Blog Entries With Tag: CDA


Posted: Mar 29, 2014

If only money grew on trees

For some of us - who don't have either private or work medical coverage here in Canada for prescriptions we require - it can be tough to manage the budget between food / rent / and other things that we require to stay alive.

For example, in my case, even though I don't have pump coverage (in Quebec it is for under 18 only - and as long as you remain in the province after that age - you are covered) - my visits to doctors / hospital (ER) they are paid for through our provincial income taxes.  Of course, this is all based on your income.

Wait but currency grows on trees

The same applies for medical coverage in our province - it is all based on your income - and so far - since starting to research where I'll get my best bang for my buck based on cost of living (housing / rent is relatively cheaper here in Quebec than in Ontario which is "next door").  These are things you have to weigh out when having to survive on medications to keep you alive.  

Sadly, when attempting to find out what each province covers via the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) - I'm finding no information at all.  In away, this is something I thought they would have shown on their website - to help ALL Canadians figure out what is covered by each province.  Either I'm looking in the wrong place - but this is what lead me to post this blog - incase others are like myself - wondering about their best option for medical/prescription coverage for their diabetes health.

UPDATE: Thanks to Petronella Peach - she sent me this link from CDA - that shows what our provinces cover for diabetes prescriptions.  They're abit out of date (2011) - but better than nothing!

what Canadian funds looks like to a foreigner

Take for example, I move to Ontario (that has insulin pump coverage if I go back to it that is).  You have to pay for your prescriptions until you reach retirement age.  They do not have a similar medical plan like we do here in Quebec - which is a more socialist system similar to France. Ontarians of course - pay less in provincial taxes - so there goes the thinking cap of what works out better financially in the long run to maintain my diabetic health?  Paying out of your own pocket OR paying the province more in taxes to have your drugs covered.  Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. If only money grew on trees.

 

Current Drug Insurance Plan in Quebec

Above it the current public prescription drug in my province (for larger picture go to this link link

How does your own province/state/country compare to mine?  I'm curious - as I prepare to make a move after retirement to a new frontier - perhaps to the east coast (closer to the sea for sailing) - wait - maybe to France!

 

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Posted: Nov 2, 2013

dictionary spelling of di-a-be-tes

Hmmm, I've been seeing various places within the DOC (diabetes online community) going on about this being some celebration of diabetes month (NDAM). 

Yuppers, glancing at my calendar on my wall - THIRTY days of advocating in many different forms about my disease I've had for almost 1/2 a century.  Boy oh boy - do WE feel special or what?  

JDRF 2013 NDAM logo

On further research (gotta love search engines) - I discovered that in the United States - Mr. Obama has declared that it indeed is true. JDRF Canada has as well -along with ADA (American Diabetic Association).  I was even surprised after abit of sleuthing that the CDA (Canadian Diabetes Association) website that they have as well!   I could probably post more - perhaps from other parts of the world - but I'll leave that up to you to let your fingers do the walking across your keyboard (and if you find any good ones - post them here).

Everyone has their different approach to how to celebrate.  I have to admit one of my favs has always been the Lee Anne Thill's World Diabetes Day Post Card Exchange (details can be found at the bottom of this blog for 2013).

A new one I've come across this year is well known American advocate/blogger Kerri Sparling's of Six Until Me - Diabetes Month Photo-A-Day project.  I always like to take pictures (have mobile - will click) - so you'll either see those pics posted here at Diabetes1.org OR my Blogger site - The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes.  All depends on how many projects I get involved in (I mean - there is a life outside of diabetes - right?)

So - what will you be doing this month to tell the world about diabetes?  I can't wait to see - but remember - awareness and advocacy isn't just a once a year thing.  It's all the time for many of us that advocate / educate. 

Remember though - if a person's eyes start to glaze over as you yammer on - retreat - some of what you'll have said will enter into their already over-logged brains - and hopefully they'll walk away with abit better understanding of what diabetes is all about!

Little child crying shut the F up

 

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Posted: Jun 16, 2013

Have you ever read a book that made you so emotional about how good it was – that you wanted to shout it out to the world (okay – Facebook / Twitter / Google+ it?).  Usually it’s reserved for a fiction book in my case, but today, I want to give a shout out to this book by Johanna Burkhard and Barbara Allan, RD, CDE along with Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA).  This book is aimed at folks wanting to prevent and manage their Type 2 diabetes (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) / Type 1 is explained VERY well too) in TEN steps.  Though, in actual fact I’m thinking it’s a book that everyone should delve into – diabetic or not – if they want to live a healthy life.   I feel like the Doctor Oz / Oprah of the big blue marble with getting this book out to you!!!  I’m wanting to give this book to every friend I know, every aging parent I know  …  but sorry – at $24.95 (Cdn/US) – you’ll have to fork out the money for it yourself - but it’ll be a great investment – even for those of you like myself who’ve lived with diabetes most of their lives.  I have actually learned some new things – or my mind was refreshed with stuff that I’ve forgotten over the years.  When I’ve returned this book to my local library – I’m going to be using the Amazon gift certificate my brother gave me for my birthday.

Now, I do realise that some diabetics may poo poo some of what is written in the book – especially those that are die hard low carb fans of Dr. Bernstein (See Note 1).   Fair game – since I am a sort of a "semi" low carb eater myself (120 grams on average if I don’t “cheat”) – but I think for anyone wanting to know more about diabetes and try to at least learn how to eat wisely – then progress otherwise – this book is a valuable resource for those trying to understand diabetes.  The nice thing, in less than 150 pages the explanation of diabetes will NOT send you to sleep – it will make you learn/question more – which is a good thing in my books. What is contained is easily understood by the layman like me and not using language that sometimes goes right over my head with some books I’ve read by doctors and well learned scholars (e.g. university geeks).   The other point is that after you browse over the sections of the diet plan they have (for weight loss they aim for 1,600 calories) - you can also modify the meal plan (28-day menu) to suit your lifestyle with their simple suggestions.

One great tip I got from the book (and there are many) – with every meal – ensure that you have a minimum of 15 grams of protein.  So this morning, I had my toast with jam, along with ½ cup of 2% cottage cheese.  I’m hoping with my next blood glucose reading (BG) – I won’t have spiked up too much – since protein/fat help keep your BG’s more stable.  I think I’ve always known that having protein/carb helps with more level BG’s – but the little reminder on the side of the section I was reading was a great reminder.  The section offers a list of choices for ALL meals – to help meet that protein requirement!

Here’s a little factoid from the book – “­Did You Know?  People with prediabetes are likely to develop Type 2 within 10 years unless they take steps to prevent or delay it.”

In the section on Low-Sodium Cooking, most of us know that high blood pressure can be contributed to the way we eat – with processed foods we do not have much control over it.  If you are of African descent, age 51 or more, have diabetes or high blood pressure you should aim to limit your sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day rather than the upper limit of 2,300 for healthy individuals.  In actual fact – as they state – we ALL should limit our salt intake.  Luckily, all the recipes in Chapter 2 use very little added salt, using herbs/spices to make the food tastier, which is what most people use salt for.
                                             Picture courtesy of USDA (My Plate)

One area I always have problems with is eating lunch.  I’m usually too busy to remember and before I know it – dinner is almost approaching.  That may not be my problem anymore – of wondering/remembering to eat (and maybe not consume so much at dinner time because I’m so hungry).  There is a great section on Combo Sandwiches – Combo Salads – that allow you to choose your Carb Choice / Vegetable Choice / Fat Choice / Extras – and some of them are very drool worthy!  You’ll even find a great section of 100-Calorie and 200-Calorie snacks.  The breakdown of the foods is easily understood for ALL diabetics and nondiabetics (exchange values are given to those who follow that method – or those of us who count their carbs to match their insulin requirement – too easy!!).

One thing that shocked me - did you know that children born to mothers with GDM have a higher risk of diabetes themselves, and a higher risk of being overweight?  Following/using some of the recipes in this book is the course of action (and of course – they’ll eat larger portions due to growing – but they will be healthier choices).   Really, when it comes down to it, the menus shown here are really a “menu for life” – and not to look at the way diabetics in general  eat as being a “diet” which often makes people think of weight loss only – but a healthy diet for everyone.  My Mum who is not a diabetic, to this day still follows the CDA way of eating that she brought me up on – and has no serious health issues!

The tried and true steps to good health – eating a variety of whole foods, including plenty of vegetables and fruit, exercising and getting enough sleep – will never go out of style.”

There’s a very good section (2 pages – short read) – about Artificial sweeteners and their “safety” issue.  I have a few nondiabetic friends who will not eat/drink anything that contains artificial sweeteners (Stevia is written in this section as well).  Sadly, some of my friends, who are aging like me, are increasing in weight, and still continue to consume regular sugar soda.  I keep on telling them that the after taste they remember from many years ago is no longer a big issue – at least not for me.  Despite the recent research that shows people gain weight when drinking diet soft drinks (this is talked about in the book) – I still think it’s all about moderation – e.g. don’t drink a case a day!   Now if only I can get my friends to see the light on artificial sweeteners – so I can keep them away from becoming possible Type 2 diabetics! 

So, run to your local library (or check for book online like I can with my public library system) - I want to see if you feel the same way as I do about this book!!!  Along with your own blogs about meals you've cooked up from the book!!!  Eat, Eat!!!  Mangi! Mangi! 

Note 1: I can now maybe see why Americans dislike the ADA by this statement in the book - “ADA system “counts” more of the fiber and more of the vegetables.  This results in more Carbohydrate Exchanges per day in the ADA system – roughly 13, compared with 11 CDA Food Choices “. 

Recipe you can find on page 270 of the book

Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Mint Raita (baked in oven rather than BBQ as per the recipe) –along with some Coconut Milk Quinoa with Sprouted Bean Trio & Peanuts

 

 

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Posted: Jul 19, 2011

Yesterday on Facebook -  Diabetes Daily had a poll going about the amount of carbs we consume a day.  Going back to it today – the one that seems to be winning out is 50-100 grams of carbs a day – which I personally think I cannot do.  I then decided to go over my past few days (this is after I’d put down my choice of 100-150 grams per day) – and was amazed to see that the last 3 days my average amount of carbs is actually on 90 grams.   I may have to go back to the poll and change my answer.  One of the other higher totals (same as the 50-100 totals) was “I don’t count carbs”.  Either they were folks like myself that just eat based on what they think is alright for them and semi-shoot in the dark for the amount of insulin to cover the carbs I used to be that way and managed to stay in an A1C of 7% - but my blood sugars did yo-yo a lot back then on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – which probably led to the lower number for my A1C. – The other thing is that those that answered perhaps were not on meds at all – but just diet and exercise.  All I know is that when preparing to go onto an insulin pump, I started to look at food labels more closely, not just for the carb count, but for other things like fat/sodium count that I felt was important for me to monitor as well.  I guess I reeducated myself after 40 years of being a diabetic – and just following the guidelines I was brought up on by my Mum and CDA with eye balling the amount of rice I had on my plate, etc.  It did work, but I just wasn’t being as precise with carb counting as I am now.

That’s one thing that I noticed the other day when going grocery shopping with a friend.  I picked up a bag of Bing cherries that are affordable at this time of the year.  They told me that they had bought a bag the other day (about 2 kg) and had consumed it practically in one go.  On top of that she was buying another bag as I picked out the darkest cherries I could find to share with my DH over the week!!  The first thing that went through my head was the amount of carbs they had consumed in that one bag of cherries –it boggled my mind.  Next we stopped by the bread area.  I swear those places pipe out smells of fresh baked bread just to draw you in – resistance is futile to most – but in my case – the constant walking wanna-be-dietician - I resisted the urge to a loaf of cheese bread my friend was buying.  As they teased me with the comment of, “There is one loaf left – buy it!!!”  They then told me … that they would be consuming this WHOLE loaf probably that afternoon.  I just had these flashes of potential diabetes or not being able to fit thru’ the bathroom door in the making.  On top of that they are already have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia – yikes!   All I could say was – “In my next life I come back with a pancreas that doesn’t pack in on me” – and almost added – “and a bank account that can pay for all the clothing / medical bills I may get from becoming overweight”. 

For some of you who are newly diagnosed with diabetes – carb counting is a chore – along with watching the quantity/quality of food you consume.  Trust me, it gets better over the time, and in the end you’ll be doing the calculations without even thinking about it.  For long term diabetics like myself, it’s just something I’ve always done; looking at food with a critical eye and pondering what it’s after effects will be to my health.  I really rarely think about what I doing except when faced with a food that I can’t really access properly – then I just wing it the best I can!

Off to munch on some cherries (not the WHOLE bag!!!!).

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Posted: Jun 23, 2011

Wow! It's amazing going over stuff that I forgot I still had.  Because of having moved around - I only had so much room that I could keep of childhood memories.  Those memories are all stuffed into a box that normally you would buy paper for your office printer. It contains the first 20 years of my life that I was able to save before my parents could put it in the trash (they aren't professional pack rats like me)!

I have only started looking at few items, but I was curious to see what my diary that I had at the age of 11 contained.  I thought that there might be more mentioned about my diabetes, but there is very little in there, except for a few scribbles about my 2nd year at Camp Banting when I was 11 near the end of the small notebook (6" length x 4" width).  I was amazed to see that I actually was missing my parents (don't think they were) and the fact that we weren't allowed to make calls home (I can't see that happening today at a camp grounds).  I mentioned about having to have my diet changed four times, probably due to my being more active is the only reason for that.  Oh and my loving the orange cookies we got once in awhile for snacks (we had more the year before at camp I wrote).  There was one mention of a fellow cabin mate having a bad hypo and all of us running to get 4 camp counsellors at 2:00 a.m. to help her (obviously none of us 11 year olds had Life Savers or orange juice in our cabin - nowadays I think we would have those with us).  Near the end I wrote, I was getting bored of camp, and never wanting to go back again (but I later corrected that entry in red - that it wasn't so bad ).   

What surprised me even more - was that not only had I been to diabetic camp that year for 2 weeks - but a month prior - a 2 week ocean holiday with my family in Maine (which I loved so much according to my scribbles).  I didn't realise that I had two holidays in one summer that year - boy oh boy - was I spoiled - since CDA camp was not cheap in those days to attend.

So, below is a picture of me that I found wedged in my diary - standing outside a little place we always would stop off at on our 8 hour road trip from Ottawa to Higgins Beach, Maine.  The Farmer's Daughter Gift Barn on Route 2 in St. Johnsbury, VT - chock full of great stuff to amaze your friends with - and always a place to stretch your legs abit.



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