17 Jul

Bye Bye Blog Spam … and Louie Thinks Out Loud

By Louie, No Comments »

I’ve had Akismet for quite some time on my own blog and it’s worked wonders. Seems that our family blog has been found by spammers so it has just been implemented here as well.

It’s amazing what you can do for free/extremely cheap these days. Thanks to Linux (specifically CentOS) we can have our own web server at home that runs an very reliable and well-supported operating system. Thanks to WordPress we can put this wonderful site out there easily. Those are just the major players among many who have contributed to what you see here.

The good folks in the Open Source and Free Software communities are the ‘hippies’ of this age. They are a part of a larger movement that believes knowledge should be free, transparent, and easily accessible. Without them there would be no internet as it exists today. Our little family web log is the product of at least hundreds of thousands – perhaps millions – of these individuals who have contributed their efforts toward the cause of making knowledge free to humanity. Not all have done this for purely humanitarian reasons, but the underlying cause is one that I believe is very noble.

If there is one fundamental positive change to humanity that is the least noticed by the average person, this has to be it. The internet can be disturbing. Technology can be painful. It’s so easy to miss what’s going on underneath it all!

As a glass-half-full person with many friends who have directly involved themselves in this change (and involved me to a small extent) I hope I can help people think about it for a moment.

2 Jul

New Photo Gallery!

By Louie, No Comments »

I’ve finished working on our photo gallery! (See the link to the right.) Pictures are up for April, May, and June of this year.

For security reasons I’m requiring registrations for the gallery. Feel free to register if you’re a family member or friend of ours! Once you’ve registered I’ll get an email and will approve your registration ASAP. All of this is free, and we own/control it all. 🙂

If you register on this blog, there is no need to register in the photo gallery as well. We’ll be able to grant you permission to view the pictures without having to register again in the gallery. To register to the blog, CLICK THIS LINK.

31 Mar

Shealyn’s Pump

By Louie, No Comments »

It’s going to completely change how well we can manage Shealyn’s blood glucose levels.
It comes with in-home or at-work personal training for family members, teachers, and other care givers.
It costs as much as five 32″ LCD HDTVs OR two top-of-the-line stainless steel professional quality refrigerators OR a nice used car. (Thank God for insurance.)
It fits in the palm of my hand…
Shealyn’s Insulin Pump
(click for larger picture)

It’s Shealyn’s insulin pump!

After having representatives from two companies come to our home and give us demonstrations, we decided on the CozMore System from Smiths Medical on Monday, and received a pump and supplies on Friday. How’s that for quick?

Almost all pumps do the same things, and there are very few differences between them. Among the differences between this pump and others, we like the fact that this one comes with a glucometer which attaches to the back of it and inputs measurements via an infrared connection between it and the unit (the same infrared connection that we’d use to communicate between the pump and a home computer). There’s one less chance of making a mistake. When we do a blood test, results are automatically beamed to the pump.

You guys heard right about training! A major part of our decision to get a pump was to make things easier on family and other caregivers. You’ll still need to know how to draw insulin and give injections in case of an emergency, but the pump means that – under normal circumstances – Shealyn will be receiving a base rate of insulin automatically and you’ll have an easy way to very accurately give her what she needs for meals. Smiths Medical will send a person to you so you can receive training and gain confidence in using the system.

I’ll cut this short since Kaycee has told me she’s following up with a more detailed overview of what we’ve received. We’re VERY EXCITED though! This is going to be a wonderful tool for keeping Shealyn’s diabetes under control!

13 Feb


By Louie, No Comments »

It isn’t until you seriously start looking at carbohydrates and portion sizes that you notice it is TOUGH to measure some things even at home! (I won’t even get into going out just yet.)

Take grapes as an example. We have a book on carb counting handy. When you look up grapes you get a couple of main groups: American, and European.

Which one would you pick? If you picked American you’d be wrong in our house. American grapes are slip-skin, which means that you usually slide the thick skin off and eat the inside. European grapes are the green or red variety you commonly find in grocery stores or restaurants around here.

So now you know you have European grapes. How many carbs are in a given portion size? The book says it’s 28 in a cup, or a certain amount by weight. We don’t have a scale yet so the weight measurement is out. The volume measurement seems bad to me because there could be a huge variance in the amount in a cup based on their size or shape. From 20-50 percent of that cup could be nothing but air. What to do?

I went online and found that the ADA says that there are 9 carbs in 10 green or red European grapes. OK… but what size are the grapes? It doesn’t say.

I ended up measuring out “a cup” of grapes and compared the number of grapes in that against the carbs listed on the ADA web site. Things appeared to work out alright. I went with the 9 carbs in 10 grapes formula and kept a count of what Shealyn ate. That was easy! She’ll eat as many grapes as I give her.

We’ve done this work for Jack before so it didn’t come as much of a surprise. However, he usually does all of his own counting and I know he has to fudge it some. Jack has had decades to learn how to do that. We’re amateurs! I think we’ll eventually need a scale to get this right.

– Louie

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