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DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “bolus”

#DBlogWeek – One great thing.

Living with diabetes (or caring for someone who lives with it) sure does take a lot of work, and it’s easy to be hard on ourselves if we aren’t “perfect”.  But today it’s time to give ourselves some much deserved credit.  Tell us about just one diabetes thing you (or your loved one) does spectacularly!  Fasting blood sugar checks, oral meds sorted and ready, something always on hand to treat a low, or anything that you do for diabetes.  Nothing is too big or too small to celebrate doing well!

This is kind of funny actually, because it makes me think about my brother Vincent and something that happened when I visited my father last week. It made me realize that I was somewhat of a pro at guessing Carb counts. And I’m pretty sure it takes a diabetic to do that, right?

When I go over to my father’s place, I don’t necessarily chose what I’m eating and most of the time I have to guess how much carbs there are in one meal in order to make the input in my insulin pump. Was that half a cup of rice or is there more? That meat marinated in a carb-loaded sauce all night… We go out to eat often… And that’s always a guess!

At home, I rarely have anything full of carbs, let alone ice cream or chips or even donuts. When I go over there, it’s Ice cream heaven. My brother Vincent is staying at their place for the summer because he works with my father when he’s not in college, and my step-mom buys so much ice cream, the freezer’s full. Yes, Vincent is an Ice Cream lover. No, he is not diabetic. But I am, and temptation is bad! One night, after a day of outside activities and fun under the sun, We had those Drumstick Ice cream cones – The Caramel ones – and they, were, GOOD.

So as I push the bolus button on my pump, I ask my brother “How many carbs are in one? 35? Check on the side of the box for me please.” And so he answers with “37! Clooooseee!” And then I have to ask “Fibers? Like 1?” and there was 1g fiber. So, 37 – 1 = 36. Pretty close for carb guess!

You know what he did? High five’d me for guessing right. Ooooh, Vincent, you’re a funny guy!

But I guess I am an awesome carb guesser. And for that reason, my blood sugar readings are often accurate even when I go out to eat.

Vincent feeding my son Aaden a yummy Oreo Ice cream sandwich. Mmmmmmm.

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iBGStar Review

I’ve finally received my iBGStar from Sanofi Aventis! I say finally because Canada post -again- did not deliver to my door and instead sent it to the post office. I blame this on a lazy postman.

I was very excited to get it, so much that I’ve basically let aside my chores for the day. No store visit for this lady today! (Bananas will have to wait, Aaden… Sorry!)

I’ve made a review video about it which I will integrate into this post at the bottom of it. So if you don’t feel like reading, go watch the video!

First, while the animations are purely decorative and entertaining, I love seeing my iPhone telling me to put blood on the test strip and make a futuristic animation of my blood going into the device and being tested. Super cool! (I bet this will even make my non-diabetic friends jealous and they most likely will want to try it out too just for the heck of it!) It’s easy to set up; even though I read the instructions to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong, it would have been easy to just connect the iBGStar, as it was already charged, and start testing right away. I was high, I knew this, but I didn’t care about spoiling my device with my super sugary blood, so I tested right away, along with my old OneTouch meter, to see if the readings matched. And they did, so everything was set to go!

Here are some positive points about the iBGStar:

  • Small; about 1/6th of the size of your iPhone or iPod;
  • Free app; just download it straight to your iPhone or iPod;
  • Track your BG on charts; up to 90 days of tracking on one single chart, easy for your endo to read;
  • Statistics e-mail friendly; Your endo needs some results on charts? One single press of a button and it’s right on his desk(top);
  • Built-in user guide; no more downloads from websites after losing your user guide;
  • Syncs readings to your iPhone when connected if you have made a reading while disconnected;
  • Goes where your iPhone or iPod goes;
  • Charges alone or with your iPod and iPhone. Just connect to the wall or into your iPhone or iPod and your iBGStar charges!

And for some negatives:

  • iPhone and iPod battery vampirism; the iBGStar loves your device’s energy! Sucks it right out to charge itself, unless your device is on hibernating mode;
  • No customizable backgrounds; you have the choice of 6 pre made backgrounds to chose from.

So far, so good! I can’t see anything else that is a negative. So that was a small review, yes, but I’m sure I will have much more to say about the iBGStar in the next coming weeks as I get accustomed to my new toy.

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The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Recently, I’ve been reminded that even though I am a type 1 diabetic, my upstairs neighbour (a type 2 diabetic) has a different treatment than I have. Before I was diabetic, I would not know the difference, heck, I thought that having diabetes meant not eating sugar or else you get sick, type of thing. People who are not surrounded by diabetics or are not diabetics themselves usually have a poor education about the disease and the different types. So I thought I would give a definition of the difference and a little experience of mine from recent things that happened to me.

As per medicalnewstoday.com:

Type 1 Diabetes

In Type 1 Diabetes, the person’s own body has destroyed the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. When your own body destroys good stuff in your body it has what is called anautoimmune disease. Diabetes Type 1 is known as an autoimmune disease. 

Quite simply – a person with Diabetes Type 1 does not produce insulin. In the majority of cases this type of diabetes appears before the patient is 40 years old. That is why this type of diabetes is also known as Juvenile Diabetes or Childhood Diabetes. Diabetes Type 1 onset can appear after the age of 40, but it is extremely rare. About 15 per cent of all diabetes patients have Type 1. 

People with Type 1 have to take insulin regularly in order to stay alive. 

Diabetes Type 1 is not preventable, it is in no way the result of a person’s lifestyle. Whether a person is fat, thin, fit or unfit, makes no difference to his or her risk of developing Type 1. In the case of Diabetes Type 2, much of its onset is the result of bodyweight, fitness and lifestyle. The vast majority of people who develop Type 1 are not overweight, and are otherwise healthy during onset. You cannot reverse or prevent Type 1 by doing lots of exercise or eating carefully. Quite simply, the Diabetes Type 1 patient has lost his/her beta cells. The beta cells are in the pancreas; they produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes:

Person with Diabetes Type 2 has one of two problems, and sometimes both:

1. Not enough insulin is being produced.

2. The insulin is not working properly – this is known as  insulin resistance

The vast majority of patients who develop Type 2 did so because they were overweight and unfit, and had been overweight and unfit for some time. This type of diabetes tends to appear later on in life. However, there have been more and more cases of people in their 20s developing Type 2, but it is still relatively uncommon. 

Approximately 85% of all diabetes patients have Type 2. 

Recently, as some of you know, I’ve subscribed to Weight Watchers. As I’m part of a diabetes forum, I’ve asked them if they knew or know anyone who is diabetic and have any stories to share. I was surprised to realize that 90% of all comments were negative for all sorts of reason, but mostly because WW now counts fruits as 0 points. I was wondering how that was a problem until I realized that out of every replies, only 1 type1 diabetic had answered me. The rest were all type 2. Most of type 2 control their diabetes with medications and by watching what they eat, meaning as little sugars as they can get. Fruits have sugar. Good sugars, but sugar non the less. Or as we diabetics call them, carbs. The more you eat them, the more sugar you have in your blood stream.

That being said, as a type 1 diabetic wearing an insulin pump, if I want an apple, I will eat an apple. I log in 15g of carbs into my pump and she (Yes, my pump is female!) gives me the necessary amount of insulin to cover those carbs. Just as a regular pancreas would. But most type 2 diabetics don’t regulate their blood sugar with insulin. It is with medications, so they cannot eat fruit, or any other things that contain carbs, as they want.

It’s weird, I’ve been diabetic for 6 years, and it just dawned on me that I may have it easy. Well, easier, than a type 2.

What do you think? Am I just thinking this or is it fact?

Insulin pumps: Silouhette VS Quick-Set infusion set

In my last post, I was talking about insulin pumps and different infusion sets and realized that not everyone was aware of the four kinds of sets available on the market. Having tried two of them, here’s my two cents:

Silouhette infusion set:

The Silouhette set is mostly axed for lean, active people as it offers the option of insertion angle. If you’re a skinny person, you will love this set as you can insert the catheter at an angle that would best suit you: Right between the skin layer and the muscle, as parallel as can be!

Here are the positive points of the set I’ve find:

  • Hides well under clothes;
  • Easy to detach for showering, swimming, etc;
  • Loved the option of inserting the catheter at 45 degrees or as close to skin as possible;
  • Can easily be inserted manually

There are always cons though:

  • Easy to rip off of you when you bump into things, remove clothes, etc;
  • Easily leaves scars for people with sensitive skin, like me!;
  • As I gained weight during my pregnancy, the more fat build up, the less effective my usual infusion sites became.

Quick-Set infusion set:

 

The quick-set infusion set is the most popular choice and is effective for all patients. It has a 90 degrees cannula which offers best insulin injection. When I gained weight during my pregnancy (A whooping 60 lbs!) This set would reach deeper into my skin for better insulin action and I stuck with it post pregnancy!

Positive points:

  • 90 degrees catheter allowing great insulin effectiveness;
  • Difficult to accidentally rip! (My 1 year old son grabbed it several times and pulled without success, HAH!);
  • Leaves little to no scars on sensitive skin;
  • Even if recommended to change every 3 days, I keep it on for a whole week and it still is effective on the 7th day;
  • Has a great locking system to prevent accidental detachment.

Negative stuff:

  • Easy to see under the clothes as it gives bigger relief;
  • Sensitive skin people might find the glue-on part itchy;
  • Hard to manually insert (Without insertion tool) as it is a 90 degrees insertion.

Have you tried any of the other sets? If so, would you recommend another? And what are your experiences with those mentioned?

Pumping insulin!

I was having a small conversation with fellow blogger Leah and was reminded a few things about being a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump. I thought I would share a little of my experiences with this awesome little piece of equipment, a.k.a my mechanical pancreas.

I acquired my pump in the beginning of October 2008, just a few days before my wedding (Half of the pump’s cost was a wedding gift from my father, too!). I have a paradigm 522 from medtronic which I have customized with neat looking covers sold by the company. At first, it was nerve racking. I wanted to experience the simplicity of not having to count my insulin needs for meals, for corrections, etc… I wanted to experience eating whenever I wanted, whatever I wanted, I wanted to feel what it was like to be “normal” again. When the nurse came to my house (Because you need a small class about how to use it and the nurse will set the pump to your needs as well) I was really happy, but also overwhelmed with the amount of supplies she brought with her! Let me give you a small list to make it simple:

Supplies with injection pens:

  • Pens
  • Insulin vials
  • Needles

Supplies for an insulin pump:

  • Pump
  • Battery
  • Insulin vials
  • Reservoirs
  • Infusion sets
  • CGM (Continuous Glucose Reading) set
  • Insertion sets
  • Extras such as Pump clips, customizations…

She came in with so many boxes I got scared and was already reluctant of having to go through that kind of change, but I welcomed her into my kitchen and we got started… We calculated my insulin needs and my husband tagged along, wanting to learn it as well even if he isn’t diabetic. It’s always nice to know what your partner goes through and understand what it takes and how everything works! So the nurse had me enter a bunch of informations in the pump for it to be set to my needs. She then explained to me how to insert the catheter, how to fill up the reservoir, how to rewind the pump and all the neat things about my new style of life. Needless to say I felt overwhelmed once again with the amount of tasks I needed to overcome just to have this pump set and attached to me!

I was shaky at first when I inserted the infusion set because she wouldn’t let me use the insertion tool. She said it would be best If I learned how to insert it myself in case the insertion tool would break, and it was a good idea because I had to do it manually often. Not because it broke, but because I forgot it at home when I was away!

When this was done, she moved unto the CGM set. Biggest. Needle. Ever. But hardly felt anything when it went in! As I got used to the CGM over the days, I realized though that it wasn’t for me. First because my insurance company wouldn’t cover it and second, well, it’s a second injection site, more scars (my skin is VERY sensible!) and I preferred just testing my blood glucose manually than having my pump tell me. The CGM has a lot of benefits though because you can prevent a lot of hypos and hypers with it!

I re-discovered sleeping in over the next days, eating at the times I wanted, learnt how to cope with having something attached to me 24/7 (Unless I was underwater, shower, etc…) but overall I was really impressed on the impact it had made on my life! The only negative thing I found early in development is that since I could eat whenever I wanted, I gained weight fast… but that’s called self-control and is a whole other topic!

Would I recommend the pump? Definitely! Would I go back to my pens? Not one single bit! It made my pregnancy go smoothly and my A1C go as low as 5.4 with little to no hypos!

What’s YOUR story? Pen? Pump? Tried both? Which one did you prefer?

 

Busy busy Bolus busy

Oof!

For the past few days I’ve been soooo busy… From picking my husband up at the airport to visiting family two hours away, it seems like I’ve just finally sat down and took a breath! All this moving around and sleeping elsewhere makes me forgetful sometimes. I forget my son’s milk, his utensils (He’s only 14 months old so he has his own plastic cutlery!) his blanket… But all these things I can buy at the local store.

What I can’t get in a jiffy is my insulin pump supplies. Thankfully I had some reservoirs in the bottom of my backpack from the last time we visited! I usually order my insulin supplies from medtronic’s online store so it usually takes about 3 days for me to get it.

I tend to forget things like toothpaste, my perfume, an extra pair of socks… But I make sure my diabetic supplies follow me around! 

What about you? Do you keep extra supplies at friend’s and family? Have you ever forgotten your supplies and couldn’t have any for a few days? Share! I’d love to hear from you!

“Forgot your supplies mommy? I’m NOT impressed!”

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