CGMS and the D.O.C.

D.O.C. in this case stands for “Diabetes Online Community”.

For those who are familiar with type 1 and in many cases of Type 2 diabetes, taking exogenous insulin or some forms of medication to lower one’s blood glucose can result in Hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood glucose value falls too low, and usually effects one’s ability to think or reason clearly. If left untreated with a fast-acting source of sugar, people can actually lose consciousness. There have even been stories of people getting arrested for being intoxicated in public when in reality, they were in an episode of severe hypoglycemia. Most people can feel a bt off, telling them to check their blood glucose with a kit we may carry.

Symptoms usually are similar to intoxication, with sweating, shaking, inability to speak clearly, to US it can feel like a panic attack. caused by a push of adrenaline from the body in its’ attempt to make the liver release glycogen stores, desired result would be to raise our blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always time well with the meds one has taken.

In 2006, The FDA allowed the Technology in the form of what is called a CGMS to be purchased/prescribed. This stands for “Continuous Glucose Monitoring System”. Normally, it is comprised of a little sensor, injected through one’s skin, a tiny transmitter is fastened onto this and signals reading the glucose value in the person’s interstitial fluid by the sensor are sent to a receiver. Two main brands here in the USA are Minimed Real-Time and Dexcom G4 “Platinum” and their Dexcom 7+ system. The Navigator is no longer on the market. Diabetesnet.com has a nice ‘summary’ of the items and dates of release here.

The Minimed Pump is used also to receive CGMS data

The Minimed Pump is used also to receive CGMS data. I’ve been using it as a CGMS receiver alone.

Most insurance will cover a CGMS system if the person is known to be at risk of losing consciousness and/or having had a history of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) intervention. I have been in that shape years ago when I got my first CGMS system. My insurance worked with the Medtronic/Minimed system. They still do.

So, recently, when I found my CGMS transmitter had passed its’ lifespan and was no longer covered, I had Minimed go to the insurance company for me. Typically, this is not an easy task, and now that I’ve past my 55th birthday, I am now on what is known as “OneCare”. OneCare is a mix of Medi-Cal and Medicare. Medi-Cal covered CGMS, but now because of that magical number of my years, I am more at the Mercy of Medicare, who typically denies CGMS technology to it’s patients. I’m waiting now to see what will happen with this request for a replacement.

I feel this is incredibly “Ageist”. I work, I am doing my part in Society and feel that they are devaluing older People with Diabetes by –in a sense– saying “You’re not worth the money. You can pass out, we don’t really care”. What is this saying to older Americans who have worked and paid into the system for many years? It actually hurt my feelings, even though I know it is not personal, it’s Government.

Right now, I do have an amazing case worker who warned me about this, but she said ‘Don’t give up yet…” As Minimed JUST sent me 30 more sensors, I have indeed been getting CGMS replacement “Parts”, so it may work out for me. I posted to Facebook about my concerns, and I now know there truly are angels out there!

It lasted actually about 3.5 years.

It lasted actually about 3.5 years. I’ve been lucky in this.

With some of the FaceBook People who use CGMS, they have upgraded to the Dexcom G4 “Platinum” and had a Dexcom 7+ laying about. I have been gifted with one of these kits! Another had 3 boxes of Sensors, and sent me those too! I have been overwhelmed by those who would “Have my back” so I have a CGMS unit while insurance can be dealt with.

This is reading my Actual glucose level at work. Note that DOWN arrow. That's the direction my glucose is going.

This is reading my Actual glucose level at work. Note that DOWN arrow. That’s the direction my glucose is going!

I can’t thank these lovely people enough! Getting ‘buzzed’ with a -Possibly lifesaving low alarm from my Dexcom 7+ is worth it, even if it does happen at 4AM or so! 

I think PWD’s like us have a deep empathy for others in our shoes. We’ve been helpers, and we have been helped. I, for one, see the ‘Circle of Caring’ as I call it, first hand.

I love every one of us.

I love Social Media for taking away the isolation many of us would feel without it.

I put in my second sensor today for another round of CGMS love. At least I can get on my bicycle, ride to work, go out and not be nervous about having a low. After 28+ years of type 1 diabetes, I don’t feel a lot of the symptoms I used to. While I do not use this to actually dose insulin, It does alert me to trends, maybe as I’m going along and feel nothing out of the ordinary, but the receiver buzzes me “Low” and shows me a value of 46, I stop and do a conventional test. Meter bg was 44, by the way…!

Wish me luck, with the whole insurance dance, nothing that us PWD’s don’t know only too well!

*************   UPDATE  **************

Facebook pals came thru again when I was trying to get a data upload cable. 2 people have spares and so one of them is sending me their spare Data cable.

I also heard on Monday from MM and “Tom” is working on getting me a replacement transmitter. I will say though, the Dexcom 7+ is darn accurate!  Onlt down side would be no Software that is compatible with Mac. As T:Slim’s T:Connect IS compatible with both Win and Mac, I hope this changes soon. In a video interview I saw with Terry Gregg- the CEO of Dexcom on TuDiabetes.com he *DID* say he was a Mac user, so I’m not getting this exclusion in their software.  The talk of Dexcom eventually integrating with my T:Slim is VERY positive!

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Some Valentine’s Day!

Okay, We All Get like This…

Sitting here with ice on my hand, or putting the splint on and the sling on in order to go out, I am feeling a tad miffed at things.

Someone on Twitter says they’re not feeling well, could be a cold, flu… They get a load of replies such as “aw, sending healing vibes your way!” Or “Hope you feel better soon!” I posted about falling on Thursday and cracking my metacarpal bone (and my iPad Mini’s screen), only a very few replied to me, mainly asking about my iPad. Days later, I was asked by a few others; “wow, what happened?”…!

I went to my PCP’s office today -as they were closed for President’s Day, of course- from what I can gather, they never got my voicemail I left yesterday on their machine. I only got in because I called — again– this morning. I had my wrist brace on, told them about the big splint the ER had put on.

I told them how It was turning about on my arm, bugging me, so I removed it. I wrapped my hand in light gauze and put the wrist brace on. Then, I used the sling the ER gave me.

Actually, the Doctor didn’t seem to mind. He didn’t seem concerned at all with my way, so I felt slightly relieved at that. After noting the details, he said he would refer me to an orthopedic doc. That was it.

When I came out from the patient room, the nice lady at the desk handed me my papers and told me to call next Tuesday for the referral number & ortho’s name. OK, a week??? Oh, and get this: *I* have to go to the ER & get my x-rays myself to take to the orthopod!!!

(UPDATE 2/28/2013: The PCP’s office never called me back. I finally called them this last Tuesday, to be told someone would call me. Nope, I got nothin’!)

Apparently, they don’t know how to use a central patient database. Well, that’s cool, I have an image reader on my iMac. I can save the images to my photos. But this is a bit nuts!

Okay. So this isn’t the only thing I’m miffed at. I can accept I CHOSE to walk to the LaVeta Surgical Center. But, WHY did I choose such a path?

I’ll tell you why.

I’d tried the “Contact us” rigamarole leaving a message asking to get a phone call from them to answer some basic questions before a colonoscopy.

* I’m type 1 diabetic. What is a good drink to take the Miralax with?
* Can I leave my insulin pump on during this procedure?
* As I’ll be using medical taxi service, can I stay in the center to recover a bit longer if I need to before being picked up?

Very simple questions.

But, for the lack of a phone call, I felt I would just have to walk over to the place on Thursday and get some answers, as I was going to be in the general area anyway. As I crossed LaVeta & Parker, I tripped on the curb. All those cars passed as I struggled up to an upright position.

No, no one stopped to see if I was OK…

I noticed the cracked iPad Mini screen but despite that, the iPad still worked. I launched the Apple Store App, thanked my common sense for Apple Care + and made an appointment at the Genius Bar for a little after 5 PM…

I limped on to find the center. No, the desk nurse told me she couldn’t answer my questions, but she gave me an extra page I needed to fill out & bring with me on the day. She’d have a G.I nurse call me on Monday, the day before the colonoscopy. ( I wanted to shout: “NO!!! I can’t drive, I want to know what I need for Monday so I can do my shopping on SUNDAY!!!” I was ready to just bawl!) after the fall, stinging from that & the iPad Mini breaking, I was incredibly frustrated now.

Damnit! I still think she did not understand a thing I said.

Then when my guy picked me up to drive me home via the Apple store, He talked of how he was hungry, I parked him at Pacific Whey and got him a fish & chip dinner to eat while I went to the Apple Store. When I came back, he was ordering a quesadilla for himself… As I sat down I swiped a couple of slices of the quesadilla as he said “Oh, happy Valentine’s Day”. Yeah, OK.

At least I got my “Alien” prosthetic eye, that is a definite “Cool factor”

So, I’m here, with a fractured metacarpal, 2 good sized scrapes on my knee, $50.00 out of pocket, all morning on the 19th of February at the PCP’s……

All for the lack of a simple phone call.

(UPDATE 2/28/2013: on the way back from getting my X-ray CD from Hoag, the surgical center DID call back, I got my questions answered, only after leaving a scathing email on Tuesday, the 19th of February at their “Contact Us’ page again.)

Despite what many office workers may feel, despite what many nurses may feel, YOU DO IMPACT PEOPLE’S LIVES. Some of your choices might make us make choices that we might not have to make.

Please, a simple phone call shouldn’t be THAT problematic… Should it? I guess it is.

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This News Sounds great, But…

Last night, (February 5th, 2013) our local news aired a story about a Gentleman by the name of David Martin, who received an Islet cell transplant and who is now what they termed as “Insulin-Free”. Like most of the story ‘teasers’ Network news uses, this made me wait to watch it. I really had hopes it WAS in fact, a new treatment/cure.

Their story appears here: KTLA.comKTLA.com

I watched that story on Channel 5 (KTLA) news at 10 and found it to be idealistic and incomplete. There was no mention about the anti-rejection drugs the gentleman featured now has to take, no mention of the criterion in getting an Islet-cell transplant and the ongoing costs of this new life without type 1 Diabetes.

I would think this gentleman was probably very ill and the transplant was done as a last resort for his wellbeing. He spoke of having “Convulsions” when hypoglycemic and other Quality of life issues, true, but while *I* as much as anyone, would want to see diabetes cured, I would not wish to put a child, a young adult or anyone otherwise reasonably healthy through the rigours of a transplant of islet cells just to be free of Insulin injections. Unfortunately, the average person thinks simplistically, & a few of us are already being asked by pals: “Why don’t you go have that done?”.

The term they used in the story; “Insulin-Free” bothered me as well. Right now, in the biological sense, we Type 1’s ARE “Insulin-Free”…. That’s why many of us have to pay thru the nose and inject the stuff! “Injection-Free”? “Pump-Free”? Maybe. But what drugs is this guy now on and what do THEY cost?

While I am not a doctor, I only play one in Science Fiction RPG, Anti-rejection drugs would seem to be a drastic lifestyle change. it is like imposing a weaker immune system on one’s self. In a sense, a self-imposed case of AIDS (Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome). Taking steps to avoid infections, illnesses, etc is only common sense, but if one is dealing with a weakened immune system, this would be pretty hard to do.

Of course, if one has little or nothing left to lose, They are facing organ failure, and possible death, this is a no-brainer. One at least has the option of an islet cell transplant.

*IF their insurance agrees
*IF they have the financial resources
*IF they have a decent support network of Health care, family and friends…

They would probably do quite well after the transplant.

In my opinion, the Islet cell transplant is only the first step of many in the process to actually cure this burdensome condition.

—————————

What do you think?

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As Promised- a Pic of me with my new eye!

well, I did say I’d send up a pic of my new eye shell, Of course, Beverly wants me back for a “touch-Up” visit, so I’ll be going back to her day after tomorrow. She’s very picky, but that is what makes her great!

I think it looks fine, only a small part of it feels irritating at a side of my eye, so a simple file & fit should be all it takes.

Fun part? They can make my old eye shell into an “Alien” looking eye for a low, low price. I think I will give it a go. That will be WAY TOO MUCH FUN! I will most likely get it done like the Reptilian “Visitors” in the classic series from the early ’80’s

Hey, we gotta laugh at things like this, I feel it is all part of life! I choose to be a nut and have great times with this.

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Now, I think a bit of a facial lift will be next on the list! I feel far too young to appear as I do. 😀

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FDA: This is rather silly, don’t you think?

It’s bugging me. I gotta spill it:

I’m posting this from my iPad Mini, so I hope you’ll forgive any “auto-correct” shenanigans 🙂

I could go buy a firearm with my clean record and check-up. Even though I am partially sighted (!)

I could go get Medical Marijuana or it’s pharmaceutical equivalent.. with a prescription.

But I cannot get the T:Connect T:Slim pump software; which would only be used to log the past actions on my T:Slim pump of things *I* have already done on the aforementioned pump, for my *own* use, because FDA is taking their time. Ironically, the INSULIN PUMP ITSELF is approved & available for use.

Nor can I buy the AliveCOR iPhone case with the ECG capabilities for my *own* use because I am not a doctor.

What IS wrong with this picture? What are we (Especially T:Slim users) being “Protected” from? It’s getting tiring, being “Nannied” in such a way it stops me from having tools of health care at my own hands.

Why this is happening in this day & age is anomalous to me. It is not as if I wish to “replace” my doctor, I am actually trying to help my doctor! HE wants to see the information in my insulin pump as well.

Granted, the AliveCOR iPhone case with ECG capabilities is NOT a “Need” in my own case, but what if I were seeing a cardiologist and they would like the occasional 1-Lead ECG sent to them? I would think they would love to have a pro-active patient.

Alas, I guess I am mistaken. At least according to the FDA..

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A little history on my eyes

I started to get questions posted to me from Twitter followers and realized that not everyone will actually know me. Yes, I’ve mentioned a lot of it in posts, but many folks missed the main detailss about why I have an eye prosthetic, why I love tech, what caused my vision impairment etc.. etc… Well, the beginning is always a good place, to lets visit Bakersfield California.

I don't know how old I was.

I don’t know how old I was. I think 2-3y?

Bakersfield is a dim, almost nonexistant memory, because I was gone from the town while still very young. Being adopted I can tell you what my folks told me:

*Apparently, I was very premature. In 1956, at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield, anyway, they usually put preemies into an incubator with pure oxygen and a lot of lights over head. They did not cover the neonates’ eyes, so it is a combo of Oxygen Overexposure and those lights that may have caused my case of ROP a.k.a. Retinopathy of PrematurityI was in normal terms, ‘Blind’ but no one understood this at first. I was not able to tell anybody why I screamed at the high shriek of a vacuum cleaner, Why baths and being dunked into them made me manic, I was a baby for Peter’s sake!

* Somewhere around the 4-6 month stage, my natural mother took me to a Pediatrician and was telling him about my flights of hysteria. Apparently, the Doc gave me a good looking over and told her “I think you had better take her to an Ophthalmologist” It was then found out I had retina damage from my premature birth. 

* This must have been pretty hard on my Birth mom. She was apparently going through a rough patch, later divorced and in the 50’s day care for babies/children was usually a neighbor or some lady you could hire from ads on a bulletin board in the local laundromat.  I do not know where my Mother actually got the people she had to pay to look after me and 3 sisters, but … according to my adoptive Parents, these winners took care of my sisters, and left me in the back room. I was “Different” and they did not know how to care for my sort. She was working 2 jobs -usually waitressing- to pay for these mental giants  – One of whom actually told my mother she’d have to have a days extra money to look after “the different one”.

*My adoptive parents became my parents when my mother’s friend asked if they could help her by taking care of me alone. So they took me to thier house and over time, week-long vista became months, then… You get the picture. My Adoptive mother would ‘show’ me the vacuum cleaner by setting it out and letting me touch and crawl on it. Then she would sit me on the side of the kitchen sink and spray my feet, then legs etc with those ‘dish master’ sprayers until I got used to what was happening. Soon, I was splashing about and happy in the sink.

She seemed to “Click” on how to get a vision-impaired child to not be afraid of the world.

*It was decided after a few months of this that they wanted to formally adopt me, and I always knew I was adopted. I saw the letters from the Lawyers and all. I was told how my oldest sister chose my name, and how I was very, very small at birth.

* Through my years, I never knew how to describe it when I would get the question: “So, what CAN you see?” I thought most everyone read with the books close up, that other kids had to feel some things before really knowing what it “Looked” like etc. I finally asked an Ophthalmologist when I was 15 what I really could see. How could I describe this to someone who has only known good visual ability? He said “Well, the best way I could describe it is that you would see something at two feet away what we would see at twenty feet away”

This is ROP.

This is ROP.

* For the most part I had a lot of the same issues of growing up, with a touch more possibly of being bullied and ‘taunted’ by my schoolmates for being “Different”. I soon started to hide in SciFi, and “Casper – the Friendly Ghost” He just wanted friends, but everyone usually screamed “A GHOST!!!” and ran away. In the Sci Fi’s Aliens got the same treatment. I empathized with Aliens and anyone else who didn’t “Fit in”.

Whatever, While it did upset me at the time, I realize they had the problem not me. In fact, I read a great quote the other week on Twitter. It said something about Bullies being like sandpaper: They’re rough and abrasive and scratch a lot, but in the end YOU wind up Polished and they wind up useless.

I have to say, I agree.

Most of my life, my eyes stayed fairly stable. There was nothing progressively painful or awful, I saw what I saw and dealt with it. But in 1986, my “Bad” eye, the one I never really used anyway, started to hurt a lot! Intra-ocular pressure was over 46. Yes, I know how to say “Glaucoma“, it cost Ray Charles his sight as a child. The normal level is usually at 10-20. I used drops to try to stop the glaucoma, but it wasn’t working at all. When I got to a Teaching hospital in 1993, they discovered my retina had completely detached so it was a write-off. By that time I’d had pain but nothing horrendous.

The Ophthalmologist at this time recommended a course of Cyclo-Cryo Therapy … They would freeze the eye to stop the glaucoma and as I already was blind in that eye, the resulting loss of vision wasn’t a concern here. After 2 treatments, I was pain free and the pressure was now a bit LOW at 6.7. Fine, fine. Finally, in 2009 I started getting a burning pain in that eye and drops did nothing. My pressure was at 4.2 *I* said it was like my eye was festering in my head and could they just take the darn thing out? “We’ll look into that” they said and gave me more drops. I was showing signs of glaucoma in my “Good” eye too! They also said a cataract was formed in there. I might want to have that taken out.

In 2011 I had the cataract in my “Good” eye taken out and I felt reborn! The Glaucoma has gone, I have great distance vision but cannot read print without a magnifier now. That’s fine! I love being able to ride a bicycle and see people more clearly!

But the pain in my bad eye was making me turn to a pal with their Vicodin tablets who shall remain nameless here… and I told the Ophthalmologist I was about to remove it myself!! So, he got me in touch with a cool Ophthalmologist and surgeon; Dr. Ramin Tayani. Tayani took one look at the offending eye and said calmly, “Yes, that is a very disorganized eyeball…” Dr. Tayani then told me they did enucleations, but I might be interested in an evisceration. THAT sounded VERY SCARY! But he explained:

An enucleation is where they would remove the entire eyeball and later a glass or nowadays-a high index plastic-orb would be painted and made for me to pop in when I needed to. Usually, people leave these in and take them out to clean or get polished.

An evisceration is where the surgeon removes the inside of the eyeball, and places an orb of plastic into it and stitches it closed. After this heals, they eye area looks mainly all white. An artist called an “Oculist” takes an impression of your eye area and creates a thick ‘shell’ …what I would call a contact lens, Painting it and making it as close in appearance to your biological eye as possible. Because this option leaves one’s sclera and ocular muscles intact, these ‘shells’ move with you and look far more natural than that old-style ‘glass eye’.

I really wanted a great Oculist. These are very detail-oriented people and if you ever need one, you *DO* want one who is MAJORLY Perfectionist! When you go to see them, it’s probably best to NOT make any other appointments after theirs because they will take a long time, with many pictures of your bio eye and their shell they’re making for you.

After my evisceration, I wore eye patches and had to do this for about 6 weeks. I had some great fun at work because I ‘Blinged’ my patches, painting them, adding sparkly jewels to them. I was rocking this is style folks! Only pain was right after the surgery as my eye socket got used to having a full sized ‘eyeball’ in it again. Mine had atrophied so much it was a couple of weeks before I felt anywhere TOTALLY normal… The first 4 days were the worst. After that it just felt like a stiffness as my socket rebelled against the new orb in my eye enclosure. Finally, I got an appointment and authorization to see an Oculist!

I got to see Beverly Hoffman at L.A. Ocular Prosthetics! She is a very nice lady and here comes the fun part: SHE used to work in the Movies! Before she decided to focus on Patient care, SHE actually painted the eyes of “E.T.-The Extraterrestrial“. She also did John Fogarty’s eyes in “Eye of the Zombie” (1986), and did some later work in “Alien-The Resurrection“.

Check out the EYES! Bev's work!

Check out the EYES! Bev’s work!

As I am a HUGE SciFi Geek and LOVE anything about ET’s Aliens and Space, I was bold enough to ask her what she would charge if I wanted an eye that looked ‘Reptilian’ or something like the ones in V The Visitors (A 1980’s series by Kenneth Johnson) Beverly, Golden hair glowing in the fluorescent lights of her exam room calmly considered and then listed the things needed. “About $3,000. We have the imprint now, so maybe a bit less.” OH, MAN! I Loved her to bits!

Tonight is the night before I go to see her again. My eye area has completely healed and the first prosthetic is now a bit small for me. She took a new impression, and I go to get the new cap fitted tomorrow. Maybe I’ll ask her to make this smaller prosthetic into that “Visitor” type Alien eye I want. But I can’t be too picky, she DID make my eye like E.T.’s! I have what she called “Flecks” in the iris, not ‘straight lines and such. That’s the style she did for other patients and E.T. as well. I think it looks pretty good! 

Better shot of my eyes, You can see Bev's great work!

Better shot of my eyes, You can see Bev’s great work!

I love tech because it is coming into it’s own now. No longer in my childhood books and TV shows, we can do SO much. I have a little touch screen insulin pump, a prosthetic eye and a CGMS that reads my blood glucose values all the time. While not accurate enough to be use on it’s own, It is a wonderful tool to see which way my glucose is trending. I have my iPhone, iPad, and great computer tech at my fingertips, it’s all so good, even the tech of the Oculist and prosthetic eyes!

T-Slim in Starbucks

In Starbucks, Touch-screen Insulin pump

So, there it is. I hope it answers some questions anyone might have. Enjoy life, people, It’s a gift! 

Posted in Diabetes, Mobile Tech, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I Got a Rupture of a WHAT?

Simply walking down my own hallway last Wednesday morning, I felt what I could best describe at a guitar string snapping within my calf muscle. It HURT! If I tried to bear weight on the right leg, it felt like I would crumple onto the floor in a heap.

“What The Fructose?” Is a term I got from a cool guy on Twitter, Mike Durbin (@MyDiabeticHeart) and he coined that “Fructose” to not use the USUAL word in “WTF?”. After a bit of hopping along and leaning on my walls, I remembered a VERY cool cane I was given about 11 years ago. The cane looks like something from Middle-Earth! It is very old, and I don’t want to break it or anything, but I used it about the house. It’s apparently made from a bit of wood on someone’s property and the guy made it into a cane.

I never thought I would ever really NEED it, but I did.

This old cane saved me

This old cane saved me

I know enough to stay off the leg, I grabbed an ice pack, and elevated it through the day, I have a wedge for elevating from when my fellow broke his own leg last year. He’d gotten a pretty tasty Tib/Fib fracture at work on the 7th of December 2011. We still have a walker, commode chair and that wedge. I mainly rested and waited to see if it was any better the next day.

On Thursday morning, I thought I should at least call my general Practitioner and tell them what happened. If they wanted me to come in or whatever, fine. I have had insulin-dependent diabetes for a little over 28 years now, so it’s always best to be cautious in matters of ones’ legs, unexplained pains or such. At 9:20 AM I phoned their office.

I reached their Exchange (Answering service). I asked if the office was open and the operator said they were open. He didn’t know why I was reaching them. “I’ll take your number and fax it to them. They should call you back very soon.” … I never got called back. This is not the first time this has happened either. I really like my PCP, but no one should have to go through applying for a Papal Audience to set an appointment, especially if its an unexplainable leg injury to a person with diabetes. No one.

My ‘Ire’ was up, and I sought out a new PCP. I called their office to make sure they could accept new patients, and they could. I made an appointment with them and then called my insurance to clear the move to a new PCP. By Thursday night, my leg would still hurt if I walked normally, but felt a bit better, so my fellow bought me a collapsible cane to use at work. As he’d taken friday off, he drove me to and from work. My concern was playing in my head, so we went to a couple of ‘Urgent care’ centers listed in my Insurance’s iPhone/iPad app. Thinking they would at least say ‘Nothing to worry about, do this, keep it elevated and see your PCP in a few days.’

I have insurance through OneCare, which is a mix of Medi-Cal/Medicare, and my network is a well-known insurer. *I* thought I could be seen at the urgent care centers they listed but I couldn’t! NONE of them would see me because of being on OneCare. The second place on Barranca was very nice about it, saying I had every right to go to ER over on Sand Canyon (About 5 minutes away) and the ER would have far better diagnostic tools. Ultrasound, to name one, in order to rule out possible blood clots etc.  *I* felt it was nuts to make me go to an ER for over a thousand bucks cost as opposed to an urgent care for $166.00.

We went to the ER, I felt like a hoser, making a big deal over nothing. The ER itself was quiet and calm, I was seen in 10 minutes, Given an ultrasound and no clots or anything evil was found. P.A. and others all said it is a common problem called a “Plantaris Rupture” In other words, a torn calf muscle. When I expressed concern based on the fact I wasn’t running, playing soccer or performing feats of Derring-Do, they said it’s very common. This is also called “Tennis Leg” … Another sport I have not taken part in in years! “Sally” wrapped my leg in a light ACE bandage and they said that ideally, one should take a week off and rest, elevate and ice it.

Isn't this SO attractive?

Isn’t this SO attractive?

We got home at 10:30PM and I decided to take Saturday off. I had Sunday off, so 2 days of resting it should help. I came back to work on Monday and Tuesday, so it will be OK. I used my cane and did take a taxi to work. My guy picked me up after work.

So, today, I am sitting at my blog posting about this. I am still being gentle on the leg, because if I do walk normally on it there is light pain. I do not want to cause a relapse. I want to be well and back to my normal ability.  Plans are to take it easy this week, then try to be ‘normal’ by Sunday/Monday.

Other content in here is how it was wrong to have NO ACCESS to my PCP with a simple phone call! How I could NOT be seen at Urgent care centers based on being a Medi-Medi patient, yet these centers are listed in the insurance’s “Care Finder” App. This made me feel like -I guess- an Undesirable or Pariah of sorts.

Yes, it was good to get the diagnostic done. Yes, I’m relieved it is common, but the fact I got this while doing a simple act of walking in my hallway got me pretty scared. I am by no means any “Hard-Body” athlete, but I’m not 96 years old, either. This little episode scared me. Blood glucose has been pretty good, considering my activity level is stemmed a bit.

I do hope that this is not a frequent occurrence. I will not be doing any ‘stretching’ for another week or so, and then it’ll be slow and steady.

I hope you have a great week, and a sane Holiday season 🙂

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