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DiabeticallyYours

Living life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Archive for the tag “medicine”

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.

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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?

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!

Bleeding Cannula!?

I realize that I have to change my injection site every 3 days. Having no more health insurance covering them, I make them last as long as I can, sometimes up to 8 days. But doing this also increases the chances that the insulin will become less effective as the injection site becomes “overly used”.

Two days ago, I removed my site (Well, it almost removed itself the adhesive band wasn’t doing it’s job anymore!) and found out the reason why I was high most of the time.

Well then! I didn’t even see the blood going through nor did I feel the insulin coming out. Some of it was actually coming out of the site, hence why I was so high all the time. It happened to me before, but so rarely that I didn’t even remember to check the site when my BG started going up. I blamed it on hormones, but usually, when it’s -that- time of the month, I drop down, I don’t go up.

Well! New site, new beginnings! Next time I’ll check as soon as I have an abnormal reading!

Do you change your site every three days or do you extend it’s living time on you?

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?

Journey into weight loss part two: Weight watchers

So I’ve figured I needed to take a decision. Do it on my own which hasn’t worked in all of my life or ask for help. So, ask for help I chose.

I was talking with my best friend yesterday and she convinced me. I signed up for weight watchers. I had been thinking about it for a while, but didn’t exactly what they were offering for a monthly cost. When Val (My best friend who coincidentally has the same name!) told me what it was about, I stepped in. The same night, I created an account and started my WW(Weight Watchers) plan.

I was AMAZED that even thought I wasn’t eating much, the things I did eat took all of my daily allowed points (And more!) but the shocker was this morning.

Out of my 32 daily points, my Slim Fast drink in the morning takes 11 of them. ELEVEN! For something that is supposed to help you lose weight, it whacks almost half of my daily points allowed! And I was wondering why I wasn’t losing any weight and sometimes even gained some every week. In fact, I’ve gained 4 lbs since last week. Huh. I thought this thing would help, but obviously, I need a better plan for my breakfasts now!

The great thing about Weight Watchers is that they give you tons of recipe and their points and it’s really easy to follow. So, all I’m seeing for my future is constant weight loss. But here are a few things I love about them as well:

  • Activity assessment;
  • You track what you eat;
  • Easy recipes with point trackers;
  • Exercice goals;
  • Work out and exercise videos and demos;
  • Science centre which explains you the basics of things;
  • Easy weight loss tools;
  • IPHONE APP. YES!;
  • great community;
  • Much more!

I have a good feeling about this. Now all I need to do is stay focused and also keep better track of my diabetes.

Do you know people who have been on Weight Watchers? What did they think?

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?

 

The insulin-less morrow.

Hey there fellow bloggers and trusty readers!

After my post from last night, I wanted to leave you with an update before I leave for the weekend and not lead you into thinking I might have been seriously hurt from the lack of insulin! To my surprise, I actually woke up with a reading of 5.4 mmol! (That’s a 97.2mg). Doesn’t stop the fact that I could have side effects from not having insulin in my body for a long period of time (I suspect the head ache I have is related). But when I woke up I had an e-mail from a concerned follower and blogger. I don’t know if he wants to remain anonymous so I will only be linking back if he allows it! (And he did! Thanks Scott E.!Not so anonymous anymore! Haha!) And, even though I realized some few things that I should have done instead of just going to bed like that, without insulin for most of the night, it made me feel good! To know that there are people out there with and without the same disease and they care enough to send me a warning message, to be safe, tips on how to act during that period… Things I would have followed if I hadn’t read this email this morning but last night, when he sent it!

No, instead of checking my e-mails, I read The hunger games (Almost done the first book) to keep my mind off of the situation. Was I just evading it? Trying to ignore it instead of taking action? I know for a fact that If my husband would be there, he would have run out in the search for a 24 hours drug store! but he’s at work and I’m alone with Aaden and the last thing I wanted to do was to wake him up, dress him and go look for a store, then have to constantly wake him up by going in and out of the car… I should put my health first, I know, but sometimes I don’t think rationally!

Anyways, I’m fine, and yes don’t worry, I’m getting ready to go out and grab that insulin vial before I get ready and leave for the weekend! I’ll be fine though, and I’ll be back!

Read you soon!

~Valerie Anne

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.

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