A family living well with type 1 diabetes.

Archive for the ‘Technology and diabetes management’ Category

Verio Cool.

I have had the pleasure of trying out a new meter from OneTouch® — The Verio™IQ. And what a sweet little meter it is.

Upon first glance, it looks a lot like an iPod! Very sleek. Very user friendly, as any meter should be. The display is big, bold and beautiful. Jenna was impressed, as was I. Jenna enjoyed tagging whether her reading was before or after eating. This is the feature that helps the meter determine if there are any trends worth noting; another cool aspect of this sassy little meter! The only puzzler was what to do if the reading is neither. Perhaps a third option to opt out of tagging a reading would be beneficial.

Update: Evidently, there is a way to opt out of tagging a reading. You simply press the go back arrow to return to the results screen or hold down the arrow to go to the main menu. Helps to read the instructions thoroughly. :)

The next feature we liked was how little blood is required to conduct the test and the fact that you can slurp up your tiny sample from either the right or the left of the strip! This proved helpful in preventing test strip waste which is something that makes me crazy. At nearly a buck a pop, the last thing we want is an error indicating an insufficient blood sample. Sometimes this happens when Jenna is doing her own checks. Perhaps she is rushing, being the busy little bee that she is. But Jenna had no problem obtaining an adequate sample with the Verio IQ™.

This meter touts SmartScan™ Technology. It scans each sample 500 times to ensure precise results. I have no idea how it does this in just 3 short seconds but WOW! This is HUGE. We rely on meter accuracy to ensure Jenna is getting the right amount of insulin, and we all know how important proper insulin dosing is.

Besides its accuracy, the feature that really got me revved was the light. This baby has a built in light to help see in the dark during nighttime testing. I didn’t have to hold a flashlight between my teeth! And I could hang up my miner’s hat too ;)

One final note, this meter doesn’t use batteries. It charges via a plug, just like a mobile phone or MP3 player! Very cool.

Over all, I like this meter, Jenna likes this meter and I think its future is as bright as its colour, LCD display.

Disclosure: The OneTouch® Verio™IQ meter was supplied to me at no charge for evaluation purposes by LifeScan Canada Ltd. I was not paid for my opinion. The opinions expressed here are my own (and to some extent, Jenna’s). I was not required by LifeScan Canada Ltd. to mention this product on my blog but it is because I am an active diabetes blogger that I was contacted and given the opportunity to try this product gratis.

Organized Chaos Isn’t Working For Us.

That feeling when you go to grab a fresh container of test strips and realize you are down to your last one? Yeah. That feeling. It’s not pleasant, that feeling. There’s great comfort in having a freshly stocked cabinet (or drawer) full of diabetes supplies. It gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, doesn’t it? And just as wonderful as those warm n’ fuzzies are – the feeling of realizing supplies have dwindled dangerously low is equally as dreadful.

I’m looking out at a bitterly cold, winter day with winds whipping up snow-devils into a twisting, flurry of white, frosty madness. It’s the kind of day where one is thankful for shelter and central heating. But for those of us dependent on external stuff to keep ourselves or our children alive, days like these cause our minds to ponder how well stocked we are with the things we require to sustain life. If things get dicey for an extended period of time, weather-wise, are there enough test strips, insulin and batteries to last? Organization is crucial to the management of diabetes supplies, right?

Which is why I am a shining example of organized D-parenting.

BAAAAhahahahaaaaa!!! I kid.

We keep all of Jenna’s supplies in (and around) a Rubbermaid drawer, arranged (not so) neatly on a shelf in our closet (amid the ties and shoes and baskets of skivvies), so that we can see at a glance (and a quick, profanity-laced rummage) if we are prepared for the unexpected.

Oh, alright. So our system could use an overhaul. Which brings me to this: How do you keep supplies organized, neat and tidy?

Since we have just moved and are still settling in, I’m looking for tips and tricks from all of you ultra-organized types. Tell me what you do. Let me learn from your wisdom. Inspire me. Please comment and if you write a D-blog, or even an organization blog, post links to blog posts you have done on this subject. Pictures would be nice too! Please help me get my diabetes sh–t together. Literally. I look forward to hearing from you. :)

Tech Support Needed!

One of the many perks of pumping insulin with the Animas Onetouch ® Ping has been the software that comes with it. I used to take Jenna’s pump and meter and snuggle up to my PC, cup of tea in hand, download the data from the past two or three weeks, print off a couple of charts and then pour over the numbers looking for trends. This would help me to determine whether changes to Jenna’s settings were needed. This was especially useful to do the night before an endo appointment. Jenna’s endocrinologist appreciated receiving our package of printed out data. She could easily glance at Jenna’s blood sugars and advise us accordingly.

And then we moved. Our PC is no longer in service and we have jumped ship to Mac. The software that accompanies the Animas Onetouch ® Ping isn’t compatible with the operating system on my Macbook.

And our endo appointment is creeping up fast as well as a pediatrician appointment. I know I could resume logging all of Jenna’s numbers and carb counts on paper, as well as the bolus amounts and the kind of bolus. But MAN! That kind of sucks. Logging numbers is a royal pain in the keister. Ask any PWD and they’ll tell you, logging is a loathsome task. And what makes it so abhorred is the inability to stick to it. It is already a challenge to do all the absolutely necessary steps involved with maintaining this disease — adding this extra step is like asking someone to balance their cheque book. Several times a day. Every. Single. Day.

I was diligent about logging when Jenna was first diagnosed and was on multiple daily injections. But that was before I got a taste of the good life with diabetes software keeping impeccable records for me and laying it all out in beautiful, colourful charts and graphs. Now I always start with good intentions and a brand spanking new pretty journal (the theory being that if the journal is new and pretty, I’ll stick to my logging) but I derail rather quickly, sometimes as early as later the same day. Sad. I know.

I miss my software and all it’s fancy charts and graphs. I miss being able to see trends and make the necessary adjustments to pump settings. I feel like I’ve been trying to manage Jenna’s diabetes with one arm tied behind my back.

I’ve spoken to our Animas rep about it and he seems to think there is a way. But when I call Animas and ask, I’m told that there is a compatibility problem with the ezMax software and Mac operating systems. I’ve been put on a list of people that need to be informed as soon as the problem is resolved, but that was months ago. I have heard nothing.

And my withdrawl is escalating.

Jenna’s numbers have been pretty crazy lately. I sense that some changes need to be made but I have no way of seeing the trends to make these changes. I am getting my pen and paper ready because I know what must be done. It starts with an L and rhymes with dog. But oh, how I loath using such primitive devices. I’m far better with a hard drive, a dongle (what screwball came up with that name, by the way?) and a printer.

I could really use some advice or information on how I can install the ezMax software on either my Macbook or my desktop, if it’s possible at all. Has anyone used this software successfully on their Mac? If so, please tell me how you did it. PLEASE?

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