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DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “carb”

#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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Type 1 diabetics; misunderstood?

Let me start by saying that while I understand what type 2 diabetics go through a daily basis, I believe that Type 1 diabetes should need a whole different name. Why? Because of the misunderstanding between people, between professionals, and I’m a little tired (especially today) of having to explain to everyone the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 over, and over, and over again.

I went to the pharmacy today to pick up test strips. Something I do very often on a monthly basis, ever since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I recently changed my strips from One Touch to BGStar because of my new glucose meter; the iBGStar. So I’ve only picked up a box of 100 test strips about 2 weeks ago, which makes an average of 7 tests a day. Which is realistic, quite frankly. Upon my arrival, they give me my Humalog (Insulin vials) but let me know that there are still 24 days left before I can renew my test strip order.

Um. Excuse me?

I tell the (new) pharmacist that I’m a type 1 diabetic, I need to test my blood glucose quite frequently. Before and after meals, when I wake up, when I go to bed, before and after physical activities or just when I feel plain weird. She tells me with a very serious face “You’re only supposed to test about 3 to 4 times a day.” And I look at her with a very confused face which reflected something like ~How dare you tell me how to control my disease~ and ~Since when?~ and this is when I repeat myself. “I’m a type 1 diabetic, I need (I emphasized on the needing part) to test several times a day.” Especially these days, with the weight loss and the very frequent lows. I need to recalibrate my pump’s basals, so how am I supposed to know how much insulin to deliver if I don’t know my BG every few hours?

She looks at me, a frown on her face, clearly showing that she did not understand why I need to test so often. One of the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2.

No, I cannot control my blood sugar with what I eat. No, I cannot ~cure~ my disease. I know I don’t look sick, I am just pancreas-disabled, for life. No, if I’m low I don’t need more insulin. No, that is not an mp3 player, it’s an insulin pump. No, you would not die if you would have to inject insulin multiple times a day. Stop saying that.

So she goes ask the head pharmacist (or what I assume to be, much older gentleman who nods when she speaks to him, looks at me, nods and smiles a little as he recognizes me). She comes back saying they will call me tomorrow because they are out of BGStar strips. It’s okay, I mean I still have a few to last me until tomorrow. Besides, it’s not like they’re out of insulin or anything.

So as I was walking back home, my son in his stroller amused by his surroundings, I kept wondering why. Why is it, that even professional people, don’t know about type 1 diabetes? No, not that they don’t know, but they are clueless about it? They think because you are diabetic, you cannot eat what you want. I actually can. How many carbs? 15? Here, let me inject insulin, I’m good to go. I’m not type 2, this type of diabetes is different, on so many levels! But yet again, I’m labeled as if I was because society does not give proper education on this kind of disease.

I was a little… Not insulted, but deceived, maybe. Especially that I had to explain, again, what type 1 diabetes was, to a pharmacist.

Did you get your diploma in a Cracker Jack box, missy?

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.

;

Low carbs Twist on Cannelloni!

I’ve recently discovered that I can cook. With the right instructions and motivation, I can actually kick some butt in my kitchen. Now, people who don’t know me should know that I’ve never liked cooking in my entire life. The whole 30 years I’ve been on this planet, I have not found any passion for cooking, until now.

After I joined Weight Watchers, I started looking for recipes on the website. And that’s when I realized I was good at cooking and that I thrived on eating healthy, but most importantly, wanted to teach my son how to eat healthy.

Aaden loves pastas. The more spagetti on his plate, the better. So I started looking for alternative and found this amazing recipe! Behold on Beware, Weight Watchers’ Eggplant Rollatini with Tomato-Basil Sauce!

My cutting station is pretty small, but I got everything working!

I actually burnt my first batch... Make sure the eggplant slices are thick!

Out of the oven and ready to be devoured!

This recipe is Aaden Approved!

 

I wasn’t sure about the carbs since the WW system work on points, but I figured around 15 grams. My BG 2 hours after diner? 6.1! (109.8mg!) Is this one of my favourites now? Oh yes it is! And I will definitely make it again for my husband when he comes back!

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?

Vegetables; our friends but…

… Definitely not my son’s friends this evening.

I came back from my father’s today and didn’t know what to make for diner, really. So I cut up many veggies (Carrots, Cauliflower, broccoli, onions, asparagus, red kidney beans, corn, etc…), mixed in broth and spices and it was delicious! The only thing is my son won’t eat it. Even if I mash the veggies, or mix it with other things. Usually he LOVES veggies but tonight was a no no for him apparently. Anyway.

For about 10g of carbs for a whole bowl, it’s one of my favourite thing to eat nowadays. Trying to lose weight isn’t really easy for me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m diabetic or I’m not eating the right things, but this soup will help I think. (I made a big batch!) My next weight in is tomorrow, and I’m anxious to see if my walks made an impact at all, but when I was at my father’s, we ate a lot… So I’m thinking I didn’t start it right! This week though, I will HAVE to work on it really hard.

The fact that I’m moving more is making me low more often, so I am drinking juice to fix these lows but at 90 calories a juice, I’m just packing the carbs! It’s a vicious circle isn’t it?

What tips can you give a type 1 diabetic trying to lose weight?

 

Oh no! No more insulin!

I’m leaving for the weekend tomorrow for my step mother’s birthday. A 2 hours ride for Aaden and I. I love it there, in fact, I’m going to move there in less than 3 months!

So I’m sitting on the couch, watching TV after I put Aaden to bed and my insulin pump beeps, warning me in caps “LOW RESERVOIR”. Argh! I remember that it had warned me at dinner time so I waste no minutes and get up, grab my reservoirs and the insulin vial. Butterfingers. Miss butterfingers. That should be my last name. Not Chiang, Butterfingers. Drop the vial on the ceramic floor. Crash goes the vial, splash goes the insulin. And it was a new bottle so there is no substitute. I look at the time. The pharmacy is already closed at that time. Look at how much insulin I have left in my reservoir; 4.4 units. A total of 4 hours and 27 minutes left.

And the adventures of miss butterfingers begin.

That means that I will have about 9 to 10 hours without insulin. I will have to go to the pharmacy as soon as it opens tomorrow so I can eat breakfast (In PJs if I have to!) and then rush to do everything before I leave for my weekend. I’ve never have this happen to me though, it’s a full first time since 2006.

I’m sure I’ll be fine, but my Blood Glucose will be high tomorrow morning that’s for sure…

Anyone have their insulin vials break before? Be without insulin for 10 hours or so?

You did what, mommy?!

The effects of “healthy” fats in your bloodstream

(Edit from March 15th)

Someone sent me a comment about how ridiculous this video was. I trashed the comment because it was arrogant and lacked any kind of intelligent conversation or leads to humble replies. So instead, I leave it up to you to leave a (smart) comment as to what you think about that video. Is this a real doctor? Is he showing real facts? Let’s debate! (And by debating, I don’t mean demean everyone who thinks that guy might have a point there.)

(End of edit from March 15th)

I’ve stumbled upon this blog post by The Plant Eater. All I can say is WOW. I knew fats were nasty to you, but even extra Virgin olive oil has it’s nasty effects in your blood stream. An eye opener, for sure.

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?

 

Monday low carb recipe!

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

It’s Monday and a new low carb recipe is in for us! And decided I would post one of my son’s favourite dish: Low-Carb Sweet Potato Shepherd’s pie!

Makes 8 portions of 30 grams of carbs each, only!

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 onions
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can green peas
  • 1 can corn kernels
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes until tender. Mash with milk and 1 tablespoons butter or margarine. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Saute the onions. Add the ground beef, cook until meat is browned.
  3. Spread a thin layer of potatoes in the casserole dish. Add half the peas and corn, then the ground beef and then the rest of the peas and corn. Top with mashed potatoes.
  4. Dot top with flakes of butter, nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

I usually add a thin layer of shredded mozzarella cheese on top before baking but you can decide to add or not. Cheese is fatty after all!

Bon appétit!

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