Blog Entries With Tag: diabetic

Posted: Nov 30, 2010

I was one of the many bloggers asked to post a guest blog at the DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) website during the month of November.  You can read some of the great discussion that followed there after my post. 


Being a Type I diabetic and/or having a Type I child can be extremely demanding, both mentally and physically.  I never really thought about this before joining up to DOC’s (diabetic online communities). I didn’t realize that others were in the same boat - I basically dealt with my diabetes on my own, and it’s been a roller coaster ride.  Yes, I do have an endocrinologist that I see every 6 months, but all he is concerned about is my A1C reading.  Sometimes we’ll discuss the ongoing research that has come across my desktop, but basically, he feels I do a good job managing my diabetes, and leaves me to it.  That’s where the DOC has played an important role in my life, as it has for many other diabetics around our big blue marble.  I can talk about the day-to-day issues, the ones we all have to live with.

The ability to adapt to this chronic disease is really a testament to the human spirit and our ability to adapt to difficult situations.  However, as we adapt I think we can lose some of our perspective.  I have read in blogs and/or forums where diabetics are struggling with issues and looking for help.  The responses they get from other diabetics are sometimes so self-righteous and insensitive that they are downright hurtful, and honestly sometimes have made me want to no longer be involved in the DOC.   Because we are all so different (e.g. age, metabolism, activity level, and other medical issues), the level of difficulty in maintaining ones diabetes varies from individual to individual.  When a parent writes that they are struggling with their child’s diabetes, do we step back and consider that they may be a stressed out single parent who work long hours to support their family?  Or perhaps that active child may have other health issues impacting their overall diabetes care?  If you have near perfect control but do not exercise and/or maintain an active lifestyle, you may think we have it all figured out!  The question that goes through my head at that point …  

Are you really doing what is best for your overall health, and how can I or someone else judge you? “ 

One specific subject that really bothers me, is when someone blogs about pump related problems; they are either immediately dismissed as to not knowing what they are doing - “go read the manual you dummy, I don’t have this problem!”  or “it’s a one in a million chance” and “it can’t happen to me” type of response.   That is BS as far as I’m concerned – especially with some of the emails I’ve received in confidence ever since I blogged and opened up forum discussions about the pump and Stephen Krueger at and a few at Tudiabetes.  Stephen's insulin pump primed the whole contents of his insulin cartridge into his body while he was sleeping, resulting in his untimely death.   

We have to realize that  insulin pumps do malfunction, perhaps more often then we are willing to admit.  Earlier in the Springtime the FDA called a meeting to discuss the numerous reported problems with insulin pumps – and since then – the ball has started to roll (more information can found at this link.  I understand the desire to not want to confront this issue, but it is ultimately better for all of us to take each story seriously, to encourage those that may have had a bad experience to come forward, and to hold the manufacturer’s accountable.  

Yes, we all do dumb things sometimes, and unfortunately diabetes is not very forgiving when this happens.  Let’s have some empathy towards our fellow humans who are impacted by this disease, and always show our civility when we are in forums or responding to a heart-felt blogger.  We are bigger than this disease, and lets help each other beat it!


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Posted: Jun 7, 2010

I had written a blog last year in January 2009 about a wonderful organisation that takes seeing eye dogs from 4 months to 1 year – and retrains them to provide medical alert assistance to Type 1 diabetics (Dogs4Diabetes or D4D).

This came across my desktop the other day about a 7-year-old Cardigan Welsh Corgi who goes by the name of King Tut who can tell when his owner (Marilyn Pharo) ketones are going low.  He's saved his owner a few times when she's had low blood sugars (hypos).

I still can't get over how sensitive dogs are to smell (I thought I had a good sniffer myself). To be able to smell the difference in the ketones that admit from the body is incredible!  I wonder if cats can sense the same thing?  Mine have never tried to pry my eyeballs open when I'm having a low at night (they only do this for food at 6:00 a.m. aka Garfield style).

Animal Planet is going to be filming Marilyn and her trusty King Tut at their home in Cape May, New Jersey this month and their episode will air sometime in the Fall.  So check back at this link - Dogs 101 to see when it will play (I know I want to see this).

To read the rest of this wonderful story - go to this link (or paste the link in a new browser - ).

I wish my husband would let me get a dog ....

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Posted: Nov 9, 2009

Well, it's actually a beautiful day here in Montreal.  I wish I had the motorcycle today (hate sharing my bike with hubby), to go out for a drive (did this yesterday, which was another nice day).  Alas, work is calling me, and I have so much to share with you all!

First, driving off to my doctors this a.m. to get my 2nd shot for my Twinrix vaccine (for protection against Hepatitis A/B). I found out on the radio that here in Montreal, I can finally get my H1N1 vaccine earlier then expected!!  Originally the date was set for November 23rd, and I was getting abit worried, as I'm off on holidays later that week.   I did have a slight fear of having ill effects from the H1N1 vaccine if I had it done that week, not that I ever have with the regular flu shot, but still had that little devil on my shoulder poking at me.  I was going to wait until I got back from my holidays, but I hated waiting longer then I had to for the vaccine, but now the date has been advanced, so I'll have more time to recouperate IF I do get effected by the shot.  So, wish me luck, that I can get a number for my flu shot at the one clinic that is opened up in my area (have to go down for 07h00 - in order to get a number and time for the H1N1 vaccine later in the day as they only have so much vaccine each day to give out).

Now, second, this past w/e I spent time helping out Mark & Patti Clifford from Fresno, California with their launch of the first World Diabetic KID'Z Weekend on Blog Talk Radio / Livestream.  It was truly amazing experience to be part of and hopefully something that will take place every year (though I wouldn't mind doing this more often, as it was such a blast).  I spoke with Mum's with children who have diabetes, adults who have diabetes.  Between texting our comments and also talking on the radio, it hopefully helped people to understand what diabetic go thru' on a daily basis and bringing new issues to light. 

The good thing about Mark and his wife Patti, they think the same way as I do about diabetes. We don't define it by Type 1, 2, LADA,  we are ALL diabetics or know someone who has it - no matter what type we have.  I do find at some of the diabetic groups I belong to online, that sometimes there can be a battle between the different types of diabetes, not so with this group that Mark has set up at Change the World - Global Diabetic Awareness - we're all in the same boat!  We have a daily battle with keeping our BG's at good levels/weight/discrimination/etc.

Check out the video on The Diabotics as well - and maybe you can make up your own with all the bits and pieces that you use in your daily life as a diabetic (I know mine will look pretty amazing as some of the examples in the video )!  One thing to take note of is Mark is hoping to make November 7th a permanent fixture on the American calendar in the future as well!  Wouldn't it be great if it was an event that takes place all over our big blue marble?  I hope to help him and others in this endeavour.

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Posted: Jul 30, 2009


How might smart phones (also known as handheld computation devices) such as the iPhone change diabetes care?   Many folks know that when Apple previewed their new iPhone 3.0 OS that they also showed a number of potential medical applications.  One showed a blood pressure cuff with readings being exported and displayed (and presumably saved) on the iPhone.   Another showed a blood glucose meter (BGM) beaming readings to an iPhone.  (for more with pictures see this coverage of Apple OS 3.0).

It is important to note that both of these demonstrations were just that- demonstrations- they showed capabilities and potential rather than "available now" features.   However, there are a number of applications available now for use by folks with diabetes.   Most are stand-alone like calorie counters, glucose logs, carb counters- they are iPhone 1.0 applications and don't use the full functionality of the iPhone such as geo-positioning, auto-call, online sourcing, etc.    But newer, more integrated applications for people to more fully manage their diabetes are emerging.

But this is only significant to a small subset of people with diabetes, right?   Well, yes and no.   About 6% of people with diagnosed diabetes in the US have iPhones .   That's a small %, but in absolute numbers, it's about 1Million people!  

Here's a bit of market analysis- comments and couterpoints are welcomed!   Click on the image below for the full 7 page market analysis 



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Posted: Apr 17, 2009

I've been following Kerri Marrone Sparling for a few years now since she started blogging ( Six Until Me ).  I wish I could write the way she does about her life with diabetes.  She does it so well - but then she does do this for a living - which I don't.  She is also very passionate about letting people know about diabetes and I have gotten abit that way at times here (hopefully not scaring you off with some of my wacky ideas - e.g. how to reuse infusion tubing ).  It's just the way she expresses herself and gets alot of us involved with discussing topics - well - she's got that magic touch with her finger tips on the keyboard. 

Anyway, for those of you who don't follow her - she is presently trying to get pregnant - and having some difficulties achieving lower A1C levels (presently she's at 7.5% - the same number she was at 4 months ago - sigh).  That's even with being on an insulin pump as well as a CGMS!  I don't think it helps that with the stress of live, etc. that it can add more pressure to a diabetics life - but it's easier said then done when you just want to put the everyday stresses on the backburner and put your feet up and relax.  We all say we'll whoa down on life in this fast paced society - but who does (I know I don't).

Anyway, just rereading Kerri's post now ( Deflated )  - makes me cry again for her (are all diabetics so empathetic like me??).   She is REALLY wanting to have a baby - but she's got to get herself below an A1C of 7% - or even lower - to 6%.  We're all rooting for her to get to this goal - and I wish there was some magic wand we could wave over her - but it's something she's going to have to achieve herself - and I know she can do it!!!

So, I'm hoping that perhaps lilbabyrose who has started blogging here ( Diabetes Struggle ) and is pregnant at the moment - will be able to allow us to follow her ups/downs (hopefully more "ups" then downs) as time progresses.



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