I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Stacey Simms for her podcast, Diabetes Connections.
She was asked, “If I Kiss You Will I Get Diabetes” so Quinn Nystrom wrote all about it in her first book. This week, she shares her story of advocacy and education. Plus, mySugr CEO Frank Westermann.
Listen on your phone or computer!
Apple Podcasts: http://ow.ly/pgfg30kyYrG
Homepage (website): http://www.diabetes-connections.com
Nicole & Alec
The price of insulin in the US has more than doubled since 2012. As a result, the cost of this life-saving hormone is out of reach for many people with diabetes. Some try to make it last longer by rationing the expensive substance—putting their lives at risk.
Alec Smith tragically lost his life in June 2017, a few weeks after his 26th birthday, from a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis—a consequence of dangerously high blood sugar. His family believes he had been rationing insulin in an attempt to make it to his next payday when he would have the money to purchase more.
Nicole Smith-Holt, Alec’s mother, shares her son’s sad story and explains what can be done to combat this troubling problem.
Listen to the podcast interview here: https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/podcasts/diabetes-dish/episode-26-losing-alec.
November is a month of so many wonderful holidays and observances including things like Hug a Bear Day, World Kindness Day, Adoption Awareness Month and of course, Thanksgiving.
But the eleventh month is also known to many for one special reason: it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month. If you want the scoop on the backstory of how this national observance came to be, it all started on December 20, 2006, when the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution to designate November 14 as World Diabetes Day.
National Diabetes Awareness Month is the American home-grown version that still shares the same mission of raising awareness about diabetes and its prevention and complications, but advocates of this disease refuse to limit this time of education to one.single.day.
So why is a whole month needed for diabetes awareness? The American Diabetes Association has estimated that 30 million, or 9.4 percent of Americans, have diabetes and an estimated 84 million Americans have prediabetes. But this November observation also works to continue, and amplify the conversation about eating disorders as well.
Read my full blogpost here:
Alec Raeshawn Smith. Shane Patrick Boyle. Antavia Lee Worsham. Seely Weatherell. Danielle DeShae Dunbar. What do these five people have in common? They’ve all lost their lives because of the outrageous cost of insulin in the United States. Sadly, they are just a few of the names of people who’ve died in recent years, as the cost of insulin continues to soar.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my insulin cost around $20 when I first started using it in 1999. Today that same vial is $395 and I go through 2 vials in a month. And this is just ONE of my diabetes prescriptions.
Over the years I’ve become increasingly more passionate about this topic so when I heard the call to join in the #Insulin4all Rally being held on the grounds of pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and organized by T1International and People of Faith for Access to Affordable Medicines, I booked my plane ticket.
Ever since my brother Will was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes nearly 23 years ago (a few years before I was diagnosed), I’ve been convinced that if we want to see a change we must be willing to show up and have our voices heard.
To read my full blogpost click below…
Fall in our area is a breathtaking event. When the heat of summer fades, and cooler temps take over, it signals the trees that a time of transformation is near. Their normal leafy foliage shifts from bland green to a symphony of blazing oranges, yellows, and reds. But within a few short weeks, the color festival is over as the leaves detach from their branches and drift to the ground.
They let go in such a gentle and beautiful way. And with no regrets.
Spring is often viewed as a time of rejuvenation and a fresh start, but autumn is regarded as the perfect time to wrap up projects and finalize loose ends before the New Year arrives. Many people also use fall as a time to look back and reflect on what hasn’t served them well over the last ten months and use that wisdom to prepare for the next 12 that will be gifted to us after the New Year. Like a tree shedding its leaves, we humans can use this time to “let go” and transform as well. In reality, the trees are showing us a valuable lesson right this very moment.
Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.
Read the rest of my blogpost for Center for Change here…
Imagine getting diagnosed with a life-changing, incurable disease at the age of t13 that you had nothing to do with. That’s what happened to me. My first thought was…
My life is over.
Next, the doctor tells me that I would need to inject—inject!—a medicine called insulin that would serve as my life support because my pancreas is broken and has stopped producing insulin on its own.
I absolutely hate needles.
It was an emotional, overwhelming and confusing time for me. The good news is my father is a pharmacist, so he took care of my prescriptions.
Back in 1999 my insulin vial cost around $20. Fast forward 19 years. Today, my insulin cost $395 a vial! I go through a vial about every two weeks. And this is just ONE of my prescriptions for diabetes.
This vial of insulin has not changed in its formulary, the price has simply increased. Like many Americans, I also have insurance with a high-deductible, so in the beginning months of the year, I’m stuck paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket until I hit my out-of-pocket max. I am basically a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, insurance companies, etc. But I’m kind of stuck—they know I rely on insulin to stay alive so I have to buy it. Insulin is not optional for me.
How You Can Get Involved in the Fight Against High Prices
This is why I’m flying to Indianapolis this weekend to protest these practices—along with many other fierce, fellow diabetes advocates—on the grounds of Eli Lilly for the #insulin4all demonstration.
Read the rest of my blogpost here…
September is one of those months that just has a lot going on.
Of course, there are the common milestones that occur around this time every year like Labor Day and the first day of school; both of which indicate that summer is officially over.
Its’ also a month packed with important observances and campaigns. From National Suicide Prevention and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to the “Never Forget” mantra honoring 9/11, September is a month filled with reasons to remember while also acknowledging how fragile life can really be.
But the one that tends to get lost in the shuffle is one that is incredibly important to me and also many of my friends and colleagues. Created by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Recovery Month (also called Recovery Month) is an observance held every September; one that is designed to educate Americans how substance use treatment and mental health services are the keys to helping those who struggle with these issues rally and live a healthy life.
Click here to read the rest of my blogpost for Center for Change…
I have a dear friend from college whose favorite movie is the 1989 classic Steel Magnolias. I remember her popping in the DVD (this was before Netflix) and everyone gathering around with their popcorn like it was yesterday.
To refresh your memory, the movie tells the dramatic real-life story of Shelby (played by Julia Roberts) and her mother M’Lynn (played by Sally Fields) as they fight to save Shelby’s life. Against the advice of her doctor, Shelby—who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant—decides to go through with the life-threatening pregnancy. I had never seen the movie and I sat in horror as I watched it for the first time. Why did I bawl my head off throughout the story?
Read my full blogpost for On Track Diabetes…