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My trip to Winterlude in Ottawa with my little diesel Smart

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!

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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Posted: Feb 13, 2011 23:31
  • My trip to Winterlude in Ottawa with my little diesel Smart

    Well, I've had an interesting weekend.  Managed to hobble into Ottawa for Winterlude on Saturday - with our diesel Smart deciding to start acting goofy when we were about 50 kms away from our destination (surprise romantic hotel treat from my hubby for Valentines).  I've made a video of how the engine sounded - so once I figure out how to post it - I'll link it up here).  It was sounding like a badly tuned tractor engine - which basically is what is in the Smart - but something wasn't right in the way it sounded and shuddered - so we went on the side of the highway in 3rd gear until we could get off safely.  Sadly with the  diesel Smart you have to take it to uber expensive Mercedes dealership (this has been the only downfall with this little car - as my hubby does mechanics on everything else - you have to be teeny tiny to work on this little engine).  We crawled into Ottawa on the TransCanada at 80 km.  I felt like I was an old grey haired lady - going at that speed (we usually drive at 120 km).

    What was even stranger - two OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) vehicles - with their engines running in a closed down gas station where we pulled over - never - EVER came over the see if we were alright.  You'd think they'd have wondered why this woman was walking around making a video of the whole thing - with puffs of black smoke coming from the exhaust.  So much for friendly police officers!

    Sadly, we had to leave our little Smart in Ottawa and bused it downtown to start relaxing though it was abit difficult to relax when you wonder how much ... cha ching ... is going to be hitting you when the bill arrives. We're hoping that it's the Mercedes dealership (headquarters of Canada) in Montreal  that is at fault for this problem since we only took it into the shop a few weeks ago for it's regular tune up plus a part was changed (which was abit of a shocker at $600 + labour) - so maybe the mechanic didn't hook something up properly is what we are hoping for - otherwise - owning this little car could start to be more expensive.  Main thing, this is the first major problem with the Smart - and just glad that this problem occurred here in Canada - since if we had befallen this problem in the United States - we'd be up the creek.  The USA does not service diesel Smarts - only the gas powered ones - due to diesel Smarts never being introduced in the USA (why do North Americans dislike diesel so much - cleaner for the environment - way better for fuel consumption???).

    What was really interesting on our way to pick up the rental car at the Ottawa Airport on Sunday (did you know it's cheaper to rent from the airport - if you didn't know - now you do - saved us almost 50%) and we took public transport (Ottawa has the best bus service!!!) - I saw someone wearing an Animas insulin pump!!!!  The funny thing is I only realised this when I saw her getting off at a stop.  When I'd first seen her - I thought she had a cool looking metallic pink Ipod clipped on her jeans and didn't think of anything else at that point.  It wasn't until she got off the bus - and I saw the pink again (and get this - she was sitting across the isle from me - duhhhh) - I almost screamed out at her .... "Salvador Dali says hi to you!!!!"  Salvador Dali is the name of my pump incase you don't already know this.

    Anyway, I'm kicking myself that it didn't dawn on me earlier - since I would have said hello to her.  It's my 2nd time seeing someone in public with a pump.  The nice thing is - that the pump (Animas) is so uber cool - that most people would never know it's an insulin pump.  Even better - this girl was a teenager - looked in great health and having fun!

    Though maybe not as much fun as we had with our drive home in a snow storm - in a car with NO winter tires.  Ontario does not have a law for cars having snow tires like we do in Quebec.  So, many cars off the road, even one that had flipped over (it looked like the passengers had gotten out of vehicle alright).  We drove home doing about 80 km - and that wasn't with engine problems at least this time.

    Ahhh - life is such an adventure at times - keeps us alive and kicking!!!!

    UPDATE: Feb 14/11 - we're being told that our diesel engine with 61,000 km / 38,000 miles is most probably kaput (my words not theirs) - which is hard to believe with such low milage. Cost to install a new engine into this 2006 CDI Smart ForTwo? ~10K CDN.  Warranty on car ended last October - go figure that one out. So, for now, we're in holding pattern until they can confirm that this is indeed the worst case scenario.  I've also gotten hold of the Montreal Mercedes-Benz garage that had done all the work on our car over the years - which we thought might have been the problem with the engine doing what it did from last visit we'd made a few weeks ago - they are suggesting we tow car back home - but told me to wait for an answer from them while they scratch their chins. 

    If you are wondering how this is all effecting my diabetes?  Not good - I'm averaging blood sugar ranges of 8-17 mmol - which are high for me. Not in mood to eat of course - but neighbour told me to eat something for lunch (thank you Debbie).  Also skin is breaking out with spots - makes me feel young again - NOT!!!

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