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Posted: Mar 21, 2013
Okay - I've maybe worded the title incorrectly here - but psst - did it get your attention or what?
My HIGH comes from the incredible weekend I just spent with T1D kids/adults, T3's (parents/grandparents/sisters/brothers/etc.) at the 4th annual Children With Diabetes (CWD) - Friend for Life (FFL) conference and expo in Toronto, Canada. I actually am feeling a little depressed about being away from "my family" - missing the sounds of the beep, beep, and whirl, whirl of various medical devices being used around me - that I use myself to stay healthy with my diabetes. It felt so amazing to be part of such a big group - that got each other - we didn't have to question why you were doing this and that - do it in secret like some diabetics I know that hide out in dirty washrooms to test their blood glucose (BG) or bolus with insulin. It was just so cool is all I can say!!!
The last time I attended in Toronto I was part of the staff - and because of that missed out on all the great conferences that are presented. This time though, I wasn't asked to help, and of course, I felt like having abit of a pity party (memories of Joe Solowiejczyk talk about dealing with diabetes are going thru' my head here - I cried so hard with laughter - "Yipee I love having diabetes ... NOT!!!").
This time I managed to get our god daughter, Catherine and her son, Aaron who is a T1D like myself to come along. I do not think they regret one bit about my dragging them along (well - their only regret is that they didn't take up my offer of ear plugs - since I still am not 100% well - and snored ... or should I say ... purred REALLY loud).
Catherine met up with other D-parents like herself, exchanged contact info and I'm hoping they stay in touch for many years to come as their children grown up into adults. So, the 6 hour drive back home after such an exciting long w/e was abit of a drag, as we didn't want to say good bye to everyone, but with good tunes and a GPS (Toronto is a big city) - we got back home safe and sound. Aaron is now putting his plans in action to figure out how to raise monies to attend the CWD FFL 2013 meet up in Orlando, Florida this summer. Obviously, he didn't get enough in Toronto!!!
For myself, it was meeting up with all the parents (some actually were looking out for me with my ears since they follow my scribbles in the sandbox at Diabetes1.org and in other social media areas I post in). Listening to their fears of their children with diabetes and trying to reassure them that with great patience - their kids will do alright, just like I did with having family members that looked out for each other with living with this disease (I hate calling it that - since to me - it's not a disease - it's just a hiccup in my life - that I try to make the best of the situation). Also spending time with the kids, sharing laughs, dancing (okay - it was more like an aerobic workout for this old D-cat) - just AWESOME!
Sadly, this maybe the last FFL being held in Canada, due to sponsorship - sigh. I have to admit, I had hoped that there would be more pump manufacturers other then Animas (you know my reasons there - and forthcoming blog will be revealing abit of a shocking conversation I had with Paul Flynn, Director of International business Development of Animas Canada). Perhaps, if those other companies, and a few more that have products aimed at diabetics all pitched into the pot, then I'll be writing about the next Canadian one that I am able to attend.
If you are interested in checking out the presentations (I know I'm going back to go over some of the notes I took down) - you can find it all at this link!
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Posted: Mar 15, 2013
Salt or sodium if we're going to be technical is in EVERYTHING we eat - we can't avoid it completely - plus our body does need salt. According to the ... The National Academy of Sciences - they recommend " that Americans consume a minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health. Individual needs, however, vary enormously based a person's genetic make-up and their lifestyle ".
I was watching a recent episode of Marketplace a consumer program on CBC here in Canada - called The Great Salt Shakedown. I was mortified to find out that here in Canada - when you look at a food label for the sodium content of your food - that the daily requirements are based on a higher number than what the health authorities have been pushing for. The percentages are based on 2,400 mg per day!
In a nutshell, healthy adults should NOT be consuming more then 1,500 mg of sodium a day. When it comes to healthy children, their number is 1,000 - 1,500 mg of sodium a day. Take for example, in my age group, I should only be consuming no more then 1,300 mg of salt per day - when I started to look at the sodium content on my low carb fav of cheese - which I've always known to be high - I just about flipped out! For more info on what you should be aiming for - along with other tips - here's a link to get you started.
In the episode, various participants were asked to collect their urine for the day, and from that, tests performed to see how much sodium was consumed. It was pretty scary seeing some of the results, healthy/active folks both young and old, who thought they did not consume much salt. One person, an avid swimmer that looked about my age, had almost 6,000 mg of sodium (and they were vegan)!!! Let's just say, they were shocked at the results.
After that show, what did we do in my household? Went looking in our pantry and started to evaluate our sodium content in our processed foods. Scary, scary, scary - e.g. my fav Bush beans that I keep on the boat for fast meals with canned pork - combined I'm consuming over a third of my sodium level - or more depending on how much I slop on my plate after a day of sailing. Guess what I'm looking at doing now .... canning my own meats for future sailing trips due to home recipes using way less salt than the mass produced stuff - you can check out one website that tells you how to do it (if you know of another way to do this - let me know).
For myself as a diabetic, as I am sure many of you do as well, I tend to look mainly at the carb count on the food label, along with the fat and calories. The sodium content is something I don't really look carefully at - but now after this show, I am. We all know as diabetics how much stress our internal organs go thru' with the daily grind of our blood sugars, but add that extra sodium and of course it can contribute to high blood pressure - putting a strain on our kidneys / heart.
How am I going to start reducing my intake of sodium you ask? Well, I thought I already was with cooking from scratch - but after looking at two cans of tomatoes in my pantry - for 1/2 cup (125 mL) - and one serving from Italy (9 mg) and another from Canada (290 mg) - you can tell which one I'll be sourcing out in future! Also, as one of the links from Health Canada below, it points out when/if possible going for fresh rather then processed. Of course for me it depends on what I can afford and the season (e.g. I can get great deals on tomatoes in September - but it's March right now).
So after having my breakfast, of simple toast (not my own bread like usual - which DOES contain more salt then mine), margarine, pineapple jam and 2% cottage cheese - it all totalled up to almost half of my sodium content for the day. I'm realising this is going to be an interesting experiment to accomplish because many of the foods I love to eat that are processed in one form or another. I won't even try to figure out what a processed cheese slice contains - I'm too scared to know - even though my fingers are dying to search online to find out what they contain - but don't want my bubble burst for my love of plastic cheese from time to time.
So, do you know how much sodium you consume in the day? If you don't - check out this helpful guideline at Health Canada - I know I am going to try my best (even though I thought I was doing well). Also, for more info on the chart showing the % of Daily Value (DV) - please go to this link.
Let the dance begin - at least I know pepper isn't bad for me (and I use a lot in my cooking - freshly ground)!
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Posted: Jan 26, 2012
As I "patiently" await my vacation loaner pump - that was supposed to be delivered today (and hopefully not on my doorstep despite parcel saying "signature required" and left to anyone going by my house to pilfer). Instead, Canada Post delivered the first piece of mail I've ever received from Animas Canada promoting their products - along with stories about Canadian pumpers (and even a cute little calendar - hmm - should I submit my mug shot for 2013 I wonder ?). I've never gotten anything like this before from Animas Canada, except for emails containing the invoice for my pump supplies I purchase from time to time. Obviously, they are trying to get more diabetics out there to join up. Now, they don't have to sell me on how great an insulin pump is - despite its $7,000 cost along with monthly $300 supply costs - I'm sold on pumping - though how long I can afford it once I'm retired is another story.
One article that got me abit confused in the Winter 2011 issue of their Performance magazine - since I'm self taught on using the insulin pump showed an article by Allie (Webb) Roberts, RN BScN CDE, the Clinical Manager at Animas Canada. She wrote an informative article about choosing the right infusion set. There wasn't really anything new to me in what I read - except for the write up about the Contact Detach that I use, and the following is a quote from her article.
"Contact detach is a stainless steel needle that is inserted at a straight 90 degree angle. This is a perfect choice for those with Teflon sensitivities or allergies.
It has to be changed every 1-2 days as it is seen as more foreign to the body than Teflon."
What got me abit confused was her statement saying that the stainless steel needle was more foreign to the body than the 13mm/17mm Teflon cannula's in their other infusion sets they sell. I had issues with those - due to teflon allergy - where after just 1 day or less - intense itching - redness both on top of skin surface and itchiness under the skin where the infusion set sat (I wanted to rip it out - but at the cost of the infusion set - I left it in - scratch, scratch). The thickness of the teflon cannula as well to my eye is far thicker then the stainless steel 6mm/8mm 29 gauge needle that is inserted into me. So, why say should the stainless steel be more foreign if for myself - it doesn't cause any discomfort - even after 3 days of wearing it?
I know that Kelly Booth has written a few blogs lately with her problems with her Animas Ping (she's told me to stay with the Animas 2020 - too many probs she's heard from other users of this model). She has what I would consider more severe allergic reactions then I do (is that sometimes do to the environment a person lives in I wonder?). The Contact detach infusion set to her is very painful to insert, and causes problems to the skin in less then a day. Her goal with going back onto her Animas pump was to get her blood sugars in control due to some problems with her basal insulin - but alas with infusion site problems - she's stopped using her pump again and back to MDI (multiple dosage injections). You can read more about what she's been going thru' at her blog site - trials and tribulations of being a type 1 diabetic.
So, as I scratch my head about the article saying to not leave the Contact detach in longer then 1-2 days - I figure .... we are all different with how our bodies react to outside invasions of our bodies. I guess I'm just lucky that so far, touch wood, my body doesn't see that piece of stainless steel in my body as being foreign - but with the Teflon cannula it was like having a flea on a dogs back for me. Hopefully my luck remains with me.
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Posted: Oct 29, 2009
finally getting my life back to order.
Don't think Mike, my husband appreciated my being away at the IDF Diabetes
World Congress for 5 days (I averaged 12 hour days there), as my Domestic
Engineering duties sort of went the way of the dodo bird. I am back on track, almost, just don't pay me
a surprise visit right now, as it still looks like a bomb went off in my house
(I need a housekeeper as one of my friends says - treat yourself).
I went to
the Novo Nordisk booth because I was interested in learning about Victoza,
which Type 2 diabetics can inject once a day.
They can either use it alone, or combine it with their Metformin or
sulphonylurea treatment. The big thing
with this insulin that they are thumping their chests about is that it helps
patients gain better blood glucose control WITHOUT the weight gain, which often
happens when going on insulin therapy.
According to one of the documents I have on hand, visceral fat (this is
fat that surrounds our internal organs) was reduced by 13% to 16% in patients treated
with Victoza + Metformin. I know for a few
diabetics diagnosed with Type 2, weight can be an issue, and of course, the sooner
we shed it, eat sensible and exercise, the better our diabetes is controlled!
when it will be coming to the market in North America as all the information I am finding is based in Europe - therefore I'm unable to post the Novo Nordisk link for
you to check it out for yourself unless you register there yourself. I've
done abit of research on Victoza and there seems to be some problems with
bringing it to the market due to labeling of the product believe it or not in
the United States!
We'll just have to wait and see and be patient with FDA, but the
forecast is for sometime in 2010.
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