Blog Entries With Tag: BG


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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Tags: blood (2) hypo (1) trend (1) BG (1) sugar (1) pump (1) T1D (1) diabetes (1) insulin (1) CGMS (1) Dexcom (1) Animas (1)
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Posted: Jan 12, 2014

I had reviewed/blogged about the InsuLinx made by Abbott and in the forums here over the years – but at the time – I didn’t really know how to use it to its fullest (e.g. downloading the Auto-Assist software  on your PC since  in order to use it 100% you have to connect up via your PC).  So in actual fact – it wasn’t really a true review – and as some of you know – I go in head first (dumb, dumb, dumb) – and HATE READING MANUALS!!!  My beef at the time was that I couldn’t figure out how to adjust the insulin increments to .5.  Luckily a Dmate of mine here in Montreal who saw my Tweet last year – had told me the “how to use it properly”.  At that point I tucked it away as I was planning on going back onto George Michael (GM)  – and went back to my little FreeStyle Lite meter.

Roll forward to December 2013, as I was deciding to take my regular holiday pump break for a month or two or three.   I thought I’d give the InsuLinx a go once again since it has some nifty features that I actually sort of trashed in my forum post above (ouch – can’t take those words back can I?).

Anyway, I "tweeted" about not hearing from Abbott due to a small complaint I have about the visual aspect of viewing the screen in low lighting – even with the battery gobbling backlight feature on.  I heard from fellow Canadian [email protected]_twosix who has had diabetes almost 30 years.  She takes multiple injections like myself – though she tests more than I do (which is good)  – more insight into your overall control (don’t follow my example as an old D-fart girls and boys).

At that point we started corresponding both on/off Twitter (sometimes that 140 character count just doesn’t quite do it for some topics).  She told me she had written a lengthy email to Abbott giving them the pros/cons of their InsuLinx.   We share similar beefs – and hopefully the fantastic email she sent to them about her 6 month test (much longer than my 1 month) plus what she’d like to see improved will be rewarded to users like myself if they take heed.  So come on Abbott respond to Kendra!!!  Or else she’ll take up my other suggestions to get noticed as the squeaky wheel in the fight for diabetes gadgets that work to their fullest!

Comparing the results from GM with the InsuLinx (I have to give it a name eventually don’t I – I mean it’s my BFF?)  made me pretty happy – this time.  After using them side by side for a week prior to my unhooking from GM – the results are pretty comparable - I hadn't been on GM when I'd done my review in the forums last year.  This made a world of difference in comparing the two side by side.  Of course, the suggestions you receive from the meter are dependant on correct programming (best done with medical assistance if you’re new to diabetes).  If you are happy with doing it on your own, like Kendra and myself have done - then great!  You just need the code to access the area meant for professionals (e.g. your endo/GP/CDE).   Originally an RN was supposed to teach me how to use it when I picked it up from the pharmacy - but when she saw I was on a pump - and knew some of the lingo associated with the programming  - she gave me the code (sometimes I think I should have been not so "I know everything" and had her show me through the steps <lol>). 

The amount of insulin required for carbs intake – or correcting a high blood sugar reading were pretty right on because of the matching programs in both of the meter and pump.   It’s like having an insulin pump – without the expense – or being hooked up via tubes, etc.   The only thing is that you can only calculate your insulin dose in .5 increments (whereas with a pump you can do smaller increments).   So far it’s not caused any problems with my going low– that sometimes for someone who is insulin sensitive like myself - can make a big difference.

The few things I find abit annoying about the meter though is the " time out " feature of 15 minutes after you’ve done a blood test (while you sit in the corner after being naughty - wait - I meant to say .. figure out what to cook for dinner - regressing back to childhood - I was an evil child).   If you don’t – then you have to retest if you are wanting to use the calculator to figure out how much to inject.  I hate having to use more test strips or finger prick than I have to.   It’s not happened that often – but when it does - I just get out my calculator or figure it in my sponge brain.  By doing this manual calculation though – I may forget in my haste to take into account the IOB (Insulin On Board) . 

The only thing is with the " time out " – if I do go back to the meter within the 15 minute time frame – the logging of the insulin I take is based on the time I originally took the BG reading in the beginning.  No biggie for me – but for some people – that could be annoying – and not a true reflection of the time factor of their insulin coverage.  Again, for myself, this isn’t a major issue (you should see me with my 3X a day Levemir regime – I don’t exactly take it at 0600 / 1400 (had to think just now – did I take it?? Yes I did) / 2200.  Now in my purrfect world – it would be great if I could log my basal (slow insulin) into the meter as well – so I wouldn’t forget if I took it or not J  So, I just log it into my pretty log book I pick from the Dollar Store.

You can do a weekly review of how you’re meeting your target directly on the itty bitty screen (did I mention I’m an old fart D with aging eyeballs that needs more light, yadda, yadda, yadda).  I have yet to give this a whirl – as I’d not set it up until earlier last week – so I’ll get to see how I’m doing in a few days. 

One thing I know that Kendra had written to Abbott about was entering in your carbs.  It starts off a 15 grams – but for someone who might be eating a meal of say 80 grams – then it’s a bit slow for inputting (or for myself - that 5 ml of raw sugar in my coffee that equals 7 grams).  I had told Kendra that GM has a food data base that you can set up yourself – or download – which many pumpers use.  I personally never used that feature of GM – as I don’t mind entering the numbers in – it keeps my old D fart brain active.  Whether Abbott could put this into the InsuLinx would be an interesting feature – to quicken the time of input.

So yes, it is a little bit larger than the FreeStyle Lite I’ve used for years (Lolita) – but still requires a teeny tiny droplet of blood – that if it’s not enough on the first suck – you can still “fill ‘er up” with more of our vampire juice.

In a nutshell, if you’re Canadian or live in the countries that has the features that Abbot offers in this meter then great - you have it made and it’s well worth giving a try.  Unfortunately, Americans don’t have the exact same thing sad to say, which makes me scratch my head as to “why”?

Squirrel in a nutshell-sorry could not find a cat one :)

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Tags: diary (1) insulin (1) Twitter (1) sugar (1) blood (1) Lite (1) Freestyle (1) Abbott (1) InsuLinx (1) meter (1) BG (1)
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Related posts:

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Posted: Dec 13, 2013

Right now it seems that it is just the separate CGMS remote that you find in this link as the Animas insulin pump called the Vibe that you see below - has yet to be approved for use here.  

The good thing?  Once the Vibe is approved (Canada only has the Ping at the moment for sale) - you will be able to use the transmitters without the separate remote (or at least that is what I've read at various places online).

Animas Vibe with Dexcom G4

 

The main thing is - we finally have APPROVAL (an online petition by Nathalia Stanichevsky may have helped push it faster).  For those of us who can afford it (either thru' work insurance coverage) or ability to afford out of pocket.  We are one more step ahead of the game plan.

I had seen it a few years ago at a diabetic conference - and was quite impressed (the excuses given by the rep as to why it was so slow to come to our country made my eyes role as normal - we're a smaller population than USA, the French/English bit, the list goes on).  I even met up with an American that was using it - and she showed how well it worked for her when she was visiting Montreal this summer.  I liked the screen - ease of looking at it - just like the Animas pumps are - compared to the Medtronic that I'd tested out earlier in my pumping years (I'm a late bloomer - starting in 2008 after 40+ years of multiple dosage injections).

The good thing is - now we have two systems  available to us in Canada (the other is Medtronic).  For those of us who are hypo unaware (your blood sugar suddenly drops) or just want to have a better visual of what your blood sugars (BG) are doing - more power to you!

Curently, you have to contact Animas Canada for more info - go to this link to request more info .... http://www.animas.ca/dexcom

Psst, if you find out more info than I'm gathering up at this moment - please let me/us know - either via this post - or privately!

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Posted: Nov 25, 2013

Have you ever considered islet cell transplant?

Chris Miller's Blog Logo

A friend of mine here in Canada, Chris Miller is going this route and is blogging about his experience – Too Brittle.  He is like me - VERY “sensitive” to insulin.  The old fashioned term for this is still referred to as "brittle" – and I have abit of a hatred of that word as you’ll see below.    Dr. Peter Nebergall gives a good description on what “brittle” means (you can find his expanded words at this link ) – and you’ll find me quoting him a few times through this blog – because I finally understand myself with his simple description (yes – I’m always learning)–

Real "brittle diabetes" doesn't follow patterns. Individuals whose diabetes is "brittle" experience unpredictable, out-of-proportion rises and swoops in blood glucose, within short periods of time, as a result of very small deviations from schedule  “

So, what’s my beef with the word “brittle” (arrhhh – I hate typing it out with a passion – but it’s all part of this blog).  Well, as a sweet faced (NOT) teenager I had this feeling when my German endo would look at me in the eye - with disgust in his face.  I know - over dramatization here on my part - that I was being evil/bad with my results (actually - I was at that time – watering down my urine samples - like WHATEVER – the blood draw revealed the truth as we all know).   I was undergoing a year long journey towards a delightful DKA adventure – unbeknownst to my Mum –as she’d handed the reins over to me for my diabetes control at an earlier stage than most D-parents (T3’s) would do these days (aka she trusted me).  A diabetic diagnosed as a child never forgets things like this (for any parents reading my scribbles – take note).

Now let us skip 40+ years later (I know, I know, insulin has kept me looking far younger than my “real” age – do not compliment me on my model looks ) and I'm finding out that with my fights with controlling my BG to remain stable - not going low so often or high in my BG - that I'm sensitive to insulin.  I'm finally understanding that I need less insulin at certain times of the day (and when I say less - it's almost like I'm CURED) - and I'm tweaking my insulin pump programming to relate to my sensitivity to the insulin I give (next step will be seeing how I can transfer this knowledge to Lantus when I go to multiple dose injecting (MDI) again - with the i-port being used for my NovoRapid - aka bolus insulin).

Again, though, as Dr. Nebergall points out – even with tight control (which we “try” to do – without diabetes taking over our lives to the point of insanity) – things go amuck – and here comes that word “brittle” again from Dr. Nebergall …

“These are the diabetics, even practicing tight control, whose blood glucose level "over-reacts" to minute changes in diet, exercise, and/or insulin. These individuals experience unpredictable rises and swoops in blood glucose, within very short periods, as the result of very small departures from schedule. Small changes "break" their control, and they are thus said to be "brittle.”

I had considered islet cell transplant about 15 years ago in Edmonton – and human guinea pigs were being asked to step up.  I did – despite my endo’s disapproval (just like he was with my going on a pump) – but I didn’t qualify as I didn’t meet the criteria.  The way I comprehended my refusal was I had to be almost on deaths door step, and some of the recipients of the islets in the beginning that I read about – were indeed close to dying (kidney failure, etc.). Now fast forward and they are screaming for participants.   The other islet cell transplant that had peaked my curiosity has been the Auckland Island porcine islets – that’s still ongoing (no results yet have been published).

So, the jist of Chris’s blog is that he had just about sunk as low as he could - with dealing with low blood sugars that the last few times had caused great distress to himself and his family members.  He cannot live alone due to his being unaware when his BG's drop down.  He cannot exercise due to the sudden drops that occur.  It's not really life to him - and I don't blame him in what he's undertaking in the hopes that the expense of the drugs he'll have to take for the rest of his life for antirejection - will give him back a better control of his life.

I’ll be following his blog about the steps he's taking in preparing for the islet transplant.   I'm just hoping that this will make his life better - and give him a greater outlook on life with diabetes – even if it means a little jab of the juice of life now and then – but more control of his BG’s and outcome on living.

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Posted: Nov 15, 2013

I just did my first Morning basal test – ever – in all my years of MDI (multiple dosage injections) and insulin pump control for my Type 1 diabetes.  I’d only ever done an Overnight basal test when I kept on experiencing hypos (low blood sugar) readings) during my beauty sleep and waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed (NOT).  Also, as a few experts point out – when trying to get a better grip on your basal regime – it’s always best to tackle the overnight one first.  THUMP!! – gold BLUE star to my forehead!

Good Little Bee by thisonlyexistsinmind.deviantart.com

Why did I perform a Morning basal test? Well, I’ve been starting to have more frequent lows a few hours after waking up – with or without a breakfast – or doing activity (remember – I’m trying to shed some weight here for heart protection).  It’s gotten to the point the last few months that my day is RULED by how my blood sugar (BG) is doing.  Often I’ll have tested prior to going out (remember – always to test your BG before hitting the open road) – and then within a few hours – I’m dropping like a brick. I used to think it was maybe due to stress of shopping (yes – most women like shopping – I detest it immensely – though if it involves hardware / auto or other manly diversions – then bring it on – I’m in).

Yesterday, when I was out getting weekly shopping done – I had to make a bee line back home before finishing off the tasks at hand.  I find this EXTREMELY annoying – and at that point – I really REALLY hate diabetes – and how it can take over our lives.  Planning to do something – takes back seat to the blood sugar fairy – and at that point – I feel like I’m ready for a straight jacket – since I don’t like feeling out of control.

Dude driving a little red car

So, the results of my basal test this morning?  My BG’s went down 1.7 mmol/l (31 mg/dl).  Not a great drop – but still – it dropped at the same time it seems to do – even after I’ve eaten a healthy breakfast – taken the correct insulin to the carbs I’m eating (that’s another test I have never done – and want to do after all the basal testing is done).  I’m learning with age (ahhh wisdom of the Old Type 1 Fart like myself) – that you never can say you’re a pro at anything (just like I can say about sailing, and other hobbies I do – I’m constantly learning new tricks of the trade).  I now know that I’m VERY insulin sensitive as I’ve gotten older (as a teen I was using up to 100 units a day of insulin – though that was after I almost snuffed myself with being out of control for a year and ending up in DKA coma – live and learn I say – and luckily for me – I survived).

Tomorrow, as suggested by Gary Scheiner from his 2nd edition book entitled  ‘Think Like a Pancreas’ – redo the basal test the next day if possible – using the reduced basal settings .  Along with the “bible” of ‘Pumping Insulin by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts‘(now in its 5th edition) – these are my CDE’s that I’ve always used to teach me how to use my insulin over the last 10 years.  With no help from my medical team in this area – I am lucky I can wing it on my own – of course – with much appreciated feedback from the D-OC (diabetes online community).  The world becomes a smaller place with all the help that you can find from other diabetic buddies around the world!

I’ll tell you – that double espresso along with toast and lemon marmalade and some cottage cheese at 12h30 never tasted soooooo good!!  Mmm, it’s now 14h12 – I’m now craving another espresso – time to go test my BG’s ...

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