Blog Entries With Tag: diabetes


Posted: Mar 27, 2015

 

" 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.

  

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Posted: Mar 12, 2015

 

I would like to share a personal family experience of my aunt who is suffering from diabetes and arthritis and how she managed to escape a knee surgery just by performing cardio every day.

Few years back my aunt was diagnosed with diabetes and arthritis. After only a week of her diagnosis, she had difficulty in walking or standing up. We had to hire a physiotherapist who helped her to do some basic exercises as her arthritis was worsening. After consultation from an orthopedic surgeon, we were told that she had to replace her knee in order to make her walk, stand or sit properly. This was quiet a risk for her and she refused to go with the surgery. The procedure was quite painful as well as expensive.

She agreed to bear the pain but not with the surgery. The physiotherapist continued to help her with basic exercises which were showing very slow improvement. Many a times her pain flared up and we even thought of quitting the physiotherapy thing until I bought a treadmill.

I bought a treadmill when a sudden spark of being fit and healthy flared up inside of me. I used to run every day on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes. Seeing my progress as I began losing inches, my aunty one day asked me to try the treadmill herself. After helping her to walk on a very slow pace on the treadmill for some days she miraculously showed signs of drastic improvements in her walking and sitting style. Moreover she started using the treadmill all by herself.

We are still unsure whether it was due to the treadmill that she showed improvement or it was physiotherapy. But the most noticeable thing here is that she is showing amazing recovery from arthritis and can now even walk to the store all by herself. I am very amazed and hopeful that she will continue to use the treadmill and I encourage all of you to exercise daily at least for half an hour.

Let me know what you think in the comments section about what could be the reason of her speedy recovery after using the treadmill. One thing to add up here, if you are looking to buy a treadmill, contact these treadmill suppliers to get the best deals.

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Posted: Mar 6, 2015

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.

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Posted: Feb 20, 2015

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!!

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Posted: Feb 4, 2015

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.

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