Blog Entries With Tag: test


Posted: Nov 15, 2013

I just did my first Morning basal test – ever – in all my years of MDI (multiple dosage injections) and insulin pump control for my Type 1 diabetes.  I’d only ever done an Overnight basal test when I kept on experiencing hypos (low blood sugar) readings) during my beauty sleep and waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed (NOT).  Also, as a few experts point out – when trying to get a better grip on your basal regime – it’s always best to tackle the overnight one first.  THUMP!! – gold BLUE star to my forehead!

Good Little Bee by thisonlyexistsinmind.deviantart.com

Why did I perform a Morning basal test? Well, I’ve been starting to have more frequent lows a few hours after waking up – with or without a breakfast – or doing activity (remember – I’m trying to shed some weight here for heart protection).  It’s gotten to the point the last few months that my day is RULED by how my blood sugar (BG) is doing.  Often I’ll have tested prior to going out (remember – always to test your BG before hitting the open road) – and then within a few hours – I’m dropping like a brick. I used to think it was maybe due to stress of shopping (yes – most women like shopping – I detest it immensely – though if it involves hardware / auto or other manly diversions – then bring it on – I’m in).

Yesterday, when I was out getting weekly shopping done – I had to make a bee line back home before finishing off the tasks at hand.  I find this EXTREMELY annoying – and at that point – I really REALLY hate diabetes – and how it can take over our lives.  Planning to do something – takes back seat to the blood sugar fairy – and at that point – I feel like I’m ready for a straight jacket – since I don’t like feeling out of control.

Dude driving a little red car

So, the results of my basal test this morning?  My BG’s went down 1.7 mmol/l (31 mg/dl).  Not a great drop – but still – it dropped at the same time it seems to do – even after I’ve eaten a healthy breakfast – taken the correct insulin to the carbs I’m eating (that’s another test I have never done – and want to do after all the basal testing is done).  I’m learning with age (ahhh wisdom of the Old Type 1 Fart like myself) – that you never can say you’re a pro at anything (just like I can say about sailing, and other hobbies I do – I’m constantly learning new tricks of the trade).  I now know that I’m VERY insulin sensitive as I’ve gotten older (as a teen I was using up to 100 units a day of insulin – though that was after I almost snuffed myself with being out of control for a year and ending up in DKA coma – live and learn I say – and luckily for me – I survived).

Tomorrow, as suggested by Gary Scheiner from his 2nd edition book entitled  ‘Think Like a Pancreas’ – redo the basal test the next day if possible – using the reduced basal settings .  Along with the “bible” of ‘Pumping Insulin by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts‘(now in its 5th edition) – these are my CDE’s that I’ve always used to teach me how to use my insulin over the last 10 years.  With no help from my medical team in this area – I am lucky I can wing it on my own – of course – with much appreciated feedback from the D-OC (diabetes online community).  The world becomes a smaller place with all the help that you can find from other diabetic buddies around the world!

I’ll tell you – that double espresso along with toast and lemon marmalade and some cottage cheese at 12h30 never tasted soooooo good!!  Mmm, it’s now 14h12 – I’m now craving another espresso – time to go test my BG’s ...

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Posted: Jul 7, 2013
Image of high 5 cat from reallyfunnypictures.co.uk

I had attempted an overnight basal test on Friday - but that was a failure with going low (3.2/57) - but last night - with having tweaked basal rates abit was SUCCESSFUL!!  I went to bed at 6.2/112 and woke up to 5.4/97.  During the night around 5 AM I had gone to 4.2/75 - but according to Gary Scheiner's book 'Think Like a Pancreas' - he says staying within a 1.7/30 up/down range from your original starting BG (blood sugar) - I was in the good zone. 


I have to admit - I'd like to be abit higher overnight with my BG - more in the 6-7/108-126- - so will tweak basals eventually - but am so looking forward to having a solid sleep tonight - as last few nights have been very broken with getting up every hour.

I guess this would be where a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) would come in handy - I know of some US health centers loaning them out to patients - but when I asked my endo about whether this was possible here in Montreal - he said no.  Anyway, the good "old fashioned" way of testing with the blood meter went well.

So much more precise than the urine testing in my earlier days of diabets control as I'm sure many of you will agree on!

Curious - how often do you test your basal rates (pumper or MDI)?  I have to admit - I blog about it "how to do it" - but have never really done a full night one before until having had difficulties the past month with low BG's since starting back on the pump after my break from George Michael.

I know that due to not having a Certified Diabetic Educator (CDE) or endocrinologist (endo)  to show/tell me how to do these sort of tests - I've pretty well had to go with what I read in books that others have recommended within the DOC (diabeties online community).  I have to admit - this time I was using Gary Scheiner's book I mentioned above instead of the John Walsh book - 'Pumping Insulin'.  I actually found Gary's book abit easier to understand - he writes more from the heart with being a Type 1 diabetic (T1D) like myself - and a pumper as well.  Both books though are very good - so they have many dog earred pages!

Picture courtesy of Fiction Writers Review
                                                 Picture courtesy of Fiction Writers Review

There's a few more tests I'm going to be doing over the next few months - to get more use out of my pumps programming (e.g. I have a feeling due to my sensitivity to my insulin - that perhaps my carb ratio is set too low - there are tests in both books that talk you thru' how to perform this).  The pump as some people think doesn't mean you'll have better control of your diabetes if you DON'T use it properly.  The same applies to multiple dosage injections (MDI).  You are the brains behind these devices we use - they can only help - if you know how to use them - along with help from your health care team (provided they are up on all the latest and greatest).

I know some of you may think it's dangerous for me to be doing this on my own - but sadly - not all of us have the resources / services available to us - and this is the only route we can go.  I would LOVE to be able to have a CDE or endo that understood the fine tuning of the pump - but alas - I've not lucked in as of yet.  A few years ago my GP had referred me to an endo here in Montreal that does research in the diabetes field and works with pump patients.  Sadly, when I saw her (Dr. Natasha Garfield) - she told me that my A1C of 5.9% at the time was dangerouosly low if she was to take me on as a patient.  I had hoped due to her having a team of CDE's trained in the pump area - that I'd be able to go to them for help when I needed it.  So, I walked away with my tail inbetween my legs and carried on the way I always do.

The Cat that Walked by Himself - by Rudyard Kipling
The Cat That Walked By Himself - by Rudyard Kipling - picture courtesy of  -http://www.mainlesson.com

So, this is why I do my own thing - and again - some of you maybe in the same boat as I am.  So far though, I seem to be on the right track - despite the little roller coaster ride from time to time that we all have with this disease!
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Type 1 vs. Type 2  |  In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy  |  Wearing a dress with medical gadgets  |  Pre-op visit with endo at hospital  |  When You're Hot, You're Hot  |  I'm so excited
Posted: Jun 28, 2013

Love me - I'm a cow - moo!!Recently I got together with some friends from high school.  Sadly, it wasn’t for a happy occasion, like we have done in the past, but for saying good bye to a good friend of ours, who had battled breast cancer for 5 years, and sadly lost to it, as it invaded their body.   I didn’t realise until last w/e when we got together to raise a glass to her time their time here on planet Earth – that they had become diabetic during those years.   All of you know, from my past blogs and statements I’ve made within the social media …. “ if they’d had diabetes – they would be alive today “.

I found out that many have now become Type 2 diabetes (T2D).  As one of my friends put it – their whole family has it – so they “inherited” it.  I had to hold my tongue back on their statement, as I’m still on the fence post about whether Type 2 is passed on.  I am under the belief that the rise of Type 2 diabetes has a lot to do with how we now lead our lives, such as inactivity, foods that are eaten … the list goes on.

One thing I performed as soon as I arrived at my friend’s house for the good bye party – was test my blood sugar (BG) after the 2 hour drive.  I’m getting better now, as an insulin dependent gal to test before I hit the road.  I pulled out my little Lolita who was interviewed a few years ago otherwise known as my FreeStyle Lite meter.   Of course, they thought this was a nifty little meter (I have cool skins for it).  They thought I was such a good diabetic to be testing my BG, but of course, with wine and food awaiting me, I wanted to make sure I’d be in the good zone (neither going low or high).

One thing that one of my Type 2 Diabetic (T2D) friends told me when we started  talking about my scribbles here at Diabetes1.org and my Facebook/Twitter posts – was how different we feel when we go either low or high.  For myself, I feel tired when I go low, and when I go high, which isn’t too often, I don’t tend to feel much different.  For them, it was going high that made them feel tired.   Maybe being a Type 2 diabetic – the symptoms of our blood sugar number varies?

One of them is using Victoza  – which according to my Mum – her sister uses – and it appears to be working for helping her shed weight/keep BG's balanced BUT apparently she has become lactose intolerant since starting on it.  I asked my friend if he had some of the symptoms that my Aunt has – and they said yes (they love cheese like I do – it’s a low carb food!!!).  It’s hard to say after reading the link above on Victoza if the stomach/bowel problems could be all due to lactose intolerance – since this is a common complaint of many Victoza users.  Therefore, the only way to find out if you are lactose intolerant is to either do it the inexpensive way – of cutting out lactose products – and then reintroducing them OR the more scientific way of knowing for sure – is a hydrogen breath test.  
Picture credit of breath test - Phineas H/Flickr
It’s hard though to really pin it just on the Victoza – since lactose intolerance is also common with osteoporosis, osteopenia, pain, high blood pressure, depression to name a few.

The other scenario –since symptoms are similar is having a wheat and gluten intolerance.   It’s an iffy there as far as self testing goes –as you can tell by this link from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).  

Just remember –anything you read on the Internet – even from me – ALWAYS question your health care practitioner. about what is happening if you’re taking Victoza or have other health problems. Take note of some of the things you’ve read here – and be an advocate of your own health!!  If you don’t ask – you’ll never know.

Hmmm, the things I learn about when I start to research for a simple blog!

Picture of two cows breaking up - from my DairyFreeDream blog site

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Posted: Oct 5, 2012

circa 70's - can you figure out where I am?

I am not sure if my memories of being a diabetic in grade school are wiped clean due to DKA that I had in my teens - but all I know is - my memories of growing up with diabetes under the age of 12 - sadly are pretty vague - only pictures and the few journals I keep jog my memory abit more.  I remember things from time to time, like summer time at the park across my street, where we had activities that kept us kids out of trouble (e.g. a ride from the west end of Ottawa to the Parliament Hills).  Did I have problems with hypos on that ride?  I have no idea.  I'm sure my Mum packed extra goodies for that day trip, but all I know is, that I had fun (or at least the little snippets I remember - were fun - except for cycling up hills ).

This blog has come to light after reading Steve's blog about being a father of not just one, but two Type 1 diabetic children.  Reading how their lives have been affected has made me wonder ... how it was for my own parents.  They've never really talked much to me about it, I just know that in those days (I was diagnosed in the 60's) - most of the child rearing went to the Mum who generally stayed at home while the Dad worked.  I'm not sure what age I was when my Mum started working again, but I just remember going to hospital visits for my diabetes by myself (being dropped off by my Dad as it was abit of a bus ride and very early in the morning - then I'd bus back later in the afternoon).  I guess my parents made me very independent at a younger age then most kids are these days (e.g. Mum's taxi service). l I sometimes think that they had too much trust in me, which ultimately lead to my having DKA in the end. 

One thing that came to my noggin' the other day as I was driving back from the boat (mast is now down - sigh - sailing over for this year) - I don't recall going to many birthday parties.  Was it because of my Mum being worried about the foods or an overnight sleep over going out of control because of my diabetes?  I know sometimes I used to feel abit left out that friends around me would be going to parties - because I'd hear about them at school on the following Monday about their goody bags, etc.  I'm not even sure if I felt abit envious - that I - the diabetic child wasn't invited.  We're those parents holding the parties scared of having a diabetic child at a birthday party or sleep over?


I know one of the best parties that I still have vague memories of, perhaps when I was 8 or 9 - was going to an Italian restaurant ... that served all of us "ladies”.... Shirley Temples (made from ginger ale / grenadine / garnished with SWEET marishino cherries).  Ehgads, these are sugar loaded - and I remembered sucking back on a few of those, along with munching on those cherries.  I felt like such an adult - drinking something from the bar!!    There was no going back at that point - as I was introduced to foods that I'd never had before at home - though again - no recollection of what I chomped down on - but for myself - it is something that stays in my mind as a good memory.

Remember, I was only on 1 shot of insulin a day of NPH  (an intermediate insulin that takes 3 to 4 hours to work - maximum effect is between 4 and 8 hours, and stops working after about 18 to 28 hours).  My one day a shot (in the morning before heading off to school) was based on an a diet set up by the dietician at my local hospital based on my needs and insulin dosage.

All I can say is, thinking back, my blood sugars if there was home testing available in those days would have probably been sky rocket with all the sugar / carbs consumed in that birthday meal - yum! yum!  I don't even recall if perhaps my Mum had at least had me do a urine test to see where I stood, but then, would a correciton dosage been done if a faster insulin was available then?  You just made do with that 1 shot of what I lovingly call "juice of life" a day and tested your urine for level of sugar and / or ketones (all of which are now done with convenient strips rather than my test tube days).

So, with today's parents - I'm not sure how it would be handled going to a party like this.  I'd like to think that if I had all the technology at hand like I do now, I would just do what I do with testing my blood sugar, adjust my insulin dosage, and LIVE! I mean having diabetes doesn't have to stop you from enjoying life to the fullest - or does it?


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Posted: May 12, 2011


Well, while having to cope with lack of energy due to this viral pneumonia – I missed out on being involved in Wednesday’s “D-bloopers” (my brain couldn’t really think of which blooper to tell about – too many over the past 40+ years).  So, while I have some renewed energy, here I go with today’s topic of discussion.  Can’t wait to read what others have to say – check it out them out at this link .

1)      How when I drink water – that it squirts out the end of my fingers due to multiple vampire pricks over the past 30+ years of blood testing.  I am like a fountain.

2)      Wondering if I’ll wake up in the morning with a good blood sugar (5-7 mmol/l) or bad blood sugar (over 10 mmol/l).  I’m anal about my blood sugars aren’t I?

3)      Wondering what it’s like to be not be a diabetic  – would it be any different then my life today as I play a game of poker at the casino each week?

4)      Depression goes along with diabetes (am going through this at present – not fun at all).

5)      Losing my eyesight – I wouldn’t be able to watch Glee or see Sprinkles the Diabetes Advocacy Unicorn!

6)      How I wish my significant other could understand how diabetes affects me even after almost quarter of a century of ball and chain with him - he still doesn’t know when I’m low!

7)      That diabetes is increasing in the our big blue marble population – according to WHO – 220 million people around the world have diabetes .

8)      What diabetic doesn’t dream of eating without having to think about blood sugar control and all the other crap we have to worry about?  I mean – imagine pigging out on bacon? (this one is for you George).

9)      Low blood sugars – I can function even at 2.0 mmol/l – but it’s not good at all for any of us diabetics to go low like this (does it kill off brain cells I wonder?).

10)      Other diabetics who ask for my advise – then tell me – they don’t have time to do what I do – they are too busy with work, etc.  Meanwhile they are having eyesight problems, not able to feel things properly with their fingers , etc.   It saddens me to no end (I couldn’t be a doctor – I think I’d have a nervous breakdown with patients like that).

 

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