugar whenever I get low. No more need for chalky glucose tablets or a bunch of food I’m not hungry for and can’t really enjoy.

Dream_iconCarbohydrate counts stamped on every food. OK, I know this isn’t going to happen, but the closest thing I found so far is Carb Cards, those nifty flash cards. I’m still waiting for that company to send me my review pack. (Hey, it’s my birthday! What more incentive do you need? ;)

Dream_iconA world in which having diabetes and being over 40 does not turn you into a heart attack waiting to happen, and does not exclude you from the inspirational diabetes stuff, like Medtronic Global Heroes campaign. Are you listening, Medtronic? That would be a nice birthday present for “all those individuals who are 40+ and have responsibly taken an active role in managing their diabetes,” as my buddy Matt puts it.

Thanks for riding the magic carpet with me, anyway. A healthy, happy week to one and all.

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31 Responses

  1. Jeff
    Jeff April 21, 2008 at 6:54 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Amy!

    May all your wishes come true.

  2. laurie edwards
    laurie edwards April 21, 2008 at 7:01 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday! What a wonderful compilation of wishes!

  3. Bennet
    Bennet April 21, 2008 at 7:19 am | | Reply

    Wohoo I am an actual inspiration!

    Great points all. I couldn’t agree more about the closed loop and fewer holes.

    Sending you all our best. Happy Birthday – enjoy the cake.

  4. landileigh
    landileigh April 21, 2008 at 7:31 am | | Reply

    happy birthday amy! hope it is a good one!

  5. Mandy
    Mandy April 21, 2008 at 7:42 am | | Reply

    Certainly wishes worth hoping for!
    Happy Birthday Amy!

  6. George
    George April 21, 2008 at 7:50 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday Amy. Thank you for sharing your wishes, those are all awesome!

  7. Allison Blass
    Allison Blass April 21, 2008 at 7:52 am | | Reply

    Happy birthday pretty lady! Hope you have a fab day. You deserve it. :-)

  8. tmana
    tmana April 21, 2008 at 8:17 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday!

    Re: health maintenance, some health care plans have **some** of this in place. Mine pays 100% for all my testing supplies (no limit) and pays 100% for The Other Half’s supplies and Metformin (I’m d&e for diabetes. Still have to pay for Cozaar for my hypertension, though.) The Other Half is a relatively recent dx, and he actually got referral to a CDE (this was not on the plan I was on when I was diagnosed).

    For a while, our current medical plan also had a discount if you agreed to let the company’s third party actively interfere in your life to tell you how to manage your suboptimal nonclinical health conditions (smoking, obesity, etc.)

    So, it’s coming… it’s just not universally **there** yet…

  9. Penny
    Penny April 21, 2008 at 8:34 am | | Reply

    Happy birthday, Amy.

    I wish you many, many more wonderful years.

  10. chris
    chris April 21, 2008 at 9:08 am | | Reply

    happy birthday…

    I definately second being able to administer glucose through the pump. As a semi step…i’d love for my Cozmo pump to keep track of how many carbs I administer because my glucose is, or may drop below target. So called “correction carbs,” if you will.

  11. CALpumper
    CALpumper April 21, 2008 at 9:12 am | | Reply

    A Big Happy Happy Birthday to you Amy!!!!!

    I just LOVE your list of wishes!!!!

    Can I bring it to the Call to Congress with me?! My gift to you….;-)

    All the best to you always,
    And many more my dear.

  12. Elissa
    Elissa April 21, 2008 at 9:13 am | | Reply

    My understanding is that glucose has to be given IV, not subQ, to work, which is why people keep glucagon injection kits around, not glucose.

  13. Elinor
    Elinor April 21, 2008 at 9:58 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Amy

    You are the B.E.S.T. !!!!!

  14. Nikki
    Nikki April 21, 2008 at 10:30 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday!

  15. Sara from Team Sweetpea
    Sara from Team Sweetpea April 21, 2008 at 10:55 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday Amy!

  16. Titos
    Titos April 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

    Happy birthday Amy,
    I predict that the problem will be solved before you turn 50

  17. Titos
    Titos April 21, 2008 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

    Happy birthday Amy,
    I predict that the problem will be solved before you turn 50

  18. cindy
    cindy April 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday and many, many more! We’ll wish your wishes right along with you and may they all come true. :)

  19. June S.
    June S. April 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Amy! May all your wishes come true!

    (I happen to have been diagnosed on my “sweet” sixteenth birthday!)

    As for those CARB CARDS … unless they’ve improved on them, don’t bother. I purchased a set last year, and found gross errors in their carb counting. How did I find the errors – by bolusing according to their counts, becoming hypoglycemic, and then reviewing the carb counts in different sources. Ultimately, I tossed the Carb Cards in the garbage!

  20. Kerri.
    Kerri. April 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm | | Reply

    Best wishes on your birthday, Amy. :)

  21. Michelle
    Michelle April 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday Amy!! We’re all blessed to have YOU in our lives (or at least on our computer screens)

  22. Kelly K
    Kelly K April 21, 2008 at 6:05 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday Amy!
    GO TO TOWN ON THE CAKE.
    Your wishes are wonderful and I hope they come true!

    I should have known u were a Tarus ;)
    k2

  23. karend1
    karend1 April 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm | | Reply

    What a very unselfish birthday post.

    Happy Birthday, Dear Amy!!!

  24. Miriam
    Miriam April 21, 2008 at 7:38 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Kiddo. You rock! Looking forward to seeing you at ADA in June in your town!

  25. TomWoolworth
    TomWoolworth April 21, 2008 at 8:28 pm | | Reply

    Amy: Happy Birthday … many happy and healthy returns …

  26. Al
    Al April 21, 2008 at 9:05 pm | | Reply

    Global Heroes? Thought you might like to view my dialogue with Medtronic on this one. Sorry about the length, but the exchanges are what make this of interest. Start at the bottom and work up.
    Happy Birthday and thanks for this blog. Al

    3/27/2008
    To: Medtronic Foundation & Twin Cities Marathon, Inc.
    From: Al
    Thanks for the clarification of the Global Heroes guidelines. As you might guess from my original email, I disagree with the Twin Cities Marathon (TCM) medical director. When I sign up for the TCM 10M race, the form doesn’t ask about the number of years I’ve had diabetes nor link that to my age, nor ask if I’m obese or taking medications. Why should the Global Heroes guidelines be any different for a person over 40 with more than 15 years of diabetes?

    The goal of Global Heroes, to me, is to demonstrate that we shouldn’t let our medical conditions limit our lifestyles. Exercise is the cornerstone to good, tight glucose control and I have never seen a diabetes article state that diabetics over age 40 with 15 years of diabetes should not run. Any exercise program should always start with your doctor’s approval. I have that twice a year and I also have a stress echocardiogram every 5 years.

    I may not qualify for Global Heroes for other reasons, but don’t use age discrimination or medical condition discrimination to disqualify older diabetics from your program. The ADA is continually fighting such discrimination. What better way to demonstrate your medical products than to show that people of all ages can benefit from their use.

    Al

    —–Original Message—–
    From: RS MTCM Global Heroes [mailto:mtcm.globalheroes@medtronic.com]
    Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:52 AM
    To: Al
    Subject: RE: Global Heroes

    Al,
    Medtronic Global Heroes is a joint program created by the Medtronic Foundation and Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. to recognize runners with medical devices. As part of TCM’s role in managing the health and safety of 15,000 runners on its course, the organization has worked with Medtronic to create guidelines for all runners participating in the Global Heroes program. These guidelines are designed to help manage the overall risk of participants.

    Under those guidelines, the TCM medical director determined that runners older than 40, who have been diagnosed with diabetes for more than 15 years, are not currently eligible for the Global Heroes program. This decision was based on increased cardiovascular risks, including a rise in sudden death from atherosclerotic causes, with the longevity of diabetes in runners older than 40.

    Now in the third year of our partnership, the Medtronic Foundation and TCM continue to share a common goal to recognize and celebrate runners benefiting from medical technology who continue to run, despite chronic disease conditions.

    Each year the criteria for the Global Heroes program is reviewed and re-evaluated. In fact, the guidelines for diabetes were revised from 2007 to 2008, making more runners eligible by adding the qualifier of “diagnosis for more than 15 years” to the age requirement. Please share your comments with us at rsmtcmglobalheroes@medtronic.com. Your input will continue to help us continue to evaluate this program.

    Regards,
    Medtronic Foundation & Twin Cities Marathon, Inc.

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: Al
    Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 3:33 PM
    To: RS MTCM Global Heroes
    Subject: Global Heroes

    Let me introduce myself. I’m Al and this month with be my 45th year with Type I diabetes. This spring will also be my 41st year of running and over this time span I’ve participated in numerous short distance races including 4 Twin Cities Marathon 10 milers (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2007). I run with a Medtronic Guardian RT CGM.

    The reason for writing? It appears that because I’m 66 years old that I’m not eligible to apply for the Global Heroes. I personally think it is important for all Type-1s to know that with diet, exercise and technology you can experience good health into your senior years.

    Comments?

    Al

  27. Janet
    Janet April 21, 2008 at 9:53 pm | | Reply

    Happy birthday, Amy!
    You deserve to have ALL of your wishes come true. And BTW — your readers don’t need Medtronic to tell us you’re a Global Hero. You go, girl!

  28. Lauren
    Lauren April 21, 2008 at 10:08 pm | | Reply

    Al, thank you for your post! I was happy to see it. I am in my twenties, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but I find it patently absurd to assume any diabetic over 40 is a cardiovascular train wreck. By that reckoning I only have 12 good years left, then I’ll be checking in to the cardiology ward.

    This is not the olden days; we now have insulin and glucometers and knowledge about the benefit of exercise and healthful lifestyles. To Medtronic, I’d say don’t make the error of assuming the extreme complications of T1 diabetes are synonymous with the disease itself.

  29. AmyT
    AmyT April 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm | | Reply

    Thank you all kindly for the wonderful birthday wishes. It was a good one! (although my diabetes remains the same :0)

  30. Cheryl Harrell
    Cheryl Harrell April 23, 2008 at 4:42 am | | Reply

    Happy bd from another fellow diabetic. Am enjoying your blog… :)

  31. Jeylan
    Jeylan April 30, 2008 at 2:56 pm | | Reply

    Happy Birthday!
    http://www.todaymybirthday.com

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