Blog Entries With Tag: Ontario

Posted: Jul 21, 2015

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  and sleep apnea testing.  Sleep really is vital to everyone, diabetic or not … without a good sleep … well … we become exhausted, depressed, need I say more?

So, here’s the jist. 

  • Been in our new home now for close to a month.  Yippee!!!  Searching for new team of doctors is a job in itself.   
  • Trying to figure out where to shop that isn’t all “meat and potatoes” food (the grocery stores I’m used to that are more Middle Eastern are so far not to be found here)  … yippee … sigh. 
  • Realising the street you moved on is a major artery when you were told otherwise by real estate agent who sold you the property … sigh (so far my explorer cat has survived not getting hit … very scary).  
  • Trying to motivate your DH to unpack with the limited time they have at home due to their work schedule … having lived with limited things since putting our previous house on the market back in March … it’s getting old. 
  • This promise of a new beginning, yadda, yadda, yadda, in the land of insulin pumping program (ADP) … isn’t all it’s built up to be.

Basically, I miss Montreal … my home for the past 26 years (that the new owners just LOVE …. Urrhhh …. why did we make our house so cute).

The biggest thing that is hitting me for the past few months though is that finally I can admit that diabetes is bringing me down.  I rarely will admit that, and am all smiles (damn they create wrinkles around the eyes … and I’m already feeling like I’ve aged 20 years in the past few months with stress).

My basal rate is almost down to ½ of what it used to be … and still needing to be tweaked.  Why I’m become even more insulin sensitive is making no sense at all with the extra hormonal issues I’ve been experiencing that were making life the opposite.  Has my body gotten used to them?

With the use of the Dexcom CGMS … I am now at least getting a better vision of where to tweak things … but what has finally dawned on me lately is … is with my basal portion of my insulin coverage pretty well covered (I mean … .450 / hr seems to be my average hourly rate) it maybe lowered if I continue in this hypo fairy land I seem to exist day in day out.

limp noodle joke

As we all know, hypos are exhausting, they leave you like a limp noodle, and the things you have set out to do that most people take for granted … get in car, drive to store, do your shopping … get on bicycle, go for a cycle, get active … go for walk … yadda, yadda, yadda.  I think you get the drift.  To do these simple tasks lately, I’m not able to do them.  It’s bringing me down to the point where I had a friend force me OUT OF MY HOUSE, to go out for a trip with her (searching for green bacon along HWY 2 of eastern Ontario). That did help, but sadly, getting behind the wheel, even with my Dexcom alarm set at 4 (72) … is not much help.  I am crashing in the blood sugar area … and luckily it’s not behind the wheel.

So, what dawned on me lately is that my other ratios I have been using are wrong for insulin coverage.  I’ve upped my I:C (insulin to carb) ratio … and giving it a test … I see a few times where it will have to be upped more.  Just like our basal rates are different from hour to hour on a pump … and this is where a pump is VERY handy.  You’re sort of stuck with MDI (Multiple Dose Injections) … once injected … you are the insulin slave.

cat at the wheel

My other fear?  Tomorrow, I am going to visit my family that I haven’t seen since last year.  I’m driving alone which I never used to feel.  It’s not far, but it’s that background fear of going low.   So my CGMS alarm for going low is set abit higher for that drive (I usually have it at 4/72 … for driving I put it to 5/90 … to allow for any variance in the blood meter verification test).  I did this last week when driving back to Quebec to have the Ontario MOT form filled out by my endo to certify me that I’m insane … JOKING … that I can drive a vehicle in Ontario safely.   The form from Ontario really goes into hypo unawareness unlike the form my endo filled out for the province of Quebec last year for me.  This all stems from Allan Makii, a T1D  who caused a TRIPLE fatal crash while driving with a low blood sugar back in 2009.  

 comic look at unpacking

So, as I post this blog, and I’ve missed posting them lately, but life has been whacky as you’ve seen … wish me luck … on sorting out my insulin requirements … getting my new home organised with help from my DH when he’s home … and trying to get out of what I think is one of the worst depression bouts I’ve ever had. 

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Tags: Ontario (1) Quebec (1) dexcom (1) unawareness (1) hypo (1) sleep (1) driving (1) MOT (1) insulin (1) cgms (1) depression (1) moving (1)
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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 16, 2009

On the weekend in Ottawa, I met up with Catherine, our Goddaughter and her son Aaron.  It was a short visit, as we were doing the rounds on visiting our families, something we don't do that often, even though Ottawa is only a 2 hour drive.  Weekends are precious for us working stiffs, so getting away can be difficult as I'm sure you all can relate to.

Anyway, I think the best part of the weekend, was seeing Aaron!  He got diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 6, and at the time I had thought, "Oh no, why him?".  The thing is though, after seeing him, he reminds me much of myself as a youngster, just a kid full of energy and a zest for life (he's learning to snow board this winter).  I almost felt like I was talking to my twin, but in male form, it was hilarious, especially when we both found out we enjoyed dipping our pretzels in mustard.

His Mum is amazing, in raising him up the way he is, and along with help from CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario).  They both have so much knowledge in how to handle diabetes, and even for Catherine like it did for my family, the diabetic way of eating has rubbed off on her.  Aaron and I got to talking about carbs, and when I told him the storyof my meeting up with some Type 2 diabetics at a CDA meeting a few weeks ago who insisted that cookies made with "no sugar" meant they had no carbs, so I didn't need any insulin to eat them, he had a good laugh. 

Everything has some form of carbs in it we both agreed!  I told him how much educating I was going to have with some of the diabetics in the WIDA (West Island Diabetes Association) that I'll be President of beginning in January 2010.   I told Aaron that these diabetics felt that a blood sugar in the morning of 8-12 mmol/l (144-216 mg/dl) was good, and that my 4-6 mmol/l (72-108 mg/dl) was just too low, I just about screamed at them, but held my cool. Of course, they told me, their doctors say that this blood sugar reading is fine. My response was that their doctors lived in the Stone Ages, and I don't think they quite took that in sad to say. It makes me wonder, what the heck are endos/GP's being told, in order to educate their diabetic patients in taking control of their diabetes, and avoiding complications from high blood sugars?  Eeech!!!  Out of this conversation, with a 10 year old remember, he told me, that being a kid, he couldn't keep his blood sugars as low as I do, and I agreed with him on that, with all the energy kids expend out.  All I can say is, I never thought I'd be discussing this type of thing with another diabetic of such a young age.  I only started to really become better educated in the diabetes area about 10 years ago, and I'm still learning!  I should have come to Aaron for advice earlier  <lol>!

So, on closing, can you tell that I'm really proud of Aaron, and how much he knows about taking care of his diabetes?  Even better, he's going to be going onto an insulin pump, thru' CHEO soon.  Each month 4 diabetic children are entered into the pumping program, which the province of Ontario now has for ALL diabetics.  Imagine, if all provinces/states/countries had this program, so that insulin dependent diabetics could be on insulin pumps, paid for by their government!  Need I say any more, with my having better control of my diabetes since going on the pump 2 years ago (prepump - A1C of 7% - pumping - under 6%).

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Posted: Apr 8, 2009

A group of doctors in Ontario are urging the provincial government to enact legislation to require calories to be listed next to the price of items on menus and menu boards at large chain restaurants / school cafeterias across Ontario.  Along with the food values, they would like to see an education campaign to inform people about the impact of calorie intake on weight gain and obesity - which in the long run can lead to health complications, such as diabetes to name just a few.

  In NYC, restaurant chains with more then 15 chains nationally are required by law to list calories on menu boards and menus.  In California a similar law has been passed and a bill before the U.S. Congress would make calorie content mandatory across the country.

  I know today when I was waiting for my Smart to have its winter tires taken off - I got chatting with a few of the clients also waiting.  They were curious about my blood testing and insulin pump after they found out I was a diabetic.  They were surprised that I was eating a few of the shortbread cookies with my coffee - and I explained to them that I could eat them - but just a few as they're high in not only fat - but also carbs.  So, once again, I started to do my part time diabetic educator job I seem to be doing lately (and I love doing it).  Telling them about sugar and how it affects me, insulin pumping, etc.  One of the Mum's is concerned about what her children eat at their school cafeteria of course and is hoping that Quebec follows along with Ontario in passing the same type of legislation with showing the food.  Due to our two languages here in this country - it may take a little while - but hopefully it is sooner then later!  I do find though that more people that I talk to lately - seem to be more informed as to what is in the food that they eat - so times are changing hopefully for the better.

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