Saturday, October 4, 2014

How long does a blood meter last?

I have been using my little Lolita - a turquoise skinned Free Style Lite from Abbott for God knows how long. It maybe going on 5 years - I'm not sure.

I've been finding that with the strips we use for the Abbott meters - that allow you to test from either side of the strip - that I couldn't test from the left hand side of the test strip. I wasted a few too many strips - and have yet found the time to call Abbott up to get some replacements (hey - a buck a peace adds up after awhile). I had similar problems last year - and they'd actually sent me control solution and new strips.

I was getting Error 3 the last few days - and with no control solution - I was up the creek. Luckily, I was given a new meter a few years ago by the pharmacy I go to here in Quebec - the same brand - and after getting it all set up (very easy) - I am now ready to start using Limoncello 

So, my question, how often should we replace our blood meters? I know with my insulin pens I use - it's stated that you should replace them every 2 years. I've found nothing in my manual that states anything.

NB - the above was posted at at this link - but due to problems with posting pictures at their website - I've had to resort to reposting in order to show the picture.  Either way - you'll get the same info - one with picture - one without.  It's your choice where you wish to comment! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cancer or diabetes?

This blog post was originally posted back on September 19, 2009 at which owns the copyright of this blog.  Due to my inability to update some of the links that no longer work - I have had to resort to posting the blog here.   


My friend Darlene's  daughter Jenna, was diagnosed with Stage IV Avealor Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer at the age of 15.  It is a cancerous form of tumor growth that originates in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons, and connective tissues and is very aggressive. The most common sites for this tumor to be found include the head, neck, bladder, vagina, arms, legs, and trunk (abdomen).  Jenna had been battling this beast for the past 2 years - and her motto was "One Step at a Time".

I felt a very close connection to Jenna, as many of us did that knew her parents/family.  We were all fighting along side of her in her battle in one way or another.  I know I was ready to kick butt for her!!!  Also, since Spring time, Jenna had been using a pump to infuse morphine to deal with the pain.  I felt in some way very more connected to her, maybe because of my being on an insulin pump that keeps me alive and healthy.

Jenna and Darlene

Back in July I saw Jenna when she was visiting her Mum and stepdad Shawn in Rochester, NY (Jenna lives in Carleton Place, Ontario with her father Bob and his wife Jennifer).  She was in pretty good spirits - your usual spunky teenager 17 year old (she can really belt out a tune - I told her she should be on American Idol - and she looked at me like I was off my rockers with that comment ).  It was great to see her enjoying herself and it brought my hopes up for her, as I'm sure it did for others.

Sadly, a few weeks later, she started to experience alot of pain and had to go back to hospital.  During that time she fought the battle of her life and with all her might - but sadly she passed away this week - on September 16th, 2009.   All I know is that her spirit will continue on forever, she was not only beautiful, but also had great courage and remarkable strength.

Jenna LangI just know that if I could have traded my life as a diabetic for hers - I would not have hesitated in a nanosecond!  As I'm sure others would agree with if they thought about it.  If Jenna had been diagnosed with diabetes rather then this evil cancer - she would have been able to survive.  Yes, we have complications associated with diabetes, but we can live with them if we take care of ourselves.  

You can read more of Jenna's story from her father and stepmum's journal - at Jenna's Memorial Fund, Helping Kids with Cancer


NOTE:  Jenna's Mum finally got to come on board to our Catalina 30 this past weekend - that is named Jenna's Journey.  Sadly, without her husband, as he himself had succumbed to cancer only a few years later after Jenna.  Another angel in heaven has earned their wings. 

The day I saw this boat back in the Spring of 2010, in the backyard of a house in Marblehead, MA, a butterfly flitted by and seemed to hover.  I felt a strange tingle go through me, and I started to cry for some reason (and I'm not a gal that takes easily to shedding a tear).   Jenna LOVED butterflies.  I looked up at the boat that my husband was taking a look at with the owner and it was like she was giving me signal.  That this was the boat she wanted to be on with us on our travels.  My tears were happy tears knowing she'd live on with us with her name and silhouette proudly displayed on the sides of our boat. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How I Became FatCatAnna Within the #DOC

I've had a few people asking me at other forums I belong to as to how I came about using the name of FatCatAnna.  It's not something I talk about alot - not in detail like this - but here I go.

My name is Anna as you all know - but the Fat Cat bit came from having to think of a name for our Catalina 25 sailboat we bought when we decided to take up sailing instead of an expensive gas guzzling runabout (called " Le Putt Putt "). At the time we had a cat - by the name of Beauduoin (for those of you from Québec - remember Beauduoin? - the coke head in " Cruising Bar " with Michel Côté?).  Just think of me yelling "Beauduoin" and you'll laugh!!  Try it - yell out "Beauduoin" with much emotion in your voice.

Well, Beauduoin sort of lived up to his name from the character in the movie - but used legal drugs when he became an insulin dependent diabetic at the age of 10.  Low and behold – we both were shooting up together a few times a day (he used Lantus twice a day) – he’d crawl up my leg to ask for the shot at times (he knew shots equaled food ) – but I’d have to shove him away (gently) – because it was my turn and not his sometimes.  It was kind of neat having another diabetic in the house even though he was not human.  

On our sailboat – the Fat Cat - we had originally planned on bringing him on board when we did some of our travels on the “high seas” – only to discover that he was happy at port the most – sunning himself on the deck – but not quite into the heeling process when under sail in choppy water. So, we tended to leave him at the vets when we went away on holidays.  One year, 2007 – we had friends that insisted on taking care of him rather then taking him to the vets.  I showed them how to fill the syringe, inject, etc.  The strange thing is – when I left him at their house – I had this feeling something wasn’t right – and I should have trusted my instincts – urrrhhh!!!!

We were just entering into the 2nd of our 3rd week of our journey to Lake Ontario – when we got a call from Montreal.  At that time we were at the port of Kingston - only a 4 hour drive away by car - but by boat - at least 3-4 days (for every day on the road in a car - it's 1 day sailing on a sailboat). 

We were told by our friends that Beauduoin had to be taken to the vets – that was ALL they told us – they seemed abit broken up.  We immediately called up the vets to discover that he was very ill – and that we should come back to Montreal right away.  Luckily Mike didn’t tell me the truth at that time – because if he had – I would have flown in a private jet to get home faster if I could.  We managed to leave our sailboat at a marina - renting a car to drive back to home.  

We managed to see Beauduoin for about an hour – before he had to be put down – they had kept him alive for us just to be able to say goodbye.  I’m sorry, I’m crying here – luckily I can type without seeing what is on the screen (former secretarial skills come in handy at times).  It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  For some reason – his body was infested with things I cannot write about – but it was something that is not seen in a cat that does not go outside.  The vets / nurses explained how he’d been brought to the office in a box and dropped off by our friends quickly – it was all very bizarre – and we were all shocked - even the staff. No one seemed to understand how he got into that state and unfortunately we have never found out the truth. 

I like to think he knew we were there wishing him the best – he was so drugged up against the pain – but he nudged my hand when I touched him (I had to wear surgical gloves he was that badly infected). What really still gets to me is that he was a well managed diabetic like myself (he had better A1C's then me) – and could have lived on for a lot longer – if it hadn’t been for this mishap.  Ten days at sea for us – and God knows what he went thru’ in those days without us.

Anyway, Beauduoin lives on in the memory of our sailboat the Fat Cat and is the pen name I use at all the forums I post in.  I miss him still (it’ll be 2 years this summer that he passed on). Meow!

~~~~ The End ~~~~

Please note - this blog was originally posted at on January 25th, 2009 at this link - this posted version you are reading here has been modified with new pictures and editing

Also, for those of you sailing in Lake Ontario - if you see a Catalina 25 - with logo you see in the pictures - that's our boat - a young couple purchased the boat from us when we went to a larger Catalina  - and when I told them the story about Beauduoin - they asked to keep the boats name the same - we felt very honoured.  The last time we saw our boat was in this video link off to it's new home with Jarrod & Karoline in GTA.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Roasted tomatoes with garlic - good food on a budget- can be done

Roasted tomatoes with garlic-to be created into something later on-for now-they're saved from the bin of doom :): Roasted tomatoes with garlic-to be created into something later on-for now-they're saved from the bin of doom :)

On a tight budget - how do you make it possible to eat a healthy meal?  I made two meals that will feed two for most of the week - that cost under $10 (including the hydro it took to convention oven roast for 45 minutes).