Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Curtain Call

The final topic for this year's #DBlogWeek is entitled Continuing Connections:

The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year. So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week. Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made. Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us. Let's take some time today to make new friends.

Unfortunately I haven't had anywhere as much time as I'd like to go through the hundreds of posts from this week, so I couldn't pick any single post out (yes I know I'll get splinters from sitting on the fence too long!).

The only blog that I will mention is Karen's. This lady deserves a lot of thanks, hugs and cookies for successfully running #DBlogWeek for 6 years now. I started my blog after reading blogs like Karen's so I could get stuff off my chest. maybe help someone in a similar position to myself or offer an alternate view of life with T1.

Thank you for another opportunity to connect with such a diverse and supportive community, can't wait for the next one!

Monday, 18 May 2015

No YOU'RE My Favourite!

The prompt for Day 6 entitles Favourites and Motivations is:

If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?  (Thank you Laddie of Test Guess and Go for suggesting this topic.)

This is a REALLY tough one for me, I've blogged on and off since August 2010 (holy crap!!) and looking back a lot of them have been about my rough times, so I'm going to pick a more recent post. A much more positive and upbeat post, from this week actually!

Another reason being that my other half (who may be reading this shortly, if so HEY BC!) read it and he said it made him realise how much we depended on each other as a little unit :)

So here it is >Click Me<


Another late post I'm afraid, but I am trying to catch-up! I WILL finish this #DBlogWeek!!!

Taking a cue from Adam Brown's recent post, write a post documenting what you eat in a day!  Feel free to add links to recommended recipes/shops/whatever.  Make it an ideal day or a come-as-you-are day – no judgments either way.  (Thank you, Katy of  Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes for this topic.)

Unfortunately I didn't take any photo's of my lunches... So will insert lovely MasterChef looking food instead! :) I chose my food diary from yesterday so here goes:

Stayed over at my Grandma's on Saturday night as she wasn't doing too well (her house seems to exude magical Diabetes BG powers... that keeps me in range!) so I woke a little earlier than normal and my first test of the day is 7.1 (woop). I had a lovely (almost B&B) choice of breakfast and decided to go for 2 Weetabix with warm milk and rather than sugar/sweetener, Grandma suggests a little bit of honey so I had about a tsp. My ratio for breakfast is always more than 1:10 so I injected 5.5 units pre-scoffing.

Next test is at 1pm (not a very active morning) and I'm 8.0. John and I are both exhausted from a shitty week so rustle up a quick dinner consisting of Turkey Dinosaurs (don't judge until you've tried them!), a jacket potato, mixed salad and 1/2 tin of baked beans each. Again I work out carbs pre-scoff and I jab 8.0 units. I knew I was going to have a slightly more active afternoon tidying up the house.

Due to belated birthday get together for a friend we're eating a lot later than planned, so next test is at 7.52pm and I'm up to 10.4 (not enough elbow grease obviously). I braved a Chinese takeaway, but got rid of the super sweet sauces and enjoyed the noodles and hors d'oeuvres :) Once I'd got my plate sorted, I jabbed for 8 grams of carbs with a 2u correction on top.

My next test is at 10.45pm (and I'm feeling very dopey by this point...) and hovering at 4.6 which I think has to be my best post-Chinese BG ever! As happy as I am with this, I don't fancy a 2am sweaty wakeup call from the Diabetes fairy so had a swig of my supermarket Raspberry flavour sports drink and hit the hay. Pleased to report no night-time hypo :D

Sunday, 17 May 2015


Today's prompt for Day 4 of #DBlogWeek (can't believe how quickly it's gone already!) is entitled Changes..

Today let's talk about changes, in one of two ways.  Either tell us what you'd most like to see change about diabetes, in any way. This can be management tools, devices, medications, people's perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing. OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes. Were they expected or did they surprise you?

Unfortunately due to more unforeseen circumstances with members of mine and John's family and their health, I'm playing catch-up with my #DBlogWeek posts. All parties concerned are doing loads better, however both John and I are so these next few posts may be a little shorter than I'd planned...

Anywho, I'm always ranting about stuff I'd like to see improve with Diabetes tools/care etc. I know that if I'd had the condition many moons ago I'd be using very different Diabetes equipment, and I'm incredibly grateful to be getting new kit myself. However technology is moving on incredibly fast, and man will soon be exploring Mars! Here is my rant list of things...

  • Accurate blood glucose meters, ruling out the 'am I actually X.XX or am I 25% more/less would help a lot!
  • More access to meters/test strips/pumps/CGM's for people all over the world whatever type of Diabetes they have. People go through enough stress having the condition without being told that they can't have more strips! How the feck do you expect someone to look after themselves when they can't access the right tools??!!
  • More accurate information from the media, none of these shitty "Sleeping naked cures Diabetes" headlines or "Eggs reduce Diabetes". Or idiotic chatshow hosts going on about Easter eggs giving children Diabetes. STFU and get your facts right!!!!
  • TV presence - there are advertisements showing the signs of Cancer, Strokes etc in the UK. Surely one for Diabetes could also be done or children and adults?
  • A lady at the #GBDOC conference this year mentioned a Diabetes specific counselling service in Nottingham, and she couldn't praise it enough. More of these in the UK would be brilliant!
  • Driving laws... I get that I'm on a 3-year restricted license and that I need to report if I have any severe hypo's. I've heard of people having one bad hypo, where they've done the correct thing of getting out and going into the passenger seat to recover and STILL had their licence taken away for a certain amount of time?? Why would anyone admit to that and risk their licence (and probably their job) now?
  • Better carbohydrate information on packaging. I ADORE the food packaging in the US because it gives you the per 100g, and also the carbs per portion. Some foods here don't even have carb info on them, AARGGHHH

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Cleanin' Out My Closet

I'm a day late with this post, but better late than never! :)

The prompt for Post 3 of #DblogWeek is:

Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let's clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you're mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it? (Thank you Rick of RA Diabetes for this topic suggestion.)

I must admit I'm a little bit of a meter hoarder, and I even chuck a few test strips in each pot just in case I ever need them! However for this post I need to get rid of a few of the emotional sides of my Diabetes (goodness if it were only this easy!):

At the moment, I'm excited and worried about getting my pump in case it doesn't work for me. Everyone keeps saying 'You haven't even got it yet, don't be so negative'. I CAN'T HELP IT! I'm a worrier, I cam from a long line of stomach churning, finger nail biting, sleep walking worriers!!! I have to be realistic, this super amazing piece of technology might not be my answer.

  • I worry about complications, stubborn high's/lows and the affect it has on my HbA1c
  • I worry about my readings, and what is going on in-between each reading, I don't want to get obsessive with my testing
  • I worry about the emotional toll my diabetes could/may have on my relationship with John, I don't want to be a burden
  • I worry that I'm not mentally strong enough to live with this condition until I'm old and snuff it
  • I worry that my HbA1c is never going to be where it needs to be
  • I worry that I'll end up living with Diabetes rather than Diabetes living with me
For me the second biggest emotion is guilt. Guilt over not being able to go out with John because I have a high/low blood sugar making me feel like shit. I made sure he knew a lot about Diabetes when we'd been dating for a while, and I was very open that I needed someone I could trust to look after my Diabetes should I be unable to for whatever reason and that if he wasn't up for it that then I'd understand and we'd go our separate way. Luckily for me he said yes and we haven't looked back!
  • I feel guilty when I get a high/low blood sugar that I can't explain because I thought I'd injected what was needed
  • I feel guilty when I have a high/low blood sugar whilst I'm out with friends
  • I feel guilty if I forget to swap my insulin cartridge when I'm nearly out, or I almost run out of test strips
  • I feel guilty for getting so emotional over my BG results, and for John having to try and get me back to normal afterwards
  • I feel guilty for my parents worrying about me constantly when we're on holiday together
I'd love to say that these two things are now gone, long forgotten about but sadly they won't be. It does feel good to get it off my chest though!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Open Sesame!

Today is Day 2 of #DblogWeek, and today's topic is:

Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see. What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet. Or from your family and friends? Why is it important to keep it to yourself? (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone. There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects. Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won't tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)

Having an invisible condition like Diabetes has it's pro's and it's cons (believe it or not..). I can blend in with people as much as I want to. I'm certainly not ashamed of having Diabetes and I'll gladly talk to someone about it if asked. I just find that people want to hear 'Yeah I'm okay' then they can move on and carry on talking about something else. I'm not going to talk to someone about it if they've no real interest. 

There are things that I don't publish on my blog, that I have been tempted to previously but could never face typing them. Some more serious and seeing them in black and white just makes it more... real. Others more intimate which are between myself and John only! Occasionally I reveal a little more if I'm feeling brave, but only if I'm comfortable. I can be a little old fashioned at times, I don't want to be revealing EVERYTHING as if I'm in OK! magazine or some trashy reality TV douche. 

"Some things are better left unsaid"

Monday, 11 May 2015

I Can-Can

In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of "I can...”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could?  Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  

"There's no such word as can't. It's won't"
This is the phrase that went through my mind as soon as I saw today's topic. A phrase that my parents used through my childhood. When I gave up learning how to ride a bike or when I made excuses for a so-called friend continually letting me down. 

When I got diagnosed I had no idea of the stigma surrounding diabetes, or how many people say 'Oh I didn't know you could eat/do that!'. Of course I can! I can do anything I put my mind to (apart from create sodding insulin!!). I let my fear stop me from driving for 4 years, fear of having a hypo at the wheel and the repercussions. All I had running through my head was "I can't". Meeting John made me break through that and turn it into into "I can". I used to sob at the thought of driving and now I'm driving my sister and I to comedy gigs!

There are days where I let Diabetes get the better of me and yes it does stop me from going here or eating that. It's just one day though, most of the time I can go and I do eat that. I turn to the wonderful DOC who never fail to remind me that I'm never on my own and I can do whatever I put my mind to :)

I'm about to enter a whole new phase of my Diabetes, by starting the pump, which will hopefully give me more confidence, independence and less sad days.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Feeling Pump-Tastic

It only seems a short while ago since I wrote about feeling brave enough to ask for more info on pumps and seeing the dietitian to see if it'd be suitable for me. And now I'm sat with a Medtronic box on my sofa eagerly waiting to be used :)

I visited my clinic with John on Thursday for my pre-pump session where I and another lady started getting a taster of pump life. We went through what we already knew (I was fortunate to have tried inserting a cannula at my first appointment) and then came the actual pump unveiling...

*dramatic dun dun duuuunnnnn*

I am a VERY lucky girl and my first pump is the Medtronic 640G complete with Contour meter that talks to the pump via wireless. No going to lie I did make some squeaking noises and the lady at the clinic thought it was lovely how excited I was... The techy side of me completely took over and it was on the start-up within a couple of minutes! We then got to have a practice cannula insertion, which didn't hurt as much as the first time and I kept it in until I came home from work. Unfortunately it had bent slightly so I've already learnt my first lesson.

If anyone asks me how I'm feeling about getting it I'm saying excited and scared. I'm worried that this incredibly expensive piece of wonder kit isn't going to work for me, and that I'm going to have to continue muddling through.. I need this to work so badly. I'm tried of the MDI drawbacks and the not-knowing. I'm ready to take control of my Diabetes, I know it'll be hard work and god knows I've pre-warned John several times that it will probably be tough living with me being tired and emotional! So I've got everything crossed that can be crossed that I'll be one of those positive statistics, and one of those people that'd claw your face off if you even tried to take the pump off me.

I'm so pleased I didn't miss this on Twitter!! It's the 6th Annual #DblogWeek organised by the lovely Karen, if you haven't taken part before then it's not too late to sign up and join the DOC for a fun-filled week of topics/opinions/stories!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Totes Emosh*

*Don't worry I'm not going to talk like I'm from TOWIE for this entire post

Over the past few days things have been a bit rough, whether I have burnout or not I don't really know. I'm finding odd readings or a low/high is affecting me a great deal emotionally, more than it ever has before. I've had shitty days but within a few hours of being back in range and having a chat, I'm feeling better.

Last week a low on Thursday night after a Chinese meal completely caught me off guard. I haven't been as low as 2.8mmol for quite a while so the following morning I was like a zombie ready to crumble into a heap of tears and tissues... And I did. I felt so out of it I came home and spent most of the afternoon churning over what I'd eaten and the injection amounts (I injected after starters then after mains to avoid going sky high) and each time I bawled my eyes out. John and my parents were at work so the feeling of loneliness only added fuel to the flames. By 6pm I couldn't take anymore and went over to my parents and ended up crying on my Dad. 

We talked for ages about how sudden everything happened with my diagnosis, and that I was in & out of hospital within 24 hours with no designated person to contact for support. My Dad was great, and admitted he doesn't know as much as he should or understand it (to which I said who does!). He suggested that I get in touch with my GP (who is a T1 himself) to see if he can point me in the direction of someone to talk to like a counsellor. 

Whether I should or not is another question, it's hard when you don't have first-hand experience. I'm trying not to think about living with this for the next 60 years, but I can't help it. I'm trying not to think I'm never ever going to get a break from this, but again I can't. At the moment these are always on my mind.

So if you're reading this and you feel the same too, how do you get past this? Or do you just go day-by-day?

P.S If you'd like someone to sit and have a cry with you, I have plenty of tissues :)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

PWD Conference

Last weekend John & I ventured across to Nottingham to go to the PWD Conference held by GBDOC and TeamBG, the first conference for PWD by PWD. No medical professionals or stands. Just everyone learning from each other and enjoying themselves.

I'll be the first to admit how nervous I was on the morning, I've been to a couple of forum meets a couple of years ago which were great however I've never been to a conference! So I was very excited/nervous about going, and meeting various PWD from Twitter and the weekly chats. (John got this by all the running around and over checking I was doing...)

We arrived just as the conference got going, and it was lovely to finally see the wonderful people who had organised the event, Paul & Midge! It was great to see so many people attend, and also funny trying to figure out people from their Twitter names (I think it was suggested to have name badges next time).

The agenda was a complete blank canvas. People who wanted to learn or speak about a specific topic were asked to bring it to the floor for us to decide whether we wanted a session on it or not. Nine topics were chosen, and after a very soothing cup of Early Grey (yes tres posh I sound) we were given our rooms. Paul was very clear on the sessions, if you felt you weren't getting what you wanted out of it or you finished early, go into another room and join another group! It was a very free flowing format, but worked brilliantly :)

I went with the intention of getting more information on the pump with peoples varying experiences, unfortunately this session clashed with the 'Partners Moaning' Session which John was keen on going to. John puts up with a lot with me and my Diabetes, so we decided to go to the Partners Moaning to give him chance to talk to others in the same boat as him. 

Tea break and the first #bgbingo of the day. I cannot describe the smile I had on my face when all you could hear was the clicking of lancets!

Session one was held by James, who attended with his wife/partner Phillipa. He spoke of her 'monster' and how they cope during hypo's/rows and other day-to-day scenario's. There was only myself and another lady with Diabetes in the room, so occasionally we piped up with our two penneth, but it was an eye opening experience to hear what partners go through. A lot of common issues were when to intervene when your loved one is low/high and needs to test, getting them to accept hypo treatments and how to deal with them when in an aggressive/emotional state of mind. John said he found it very useful, and I did too. We've even gone drink shopping so when hypo I have a drink I actually don't mind!

Session number two was 'Stigma in the Media' held by Lis (who has had D for 50yrs!). This got a lot of interest from people so was held in the mahoosive room. Lots of mention of ignorant comments in the media in the past few months and how we as a community can change that. A few people agreed that although these comments are infuriating, that a response needs to be handled in a calmer, more structured way to get the point across. People sharing awareness through their loved ones/co-workers etc. was seen to be the easiest way to spread awareness, however bigger platforms need to be reached. Lis did suggest having a GBDOC TweetChat about lobbying and people volunteering to create some sort of organisation or branch of GBDOC itself to handle situations like this. Personally it'd be nice to see some adverts on the TV with how to spot the symptoms of Diabetes or how to help someone who is hypo, rather than just assuming they've been drinking for example.

Lunch time! And a further highlight of the day for me was meeting Vicki. We've been talking via Twitter for quite a while, so to finally meet her was awesome! I think John compared it to meeting a pen-pal :) The only downside was that we didn't stay for the evening social so didn't get chance to talk for long.

Session three sadly wasn't chaired by the person who suggested it so the 'Mental Health' discussion didn't quite run as smoothly as the previous two. Another very popular topic, which meant the mahoosive conference room. I think the sensitive subject coupled with the size of the room meant people (such as myself) weren't overly forthcoming with their views/issues. Lots of people highly praising the care they've received in Nottingham, one lady mentioned she goes to Diabetic counselling in the city centre which I thought was great. Others discussed how Diabetes affects parents looking after growing children and switching the balance when they start getting older. The major point raised was that there needs to be more support available, and that healthcare professionals need to be more aware so they can recommend to people.

I can't begin to say how happy I felt coming home from the conference, and how I wish these events happened more frequently. Not feeling so alone and learning from other PWD was brilliant and a great confidence booster. John & I took a lot out of it, and I think it's brought us closer together as a D-unit :)

Can't wait for PWDC '16!