Thursday, July 26, 2012


today was my appointment with my Endo.  they have moved to a new building and it is really nice.  all brand new and shiny.  they are now in an office all by themselves, no sharing with another doctor. 

the appt was fairly standard.  i speak mainly with his....i don't really know what she is.  i guess she's a Diabetes-Specialist -Educator- Nurse.  she goes over all my labs with me, and does the weighing, blood pressure and checking my downloads.  we didn't do any tweaking today, basically because i just saw my ladies at the Diabetic Education Centre, and we were pleased with the results of the tweaking we did a couple weeks ago. 

my A1c was 7.1.    in march when i last saw Dr. P, it was 7.7 so that's some improvement.  blood pressure is down,  cholesterol results weren't in this lab, but they'll be in shortly.  i started a new drug about 6wks ago, ezetrol, so we will see soon if that is helping along with the lipitor to bring down that pesky cholesterol.

later this afternoon, i was going to to a blood test to see how my lunch bolus was working.  having had pasta and salad, i was a little curious, since usually pasta sends me over the top.

i inserted the strip in my OneTouch Ping meter and recieved a message. 

ERROR 2 - meter or strip problem

i have never seen this before.  my heart skipped a beat.  i tried another strip.  same message.  i took out the batteries and put them back in.  got another strip and tried again.  same message.  so now i am a little panicked.  should i call animas?  should i contact OneTouch about the test strips?  

i decided to get out my OneTouch Mini and give that a go with one of the strips that "failed".  it worked perfectly.  i tried it again in the Ping.  error message.  i got a new bottle of test strips and tried them in the Ping.  worked like a charm.  then i tried one of the strips from the first bottle in the Mini and it said ERR2.

hmmmm........since the meter reading on the Mini said 3.6, i decided to set everything aside and work on the slide into Lowdom.   after eating a package of FrootLoop Fruit Snacks (17gr carbs) and making a coffee, double double (i know a little overkill), i tried the whole thing over again.  

everything worked.  strips from both bottles worked fine in the Ping.  not really sure what the heck happened but it seems to be working now.  i will take both meters to work with me tonight as well as both bottles of strips.  

have any of you out there using the Animas Ping had this happen to you?  if so, do you know why??

{after typing this post, i realized that the blower fan under my laptop is not working.  the laptop is becoming quite warm ~ okay almost HOT!  my meter and strips were close to the laptop earlier while i was working on here.  perhaps everything just got a little hot??  does that sound reasonable to you??}

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A question posed

 there is a "question of the day" posted on glu, a newer(ish?) community for
diabetics and their families/caregivers.  each day a different question is posted and members can choose to answer.  there is a graph of the answers.   it is quite interesting.

there was a question posed the other day that i missed (stupid work!).   when i noticed it this morning it was too late to include my answer in the total, so i decided to answer it here. this was the question:

If an FDA approved vaccine was discovered that prevented Type 1 diabetes, would you vaccinate your children?

it really only took a second for my brain to scream 'YEEEESSSS!!'   

having 3 grown children, and worrying constantly if i had passed this on to them, i would have done it.

i realize that now, that would be up to them to decide,  but also having 2 young grandchildren, i still scream 'YEEEESSSS!'

we've all heard that diabetes skips a generation.  i'm not sure if i believe that or not, but if i thought that poking them once would save them from a lifetime of pokes, i would do it in a heartbeat.  no hesitation.  even if they had to have it every year, like the flu shot, no question.


when i asked my husband the same question, he, being a non-PWD hesitated.  

"well i would want to wait out the first 5 or so years of the vaccine to make sure that it worked."

not sure i agree.  if you gave them the vaccine, and they never developed diabetes, was it because of the vaccine, or was it just because they weren't destined to get it in the first place?  and if you gave them the vaccine and they developed it anyway, was it because the vaccine didn't work, or was it because the disease was already attacking their bodies when the vaccine was administered?

what do you think?  would you vaccinate?  i'm interested to know what you think.  please leave your comments, and i will write a post with the results later in the week.  

p.s.    i was able to go back on the glu site, answer the question and see the breakdown of answers ......of 148 respondants  116 said yes, 6 said no, and 26 said they weren't sure.   


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

whipping it out at the grocery store

the other day at work (have i mentioned i work at a grocery store?), a young man came through my checkout.  he was purchasing 2 cases of G2 Gatorade Naturals.  he informed me that he needed these because he was Diabetic and they were low in sugar and therefore "really good" for him.  his mother was with him and she gave him a funny look.  

i knew that look.  that was the look that said "really? must you tell total strangers about this? i'm sure she doesn't want to know about your Diabetes".

she was an older woman, and despite his age (he looked about 25) he seemed young.   i could tell there was something not quite there, and please forgive me for saying that, but i don't know how else to describe him and what i did next. 

without giving it a thought i opened my mouth and said to him "i'm a diabetic too." and i showed him and his mother my tattoo.  i continued to scan their groceries and his mother seemed to let down her guard just a little.  she told me that he had been diagnosed a "couple years ago", and he didn't "really take care of himself".  this of course, was all within his hearing.  he didn't seem to mind exactly.  he just smiled and kept unloading the cart.

since they were my last customers before my lunch break, i decided to make the most of this chance to advocate.  

i asked him whether he was Type 1 or Type 2.  he actually said he didn't know.  this kind of blew me away.  so i asked if he took insulin or other medication, and he said that he took needles, 3 of them a day.  he didn't like them though.  his mother explained that because of his age (29), the doctors started him on pills but soon discovered that they weren't working and put him on insulin.  

after a couple of minutes talking with these 2, and explaining that i used to be on 4 needles a day, i whipped my pump out of my cleavage (okay it's not really cleavage but whatever!), and i thought she was going to faint!!  i told them that this was my new best friend.  

they had never seen one so i explained how it worked (the readers digest version).  they both seemed really interested and asked some good questions. I then asked him if he thought that might be easier than "sticking himself" 3 times a day.  he said he didn't know.  

i found out that he had been seeing the same group of people at the Diabetes Education Center that i do, but he didn't go as often as he should.  he also mentioned that he doesn't check his BG very often cause "no one told him to".  sounds hard to believe doesn't it?

his mother began to open up a little, and told me that his feet bother him.  when i asked him about that he said that they felt like they were burning sometimes.  i said i knew exactly what he was talking about.  his mom seemed surprised that i was taking time to talk to them, and she mentioned that he had never talked to another diabetic before.  

without trying to sound like the story of doom and gloom, i explained to them that i have been diabetic for 37 years, and i told them that there were years of really bad habits that had led me to a lot of complications that could have been avoided.  i told them about my open heart surgery, and how i believed that could have been avoided had i just faced my disease, listened to my doctors and looked after myself properly.  i tested many times a day, i measured most everything i ate, and i tried to exercise every day. 

i told him and his mother that they should really think about going back to the clinic, and talking to the people there.  they had lots of information and were there to help him understand his Diabetes and make informed choices about his health that would help him avoid the fate of so many Diabetics that either don't have the will or the knowledge needed to avoid those complications.

i didn't want to sound like i was preaching, and i didn't want to scare them, but i did need to give them something to think about.  

i told him as i was leaving them, that i hoped to see him some day at the Clinic.  he laughed and said "you just might!"

as i went up to the lunch room, i sort of laughed to myself.  i was thinking that not too long ago, i was the shy one.  i didn't want anyone to know about my diabetes. and now, after just over a year of blogging here i was, whipping out my pump at the grocery store for total strangers!!!  

oh DOC, look what you've done to me!!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

some things i've learned

yesterday was the blood sugar day from hell. 

started with a 16.9 at 7:47am and never went below 8.3 all day.  i just figured it was a combination of eating a lot of carb filled foods,  the heat and perhaps stress.  the day was normal.  grandkiddies during the day, some swimming, and then work till 10pm.

last night when i came home from work i did what i normally do.  i prepared myself a little snack, tested (10.1mmol) and bolused for it, and set a temp basal +30 as i normally do for my tortilla and salsa filled munch.

i went to bed at around 12:40 (after falling asleep on the couch first!), but i neglected to re-test.  it was all downhill from there.

woke up at 2:36.  eyes dry and sand-filled.  had to pee sooo bad! i rarely wake up in the middle of the night to pee so i grabbed my meter and headed to the bathroom.  pee, flush, wash, test.

28.9 mmol!!!!!

WTF!!!!  did a correction bolus, increased temp basal and went back to bed.

my neighbours were having a party, singing and playing guitars.  it took a little while to fall back to sleep.  the heat was oppressive despite the fan blowing almost directly at me.  

woke up again at 4:21.  had to pee AGAIN!!  this never happens!  what was going on??  grabbed meter again and off i go to the bathroom.  repeat .  

31.2 mmol!!!!!!!!!!

OMG!! i haven't seen a number like that in i don't know how long!  this was unreal!  

downstairs i go.  my eyes are drying up.  they now feel like pebbles in my head.   find eye drops and insert.  get out the  big box that holds my supplies, all while listening to some really old country songs being played and sung at the top of his lungs by the drunk guy next door, while his friend was making, what to me smelled like burnt grilled cheese sandwiches.

after ripping out the old set and removing the cartridge, i started all over with fresh insulin, new cartridge, a new set and  tubing.  test again.  do correction bolus like my Ping suggests.  up the temp basal AGAIN, this time by +80.   back to bed once again.

time: 7:31  BG result: 21.0   on the way down.  more correction insulin.  i swear if i had a needle i would have just injected but unfortunately i didn't have one.  note to self ~ buy a pack of syringes today!

now at 9:15am we (me and pump) are back down to 14.9.   another small correction (0.70u) and with any luck i will be back in range shortly.

some things i've learned in the last 24 hours.  
  1. what goes up must come down, but it takes for-freaking-ever!!
  2. with 6mm steel cannulas, you should change them every 2 days like suggested (i put the last one in on saturday morning and was planning to change it today, but obviously should have done it yesterday when things started heading south)
  3. old country music is never a good thing, but especially at 4:30 in the morning!
i'm hoping i don't crash at some point today, but i'm ready for it.  i just hope this decline continues so that i can eat a little something soon.  i'm starting to feel a little peckish!!

have a good day all!


Friday, July 13, 2012

being stuck

about 6 weeks ago, i wrote about trying out some new inserts.

for the last year i have been using the Contact Detach insert which i order directly from Animas.  they are the 9mm cannula, and i had begun to notice that i was not getting the best results BG-wise with them.  also they have 2, yes 2 things to stick to you.  now i don't use a CGM (yet) but i started thinking about how that would be having 3 things stuck to me.  my brain is saying  "well what's the big deal?" but my heart is saying "oh, that's not a good look for you".  

it took me about 3 or 4 years to get my head around the whole "being attached 24/7" to a robot part.  now don't get me wrong, i'm glad i made the jump to pumping and believe me, i have conversations with myself (not out loud) about how i can't believe i waited so long and was soooo stubborn about moving to a pump! it really was the smartest thing i've done for myself in forever.  in fact, when asked if i would ever go back to pens, the answer was a loud NOOOO!!!

however,  i'm going to say that it does take some getting used to (as all you pumpers out there know), and there are little tricks that you learn as you go along.  i also have a great support team at my Diabetes Education Clinic. i can call them, or email them, and they will walk me through whatever i decide i need to do. they are super!  but when my sugars seemed to be creeping up and even doing corrections and changing basals and all that jazz didn't seem to help that much, i decided to try using a 6mm cannula instead.

the ones i tried included the 6mm orbit, the 6mm cleo, which both allow for 360 degree direction,(which i kind of like) and the 6mm Rapid D.
i also tried the Inset II but i find them bulky.  not just the set itself but the whole spaceship it comes in.  

i finally settled on the Rapid D.  it's my new favourite because it is very flat,  it uses a 6mm steel cannula, it is a manual insert and it doesn't hurt at all!! i have not had the greatest luck with the teflon, they seem to get all crinkly in me!  only one part is stuck to me and it really is almost invisible under clothes!  even a bathing suit! (a story for another day!).
so it doesn't swivel 360',  but i'm ok with that!  it's small, flat, has only one part to stick to you and sticks really well.   

but the thing that i like the most, is that with a 6mm cannula, (and i'm sure this would be true with other 6mm's) i am getting much better absorption and therefore much better BG results!

my most recent A1c was 7.1 (just 2 wks ago), so perhaps with the new sets, and better absorption my next one will be under 7!!! 


Saturday, July 07, 2012

Mr. Sandman bring me a......bottle of eyedrops

i've been doing a little research here, and i have a question to pose. 

do any of you notice that your eyes get dry and itchy, almost like there is dust or sand in them, when your BG is going up or even just a little higher than "normal"?

i've been told by my opthamologist that i have very dry eyes.  not alot of tear production apparently.  i find this kind of funny because some days it seems that my eyes water ALOT.  this does seem to happen when i get a little tickly sensation in my throat from the dry air at work.

but then there are times when my eyes are so dry they drive me crazy!  sometimes in the morning, other times it seems to happen for no reason.

i decided to do some research of my own, as well as some blood tests.  i was noticing that when i wake up in the morning and have that dry, itchy feeling, my BG's are usually a little on the high side.  heading towards or upwards of 10mmols. 

sometimes when it happens during the day, i test and again the BG is creeping up.  it may be right after eating a meal, or sometimes it seems to be hours after. 

there are quite a few sites online that state that people with diabetes do suffer from dry eyes and this is related to blood glucose control.  those with "less control" (i loved this way of putting it!) tend to have dry itchy eyes.  those with "better control" don't seem to suffer as much. 

i figure that i have about as much "control" as a person with diabetes can have.  i eat sensibly, test more than 6 times a day (some days upwards of 12X), i bolus for each meal and snack according to the carbs and glucose levels that my pump calculates for me.  my A1c has been decending for the last year (hopefully this one will be less than my previous 7.2).

and still, sometimes i feel as though i've walked through the Sahara Desert! 

funny enough, there are some sites that state that as women near the age of menopause or are going through it, there will be more episodes of Dry Eye Syndrome.  they also mention that a number of autoimmune disorders, including Diabetes, cause "dry, itchy, gritty eyes".

so i guess in my case, it's a little of both perhaps.  i will continue to test my BG's when my eyes feel this way, and see what kind of pattern develops. it seems my eyes are my own little CGM for high blood sugars!  please let me know if this itchy, gritty, sandy eye thing happens to you when your blood sugars are high. 

in the meantime, i will continue to hum this little tune, while dropping the lovely eye drops given me into my sandy eyes!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

a mom's a mom, no matter....

this weekend past was our Canada Day Long Weekend. 
it was also my son's 29th birthday weekend and my mother's 70th birthday weekend.

we had already had a huge surprise party for my mother the weekend of the 23rd in her home town.
it was an awesome time.  family and friends joining to celebrate her 70 years.  the party was held in her home town.  one of my cousins owns the only pub in town (it's a small town!), so that is where we all gathered.  the meal was great, there were tons of laughs and a karaoke was set up later in the evening for anyone with the nerve to get up and sing.  my family has a lot of singers in it!!! 

prior to the party, as a way of keeping it a secret, we told my mom that we were having a bbq and pool party at my house on the 2nd of July. we told her that although Canada Day is the first and her birthday is the 3rd, this worked for everyone because of the holiday monday.  we always get together to celebrate her birthday and my son's (his is the 30th of june) on the long weekend. 

after the surprise party we decided that we would still get together the following weekend as "planned".

i worked all weekend (thur, fri, sat and sun), but managed to go see Jimmy Rankin with my son and his fiance for his birthday on Saturday night.  it was a great time.

we did the bbq on Monday.  my sister and her family were camping at a trailer nearby so they arrived around noon.  my parent got here just shortly before them.  my kids all tricked in and the afternoon began.

kids in the pool, music playing and the rest of us enjoying the lovely weather. 

dinner was greek. pork souvlaki, tzatziki sauce, lemon potatoes, spanakopita, greek salad.  delicious!!

for dessert, my mom made angel food cake(from a box) with strawberries and whipped cream.  it's a tradition that has been going on since my son was a little boy. 

this year while she was assembling the cake, she turns to me and says, "according to the box, there are 11 grams of carbs per serving."

even though she's 70 and i'm going to be 50, and Diabetes has been part of our life for 37 years, i haven't lived at home for 30 years! 

i guess a mom's a mom no matter how old her children get!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Birthday!

credit ~

              HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

Today is Canada's 145th Birthday.  There will be much celebrating in my wonderful country today.  Parades, bbq's, beach parties.  Later there will be fireworks.  I hope everyone has a fabulous day!