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Anna's Blog

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1
Posted: Sep 2, 2015 16:39:24 0 Comments.
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  •  Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, to help keep us in control, is night and day over what I grew up with.  Really, urine testing to see how your control of your diabetes is in this day and age …. Pweaseeeee …. That is so old school !!!

    My CGM or CGMS  (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System) gives me a trend of how my blood sugar is doing.  If you read my blog from earlier this year, you will see how I managed to get hold of one from a former T1D (Type 1 diabetic), who underwent the Islet Cell Transplant through the Edmonton Protocol.  Click on this link to read it! 

    Last week, I went out, only for what I thought would be a short ½ hour or less trip to the grocery store to pick up some staples.  I left the house, just with the car keys, and my purse.  Well, and my Ziggy my Animas Ping insulin pump, as well as Bowie my CGM. 

    According to Bowie, I was in the good zone.  Arrow on the trend line was level.  I was good to go.

    MISTAKE #1

    I made the ultimate error of not bringing my meter !

    So, I’m finished with what I need to buy.  As I get into the car, and Bowie starts to alarm.  I glance down, he’s a 4 (72) and showing an arrow going down.  Okay, home is only less than 5 minutes drive away, I’m good to go.

    Less than a minute later, Bowie is now really screaming, double arrows (not good), and I’m showing 3.1 (56).  This is NOT good in my books for being a safe driver.  At that point, I knew a) I was hungry (hadn’t had dinner yet); and b) just around the corner … my fav Greek restaurant … that serves up a Pikilia for one (it’s a platter with a smorgasbord of various mezedes and the owner of the restaurant makes the best spanakopita that I’ve ever had this side of the Altantic Ocean).

    So, under 2 minutes … I was in parking lot, inhaling a few sugary things that I keep in the car, and went into the restaurant.

    So, munching away, enjoying the appetizers was pure heaven.  As most of you know it, if you’re not too far gone in hypo fairy land … you can enjoy what you are stuffing into your face.  The only problem, after finishing it up …. Bowie is screaming again (and not like he's singing Changes ) …. ½ hour later … saying I’m 2.5 (45). WTF???

    MISTAKE #2

    With no meter, you cannot confirm the true value of your blood sugar (I never use the CGM for calculating my blood sugar for eating, etc.  – the blood finger test NEVER lies … unless you’ve sucked on it after eating something sweet.

    So …. decadent chocolate cake is ordered up (you can see my Instagram post of the dessert here), and already I’ve started my diabetes education with the waitress of what is happening to me, and she’s going to great lengths to get me back into the good #BGNow zone.  What a sweetie pie (and her husband is a T2D on metformin and Lantus … so she gets what a low is like).

    My point in this blog you maybe asking?

    Always remember, even if you’re only going for a short stroll / walk / whatever … away from home … ALWAYS BRING YOUR BLOOD METER … it never lies.

    NB:  Yes, I did sky rocket later on in the wee hours of the morning … overkill of chocolate cake (I only ate ½ and my DH ate it when I got back home).  The main thing, whether or not you are hypo aware like I am or not … do not play with the Hypo Fairy – she can get nasty on you if you are not careful!!!

    Sky Rocket

    In a slump and scared
    Posted: Jul 21, 2015 17:00:21 1 Comment.
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  • It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org  and sleep apnea testing.  Sleep really is vital to everyone, diabetic or not … without a good sleep … well … we become exhausted, depressed, need I say more?

    So, here’s the jist. 

    • Been in our new home now for close to a month.  Yippee!!!  Searching for new team of doctors is a job in itself.   
    • Trying to figure out where to shop that isn’t all “meat and potatoes” food (the grocery stores I’m used to that are more Middle Eastern are so far not to be found here)  … yippee … sigh. 
    • Realising the street you moved on is a major artery when you were told otherwise by real estate agent who sold you the property … sigh (so far my explorer cat has survived not getting hit … very scary).  
    • Trying to motivate your DH to unpack with the limited time they have at home due to their work schedule … having lived with limited things since putting our previous house on the market back in March … it’s getting old. 
    • This promise of a new beginning, yadda, yadda, yadda, in the land of insulin pumping program (ADP) … isn’t all it’s built up to be.

    Basically, I miss Montreal … my home for the past 26 years (that the new owners just LOVE …. Urrhhh …. why did we make our house so cute).

    The biggest thing that is hitting me for the past few months though is that finally I can admit that diabetes is bringing me down.  I rarely will admit that, and am all smiles (damn they create wrinkles around the eyes … and I’m already feeling like I’ve aged 20 years in the past few months with stress).

    My basal rate is almost down to ½ of what it used to be … and still needing to be tweaked.  Why I’m become even more insulin sensitive is making no sense at all with the extra hormonal issues I’ve been experiencing that were making life the opposite.  Has my body gotten used to them?

    With the use of the Dexcom CGMS … I am now at least getting a better vision of where to tweak things … but what has finally dawned on me lately is … is with my basal portion of my insulin coverage pretty well covered (I mean … .450 / hr seems to be my average hourly rate) it maybe lowered if I continue in this hypo fairy land I seem to exist day in day out.

    limp noodle joke

    As we all know, hypos are exhausting, they leave you like a limp noodle, and the things you have set out to do that most people take for granted … get in car, drive to store, do your shopping … get on bicycle, go for a cycle, get active … go for walk … yadda, yadda, yadda.  I think you get the drift.  To do these simple tasks lately, I’m not able to do them.  It’s bringing me down to the point where I had a friend force me OUT OF MY HOUSE, to go out for a trip with her (searching for green bacon along HWY 2 of eastern Ontario). That did help, but sadly, getting behind the wheel, even with my Dexcom alarm set at 4 (72) … is not much help.  I am crashing in the blood sugar area … and luckily it’s not behind the wheel.

    So, what dawned on me lately is that my other ratios I have been using are wrong for insulin coverage.  I’ve upped my I:C (insulin to carb) ratio … and giving it a test … I see a few times where it will have to be upped more.  Just like our basal rates are different from hour to hour on a pump … and this is where a pump is VERY handy.  You’re sort of stuck with MDI (Multiple Dose Injections) … once injected … you are the insulin slave.

    cat at the wheel

    My other fear?  Tomorrow, I am going to visit my family that I haven’t seen since last year.  I’m driving alone which I never used to feel.  It’s not far, but it’s that background fear of going low.   So my CGMS alarm for going low is set abit higher for that drive (I usually have it at 4/72 … for driving I put it to 5/90 … to allow for any variance in the blood meter verification test).  I did this last week when driving back to Quebec to have the Ontario MOT form filled out by my endo to certify me that I’m insane … JOKING … that I can drive a vehicle in Ontario safely.   The form from Ontario really goes into hypo unawareness unlike the form my endo filled out for the province of Quebec last year for me.  This all stems from Allan Makii, a T1D  who caused a TRIPLE fatal crash while driving with a low blood sugar back in 2009.  

     comic look at unpacking

    So, as I post this blog, and I’ve missed posting them lately, but life has been whacky as you’ve seen … wish me luck … on sorting out my insulin requirements … getting my new home organised with help from my DH when he’s home … and trying to get out of what I think is one of the worst depression bouts I’ve ever had. 

    Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes
    Posted: Mar 27, 2015 0:49:49 0 Comments.
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    " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only

    diabetic who survived years of imprisonment

    in German concentration camps. This is my story "


    The above words are the beginning of Ernest Sterzer memoirs written over a dozen pages that can be read in entirety at Dlife .

    Ernest was born in Vienna, Austria on April 28th, 1925 and diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 3.

    His family were taken eventually to Auschwitz in Poland, and luckily able to bring some of their belongings.  In a small case around his neck, he brought his syringe, needles, and six bottles of insulin.



    During his travels by train, they were lost.


    What follows after that, makes my complaints of having to use glass syringe, and a needle sharpened on a stone  in the 1980’s seem like a luxury when I returned to the UK for awhile. 

    I won't reveal much more than this, but I hope you take the time to read his words.


    Sugar and Your Health
    Posted: Mar 6, 2015 18:27:59 0 Comments.
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  • The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own bread, so have to proof the yeast usually with sugar or honey depending on the recipe). 

    I'd posted on my Facebook page about emptying out this bag after a yearand asked the question .... how much sugar do you go through in a year?

    Here's a few of the responses (names have been removed to protect their privacy):

    • I probably go through about 8 4-lb bags a year. I bake roughly 40 dozen cookies and 15 or more banana bread at Christmas time. I looove to bake. 
    • I bake a lot so maybe 10-20lbs a year!
    • My 1 cup was for visitors coffee/tea.. I personally do not use sugar.. I use stevia/Sucralose.
    • Don't use it, ever. I'm not much of a baker, so I'm sure that helps! My husband and I don't even keep sugar in our home.
    • We do not buy or have sugar in the house unless you count a packet or two from coffee my husband brings home from Starbucks. I do not have or use artificial sweeteners either. I take that back. We bought sugar a long time ago for hummingbird food which my husband makes. I do not even know where he keeps it. Hmmmm ..
    • Don't ever buy white sugar - only bake orange flax bran muffins, and they need 1 cup brown sugar, but we use a mix Brown Sugar Splenda, which needs only half measure, so very, very little for 24 muffins. We do buy some turbinado sugar, a type of brown sugar, of which I like a tiny sprinkle, over my microwaved apple. (allergic to raw apples).

    So, there you have it, various answers to my question ... and to the Humming Bird poster  ... I use sugar for my feeder too ... so that's how I used up the 4 kg bag of sugar <lol>.

    Picture above courtesy of Scrollgirl at Lumberjocks


    What brought me to this subject today though was coming across an article at The Heart and Stroke website in Canada ( I skip all over the place for reading online). What it states is, and we don't really have to be told this is ...

    " Consuming too much sugar is associated with heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancer and cavities "

    Duhhhh, I know that, though maybe being diabetic makes me more conscious of eating foods with sugar due to how it affects our blood sugar, as well as causing weight gain if we eat too much sweet stuff, even with giving the right amount of insulin to keep the blood sugars (BGNow) at a good level.

    Again, it's all about how much you consume, and if you don't want to consume it, that is fine as well!! I know many people who don't use sugar in their coffee (I'm like one of the posters on my wall, I use a small amount of turbinado sugar into my coffee ... and my husband ... he drinks it black ... ugh).

    And, to get you even more excited about sugar ..... NOT ...

    " For an average 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, 10 per cent is about 48 grams, or 12 teaspoons of sugar. One can of pop contains about 85 per cent of the daily added sugar limit "

    So, if this blog has perked your interest about the evils of sugar (it's not ALL evil, just watch what you eat) - check out this link to find out sugar reduction tips by The Heart and Stroke Foundation!

    Remember too, which is what I follow religiously .....

    " Cooking at home more often will help you reduce sugar in your meals "

    Though next week in Las Vegas at the Diabetes unConference - who knows what I'll be eating / drinking in the after hours of the conference, so I'd better walk it off, or else face weight gain, and higher blood sugars! LOL


    NB:  I thought I'd written about sugar consumption before ... click on this this link from October 2013 ... and you'll find more on the subject.

    Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries
    Posted: Feb 20, 2015 14:11:15 0 Comments.
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  • I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in that period <lol>) - we had a great time.

    I managed to meet up with some great diabetics along the way, that knew I was coming into their ports ... and here is one little story I'd like to pass along to you (more to flow from my finger tips over the weeks).  This will hopefully warm your heart as much as it did for me - especially now that I'm the land of snow and cold winter temperatures in Canada (with wind chill it is currently a balmy -30C as I'm composing this - not the 20C we were having in Miami yesterday - brrrhhh).

    Straw Market Nassau

    When I got off in Nassau, I headed off for abit of a jaunt to get my sea legs back into shape (and burn off some of the foods I'd been eating on the cruise ship - oink, oink).  I sauntered through the Straw Market on that chilly day.  I had on a wool sweater - and looked like a local compared to the tourists in little flimsy gear.  I was warm and cozy that was the main thing.

    I happened to come across a stall that had some cute hand embroidered straw bags with of course ... Hello Kitty on them.  Because I love to spoil my grand niece Mallory, I stopped by and picked up one, and had her name put on it.  I started chatting to the owner of the booth as she was embroidering my neices names on to the basket, to discover that her Grandmother's name was Anna and things progressed from there to a few of us sitting around on chairs just chatting away like we'd known each other for years.  This is the best part of when I travel, meeting up with people.

    She was tellling me that in the Bahamas diabetes is a very big problem due to what she feels is the introduction of foods brought from other countries. Before canned, processed food came to their islands from other countries, she said that diabetes was something that you rarely heard of.  As she was talking to me, I noticed how beautiful her skin was, how vibrant she looked, despite the hard work that she has to do every day (the Bahamian government rents out the stalls to them - hers had belonged to Anna and passed on down to her).  It's not an easy life, but she is happy and manages.  

    When I told her I'd had Type 1 diabetes for 50 years, and how old I was, she told me how old she was. What shocked me is that she is 70 years old and to me, she looked much younger.  I told her this, and that got her and her friends laughing away.  They all told me that they feel that eating from the ground, foods that are not over processed (no foods that have been canned) are what they think is the secret to good health (and I told them maybe not having frigid cold temperatures like Canada probably helps). Food that is prepared fresh, not fast was the big point that I came out of our conversation about their healthy way of eating.   

    Cassava or yuca

    She gave me verbally the recipe for making her favourite cassava dish (or yuca as it is also known).  Full of vegetables and slow cooked to perfection. When I find time to do some research and make up the dish myself, I'll post the recipe.  It's not a dish for the low carb eaters out there, but even if sampled abit, am sure it won't spike your blood sugars as drastically as what a potato based stew would do for you.

    Peruvian Yucu fries

    I can add further to this proof, of the yuca wedge fries I had in a Peruvian restaurant in Miami about a week later, that were to die for.  I guesstimated the amount of carbs, and no crazy spiking.  It helped that I had a bowl of fish soup that was to die for to slow down the process of the carbs!!!  Psst, if you're in the SOBE area ... check out Chalan on the Beach - good prices (dishes are large portion - so shareable) - fresh ingredients - drool worthy!!!  Even Sock Monkey liked it there!

    In the meantime, I've come across a yuca oven fry recipe that I'll be giving a try once I've got restablished back here at home.  Maybe you'll want to check it out for youself and give it a go.

    How many of you have incorporated this root vegetable into your meal plan and had great success with blood sugar control?  I'd love to hear from you!!

    My first month with Bowie my Dexcom G4 CGMS
    Posted: Feb 4, 2015 8:21:17 0 Comments.
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  • I'm hooked on you … despite it being out of pocket … I can’t resist the urge to push the button of Bowie, my Dexcom receiver to see how I’m doing.  It’s slightly addictive in away.  I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Another friend of mine, Sarah who lives here in Montreal, and just started pumping for the first time, lucked in on getting approval for the Animas Vibe (unlike myself where I didn’t).  The odd thing, she still has to pay for the sensors, but it’s much less expensive than going the route I will be with averaging about $5K a year with the stand alone system  that I have (which as I wrote earlier – was a “gift” from an islet cell recipient who no longer needs it.

    So far the first sensor that I’d placed on my abdomen on December 22nd, 2014 remained working faithfully away until I pulled it off on January 22, 2015. 

    Then Sarah questioned me about skin health under our sensor/tape that was holds the sensor/transmitter it in place. I thought, why take a chance, bad things maybe happening underneath and removed the sensor despite it still working. You'd never know anything was on my skin, and I hadn't seen what the sensor bit looked like (I only knew it was width of hair strand).  So cool - it's a piece of metal (anyone reading this - saying ... duh - didn't she know this from the start ... uhmmm no - I just jumped in with my eyes closed when I started using the Dexcom ... no educator ... just did it my way like I have done with the insulin pump).

    I am really enjoying this experience with the Dexcom while it lasts.  It is giving me the complete picture of how I am using my insulin, how stress, etc. can affect my blood sugars.  I mean, I always knew why things went up and down with my blood sugars, but never saw the complete picture to fully understand it, but the trend graph doesn’t lie.  Or at least so far it hasn’t.

    I’m looking forward to giving this a go when I start to finally get the courage to start working out with more intensity.  In the past, I’ve been having problems sticking to an exercise routine because I’ll be all gun hoe, then I crash either before or during the exercise period.  That’s because I was not using my insulin correctly!  I’ve done a few basal tests, which the CGMS helps (I can actually sleep through the night time one – which in the past meant getting up every hour).

    Again, like the insulin pump, YOU are the brains behind how this device works.  It does have a set low alarm, which sadly in the beginning was going off a lot, due to my having the incorrect basal settings for overnight.  I’ve now got my basal settings for the night at my happy zone (I like to be between 5-6.5 mmol/l or 90-120 mg/dl). One thing I find with the Dexcom, is when it warns you are starting to go low. If you treat it right away with the correct amount of carbs (I prefer apple juice during the night) – I no longer wake up with a high reading like I used to.  Nipping it early in the bud makes a big difference, or at least it does for me.

    Near the third week of my first sensors life I had it taped up with various items to keep the sensor from coming off (I found the weight of the transmitter could literally make it fall off if I didn’t have it secured on this way).  I found Bioclusive transparency patches that I use for my infusion sets from time to time. which I had cut a hole in the center on the second week, works the best as you see in the picture below (note the grey area off to the right of the sensor - is old adhesive from surgical tape that just didn't work).

    Originally I had the sensor on my stomach which is the only place that Dexcom recommends you putting it on (it was tested for use on stomach only according to their manual).  I’ve read of many other people placing it in other spots, which still give them good results.  Arms, thighs, back side, even the breast.  Women who have placed the sensor there say they find it less in the way.  When it came to my 2nd sensor, I was game at the time to try it, but then I chickened out at the last minute. Instead I placed it just below where the band of my bra is, and initially it hurt like heck when the introducer needle put the sensor in (I felt like screaming, then got a slight case of feeling light headed) – but that quickly passed.  I’m now approaching my 3rd week – and it’s actually holding up much better in this area, with tape not lifting up at all.

    I’m still on the fence post about wearing the Dexcom during my upcoming holidays.  Whether I pack a replacement transmitter with me for the time I’m away is still something I’m not sure about.  I either take my chance, or hope my sensor lasts thru’ the weeks holidays, or when it dies; I just go without it for a few days until I get back home.

    Dang, I’ve kind of fallen in love with Bowie (sorry – had to give my CGMS yet another name … remember … he’s part of the gang that hang around with me 24/7 --- Ziggy (Animas Ping) – and my One Touch blood meter … Stardust.

    Midnight Three and Six and artificial pancreas technology
    Posted: Jan 27, 2015 13:48:40 0 Comments.
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  • I came across a story called Midnight Three and Six on The New York Times website today.  I am utterly floored by the short documentary that accompanies the article.  It's llike looking at myself (and maybe you will feel the same) in the same story line.  This is how many of us live our lives. Though for some of us, I know for myself, it's just always been what I do having had Type 1 diabetes for so long.

    The documentary shows a Mum’s efforts to manage her 15 year old daughter Grace's daily struggle with a life-threatening condition.  It is something we can all relate to, and watching this made me abit teary eyed at times.  It is the fear of the Mum with her daughter going low at night that really struck me.  Having the Dexcom now, I can relate - annoying at times ... but it's been useful for me to catch the hypo earlier, and not deal with crazy highs the next day if I have slept through it ... or over dealt with fixing it due to panic.

    The goal of this documentary is to show others that don't quite understand the difference between Type 1 and 2.  I think it really brings it across very well.

    They are hoping to raise funds for Grace to have an artificial pancreas by the time she turns 20.  


    On top of this story I came across one from last week about a 4-year-old in Australia receiving the world’s first artificial pancreas.  Also, Jane Reid, from New South Wales, is going to be fitted with the pump (this may have already occured since the articles publication) making her the first adult to be fitted with the device. 

    After 5 years of clinical studies a new insulin pump is now commercially available in Australia for children and adults (wonder when it will be available here in North America?). It can mimic the biological function of the pancreas, stopping insulin delivery when glucose level drops, avoiding a low blood glucose. When glucose level recovers, the artificial pancreas recognises this and resumes insulin delivery. I'm sure that there is still human interaction with this, just like there is with the devices I use, but it's a step in the right direction, despite it being yet again another money "Pharma rules" device that some of can or can't afford.

    It's still not the same thing as a "real" pancreas, or a CURE - so the title about this little lad having an "artificial pancreas" is a wee bit misleading.   That's my opinion of course, as I pat Ziggy (my Animas Ping pump) on my left side of my waistband nd my Dexcom CGMS on the other side.

    Now isn't he just the cutest little Superman or what????

     Above photo courtesy of http://encomium.ng/


    NB: For more insight into the discussiion of "artificial pancreas" - check out Craig Idlebrook's post at Insulin Nation

    Wearing a dress with medical gadgets
    Posted: Jan 24, 2015 18:39:12 2 Comments.
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  • I've always been abit of a fashionista ... I live in Montreal ... that doesn't help ... as fashion abounds here.  Despite working from a home office, and just lounging around in comfy clothing, sometimes I like to go out and become a wild cat ... and slick my fur  to look elegant and demure ;)

    Since going onto the pump in 2008, I've had to change the type of clothing I wear due to accessing the pump to bolus and do other functions.  I had tried a thigh holder, but sadly the lady no longer makes them, and didn't give me much advise on where to get the products she used to make them. I attempted to make a few, from similar materials, but failed. Testing them out meant the pump was dropping as far as the tubing it would allow it to go as the spandex leg band I'd made slid further, further down.

    Diabetes Depot, a Canadian company (and run by a few staff with diabetes - including the pharmacist Tino Montopoli) deals with products for diabetics.   He sells the American product called GirlyGoGarter.  I did some research on it last year, but the website/Tino didn't have much info about measurements for the thigh area.  Because it's considered lingerie, you cannot return it, so if I had ordered up the incorrect size, I would have been stuck with something I couldn't use. 

    They show women with just about everything but the kitchen sink in this velcro held lacy/strechy band around the upper thigh that is backed with a rubber type of material (similar to what you would find with stay up stockings).  They are running, dancing, walking and with what many of them have stuffed into it, it's not going down.  So, I was sold and decided to order one this week despite the no return policy (it's lingerie so can't be returned like many stores do).

    For myself, I am doing some test runs with it, and as you see in the picture below, with my insulin pump Ziggy and his side kick Dexcom receiver ... there is more room for other medical devices like the FreeStyle Lite meter that I may place in one of the many pockets on the lace band.  You can place items within the lace bit like I've done OR for security, there is a inner spandex band that will hold things more secure.  I gave it a good test, running up/down stairs,  chasing the cats around the house, sitting down, getting up ... no slippage unlike the other leg pump holders I've had over the years.

    I don't usually promote devices that are commercially made, but for diabetic gals who like to wear a dress from time to time ... I'm giving this a thumbs up. 

    The nice thing is, even if I go to MDI (multiple dose injections) like I do from time to time when I take a pump break ... this will still come in handy to keep my needles, etc. if I don't wish lug an over the shoulder boulder holder and at same times have my hands free! 

    Check out the website for more info ... and if you live in Canada ... you can buy it directly from Diabetes Depot for $39.95.  The measurements are pretty accurate and the suggestion of going to a smaller size worked out for me. My thigh measurement was just at the beginning of the largest size possible in their product line.  If I had not done this, it would be too large.

    Hope this helps any of you facing similar situations of where to keep medical devices, other objects that will leave you looking less bulking with devices around your waist line, etc.

    Back to dreaming of being in warm climate ... with bare legs (oh - this only works on bare legs ... but according to GirlyGoGarter ... they are working on a new product that will be for those women who wear it over tights, etc.)

    NB:  I had written a blog a few years ago with a link for instructions to make one ... I have yet to give that a go ... but if you can't afford to buy one ... have the time ... check out this link to learn how.  One day, I'll manage to find the time, but I just happened to luck in on having some cash to splash for a treat to myself.

    My First Night with Dexcom G4 CGMS
    Posted: Dec 24, 2014 11:22:39 0 Comments.
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  • As I suspected, the basal settings that I’ve got overnight on my insulin pump Ziggy are a wee bit too much.  A month ago, Animas Canada sent a CDE over to see me (also a pump wearer) – to go over my settings in my pump program as I was having issues with high blood sugars with menopause.

    Psst - if you want to see a full size of above to see descriptions - go to this link - sorry Diabetes1.org doesn't allow me to load up larger pics

    I actually didn’t get going on the pump until about 3 weeks after seeing her, when I decided to get off MDI (I go back / forth between pumping and MDI).  After 2 weeks of battling lows at night, tweaking basal settings, I lucked in on getting the DEXCOM G4 (see my day before blog on this).

    As I went to bed last night, I started seeing the trend going down and put the pump into temporary basal setting.  A few hours later, alarms started,  (freaking out the cat under the sheets – she likes to cuddle up to me at night) – DH … slept right thru’ like a baby (which is usual <lol>).  At that point, because I’m a smart kitty kat, I “lowered” my basal setting abit more.

    Little did I know, in my hypo state, I was actually INCREASING!!!

    So, here I was dipping in the upper 2ish mmol/l (40 mg/dl) range and thinking – “wow – this is the greatest things since sliced bread” and “no wonder I’ve been tired so much lately, I’ve been sleeping through all of these lows that are alarming”.

    Come 0600, with alarming / vibrations almost every ½ hour … I decided in my infinite wisdom to lower the temporary basal setting ….  and when I looked at the history of the basal’s … BING … I’d increased instead of lowered.

    Scary stuff – lesson learnt – that sometimes the Hypo Fairy makes me a dumb diabetic – who doesn’t think before they press buttons. 

    Overall though, I think this will be a useful tool for me.  If only this tool was available to every diabetic that wants it or even better, if your diabetic clinic/endo could loan you one at a lower cost than what a personal one costs.  I would splash out the cash, with the hopes that insurance might cover part of it.

    Sadly, when asking the endo at the Lakeshore hospital that I went to for pre-op earlier iin November – if this was available … no (and neither is Diasend for them to see how you are doing).  The same applies to my other two doctors I see for health concerns.

    On the bright side of all this, the Animas CDE has told me of a new young doctor, in my neck of the woods of Montreal that is seeking insulin pump clients.  She said I’d be a good patient to help him learn the ropes, while he’s training with Animas Canada.  I sort of like that idea, and the fact I’ll finally have a doctor that will get what I’m saying when I talk about my insulin pump.

    Things are looking good for the New Year for … Ziggy … Stardust … and _______________ fill in blank for name of Dexcom D4 (if you can think of a neat name – let me know).

    So, now I’m going to slink away from the desktop, get cracking on my visitors arriving today (ehgads the house is a mess), and I’ll see you all in the New Year (have promised myself and visitors I will not work during the holidays … easier said than done, but I’ll try my best).

    Welcome Ziggy Stardust
    Posted: Dec 23, 2014 16:36:14 0 Comments.
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  • ... my new Animas One Touch PING (I think of the game ping pong with that name) insulin pump that I started on yesterday aka Ziggy and his side kick Stardust - the OneTouch meter remote (no more lifting my skirts up to reveal my knickers to the world when I want to do a bolus).  

    It will take abit of getting used to how much blood Stardust uses compared to Limoncello - my FreeStyle Lite (who will remain as my standby for days I can't squeeze out large droplets of vampire blood.

    I had wanted to change to the Vibe, which has the CGMS option on it's screen which is an extra $200 (the PING is $6,995).  I paid for it on my credit card that is allowing an extra 1 year warranty on it on top of the 4 year warranty you get with the pump (having had previous probs with the 2020 - I wanted to ensure I had 1 extra year more).  I'm one smart cookie aren't I?  Well, you won't think so after reading the following.

    Laws here in Canada do NOT allow you to change your mind once you've purchased a pump ... even if the box isn't opened - live and learn - or move to US of A - where you have better consumer protection - from some of the thread discussion I've read on forums.   

    So, tonight - it's installing a Dexcom G4 sensor - the transmitter and receiver was given to me by islet cell transplant - who now insulin free (whoo! whoo!)  from Alberta.   I may continue to use it out of pocket once the Christmas present of box of sensors that my Animas rep gave to me (ususallly a box of 4 will set you back $340 for a month supply - cha ching) - runs out.

    One thing I am finding out about the Dexcom ... after reading/watching the videos on their site.  They keep on telling you that ... the CGMS does not replace your blood meter ... that whatever your CGMS tell you - that you should go with what your finger prick #BGNow number is.  This is one thing I did not realise when looking into the CGMS.  I knew a blood test had to be done a few times a day - but not some of what I came across at this link.  Therefore, you still have to purchase perhaps as many blood test strips as you had before, in order to stay in a good BG zone.

    So, between testing still with the finger sticks as some of us call them - and then to justify the the $7K yearly cost is abit scary (like buying a used car every year as my DH put it to me - men are so practical when it comes to justifying a purchase).   Thank goodness for DTC here in Canada as well, but we have yet to see how much we can claim since I was approved a few years ago ... it's sitting down ... pulling out past income taxes, etc. etc.  aka - we'd rather be sailing - than crunching numbers.  Though my DH says he'll keep on working as long as he has to for affording these items - but the rotten thing is ... he's able to retire next year after 35 years. 


    Can you tell that I feel so guilty that my DH has to work longer due to my diabetes at times?  That shows you how much someone loves you when they give up their retirement plans for you (his are sailing around the world - but you never know - maybe we'll be able to do it).

    So, here's to the next adventure with devices from Animas .... 


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