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Blog Entries With Tag: Lantus
Posted: Oct 15, 2014
Have you ever had a heart to heart talk with your pharmacist who delivers your “legal” drugs? I know that a few of my American D-mates only deal with online pharmacies – and I’ve always wondered about that – other than them telling you you’re not covered by your insurance – do you ever have a chat with someone who is wondering why you take the meds you do to maintain your health and knows what your talking about?
While I find the right dose with Synthroid for my thyroid aka Hashimoto disease (hi yaaaa - karate chop to the head!!!!). I’ve been requesting my GP to increase my dosage to get myself to a level of TSH that makes me feel happy – and she’s willing to go along with me as I experiment <lol> - which was my reason for my pharmacy visit at Costco today). I decided at the same time to order up some fast acting insulin since I was getting low on my current bottle (I only order up 1 at a time). I use NovoRapid, which I’ve been using for as long as I can remember, whenever it came onto the market (remember – I’ve been thru’ many vials since ’67 – I don’t have the memory to retain all the various types over those years – there’s better things to remember than … which one was I using back in 1984 – and who knows – some of you will remember what you used – me … nope … I just remember my fav bevy … Brador beer from across the river in Hull in the disco days – “ I want action – I got so much to give – I love the night life – I got to boogie “ .....
I paid up for all my goodies (of course – who doesn’t want to throw in a few bottles of test strips – let’s get the party going – whoot! whoot! long live the punctured fingertip). Then the cashier told me that the pharmacist wanted to talk to me before they handed over what I'd just paid for. Hmmm, only time they’ve done that is for a new med. What could it be?
Apparently, the pharmacist couldn’t understand why I had long lasting insulin on my file. I explained the story of George Michael – my Animas 2020 pump – being out of warranty – dying on Dec 31/15 - no longer using him when I went on airline trips with no warranty, etc. and having to resort to using the old – bend over –throw the dart aka needle into your behind like a pro dart player!!! Bull’s eye!!! Along with my trial with Levemir insulin for my long lasting regime - which I didn't do so well with due to allergic reactions (that was new to her - and she was very interested).
All over, it was a very interesting discussion for us both - I learned a few things about her trade - and she too about what I do within the diabetic community aka DOC. She said she only knows what she learned at school about Type 1 diabetes – and talking to me – made her appreciate what we go through – and what works for each of us (no one system works for another person – we are all different with our control of our health).
And with this short little blog – I bid you adieu for the evening – while I prepare to head to Jenna’s Journey tomorrow – to put her to sleep for the winter months on her comfy little cradle that will keep her upright out of the water. It’s been a busy past few weeks getting her prepared for the winter. I am not looking forward to the next 8 months on dry land as you can tell. Sigh – dreaming already of next year’s adventures on her.
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Tags: Costco (1) DOC (1) sailing (1) Animas 2020 (1) T1D (1) prescription (1) Lantus (1) pharmacist (1)
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Posted: Apr 28, 2014
This blog post is dedicated to Susan Townsend who died of a stroke on April 10th. She’d become a diabetic in the 1980’s, and she struggled with it, she admits that she thought she was the “ world’s worst diabetic. Diabetes eventually lead her to become blind in 2001 and almost 10 years later she suffered kidney failure and her eldest son Sean donated his kidney after she’d waited a few years for a donor (now is that a son or what?). I thoroughly enjoyed reading her books over the years – if you’ve never heard of / or read ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ “– I am saying “shame on you “ – go to your library, bookshop, get thyself a copy – and keep on reading all of her fantastic books.
Wednesday, February 19th
I’ve sort of been out of the loop lately – especially with diabetes discussions on the Internet – and composing my entertaining blogs. My life lately has been overwhelmed by dealing with thyroid issues – or at least that’s what I think it is – with my lab work for endocrinology showing the signs. My endo I see for my diabetes (the one that was against my going onto a pump, etc.) – has been telling me for years that “eventually you’ll be on meds” – that’s despite my asking him if he agreed with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) new guidelines for TSH normal range and recommended to change it from 0.5-5.0 to 0.3-3.0 (this was back in 2002!). He rolled his eyes – end of discussion. At that time - I was over the 3.0 range - and feeling like crappola (lose weight - eat less - exercise was his basic advise).
Today – after my lab work from the previous week for my GP – where I had ticked off extra tests for my thyroid panel rather than just the TSH which really doesn't reveal all the dirty details. I pay 20% out of pocket for these tests to be done in a lab rather than government run clinic - wher they don't allow the patient to have a copy of their results - ssshhh - if only I lived in France). My feelings are, it's my body - I want to know how to make things better along with my health team. This time - thank goodness - my GP obliged me with giving me a prescription for Synthroid– the lowest dose possible – it’s a start - to hopefully regaining a normal life again.
Dare I mention that it’s helpful to have your DH with you on a doctor’s visit – because I think otherwise she might have dismissed my pleas for help (I was getting desperate - to the point of jumping out of a tall building and going splat).
Wednesday, March 5th
I’m really behind on keeping up my journal. actually have to admit – that I now understand how an adult – being diagnosed with diabetes feels. It’s very daunting – when you don’t know what the heck you are dealing with. For myself – by doing research – trying to learn all the terms that are associated with my thyroid are just the same as diabetes. It’s mind boggling!!! Personally, I’m finding having diabetes – even with the roller coaster ride I’m going on currently with my blood sugars (#BGnow) going wacko (oh – did I mention I’m peri-menopausal right now – I’m a constant bleeding and emotional pig – which I’m trying to cope with so I don’t worry my DH). Diabetes is the easy part of my life at the moment compared to what I’m dealing with having had it since I was a child – it’s like riding a bike. Thyroid disorder – is like learning how to surf (whack goes the board into my head – do people wear helmets when they’re learning I wonder.
Monday, March 17th
Heart burn city!!! Never experienced this before. I don’t know how people put up with this when it’s caused by eating. Mine I think is caused by the Synthroid. So far, no success with having GP return my call for advise - just her RN - saying she'd follow up. Nothing. Mint flavoured calcium packed Tums - delicious - semi affective on the pain. I’ll keep on popping the Synthroid pill – which I’ve discovered – tastes slightly sweet (reminds me of baby aspirins – that some kids used to pop like candy – bad, bad, bad).
Tuesday, April 1st
Urrrhhhh!!! Of all days - April Fool's - I’ve had enough of this – doubling my dose – did I tell you some of the symptoms I’ve been having over the years??? Sit back – have a drink – gonna tell you a story about a man call Jed …
Weight gain!!!! I’m afraid to pull out the scale – at my GP’s visit – I’d gained 10 pounds (4.5 kg) over a few months. I have rolls of fat on my back now – never had that before) Muu Muu dresses are my fav thing to wear – except difficult in winter months when you have to go out! And with my difficulty with staying warm (I’m frozen all the time – so unlike me – I even wear a hat inside the house – brrrhh – it’s Spring time!!!). Therefore, I’m actually not going out much anymore – no energy – I want to sleep like I’m Sleeping Beauty. To be happy about waking up in the AM – would be oh such a wonderful thing to appreciate again. It’s been close to 3 years since all of this started (and the happy pills did nothing (you can see my talking about it in this vlog I did a few years ago) – they are a common thing given to undiagnosed thyroid patients – sad to say)
Friday, April 25th
New labs – TSH level is down – but other levels have changed – along with my antibodies (TPO) now being even higher. I’d tried posting my results in a few groups I belong to online – but no replies (they mostly are more concerned with a natural thyroid medication aka Canadian Bacon/CB that I’ve been told to go on – but again – one step at a time with my health team). It is made from desiccated pig thyroid that has a balance of T3/T4 – unlike the T4 Synthroid. The only problem I’m finding – it varies on how it works depending on the manufacturer – and sometimes isn’t covered by health insurance plans I think due to my being on the synthetic one – that they think I’m a whack job (just like pumpers think of folks who do MDI – aka multiple dose injections). Also, I do know that the Canadian units in our lab work differ from USA – but so far – like with blood sugar conversion rate – I’m not having much luck (or time) to locate anything. So for now, I’m happy with what I have found in a great article written by Dr. Marina Gutner at Outsmart Disease.
Monday, April 28th
What I’m learning from all the research I’ve been doing with pro-CB folks – and folks on combinations of T3 / T4 meds – like diabetes – YMMV (your mileage may vary). None of us are the same on medications – like Levemir insulin (insert blog). I did try it again after my GP told me that Lantus causes weight gain. I have an allergic reaction to Levemir – it pools up in a hard lump – despite the small dose).
I think having patience to find the right combination of meds / diet / exercise – like any health problem – takes time. I am trying to be optimistic here – as I meet up with my GP tomorrow – and hope she understands all my babble - if not - it's onto my endo the following week.
Hmmm, maybe I should give her this blog? So, she’ll understand what I’m going through. That’s a plan … that’s a plan.
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Tags: Shinpei (8) weight (1) Levemir (1) Lantus (1) desiccated pig thyroid (1) depression (1) fatigue (1) desicated pig thyroid (1) TPO (1) TSH (1) T4 (1) T3 (1) Synthroid (1) thyroid (1) autoimmune (1)
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Posted: Jan 4, 2014
As I started to try to figure out a title for this blog - my British sarcastic humour way of thinking brain - did what it always does - whether it's having a hypo or not ... breasts came into play - just like some of my previous blogs have done. So I apologise to anyone who thinks I'm making fun of Christy's situation - and now I'll proceed on with the reason I'm posting this blog.
Oh, and the nipple bit in my title is actually my i-port - which I like to play around with at times (does that make me kinky?) . Over the past few weeks at get togethers - I've been asked about "why did you go off the pump, yadda, yadda, yadda". For some reason, I start to feel my "nipple" and tell them the story. I'm always educating EVERYWHERE I go - with abit of humour in it - and at the same time - telling them that without good control - diabetes is a serious condition to have - that has dire consequences if you don't take care of yourself.
I am loving my i-port - aka "nipple". Using it for my NovoRapid shots - not worrying about injecting in an area I have already done - and have problems with healing. This little baby solves everything (to read more about my previous trial with two i-ports - check it out here).
You can inject ONE insulin only into the port - so with my Lantus - I've been injecting the "old fashioned way" (no biggie with a 32 gauge 6mm pen needle). I have a good fleshy area on my backside which makes for a good dart board practise. After a few weeks of being off the pump (of course - I chose the holiday season - when there is LOTS of good healthy food around) - I thought I'd give Levemir a try again.
Why do a trial with Levemir? Well, I did try it a few years ago (back in 2009) – but sadly developed an allergy to it – which caused lumps/bumps in the area injected and swelling in areas I didn't want to swell up! I had horrible BG control - it plain freaked me out with all that happened - due to being a bit of a control freak with my diabetes management.
Fast forward to Dec 2013 – a friend of mine who decided she’d had enough of MDI (multiple dosage injecting) –went onto a pump (lucky person has 100% coverage for EVERYTHING) – oh did I mentioned that they’re in their 70’s – and they are uber techno cool?
So, they had a box of pen needle vials of Levemir – though I did tell them – keep them incase something goes wrong with your pump. They detested - being a human dart board for the past 20+ years was enough for them - so I took the vials – thinking maybe another diabetic who needed it could use them before they expired in 2015. That person now happens to be me - Ms. Guinea Pig!!
I said sadly said "bye bye" to George Michael (my Animas 2020 insulin pump) mid-December for what now seems to be a ritual every year at this time for taking a pump holiday. I started with Lantus originally – getting used to doing the X2 (every 12 hours) shots with the inbetween dart shots of NovoRapid (using the i-port) for my meals and corrections. Luckily, the notes I took earlier this year – unlike the previous time – where my record keeping was pretty lame – the transition this time (who wouldn't get anxiety attacks going off their pump?) is much easier!
Why did I decide to give Levemir a go again? I have a T1D mate who I lovingly call the "Insulin Guru" who swears (politely) by this insulin regime of 3X a day (every 8 hours) - and they have an A1C of 4.9% (note - a lower A1C is not my goal - just having level BG's - in my happy zone is all that matters the most to me). Because that insulin doesn’t work as long as Lantus – they feel splitting it up into 3 shots instead of the usual 2 (or in some cases – people only take their basal insulin once a day – though I wonder about their BG readings over a 24 hour period – IF they do basal testing that is).
The first few days – I was abit unsure if I was doing the right thing. I took my total Lantus amount – and split it up into 3X – similar to Lantus – where I take more for my AM shot – less for PM shot. So far, with my hormonal bursts (menopause / period / stress from holidays) – I’m actually not doing too badly. My corrections with the doses to make sure I’m staying in my happy zone are working out alright. I have tried to allow at least 3 days before I make any changes.
The one thing that I’m finding as I enter into my 2nd week experiment with Levemir – my BG’s seem to be doing less of the roller coaster ride. Sadly, Lantus has a reputation of landing those of us who use it – into hypo fairy land – as it has a tendency to peak – and bang – you are low. One of the reasons I had originally gone onto George Michael was because of the hypos I was having overnight and in the mornings. Not conducive to work at all!!! Levemir from the research I’ve done in forums as well as medical discussions with endo’s/CDE’s tends to show that this doesn’t occur with Levemir.
Yes, you do have to be abit patient when you try any new regime that you may not be familiar with – I won’t lie to you about this. I won’t lie to you either – that using a pump is way easier as it has the ability to do everything with one insulin – and ability to fine tune your basal requirements. I’m finding the time to “think” about my carb count – despite the use of the InsuLinx (watch for a new blog on this soon). I'm still writing in a log book (the meter sadly doesn’t have ability to do this). So initially, it’s time consuming, but if it’s anything like last years 6 month holiday from the pump – it all becomes easier. It's like tying up your shoe laces (wait – there’s Velcro for that right?).
The other aspect of using the Levemir – is being a clock watcher (actually it’s my android that’s my savoir). Timing of the shots – remembering to test my BG’s a few hours later – it’s getting used to this that is bugging me slightly - but I'm determined to make this work - despite getting up at the ungodly hour of 0600 to do my first Levemir shot - that's too early for this little work at home puss cat (my other shots are at 1400 / 2200 - this is the regime that works for ME that I set up for myself).
On the other side though – that’s good at least to me –
So, how many of you use Levemir - and find taking 3 shots of it a day work for you as well?
*** For more discussion on the I-port - feel free to check out the forums at this link ***
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Tags: port (1) Patton (1) InsuLinx (1) holiday (1) pump (1) insulin (1) MDI (1) NovoRapid (1) Lantus (1) Levemir (1)
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Posted: May 3, 2013
So, if you read my Twitter / Facebook feed you’ll know that for some reason – for about 5 days earlier in the week – I thought I was perhaps CURED after almost 50 years with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). I wasn’t the only one having the same thing happening – other T1D mates of mine were having the same lows like I was – tho’ for me – I wasn’t rebounding up (e.g. blood sugar spiking high) – but I was having the opposite – of going lower or not moving at all from a range of 3.5 – 4.5 mmol/l (63 – 81 mg/dl). Sometimes I would go lower, and this was just on my basal insulin – which currently is Lantus while I’m taking a siesta from George Michael my Animas 2020 pump since the beginning of the year.
Now that the warmer weather is occurring (Spring is very short here in Montreal, boom, suddenly we are having summer like temps) – more of my neighbours that I chat to during the year are coming out of their homes. One of my neighbours is a Type 2 diabetic (T2D) – and her sister who lives close by is always coming to me to ask for advise on her. She says her sister eats too much bad food, doesn’t test her blood sugars enough, yadda, yadda, yadda. I always ask her, is she seeing her doctor, is she getting ill frequently, is she happy? Of course, the answer is, yes, she’s doing fine. So, I try to tell the sister that if she’s okay – then not to worry too much - but that she is a good sister for caring. Now, if she was losing weight/gaining weight drastically, getting ill, then there would be concern to worry I told her.
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Tags: hormones (1) weight (1) low blood sugar (1) hypo (1) Lantus (1) pump (1) insulin (1) thyroid (1) menopause (1) insulin resistance (1) CURED (1) BG (1) T2D (1) T1D (1)
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Posted: Jan 25, 2013
First of all, I’d like to thank the staff at the Costco pharmacy in Pointe Claire for managing to obtain the ½ unit dosing BD syringes which sometimes can be VERY difficult to obtain according to some of my D-mates who use them. Secondly, my endocrinologist, Dr. Skamene, who I sometimes don’t always paint in a great picture, but as a specialist, and the amount of patients he has and ill secretary (please Linda – beat that cancer!!!) – he came through for me.
A few weeks ago, I started to get my goodies ready for my travel bag. I’m going sailing for almost 3 weeks – with a few friends (aren’t we cute in the picture below?) – but I started to hit a few road blocks as I began to inquire about some items I would need.
The first was to replace my NovoPen Junior – that delivers ½ unit increments of insulin. It’s a pen delivery system that is designed initially for children – who dose with small amounts of insulin. Well, the one I had was going on 7 years – and due to my recently obtaining a new pen for delivery of my Lantus – I decided I should replace the NovoPen. Note – that the Lantus ClikSTAR pen is recommended to be replaced every 2 years.
Easier said than done, after going to almost ½ dozen pharmacies (yes – I have lots of time to waste NOT) – I discovered that they can’t supply that pen - let alone – have never heard of it (are all kids in Quebec using a pump now???). I then came home, and started to investigate, to find out the NovoPen Junior has been replaced by a pen with memory in it for your dosage – it goes by the name of NovoPen Echo. Okay – I like that with my old fart brain forgetting when I injected/how much if I don’t write the details in my log book. So, I want one …. NOW!!!
I’m then told that Novo Nordisk cannot send me one, let alone connect me up with the service rep for my area of Quebec. It had to all be done either thru’ a Diabetes Education Centre (DEC) or doctor. I’ve never been to DEC in Quebec – last time I was in one was over 30+ years ago In Ontario – so I scratched that one out. Next it was make a call to my endo, I explained the situation, and viola, I landed an appointment for 5 days later – hopefully giving us time to get the pen needle delivered in time for me to flap my wings to destinations further south with all my favourite tools that make my diabetes control happy.
The crazy thing is, what a waste of time, seeing my endo when I dropped in (I’d only seen him the month prior for my 6 month check up). Having him make the call to Novo Nordisk, request the item (the funny part was when he asked me “what colour do you want – blue or red?” – and I squealed like a kid “Is it candy apple red?” – his face if I could have taken a picture of it – PRICELESS – he didn’t give a rats ass about the colour – so I quickly said “Red please!!!”. So, promise of said pen – aka Echo – would be delivered in time for me to take it with me for my holidays.
Few days later, only one more day before I depart, I call the office. Line is busy, busy, busy. I send a FAX to find out – has the eagle landed? No reply after a few hours – still trying to get thru’ on LAN line. I then send a copy Novo Nordisk with the hopes they can tell me if it was delivered to the office – but have to record a voice message. Ohhhh, if only I had the service reps phone number – I could avoid all of this aggravation!!!!
So, I take the bull by the horns – with no answer from endo or Novo Nordisk –head out to the his office about 20 minutes drive away. Endo’s office – it’s a zoo – busy as usual – and new secretary trying to cope as best as she can. He happens to be picking up his next patient - looks at me – it’s never arrived – he’s as frustrated as I am. He says to go to Lake Shore Hospital – across the street – and seek out the Diabetic Clinic and see if they carry them. I’m even contemplating going to the Children’s Hospital – but my time and patience is beginning to wear out.
This Lakeshore is a cesspool of germs – I personally hate hospitals – and recently this one has been having issues with gastroenteritis– telling people to not come to ER due to over crowding. Today, It’s my lucky day, no one seems to be banning people from coming in. I take a deep breath outside (-30C) – and pray that I won’t come down with anything – again – I HATE HOSPITALS!!!
I manage to locate the clinic – this hospital is massively disorganised due to constant renovations to keep up with mainly the again population that is clogging up our hospitals sad to say. I luck in at seeing Kathryn Arcudi, who works in the DEC. I’m not sure if she recognised me (I had a goofy hat on) – but she took a few minutes from her client at the moment to tell me what I had not hoped to hear …. “We don’t use those pen”. No words can describe my sorrow at this point. I trudge back thru’ the mass like hospital – in a daze – and proceed to go to Costco – where they at least have been able to get my ½ cc syringes that I had a prescription for a few days ago – they will have to do.
Getting back home, I find a message from Niki at Novo Nordisk – telling me that the pens (2) had been delivered the day prior – but my endo’s office was closed – so they were left in the “office next door”. It’s like – SCREAM!!!! She is like me – after I call her back – unable to get thru’ on my endo’s LAN line all day long – and having to resort to sending a FAX- with no reply . I plead with her, can the rep not send me the pen to my house – but it can’t be done - period. So, between the both of us – we again send our own individual faxes to my endos office of the situation – with the hope that SOMEONE will see our fax – and respond to one of us.
Two hours later – ring, ring, ring, ring … it’s my endo’s office calling – he has the pen – and says he’ll stay in office for 15 extra minutes – so I can come pick it up (it’s now rush hour – Montreal has the worst in the world). Incase I don’t make it in time, he’ll leave the pen at the Pharmacy for me to pick up. Luckily, that doesn’t happen – we get there 20 minutes late going the back route saves us some time – he is still in his office – waiting for me – and I’m one happy camper – yes I am. I almost hug and kiss him – but hold off. I’ll repay him another time – since he went over and beyond what I would expect a busy specialist to do. I am blessed!
My question to Novo Nordisk is – why go thru’ this ordeal with obtaining the Echo pen? Why can the doctor NOT give a prescription for it – and allow the patient to PICK IT UP from their chosen PHARMACY? To waste the precious time of a busy specialist is beyond my comprehension. I do realise that perhaps some people would need training on how to use the pen, but really, it’s not that difficult to figure out with the well written manual (and mini version – which I’ll be taking with me).
Oh and by the way, I had asked Stephanie at Novo Nordisk about the expiration date of the NovoPen Echo – she couldn’t tell me – let her know – it’s written on the box of the pen – mine expires in 2017 …. I’ll be back to get a new one then … hopefully with less problems then I had with obtaining this one! I can't survive without my juice of life!!!
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Tags: Pharmacy (1) NovoPen Echo (1) Novo Nordisk (1) insulin (1) NovoRapid (1) Lantus (1) ClikSTAR (1) BD Syringe (1)
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