Hi All - I had quite a few comment on my first post about the approval of Dexcom G4 CGM approval by Canada health. Many people including myself were unsure about how to actually go about getting the system. I moved up from the US last January and was disappointed that after having been on the system for half a year that I was not going to be able to continue using the system without sensors. To my surprise, the approval came a couple months ago. So I have talked to pharmacists, nurses, endocrinologists, insurances and Dexcom to try and figure out how to get sensor refills. So here is what I have learned.
Animas is an insulin pump manufacturer that has teamed up with Dexcom to use their technology is a new pump coming out, so it looks like they have teamed up with them to distribute Dexcom G4 here in Canada. That being said, I was able to get into contact with an Animas Canada inside sales representative. (1-866-406-4844). The woman I talked to was very helpful since all of the other sources I mentioned above hadn't really ever heard of the system and/or really didn't know about how to go about it. Still waiting on a call back from a pharmacist. The good news is that the sensors should be available in their Canada warehouse by the end of November. That being said, I give it a couple weeks into December, but am still in the process of how this will get paid.
I have an email into my extended healthcare provider to see when and if my sensor will be covered. Hopefully it will be covered and soon. Diabetes is hard enough to manage, so chasing down insurances and supplies can be frustrating. Hope this helps. Any questions, post in the comments below.
Dexcom has an earnings release call this week to discuss Q3 results and hopefully they will give another update on how they are progressing on their new programs. One new program that sounds really exciting is there remote monitoring system called Dexcom Share.
In July 2013, Dexcom filed for FDA approval of the Dexcom Share remote monitoring system for the G4 Platinum CGM (continuous glucose monitor). These type of approvals typically take at least 180 days, so if it is approved, expectations are that the product could launch sometime in early to mid-2014.
The Dexcom Share system can send CGM data to up to five designated recipients via the internet. How convenient would it be as a parent to always know how your child's blood sugars are trending! This also would have been really cool to have when I played sports, I could have sent my readings to a trainer on the sidelines. I am sure nurses and doctors would also really appreciate the ability to have blood sugars sent though the internet to monitor patients.
HOW IT WORKS: "The G4 Platinum receiver will plug into a Dexcom Share docking cradle. The Share cradle (plugged into a power outlet) will both charge the receiver and transmit CGM data every five minutes to a nearby iPhone or iPod touch via Bluetooth. The Dexcom Share app on the nearby smartphone will receive the CGM data and send it up to the internet. Once there, the data can be shared with up to five people."
Patients will be able to invite individuals to receive their CGM data by sending an invitation from the Share app on their iPhone (Android is in development). Those invited will download another app called ‘Dexcom Follow’. These followers will then be able to receive alerts for high and low glucose, and view glucose trends on demand. This would be welcome news for parents and partners, who often watch glucose numbers even more aggressively than patients.
Notifications will be completely programmable and only receive certain notifications like low blood sugars. I wonder if I would want someone watching my blood sugars and judging my diabetes performance outside of a professional? Would I want my wife to be able to monitor/know my blood sugars on a day to day basis, probably not. However, I am an adult and wouldn't use this system for that reason, but if I was sick, it might be . Overall, I think this system is revolutionary and continues to push forward to new frontiers of diabetes management.
I have always been up for any sport or fitness challenge, so when I was offered a spot to run the Lululemon Half Marathon in Vancouver, BC, how could I say no?
Well numerous ways, like "no gracias" or I could have pulled the D-card and said, "sorry, I am diabetic and need to more time to prepare so I can see how running for 13 miles will affect my blood sugar". The D-card always works because most people don't know how to respond. Or a simple, "I have never run a race before and have not run over 1000m in over a year". Even though these are all true statements, my wife who hates running and will even avoid the Crossfit classes I teach if there is running involved, convinced me to go ahead and give it a try because she watched extremely overweight people do it on the Biggest Loser television show. Yes my wife judges reality based on TV shows.
The fact is, I had actually trained for a half marathon over 5 years ago, but sprained my ankle two days prior and was unable to run. I put in weeks of training and made multiple adjustments to insulin regimes and dietary intake before/during/after running. It took a lot of preparation, so the D-card really is a legit excuse, but my wife ended up making the call and two days before the run committed to running 13.1 miles on a whim. The only difference this time around that I am older, but what made me feel much more comfortable is that I now have my Dexcom G4 CGM, so I could track my blood sugars the whole time. Also, my training through Crossfit should prepare me for any physical feat, right? Below are some fun pictures from the race and more insight into my diabetes logistics for our grueling run. Also, the stunning beauty Vancouver made for an enjoyable and picturesque race. (Yes, those were legit drag queens at one of the cheer stations, very entertaining! ) Check out the video of the race here... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBwtQ9fYWmQ
Overall, we finished the race in 2.5 hours, which isn't spectacular, but without any running prior, we ran/jogged the whole race with minimal stops for gel packs and water. I packed 4 gel packs with me and with the race stations, only started to go low once at around the 7 mile marker, but the gu gel packs popped me right back. To my surprise, we made it without much tribulation, except for my quad cramps at around mile 11.5. It helped that the race was full of cheer stations with some great costumes and the turnout for the race was really amazing.
Hi all - as many of you know insulin is a very powerful drug, it can and does save numerous lives daily. However, it can also be fatal in the wrong dosages from human error. As I found out the wrong way on my honeymoon, even accidentally taking the wrong insulin can lead to serious complications! The reason I bring this up is because I came across another great invention that will help in the safety of insulin delivery. For the many people using insulin pens, FDA has approved the new NovoPen Echo that has a built in memory for insulin delivery.
How many times has your mind been somewhere else while administering your insulin? When you finish your delivery, you are not entirely sure exactly how much you just dosed? I know I have done it a few times and it is an unsettling feeling. There have also been times when I couldn't recall if I even gave myself a shot or not! I am not a person that gets easily disctracted, but it does happen. I couldn't imagine if people with memory issues had diabetes! Also, this would be really helpful for parents with children to be able to see their dosages and time spans between. It is great to see the developments in diabetes management in the effort to heighten insulin delivery safety.
Below is just a generic photo I found online and as you can tell, it has a lot of marketing jargon. The only pieces I would like to call out are the memory function and half-unit dosing. This pen is expected to become available in the US in early 2014.
Fall is officially here in Canada, but I am surprisingly not too sad to see the sun go, we have had an amazing summer here in Vancouver, it was perfect and reminded us a lot of a San Diego Summer. We had plenty of beach days, volleyball, bike rides, quite a few awesome hikes and I know once the rain starts and doesn't stop for months on end, I will regret my above comment.
One of the most famous "hikes" in Vancouver is called the "Grouse Grind" and it has become somewhat of a right of passage up here. The hike time ranges anywhere from an amazingly envious time of 30ish minutes to 1hr 30mins if you are in good shape, but not really in a hurry. Basically, it is an hour-ish hike straight up the side of Grouse Mountain with makeshift stairs built into the mountain. It is really intense and narrow with people passing eachother throughout the hike up. You are only allowed to go one way... up and then $10 bucks gets you a ride down to the bottom in a tram.
Being a Crossfit instructor, people at work were always asking, "Well, what is your Grind time?", as if it is the ultimate level of fitness, so, I decided to give it a try one early morning without really knowing what exactly I was getting myself into. I went with a couple buddies from Lululemon and we got there around 6:30am, which is much earlier than I am used waking up. When my eating and/or insulin delivery schedule get switched up, it usually leads to unintended consequences like it did this time around!
In the car on the way to the hike, I was luckily wearing my Dexcom and my blood sugar was dropping from breakfast, so I popped a quick fruit chew to boost my sugars to a decent level in preparation for the hike. The problem was that I only had a smoothie for breakfast and didn't have my normal scrambled egg breakfast. Normally with the eggs, I don't have to take any insulin, but with the smoothie, I must have taken too much along side my long acting insulin for the day. As you see from the pictures my wife snapped before my second attempt, there are many "risks" to this hike and it's pretty normal for the fire department to be rescuing unprepaired tourists who are stuck halfway up for one reason or another.
As Mr. Chuckles "extreme endurance" Cosman set his watch and said, "Lets hit this", and took off on a run. Little did I know, Chuck had previously done the African desert races, which is a marathon distance run everyday of the race for 5 days straight, having to carry all of your own supplies for the entire race. Crazy! So as we are in the first couple seconds of starting the Grind, I thought to myself, oh man what am I getting myself into. It was about 5mins into my jog when the incline went to vertical, I waived the guys on and said I would meet them at the top. Little did I know, I would soon have to travel on the "prohibited downhill" path back to the bottom of Grouse Mtn.
Since this was my first attempt at the Grind, I had no clue how far up I was when my Dexom started to buzz me at 65mg/ml. I popped my other fruit chew in and thought, I might as well keep going, I am probably just as far up as it would take to do back down. As my sugar continued to fall, what I didn't know is that I was actually not even a quarter of the way up. My eyes started to get blurry and my muscles were shaky. I was completely by myself out in the boonies, remember this was an early morning hike and there were not many people around unlike what you see in the pictures above which was late afternoon. I luckily turned around and started back down and at this time my Dexcom was reading in the 40s mg/ml. I ended up stopping the first guys that I passed on my way down and asked if they had any gel packs or anything with sugar. Thankful they had a few power gels that they gave me. I think I probably would have been ok without, but it certainly gave me peace of mind as I downed it.
The pic above is the beautiful view from the top, where my friends were waiting for me, until I told the tram operator at the bottom to provide the message to my friends that I was at the bottom. Overall, not a good morning and a pretty scary situation. The hike the second time around was much better and it helped that we had my niece and nephew with us, so our pace was much better.
Without my Dexcom, that could have turned out much worse. Hikes have been a more cautious adventure for me now, because being way out in the wilderness, you need to be overly prepared. I really would like to do an overnight, multiple day hike next summer, so need to be prepared for anything and train on a consistent diet and lowered insulin regime. I was a little worried to try the Grind again, but glad I did, it was an awesome hike and can't let diabetes prevent me from doing the things I enjoy!
Hi all - Just a quick post about some news that was announced this morning from Medtronic. I was excited to read the announcement because it shows that companies are continuing to innovate in a effort to ease the burden of diabetes management. I currently do not use any Medtronic devices or any insulin pumps, but am actively invested in a CGM competitor, Dexcom and use the Dexcom G4.
Medtronic announced today that it had obtained FDA approval for a device that will monitor patients' glucose levels and automatically shut off insulin delivery when glucose levels reach a certain point. I see this as a benefit if you are wearing an insulin pump and are unaware of your low blood sugar, be that you are sleeping or distracted for whatever reason, the device is smart enough to know to stop delivering insulin to avoid dangerously low blood sugars. This is a great step forward because it means that the devices are becoming "smarter" and are able to react without user acknowledgement. For me, one of the most costly effects of diabetes is the constant mental drain of "active management". Diabetes is a full time job, even when you are sleeping.
I never thought it would probably happen in my life time, but the artificial pancreas is looking more and more promising as devices like these get approval.
Hi All - it has been awhile since my last post, and I am truly sorry that it has taken this long to write a post, but since moving to Canada, things have been a little hectic. Honestly, I think of ideas, but have been somewhat lazy to post, which is totally on me :( However, when I was checking out at the corner store I saw a magazine that read OJ Simpson only has "months to live", I was intrigued. So when I was on the way to a friends BBQ, I looked up the cause of this terrible diagnosis on my phone. To my surprise, another confusing and skewed public announcement on "Diabetes". Supposedly, now OJ only has a few months to live from "TERMINAL DIABETES"!!
So I have mentioned a few different times on here that I have been reading and following a Paleo diet. A few posts have even been tagged "Paleo". What does that mean? Well, the short answer is that it is a diet based on how the caveman would have eaten - meat, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. No refined sugars, grains or dairy!
I actually grew up allergic to dairy, so that is easy for me, but the grains is usually where people get caught up. Being diabetic and having to deal with erratic blood sugar levels, removing grains has been amazing for me. I really feel great. Some might say that it is removing gluten from your diet, which I would likely agree, but I dont like using the processed foods that removed gluten either because the carbohydrate level is still typically the same and doesnt help me with my blood sugars.
If you have been struggling with blood sugars and diet, it is worth a try. My philosophy is that everyone is different and not every diet is perfect for everyone, so make it what works for you. There is somewhat of an 80/20 rule in my life and diet, Paleo meals 80-85% of the time makes a huge difference in my mood and energy levels.
If you want some more information read Robb Wolf or Dr. Loren Cordain.
I have been spending the last couple of days updating my zazzle apparel store. I received a couple of really great suggestions from a couple readers, so I added a few different options in the triathlete area. Now you can choose from a SWIM, RUN, or BIKE focused Triathlete Shirt (thanks Briley for the great suggestion!). I want all of the TBI apparel to have an athletic focus, to showcase that PWD can compete in all sorts of athletics and diabetes doesn't have to hold anyone back.
I am now coaching CrossFit a couple times a week and I have made previous posts about how following a Paleo diet is beneficial to PWD (click here to read more about the Paleo Diet
) so I loved a suggestion made (THANKS Dale!!) about adding a CrossFit or Paleo refrence design. It's perfect for PWD who are into CrossFit or following a Paleo lifestyle..."INSULIN is PALEO". It probably wont make sense to a majority of people out there, but still love the idea. Click on the photos below to go directly to the TBI storefront.
We are donating all of the money made by these sales to help research JDRF so if anyone else out there has anymore great suggestions comment below, and maybe you'll see your idea up for sale!
With friends and family members participating in the annual JDRF fundraising walk, my wife went online to look for t-shirts. She is an apparel designer and was pretty disappointed by all of the -what she called, "cheesy designs". Okay, so her standards are quite high, but still, the options were pretty limited!
She wanted to create a line of designs to be sold that would also benefit JDRF and well as having a younger appeal. I am going to be adding a collection of other designs to my Zazzle site
, but for now I added a couple different Trained by Insulin Logo T's and when you purchase them from my shop, ALL profits go to charity to benefit Juvenile Diabetes! Whats great about Zazzle, is that you can choose what type of shirt you want & color you want. They have really nice quality american apparel t's that will last forever and only get better with each wash, but if your looking for something less expensive you can choose that as well. I am trying to think up new tag lines too, so if you have any ideas that you want to share, let me know and we will add them to the site! click here
to view what we have so far!!
Hi All - Hope everyone is enjoying the shift into Spring! My new move to Vancouver has been great and when the weather is good, probably not a more beautiful city. Moving to Canada was pretty big for me and as I found out to my disappointment, Dexcom was not available in Canada! In my opinion, outside of insulin, there is not a better way to control my blood sugar levels than the Dexcom G4, so I have been using the 3 month supply I got prior to moving sparingly. THINGS ARE CHANGING AS WE SPEAK!