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Holding Pattern

I am one month away from my next A1C test. I am trying my best not to feel too hopeful that I will have a blood sugar level below 7.0, the target my doctor set for my not having to go on medication. I try to bear in mind what she said: that my 9.5 result in March means it is pretty likely I will require some assistance in the form of medication, but fuck oh fuck oh fuck, I do not want to have to take anything. My brief fling with blood pressure medication was awful. The unsteadiness I felt all the time prevented me from doing as much physical activity as I wanted/needed: not only to lower my A1C level, but also because it makes me feel better now to do a lot of physical activity. I am at the end of the extra FreeStyle Libre 2 sensors we purchased after I tried the Libre 1 and Libre 2 sensors for free. While the trial versions seemed great and taught me a lot about how to manage my diabetes, the purchased versions were awful. Compared with the One Touch glucose monitor, which requires
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Summertime and the Diabetes Is ... Easy

a new cafe on Bay and Somerset W.  Ok, not easy exactly. But the title goes with the song. I took my daily walk again today, the second day of summer. I felt blissful and ebullient. If you had told me back when I received my diabetes diagnosis at the end of March that I would feel b & e, I would have been very surprised, and I might have thought you were just being foolish. In a mere fourteen weeks, I have improved my diet and increased my physical activity. I have more energy and I sleep better. I’m calmer and less anxious and while I have blue moments, I don’t have a whole blue period. I have had some obstacles. The blood pressure meds I was put on made me dizzy. I’m now off them and will try again after my A1C test in August. I need to continue to eat healthy and do as much physical activity as I can. After the Freestyle Libre 1 and 2 free sample flash glucose monitors, which helped greatly in my learning about how my body reacts to food, sleep and activity, we purchased two mor

ongoing dizzy tizzy

the 4g of Perindopril Erbumine blood pressure medication the doctor put me on was making me too dizzy to be able to take my daily walks without shortening them severely. the doctor halved the dosage a week ago and I’m still experiencing the dizziness when I walk and also in the shower. it’s very frustrating along with being petrifying because I’m terrified I’ll fall. I’ve tested both my blood pressure and blood sugar levels when I’ve felt like this and they haven’t been out of range. I’ve tried taking the meds before breakfast and before dinner. Still dizzy. I feel like my attempts to lower my A1C levels are being sabotaged. today I had a bit of a cry when I was sitting outside on a bench in the sun. I love walking and the weather is beautiful. I want to be outside and enjoy the day. Instead I’m home and feeling like I’m not doing everything I can to manage my diabetes. I told my darling husband who has been walking with me after work when he gets home, holding my hand. He will do

Good Days and Shitty Days

  photo by Charles Earl The day started off bleh when I got into the elevator of my apartment building as some dude with a big dog was getting off. The dog all friendly like made a little leap toward me but didn’t come near enough to bother me in any way. He was just friendly. Turns out the dude and dog were on the wrong floor, having pressed 19 instead of 18. So dude, (maskless, of course) gets back on the elevator with me and proceeds to lecture dog. “You’re in trouble, Booker, for jumping on the little old lady.” What. The. Actual. Fuck. My response: “No, you’re in trouble,” before dude and dog got off. Dude looked to be about 40 to me, but I can’t tell about ages. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with being a little old lady and I’ll be proud to be one when I’m … 80…or whatever. Sigh. The reason I was in the elevator was that I had a follow up appointment with my doctor today regarding the blood pressure medication she put me on last month. Hating cars, I take public transit to my a

The Cost of Diabetes

photo by Charles Earl The test strips can cost between $75 to over $100 for a box of 100. 6 strips a day equals 2190 a year, which is 21.9 boxes or $1752 a year at an average cost of $80 per box of 100). The lancets are $10 a box for 100. 6 lancets a day also equals 2190 a year which is 21.9 boxes or $219. For a total cost of $1917. This is a monthly cost of $164.25. Private insurance should cover 70% but your insurance program may have a limit on the amount it covers. If you don’t have private insurance, you can get support from the Ontario Monitoring for Health Program which covers “75% reimbursement up to a maximum of $920 per year. This means that you can submit up to $1227 in receipts for strips and lancets each year; the program will reimburse 75% ($920).” FSL2 sensors are $97 for 14 days or 6.93 a day x 365 days = $2528.93, which is $210.74 a month. And these aren’t covered unless you take insulin. For those taking insulin or using medication, there are more costs to deal


Last week, Charles and I visited the Bruyere Family Medical Centre in Lowertown where the Community Diabetes Education Program Ottawa is located (it will move back to Primrose in Centretown West near our apartment in the fall). I had an appointment to learn how to use the glucose meter with G, the dietician. This was the first time we were meeting her in person. She was as friendly and helpful as she’s been so far on the phone and on Zoom. I feel very lucky to have so much support. After the FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor trial ends next week, we have decided to continue using them until close to the next A1C test in August so that I can keep getting instant and informative feedback about the effects of diet and physical activity on my blood sugar levels. G. was pleased to see my blood sugar levels from one day’s sample of the FSL2 sensor. What she was looking for was even levels and mine were fairly even. I’ve had a few days where there have been peaks and a few drops but mostly I’m abl

blooming together

i've joined a few FB diabetes support groups and i'm finding it helpful in so many ways to hear of others experiences and to answer and ask questions, share feelings of blueness and despair along with confusion and feelings of success. there's lots of variation as to what kind of medical assistance and support people receive. some, like me, have been given really great support, while others seem to be left on their own to figure things out, which would be horrible. group members help where they can and try not to judge. it is very clear from the range of issues and behaviours that diabetes does not affect everyone the same way; foods that spike blood sugar levels for some, have no affect on others. or vice versa. i find it very helpful to learn these things and to share knowledge and commiseration with others. someone newly diagnosed asked us to share our routines. this is mine... 4:45 a.m. wake up and scan with the Freestyle Libre 2 flash glucose monitor (i have a free sam