Many times over the course of this past year since I’ve starting blogging, I’ve made mention of the fact that for the most part I’m a very private person. I’ve never liked calling attention to myself and more then anything, after having worked for over 40 years outside of my home, I’ve enjoyed being a homebody. I love to do anything with my hands. Knitting is one of my favorite hobbies as is doing very intricate beadwork. The tinier the beads, the more I enjoy working with them. I love to read and delight in spending time in the kitchen playing around with new recipes.
When I got the opportunity to start blogging on Test Guess and Go, I realized that writing about the problems that my husband and I were experiencing getting Medicare coverage for the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) was therapeutic. Before I started doing this, I often felt very alone. I have friends who have diabetes but they are all Type 2 and don’t understand the problems that my husband Marc has experienced being Type 1. Through my writings, I have had the opportunity to be in contact with many people who are dealing with the same problems Marc and I are faced with on a daily basis. For me, who had become his advocate in this quest, writing became a great way to get out my frustration at a system that does not recognize the importance of a device such as the CGM. A diabetic with hypoglycemia unawareness needs this in order to feel safe and keep others safe.
On May 1 I took a huge step towards coming out of what I refer to as “my box”. I did a Podcast on DSMA Live. For those of you who don’t know what DSMA Live is or what a Podcast is, it’s an hour long program that is similar to a radio broadcast except that it’s done through a computer and in the comforts of your own home. DSMA stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. Cherise Stockley is the creator and the co-hosts are Scott Johnson and George Simmons. The mission of DSMA Live is to “promote social networking in all its forms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) in order to educate and support all people affected by diabetes”. Cherise, Scott and George interviewed me and I was able to speak about my experience as the spouse of a diabetic and my journey during the past year fighting to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor covered by Medicare. The interview is available on iTunes under Podcasts and using the search words DSMA Live or by going to this link.
I was pretty calm leading up to the day of the interview until about an hour before I was to go on the “air”. Then the nerves started to kick in. I am not and never was a public speaker. The thought, to be honest, was pretty frightening; however I felt that it was something that was necessary if I was going to inform as many people as possible about H.R. 3710, the Medicare CGM Coverage Act. This bill was introduced to Congress in December, 2013 by Representative Carol Shea-Porter and asks for coverage of the CGM if recommended by a physician. I feel that this bill is extremely necessary for diabetics with hypoglycemia and/or hyperglycemia unawareness. I will do whatever is necessary to inform the public about H.R. 3710. I am asking everyone to write to their Congressperson and request that they co-sponsor the bill so that it can be brought to the floor of the House. Please read my Join the Crusade post to find out how you can make a difference in the fight for CGM coverage by Medicare.
The Podcast started and Cherise introduced me and much to my surprise, once I started speaking, my nerves dissipated and it was smooth sailing from then on. I I give credit to Cherise, Scott and George for putting me at ease. I was pretty surprised when I looked at the clock and saw that I had already spoken for 30 minutes and hadn’t covered half of what I wanted to cover. The second half went even faster and before I knew it, the hour was up and I still had more to say. But alas, you only get an hour and my time was up. I hope to do a Podcast again in the future. This very private person definitely came out of the “box” and enjoyed doing so.
A few months back, I wrote a blog about my year of growth, first deciding to advocate for my husband and then starting to write on Test Guess and Go. My experience has taught me that growth can happen at any age (even for a Senior Citizen). It is my hope that with all the effort put into getting the CGM covered by Medicare that I will one day be able to stop blogging about the CGM and go onto other issues that diabetics deal with on a regular basis in getting coverage for much needed items. Until then, I will continue doing whatever necessary to get the guideline for the CGM changed.