Blog Entries With Tag: CLSC


Posted: Nov 1, 2013

Last week I had gone to my local clinic (CLSC) for my blood work for my endo appointment I had on Tuesday. Two hour wait – fasting – wanting to pee like a horse – but I held fast – and wished I lived in Cornwall, Ontario – where you can make an appointment for a diabetic blood work – no waiting.  Welcome to my province of Quebec – where we diabetics get NO RESPECT !!  It's like lining up for a loaf of bread in Russia in 1915 !

Fast forward to this week – and I’m waiting in anticipation for what my results are.  Don’t we all go thru’ this (well – maybe not for you folks that can get your results the next day).  Here in my province in Canada – unless you go private - $$$ - or have private insurance coverage - you out of luck - you wait).  For some reason, I lucked in on only waiting 10 minutes (usually it’s much longer) – and my endo called my name. 

The first thing he said to me as I entered into his office …. “You’ve put on weight – what’s happened?”

I wasn’t really shocked by that statement – since I know I’ve been gaining weight (thryoid tests are normal - I'm just perimenopausal).  It's not from over eating – my habits haven’t changed - I actually am eating less due to work load – but my emotional state of being over the past year has been abit fragile plus … I’m a lazy cow (the job I do requires a lot of sitting on my behind).

Of course, as I explained this to him, he nodded, saying “Good excuses Anna”.  Onto the scale I went – since my last visit to him in July – I’ve blossomed.  I’ve never ever been the weight that I am – even after I’d had my DKA experience as a teenager – where I’d put on weight (memories of my Mum buying Hefty Boys corduroy pants for me always makes me cringe).  My Mum was often picking on me about my weight, and made me feel guilty about eating – sigh.  Writing these blogs sometimes brings back memories I don’t like to remember.

Promptly he took my blood pressure (BP) and this is sometimes the worst part for me – as I have the well-known ‘white coat syndrome” – my BP is never as good as what I have at home.  His first reading out of the corner of my eye was something like 185 over … at that point he said something that wasn’t good.  Meanwhile, in my brain I’m going WTF???  He retakes it on another machine – the regular wall version (before he was using one of the home versions we can buy) – and this time – it’s abit better – but still higher than my normal readings – 135/120.  Of course, at home, mine are in usually in the 115/70 area – sometimes lower.  I’ve never had a problem with high BP.

Of course, he says this is all to do with my increased weight (jab, jab, JAB) – and then asks – “do you eat a lot of processed foods?”  I tell him no, that I rarely eat processed foods;  when I have time/money I try to do all my own cooking without adding extra salt, etc.  Hmm, but inside my head I think … I DO LOVE CHEESE - which is high in salt!!! 

So, the jist of the whole visit was that I’ve REALLY got to lose weight - especially with his concern over my BP.  He stressed that I become active (he still insists that sailing is a lazy man’s sport – which in away – as a cruiser – it is – you don’t do much – not like he does with his golfing – where you have a goal – to find the hole).

And yes, my A1C despite my DKA episode over my holidays this summer – was pretty good (he says normally A1C will rise due to DKA) – it was abit higher – but still excellent.  And he admitted, if I’d been on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – that probably the DKA would never have occurred – which I totally agree with him.  Pumps do have their benefit - but not when they don't alarm for an occlusion, etc. like George Michael apparently didn't do in my case.  

So, now I’m off to test my BG, hopefully accomplish a 30 minute walk, then test my BG again, and post my results for the Big Blue Test that I partake in every year.  I’m hoping unlike the other day when I did it, I don’t drop in BG to the point of hypo land, and will be reducing my basal rate on my insulin pump abit (thank you Petronella Peach for that suggestion).

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Posted: Jun 2, 2010

I have been diabetic for a few years now.  I think sometimes, how I took care of my myself sometimes was maybe a shot in the dark  – and often look at myself in the mirror thinking … “Wow – you aren’t doing so badly” with the technology that took care of my diabetes from the 60’s and up.   Things are much better now but only if you can find someone who can take the time to go over all the nitty gritty details of how to keep your blood sugars in control, either with pills and/or insulin.  At the same time, we also have to educate ourselves on how to take care of ourselves, but not everyone can do that. I’m telling you it’s a complicated roller coaster ride we diabetics lead sometimes.

 My experiment with going back onto MDI (multiple dosage injecting) has had its ups and downs the past few months if you've been reading my dribbles here.   I’m enjoying the freedom of not being hooked up to a machine, but at the same time, I miss the ease of how I can remedy a situation with a few touches of buttons on my pump and I’m all set.  With MDI, I’m personally finding it a big challenge, to maintain those even BG’s that I can get with my pump basal settings.  I had to give up on the Levemir part of my “experiment” due to reaction to the insulin.  I am now having issues with low blood sugars in the morning.  Trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong – e.g. am I giving my 2 shots of Lantus at the wrong time, am I ???  This is making me seek help from my endocrinologist for the past few days as I deal with waking up to BG’s in the 2-3 mmol/l – 36 – 54 mmol/l.    

This morning I spent some time on the phone with various government services here in my province of Quebec.  First I tried my local health service centre (CLSC), and they had never heard of a CDE (Certified Diabetic Educator).  All they could offer me was a nutritionalist – but when I spoke to her – she didn’t even understand what a CDE was.  She then put me thru’ to Info Sante after we had both done some searches on the Internet together where she said they should be able to help me.  In the end, the Info Sante lady admitted that CDE’s are really a rarity in my province of Quebec (she had never heard of them – but again – perhaps due to my not knowing the French equivalent it didn’t help).  She said my best option was to drive to Cornwall, Ontario – which is a few hours west of my home – and seek help there. 

Just a few minutes ago, I was finally able to reach my endocrinologist’s secretary – and as usual – she’s finding it strange that because I work as a diabetic mentor – I don’t know what to do.  When it comes to pumping, I’m a whiz semi-kid, but MDI, despite doing it for 40 years; I didn’t really understand how insulin worked, etc. before going onto the pump.  She then told me that my endocrinologist has 10,000+ patients – these are open file patients – meaning – he is BUSY - so basically - no time to see me.  These patients are not just diabetics, but other patients with endocrine disorders.  He is overwhelmed.  The fact that she runs the office on her own is another story (I keep on telling them to hire me – but it’s my darn lack of fluent French again).  She also told me, that going to Ontario won’t help, that they have patients coming from that province since there are just not enough endocrinologists to serve them!  Again, CDE’s, why don’t we have them here in this province is what is going thru’ my head which would take the pressure off the endocrinologist? 

She did say that big changes were happening in the Fall time here in the area I live in for a clinic that will be set up just for diabetics (she was vague about what it all entailed).  All I know is, that as a new diabetic, in my situation, I would be very scared, not being able to have some sort of help when I need it.  To be told to go to ER is not something I feel we should do if we are having issues with our insulin regime.  Are Quebec and the rest of Canada ready for the amount of diabetics that are being diagnosed and needing help?  I hate to say this, but I don’t think so. 

Back to research on Lantus again (hopefully Tudiabetes is working again) until I try my endocrinologists office again tomorrow (this is all his assistant could offer me).  Diabetes right now seems to be taking up much of my time lately, as I try to find that magic combination to having level BG’s.   Yes, Dianna, my pump, aka Salvador Dali keeps on looking better and better to me these past few days, but I must resist the pull of his twirly moustache, and hang in until my next A1C in July.  I can do it; I can do it … with a few gripes here and there from the peanut gallery.

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Tags: Tudiabetes (1) Levemir (1) injections (1) MDI (1) Canada (1) Quebec (1) Info Sante (1) CLSC (1) pump (1) insulin (1) ER (1) CDE (1) Lantus (1) endocrinologist (1) Tudiates (1)
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Posted: Jan 7, 2010

Yesterday I was at my car dealership, getting a little electrical glitch sorted out with my Smart (wiring had to be changed for the emergency panel - due to corrosion of wires - thank goodness it was covered under the warranty). 

Luckily, I only had a few hours to wait for the work to be done (hey - it's a small car - less wiring has to be removed / replaced ) so I sat down in front of the telly and managed to get the staff to change the sports channel to my favourite soap opera (Bold and the Beautiful - my escape from reality show - and a way for me to take a work break/lunch).  Besides myself, there were two other people waiting for their cars to be fixed and we started to all talk after one of them saw me testing my blood sugar.  I was off and running with educating people yesterday about PWD's (people with diabetes) .

Blood sugar test pictureI couldn't figure out at first what he was saying.  He was speaking in French, but he was from Haiti, so his accent threw me off as I tried to translate what he was saying.  I knew he was pointing at his finger tips, and it dawned on me what he was saying.  I told him, my French wasn't very good, and he was the same as me with his English.  Anyway, it turns out he is an RN working for the CLSC (government run medical clinics in Quebec).  He was saying that I should wipe off the first drop of blood from my finger tips, and then use the second drop.  I had a good laugh as I told him, I'd been told the same thing by another diabetic friend, and that I had actually experimented with seeing if the values differed from taking the first drop of blood or the second.  I'm not sure if he quite understood me, but I am hoping he did.  I told him I had found that there was hardly any difference with the two readings. 

I wish I could have told him before he'd left (we only spoke for about 5 minutes), as his car was ready, that for some diabetics, going thru' the routine of wiping the first droplet of blood might deter them from testing their BG's, as some BG monitors use large droplets of blood compared to some of the monitors that use a small drop.

The one surprising thing he told me is that in his country of Haiti that diabetes wasn't a big health issue.  Instead it is high blood pressure, which he has to take medication for himself.  He said that many Haitians fuffer from this.  I learnt something new that day!

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