A 40-year journey with type 1 diabetes

riva at 20

That’s me, of course. Probably in my early twenties, just a few years after getting diabetes at the age of 18. This month is my 40th year with diabetes. I can’t say if I ever thought I’d reach this point: I don’t think I ever really considered it. I did think, however, how in the world will I read the little lines on my syringe when I’m old? Luckily at 58, I still have my eyesight. And better yet, I don’t think I’m old, yet!

I wrote about my journey to here on the Huffington Post. Maybe another reflection when I hit 50 years!

OneTouch VerioIQ meters being replaced


I just received notice that LifeScan is replacing its OneTouch VerioIQ Metersin the U.S. and Canada. To be honest, I’m not sure if the meter is yet available to the public in the States but you can find more information on their web site. 

It appears according to the press release I received, “the OneTouch® Verio™IQ Meter, under very specific circumstances, produces an error that causes the meter to turn itself off when a user attempts to access the “ResultLog” to view stored test results. If this occurs, when the product is turned back on, the meter enters the “set up” mode and requires the user to confirm the date and time settings before being able to test again.” 

This doesn’t affect the meter’s accuracy or your data and you can still use your meter if you have one. That said, LifeScan is providing free replacement meters without the problem.

To receive a replacement meter, call LifeScan’s Customer Service number: 1 888-567-3003. You will need your meter’s serial number and you will be asked to return your original meter.

A few weeks ago I tried out this meter. It’s unique advantage is it’s a pattern detector: it alerts you if your numbers are out of range three consecutive times around the same time of day. 

It’s very useful if you’re looking to get a better handle on your numbers and when you tend to be too low or too high so you can think about what you may be doing that’s causing those out-of-range numbers.

Now, if only the VerioIQ would also give me a daily alert along the lines of, “Congratulations, you’re doing a wonderful job!” when my numbers are in range!

My Valentine’s Day card



So, the husband’s in Holland where it’s cold and dark and I’m sitting in Brooklyn this morning. (That photo’s from our Christmas trip to Israel). Hmmm…some Valentine’s Day you say? Well for me it is. It is the expression of the heart that just keeps growing fonder.

Yesterday I received my Valentine’s email:

“I did an experiment,” he wrote. “At 7:10 PM I checked my blood sugar (no he doesn’t have diabetes, but he has a meter for occasional curiosity checks) and it was a perfect 85. I made dinner, vegetables and a veggie burger.  I sauteed it all in a wok with olive oil. I also ate 8 nuts. I finished dinner around 7:35 PM. [Is he anal? Not really. But he’s a good researcher ;-)]

At 8:10 PM I took my blood sugar. It was 139. At 9:35 PM, two hours post-meal, I took my blood sugar again. It was 108.

I think in a normal person [he means without diabetes ;-)] blood sugar also fluctuates. Then it comes back to a set point. But even if you just eat vegetables and a plant-based veggie burger, no other carb, no rice or pasta, it shoots up. So if this pushes up blood sugar in a non-diabetic, then what you are doing as a person with type 1 diabetes, keeping your blood sugar so well managed, is near perfection!

And by the way, I HATED pricking my fingers!”

Yes, girls, to me that is love, and the perfect Valentine’s Day card. The guy who four years ago went out in the midnight sun while we were on vacation in Helsinki, Finland to buy me a meter, is after 10 years of marriage still willing to prick his fingers for me.

Timesulin’s new “Smart Cap” for insulin pens coming this summer


I mentioned meeting the Timesulin people when I was at the IDF World Congress in Dubai. I am truly happy with this little invention that I’ve been road-testing since. Now it’s left the production floor and is available in Europe. 

Yes, I know, everything seems to happen in Europe before here, but Timesulin are now talking with distributors and planning for the cap to be available in the U.S. this summer.

Just so you’re ready when it’s available, here’s a little preview. 

Ever wonder whether you took your injection? Now you’ll know. Place the cap on your insulin pen (there are caps that go with each insulin pen on the market) and it begins counting. Look at your pen cap minutes later, or hours later, and you’ll see when you took your injection. Once you take the cap off, after 8 seconds it resets to zero. The cap will last about a year before it needs replacing.

In using it, not only did I like the knowledge that I had taken my shot, but it kept me more regular in doing it every 24 hours since I can take my Lantus without thinking much did I take it at 8 AM yesterday or 9 AM?

I’m equally impressed by the Timesulin group. It’s family – a few brothers, one wife and a friend or two. All of them smart. All of them devoted and committed. And of course it all began because co-founder and CEO, John Sjolund, has had type 1 diabetes since the age of three and an over-active mind. 

As John says, “A person who doesn’t live with diabetes will wonder how it’s possible to forget when or whether you’ve given yourself an injection, but given the hectic lives we all lead, keeping track of the four-times-a-day ritual can be difficult for anyone living with a chronic condition. It’s like trying to remember if you turned the stove off.”

I couldn’t agree more. Simple? You bet. There’s no big booklet to read when you take it out of the box. No charger to plug in. Just take off your pen’s cap, pop this one on and you’re off and running. Effective? You bet. It keeps you regular without the Metamucil. 

Now if only they could do this for my vial and syringe ;-(


A diabetes solutions campaign you can help shape now

Sanofi has created an extremely brief 6-question survey in a unique diabetes awareness effort. Until Feb. 12th by expressing what matters most to you about diabetes in this survey you get to shape the focus of Sanofi’s Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge

The challenge will gather ideas for innovative solutions regarding diabetes awareness and care. After ideas are submitted, 5 semi-finalists will be selected for an intensive mentorship program, design boot camp and a $20K prize. Two favorite finalists will then be chosen by the public and finally a judge will select the winner who will receive $100K to develop their solution.

Sanofi is casting the net wide to grab as many innovative ideas, interventions and solutions as possible to help in the management and awareness of diabetes. On the survey page you can read all about the contest and rules. I should just mention winning ideas will be mentored by industry leaders, plus remain the property of their creator. 

So take the survey and help shape the Challenge. Be part of the solution finding a solution.