Blog Entries With Tag: emergency

Posted: Jul 22, 2013
I am really saddened at this news report of a woman (Revina Garcia) in Santa Fe, New Mexico - who apparently was having a low blood sugar (the news media is calling it a "diabetic episode") - which caused her to have a car accident.  

Yes, many of you will go - she should have checked her blood sugar (BG) before driving - maybe she did - maybe she didn't - as the news video and article do not state too many details.  Still it's very sad the way she was treated - and hopefully those officers who "attended" her - will in future - NOTtreat a person this way - before seeking more info if the person is not responsive (e.g. was she wearing an ID bracelet - wallet ID??).  

I know that I am aware of my BG variations - I can tell when I'm going low - I can tell when I'm high (though sometimes when testing - I'm not high - but in a good zone - just dehydrated).  I don't always test my BG before going on a short errand around town - maybe I should start this practise - maybe all of us should?  When I am driving a long trip - by MYSELF - I am very anal about testing my BG - pulling over to check every few hours (this is where a CGMS could be useful).  I always have quick acting food close by - incase I can't pull over safely.  Do you do the same thing?

Here's the link - (

Image of handcuffs
or more info on driving as a diabetic - you can check out the links below - that may help you understand more - why perhaps the police suspected Ms. Garcia had been under the "influence" -

1) American Diabetes Association - Diabetes and Driving
2) Canadian Diabetes Association - FAQ's on Diabetes and Driving
3) Becton Dickinson webiste - Driving and Diabetes 
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Posted: Nov 25, 2012
My current pump (my 2nd replacement in 4 years) lovingly called George Michael that I got back in April is "still" working up to scratch.  The only thing is, he is no longer under warranty - if he goes wonky - I'm pumpless unless I fork out $6-8K (no idea on what a new pump costs these days).  No freebie holiday loaner pump is available anymore - so when I go away - I can't rely on that (and trust me - I've had to use every loaner given to me over the years - I think I'm jinxed when I'm away from the home front).  Though even with a loaner pump - I still ALWAYS bring my pen needles of Lantus (basal) and NovoRapid (bolus) - just incase the loaner pump goes loopy as well.  As a diabetic - we have to have all points covered - because without our juice of life - we'd be dead as a mouse (as a cat - I do prefer other things to these rodents as my meal).

Dead Mouse
So, I'm off tomorrow - on a 7 hour road trip (by myself - having little anxiety attacks since it involves crossing the American border - otherwise I'd not be feeling this way - there's something about those dudes at the border that makes me nervous for some reason  especially when they find out I was not born in Canada but possess a Canadian passport).  Also, the testing of my blood sugars that I can do when I have someone with me sharing the driving will be a challenge.  Of course, if I was hooked up to a CGMS, that would be all fine and dandy.  Alas, no CGMS, too expensive, so only have pin prick method, which involves stopping on the side of the road from time to time.

Luckily, I try to avoid highways as much as possible, so stopping off the side of the road will hopefully be easier.  Some of you may think, it might take longer to reach your destination, maybe an extra 1/2 hour is added onto the trip by avoiding the toll roads, busy highways.  Also, I personally find it less stresfful going the "rural route" is more interesting (you see the "real" world), less boring, then the drone of highway traffic, someone up your ass giving you the finger (it's never happened to me - but I've heard of some wacko drivers out there that get very aggressive).

So, I prepare my medical kit with 3 times what I'll need for a weeks stay - I'm finding the kit I thought I had all prepared for an ER/travel situation - is missing one vital item.  My fast acting pen needle (I use NovoRapid).  Mini panic attack is occurring.  Not fun at all.  So, I've taken time out of rushing around like a cat on a hot tin roof - to sit down - breath - think (last time I used it was for a large bolus shot of 5 units last night - but was in a rush - due to having to get to a meeting that was a few hours drive away).

Now, if this was a case of a real ER - where say - I have to get out of the house ASAP - I'd be semi-screwed.  So, here's a little warning to those of you who may think you've got it all down pat - for your kit of medical supplies.  Check it at least once a month - to make sure you have everything in order - don't be like me - rapid heart beat - wondering if they are ready for the looney bin.

Back to being a detective - in figuring out where the pen needle went after the jab in my upper arm yesterday. 

Hercule Poirot the cat detective

UPDATE:  Almost 5 hours later - Pen needle FOUND - Hercule "Purroh" sniffd it out -  the needle apologised for having gone missing - it went back into an area I used to keep my meds/etc. before I started trying to be more careful with my ER kit.   Brain has to be retrained and not to be in such a rush like I was yesterday.  Phew - but am still bringing 1/2 cc syringes just incase since  I'll be along side of Lake Ontario - if I'm stuck in a rutt with a snow squall and go off road - at least I'll have my supplies with me.  
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Posted: Nov 10, 2012
I always wear ID to inform others of my medical condition which happens to so far just be diabetes.   I wrote back in August about picking up some silcone bracelets from a company based in Australia - which I'm wearing as I type this out to you.  Up until today, I didn't realise that there is also a company closer to home, here in North America called American Medical ID and has been around since the 90's.  It has created a new goal: Ten thousand Diabetes Medical IDs given away on November 14, aka World Diabetes Day (#WDD in Twitter)! 

Since November 1st, to help raise awareness and show support to the diabetes community (#DOC) during Diabetes Awareness Month, American Medical ID started giving away diabetes medical IDs to anyone in need. This absolutely **FREE** program has been a huge success and has delivered thousands of diabetes medical IDs to people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The good thing - when filling out the order form (very easy to do online) - many countries around the world are listed - not just the United States.  I was abit worried that it would be like some of the American companies I deal with for medical stuff - that they will not ship to Canada.  Also, this company doesn't only sell medical ID but other items related to health issues (e.g. stickers for allergic reactions).  I know I'll probably be back there again - buying something either for myself or my family/friends.

So, what is stopping you - click on this ** LINK ** and order up your bracelet before it's too late (they come in 2 sizes - either black or white as shown in the picture below). 

Remember, this ID bracelet could save your life or someone you care about one day!! Any ID is better then no ID in my humble opinion.

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Posted: Sep 1, 2011

I experienced my first bit of what a person goes through when there is a state of emergency - and guess what - I was actually prepared in some ways.

Mike and I had taken a few days off from work - to go visit some friends in upper NY state on the w/e that Irene was forecast to hit the eastern seaboard.  We knew that where we live in Montreal - that there was a forecast of 100-200 cms of rain fall and hoped that while we were gone that our trees that we have trimmed on a regular basis would hold up in the winds that might hit us and that our sump pump would handle all the rainfall.

So, come Sunday morning at our friends house in Rochester, NY, we watched what was happening along the eastern coast of the USA on Fox news as to what was occurring in areas that weren’t along the coast – all that was shown was areas by the coast - we had no clue about Vermont / Adirondack area of New York state.  Lake Ontario that laps the shores of Rochester was like being by the ocean as you can see by this video  (glad we weren’t sailing that day – if we had been – we’d have had the sails reefed in or achored in a safe harbour).  So, come Monday, we headed off to Lake Placid which is a 4 hour drive south-east Rochester.  We did not know at the time what we were driving into at that point.

Coming into Lake Placid, where we were staying at near the Olympic village (we could see the Olympic torch from our balcony) for the winter games in that were held in 1980 we noticed a line up on the road in front of the entrance way to the B&B.  We then found out that this area of the Adirondacks as well as parts of Vermont had been hit hard by tropical storm Irene (see this video prepared by Vermont Red Cross).  Many roads were closed due to flooding, bridges impassable.  Scary stuff if you weren’t prepared for it.

We only stayed the night at the B&B as we both had to get back to work, and for myself, even more important a GP appointment I had made 3 months ago - that I could not miss.  The next day, we ventured out, thinking that in less than 30 minutes we would be hitting Plattsburgh which is the last "big" city before we head back to the back to the border of Canada.  It took us over 2 hours to figure a way out of there.  Road signs lead us to dead ends – either looping us back to where we had come from or just not saying anything except “Road Closed” – no direction of where to go. It was then that I started to feel abit of anxiety hit me and even my DH who normally is calm in situations, was beginning to not be that cool guy I know.

We lucked in (I say this with a *smile*) on flagging down a few NY State Troopers to ask them what roads were open.  Sadly, they were from the Rochester, and didn't know the area well that they were stationed in.  They told us to go find a place to stay for the next 1-2 days until roads were hopefully passable - as this area we were in was in “state of emergency”.  Mike was okay with that - as he was sure his boss would understand the situation - but for me - to miss out on this GP's appointment was something I was not too happy about.  

The good thing was that I had enough diabetic supplies to see me thru' at least 3 weeks it was the one good thing.  Along with 4 cases of Wegman's diet ginger ale and some various nibbles - we were set if the worst case scenario had happened – which some people may not have been.

To make a long story short - in the end - we found a way to connect ourselves to the I-87, but the destruction along the way with how high the water had come up over roads, along with broken trees, etc. made you realise how destructive wind and rain can be.  The level and flow of water in the streams we went by - impressive to say the least – but scary.  The route that we took with winding back roads, amazing in our '97 Boxster that we'd treated ourselves to as our mutual 50th / wedding anniversary pressie.  Luckily, we skirted the debris on the roads, but if it had been worse, a 4X4 would have been needed.

Why the state troopers told us that we couldn't get out is another story.  Either it was due to the fact that they didn't know the region, who knows?  All we knew was, with help of GPS (though a map would have been helpful - technology is good - but old fashioned paper maps sometimes can be helpful as well).  So, in a small way, I felt the apprehension of what it feels like in a small way and it's not pleasant.  I  am hoping that the parts of  Vermont that got hit hardest gets back to “normal” before winter hits us in 12 weeks!

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Posted: Feb 13, 2009

I was listening to As It Happens on CBC Radio last night at dinner time (yes - I think you all will come to realise by now - I am a big supporter of public radio).   There was an interview done with Lynne Derwin and her husband from the Yarra Valley, one of the key wine-growing regions of Australia.  The bushfires that Australia has been experiencing the past week have been devastating to that country.  Many lives have been lost as well as those that have managed to survive along with the loss of their homes/livelyhood/possessions.  Now, five days later with 22 confirmed dead in her area - all they have is each other. 


Listening to her talk about her drive down the street to safety - with kangaroos flying left, right and centre as they tried to escape the heat and flames plays a horrific picture in my mind!  She said if one kangaroo had bounced off her small car (Prelude) - she would have been toast!  Here's is the link if you wish to listen to the interview – you’ll find it near the 18:30 mark -


Ms. Derwin was saying that the fire came on so quickly with next to no warning - that she didn't even have time to collect what she said was silly things - like jewelry, etc.  She said in the panic to escape - one doesn't think of things like that - you're instinct is basically one of survival.  One thing she did warn listeners on the radio - make sure you are prepared for a disaster – be organised so that you can get out as safely and quickly as possible.


I think we would all like to be this prepared for an event like this - have our CD's of precious family photos/music all in one spot - along with grabbing the children / pets / whatever.  I'm shaking my head as I type this out - thinking - "I don't think I could do it".  Having experienced the Ice Storm here in Quebec 10 years ago was a wake up call for many of us - but when it comes to a fire – I don’t even want to think about the consequences.  I'm hoping that when/if I ever have to face this sort of thing - that for some reason - I don't go into panic stage - and suddenly become calm and collective.


One thing I was talking to Mike (my main squeeze) after the radio interview is all my meds that I now have associated with aging / diabetes.  Would I be in the frame of mind to pick up all the things I need to keep me going for at least 72 hour?    So, later on in the evening I organized a small bag with most of the nonperishable supplies I require my diabetes – which I can grab if I have to make a quick exit. 


For more information on how to be prepared – please check out this website when you have abit of time …

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