Wednesday, May 28, 2014

OneTouch Verio IQ Review

It's not exactly a new meter on the market.

Not by a long shot.

In fact, this is my second chance I have given to the Verio IQ. I give it a solid 4/10.

There are some really great features that Lifescan got right with this meter. I think the display and the port light are the two main features that have kept me from going back to my Contour USB meter by Bayer (which, for the record, I adore). Lifescan/Onetouch has had its grips on me for five years first due to my Ping pump and meter combo, and now this damn backlight, I just can't quit.

Unfortunately my positive feelings about the meter stop there. The strips and the battery are probably the two biggest culprits of failure for me. 

How does that even happen? I'll tell you: flimsy strips. These things can not take a beating, at $1 a pop, you would think they would be able to stand up to a little more. You have to be VERY careful when removing these from the bottle, and twice as careful when trying to alight the two little "teeth" with the test strip spot. When you're shaking because your blood sugar is 2.5 and it's 3 am and you're trying not to wake anyone, getting that flimsy strip in just the right spot.....totally infuriating. I have ruined more than my fair share of strips from them bending and breaking so easily. Also, the side fill? for the birds.

I just want to touch on the rechargeable battery for a second. I have to carry a cable around to charge this thing now. If it does when I am out I have the option of charging or having an extra meter on hand. Neither are as easy as having an extra AA battery, or having it be able to charge via directly plugging in to a USB. I don't have space to carry another clunky cable around. 

I don't think this meter was designed by a person who actually had to use it on a daily basis. I think it was designed to look cool--like a cell phone. And while that does have some minor appeal, the fact of the matter is that I believe I speak for most people with diabetes when I say we prefer function over form. 

I may be tossing this guy to the side 300 tests from now. (That's how many strips I have left)


Monday, May 26, 2014

It takes a village

We always go back to community.

I am a firm believer in the saying "it takes a village" in almost every aspect of my life. I think it applies to raising great children, completing excellent work, creating safe and happy spaces for everyone and of course to diabetes management.

As I am in a frenzy of planning the 2014 JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes for Halifax, I am noticing how important the local diabetes community is to me in my day-to-day life at work. I lean on volunteers, and my peers for advice, support and knowledge every step of the way. Even the largest of tasks, which can seem insurmountable, are made a bit easier by our community.

While I wear several hats at our JDRF chapter my two key responsibilities are planning and executing our walk in Halifax and ensuring our outreach program is successful. I am passionate about both areas of my job, but the outreach is what I think has the most short-term return for the community. I think the fundraising we do for the walk is vital and important, and I wouldn't have a job or probably my pump without funding the research we do, but that outreach program speaks to me.

In a world where we are encouraged to always be better and do better and fetch for ourselves, we are often left to our own devices when planning our own paths to leading healthy and happy lives. I think having a support system is vital to healthy treatment of diabetes.

It's part of why I took this job. I want to ensure that everyone has the option of easily finding their community to better treat their diabetes.

It's more than numbers, food and insulin. The more we say it out loud the more people will believe it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

D-Hacks

Today's post for #DBlogWeek is supposed to be on Diabetes Hacks, or hacks that make your life a bit easier with diabetes.

I only have one that may, or may not have been mentioned already.

When you use an Inset II infusion set you can save yourself a lot of sharps space.

When you insert your set, and you're left with teh spaceship disc like thing, you can remove the sharp with a set of tweezers. You can dispose of the needle and then recycle the plastic part :)

I have slacked this week. Diabetes took over my life a little bit, I'm good, but I needed to not think about it when I could take the chance.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Brings Me Down

I skipped yesterday's topic of a poetry slam for diabetes because I haven't written poetry for years and years and I am relatively disinterested in  poetry on a whole.

However!

Today...

Well....

My body can be a mess. When I get something as simple as a paper cut there is an entire emotional process that happens. I have to be wary of where the cut happened, when, how clean the area is and take immediate action. I have to wonder if this will be the cut that limits mobility,causes and infection and potentially points to complications. Will that envelope be sealing more than the letter contained? Will that envelope push me down a slope of "why me? what did I do? can I go back to normal?" There are days where I sit on the edge of my bed after a shower, I go over my body inch by inch (and there's a lot of inches). I check for cuts, scabs, dry skin, spots, lumps and anything that may be out of the ordinary. I trace cuts that may be slightly inflamed with a pen and make sure the infection doesn't grow. I squeeze my nails to make sure that the pads underneath fill with blood quick enough. I have only ever had one cut get infected so bad I needed medical treatment (antibiotics) and it was on my chest, of all places.

It's those days, the days I scan myself with baited breath. The days I recollect every fold, lump and scar on my body that I am reminded that my body is only partially mine. The days that I am reminded that outside forces are doing everything they can so my body can be re-claimed, but until then my immune system will always be on high alert. My immune system is on its own. My immune system gets confused and attacks its own cells sometimes. My immune system comes before everything else in my body and sometimes...

Well, sometimes my body isn't mine, some days we live in fear of what we might have done or be doing to ourselves.  But even worse, what we have no control over.

And that gets me down.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#DblogWeek: A ressurection

I feel my blog dying.

Not out of disinterest, just out of insecurity of what to share. I have all of these questions, but I never know if I want to publicly ask them. It's a change I am adjusting to.

So for that I thank Karen over at BitterSweet Diabetes for engaging me in a dblog week. I need prompts these days to write.

Today's prompt: "Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. "


This is a very interesting topic considering my recent career change. I have a lot of things that really "fire me up". I am most passionate about ensuring that people have access to the support they need while tramping through life with T1D.



Since starting work for JDRF and really thinking about the line "treat, prevent, cure" I think that a vital part of treating our diabetes is having access to the psycho social support required to take care of ourselves. Diabetes is linked to mental illness, anxiety, depression, isolation....without my network of people with diabetes (on and offline) I don't think I would be as healthy today. I wouldn't be able to do my job as a fundraiser, I wouldn't be running at the gym or walking my dog or planning camping trips. We have all been down the dark, scary road of not caring....and I want to help people realize that they don't have to go it alone.