Spare A Rose

Life for a Child
Showing posts with label Diabetes Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diabetes Technology. Show all posts

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week Day 6: Saturday Snapshots~

Day 6 of Diabetes Blog Week is all about diabetes in pictures. The following pictures reinforce that diabetes is continual, challenging & never-ending balancing act in all dimensions - And even as our diabetes weapons become more technologically advanced.Click HERE for more #dblogweek Saturday Snapshots~
When I snapped this pic it immediately reminded me of what life with diabetes looks like, 24 X7. Not because PWDs go around balancing swords on our heads - Thank God! But because life with diabetes is a constant and often precarious, balancing act in all dimensions. 
And even though we've come left the Diabetes Dark Ages re: advancements in diabetes technology & research, the challenges never cease & we still have a long way to go!

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Weekend Plans: The Children With Diabetes Focus On Technology Conference

February 25 & 26,2012
Philadelphia Marriott West
West Conshohocken, PA

I'm heading out to Children With Diabetes Focus On Technology 2012 Conference in Conchohocken, PA this weekend and I'm looking forward to it.
Actually, I'm downright excited to attend the conference for many reasons.

Even though I only attend one day of The Children With Diabetes Friends For Life Conference in 2010, I can tell you that it changed my life for the better. CWDFFL was like coming home to Diabetes Land. People who live with diabetes (or whose children, siblings or spouses live with diabetes) are the majority, not the minority. And everyone understands and speaks the language of diabetes, fluently and in all its dialects.
It's a fantastical thing to walk around and learn about diabetes with others who know first hand what your going through. Plus, you also learn the parents perspective, which was incredibly eyeopening to me as former child with diabetes. Same goes for me being a sister, daughter and aunt of someone with diabetes - And a diabetes blogger.

The Program of Events for the 2012 Tech Conference includes all types of interesting/timely topics including but not limited to: CGMS & New Technology talks, advanced pumping concepts, managing technology in school, managing diabetes stress & burnout (YES), making sense of data sensors , sports exercise & bg control, managing hypos, infusion set and sensors, a group workout, discussion group for parents of teens, etc.

I know that I'll see some of you there and I can't wait! And for those of you who won't be attending, I'll give you the 4-1-1 when I return.

Have a great weekend guys!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Medtronic's MySentry Receives FDA Approval

So, unless you'e been under rock or off line for the past 6 hours or so, I'm sure you're now aware that Medtronic has received FDA approval on their MySentry Remote Glucose Monitoring System, essentially allowing caregivers (parents, grandparents, etc.,) to remotely monitor blood sugar levels in real time, for those currently wearing the Minimed Paradigm Real Time Revel System, Medtronic's pump/CGM Combo.
MySentry works via desk top monitor and Outpost and looks very Appleish. Basically, the Outpost transmits blood sugar results in real time directly from the person with Paradigm Real Time Revel CGM to the caregiver's monitor in the other room.

MySentry also gives of the same series of alarms that Paradigm Real Time Revel does. According to MySentry's release, Press Release, the MySentry: Allows a parent or caregiver to monitor the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time Revel System from another room. It displays on a remote monitor insulin pump/CGM information and delivers audible alerts and alarms. So, for example, a parent or caregiver with a mySentry at their bedside can receive a predictive alert in the middle of the night if their sleeping child’s glucose levels are falling.

As a person with diabetes who also grew up with diabetic siblings and father with type 1, I wondered out loud about the MySentry System and it's ability to track multiple users, so I asked them via email and was told that multiple users can be added to the system, but the system itself can only track one user at a time - And that Medtronic is considering tracking multiple users in the future. Good to know~

So,what do I think? Personally, I'm always excited when I hear about the latest and greatest in Diabetes technological & scientific advances.

As people living with diabetes, our lives rely heavily on both technological and scientific advances in order to live a better life with diabetes. As far as I'm concerned, the more diabetes tech and scientific advances the better!
Not only do these advances make our our bodies healthier, they encourage ALL the companies in the the wonderful world of diabetes to step up with their latest and greatest and force the FDA to do the same.
Thus giving us more diabetes options and in THEORY, better diabetes pricing/more insurance coverage for our diabetes medications and diabetes Cyborg parts. Please take note I used the word THEORY, not the word REALITY.

So regardless of which diabetes hardware you're actually hooked up to, this is a good thing all around!
Now, to get insurance companies on board!

To learn more, click: HERE.

Review by patients who have already tried MySentry can be found: HERE.

Others in the Diabetes On-Line Community who have already written about MySentry including: YDMV, Diabetesmine, A Sweet Life, This Is Caleb, Arden's Day , Our Diabetic Life & Fierce Medical Devices, SO FAR. Click on their links and read what they have to say!

And If I happened to miss your post, please be sure to leave a link to said post in the comment section.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Need To Start Logging- And Not In The Lumberjack Sense of The Phrase~

This is my Grandpop Maitland - I know, quite the dashing young man!
Maitland was a Logger Extraordinaire in Canada.
Seriously, he was such a great Logger that he ended up owning not only the lumber Mill, But an actual Lumber Company.
Me? Not so much. I lack the mad "logging skills" that he possessed.
But that's about to change!

I had a meeting with me, myself and I last night, and we all came to the conclusion that I need to start logging my numbers. Meaning I need to physically write and record my numbers instead of just hoping that the memory and settings in my glucometer will do the trick. NEWSFLASH: It doesn’t.

I also need to start writing down what I eat so I can be more aware of eating habits, both positive and negative.

Why the sudden interest in getting all OCD with the logging?

The reasons are simple.

  1. I test like crazy, somewhere between 10 and15 times a day, and that’s pretty fantastical on my part. The actual testing itself is not the problem, but keeping records of said testing is. I want to be able to look at my Dr. in the eye when he asks about logging and hand some records.
  2. I’d like to lose a few lbs. My weight been holding study all winter, and I’m glad for that. I haven't gained any weight, but I haven't lost any either. Those last few lbs I’ve been want to lose are sticking to me like white on rice.

Tweaking my basal rates has certainly helped with the lows, so I got that going for me. But keeping a journal of both my numbers and what I eat will help me attain the goal of losing 5 to 7 pounds.

  1. My next meeting with Gary will be remote. It will still be face to face so to speak, but this time it will be over our computer monitors instead of at his office. So the more info I can email him before our actual online face to face the better.

  1. Bottom Line: I need to log in order to continue owning my diabetes.

I know "logging is in my blood," both literally and figuratively, but I was wondering if you guys have an advice in the logging area?

Do write your numbers in a book or use a soft program? What works for you?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmm?" Spring Edition

Spring has sprung and once again, lots of things are making me go Hmmmmmm.


I’m happy the healthcare reform bill passed because I strongly believe that every single person (pre existing condition or not) needs to be insured at a fair price regardless of their job, or lack of one.

I've also had my own insurance issues as of late and know first hand what it's like to be forced to switch to a more expensive insurance or be dropped completely by your insurance company because of an out of the blue health scare that was none diabetes related.

Look, I still have questions regarding the health plan. There’s a lot of verbiage to plow through and I haven't plowed through all of it yet. I know it's not perfect and I never expected it to be. But things need to change regarding healthcare and insurance companies and it's a start. I’m still reading articles on the subject & will state my thoughts in a much more articulate manner very soon.

I don’t understand why people are so against having the option of a national health plan, if only for the following two reasons.

Insurance companies will finally have to be accountable for their actions- just like every other business in the United States.

Pre existing conditions like diabetes, asthma, lupus,etc will no longer cost us astronomical premiums that can increase whenever said insurance companies feel like it.

One thing that didn’t make go hmmm (it made go W.T.H) was why the FDA only had one person with the patient perspective speak at their hearings for meter accuracy. What’s with that?

Ellen Ullman was our voice at the hearing and she was WONDERFUL. Thank God she was there to speak on our behalf! And why shouldn't she have a place at the hearings? Aren’t the patients and their families the ones that actually USE THE METERS? Don’t the patients lives and well being depend on keeping track of their blood sugars?

Here's a question to the FDA: Why not include a multitude of patient perspectives in the hearings? It’s not rocket science FDA folk; it’s pure common sense. Talk to the people who use the product DAILY because their lives depend on it- not just the people who manufacture said product.

Click HERE to Send the FDA your patient perspective.

Click HERE to read an excellent post on the subject!

Another thing I understand but still don’t want to do is Basal Testing. The very thought of it makes say “OH SH*T” every time I think of what it entails.

I’m going to be honest here. I don’t want to fast and I don’t want to not drink coffee in the morning. I don’t want to fast, and I certainly don’t feel like getting up in the middle of the night to test and test again. Did I mention that I don’t want to fast?

BUT, and the but is KEY here folks- I want to be healthy and it’s been YEARS since I did basal testing - it needs to be done. My basal rates most certainly need to be tweaked, BIG TIME.

I’ll be starting my basal tests very soon and you'll hear all about it.

Another thing that makes me go hmmmm is drug/DME companies version of the “IDEAL DIABETIC.” We are far from perfect. We are not just the young and old, and our blood sugars vary from hour to hour. We are not all cute and fuzzy, and some pwds are more weathered and wise. Many look very much like the person you see in the mirror - Go figure? Companies need to represent us all- not just who YOU think we are.

Another thing that makes me cringe and go hmmmmmm is fashion. Seriously folks, who ever said that having a chronic illness must = bad, ugly fashion?

I don’t and won’t buy into that school of thought and neither do most of the PWDs I know. Stay tuned re: my passion for pretty diabetes fashion~

BIG Thanks go out to Amy, Mike, & Kerri for writing such excellent posts that I linked to in Part 1. THANKS GUYS~


Why do people think Glen Beck speaks the truth? Just because he uses a blackboard doesn’t mean he’s a scholar or an authority on the “Real America.” Every single one of us, red state or blue, is part of the "Real America!" Just because I think Glen Beck is a moron makes me no less of an American.

And finally: Why are people obsessed with MTV’s THE JERSEY SHORE? I'm not even going to link to that piece of tripe!

I'm going to state as fact that those people don’t represent New Jersey as a whole. I grew up at the beach in South Jersey and that’s not how we were brought up.

Thats not how my friends and family bring up their children. New Jersey is the Rodney Dangerfield of states - Jersey gets no respect! And now with a show like that, we never will.

The people on that show are a horrible representation of the Garden State and give Jerseyites and Italian Americans alike a bad name!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pump Banquet....Pump Envy, & Performing

It's been a crazy week since my last post! Sorry for the delay but I am exhausted and looking at an incredibly hectic work/life schedule in the next two weeks. I have missed blogging terribly and promise not to let such a lapse go by – no matter how NUTZ my schedule might get!!

So, to recap: The Pump Club Banquet of Grater Philadelphia was quite a success. Gary Ssheiner/ Integrated Diabetes has been facilitating the meetings every 3 months, for the past 11 years. Basically it’s wonderful way for pump wears to congregate, learn about the latest and greatest in diabetes care, technology, and research, while having a face to face “Bitch Fest” for those of us who need to voice our frustrations regarding the Big D.

Gary had set up was also quite the history lesson/Torture Chamber in the form of a display of Diabetes aquotramont over the years. I’m talking glass syringes; fizzy pills in brown bottles, lancets made of metal and B.S machines the size of VHS tapes. God, those antiquated blood sugar machines brought back major memories of fighting with my parents. “Are you kidding, you want me to carry THAT in my backpack? NOWAY! That thing is actually bigger than my History book and just as heavy!! I won’t do it – YOU CAN’T MAKE ME! IT”S EMBARRASSING.” Ahhh...good times! What a pleasant child I was. My how times have changed – THANK GOD!

Back to the banquet: At least 100 people were in attendance (including my fellow dBlogville citizen & partner in D Crime, Hannah) and the dinner was sponsored by (and in no particular order but alphabetical) Animas, Deltec Cozmore, Insulet, & Minmed. Each company was there to answer questions and presented what we (the users) could expect in the very near future from their various companies.

It’s wonderful to see that pump companies are taking note of what we, the consumer would like to see in our pumps design, function, durability, and usability.
While all Insulin Pumps do the same thing (deliver insulin in both a basal and bolus rate format) each pump company has it’s own unique bells and whistles regarding their brand.

What does the future of pumping hold? Miniaturization of the existing pump designs, blue tooth capabuilities, and accessories with a “MAC” influence, and customization for the individual user.

Before the dinner, I had narrowed my search for a new pump down to 2 models, now I want at least 4 different models! "THANKS GARY.'

Insulin Pump innovation makes me very excited, but also very nervous. Kind of like when u buy a new MAC Laptop. You really want to buy it, but you know the minute you purchase it, you know the next generation version of your MAC LT will be even greater.
Unlike an MAC or an Ipod, we who wear insulin pumps must wait 4 years to purchase the latest and greatest pump. "CAN YOU SAY PUMP ENVY?"

As far as my performance. It was wonderful! People laughed in all the right places and afterwards I was able to dialogue with a lot of audience members, which is so important to me – just as important as the laughter. Talking with the audience after a set allows me to see what clicked with them and what situations they related to on a personal level.

This particular group really related to “The Diabetes Police,” dating issues, everything having to do with FOOD, and “Stupid People who think they know every thing about Diabetes!”

Fashion and accessories were a huge issue as well. My red and black Pump lace garter was quite the hit! Chronic disease does not equal a “Glamour Don’t" as far as I’m concerned. Diabetes can be sexy if you have the right accessories, an imagination - and alcohol helps.

All in all a great time was had by all !


PICS to follow as soon as Gary sends them!

PS – Gary met almost all the demands of my Diabetesaliciousess Performance Rider…kind of.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What if the Queen Had Balls?

Tonight I fast...Fast for the battery of blood work that accompanies my Tri-monthly Hemoglobin A-1C.

Last night I fasted and was supposed to have blood taken this morning, but deadlines called, and tomorrow will have to do.
I don't know about you, but the anticipation of the fast; the test, the results, and what they mean, tends to do a bit of a head-trip on yours truly.

Will my numbers be good, or at least improved from last time?
Will medications have to be upped, lowered or added?

Am I on the continuing path towards health, or will my sister's words which paralyzed me years ago (see January posting) comeback once again to haunt me?

Tests freak me out, always have. Just go ask my High School Math teacher. Poor Mr. Mandell would watch as I'd start to tear-up during the test. I'd study so hard, my parents would pay good money they didn't have for a tutor, and I'd pass, at least the night before the test in the comfort of my living room, with my math tutor Joe, a former Big Band singer and WWII pilot with a great head for numbers. But during the actual test in school, I'd psych myself out, freeze up and forget everything.

Mr. Mandell would actually work in extra credit points that only I would know. For instance, on 1 exam the extra credit would be a point for every Woody Allen movie we could name. I got at least 10 extra points on that one. Another exam had us name previous Oscar winners and the films they won them for - that was at least 15 points thrown my way.

As an adult, I suffer from "White Coat" syndrome. They normally have to take my blood pressure several times because the 1st one is always high due to the fact that I know how important my numbers are.

It's really ironic, I can talk to large groups of people about living with diabetes and only suffer from butterflies and the wonderful adrenaline rush, but have Nurse Practitioner Chick take my blood pressure, and I have to talk myself down from a ledge of "What-ifs."

"What if my blood pressures high?"
"What if my urine tests have protein?"
"What if my blood work shows something that just should not be?"

Then I ask myself, "What if the Queen had balls Kelly, what then? Hmmm, good question.Well, then She'd be King or a really fabulous Drag Queen that’s what if….Get over the fear and get on with your life Kel!"

As Diabetics we live in fear of the dreaded "What Ifs,"on a daily basis.

I'm tired of the power that the "What Ifs " hold on me and I’m purging them from my life right now!
I'm going to focus on the fact that these tests are there to help and inform me, not hurt me.

I' m going to learn from them and live my life to the fullest.

Technology is our friend and knowledge is power.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Ghost In The Machine, Or Is It A Ghost Ate My Machine? Whatever, Who Cares, Where's My Damn Machine?

I'll admit it, sometimes I just get stupid - regardless of the blood sugar level.

Yesterday I was once again under the weather - trying to fight off whatever has been going around as of late. Wednesday was a roller coaster ride of blood sugars (something I'm not really used to) and I have to say, it got the best of me around 7 pm last night.

I was catching up with paper work, doing laundry, cleaning out my refrigerator (because today was trash day and something didn't smell quite right in there,) and taking mucho blood sugars to try and reach a normal level down so I could eat dinner.

Somehow, in all that activity - yours truly misplaced her B.S machine.

I looked everywhere and could not find it.

I tore the place apart. Over, under, and on the couch, between the cushions, on the table and counter tops, in the bed and bathroom, even in my walk-in closet. Nothing.

Finally, I eyed the trash I was about to take to the curb & remembered that I had just emptied out my fridge.
"YUCK.” I put on some rubber gloves and fished through coffee grinds and milk cartons. NA-DA.

It totally disappeared - A ghost in the machine, or is it a ghost ate my machine? whatever, who cares? Where's my damn machine?

Now usually, I have a backup B.S. machine - just in case. Because you never know and my motto is "Be Prepared." Of course my backup happened to be in Jersey at my mothers, on the bathroom sink. Exactly where I left it two weeks ago.

I was hungry, tired from a long day, and tired from battling those pesky highs that up until that point, had been by my side all day.

Now, next week I see my Endo, who would give me a few blood sugar machines no problem, but I needed one now.

I started to get upset. Upset that I didn't feel well, upset that my blood sugars had been high, and upset that in rushing to do a million things, I had somehow managed to lose something so important to my well being.

My eyes started to fill with tears of frustration. I try so hard to take care of myself and be well. Usually I'm upbeat and Diabetes is really just an everyday part of who I am.

But tonight I was just so exhausted...I wanted to eat, relax, and get some sleep. I had cut my hand on Saturday and had to get stitches. They hurt
(note to self, by an electric can-opener,) & I just wanted my life to be uncomplicated. "SNAP OUT OF IT KEL," I said out loud. "Find the funny. This is nothing but a minor inconvenience resulting from a very blond moment. This is totally fixable. Acknowledge it, get over it, and get on with it."

So I did. I put on my coat, jumped in my car, drove to the CVS and bought a hot pink One Touch Ultra Mini. Sleek, ultra thin, easy to use, and only $19.99. I also bought an electric can-opener.

15 minutes later I was back home, my blood sugar was damn near normal, and I was making some delicious spicy black beans with veggies and brown rice.

All was right with the world again and it could always be worse. ;)

2/1/08***UPDATE: found it! The sucker must have have slid off the couch and under the radiator behind the couch. I swear that things got a mind of its own or there really is a ghost in the machine!

Friday, January 11, 2008

An Ode To My Pump & Blood Sugar Machine A Le Napoleon Dynamite

I love the movie "Napoleon Dynamite." It has so many great quotes & is truly one of my favorites.

This movie influenced me in many ways. Such as:
  • Buying my nephew a "Vote For Pedro" shirt for his 13th birthday - It was a huge hit!
  • Contemplating Cage Fighting as a new form of cardio
  • Seriously considering adopting either a mythical Liger or a bitchy llama as a pet.
Napoleon's brother Kip, a pasty faced hacker who was training to be a Cage Fighter, spent most of his spare time finding love on the internet with his complete polar opposite.

Kip wrote the following song for his Glamazonian bride.

" Yes I love technology, not as much as you you see, but still I love technology, Always and forever, Always and forever."

That little tune would be what I sing to both my pump & blood sugar monitor every single time they annoy me.

Whenever my battery craps out, my tubing gets tangled, or my blood sugar monitor decides that I didn't sufficiently gouge myself enough for an accurate reading, I take a deep breath and say "I love technology." Then I sing Kip's tune and get on with my day.

We are so lucky to live in an age when Diabetes technology has given us insulin pumps, blood monitors, CGM's,and carb counting is now the rule as opposed to the complete sugar ban of not so long ago.

I sometimes forget how it used to be. Needles, soring blood sugars, antiquated urine testing involving strips, fizzy tablets and a test tube. Blood sugar monitors that were neither portable or accurate. And never being able to enjoy anything that contained even a hint of the Voodoo sugar without receiving criminal looks from others and loads of self guilt from me....

Yes, I want a cure in my life time, but I'm thankful for Diabetes technology. I've seen how it makes my life more livable and Blood Sugar Nirvana more achievable. I'm grateful for it. " Yes I love technology, not as much as you you see, but still I love technology, Always and forever, Always and forever."