Archive for March, 2011

“Hey, I’m Speaking Here!”

March 30, 2011

“Good Morning and Happy New Year once again!  My name is A. K. Buckroth, author of “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography.”  Thank you for inviting me here this morning.  IHOP (International House of Pancakes) sure is a different place to host a speaker.  You all go ahead and eat your breakfasts while I talk at you.  My topic, as some of you many know, is diabetes….”

I use a version of that line when promoting my book during a Book Speak/Book Signing.  As an Independent Author, marketing this item is not only constant but quite difficult with little tangible reward.  I do it alone.  I do not have a team of people routing for me and selling the item nor collecting payments.  I do that.  As a sole-proprietor, I do it all, down to cleaning the toilet.  That is just the way it is.  I am cost-effective and efficient, personable and candid; a realist and an idealist; humorous and sarcastic.  

An upcoming speaking engagement needs your review.  I am to present myself and the book in front of 20 – 30 other published or unpublished authors.  The setting is literally in a local IHOP restaurant.  It’s  a writers club.  This certain club has been in existence for over 90 years, having obtained elite and highly respected credentials.  I am honored to have been invited.

I am not naive to public speaking engagements.  I have participated in many over a course of seventeen years.  However, this particular scope of concern is not the topic of my purpose – diabetes – but presenting the subject matter to people while they are eating some of the most highly carbed and saturated fats available to mankind.  Visualize this: while the 20 – 30 people in the audience conference room literally eat breakfast, I’ll be standing at the head of the table discussing the whats, wheres, whys, whos, hows, how tos, and how muches that is involved with this disease.

I’m nervous.  The date for this event is two days away.  After a self-introduction, I’ll begin with a brief definition of diabetes: “In the plainest and  simplest of difinitions, diabetes means a person cannot digest food.  I am not a medical professional in any way, means, shape or form.  I am a diabetic.  I am proud to report that I have successfully lived with this disease for over fifty years.  I need to stress to you that diabetes does not have to be a death sentence.  It is up to you – non-diabetics and diabetics alike – to learn about the intricasies of your bodies.  This book is a blueprint for not only your health, but for everyone around you.  It is full of knowledge, references, and hints for your well-being.” 

Sound good?  I don’t know. 

The demographics of the audience are middle-aged and older.

Medical Expenses and Supplies

March 30, 2011

This is a tough subject for me to share.  It is magnanimous in detail and overwhelming to realize.  Wait, you’ll see what I’m talking about! 

Yes, as a lifetime diabetic – 50+ years and counting – the collection of medical supplies continues.  Compared with the cost of living, juggling a salary with necessary medical supply costs causes anxiety.  Anxiety, also known as stress, is one ingredient that is useless in the life of a diabetic.  Plainly, stress causes the rise of blood sugar and blood pressure.  Not good for anyone.

“Increasing Cost of Diabetes Places Strain on Healthcare Funds Medical expenses for diabetics are, on average, approximately 2.3 times higher than for those people who do not have diabetes, with approximately 10% of healthcare dollars spent on the condition and its complications. The expanding diabetes epidemic and resultant rise in the cost of diabetes is placing increasing burden on healthcare funds, which is already facing the strain from costs associated with the advancing age of the baby boomer generation.

“… study shows that significant changes in both public and private strategies are needed in order to help stem the rise in prevalence of diabetes, which is expected to fuel this rise in healthcare costs.

The Rising Cost of Diabetes for Healthcare: Surge in Medical Diabetes Costs Predicted as Epidemic Expands in USA http://www.suite101.com/content/the-rising-cost-of-diabetes-a176175#ixzz1I0Q13nHU

Never mind “the strain on healthcare funds,” what about the strain on the diabetic individual and his/her caregivers!! 

Heres’ a list of what I need and use on a daily basis in order to survive: 2 types of insulin, syringes, refrigerator to keep them cool, as required, a generator for emergency purposes for when the power goes out, insulin pump which requires infusion sets, cartridges, and an adhesive skin tape.

This list does not look too bad, as it is in words, does it?  However, as one box of anything gets used, I find it wise for me to order at least three boxes of each item.  These items are housed/kept/stored in various places such as a closet, a drawer, the top quarter of a kitchen cupboard, a purse, an emergency home kit, and an emergency car kit.  They are everywhere I am!  They have to be.  In a sense, I buy myself peace of mind and store it in a closet, drawer, box, bag, etc.  You get the picture.

Visualize, or try to at least, mounds of such supplies in one of your closets?  Do you have the space?  Do you have the money to keep this closet full?  Do you have peace of mind for yourself or a loved one whose beautiful body is assailed by this disease? 

The expense of each and every item is astronomical, truly, to say the least.   

Why Does Insulin Cost More than Ever?”  http://www.diabeteshealth.com/”  I found this link to be beneficial. 

The items I personally require to function, to live, on a daily basis, with their respective approximated  prices, are as follows:

  1. Apidra Insulin: $64.00 per vial (dependent on other factors such as shipping costs and suppliers discounts). One vial of any type/brand of insulin lasts me 4 (four) weeks.
  2. Levemere Insulin: $80.00 per vial (10 ml, to be used 28 days after opening” as stated with other insulin brands).
  3. Box of 100 Syringes: $15.00 http://www.totaldiabetessupply.com/insulin-syringes-and-pen-needles
  4. Insulin Pump: $7,322.00.
  5. Pump Infusion sets (needles):  $129.99 per box of 10 that can last approximately 30 days; http://www.americandiabeteswholesale.com/product/animas-comfort-infusion-set.
  6. Pump Cartridges: $36.50 for a box of 10 cartridges to last 30 days  https://estore.animascorp.com/ProductDetail.
  7. Adhesive Skin Tape: $51.75 per box of 100 can last a healthy time;  http://www.metromedicalonline.com
  8. Lithium Batteries for Insulin Pump: $6.00/2-pak; http://www.megabatteries.com.
  9. Refrigerator (the one I would like to have): $2,500.00.
  10. Home/House Generator: $350.00.
  11. Insulin and Syringe Cold Carrier: $69.99.

And it does not stop here, believe me! 

To conclude, I am sure you get the picture – in more ways than one.  This disease is costing these United States of America a tremendous monetary burden.  Imagine the cost for the world!  Diabetes needs to be cured.  The esteemed Dr. Elliott Proctor Joslin of Oxford Massachusetts foresaw this disease as an epidemic before 1946 (see http://www.mydiabetic soul.com, Chapter 5, page 84) and reported his findings to the Surgeon General of the U. S. Public Health Service at the time.  Therefore, “the” cure must be released.  I would like to see a cure in my lifetime.  I believe in research and researchers.  I have researched and I like researching.  However, appeals for public funding is not only necessary, but presently a bottomless pit.  Contradictory to each other.  So, I pray.

Thank you for reading me.  Please leave your remarks, they are actually a requirement!  My future blogs will be forthwith and available at “mydiabeticsoul.com.”  Link others to it!

Andrea K. Roth (aka:A. K. Buckroth) – MA, CA Notary Public, Author, Speaker, etc.

LENT

March 10, 2011

What is this – “L – E – N – T?”   What is the use of “it?”  What is its purpose?

As a ‘cradle’ Roman Catholic, meaning that I was born into and brought up as a Roman Catholic person, dictates of this religion were and remain ever-present.  They are not bad things by any means.  They are fundamentally Christian.  Christianity is a good thing, right?   I have always held it as a fact in good standing, at least for myself.

As I choose to observe “Ash Wednesday,” strangers always ask me to explain what this is: what is the purpose of having a thumb print of literal ashes placed upon my forehead?  This day, Ash Wednesday,  March 9, 2011, sightings of thousands upon thousands of people will now label themselves as Catholics due to this mark, this brand, in honor of  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Father.  Furthermore, this essay will attempt to clarify Ash Wednesday and answer your similar question/inquiry.

With goodness in mind, the dictionary definition of Lent, as a noun, is: “the period of forty weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter [Sunday] observed in Christian Churches [and homes] through fasting and penitence to commemorate Jesus’ fasting in the wilderness.” *  

This is a period of  “giving up something” as in making a small sacrifice.  Be it coffee, chocolate, cigarettes, an attitude, or a personal characteristic (e.g., controlling, badgering, bullying, cussing), Lent reminds people who each person has the God-given strength and responsibility to want to give up something, as menial as it may seem, to show respect.  THis is respect of self and respect of spiritual nurturing in preparation for the stairway to heaven. 

Catholic masses are scheduled each year to celebrate this holy opportunity as a reminder of Jesus’ life.  Before I get too far, let me share with you that a ‘Mass’ is “the celebration or service of the Eucharist, a sacrament of the Roman Catholic Church, consisting of a series of prayers and ceremonies.” *

“What’s a sacrament?” you ask. “What is the Eucharist?”  I’ll let you look those up on your own!

Back to the topic of Lent, this Catholic observance “prepares the faithful to celebrate the mystery of Jesus Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.  It is a time for reflection and spiritual renewal, a time to examine one’s relationship(s) with God and with others, other humans.  The Church also calls Catholics to a spirit of penance, above all to practice the “Acts of Religion”: fasting, prayer and almsgiving, which express conversion about oneself, to God, and to others.”**  Overall, it is a reminder to be good, to be Christian-like, to keep your soul clean in order to go to heaven, just as simple as that! 

My foundations for this religious belief among so so many others, have become easily understood – respected – since my infancy and upbringing.   This is comfortable for me with its familiarity, helping me to discern right from wrong, good from evil.  And the concept is maintained for at least ninety days out of any year: Ash Wednesday to that last day of Easter.

The ash print on the forehead?  That’s a reminder to each of us that we will die, that we will die as Christians, that we are good people and have striven to follow in the example of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of Mankind, the Redeemer, the Lord of Man, etcetera, etcetera.

I hope this essay helps discern your quandary.  The attached photo display pertains to the Roman Catholic Calendar.  Hopefully this will help you to further understand certain observances and Holy Days.

Happy Easter!  A. K. Buckroth www.mydiabeticsoul.com

* Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, copyright 1983, Dorset & Baber,

** http://www.osv.com/, Our Lady of the Assumption Parish newsletter.