Blog Entries With Tag: insulin


Posted: Jul 21, 2015

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. 

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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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Tags: syringes (1) needles (1) insulin (1) Dlife (1) Holocaust (1) WWII (1) diabetes (1)
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Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  Mama - Why Was I Chosen?  |  She’s got legs and she knows how to use them (the semi-Fashionista and her pump)!  |  Here's an interesting study  |  Shame on Johnson & Johnson / Animas  |  REMOVAL – clinical trial for T1D's in UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Netherlands  |  Sasha's Story  |  My Porky Pig fingers are tired  |  Smooth sailing with CATSCA / TSA  |  Is insulin a youth preserver?
Posted: Jan 24, 2015

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.

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Posted: Dec 24, 2014

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).

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Related posts:

Are you really hypo unaware?  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  The Brain Battle  |  Mama - Why Was I Chosen?  |  She’s got legs and she knows how to use them (the semi-Fashionista and her pump)!  |  It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ... NOT!  |  Here's an interesting study  |  Revina Garcia: Diabetic Handcuffed, Dumped On Pavement By Police  |  Shame on Johnson & Johnson / Animas  |  REMOVAL – clinical trial for T1D's in UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Netherlands
Posted: Dec 23, 2014

... 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. 

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 .... 

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Related posts:

Are you really hypo unaware?  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  The Brain Battle  |  She’s got legs and she knows how to use them (the semi-Fashionista and her pump)!  |  It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ... NOT!  |  Revina Garcia: Diabetic Handcuffed, Dumped On Pavement By Police  |  Shame on Johnson & Johnson / Animas  |  REMOVAL – clinical trial for T1D's in UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Netherlands  |  Riding thru' the mountains of the Adirondacks  |  My Porky Pig fingers are tired
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