Blog Entries With Tag: type 1


Posted: Dec 20, 2013

Pirate Cat

 

Yes, I’m going on a sailing holiday again in the winter – I swore after the one I did with my DH back in February – I would never EVER do this again.  I became very sick during that holiday – stress with one of  the Admirals on board due to their demand of use of water / food.   Not good for any person – diabetic or not.  This time, the gang we’re with – they’ve either read my blog I wrote OR we’ve talked – and I’ve been up front with them – and they’ve all said – WE ARE ON HOLIDAY – IF WE SPEND $100 MORE ON YADDA, YADDA, YADDA – WE ALL SHALL WALK THE PLANK TOGETHER.  Okay, the plank bit they didn’t say – but I’m sure with abit of rum in them – we be doing double flip swan dives off the plank.

Last year on the charter we were on in the Bahamas, one of the couples on board is an RN.  She swears that she feels  due to taking COLD FX prior/during the holidays this is why they didn’t get ill like they had the previous year.   I figured, as an RN, who knows abit about diabetes, that it should be alright to take.  I went into the FAQ area to find out more – and it seemed to be alright for “diabetics” –but it did state that you should speak to your GP or pharmacist prior to taking. 

Frank Walks the Plank (I love cat pictures don't I?)

So, armed with this info – I spoke with my pharmacist yesterday – who told me NOT to take it due to my having Type 1 diabetes – where our autoimmune system has been compromised (this is what causes us to become insulin dependent ).  She said with Type 2 diabetics – its fine to take – as their diabetes is not the same (no kidding).  She said in taking this supplement (its main ingredient is North American ginsing) – that my autoimmune system would become abit whacky – and I’d be MORE prone to getting ill.  Phew – saved myself some $$$’s and potential harm.

What did she recommend instead? 

  • Get a flu shot (I did a few weeks ago);
  • Make sure I tried to avoid places where people are hacking away (this will be hard on the airplane);
  • Start taking a teaspoon of honey every day (local she said was best);
  • Wash your hands (soap / water are fine);
  • Avoid putting hands in eyes and/or mouth. 

Oh, and on the honey advise .... my Mum takes it – but mainly for seasonal allergies I believe.  She doesn’t even get a flu shot due to severe allergic reaction to it many years ago (and she’s never had the flu since I was a little girl – she’s very lucky).  Though when researching for this blog post I’ve come to the conclusion that due to mixed opinions (they say it doesn't work) -  I’ll just give it a go. Plus it does taste good on toast in the morning - right?

Winnie The Pooh

So, I’ll be looking to see when I arrive at my sunny destination – for local honey – to aid in my plan to not get sick like I did last year and pray I’m not sitting in the airplane with a person about to hack up their lungs (can you tell I love flying the friendly skies?).

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Posted: Oct 3, 2012

It was the first week of the school summer holidays in 2009. Francesca was 6 years old. She had been feeling (what we thought was) under the weather for a couple of weeks. She was very tired but it was the end of the school year and she had been very busy with various things, so we put it down to that. She was also drinking vast amounts and going to the toilet a lot, which didn’t seem surprising, given the amount she was drinking

One morning, she woke up considerably worse so my wife took her to the doctor with a written list of symptoms so she didn’t forget any. The doctor didn’t seem unduly concerned and told her to take Francesca to the hospital for a blood test. It was too late to take her that day and we had no idea how urgent it was, otherwise we would have taken her to A&E. We took her to the hospital the next morning for the blood test. Francesca was so weak by then that I had to carry her from the car to the phlebotomy department. The nurses struggled to get blood from her and seemed very worried. I thought for a moment that they would fetch a doctor or take us to A&E. In the event, they took her sample through for analysis immediately. Less than an hour later, after I had gone to work, my wife received a phone call from one of the doctors at our surgery. He told Claire to take Francesca to hospital immediately. When she said she couldn’t as she didn’t drive and it would take me possibly half an hour to get home, the doctor said “She needs to go to hospital now so I’ll call an ambulance. Please pack an overnight bag. “She rang me and I raced home but they had already gone to hospital. I raced there and arrived to see Francesca on a bed with lots of tubes attached to her. We were told her fingers and toes were cold and this meant that her body had started to shut down. We had got her there just in time. 

After spending a few hours in A&E, she was transferred to the children’s ward and put in her own room. Later that evening, the paediatrician decided to transfer Francesca to the High Dependency Unit at the bigger hospital in Coventry in case her condition deteriorated so that she was already where she would need to be. She was transferred by ambulance under blue lights. Fortunately, she didn’t get any worse and was transferred back the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton the next day.

While she was there, we began the daunting process of learning what we needed to do for Francesca; blood tests, insulin injections etc. There was an enormous amount of information to take on board. We met with the diabetes nurses (who we would see a lot more of in the years to come) and the dietician, all of whom were full of advice.

After spending five days in hospital, Francesca was considered well enough to be released, much to her relief. We left the hospital loaded with books, sheets of information and lots of the medical equipment that would become part of our everyday lives.

A few months later, in February 2010, Francesca was dealing really well with everything but we were starting to worry about our five year old son, Jacob. He started showing the signs of type 1 but a blood test and a urine test were both clear. However, one evening when we were doing the necessary with Francesca, Jacob asked to be tested. The meter read ‘hi’. Off to A&E we went, complete with overnight bag, and our worst fears were confirmed. It was a heartbreaking moment for me when he looked up at me and said, “Am I diabetic too, Dad?” Because recognising the symptoms had helped us to have him diagnosed much sooner than Francesca, he was only in hospital for one night. The doctors wanted to keep him in longer as his BM’s were still too high, but we felt we knew what we were doing by now and he was upset at the thought of staying in hospital another night, so we took him home.

Night-times can be difficult to predict or monitor, and children with type 1 have died in their sleep because their blood sugars go so low without them knowing, so one of us gets up in the middle of the night every night to check their BM’s.

This is why we need to find a cure for type 1. Naturally, I wan5t to do my bit to raise funds for the JDRF. I am involved in a project for World Diabetes Day.

Mums of type 1 children made a video called ‘A Mother’s Anthem’ which you may have seen. The suggestion was made for a Dad’s version. I decided to take up the challenge and saw the potential for a song. The lyrics are from the Dad’s perspective.

The song is about to be recorded and produced professionally with the help of an acquaintance of mine who is in the business, who is also finding a good singer. There will also be a video which is in the process of being made.

The song will be available as a download and (hopefully) a CD single as well. All funds raised will be donated to the JDRF. It will be released to coincide with World Diabetes Day on 14th November.

Watch this space to find out where you can buy it.

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Posted: Apr 17, 2012



Katia is an amazing young woman that I met on the weekend at the Montreal JDRF Research Symposium..  She's currently at Concordia University here in Montreal completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  In the meantime, with her busy life, she managed to produce a documentary that takes place over 4 years.  It shows the highs and lows of herself and other teens dealing with their Type 1 diagnosis and was filmed in Canada/USA and Ecuador.


She was sweet 16 in 2007 when she received the diagnosis of diabetes.   Of course, it was devastating to her to discover that she was diabetic (who isn't?), and she went into abit of a slump dealing with how it was going to affect her life.  It was something she knew that she could never get rid of and she decided that the best way to accept it was to take control of her life and one of those steps I feel was working on this project - which when you see the clip - you will be anxiously awaiting for the release of it next month.

She is quite the adventurous gal (she's like my D-twin) - in the way she takes life to the fullest.  Just within a year of diagnosis - she went to Europe by herself for 4 weeks - and discovered that nothing could stop her from doing what she wants to do in life.  Her next adventure was in the summer of 2010 at the age of 19 - she volunteered at the FUVIDA camp in Ecudaor - and she's now done this twice - and hopes to return again this summer.  Despite knowing very little Spanish - she managed to help others there with their diabetes. 

One part of her speech really perked my interest was the Austalian group called Insulin For Life (IFL) - along with the Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF) provides insulin at the camp in Ecuador.  According to Neil Donelan of IFL - 10 million vials of insulin are produced every year and sadly 1 million vials go to waste.  That left me so angry - hearing this - and of course - as I discovered a few years ago - Banting never wanted insulin to be a money making drug - he wanted it available to EVERYONE that needed it to stay alive with diabetes.  Sadly, this is not the case, as other countries outside of Canada saw the money making potential (sigh) - and now - those of us who are unable to obtain insulin suffer - without insulin - we die.

I can tell that she has a very supportive family - as they were in attendance at the JDRF symposium - something I sort of envy since in my days - groups like this were very rare - and I'm not even sure if my parents would have joined up - since diabetes didn't seem to be a serious thing that I had (or that's the impression I get sometimes).  Seeing all the families at the JDRF events really gets me all pumped up - with meeting up with kids - showing them that you can lead a great life with diabetes (and yes - it's not always rosey - but what life is - that's what living is all about).

Anyway, I see great things for her future - she laughed when I told her that she could be our Prime Minister one day - to her - film making is all that she wants to do in life - but like I told her - you never know - I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger has done a few things in his life time besides flexing his biceps !

 

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Posted: Jul 28, 2011

Well, I just got back from a whirl wind tour of Vermont. Yes, I went in my little Smart CDI and …. it did not break down on me – Whoo! Whoo! My little French fry machine as I like to call it – as it’s built in France / engine is from France – is my way of making myself not feel so bad about the woes it’s had over the past 6 months with a mechanic buggering up the car. Smartie is now all better.

So, back to the topic on hand here.

I’m at the American border and the guard asks:

“What is your purpose for coming in the USA” In his mind he is going – where the F is the ass of this car????

I, the friendly Canadian say - “I’m going to visit some friends in Burlington and also attend an art show which I’m going to be acting in”. Oops as usual too much information – I’m so friggin’ honest!!!  Should I have mentioned to him I was also doing some table top dancing????

“Are you going to be paid for this and how much?” says the Border dude – thinking to himself – she is a spy – come to destroy our country with this disguise of a story!!!  Hmmm, wonder how fast that little French fry machine with no ass can go???

“No sir – it’s all volunteer – just out to have some fun with diabetic friends” says little FatCatAnna thinking in her head …. but I will make TONNES of money once the video of this event I’m attending goes viral / my pictures go into Vogue and I receive my Oscar next year and I will thank you … the friendly American Border dude for making me feel like an evil person at your border crossing when you should have welcomed me without any questions like John Candy.

Anyway, the jist of the whole thing since I guess I look like a threat to your country – but it’s okay – I’m over it now is that I just came to the good ol' USA to have abit of fun. I laughed / ate / petted Blue the doggie / farted & belched / had fun with Ginger Vieira along with a dinner table of 20 people and 10 guests. We all participated in this great art show entitled
The Antidote that Dana Heffern also a Type 1 diabetic was awarded with a scholarship to fund as she attains her MFA (Master of Fine Arts) at Goddard College in Plainsfield, Vermont. Dana wanted to show what Type 1 diabetes is all about since there is sometimes a misunderstanding about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.


Ginger and moi (sans my black skin suit I usually wear - you know - the one with the little cape?)

I was asked at the last minute the same day of the event to be one of the 20 “actors” at the dinner table – where we were served up delicacies that we weren’t quite sure what they were. Alongside of us were nondiabetics who had brand new BG meters to use (yes they had to do blood tests) – along with needles (short needles – lucky buggers) – pretend insulin (saline). We “experienced” diabetics helped them out with determining what the carb amounts were that we were eating, and what we all thought appropriate amount of insulin to cover what we were gorging out on. We had to guesstimate for most of it; because the food was sometimes not recognisible (we only got the actual menu mid-way – which helped abit). All I can say, I was a stuffed pig after this episode of 3 fabulous courses (no wine – darn – the chef drank the bottle I’d viewed in the cooler earlier). Through the majority of it – I sadly was having a hypo (went as low as 2.9 mmol/l or 52 mg/dl) – but I was well taken care of by Alissa (my Mummy) for shoving a lollipop in my mouth (we had candies in fancy containers at the dinner table).

To top it all off – the audience was allowed to sit at the table with us and “observe” – though a few wanted to talk and got frustrated they we weren't sure if we should respond as we were told not to notice them (I did alot of winking to them - I'm so naughty). Through the whole 2 hour production – we were being photographed and video tapped (the reason for my upcoming Oscar nomination of the woman wearing crotchless underwear – this will be another blog discussion at a later date).

All I can say – WOW – another great experience in my life as a diabetic that I’ve been blessed with since starting to blog and mentor about diabetes a few years ago. Sharing how we take care of our diabetes – learning new things (
mini-dose glucagon) with others.

Even better? Getting to feel up Ginger’s muscles in her forearm – whooza – she is one strong Mama – should have had an arm wrestle with her at the dinner table …. but that will be another story for another blog one day (better start pumping iron and grunting like a pig!!!).

To check out more pictures from Dana's event – go to this link at my Flickr account!  UPDATE - HERE'S a SHORT VIDEO FROM THE EVENT THAT I POSTED HERE AT DIABETES1.ORG IN 2012!

Can’t wait for the next diabetic meet up which is …. TOMORROW …. at the Children With Diabetes Friends for Life 2011 conference and expo in Toronto. I’ll be taking the train as the little Smartie will be staying behind on this one – while I have a semi relaxing trip by train – and then get to work with D-teens over the next few days!!! Sleep???? Ahhh – I’ll wait until I’m older for catching up with sleep.

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Posted: Feb 7, 2011

FatCatAnna at diagnosis in 1968

It's not a question I really have ever thought about - with becoming diabetic at a young age.  Sometimes I think perhaps getting it so young, is the reason I am able to handle it better then some who become diagnosed later on in life.  All I know is that I don't know life any other way then then this.  Do I get worried sometimes about it?  Yes, but the fear is more so when I become much older, and I'm not capable of taking care of myself like I do now.  To have someone else taking care of me scares the crap out of me.  I'm probably like this because my parents had me taking care of my diabetes probably much younger then today's generation of parents would do.  I am glad that they did this with me, as I had to learn how to cope.  Anyway, I think I'll be around for a while, hopefully with a body/brain intact enough to deal with the roller coaster ride of diabetes - through good and bad.  This is what I think makes long term diabetics like myself survivors and strong willed.

What started off this whole blog title is an article that popped up on my desktop from the UK, stating that a virus called Enterovirus is the 2nd leading cause of the common cold virus could perhaps be the cause of Type 1 diabetes in children.  The article goes on to say " that children with Type 1 diabetes are nearly 10 times more likely to show signs of enterovirus infection than children without Type 1 ".  The genetic factor has sort of been tossed around for awhile and is still up for debate amongst the medical community to this day.  What has been revealed with combined studies is that they can't pinpoint the exact environmental factor that sets off Type 1 diabetes but this virus is now being more thoroughly researched.

I know over the years with discussions with other diabetics that were diagnosed at a young age, that many of us have muddled this idea in our hand that it could be to do with the environment we lived in, as well as genetically being passed on to us.  I know my great grandmother who died at quite an old age, was discovered to have diabetes, probably Type 2.  This wasn't the cause of her death though, it was just time for her body to go onto the next life (or that's the way I like to think of it through rose coloured glasses).

I don't really remember too much about having colds before I was diagnosed  - but I remember getting hit with the chicken pox.  I was so angry to not be able to go outside to play in the snow - and basically bashed in my parents front bay window with my foot while my older brother teased me outside the window.  So, who knows, maybe that set things in motion for me? 

The way I'm reading the article which is based on 4,440 patients in Europe, is how hygenic our society has become which causes our body not to develop antibodies to ward off viruses.  This in turn makes children more susceptible to infections since they have not acquired antibodies.  Of course, this is one of their theories, but it's always been something that's bugged me in the back of my mind with how many people nowadays are always somewhat fantical about things being squeaky clean/sterile.  I'm imagining if I'd had children, they all be running around dishevilled and snotty nosed (visions of Pippy Longstocking here), but happy little buggers as they played with the dust bunnies in the house.  Along with how many Mums now breast feed?   It has been shown that breast milk helps build up a child's immunity (and it's way cheaper then formula). 

So, what are your thoughts?

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