Class Party – Carb Counting Battle

IMG_1748Some of the best days in elementary school center around a classroom party.  The students get advance notice, and everyone counts the days until the books are put away and the cupcakes are served.  

Any parent of a diabetic child knows that this day can present challenges that a regular school day does not.  Carb counting on the fly, adjusting lunch carbs to accommodate the heavy snack.  The piles of cupcakes, juices and chocolates that you can not possibly account for.  Although kids are naturally excited, Moms and school nurses prepare to do carb-counting battle.

Communication between Mom, Nurse and Teacher is even more critical during these party days.  Drinks are easy, as you can send a water bottle with Crystal Light for your child to have during the party.  The food is always tricky.  Your best option is to plan ahead.  

I always had my girls pick two things that they wanted to have.  The teacher would take a picture of the plate and send it to the nurse.  Then, the nurse would call me and we would cover.  Many times my girls knew exactly what they wanted as they had been eyeing it all day and they were able to pre-cover.  Lets face it, having two cupcakes a glass of juice and some chocolate in one sitting isn’t healthy for any child.  On school party days, it is the standard.

To help you plan ahead, a Valentine Candy Carb Count that lists a wide variety of candy and chocolates that your child may receive at a school party.  I hope this helps simplify your life.

Needles and Tattoo Ink?

Medical ID Tattoos

Medical ID Tattoos

Is this the answer?  For my family, it was!

In a household of three diabetics; husband and two daughters, medical ID has been an expensive endeavor for my family.  We started with the standard medical ID silver bracelet and or necklace.  Many complaints were made about how ugly they were.   Then we went custom – even more money.  Everything we made, was super cute, and super expensive.  I didn’t mind though because I felt like I was helping in some way.  

Psychologically, I find that over the years, throwing money at diabetes was often a comfort.   I was helping in what often felt like a helpless situation.  The problem is, there is a reason you do not give 5 year olds jewelry!  It gets lost, broken, or destroyed.  Every morning we would fight over putting the jewelry on, or to just find it!   Then, they started wearing the pump.  I felt a little reassured that even if they did not have their bracelet or necklace on, they would have something on that hopefully would identify them as diabetics in an emergency.  

As the girls grew into teenagers, the typical shedding of the pump occurred.  Then, what I had been dreading, they started to drive.  First Katie, then the following year Abby.  They were away from me, away from the school nurse, and without medical ID.  The diabetic parent trifecta of fear.  

So, after much deliberation my husband and I decided that we would allow them to get tattoos.  That is what the girls wanted and they would not lose or break them.  I started researching the idea by talking with a firefighter friend.  I asked if he thought it would be a good identifier of their diabetes and if they look for them in an emergency.  He said, as long as it is on the left wrist with no other tattoos, or over their heart that first responders would look for it.  

I settled myself with the idea and the girls started designing their own tattoos.  They worked tirelessly on them and were very invested in how they looked.  The first appointment was for my youngest daughter, at the time she was 16.  My husband took her and I cried the whole time that they were gone.  It seemed so final, marked for life.  I felt in some way that we had given up on the cure.  Then it was my older daughter’s turn.  I went with her and that was better.  She was excited, so then I was excited too.  

Now, a few years later, they have gone off to college.  A little older, a little wiser and back to being attached to their pumps.  (Can I get an amen?)  The tattoos give me one less thing to worry about.  A little piece of mind, which can be hard to come by with three diabetics to worry about.  What does a mom do,  if not worry?

Waiting on an Artificial Pancreas?

de11-2-artificial-pancreas-diagram.ashxInsulin pumpers are closer now than ever before to the reality of having a “smart” insulin pump system that will act as an artificial pancreas. Are you a pumper that is keeping track of the progress of this revolution in diabetic care?

It seems that the hardware is already within our grasp. We are waiting on the “smart” part of the system to get resolved. If you missed the article last month detailing the work being done on the software (control algorithm) part of the artificial pancreas project, then follow the link below to Medical News Today to learn more.

Crossover Cami Bra Update – 2013 Gasparilla Run

Picture of Cone Family at 2013 Gasparilla 5K

Cone Family

This is an update to my post on Feb. 19, 2013.

This year’s Gasparilla 5K had perfect weather for running.  It was a little cooler and cloudy.  Normally, it is warm and very sunny.  A killer during the last mile that is run along Bayshore Blvd.

Picture of 2013 Gasparilla 5K Sea of Runners

Sea of Runners

Bryson and I were running buddies during the event.  (Bryson is our younger son wearing #12723 in our family photo.)  We ran and listened to the music from my iPhone that I carried in my KPP cami bra.  I went without headphones so we could both easily hear the music.  As always, the cami bra had no problem supporting the phone during the entire run.  Plus, when a song started that Bryson wasn’t a fan of, I was able to quickly pull the phone out of its pocket in the bra and skip to the next song.  It worked out great!

Picture of 2013 Gasparilla 5K Run Complete

5K Afterparty

After the event each year, we grab lunch at the Hooter’s restaurant in Channelside.  This year was no different.  Even though my husband’s company sponsored the lunch for everyone that ran the 5K on HomeTeam PestDefense’s team, I did carry my i.d., a credit card and some cash in the side pocket of the KPP cami bra.  These items were never used, but I always feel better having them with me just in case.  I didn’t carry a purse, so the entire time after the race and during our lunch celebration, the KPP cami bra held my iPhone, i.d. and money.  I never had to think about it once.

Blood Sugar Meters – Not all are alike

Freestyle Lite Meter

Freestyle Lite Meter

Is one blood sugar meter as good as the next?

The Wood Family says, “NO!”

Since our family of three diabetics recently changed insurance, we had to start using new blood sugar testing meters.  We were using the Freestlyle Lite’s for many, many years but the new insurance does not cover the test strips.  As any diabetic knows, the test strips are extremely expensive so we had to switch.

Accu-chek Meter

Accu-chek Meter

Our options were Accu-Chek or the One Touch.  I chose the Accu-Chek Nano because it was the one that most looked like the Freestyle Lite meter.  I filled the prescription of the strips and bought 3 meters and thought we were in business.  Well, when I brought the new meters home to my family you would have thought I brought home a bag of live snakes.  They did not want anything to do with them.  Getting them to just try the meter required me threatening to never buy them another skinny mocha from Starbucks again.

OneTouch Ultra2 Meter

OneTouch Ultra2 Meter

Once they tried it, it did not get any better.  The new meter requires at least twice as much blood and often gives an error message requiring re-testing.  I am sure to the insurance companies changing their meters shouldn’t be this big of a deal.  It has turned into a very big deal in the Wood house.  Let’s face it diabetes stinks and when you find something you like, you just want to keep it! Anyway, wish me luck.  I am off to the pharmacy to buy a single One Touch meter to have them all try.  (Fingers Crossed)

Tricia Wood

Cell phone fits perfectly in the pocket of the KPP cami bra so I can run freely.

Crossover Cami Bra

Ever since our cami bras debuted back in 2008, I have been using them to hold my Classic iPod, iPod Touch, and most recently my last two iPhones while I work out.  It is a personal preference, Women's BraBkgdWbut in order for me to run “…like the wind, Bullseye” I need my hands free (nor anything strapped to my arm) and the KPP cami bra is my solution.  As I’m preparing to run in the Gasparilla 5K on Feb. 23rd, I realized how odd it is that we never mention how handy our Women’s cami bra is for working out.


KPP Cami Bra Benefits:

Front Pocket holds the iPhone vertically so the headphone jack and wires can stick out the top of the pocket.  This positioning makes it easy to pop the phone out of the pocket and skip a song, change the volume, or even answer the phone if needed.  Plus, the phone does not shift or slide at all.  The pocket holds it securely.

The bra’s fabric content is about 90% cotton and 10% spandex.  Therefore, the cami bra absorbs my sweat before it reaches my phone.  My old running shirts, the kind with the pocket in the middle of my back, were all synthetic.  Great for letting the sweat move through the material, but my Classic iPod was soaked by the end of a run.  My iPhones have never even been damp which I’m certain is better for the electronics.

2nd side pocket is great for holding my driver’s license, a credit card, a key and/or some cash.  When I run in local 5Ks or workout at the gym, I am nervous about leaving my purse inside my car.  Everyone does that and thieves know it.  The side pocket in the cami bra allows me to carry my i.d. and some cash while I am away from home.  Since my valuables are on me at all times, I don’t have the worry of putting my iPhone or other items down at the gym and having some lowlife walk off with them.

In the pics below you can see that I have on three layers.  My KPP cami bra is the bottom; phone holding and sweat-absorbing layer.  My sports bra is over the cami bra.  Then, my tank top is over both bras.  It may seem like a lot, but the tank is really about covering my gelatinous abs (no one needs to see those shake while I run).  I use the sports bra only when I run because it is designed to provide extra support.  KPP’s cami bra does not claim to be a sports bra for high impact activities.  Its slender straps will not provide adequate support for a bouncing bosom.  However, when I’m taking a walk, or lifting weights I only wear the cami bra and it keeps my iPhone out of my way, yet safe and secure.


No iPhone in cami bra’s pocket.


Running today, so cami bra is tucked under my sports bra.


iPhone slips into cami bra pocket easily.


Closer view of the layers and iPhone in pocket.


Close up view of iPhone tucked in KPP pump pocket. IMG_0383

Headphones in, wire tucked under bra strap and ready to run.

*UPDATE – I went out to walk this morning and decided I didn’t want to deal with my headphones.  It was truly a wonderful walk because I put my phone in the cami bra’s pocket and started my playlist.  Because of the pocket’s position and the speakers were towards me, I was able to listen to my music and hear the birds chirping and squirrels scampering.  I’m going to go without my headphones to the Gasparilla 5K on Saturday.  That way I can listen to my music and have a conversation with my youngest son while we run the course.  Life is good.

If you want to see the cami bra in more detail, check out our video.  Or visit our store and pick one up before your next trip to the gym.  Leave a comment and let us know how it works for you.

New Medical Insurance Nearly Makes Head Explode

My daughter Abby was diagnosed at 5 years old in 2002.  My oldest daughter was diagnosed at age 12 in 2007.  My husband was diagnosed at age 40 in late 2011.  To say that the pharmacist knows me by name is an understatement.

The pharmacist greets me at the drive-thru window with my varied collection of bags when he sees my car in the line.  Sometimes he motions to me to come inside because all of my prescriptions will not fit through the window.  Because of the sheer volume of medications my family requires, I am on auto-fill, auto-pay and anything else they offer to get me in and out as quickly as humanly possible.

However, last month my husband started a new job with new health and prescription coverage.  If you are like me? Chills just went down your spine!  Most people can simply wait to get their new health cards and prescription cards in the mail.  Do I have that kind of time? NO, I need stuff now, today, every day!!  So, I called my new prescription coverage office and asked them what I need to do in order to get my prescriptions covered today before my cards arrived in the mail.  He simply said to tell the pharmacy the new health insurance company’s name and my husband’s social security number.  Easy enough.  Off to the pharmacy I go.

The pharmacist chuckled heartily and said, “That is not how this works.  I need the BIN#, PCN#, ID# and Group#.”  I innocently asked, “Then how much is the insulin without the coverage?”  He flatly replied, “$535.96”

Uhg!  As my household uses many vials a week, this was not an option.  My eyes begin to fill with tears, and I place a call back to my pharmacy coverage office.  I listened to many perfectly good 80’s songs that have now been reduced to elevator music, and waited for help to come through on the other end of the phone line.  Luckily, when they did get on the phone they were happy to give me the numbers I needed and were surprised I had to call back.  Of course, the representative, Steve, I spoke with just an hour earlier did not seem to exist anymore.

After I returned to my pharmacy, I made everyone wait behind me while I meticulously updated everyone’s medical information in my family.  Sorry to the people behind me, but I cannot risk the new medical insurance denying my shopping list of prescriptions.  So, if you find yourself in a similar situation one day, needing your diabetes supplies before the mail can deliver your new insurance cards, gather ALL the above information.  A social security number will not always do the trick!

Tricia Wood

A New Year — New Beginnings

We are halfway through January 2013 and I am already struggling to keep all of the “balls in the air”.  KPP is renewing its efforts to stay connected with its customers.  We just had to find a system that would simplify the process of communication.  This newly established blog will take the place of our previous E-Newsletters.  In addition, you can stay connected with KPP on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.

As part of our new beginnings at KPP, we are updating our website.  We are making some new product videos, posting customer pictures/comments, and streaming our Facebook and Blog entries.  We hope you like the refreshed look.

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 9.17.29 PM

Glucose Buddy

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 9.16.57 PM


Like always, we wanted to share with you some things we found of interest.  As we embrace the new year, organization is one of those resolutions near the top of our lists.  In an effort to locate tools to help us track our glucose trends and refine our carb counting, we discovered the App Store had what we needed.  Glucose Buddy is free and CarbsControl is $1.99.  Both apps are highly rated and appear to be simple to use.

KPP is excited about 2013.  We look forward to connecting with you and continuing to earn your loyalty by making outstanding products.

Tricia & Melissa