Blog Entries With Tag: diary


Posted: Jul 5, 2014

Craig Idlebrook who is the editor at Insulin Nation has been asking on their Facebook page for stories from children/parents about their diabetic camping experiences.  I gave Craig a brief description of my Camp Banting experience (and I actually had blogged abit here at Diabetes1.org a few years ago).   

Though boy oh boy could I tell him a lot more – e.g. sleeping with my first “boyfriend” on a sandy mosquito infested beach at the young age of 10.  Oppsie – my parents will now know I was being a naughty girl then.  He’s also asked for pictures but cameras weren’t cheap in those days like they are today.   I said I’d look Monday when I was off work for the pictures just incase but of course, what did I do?!?

I opened up Pandora’s box (aka my memory box) on my afternoon break (I work from home). I have yet to come across any camp pictures (cameras like today weren’t readily available – and not cheap for destructive kids like me  to own).  I did though come across disintegrating scrap books, pictures of friends that I could use as blackmail … KIDDING … sort of.  I haven’t gone thru’ this stuff in 30+ years.  Memory floods are hitting me – but luckily – not many revolve around diabetes – but I did come across something in my careful rummaging around.  

I came across a letter I that might interest a few of those parents – worried about their kids and DKA.  I survived it luckily without any ill effects (sometimes brain loss can occur).   I was 13 years old when I wrote this back in the 1974, and had been diabetic for 7 years already.  

What you will find below is EXACTLY how I wrote it out … in pencil (fast fading – and reason for my typing this out here) … obviously the word “unconscious” was something I didn’t know how to spell

 ***********

May 30th

I’m in the hospital because I had a very bad coma. I came to the hospital at about 3:00.  During Monday I had been very sick and vomiting.  I had a plastic tube stuck up my left hand for about three days. Luckily, when I came to Emergency I was uncon while they were putting the wires into me. It really hurts getting them into you because last night a nurse had to put it in my hand, but right this time. She jabbed me with a 3 or 4 inch plastic needle but it did’nt work. After two other attempts she put it in the same spot as in the other hand. But it did’nt stay in that long. My left hand is all swollen. It am staying here til I don’t know when. But I thought I was leaving on Friday, but I think I may stay Saturday and Sunday because the dietician made my diet up for those days. The food is out of this world. My hair was in a mess this morning but a nurse helped get them out for me. The doctor said I just came in time. He said I’ve been having a coma, (really) for about 3 months

May 31st

Yesterday was DIASTER day, “this was a rehearsal” a woman said on the intercom. Their were lots of ambulances and it was interesting. It’s all because of the bridge they were building near Vincent Massey Park, a lot of workmen were killed or injured for the rest of there lives’. So if something happens like this again all the people in the Maternity ward go over to the Nurses’ Apartments, and the injured go to Maternity. I’m going home today, that’s what Needle Nurse says. I can’t wait. I’m going to miss Mrs. Lachance a lot though. I really like her a lot.

-----------------------------

Note from Anna of today – The doctor who took care of me?  I feel in love with him – sadly my regular endo at the time … WAS NOT AMUSED by my going DKA.  Mrs. Lachance was the lady next to me in my hospital room.  Back in those days – we T1D youngsters were put into the ward for what I am now called … an Old Fart. 

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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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Posted: Nov 23, 2011

Freestyle Insulinx

After abit of playing the waiting game with Abbott Canada – then being sent over to Abbott USA – I finally have some exciting info for those of you who maybe are facing the same dilemma as I am – not being able to own an insulin pump.  I learned about this product from Marco Bianchi – who is a CDE at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.  I was Facebooking with him at the time to see if the province of Quebec had finally made the pump program for children legit – which it has – yee!haa!. Sadly, the pump program here in Quebec is only for ages up to 18 – and of course – you know me as an old fart pumping D – I’ll be once again writing to Premier Charest to have ALL age groups allowed to participate in the pump program. In the meantime, I’m preparing myself for the worst case scenario – of not having my faithful companion attached to me.  I searched the internet with the product name he'd given me and low and behold  I came across this press release from May 2011. 

I retire in about 5 years and without medical insurance from the work place, owning a pump will be a pipe dream (sorry - $6K is a lot of money – let alone average of $300/month for supplies). Currently I am covered 100% for pump supplies, the pump itself was 80% covered.  I'd written last year about my going on a pump break for 6 months when I went back to MDI (multiple dosage injecting) – so I know I can do alright with being on needles again.  Still it’s the programming functions of the pump for my I:C (insulin : carb ratio)m I:B (insulin on board) - and other little handy things that my pump has a history of.  Well, this device does that - except - no hook up with an infusion set and at an estimated price of $80 - more affordable for me in the long run.

The only information that Abbott USA (many thanks Gayle) and I could find (we were searching online together while on the phone which was a lot of fun – I was finding the info for the rep ) – was to go the the UK website – where you have a tutorial of what this meter can do for you – as well as other useful information (e.g. you can put your fav pic as your background on your pump – guess what I’ll be having on mine – meow, meow, meow). 

The touch screen meter (reminds me of an I-Phone) has just been released in the USA this past week (though you won't find it on any of their website at this time of writing). It has been available in Canada - but sadly - they have nothing at their website.  I'm interested in what my pharmacist  here in Quebec says when I inquire into it on my next legal drug run to them.

So, for now, go to this link, choose UK if you prefer English (the tutorial dude is so hilarious – trust me – you will fall in love with him).  If you prefer  another language just click on the different countries.  I am not sure when the USA / Canada will have the information linked up correctly – but for now – this is the only way I have of finding out more about the device.  Clicking on the Canada link just takes you to a general page – with no info on this product. 

What do you think?  Is this something that could help you better manage your diabetes?  Are you like me, willing to give it a try?  Hope so, I love being the continual revolving door guinea pig for diabetes products!  Bring it on I say, bring it on!!!  Now, Abbott, if only you'd let me have the device for free!!

NB:  Size of meter is 6.07 cm / 2 3/4 " Width - 9.5 cm / 3 3/4" Length - 1.5 cm / abit under 3/4" Depth

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Tags: Insulinx (1) meter (1) blood (1) Freestyle Insulinx System (1) Abbott (1) diary (1) insulin (1) glucose (1)
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