Friday, June 29, 2012

labs, graduation, and potty head

yesterday was an interesting day.  

first thing was a date with the lab.  i visit my Nephrologist in 2 weeks so had to have blood work done.  interestingly enough, his office has just opened up their own lab, so i no longer have to go to the clinic lab, sit with about 100 other people and wait forever.  pick a number, sit down, they call your number, you take up your requisition, you sit back down.  you wait, and wait and wait, they call your name, you sit in a cubicle. you wait some more.  finally someone comes in to take your blood.  good thing they aren't checking my blood pressure 'cause i'm sure it would be through the roof!

at the new lab, i arrived at 8:00am.  there was one person there ahead of me, and one lady followed me in.  i gave the receptionist my lab req and she handed me a little bottle.  off i went to offer my contribution. LOL
when i came back they took me right away.  only one person taking blood, no line up, no numbers, NO WAITING!!!!  in and out in less than 10 minutes!

i wish all labs worked this way!

then it was off to school.  it was my grandson's last day of Senior Kindergarten. he was graduating!  he barely said goodbye.  a big change from his first day of Kindergarten when he stood by my side, attached, barely moving.  it made my heart sing (and cry a little too) to know that he doesn't "need" me anymore!  he's a "big boy now Nan!".

Cam and Aubs dancing at his Graduation

the rest of the day was fairly normal.  BG's were behaving themselves.  my granddaughter was her usual little chatterbox self.  she can make me laugh so hard somedays. 

i had to run out to pick up some diapers.  i left Auntie in charge.  Aubs has been "practicing" on the potty for a couple weeks now.   she has no interest in actually using it, but it makes for a great place to put her "baby".  

when i pulled in the driveway, i could hear her crying and figured she had either fallen down, or wasn't getting her way.  never in all my years as a gramma (6), or all my years spent doing daycare for other peoples children, have i seen anything like it!  i wish i had a picture!  

below is a picture of the potty.  you can see that it is a 3-parter.  well you see the middle part?  yes?  that was stuck over her head!!  she was wearing it upside-down, like a collar!  and screaming blue murder!  
she kept trying to pull it off but her ears were in the way!(and she has little ears!)  and she wouldn't let her auntie near her!  it was the funniest thing i've ever seen!!  i wish we had videotaped it for America's Funniest Videos! (call me mean but seriously it was just too funny!)

after picking her up and sitting her on the kitchen table, getting her to calm down a little by offering her candy (hey don't judge haha!) i simply lifted the right side over her ear and then the left.  off came the potty no problem.  

she then, very seriously, looks at me and says "thank you Nan, you saved me"

i love her to death!

sleeping beauty

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

blue bracelet not just for Fridays anymore

so i have a blue bracelet that i try to remember to wear every friday.  i got it from my local Canadian Diabetes Assoc. chapter.  it is the blue, ACT NOW ON DIABETES bracelets put out by the IDF.
unfortunately, it is a little too big for my writst.

my daughter was using yarn the other day to make a bracelet.  using some macrame knots, she came up with a bracelet for hereself which got me to thinking. 

using blue yarn and a blue bead, i could create my own blue bracelet!  i could wear it every day as a symbol of my diabetes.

so to the internet i went in search of macrame bracelets, to see if i could find one that i liked.  there are many different types of knots that can be incorporated into a bracelet.   i finally found one that i liked and was fairly easy to create. 

next i went to Walmart and bought some blue yarn and beads.  i spent about an hour creating my bracelet.  it was pretty simple once i got the hang of it!

basically it is just a series of square knots, a bead, and more square knots.  it is comfortable to wear and can be slipped off easily. 

today i am going to Micheals to get some different thread and smaller beads.  perhaps a blue circle like my pin.

  then i am going to make another using a different type of knot.  we'll see how that turns out!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

**BEEP BEEP Occlusion Detected**

Oh my, this has been a busy couple weeks.  I feel as though I haven't been on here AT ALL.  I have tons of reading to catch up on.  Between grandkids during the day, work at night, planning for family on Father's Day and helping with a video for my mom's Surprise 70th Birthday Party this weekend, I am about done.

Today I woke up knowing that it would be a site change kinda morning.  I took out the old one and enjoyed a "free shower" day.

About 3 weeks ago I wrote about trying out some new insertion sets.  Well I have tried the Cleo 90 and the Rapid D.  Both have 6mm cannula's, the Cleo is Teflon and the Rapid D is steel.  Both work really well.  My blood sugars have been running fairly consistently in the 6's during the day.  Still have a little trouble with fasting highs so will be doing a basal test after the Birthday Party.

Today I decided to use the last of the Cleo 90's that i received.
I'm still using my tummy for sites (trying to work up the courage to try legs or butt or back/butt) but am branching out more towards the sides.  I chose my site and plunged in!   All went smoothly.  It didn't hurt at all.  I bolused for breakfast and went about my morning.

The grandkids and I decided to enjoy the backyard.  Cameron jumped in the pool with his aunt.  Aubrey and I scooped out the bugs, watered some flowers, and sat on the side of the pool splashing our feet.  I dipped her in a few times and then she too went in with her aunt.

Noon rolled around and the kids decided they were hungry.  Today was too hot to cook indoors (no air conditioning), and even too hot to stand at the BBQ, so we decided that peanut butter sandwiches and some melon would be a good lunch.

I made the kids their sandwiches, and set them up at the table.  I proceeded to do a BG test and bolus for my sandwich.  I use the Animas Ping so bolusing from my meter is the norm.  As i was entering the carb info on the meter,  the phone rang.  My daughter answered it and I continued to bolus.

 **BEEP BEEP ~ Occlusion Detected No Delivery**

Well that was a new one.  I haven't seen this since I was testing the Medtronic VEO, using a teflon infusion set way back in 2011.  So I unplugged myself, primed the tubing again.  That went fine.  I checked the pump history to see how much insulin was delivered before the delivery failed.  1.6units of the 3.6 required for lunch with correction.

I proceeded to do a NORMAL bolus for the 2 units that weren't delivered.  They went in fine.

I will keep an extra eye on my BG this afternoon.  I work 6-10 tonight, so i should probably pack a little care package with a new set just in case. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a review with a dream attached

about a month ago,  i travelled to Barrie, Ontario to see the one and only George Canyon! (i actually met the man, in person, in real life, i touched him!!!)

when we first arrived at the venue, "the diabetic" (that's what they said, i swear!) was given an arm band, a bag of "goodies", and directions to the bathroom, the food tables, and the "vendors" tables.  there were people from Connected In Motion there.  Animas had a table set up.  i got a new pump cover (purple), and a pin stating "i love animas" on it (now attached to my purse).  there were people from JDRF there.  you could sign up for the Telus WALK to cure diabetes.  there was also a table set up introducing the new Verio IQ, by One Touch.  i will admit, after driving for 3 hours, i was more interested in the washrooms and the food, than a new meter.

a couple weeks after the concert, i was tidying up my dining room table (it's become a bit of a drop place for all kinds of stuff),  i discovered the contents of the goodie bag from the concert.  the reusable bag had already been delegated to the bag of bags that i take to the grocery store (no plastic bags for this girl!), but its contents had been dropped in the pile of  "stuff".   as i was looking through it i found a pamphlet from OneTouch for a free, limited time offer on the new Verio IQ.  i decided to phone the number and request my free meter.  i love "new" and i also love "free"so why not?

well the meter arrived last friday.

photo credit my daughter!

i've given it a trial run and here's what i think (good things in green and not so good things in red)

  • i LOVE the size and colour! it is slim and compact, very much like an ipod in size
  • i LOVE the light ~ makes night testing sooo much easier!
  • the ability to alert you to patterns without downloading and searching for them [although with only 10 strips i didn't really get a chance to see this wonderful feature in action =( ]
  • the screen is really well lit and the colours are bright
  • blood can be applied to either side of the test strips
  • take a really small amount of blood [at least i think so!]
  • the battery is rechargeable (you just plug the whole meter into your computer or the wall!)
  • i really wish it would sync with my pump like my OneTouch Ping does, then i could test, bolus and go,  in one fell swoop
  • the test strips tend to stick together in the little black vial.  i empied them and put the in my own flat container to make it a little easier to get them out un-attached to each other.
  • it only gives the option of "before meal' or "after meal',  not which meal, or snack
  • there is no screen that allows you to input how you were feeling or why (stressed, menses, illness)
  • the battery charge does not last very long 
 overall i really like this new meter.  i probably won't use it often though, simply because i like that i don't have to fish my pump out of wherever it may be hiding at any given time to bolus.  and this is where the dream comes in.  since i have only had my pump for just over a year, i won't be looking at a new one any time soon.  and i really love Animas and One Touch.  i have used a One Touch meter forever.  even before using a pump, i tested with a OneTouch.

soooooooooo....if there is anyone out there from OneTouch reading this, perhaps you could pass this on to the design team.  what i want in my next pump/meter combo is a nice slim pump, preferably NOT silver(love the white!!), with light on top for night testing (or sitting in a movie theatre watching a movie-testing, or sitting in a car on the side of the road at midnight-testing). one with a well lit screen with bright colours and large font (for us older folks).  one that is basically my Ping meter and the Verio combined.

now that would be a meter that really rocks!!

**Disclosure...although i received the meter and 10 test strips free, i was not asked to blog about my experience.  the  opinions stated here are my own, and i can only hope that someone, somewhere gets wind of it and can get my dream meter on the drawing board, so that by the time i need a new pump/meter the Animas Ping/IQ will be a reality! (call me!)

Friday, June 08, 2012

guest post~Public Awareness regarding some Type 2 Medications

Recently I was approached by Jeff Jocoy on behalf of the Public Outreach Department at a website called He was wondering if I would be interested in a guest blog post to help raise awareness about some current Diabetes medication issues.  These issues are regarding Type 2 medications.   Realizing that my blog is mostly about Type 1 Diabetes, but also knowing that the DOC is a place for ALL diabetics, no matter their "type", I decided to go ahead.

I emailed Jeff to tell him that I would be interested, and here is the post, as sent to me. 

********Please note that this post is not intended as medical advice.  It is for informational purposes only. Do not stop any medications you may be taking without first talking to your Health Care Professional. Do your own research and feel free to copy this article and bring it with you to your appointment.******* 


Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Options

If you have diabetes, your treatment options can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, they can seem less complex if you consider your overall health, glucose levels and lifestyle.

The most basic form of treatment for type 2 diabetes is diet and exercise. Patients who can effectively lower their glucose levels with diet and exercise will still have to keep a close eye on their condition, but will not have to approach other treatment methods as long as this method works.

People will type 1 diabetes require insulin injections, either through shots or a pump. The insulin enters the bloodstream and enables the cells to use sugar.

Often, people with type 2 diabetes will need more than diet and exercise to manage their glucose levels. These people should discuss their medication options with their doctor to learn about the risks involved one example being a study that has linked Actos and bladder cancer.

There are several medications that manage glucose in different ways. Before starting any medication, individuals should research the potential risks and warnings.

Medications such as Amaryl, which is a sulfonylurea drug, and Prandin, which is in the meglitinide family of drugs, stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin. With these medications — and most diabetes medications — you will want to watch for dips in blood-sugar levels.

Metformin is one of the most popular diabetes medications. It maintains glucose levels by decreasing glucose production in the liver, and is often prescribed in combination with another drug.

Actos is the best-selling diabetes drug of all time. It’s part of the group of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, which reduce glucose production in the liver while increasing the effectiveness of insulin in muscle and fat.

Unfortunately, Actos carries a black-box warning for its link to heart failure. And in 2011, studies revealed that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer by 40 percent in patients who take it for more than a year which has led to many filing Actos lawsuits.

Actos can also cause eye disease and bone fractures.

Talk to your doctor about these risks before you take Actos. If you’re already taking Actos, you should ask your doctor about an alternative medication. Never stop taking a medication unless your doctor tells you to.

Precose and other alpha glucosidase inhibitors block the breakdown of starches in the body. They are usually taken at the beginning of a meal, and cause the rise of glucose to slow after eating.

Finally, DPP-4 inhibitors allow a natural compound that reduces glucose levels to stay in the body for a longer period of time.

Diabetes treatments and medications are always evolving. Each type 2 diabetes patient has a different situation and lifestyle that could call for a different treatment option. Patients should talk to their doctor about which option is right for them.

Author Bio: Jennifer Mesko is an editor for She draws on her journalism background to keep consumers informed about drug safety and other relevant news.

disabled?? that's a tough one

recently i read a post written by Barb at Diabetes Advocacy. in it, she talks about Diabetes as a disability, and whether or not it is.

She has been advocating for her son, who has Type 1, and diabetics all over Canada.  working to get the government to better understand Diabetes, and all its ramifications.  

One of the things she has had a hand in is the Disability Tax Credit.  This is a tax credit that is offered by Revenue Canada to those who have a severe mental or physical impairment which markedly restricts the basic activities of daily living and/or need and dedicate time for Life Sustaining Therapy (Therapy that must occur at least 3 times per week for more than 14 hours per week).

I have never thought of myself as "disabled".  I have been Diabetic for 37 years and have never used it as an excuse.  When I was younger, and in school, it was never mentioned.  never did i get out of a test or exam because of it.  back then, the only method of testing your blood sugar of course was using urine.  there were no meters at that time.  i actually remember one time, in grade 9, i was wandering the halls looking for a pop machine, because my blood sugar was dropping and i didn't have anything on me to bring it up.  a teacher saw me, and demanded that i get "back to class" or i would be brought to the principal's office.  thinking back, i should have asked her to take me there, he may have had some candy or something in his office!!

i never really thought/think about diabetes being a disability.  i just go about my business.  i've never really given much thought to what i do, and haven't really considered that what i do isn't "normal', because for me it just is. 

i have had the forms sitting on my table for the Disability Tax Credit for quite a few months about a year now.  not sure why i haven't filled them out and sent them in.

i understand perfectly that i am entitled to whatever monies may be owed to me.  i realize that i "fit" all the qualifications.

i guess i just have a really hard time getting my head around the word "disability".  when i think of a "disabled" person, i picture someone with crutches, or a cane.  perhaps a blind person, or someone in a wheelchair. 

according to Websters Dictionary, "disabled" means, "incapacitated by illness, injury, or wounds; broadly it is defined as "physically or mentally impaired". 
and according to Websters "impaired" was "being in a less than perfect or whole condition:  as disabled or functionally defective." 

well i guess then i am disabled.  my pancreas in "functionally defective".  it's definitely "less than perfect". 

i guess i better get out the forms and get at 'em!