Saturday, May 30, 2015

Father's Day Giveaway Hop: Mugs, Cigar Humidor, Bottle Opener

Welcome to the Father's Day Giveaway Hop hosted by Planet Weidknecht and LeahSay's Views.
From June 1-15, visit each of the blogs listed below and enter to win fabulous prizes for your dad.

Each blogger is hosting a giveaway worth at least $25. I'm giving away four mugs (winner's choice!) from Quick Ship Gifts ($12 each), an engraved cigar humidor from Arnie's Gifts ($49.98) and a World's Greatest Dad bottle opener ($35) from Killorglin Creations for a total of $132.98! Perfect for any man in your life!
The winner will be chosen via and notified via email. I was not compensated for this giveaway.

 After you are done entering my giveaway, be sure to hop to the other
blogs on the Linky list below! Enjoy, have fun and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Choose a Type 1 Support Group That's Right For You

Having Type 1 diabetes can be a challenge while you are dealing with every day life. So, it's nice to find fellow Type 1 diabetics that are willing to listen to you and give you support and suggestions when things go wrong. I thought I had found
that in an online group . . . I was wrong, so I left.
   Back story: When my blood sugar is below 100 before bedtime, I load up on carbs to prevent insulin reactions in the middle of the night. Those have been regular incidents for me for the past 27 years. I had a low blood sugar of 57. I drank a Capri Sun, two peppermint discs and five Doritos (palette cleanser as I don't like a sugary taste lingering in my mouth) - in total: roughly 35 carbs. Healthy? No, but when you're low you really don't care about the nutritional value - just getting your blood sugar up. Anyway, I woke up the next morning with a blood sugar in the 300s.
   Just an anomaly, I thought. But, throughout the day, my blood sugar stayed relatively high. The next night before bed, my blood sugar was 89. I drank a Capri Sun - 19 carbs - and woke up to 407 (blech). My endo had previously suggested I eat a snack before bed of  roughly 15 carbs to prevent lows, as long as my blood sugar was between 130 and 200, so I knew my carb intake was sound. I knew something was wrong. And that something had to do with my long-lasting insulin. It was acting like it was not working.
   I posted my problem and my suspicion that my long-lasting insulin had gone bad. I was pounced upon by some members of that group. They insisted that it was the amount of carbs and the quality of food I had eaten. I told them I was going to switch long-lasting injection pens and see if that helped, because a carb load with a low blood sugar before bed is standard for me. Anyway, I switched and I fixed. I was back to normal. My blood sugars were running fine and when I had another low before bed - 77 - I drank a Capri Sun. I woke up to 124. And I let them know. I told them the problem was fixed and I was right. Done deal.
   They didn't let it go. They insisted that long-lasting doesn't go bad unless you expose it to hours and hours of sunlight. They insisted that I was wrong and that the carbs I had before bed were the real culprit. It was becoming irritating, so I deleted that post on the group. Then, one of them sought me out on another post I had created (a completely different subject) and attacked me there. That was when I knew I was in the wrong group. I don't have time for Type 1 trolls.
   I enjoyed my time there and I ran across some wonderful people, but I knew at that point that these people in the group would not let it go. 
   The long and the short of it - if you are a Type 1 and are looking for a support group, find one that supports and listens to you, that gives you what you need to get through this day-to-day disease. If you are a veteran of this disease, you know what works best for you. You are the expert - on you, not on anyone else because each Type 1 is different.
   You do not need to be saddled with other Type 1s jumping down your throat because they are convinced they know the answer. Find a group that works for you. I know I will.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Thyroid Rite

It is an unfortunate fact that Type 1 diabetics commonly have thyroid issues. Once those hit, the weight starts to steadily pack on. I've noticed some weight gain in the past few months, but I am not sure if it is due to a change in activity level and diet or thyroid. I'm assuming it is the former,
because I've tried other products that have given me some weight loss.
   However, since I have yet to get my thyroid tested, I decided to take the opportunity from 100 Naturals to try their Thyroid Rite supplement. It supports healthy thyroid function and metabolism. Since I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 27 years, my thyroid could probably use all of the support it can get. Luckily, these supplements are all natural ingredients and if I can avoid chemicals and drugs, I will.
   I cannot say whether or not I have gotten some weight loss due to these supplements, but I do know that I do not have a dip in energy as the day goes on. Fatigue has never been a big problem for me (unless my blood sugar is on the fritz), but I do have periods in the day when my energy bottoms out and I don't really want to do anything.
   And while I have never had a problem with mood swings, I find that I am generally just in a better mood throughout the day.
   So, I do recommend giving this a try if you are a Type 1 diabetic and thyroid issues are something you are dealing with, or are afraid might be up and coming. Even if you are not a Type 1, it is something you should give a go. You can get it on Amazon for $29.45.
Full disclosure: I was sent a bottle of this supplement at no cost in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Pop Chart Lab

Since we moved into a bigger apartment, I find my walls are rather bare. I have smatterings of hangings here and there, but there are still sad, empty spaces. And I am very picky about what I hang on my walls, so finding something I like can be tricky.

   I received an opportunity to review a print of my choice from Pop Chart Lab. I chose the Triple Distilled Diagram of Alcohols. I love the color, the information and hello - booze. This can pretty much go anywhere in my home (except my kids bedrooms). And when my husband finally gets his man cave, it can grace his walls if he so chooses.
   While the color is what initially drew me to this print, the information contained on it is like peanut butter icing on chocolate cake. It is obviously a conversation starter, especially when you have company over and drinks are being consumed.
   I placed it in my living room, right by the door. I want to put it in a more prominent place because I think it's awesome, but first I have to rearrange my wall hangings.
   Pop Chart Lab is perfect for those people who are struggling with finding something different to hang on their walls. You will not find the typical pictures of flowers or animals or modern art. These are loaded with information in unique designs. Check them out in the link above!
Full disclosure: I was sent a free print in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Glory Feel Colon Cleanse

A colon cleanse can be a very good experience - if you have the right tools for the job. I've done two so far this year and I am on my third. This time courtesy of Glory Feel's Colon Cleanse.

   They gave me the opportunity and I took it. At first, the two pills before bedtime didn't seem to be working. I didn't feel different and I certainly wasn't getting cleansed. I was getting very disappointed, but it turns out this product is a slow starter. After four days, I was finally getting some results. I guess I had some stuff that the other products did not clean out.
   Anyway, after this natural, herbal product kicked in, I have noticed an uplifted mood. Unlike the others, though, I do not feel extra energy. Which is one unfortunate thing about this particular cleansing pill. because it does claim to increase your energy.
   This is not a bad product to try. It is available on Amazon for $15.
Full disclaimer: I was sent this product free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Excelerol

Being a stay at home mom takes more than a lot of people think. Not only do you have to remember everything that
needs to be done with the kids and the household, but you also have to deal with the hurdles that are thrown your way - every day. You can have a schedule, but it's rare you stick to it, and that can get your brain muddled.
   Mine does.
   To help myself stay focused, I decided to accept an offer to try Excelerol, America's number one brain health supplement. One thing I must mention about this product is that it is all natural. There are no chemicals in these pills, which is quite extraordinary. Because they work wonderfully. They have helped me stay on task and even when I get distracted by tears, sudden floor messes and hunger cries, I can pick right back up where I left off.
   It is best to take these on an empty stomach, so I take them right away in the morning. They last for six hours and you can take two more after those hours are up. However, do not take any right before bed, because they will keep you up. Check them out on here and order today.
Full disclosure: I was sent this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: Peak Fusion Omega-3

I have been taking omega-3 supplements for many years. Tony turned me on to them and at first, I dreaded popping those pills in the morning. The fishy aftertaste was terrible. I would search for various supplements in the store for
something I could easily stomach and still have the benefits omega-3 provides. You know - the better eyes, healthier joints, clearer thinking and healthier heart.
   I received an opportunity from Peak Fusion to review their Omega-3 supplements. I saw they were flavored with lemon and hoped that this supplement would finally end my omega-3 search. My hopes were answered.
   There is absolutely no fishy aftertaste with these supplements. While I cannot taste a lot of lemon, there is certainly no yuckiness accompanying them. Like many omega-3 supplements, the pills are on the larger side, but they are gel coated, so very easy to swallow.
   You can get these supplements on Amazon for $21.95. If you take omega-3, I recommend them.
Full disclosure: I was sent a bottle of this product for an honest and unbiased review.

Monday, May 11, 2015

This Is What the Price of Insulin Does: Part 2

The price of insulin has made leaps and bounds in the past few years, causing many Type 1 diabetics to feel an unfair pinch. It is a necessary medication - one that keeps them alive and there are no generic versions, no alternative medications. Type 1 diabetics have no choice but to pay the cost - and it's a big one, one that could cost up to $900 per month (a figure that was given to me two weekends ago for the price of Humalog and Lantus in a Walgreens pharmacy).
   Insurance can be a life saver, provided you don't have a ginormous deductible to meet first. It can save you quite a bit, but even then you might still have to pay a large amount out of pocket.
   Stephanie Mejia was unfortunate enough to experience a huge deductible - $5,000. Nothing was covered until she met that. Now, her deductible is smaller, but is still $4,000. A Type 1 diabetic for 25 years, she is currently on the pump and must pay for all supplies out of pocket until that deductible is met. Luckily, the copay for her insulin is $10, but she said that has varied up to $60 a month over the years.
   Mejia first noticed the increase in 2005. "For some reason, that year everything changed," she said. "Insurances no longer wanted to cover all my supplies and my endo would have to fight for me to get them to cover things. . . . This is some bull crap. The medication didn't change. The price just went up and has increased incrementally yearly."
   Mejia stressed that she is not living an extravagant life nor is she trying to. She does not have a fancy car payment and has not gone on a vacation in four years because of the increased cost. "My medical expenses used to top out at about $500 a year," according to Mejia. "Now, I'm lucky if I spend less than $5,000 a year. This is huge! That's roughly $400 a month! That's a car payment!"
   Taking on another job has been the norm for Mejia during the past few years so that she can make ends meet. "I'm trying to maintain a normal middle income life, but being Type 1 has caused me to live at more of a poverty level life. When I need something, I typically forgo it because I have to pay for my medications and pump supplies instead."
   Jana Hirth in South Dakota has had Type 1 diabetes for 23 years. Currently on an insulin pump, she shells out $150 per month for Novolog. "It's infuriating, but I have to have insulin to live, so I pay it," she said.
   Hirth said she first noticed a drastic price increase in July 2014. And she adds that onto the cost of driving to see an endocrinologist 200 miles away, as there isn't one in her town. "I make cuts and do not see my doctor more than once a year," said Hirth. "Also, my husband and I have made cuts in the amount of money we spend on groceries, clothing and entertainment."
   Like many other Type 1's, Hirth does not foresee any relief. "Pharmaceutical companies can charge what they want. There is no cure and we need it to live, so we can't say no to the cost."
   Mejia and Hirth both feel the pinch in different ways, but it is still the same pinch. The monthly costs for both are different, but both have had to make the same type of budget adjustments to accommodate the rising price trend.
   "Unfortunately, I don't see this trend stopping," said Mejia "I feel it's only going to get worse and it scares me."

This Is What the Price of Insulin Does: Part 1

Since the sharp rise of insulin began a few years ago, numerous articles have been printed containing interviews with market analysts, doctors and pharmaceutical
representatives. They all say that the price is disheartening, but there is a good reason behind it all and that there is hope on the horizon. What do the Type 1 diabetics say? They need this precious medication to live. How is this effecting their lives?
   If the health insurance is adequate, the effects are not as significant, but the knowledge of prices is ever present. Many of them know that without insurance, the acquisition of insulin is extremely difficult. Some have had to make changes to their household budgets to buy insulin. Some have had to make changes to their medications.
    Kathy Eikmeier of South Dakota (Full disclosure: Eikmeier is this writer's aunt.) has had Type 1 for 35 years and she has had to make such changes, the biggest of which was switching from Lantus to Novalin N. "The Lantus was about $450 per month. That equaled about one-third of my take-home pay," Eikmeier stated. "The Novalin is much less expensive, but my blood sugar control is not as tight."
   Currently, Eikmeier is also taking Novalin R. While it is an older type of insulin, the price is still $240 for her and Novalin N costs $70. "I am certain that the drug companies are just doing all they can to make a killing on insulin before their patents run out."
   Shock and horror is what Eikmeier said she felt when she noticed the price increase trend eight years ago and was unsure if she would be able to get any insulin at all. Unfortunately, she does not see the trend coming to an end. "The drug companies will tie up any competition with legal actions," she said.
   Meghan Hulbert of Florida has not had to make as many changes to her medication, and is still paying a pretty penny. A Type 1 diabetic for 10 years, she noticed the trend eight years ago. On a popular combination of Novolog and Lantus, she pays $850, when three years ago the price was $300. Since ObamaCare was implemented, she said the price has more than doubled. "My initial thoughts were: Survival of the fittest - they want to kill us off," said Hulbert. "The prices will continue to go up - getting rid of people based on what they cannot afford to keep themselves alive."
   While Hulbert has not had to switch medications, she still had to make changes in the amount she takes and in her diet. "Some months, I only take one, so I get up at night to take Novolog. I've changed my diet - never heavy and eating very low carb."
   Unfortunately, the price jump has taken a toll on other aspects of her budget. Hulbert said she does not go out very much because she has to pay for insulin. She cannot afford to do anything.
   Like Eikmeier, Hulbert does not foresee an end to the trend. She said billions are generated off of diabetics and if a generic version of insulin would be created, she would take it. Even if that meant she had to take more of it.
   But, not all Type 1 diabetics are feeling the pinch as badly. David Goodman, Jr. of Texas is one Type 1 who has adequate insurance, but that has not always been the case. He's on Novolog and pays $6.60 per month for it. However, he's on Medicare Complete and has a low income pharmacy card. During the past 25 years of his 45 years of Type 1, he has noticed the increase in insulin prices and in the past, he had to do "a lot more things" to earn the money needed before he would ask for help in paying.
   "The price of insulin will continue to go up," said Goodman. "This is a win-win for the industry. Diabetics can't live without insulin and they can charge whatever they want because we need to have it."
For more on this story, see Part 2 (later today).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bend Over For the Cost of Insulin!

Ever since I encountered a fiasco of attempting to get insulin last weekend (Humalog and Lantus), I have been looking into the absolutely horrid price attached to these valuable medications. Apparently, I am not the only one who objects to having to pay $900 for one months worth of my basal and bolus.
   To answer the question I know you're wondering: Don't you have insurance? Yes, I do, but when I tried to get my insulin over the weekend, I was told the insurance card I carried was not activated. So, then I was given the option of paying $900. Thankfully, my insurance company told me it was certainly activated, just my prescription was at a pharmacy that was not in the network.
   The last time I paid for insulin without having insurance cover it (you know, before the deductible was met) was five years ago. At that time, I paid $120 for Humalog and $110 for Lantus per month. When I was paying that, I would fondly remember when I only paid $80 per month for each type of insulin (Novolog and Humulin U) just five years prior to that.
   Now, in my research during the past few days, I have come across a number of different articles stating different reasons for the criminal rise of insulin - research and development, supply and demand, lack of competition in the market. I have a theory as to why it is so expensive. Because it can be.
   Insulin is an extremely valuable commodity. You need it to stay alive. People might complain about the cost, but you know what? They want to continue breathing, so they will shell out the money for it. They will choose life over the mortgage. They will choose life over a car payment. They will choose life over test strips. They will choose life over pet food. They will choose life over food to fill their bellies. Big Pharma knows this, but the more profit they can make, the better chances they have of taking that much needed vacation this summer.
   I can take comfort in three things in this ugly situation. One - the patents on some insulins have expired. This will open the market for other companies to move in. Competition will drive the prices down.
   Two - you can buy Novolin R and Novolin U over the counter at Walmart for $20. These are old school insulins. I took them for many years. I know how they work and I am comfortable with making a transition back to those if I have to. The control is not as good, but you still get your insulin.
   Three - I was diagnosed in 1987. A carb to insulin ratio was consistently drilled into my head. I know how to make the adjustments of insulin dosages myself. A couple of my last endocrinologists were taken aback when I argued with them over insulin dosages and then I compromised by saying I would give their dosage a try, but when it failed, I would make the necessary adjustments myself. Because I have this knowledge, I know I can make my insulin last longer than a month.
   I wish I had an answer to this problem, or a prediction as to how long it will last. All I know is that it is a dangerous path. I don't know of many diabetics who can afford that. The ones I do know are able to make necessary adjustments, but what about the ones who were not taught those skills? What are they going to do? Who is going to fight for them? Anyone?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Beldt Force Thermogenic

A few years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful world of thermogenics - a supplement that increases your body temperature through metabolism manipulation. It is a
wonderful supplement to take before a good work out as it helps to give you some more energy and you do not feel drained afterward.
   But, I received an opportunity to review Beldt Force Thermogenic and I wanted to integrate thermogenics into my life once again. It was a good call. I was able to do my workouts easier and my recovery afterward was almost nothing. I also found my desire to snack throughout the day was a lot less.
   Beldt does claim to elevate moods, but I did not notice anything like that. Maybe I'm just a naturally good-natured person, but my mood from day to day was the same as it was beforehand. I did notice a slight increase in my level of focus, however.
   While it is not the best thermogenic I ever tried, it is a good one, especially for the price of $25 on Amazon. So, if you want a supplement that will benefit your physical activity, appetite suppression and give you some extra focus throughout the day, give them a try!
Full disclosure: I was sent a free bottle in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.