Advertisements

DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “glucose”

The blood test chronicles.

It might sound weird, but every 3 to 6 months, I am excited about my blood tests. It might be just a diabetic thing, but I’m thrilled to go to my endocrinologist’s to have my test results read to me. Partly because I love to know what my body has been up too from change to change. Especially now with my weight loss and my beautiful BG readings, I am expecting a nice A1C. My last one, 6 months ago, was of 6.7 and I wasn’t very thrilled with it. My BG was high very often and I wasn’t being very careful about it, mostly because Aaden was still very young and testing my BG was optional to me. I had other priorities, being alone with my son.

And so next week, I have an appointment with my endo, so I need to go for blood tests. Only if my body would cooperate.

I have been so active, eating so well, my blood sugars have been great! Only thing is that I have hypos during the night now. So, two nights ago, I needed to drink and eat in the middle of the night, so I couldn’t go for the blood tests since I need to be fasting for 12 hours. Last night, everything went well, but as I got up this morning and tested my BG, I saw 3.2 mmol on the meter (57.6mg). No way am I going to drive and hurry up to the hospital for blood tests with this reading. So tonight, I think my best option is to set my basal down on my insulin pump. 75% maybe. I have to get those done to have my results next week!

To think that before being a diabetic, I was scared of blood tests, scared of needles… And now my daily life has them around and I don’t even notice it. Crazy how you get used to things. And how people around you get used to those, too.

In other news, my husband learned that his step-father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes this week. It is becoming an epidemic. Almost everyone has someone in their family with type 2 diabetes. Sometimes though, I wish they were type 1 so I could relate with others like me, in person.

Advertisements

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?

Weight loss: weight-in #2

What a week! Actually, it’s been pretty boring for the most part, non-dabetic wise; rain, cold, no walks outside unless it’s to go to the car and drive to the grocery store. I think it’s the only outings I’ve done with my son and it showed! He got back at me almost all week, Mr. Grumpy face. Well, the fact that four, yes FOUR teeth are coming out is making him extra grumpy, so it doesn’t help. But no park trip, no walks outside, just plain old inside watching Baby TV when we’re not playing games or I’m not doing house chores or playing Zumba.

Diabetic wise, my body decided to step up and kick my butt. I had to put my basal rate at 75% basically all week and I blame that one two things; weight loss and physical activities. I’m moving. A whole lot than I was before I started this weight loss journey. When I sit on the couch, I remind myself “Isn’t there anything else to do that would require me to actually move?” and then there’s something. There is -always- something to do. Dishes, vacuuming, cleaning, playing with my son, you name it. So I was low more often than I was high. Look see for yourself!

See all the red dots? Those are lows from this week. Eek!

So for all the calories I would spend, I would eat back a lot. Orange juice, followed by bananas or nuts.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And this is how I felt for most of the week...

I wasn’t expecting much change in my weight. I mean, my pants have become slightly looser, but I blamed that on wearing them like three times in a row and them becoming stretched. Although when I looked in the mirror, my “muffin top” looks more like a “bread top”. Love handles that are asking for still too much love. So this morning, I hopped on the scale. And then I remembered; yesterday was a bad day before a weight-in! Went to my uncle’s, ate lasagna, a Tiramisu, drank a glass of wine and had a scoop of maple ice cream… Yup, I busted my Weight Watcher’s points and went into those cheat points. I should have weighted myself beforehand, but oh well. Let’s see…

So as I stepped on the scale, thinking about my week, the orange juice at 90 calories a glass, had about 15 to 20 of those for sure… My night before, where all the good foods crashed in my system… But took in account all the Zumba I’ve danced, the soccer I played with my son, the cleaning I’ve done… And I stared at the scale at what seemed like an eternity before it showed me the numbers.

206.4 Lbs.

Two hundred and six (point four). From last week, I have made it to my goal of losing 5 lbs once again! I’ve lost five pounds! So that means that I’ve lost 10 lbs since the beginning of my weight loss journey! Me! Someone who is blaming everything on the fact that being diabetic is contributing to my weight gain. That being diabetic makes it even harder to lose weight. (It -is- true though…) That for all these years, I’ve blamed it on being diabetic and my crazy insulin intake, the lows, having to drink juice all the time… And I’ve lost more weight in two weeks than I have in about 10 months.

I can do this. Today, I’ve realized that yes, I can do this!

And I’ve got to keep that line going downwards!

Finger or forearm blood tests?

While I was reading my iBGStar user guide, I was reminded that you could now use your forearm to do your blood glucose tests. To me, testing on my fingertips isn’t a big deal. I don’t find it hurts (anymore) and I’m wondering if doing the tests on my forearm would benefit me in any way. So I’m doing my own little research to find out what positive or negative points I could find in changing my method of testing my blood sugar.

I wish my insurance would cover the CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) but I can’t really afford the standard 50$ every 3 days. That way, I wouldn’t have to test so often during the day, just less as you still have to make sure the results are accurate. But that’s another issue.

Abbott Diabetes Care suggest that testing on the finger is reccommended when you think your blood sugar is low. So I’m guessing that finger tests are more accurate, but that’s just a theory. The only benefit to testing elsewhere on your body I’ve found while searching the net, was that it’s less painful. But other than that, I’m wondering if any other kinds of benefits could emerge by doing so.

Are you testing anywhere else than on your finger tips?

 

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?

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?!

Oh rainy day.

Woke up with a blasting headache. Good thing Aaden was just babbling in his crib unlike most mornings when he screams for me to go get him!

I found out the reason of this headache is because of a hyperglycaemia. Pretty sure anyways, that’s one of the symptoms. Woke up with a reading of 12 mmol (216mg) so who knows how long I’ve been that high! I blame it on the fact that I haven’t changed my infusion site for a week and it was half ripped off of my skin this morning. Yes, yes I know, I’m supposed to change it every 3 days, but my insurance doesn’t cover it no more (Well, my lack of insurance now!) so I’m trying to save money by buying half of what I’m used to buy.

So today it’s raining cats and dogs – as long as its not raining men I’m fine – so no morning walk for me and Aaden. Instead, I’m going to swallow a few tylenols to kill this headache and get cracking on house cleaning, dishes that I’ve neglected last night and colouring activities with my 1 year old son.

Note to self; Call moving company, do address changes, pack your house, lady… Because you’re moving in less than three months!!!

And with this, I leave you with a picture of my son Aaden, Watching Baby TV a little too close to the television for my likes.

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?

Post Navigation