MyDario…A new toy!

Dario diabetes management tool
Dario diabetes management tool

A month or so ago, I came across this really interesting looking meter.  I sent my son the link and asked “what do you think?”  His response was, “I need one. You should get me one.”

I laughed. I don’t exactly have the power to get him every new meter that comes out as easily as I once did.  Back in our earlier years of diabetes management, glucometers were pretty basic.  Asking a rep for a new meter was not a big deal because they wanted your test strip business.  Today many meters are now small computers.  They analyze trends and do all sorts of tricks.  This means that they cost a lot more money than they once did.

Cost or not, a new meter in our little world of diabetes has always been a big deal. Needless to say, I was really excited when I received the press release from Auto Control Medical stating that they were launching the meter that we had looked at!  Auto Control was the distributor for many great diabetes tools like the Cozmo insulin pump and the Cleo infusion set. It was therefore not surprising to see them involved with another cool innovation.

After a few emails, I was able to set up a time to chat with a representative from Auto Control  and get the details on this new toy  glucometer.

According to the press release, “the Dario Diabetes Management Solution is a compact all-in-one system that helps people with diabetes monitor blood sugar levels and proactively manage their disease using their smartphone or tablet…Approved by Health Canada, Dario connects via headphone jack to turn a mobile device into a glucose monitor, and comes equipped with a lancing device and test strips to take blood samples on the spot. It provides the diabetes patient’s real-time and historical blood glucose data to spot patterns, recommend treatments and support behavior changes. Its web interface also makes it easy to get upgrades and share health information with healthcare providers and loved ones.

As an all-in-one system, Dario combines a lancing device to obtain a blood sample, a proprietary disposable test strip cartridge with 25 strips, and a glucose meter that’s driven via the user’s mobile device. Unlike conventional glucose monitors, there is no carrying case or batteries to replace, and the system works on both Apple and Android devices.” You can see why I was excited about this new technology!

Compact system with meter, lancing device and  strips all in one spot
Compact system with meter, lancing device and strips all in one spot

After speaking with the Auto Control representative, my enthusiasm didn’t wane.  Not only was this meter compact, like my son’s beloved iBgStar, but it would not become obsolete or require me to search high and low for new adapters when he upgraded his cellphone.  Dario’s patented technology allows the user to plug the meter into the phone jack and you are good to go!

The Dario offers data sharing (great for nosy parents like me!) and is extremely feature rich according to Auto Control.  I was told that app updates will make this meter much more customizable than the competition. By updating software through apps, the meter should also have more longevity and not become obsolete before you have finished the first 100 test strips.  I haven’t had a chance yet to download the myDario apps yet but I was told that users are free to download and play even before purchasing the meter.

Yes, you do have to purchase the meter but again, the meter is less than some comparable products.  The current retail price is $39.95 but some short-term offerings are being made to help reduce the cost.  Please check with your pharmacy or www.mydario.ca for the exact details.

The Dario diabetes management tool has a meter, lancing device and 25 strip container in one small location. It uploads to most smartphones and offers detailed carb counting applications similar to those found on some smart insulin pumps. It has a standard warranty program and offers replacements on a case by case basis.   The meter and test strips are covered by most private insurance companies and will be added to provincial formularies in the coming months.

The next step for us will be to test it out in the real world.  My son got his wish and will be having a Dario delivered to him in the coming weeks.  I have told him that I want a full review from him on what he thinks about this new meter.  I will also be downloading the app from the MyDario site and seeing what I think of things from that end.  I love new diabetes toys!

 

 

 

Recipe Nostalgia…How things have changed!

When Diabetes moves in...
When Diabetes moves in…

I smiled a bit when I turned to this recipe yesterday.  My mom always told me that you could tell if a recipe was good by the amount of food spilt on its pages.  Obviously, this recipe had been used once or twice but that wasn’t what made me smile.

As I looked past the blotches of vanilla that splattered the paper, I noted the influence of diabetes on the page.  The first set of notations showed the days of living with exchanges.

When my son was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, his toddler meal plan was as follows:

Breakfast=1 Fruit, 1 Milk, 1 Starch, 1 Protein and 1 Fat

Snack=1 Starch, 1 Fruit

Lunch=1 Fruit, 1 Milk, 2 Starch, 1 Protein

Snack=1 Starch

Supper=1 Fruit, 1 Milk, 2 Starch, 2 Protein, and 1 Fat

Snack=1 Starch, 1 Protein, 1 Milk

It would appear that if he wanted to have a carefully measured bowl of rice pudding, it would have been 1 Milk and 1 Starch…almost good enough for a night-time snack!

I can see how the recipe stayed the same but method of calculating what he could eat changed with time.  The second set of notations simply states “28g=125mL”  This meant that if he ate 1/2c of rice pudding, I would factor in 28g CHO.

I don’t see the carb factor for this recipe.  That is strange but perhaps my son no longer ate rice pudding once we figured out that method of carb counting.  More likely, it was just as easy to grab a 1/2 c measuring cup to scoop out his dessert than it was to grab a scale!

Either way, its interesting to look back and see how far we have come.  Thankfully the days of eating a very regimented meal plan didn’t last very long.  With the help of an amazing group of friends, a fabulous dietitian, and a forward thinking doctor, we were able to learn how to make food work for us rather than fighting to make a 3-year-old eat food that he didn’t want. Today, my son eats anything and everything that he deems proper for his body.  That can mean green tea and tuna or a Grandpa Burger from A&W, an insulin adjustment and he is on his way!

A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe…Book Review

A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe
A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe

A few months a book came out by one of my favorite speakers.  Joe Solowiejczyk was first introduced to me through a mutual friend a number of years ago.  I didn’t know what to do about my son who has diabetes.  We seemed to be constantly battling and getting nowhere.  A phone call was arrange and Joe helped to put me on the right track.  A few years later, I would get the privilege of listening to him speak at a CWD Friends for Life Conference.

Having had such a positive response in my interactions with Joe, I was very excited to hear that he had a book coming out. I was even more excited when I was asked to read and review the book!

I have never read a book like this before. You purchase it online and read it through iBooks.  (I sadly can’t find it available in any other format) The unique part of this book is that it is not all text, there is a lot of amazing videos that you can watch as you read, before you read, or after you read.  I watched as I read which resulted in my taking a lot longer to read this book than I normally would.

The videos were amazing! Not only was it wonderful to see so many faces that I knew, it was touching to watch.  From the very beginning it is hard to stem the tears as parents share the powerful emotions they first had upon hearing that their child had Type 1 diabetes.  Joe reminds readers who may just be beginning this journey that while they will experience a sea of intense emotions, they will get through.

Along with the text and videos, there are also exercises to help you as well.  In the chapter on “The First Days” Joe provides an exercise about your feelings surrounding your child’s diagnosis.  He reminds parents to work together so that you can carve out a bit of time to recharge along the way.

This unique book gives you fundamental basics on the physiology of diabetes, as well as helping to mend your spirit.  He examines everything from diet and exercise to sick day management and insulin sensitivity factors. In chapter 7, he sums up the theme of the book perfectly “What we’re talking about here, and throughout the entire book, is to provide you, the parent with enough practical management information and management principles that allow you to feel like you’re in the “driver’s seat” enough to be able to feel like you can continue to parent effectively WHILE managing the diabetes competently at the same time!”

As I mentioned, this book isn’t all about Joe Solowiejczyk and his thoughts and experiences, it’s also about real people and real families.  He allows them to talk about their experiences and give YOU advice as well.  For me, it was in those videos that some of the best advice was found.

Kyle Cochrane, American Ninja Warrior competitor and all around great young man, said what many of us already know, that “diabetes is only given to the strongest people”.  Another young man gave a word of warning to those who are newly diagnosed by suggesting that they not look for a career in a chocolate factory!  A family simply stated that “if Joshua could do it without diabetes, then he can do it with diabetes…we will make sure that that happens.”–Truly fabulous!

One of the best things about these interview with real people was that all of the family was interviewed.  You got to see tiny siblings and siblings that have been living with diabetes for years.  Each one of them had moments when they felt second to the child with diabetes and it was heartbreaking to watch.

As a parent, it was great to listen to teens who admitted to messing up now and then.  They also admitted to relishing the moment when they got to leave from under their parents’ wings.  They gave brilliant advice on how parents may need to back off and teens may need to realize that what Mom/Dad are doing is completely out of love. They discussed trying to let diabetes come second…only to realize that life was much better when it was dealt with first.

Listening to the daughter of a long time friend say that she would forget to bolus when she moved away to go to school oddly made my heart sing.  As I said, I have known this family for a long time.  They are amazing and their daughter showed me that my son (who also forgets to bolus sometimes) is human and not just forgetting to stress me out. She said that despite a lifetime of injections she still hates needles!  My son FREAKS out, completely stresses, at having to have blood work done despite also having had a lifetime of needles. These few little anecdotes made me feel connected to both the book and the families involved.  After all of these years and all of the connections that I have made, that was truly special to have this connection also come from a book!

I am not normally a person to watch videos.  I hate to look it up on YouTube if I can read about it instead.  This book was different however.  Seeing people share their stories added a different dimension to this book–one that added so much more to the experience.

That is what reading A Type1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe is…an experience to be had by the newly diagnosed, those sending their children to school for the first time, those sending their teens to parties, those sending young adults off to university. In other words, this is a book for every stage of your life as a family with Type 1 diabetes.

Test Strips…Its a Love-Hate Relationship

You can find test strips anywhere and everywhere.

I have found them in the stove and on the ground.

I have had people send me pictures of test strips in their coffee.

I have heard of people finding them in their refrigerators.  They are amazing little creatures that many of us swear are actually alive with the ability to move.  We put them in the garbage but somehow they escape!

When we live with diabetes all of the time, they are the bane of our existence.  They are a trail of breadcrumbs that may lead us to a loved one.01741ce750817f0bb842a77d37b600d36d278409fb

When the person with diabetes moves away, they are little feathers that remind us of our loved one and become sweet reminders. ..Well for me anyway. I seriously can’t throw them out. There is one in my car.  I had recently cleaned my car and rid myself of all test strips—and then my son came to visit.  There is now a new strip in my car.

There are always strips left in his room.IMG_0002.JPG (2)

I found one in our truck the other day.  I am not sure how it got there since the truck had been thoroughly cleaned more than once since he last rode in it.

The coolest test strips are the random ones you find that don’t belong to your loved one but are just like his/her’s and you feel a kinship to the person who dropped it.01adec7d2ccf29c15c14dd07e649cc1cc17abe5be1

We love test strips for the information that they readily provide.

We hate test strips for the ability to move on their own.

We love test strips for the little piece of someone else that they leave behind each time we spy them.

Or maybe its just me 🙂

 

How much do you figure I should bolus?

The other night I received this picture from my son.

My arteries :o

After my arteries recovered from the shock of seeing all of that fat, I turned to the question that my son had sent.

“How much do you figure I should bolus for the fish cakes?”

How high were you before you started?

“Oh, I have that covered.”

Did you pre-bolus the burger and fries and extend the bolus as well?

“Yep! Gotter dun. What are you thinking on the fish cakes?”

They are massive! That is a lot of potato in each cake.

“True.”

We continue to discuss what we felt constituted a proper bolus for the fish cakes.  My thought was there looked to be about 1.5 cups of potato per cake so he would want to bolus a minimum of 90g CHO for the pair.  He agreed.

I can’t tell you if we guessed correctly or how he managed with the extended bolus for the rest of the “meal”.  Finishing year-end English assignments required to pass grade 12 were much more important.  Its kind of nice when we can put diabetes in the back seat to regular life for a change!