Blog

Concert with diabetes

Going to your first outdoor concert with your children can be pretty interesting to begin with. You have hours of standing on your feet, unpredictable weather, and being herded like cattle to look forward to. You know that you have to pack as much water as you are allowed. You will have to drink that water with care and caution because washrooms will not be easy to get to or return from. You do not want to have to move for food or any other luxuries once you reach that perfect spot to watch your concert acts from.
When you bring diabetes along to an outdoor concert you have a few new worries. What if he is high? How am I going to get extra water? I spent all of this money on a concert and getting here, will peeing mean that I will miss the bulk of the show? What if he is low? Will I have enough glucose? Will they allow me to bring in snacks? It says “food for medical purposes” but will I have to fight to make them understand? How will we reach a meter when we are stuck shoulder to shoulder with no room for any movement? Will the insulin go bad if there is a lot of heat around?
I had these and many more questions going through my head before heading off with my boys to see AC/DC at an outdoor venue. Liam was telling everyone that he was going and Mom was scared to death that there would be problems. There was no fast pass here. There was just going to be us and 70,000+ other people. I had water. I had snacks. I had meters….two in case one went bad somehow. I had syringes. I was ready to fight with security to get my stuff in. I was set!
Security barely looked at me once I told them that I had food for diabetes. Liam had his one space closest to the gate. No one pushed him or crowded him. He was able to test with ease…the rest of us were shoulder to shoulder and shoved like we were no one. He started out a little high so we corrected half of what his pump suggested. I knew that we were not going to be eating until everything was over and that walking to the concert area as well as standing for hours was going to burn off a carbohydrate or two. Mom was right. He was in range most of the night. He was never low. He was tired. He had the experience of a lifetime. He was in a crowd bigger than anything any of us have ever experienced in such a small space. And more important still? He got to see AC/DC and can continue to brag to all of his friends and family!

Gadgets

I was recently given an AccuChek Nano meter to try out as well as its software. I am old school. I like to see things written down in front of me. Computers crash. I lose files. I want hard data! I have to admit however that the logging break we have taken this summer and just looking at numbers in time frames on a screen does have a certain appeal.

I have had problems getting into the information at times. The set up process seemed to take years. Once I was in, the graphs were easy to read and adding information was a piece of cake. The downside is that I don’t have that information from the piece of cake he may have eaten. There is room but if I had it written down….well I might as well have used a paper log!

This sent me back to thinking about one of our old One Touch meters. It had everything…carbs, insulin, readings, exercise, the works. It is a bit large but there is a lot of data to be input. I was thinking that perhaps we should look at going back to it. This means that I would have to find the meter, the software, and the cables. The Nano has a nice infrared port. Life is simple.

Another problem for us is that we use a variety of meters. We have a separate program for the pump (which I rarely download and really should do this soon!) . I am thinking that one type of meter and seriously thinking about software could be a good idea for Liam. The problem is I like so many features of a variety of meters! As I said the One Touch with all of the bells and whistles is great but no backlight. The One Touch UltraMinis are great because they are so small but you can’t add data to them (pre meal, post meal). The FreeStyle Lite has no coding. Love that! The nano is easy to read and has some cool options.

I just need one meter that can satisfy all of my desires…oh and add in a good CGMS too please and I will never need to see a piece of paper and kill another tree again!

Heartfelt condolences

I sit here stunned and my heart breaking. I received an email telling me that the man who saved my son’s life over nine years ago has just lost his own son. A young man just 24 years old. I can only begin to imagine the numbness and the pain. Life is so incredibly short. We strive to do as much as we can each day and pray that we make a small bit of difference.

My heart goes out to the family. They remain in our thoughts and prayers. I have no idea of what happened to this young man and it makes no difference. His life on this earth has ended and he will undoubtedly leave behind and incredible empty space.

Our deepest, deepest sympathies to a family who has given us so much in allowing us to have such an incredible doctor as a huge part of our lives.

Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug

Today I am definitely feeling like the bug. Its after midnight and of course I was dying to get to sleep. I set my alarm for early tomorrow morning…Liam’s last day of school. I found a meter and a strip. I grabbed a lancet, waded through all of the junk that Liam had left on the stairs rather than putting away and was off to test. One last check for a few hours. One check and I could sleep! We had been out for pizza to celebrate good grades so Liam would still be high. He was 16 (288) earlier so you know I was going to be able to rest.

Wrong! I took the meter. I filled his finger with blood. The strip refused to suck. What the???? Okay, I cleaned the finger. I got more blood. I tried again. It just barely accepted the blood. I waited for the reading…E5. It was an error reading!! Not enough blood. Oh the lovely four letter words that were on the tip of my tongue as I headed back downstairs. Let me try this again.

New meter. This one had to be better. New strip. Same lancing device. Back up the stairs, this time grumbling and picking up items as I went. I threw the items off to the side for Liam to deal with tomorrow and headed to his bed. Once again, I lance his finger. Once again, I get a large amount of blood. The strip sucks this time. I walk towards the stairs not even thinking about having to correct. Good thing…he was 3.2 (57). More choice words as I shuffle off to get some juice. I fill a glass, find a straw and do those stairs for a third time in less than five minutes. Liam is not keen on drinking. I finally get him to sip. He drinks it all except the last few drops. Those are sucked up into the straw and then fly all over his pillow. He is using my cream pillow cases and I have managed to get strawberry juice on them! I can’t even blame him but I am choked. I clean them as best as I can and now I wait. Why are 15 minutes a lifetime when you are dead tired and simply want this day to end?

Yeah! 5.5 (99) and I am off to bed for two hours. Oh the fun! Oh the joys! Oh where is my DexCom Seven Plus????

Diabetes Boot Camp

There has always been a joke about creating a diabetes boot camp…well actually it is half serious. A camp where kids/adults would be sent and forced to learn about diabetes. They would have to realize how important it was to test and inject. We would show them reality and help them to face it.

Today I began thinking a little more. What about something much more serious and encompassing? What about family camps? I know that family camps exist but what about family camps targeted to families who have trouble dealing with diabetes? Who have children who are in DKA a set number of time? What about a camp for families who just are not getting it?

I know that no such thing exists in my province. I also realize that this would be a very costly venture. There is the camp itself, food, and the cost of experts.

You would need doctors willing to talk on basic care as well as the realities of complications. Someone to discuss therapy options and the importance of testing. You would need a nurse and dietician to discuss diet, exercise, etc. You would also need people to lead discussion groups–ones for parents, for children of different age groups, and for families as a whole.

You would need to organize fun as well. Things that would bring families together and create bonds with new friends. I know that groups have done this in the past. I also realize that money is tight for all organizations currently. I still wonder if this could work. How it would work? Who would you approach?

Any ideas? Please let me know. I think this might be something I want to seriously look into. A camp for…2010?? Hey let’s start dreaming!!