Home
 »  Community
 »  Blogs
 »  Annas_Blog
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!


<< March 2015 >>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

 Blog Entries
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 ...
more
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 ...
more
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 ...
more
My first month with Bowie my Dexcom G4 CGMS - Feb 04
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.  ...
more
Midnight Three and Six and artificial pancreas technology - Jan 27
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. ...
more
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes
Posted: Mar 27, 2015 0:49:49 0 Comments.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  •  

    " 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • 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.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • ... 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.  Thoough 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. 

    GUILT!!!

    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 .... 

    Pre-op visit with endo at hospital
    Posted: Nov 25, 2014 23:32:04 2 Comments.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • I’d written earlier about going for pre-op for surgery (which has now been cancelled and moved up to January for some reason – so more time for me to dwell on … do I go for it / or not?).  At the time the pre-op team didn’t realize I was a Type 1 diabetic for some reason, and red flags went up when I questioned them what to do with my insulin pump regime.  Especially for my after care with 3 day hospital stay for recovery.  The pre-op doctor had said that they had 2 endocrinologists that understood how to work with patients with pumps.  That excited me to no end, as I’ve never had an endo/GP with that knowledge.  I’m self taught in most aspects of how I control my diabetes health, by keeping up with latest technology, discussing it with my medical team, and they allow me to self guinea pig myself with what I want to try.  I am my own boss behind what I do with my health care for diabetes – but sometimes it can get exhausting – but I refuse to give into burnout from diabetes. 

    Fast forward, I arrived at the clinic in the Lakeshore Hospital.  The diabetic clinic was a small place, with patients waiting (during the time I was there - one guy was glugging water like he was a fish out of water –  sprinting to the loo to pee like a horse – sadly the door does not have good sound barrier …. uhhhmmm – diabetic out of control with their ???).  I asked the receptionist, out of curiosity sake, if patients were able to share their pump/blood glucose information via Internet to their office (I use Diasend with my Animas pump).  I think she was almost embarrassed and a few of the staff members behind her as well, when she said “No”.  Oh, Oh, …. I’m thinking to myself … am I wasting my time coming to this clinic?   I looked around at various info on walls and in the hand out sections … everything … geared for Type 2 diabetics.  Hot flash started due to panic mode at that point.  I am ready to run out of the hospital!!

    Hour and half later, sweating like a pig due to being dressed for cold weather (and that day we were experiencing unusual high temps of 18C in Montreal – ovey) – I see the endo.   She gets down to asking me my history.   My saying how long I’d had Type 1 diabetes seemed to floor her and at that point I wish I’d said … I’ve only had diabetes for 15 years, which she had thought I’d said when I’d told her I was coming close to year 50 of diagnosis (I joked about applying for the Joslin award – I was nervous at this point – white coat syndrome as usual).

    Then we got to my insulin regime.  I told her I was currently on MDI (multiple dose injections) – but planning to go onto pump again on December 1st since I thought I had figured out the right dosage for my basal portion of my insulin regime with Levemir.  She seemed puzzled by my not taking the same amount for each meal (I explained it depended on the blood sugar (BG) reading at the time, my I:C ratio, ISF ).  I asked her if she understood what TDD meant?  A term used in the pumping world for Total Daily Dose … she did – but she didn’t seem that interested. 

    At this point, I knew I was not seeing an endo with full knowledge of pump experience (as she spoke to me – I slowly undid George Michael’s battery cap, and slunk him iaway for future use).  She admitted that not many people use insulin pumps, and that even the largest diabetic centre in Montreal isn’t as well.  For my upcoming surgery, she does NOT want me on my insulin pump but to stay on the regime I'm on at present.  She wants me on my current regime but RN's will be under my orders … if I am with it …  otherwise they will follow the protocol the endo has written out - which scares me .... on the order form she has put down that I take 4 units of NovoRapid for each meal – which I told her could send me into hypo land if a) I had a low blood sugar; or b) I didn’t eat all the food on the tray).  Gulp.

    This is obviously not the United States of America – where I’ve heard from other insulin pump users going into surgery, sometimes wearing a pump.  There are no CDE’s able to help you manage your health … not at least in Quebec where doctors are Gods.  No pharmacist or CDE can help assist you in your health regime – so you suffer while you await to see a specialist.

    Wait though, there is some good out of this visit.  She wants to see me in February, and she is actually going to be testing me for celiac disease, which is common among Type 1 diabetics.  I had asked previous doctors for this test, and they’d look at me like I was off my block.

     

    The other thing that was interesting about this so called “pre-op” visit.  My feet were examined by her doing a few tests which she says should be done every year for diabetics by a doctor.  I have NEVER EVER had my feet examined by a doctor.  She was amazed at the sensitivity of my feet, ability to still feel (I joked about not wearing socks with sandals, only as a child with my parents did I have to do that – memories of being made fun of by American kids at a beach in Maine one year will never be erased from my sponge brain).  IIf I’d known she was going to do this, I would have washed them.  Luckily, she said my feet were in amazing shape …. again the emphasis was due to how long I’d been diabetic.  It’s like … what … am I supposed to have dinosaur looking feet or ????

    Yes, I’m scared.  I want to cancel the surgery even more so now.  Time to write a letter to my surgeon.  I must stop procrastinating!

    I have a month to decide
    Posted: Nov 17, 2014 20:11:37 0 Comments.
  • Report this Post
  • Comment on this Post
  • The-sea-of-time by Kyle Bean - http://www.kylebean.co.uk/

    If any of you read my posts on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been going through some little health problems that are compromising the control of my #diabetes.  It’s nothing serious, just the usual “woman” issues that occur as we get on in life. 

    Just last week, I went for a pre-op for a partial hysterectomy ( 1-2 hours of slice ‘n dice time for my surgeon and moi).  It’s to remove some large fibroids in my cervix that over the past 30+ years HAD (and I stress this with caps) become painful.  When I finally saw the gynecologist (gyno) back in June, I was a bleeding mess (menses lasting up to a month), slightly anemic due to blood loss, along with discomfort from pressure of fibroids against the bladder, I was exhausted (thyroid problems weren’t helping there).  I’ve always thought I had a bladder built like a truck driver; I can go on forever without having to take a wee.  Not so anymore, pressure of fibroids … hmmm, you want that truck load of bananas to arrive still green … pick another driver.

    While she’s down there in the nether regions, due to my age, she’s going to remove the uterus since I’m at the age where I’m too old to have a kittens.  Recovery time of 4-6 weeks.  I’m fine with that, with diabetic mastopathy surgery back in 2009  – I was back on my feet faster then a speeding bullet.  Though this maybe abit different with the act of sitting on the throne and pushing out a load of crap!

    What initially lead me to write this #dblog (aka my online diary that some people read) was after the blood work/EKG.  The RN, who after going instructions for what I was to do the night before surgery, etc. told me …   “that was it.  You are free to go home”.  I then stupidly asked the RN, “what about my insulin coverage for diabetes on that day?”  I told her I’d be probably back on the pump at that time since I’m on a break from it due to not having greatest control of #BGNow.  Hormonal issues with peri-menopause have increased my TDD (total daily dosage) to …. 60% and I was having infusion site issues with larger doses of insulin!!!  Really, it’s like I’m a T2D (Type 2 diabetic) with insulin resistance – and no – with my #dblog post in October – my endo refuses to allow me to take metformin to help control this resistance - urrrhhhh.  Sadly,  I don’t see my GP until end of January 2015 to see if she’ll consider allowing me to try this out (she was the one that allowed me to go onto Synthroid since my endocronolgist aka endo had refused).  I also explain to the RN, that in past surgery’s my endo signs papers to allow me to take full control of my insulin regime once I’m conscious.

    So, the RN decides I will need to talk to a doctor at this point.  A short wait of an hour (I was catching up on a few English newspapers that I don’t receive where I live in Montreal – I was in heaven – reading about local stuff) – I get to see the doctor.  He goes over my medications, tells me to stop a few before the surgical date.  He asks me what my #BG (blood glucose) average is.  I tell him the story of my recent roller coaster ride with the #BG.   The only good thing about my telling him this …. I’m now maybe going to see one of the two endo’s that understand pump technology, but … and this will be hard for me … I’m supposed to keep my lips zipped on the fact I already have an endocrinologist (who sadly does not understand pump technology and is just my pimp for prescriptions).

    On top of all that’s swirling in my sponge brain, is the hospital I went to.  It has not got the greatest reputation and I personally avoid it at all costs (though according to one #PWD (person with diabetes) – it’s improved).  BTW, I detest hospitals, white jackets.  I’m probably not alone in this statement, especially when it comes to medical staff not understanding the complexities of #diabetes and those of us on an insulin regime that maybe is not by their “book standards”.  I’m self-taught in what I do with both MDI (multiple dose injecting) / insulin pumping, due to being unable to find help where I live.

    So now after all of this scribble, I am now in peri-menopause since August, no more keeping Protecter & Gamble’s stock up with purchasing sanitary supplies (that we get taxed on in Canada of 15% ovey!! – what a bloody rip off).  Anyway, I wasn’t expecting was to go into peri-menopause, and guess what?  No more discomfort, pain.  According to what I’ve read, fibroids shrink at this point in time, which does not necessitate having surgery. 

    So, I’m on the fence post whether I should just cancel the surgery, or go ahead.  What would you do in my case?  Preserve your stomach for future MDI and infusion sets (while I healed from the 4-6” incision there will be less real estate for me to play with)?

    RSS

    Longterm Health Risks Part 4
    High Blood Pressure- Long-Term Health Risks
    Why diabetes increases the risk of high blood pressure, and how to lower ...
    more more Featured Videos
    Cost Savings Tool
    Do you know the annual cost of managing your diabetes? Would you like to find ways to reduce your costs? Calculate your total budget and identify ways to save money. You can do this in just a few minutes by entering facts about the products you use. This quick analysis will provide you with a comprehensive overview of both spending and potential savings.

    Cost Savings Tool
    Monitor Comparison Tools
    Blood glucose monitors offer an easy way to test your blood sugar at home or on the go. Use this comparison tool as a guide to learn more about the features and benefits of your current monitor or to find a new one.
    Handheld Monitor Comparison
    Continuous Glucose Monitor Comparison
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    Ever wonder if you are at a healthy weight? Then enter your height and weight in our advanced Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. This tool provides you with two important numbers reflecting the estimated impact of your present body weight and shape upon your overall health.
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    more Care Tools
    Home | About Us | Press | Make a Suggestion | Content Syndication | Terms of Service | Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy
    Last updated: Apr 18, 2015  ©1999- 2015 Body1 All rights reserved.