Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A review

My sweet Lord, it's been a while since I blogged, huh?! I always have these great blog posts running around in my head, and before you know it, they have left my head, never to return. That will teach me not to have a paper and pen with me at all times. Or at least my iPad.

2013 will be a commitment to blog more. I hope. OK, I will try. Then again, as Yoda said, 'There is no try, only DO.' So, indeed, I will DO more blog posts. If not for your sanity, then mine.

For now, there is a beginning line from each month of blog posts in 2012. The blog post from that month that I found most intriguing. Click on the month if you would like to read the post in it's entirety.

2012 Blog Posts

'It's been three years since Grace was diagnosed.'

'Grace has the stomach bug.'

'At the close of the CWD Technology conference in Conshohocken, the speaker, Tom Karlya - aka 'The Diabetes Dad - spoke about perseverance, hope and the power of one.'

'The hardest lesson I have learned about Grace having diabetes is that it's not MY diabetes, it is hers.' 

'Grace is a do-er. I mean, the girl DOES things. All the time. In full-on speed.' 

'Grace started a summer dance class this past week.' 

'9 rolls into 10. And suddenly we are in double digits.'

'31. Thirty one.'

'Grace has wanted to walk home from school since first grade.'

'It's the sleepovers that get me, I think. They let my brain run wild.'

'Grace has an annual blood draw, usually in November.'

'There was a Grace McDonnell, age 7, in that elementary class at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. And I thought of my Grace, and other Graces we know, when I saw her name.'

Here's to a wondrous 2013 for us all.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

For my other Grace

There was a Grace McDonnell, age 7, in that elementary class at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. And I thought of my Grace, and other Graces we know, when I saw her name.

It could have easily been my Grace, or your child. And there but for the grace of God, go I.

A wonderful writer whom I admire, from Philadelphia, Dan Gottlieb, wrote about the tragedy. He is much more eloquent than I. And he included a poem from Ellen Bass.

Amen, and God Bless Grace.

In the wake of the mass murder in a Connecticut elementary school, several people suggested I write something. At first I thought I would talk about how you could explain this to your children; you know the standard psychologist bullet points.

But all of that seemed artificial in the wake of this devastation. The mother of a four-year-old boy told me she cried all day Friday. I said in response t
hat the whole country is crying. Our hearts are broken. Sure, our minds get active with a million thoughts about what happened. But the great pain is because our hearts are broken. So what can be done about broken hearts?

Love deeply and gently what is in great pain. Hold your broken heart tenderly. You don't have to do anything, just feel and allow your heart to cry about this reality of our lives.

Love what is most vulnerable; your children, those children, all children. And hold these tender hearts gently with deep love and painful knowledge that all of your love cannot make them less vulnerable.

As your heart heals, as it will, there will be scar tissue with the wound is. That scar tissue is a reminder to love what is most vulnerable.

Award-winning poet Ellen Bass also tells us how to heal our hearts and the world.

- Dan Gottlieb

Pray for Peace

Pray to whoever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Yahweh, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.

Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latté and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.

Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile case we are poured into,
each caress a season of peace.

If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.

When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.

And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.

With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.

Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.

by Ellen Bass

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dexcom G4 and the G-mess

Grace has worn the Dexcom SevenPlus since late September. Completely paid for by her insurance. Sensors and all. They approved it not through her DME (Durable Medical Equipment) benefit, but through her prescription benefit. I really don't care if the approval comes through her vision or dental benefit, hey, she got approved! We were thrilled.

All was well, and even better, when Dexcom alerted us that since we received our SevenPlus in late September, we would be eligible for the free upgrade to the Dexcom G4, that sweet piece of technology that everyone is raving about. Oh, the range! Oh, the colored screen! Oh, the alerts! I finally actually lucked out and had some luck in the diabetes game - a free upgrade to the latest and greatest. Yes, sign us up.

I looked forward to the arrival of G4 around the end of November.

And sure enough, Dexcom delivered a pretty pink Dexcom G4 to our doorstep a week ago. What a beauty. We were so very excited. All I needed to do was call our supplier and order the new sensors, right?! Right.

I called. Hmmmm they said, we tried to process the G4 sensors, and they are denied under her DME benefit. We will try the prescription benefit. Hmmm, not approved through that either.

Called our Dexcom rep, who has been nothing short of remarkable and patient and knowledgable. No, she says, they ARE approved, I know it. She tries to call. Nope. Not approved. And processing now through DME. What the what???!!!

OK, we will just fill out a Certificate of Medical Necessity and write a short note, and get the endo to sign it, right?! Right. We are going in for our three month endo appointment anyway, so why not. Our endo signs off on the CMN, and the short summary, to our health insurance company.

I got a call two days ago from our endo, who gives me an update. And it will shock you, same as it shocked me. The secretary at our endo's office actually starts to laugh as she tells me. Not cause it's that kind of funny, it's more like incompetent funny than anything else.

Grace's health insurance is denying her the G4 sensors, because they have no record of her having a Dexcom CGM at all. Nothing. Not one receipt. Not one payment. They have no idea what we are talking about, because, according to them, they have paid for NOTHING. She does not have a CGM.

I call them and talk to the person who called our endo's office. I start to chuckle and say, you know, Grace is right now, wearing the CGM that YOU paid for. She has a receiver, transmitter and sensors, two 8-pack shipments so far of sensors. Silence on the end of the line. I tell them, I assure you, the insurance company you work for paid for them, in full.

They have no record of payment for her CGM. They have not one receipt they are telling me.
And we still have no G4 sensors.
But we do have one pretty pink receiver sitting on our dining room table.
I think the ball is in my court.
Game on, health insurance company.