September 29, 2010

More Crazy Cool Canucks

I just found out the awesome Connected In Motion gang has a new video up. Enjoy.

Parking - $62.50 an Hour

Yesterday I wrote about the type 1 meet up over the weekend. It was a good event. I was happy with everything but the stolen car. Well sort of stolen.

When I posted the event a while ago on Facebook my good friend Nick asked if there would be free parking. Sure Nick, drive on up from Texas, free parking for all.

Almost all.

To have time to get thing ready and to fret that I would screw up horrifically we sent my son on his first solo driving mission to center city. He has an acting class there. His is a good actor and beginner driver. For the last few weeks I had gone with him as a passenger, to teach him the way literally. Those missions were not entirely smooth but worked out OK. Well when I say OK, I made him miss the exit off I95 the first time. We did a U turn in the empty parking lot of a sketchy "gentleman's" club and book adult literature store parking lot at the next exit down.

The city can be a little tricky but with the practice runs I figured he was ready to solo. Maybe even better off without my navigation errors.

He got lost.

I talked him back on course over the phone and without the dance club u-turn. Parking was hard to find. The window motor broke and wouldn't go up. No worries, I said, its a clunker go to class.

At noon he came out to get the meter had left in the car and check on things. It was gone. The car that is, and with the meter with it. He thought it had been stolen. We tried to calm him down. Staying in touch with his acting training he analyzed his feelings and sent this text message, “If I were to describe this situation with one word, it would be a swear word.”

I just about cried I was laughing so hard.

A few calls, while I fretted all the more over blowing the meeting, Kimball discovered the car had been towed by the infamous Philadelphia Parking Authority. The ones with the reality TV show.

We wanted the kid back more pressingly than the car so Kim drove down to pick Connor up with little more than just enough time to get back for the event.

Meanwhile Ginger, the guest speaker and star of the soon to happen and fretted over diabetes event, and I had crossed signals. I didn’t get that she needed to be picked up at the train station in Philly. Time was short and just for fun the Mini Cooper battery died and it wouldn't start without a hill to coast start on.

But Karma was on my side as Kimball was already downtown picking up Connor! Did I mention his meter and iPod were in the car and the window broke and couldn’t be put up and the car was in the impound lot? He was stressing about that part. Guess what happens to blood sugar when he stresses out? Right Hypos.

I am not making any of this up.

The lot was open to 3:00 am or something convenient like that for people who stay to last call before finding out their car was towed. That is full service impoundment. The lot is off the same exit of I95 where Connor and I made the U turn when I missed the exit for old city.

Being overly ambitious we were planning on going to go down that night. But after theBetesNOW meet we had tickets to a spectacularly good New Church Live Band benefit for Habitat for Humanity. Saturday night we were too tired to get the car before the 3:00 am closing time. It turns out that was also good Karma as the tow truck driver wars turned violent and there was a shooting that night.

We got to the impound lot a half hour before it opened at 4:00pm the next day. I looked up the history of the cruise ship the United States to pass time. It is a rusting mess right next to the parking authority now but it was probably way cool in its day. The internet says it cost $800,000 a year to keep it there. That works out to something like $91.32 an hour. Yeah I was that bored. Seemed high for the location to me and it made me worry a little about getting the car back.

We were second in line. So when the parking authority did open we had only 37 minutes of standing in two different lines for three different windows and a sliding gate in south Philly to get the car back. Mostly the was due to Kimball quick thinking and her getting in the second and third lines while I was still in the first and second.

The car window was still open. It had only rained a little and the meter and iPod were still in it. And it worked out to only $62.50 an hour for parking for Connor's 4 hour class. Cheaper than parking the ship.

I think maybe I'll drive with him to class next week. I have had enough fretting.

September 28, 2010

theBetesNOW Event.

We hosted our first type 1 event over the weekend and it went very well except for the car being stolen. Well sort of stolen, I tell you about that tomorrow, what was really important was connecting with others who share the experience of type 1. Those connections go a long way to making the journey more bearable. So we hosted a little get together for folks living in the local area. A word that hear means Philly suburbs.

I was a nice group of about 20. Some we knew from people from CWD’s Friends for Life in Orlando and others were new friends. We watched a few BetesNOW clips and then I briefly introduced three new type 1 things that I thought were cool. Regular readers, like friend of the Blog Penny, may have seen some of these and I hope I didn’t bore her with re-runs.

For the official record the 3 cool things were:

Number 3 #DSMA The weekly twitter chat for folks with diabetes. Wednesdays at 9pm Eastern. You don’t need to be a Twitter pro. In fact I’m a twit at Twitter but even I could figure out how to join in with theses instructions.

Cool thing # 2 has to be the recently announced in Europe but not yet blessed by the FDA iPod Blood Glucose Meter from Sanofi-Aventis & Wavesense.

And the coolest thing I have discovered about diabetes recently isn’t a thing. It is people, Canadians mostly but they're people too, in a group called Connected In Motion. I found out about them when Jamie emailed to RSVP for theBetesNOW event. It seems she travels from Philly to Canada to do stuff with these guys. They are hard core nut cases and I mean that with the greatest respect. Kids with type 1 grow up to be adults with diabetes and if these folks are any indication they grow up cool. See for yourself.

After babbling a little I managed to get out of the way and pointed out that before the kids can grow up to drive up to Canada and slide down snow covered hills in their shorts they need to go to school and be safe.

At this point Kate from the local ADA chapter rescued the group from listing to me anymore and talked about their Save at School program. The ADA has wonderful resources to support schools and families. Kate did a very nice overview of these and she had some backpacks for kids. Excellent! Thanks Kate.

As a little aside about how great a school can be our daughter's school nurse came to the meeting because, well, she is awesome. The Bryn Athyn Church School let us use their building for the event so big shout outs to both.

Speaking of awesome Ginger Vieira my friend from the DOC came up from DC to share some of her experiences with the group. Ginger worked through barriers to achieve her goal. Specifically she is a champion, drug tested, power lifter. The means she can easily snap me in half but she only uses her powers for good.

She talked about overcoming social resistance to her ambition to become a lifter at well as the very real challenges of type 1 and celiac. She balanced her conversations with parents, teens just starting with competitive athletics and a adult marathoner. She did this with grace that transcended athletics engaged the rest of the room. Quality work.

It was a good event. Thanks to everyone who participated.

September 22, 2010

iPod Blood Glucose Meter from Sanofi-Aventis & Wavesense.

Sanofi-Aventis announced a BG meter for your iPod / iPhone. Just plugs right in there. This is part of Sanofi-Adventis' working with the creative folks at AgaMatrix aka WaveSense. This scores very high on the cool scale not only for the iPod connection but we here at YDMV central are big WaveSense fans and are excited to see them continue to innovate.  The meter works independently from the iPod. So it is a cool tiny meter in and of itself.

From Sanifi's site:
The innovative iBGStar™ is the first available blood glucose meter that seamlessly connects to the iPhone® and iPod touch® allowing you to view and analyse accurate, reliable information in ‘real time’. Using the technology built into your iPhone® or iPod® touch, you can share this information with your healthcare professional while on-the-go, to help you make better-informed diabetes-related decisions together.

Of course it isn't just a meter. There is an app. From the press release, "The iBGStar™ Diabetes Manager App (available soon on the App Store℠) is a state-of-the-art digital diabetes management tool accessed from your Apple iPhone® or iPod touch® featuring:
  • Intuitive User Interface
  • Automated download of meter results
  • Interactive Diabetes Management Reports featuring log books, trend charts, statistical analyses and more"

The ap sure looks a lot like the WaveSense ap our pal Hadi demo-ed at Friends For Life. (Hadi's brilliant little demo video of the app on a ipad - no groovy iBGsatr meter, he used a cable, is over on theBetesNOW.)

I think this is very exciting. Yes there are practical questions like does it have to come off to charge or sync the iPod? What kind of battery powers the meter and how long does it last? What strips does it use - can it take WaveSense strips or is there a proprietary twist to Sanofi branded AgaMatrix strips? Are there going to be different colors for multiple type 1 families os we can tell who's is who's? How does it deal with iPhone cases? Is there a case that hold it and the phone? Does it work with an iPad? What about multiple meters and one iPod?

OK Ok I know, it just came out and it has to go visit the FDA.

Sill cool. Way cool.

September 10, 2010

FTNW: Inhailed Insulin

Good friend of the blog Scott and Ellen had this link on Facebook and I thought it was worthy of a re-posting:

Inhaled Insulin Forms Toxic Pulmonary Amyloid Aggregates 

Cristian A. Lasagna-Reeves, Audra L. Clos, Terumi Midoro-Hiriuti, Randall M. Goldblum, George R. Jackson, and Rakez Kayed* George and Cynthia Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Neurology (C.A.L.-R., A.L.C., G.R.J., R.K.), and Department of Pediatrics (T.M.-H., R.M.G.), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555-1045

This version published online on
August 4, 2010

Endocrinology, doi:10.1210/en.2010-0457

It is well known that interfaces, such as polar-nonpolar or liquid-air, play a key role in triggering protein aggregation in vitro, in particular the aggregation of peptides and proteins with the predisposition of misfolding and aggregation. Here we show that the interface present in the lungs predisposes the lungs to form aggregation of inhaled insulin. Insulin inhalers were introduced, and a large number of diabetic patients have used them. Although inhalers were safe and effective, decreases in pulmonary capacity have been reported in response to inhaled insulin. We hypothesize that the lung air-tissue interface provides a template for the aggregation of inhaled insulin. Our studies were designed to investigate the harmful potential that inhaled insulin has in pulmonary tissue in vivo, through an amyloid formation mechanism. Our data demonstrate that inhaled insulin rapidly forms amyloid in the lungs causing a significant reduction in pulmonary air flow. Our studies exemplify the importance that interfaces play in protein aggregation in vivo, illustrating the potential aggregation of inhaled proteins and the formation of amyloid deposits in the lungs. These insulin deposits resemble the amyloid structures implicated in protein misfolding disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and could as well be deleterious in nature.

September 7, 2010

Faster than a Speeding Bolus

“What the heck is that?” I thought as I read JDRF's announced initiatives aimed at speeding up insulin as part of their artificial pancreas program. Particularly this bit:
“The first will support Dr. Howard Zisser at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Sansum Diabetes Research Institute testing Roche Diabetes Care's Accu-Chek® DiaPort system. The Accu-Chek DiaPort is a percutaneous port system, connected with an external pump, that delivers insulin directly to the liver, the primary site of insulin action.”

I had no idea what a DiaPort was and I had to look up percutaneous on Wikipedia. So I asked and found some answers. Specifically I was able to talk to Dr. Andreas Stuhr, MD, who I have gotten to know through Roche’s Social Media Summits and at Friends for Life this past July.

Andreas is an all around great guy and pretty good sport. Case in point - he did a bit for theBetesNOW in German to help share the idea that diabetes community is not just a bunch of Americans. Well that what he said he said, I can’t say for sure.

Anyway he did a very good job or explaining the DiaPort and if I get anything wrong here is my bad reporting of his good explaining.

First off the DiaPort while in used in parts of Europe isn’t approved for sale here in these United States.  So no running out to your doctor for one.

It is a surgically implanted device that connects an external insulin pump to internal organs. This get the insulin close to where it would be produced without the type 1.

Part of the delay of using a traditional set is getting insulin into the program via circulation. That set just inside the skin on someone's butt is at best at outskirts of Digestion Town. The DiaPort is an express path to the downtown business district. (I made that bit up, Andreas has way too much class to use a metaphor that bad. I have no class but you know that. Shoot the messenger.)

In general DiaPort use on the other side of the pond is for cases where traditional sets don’t work well. It is used in cases such as major insulin resistance where a significant (hundreds of units daily) of insulin are needed and traditional sets aren’t up to the volume. Or where reaction to or very poor absorption from traditional subcutaneous sets makes their use impossible.

Having my Infusion Awareness Week kit handy I asked about rotation. As in how do you rotate a port? Well with the port there is not the issue of lipohypertrophy, aka the swelling of fat cells at infusion sites, that makes site rotation necessary. So no rotation.

There can be insulin crystallization. My understanding from other less reliable sources (aka the internet) is that the use of ‘log vs regular can responsible for the crystallization.

The development of artificial pancreas algorithms is facilitated by isolating out the delay inherent in traditional subcutaneous pump sets. Using the DiaPort helps that step of development. Then they can program in the delays, find faster insulin or better sets.

My thanks to Andreas for the insight into this device.

Finally, unrelated to the good doctor, if you would like to see a photo and read a users experience of a DiaPort in action here is a link.

September 6, 2010


One of our pint sized buddies explains why pumping is better over on theBetesNOW. The little dude is intensely cute and makes a strong case. Enjoy.

September 1, 2010

FTNW: Needle-free diabetes testing

I have seen various reports on light based glucose testing and one rather extensive bit on why it will be very difficult if even possible. That said it is still in the news and here is the latest from

A new device based on Raman spectroscopy has been developed by scientists at MIT to help patients with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels without needing to prick their fingers to take a blood sample...

..."The new device based on Raman spectroscopy is currently under development and we hope to have a functional prototype in the next two years," Barman told SpectroscopyNOW. "However, at this time, we have a portable instrument, which is relatively large, the size of a shopping cart, and can only be used for clinical studies. In fact, our feasibility studies which will start this Fall will be making use of this portable instrument that can be wheeled into a clinic but cannot be used for personal use."

"We will be starting [clinical] studies in September 2010," Barman told us. "We expect the initial series of studies to complete by the middle of next year. In the first trials, we will be testing our instrumentation and methodologies on healthy human volunteers. In the next set of investigations, we will be incorporating our primary target population of Type I and II diabetics. For our purposes, there is no difference between any diabetic patient (Type I, II or gestational) - however, if successfully implemented our technology would be most beneficial to Type I patients who need to perform 6-12 measurements per day."
More at

Diabetes Art Day

At our house art involves cameras. The new camera shoots video too so art involves video. We rant about writing, editing and design and too. Opinions over acting are fighting words. Here the Emmys and Oscars are full contact sport just served with guacamole. Come to think of it cooking is an art we are passionate about too but I digress.

So staying in character our submissions for art day are some of our favorite diabetes videos.