How to Survive Hallowe’en

I have seen a lot of posts online lately about parents stressing over food and issues surrounding Halloween.  In 2014, there is no reason to have to do this.  Yes, food and diabetes take a bit more work. Yes, special occasions and diabetes can take a bit more planning but our children with diabetes can still eat, enjoy and partake like all other children.  Here are four ideas to help get you through Halloween this year.

1.  The Halloween Witch.  Some families have an issue with the amount of candy being given out at Halloween period.  Diabetes or not, they just don’t want all of that junk around for their family to indulge in.  This has led to the creation of things like the Halloween Witch or the Great Pumpkin, who come at night and take all of the children’s candy leaving behind toys, games or cash in exchange for the treats.

2.  Save Treats for lows. Halloween offers a great time to stock up on things like Rockets and juice packs that are great for treating lows.  While you are looking through your child’s loot bag, take out items that are not high fat but offer 10-15g of fast acting carbohydrates.  Put them in safe place and use them as an alternative to juice or glucose tabs when your child is low.

3.  Share with others.  Re-gift those Halloween treats and take them to shelters or the children’s ward at your local hospital.  Repacking  the treats and sharing with others can be a great lesson for children whether they have diabetes or not.

4. Count the carbs and enjoy the treats! Halloween treats can also be factored into your child’s current meal plan.  If you are using a restrictive regimen that counts things like fruits and starches, most chocolate bars and small treats are 9-10g of CHO and a perfect substitute for a fruit at a meal or snack.  Bags of chips are often 15g of CHO and again perfectly replace a slice of bread.  There are extensive lists of carb counts found all over the internet including one at Diabetes Advocacy as well as a selection at Children with Diabetes, and ConnecT1D.

If you child is doing a lot of walking when gathering their treats, allowing them to snack on one or two things as they go can also help to maintain bg levels while enjoying the fun and excitement of the day!

Remember to breathe.  Try to relax…well maybe on November 1st.  And no matter how you chose to handle the holidays, please do not let diabetes ruin your child’s fun…or yours.




ACCU-CHEK® Subscription Boxes

Last month I received an email about something new coming out from the people at Roche. It wasn’t a new meter but in a way it was a cool new tool–for your mind, body and soul!

Each month, subscribers will receive a box filled with items that are meant to provide consumers with an exposure to  new and fun natural and health-focused products, expand discovery, and add a little joy to create an experience people living with diabetes look forward to. Examples of products include:

    • eos: smooth sphere lip balm
    • Deep Steep: hand cream-rosemary mint
    • Smooch: mango, pineapple & banana fruit snack
    • Quinn Popcorn: Parmesan & Rosemary
    • Aroma Naturals: therapeutic lip care

The ACCU-CHEK® subscription boxes will be available to US consumers in the coming weeks. There will be  three different subscription options consumers can choose from and the cost ranges from $20-$45 based on which box a consumer chooses. The options are available on the website,

I was lucky enough to have been able to see one of these subscription boxes myself and was impressed by what I saw.

AccuChekThere was this sturdy box that made me feel like it must be my birthday, waiting for me to open it.






Inside was a lovely surprised wrapped in pretty, lavender tissue paper.  I was still feeling pretty special!









As I opened up the box, I found 50 test strips for the Aviva Plus, cherry vanilla lip balm that I instantly had to try out, some sort of fruit juice or sauce thing that I will test out on a small child…or my son depending on who gets to it first.  There was also a body cream that smelled divine.  It seems a bit light to my liking but the scent definitely made up for that. The final scent and package has left me intrigued. It is a package of Parmesan and rosemary microwave popcorn. I have to admit that I have never had popcorn like that before. The smell is lovely, I am not sure how I will like the taste but I am willing to try.









IMG_2897And a card explaining it all.







This is definitely a fun package. As for the value, well, the test strips alone pays for the box however, if you have insurance I am not sure that you would feel the same way. Personally, I found the box a delightful treat.  If I was living with diabetes, would I want this service? I am not sure but I do think that Roche is on the right track with these boxes. Treating diabetes is more than just about meters and insulin.  Diabetes care needs a holistic approach and anything that makes you feel better is definitely a huge plus in my opinion.

Disclosure:  I did receive my package free for me to view, but received no other influence or compensation for this post.


Can I get the DTC if I am an adult insulin pumper?

For a number of months there has been concern about a video posted on the CRA website stating that using an insulin pump did not allow a person to be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit.  Many people have written letters to their MP as well as CRA.  The CDA has made the issue of easier qualifications for adults with Type 1 diabetes a priority for the upcoming federal election but what does this really mean to people living with diabetes?  Do they no longer qualify for the DTC if they are using an insulin pump?

A member of the Insulin staff received the following response from CRA….

In receiving a qualifying therapy, the person must dedicate time to the process. This means taking time away from his or her normal everyday activities to receive the therapy. For portable devices, such as an insulin pump or implanted devices like a pacemaker, the time the device takes to deliver the therapy does not count toward the 14‑hour requirement. Activities like following dietary restriction, exercising, traveling to receive therapy, attending medical appointments, shopping for medication, or recuperating after therapy also do not count toward the 14-hour requirement.

Early on in the fight for fairness regarding the Disability Tax Credit and people living with type 1 diabetes, a court case was won in which it was successfully argued that a person using an insulin pump was actually injecting insulin 24/7 and thus easily spent more than 14 hours per week on life sustaining therapy.  It is not surprising that CRA quickly made an amendment to their policy stating that they would not consider the time a machine/device requires to deliver therapy as part of the 14 hour total.

This does not mean that people who use insulin pumps no longer qualify for the DTC. It means that the time the pump spends delivering insulin does not count towards time spent on therapy. The amount of time dedicated to diabetes related tasks such as bg testing, ketone monitoring, logging, making dosing adjustments, as well as site changes and pump maintenance is still used in the 14 hour calculation of therapy.  The video posted online and the CRA website, unfortunately do not clarify this.  That can be problematic.

Doctors who rely on the CRA website to guide them on what is considered therapy when dealing with Type 1 diabetes may be led to think that insulin pumpers in general do not qualify for the DTC.  Even those living with Type 1 diabetes may wrongly think that they no longer meet the qualifications.

Being an adult with Type 1 diabetes does not automatically qualify someone for the the DTC–being a child under 18 with Type 1 diabetes does.  Using an insulin pump does not automatically qualify you for the DTC–neither does using multiple daily injection therapy. The key to qualification is to intensively manage your diabetes care. This means that you spend over 14 hours per week on such things as testing your bg levels, monitoring for ketones, changing infusion sites, injecting insulin, logging daily diabetes related activities, and other diabetes related tasks that a person without diabetes does not have to do to maintain life.  Tasks such as carb counting does not count towards therapy nor does the amount time spent recovering from a low blood glucose level but many other tasks do and can quickly add up to spending over 14 hours per week on life sustaining therapy. fairness report

Diabetes on THE HUNT

Have you ever sat down and watched the History tv show called “The Hunt“? Its about people hunting in the Alaskan wilderness.  I am not a hunter. I went on my very first hunting trip last weekend and spent my time torn between wanting to find an animal so that my partner would be happy and not have to do this again and terrified that we would actually have to kill something. Again, I am not a hunter. If I had to kill my own food I would be a vegetarian.  I love meat but I am not fussy about how I get it if you know what I mean.

The other night “The Hunt” was on and I didn’t pay a lot of attention until they said that one of the hunters had to be very careful because he was a diabetic.  My mind instantly went into momma bear mode….”Where is his meter? I hope he is using a pump.  Does he have any glucose on him? He has to be carrying glucose.  Has he suspended his pump? He is burning a heck of a lot of calories carrying that dead bear.  They say he has no food. This isn’t good.  His partner has to have some sort of back-up supplies right? Why hasn’t he tested yet?”  and so went my internal dialogue.

When the couple reached their base camp, which had ample food and water, I was over the moon!  He was safe! He had access to carbs. All was going to be well! I could relax again.

After the show I wondered, why didn’t they show him injecting or bolusing? Why was he never testing when he felt low? I assume that he did all of these things.  This couple were serious hunters and outdoors people. He knew what to do but the powers that be in TV land did not see fit to add it into the show.  I am sure that it was not as dramatic as the bear charging them or the tension of “hunter has diabetes and could die while lugging bear out of the woods”.

I can’t blame the couple for not having his diabetes care shown.  Its not their call.  Did the producers of The Hunt have a responsibility to show the hunter caring for his diabetes? Not really. It was a show about hunting not living with diabetes.  Diabetes was just something that this young man brought with him on his adventure.  it was not nearly as fun to bring along as his female partner but it was just as much a part of him.

While the show may have failed to educate John Q. Public on how a person with diabetes handles his daily care in the wild, it did show that people with diabetes can do some pretty amazing things.  I don’t see my son hiking through the wilderness and chasing down a bear, all while living out of only what he can carry on his back, but I am sure that there are other people who would love to do this.  This young man, probably without really realizing, just showed viewers with diabetes that anything is possible as long as you are prepared.