Monday, 31 May 2010

Why I have a love/hate relationship with eating out

Yesterday and today I went to see my grandparents/auntunclecousins, with my mum. Had a lovely time relaxing and spending time with them. Until...we went out to eat.

It was a small American-style restaurant. Buddies, to be precised. No carb info, so I had to guesstimate. I wanted to inject some time before we ate, so whilst we were waiting to be seated, I planned what to order (triple-decker BLT with fries) and then eyed up everything coming out of the kitchen doors until I saw a sandwich coming out, so I could try and line up the carbs and the insulin. The sandwiches were 3 slices of bread and the chips were just a standard bowlful. Eyeing it up, I guesstimated 60g carbs for the sandwich and 50g for the chips. On a 1u:7g, that worked out at 15u. I split it 10/5 over 2 hours (10 up front, 5 2 hours later). So 10u at 2pm, 5 at 4pm.

6pm, and I'm feeling rough. I knew I was high - but part of me was putting off testing (I hate getting the carb guess wrong). Anyway - it was 15.3. Bleugh. 2 glasses of squash and 4u of Novorapid later and we left Northampton. I'm now (7:20pm) at 9.9.

My thoughts: chips were far fattier than I predicted, thus a slower release? Ah, learning curve. I seem to be having a lot of those.

Good part of the day: I bought a new handbag! I had some vouchers left over from a while ago, so I headed into New Look and purchased a really nice handbag.

(I have an interview tomorrow, my first interview in almost 2 years. It's nothing glamorous - a care assistant in an old people's home - but it's full time hours and a literal 5 minute walk from the house. It would be great if I got it and I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

Saturday, 29 May 2010

My dad.

My parents split up when I was about 9, which resulted in my dad moving into a flat just around the corner from us. We (myself and my sister) saw him very often, and stayed over every Saturday. It was a groovy arrangement, but one that meant he didn't have much involvement in my diabetes care (not because he didn't want to - just didn't have to).

I moved out of my mum's house when I was 18, living a range of places...Hereford, Paris, just outside Washington DC, Bath, Stourbridge, Gloucester...until a couple of weeks ago when I moved back home.

I'm hoping to be able to live with my dad at some point; as soon as I get a job and can afford it, we'll look at renting a flat or house somewhere. It's a pretty sweet arrangement: we are very very similar people (we both prefer early nights and early mornings than late nights and late mornings, we have a similar music taste, we share the same sense of humour, so on so forth).

What's really made me proud/pleased/feeling fuzzy on the inside is that my dad is actively seeking out ways to learn about how I manage my diabetes. He's asking lots of questions and asking me to tell him about things. He wants to support me as I try to get as involved as I can in the diabetes world; he's said he'll come to any events etc that are happening (I've roped him into the JDRF Discovery Day in a few weeks!). He said this morning "it really is a full time job, isn't it?" and it's so good to hear that - that he gets the bigger picture. That sounds so patronising - but I hope you know what I mean.

I'm going to embarrass him and my sister by putting up a photo; this is from father's day last year, when we took him to the Electric Cinema where they were showing his favourite Bond film, Goldfinger! My sister is demonstrating the very novelty 'text the bar' service, where you can text a number and they bring you whatever your order, straight to your seat - very cool!

**edit**: just had a call from Dad - he wanted me to point out that he has lost 2 stone since this photo. I was going to put in the post to begin with, but wasn't sure how to phrase it politely, yknow? So yeah. Dad has done brilliantly, totally revamped his diet and has lost loads of weight and is a proper slim Jim now! :)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Why I want to raise awareness of Type 1

So, I've lived with type 1 for 19 years. However - over the past year, type 1 has become much more than just the devil on my shoulder - it's become my passion.

I want to find a cure. Not me personally - I'm not a scientist! - but I want to raise awareness, to raise money, to fund the scientists to find the cure. I want to help create a sense of community for children and teens living with it, because I've been a child and a teen living with it!

I don't want kids - babies, toddlers, school kids - having to live with x amount of injections and y amount of blood glucose tests a day. I don't want them to have to be hooked up to a pump to stay alive. I don't want them to spend their lives constantly carb counting, working out ratios, factoring in exercise, fat content, etc.

I'm going to be doing some volunteer fundraising whilst I haven't got a job. I want to boost my fundraising experience and profile. I'd love to get a job working for JDRF as a fundraiser, or even just a long term volunteer. I'd still like to do nursing. I'm trying to wrap myself up in the world of diabetes, to become part of it, to be an active member of it.

And I'm taking steps, y'know?

I've set up an informal support group for young people in the Midlands living with diabetes. It's called MyD (Midlands Young Diabetics) - the facebook page is here, the website site is here. Please contact me for more info, and please pass the details on to anyone who may be interested!

I'm meeting up with JDRF's regional fundraiser (based in Birmingham) tomorrow, to discuss how to involve more young people with type 1 with JDRF.

I'm volunteering at JDRF's Discovery Day in Birmingham and I'm hoping to Walk to Cure later this year.

...and I'll be doing anything else I can think of along the way!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

New loot!

Gold, m'hearties!

Okay...maybe not gold. Over the past week, I've been adding to my collection of diabetes kit.

I've had a lot of lovely things come in the post!

First off, I got the awesome Contour USB from Sam over at Talking Blood Glucose. Sam was incredibly kind and sent me her spare one (long story!) as I was desperate for one but couldn't really afford one (see: being unemployed). The Contour USB is an brilliant piece of kit - wonderfully easy to use and it has some brilliant features (such as being able to stick it in your computer and it producing lovely graphs and spreadsheets).

Then, I got a NovoPen4 from Shelley. I've been after one for a while, as my NovoPen3 was looking a tad on the battered and bruised side. Actually it was looking quite close to death, to be honest! It was great to get that in the post.

Yesterday, I got TWO things in the post: a lady called Heather from the Children With Diabetes emailing list sent me a NovoPen Junior. Hurrah!! I can now inject half units. Oh happy days - more accurate dosing! I am really happy to have the NovoPen Junior.

The other thing I got was a Multiclix lancing device from Accu-Check device. I am a little bemused as to how Accu-Chek got my address, as I'm 98% certain I've never given them my address! Oh well.

So, my biggest thanks to the diabetes online community, as 3 of the 4 things I've had have come from the guys on there. Thankyou :)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bureaux Volume Two: My First Day

Welcome to the second edition of the Bureaux Carnival! I'm pleased to be able to show case some awesome blogs today. The theme for this carnival was 'my first day', and any way you wanted to interpret that.

Diabetes can be like your first day at school, only over and over again. Sam talks about all her firsts with diabetes from her first injection to the first time she realised she was on the wrong track.

Alison over at Shoot Up or Put Up discusses the fact that despite not remembering her diagnosis, she has racked up a fair few 'firsts'. Go on over and check the post out to see what her firsts were!

Becky on the other hand looks at the concept of picking any day as a first, and not placing pressure on ourselves in case of setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment.

The next bureaux will be hosted in 2 weeks over at Sam's blog, Talking Blood Glucose. Keep your eyes peeled for information!


Oh Diabetes UK, you have epically embarrassed yourselves royally. Consider that you are the 'leading' charity for people with diabetes in the UK, and you can't even distinguish between type one and type two?

"One of the things we're doing in Diabetes Week is dispelling the myths around diabetes. We've launched 5 new images to help with this, which mention some of the most popular myths we hear about:

Diabetes myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes
Diabetes myth: Type 2 diabetes is mild diabetes...
Diabetes myth: If you diabetes you can't drive
Diabetes myth: People with diabetes can't play sport
Diabetes myth: Having diabetes means you can’t do certain jobs

Visit our website and Share these new images via Facebook so all your friends and family can help spread the word!"

Well...hi, Diabetes UK. As a type one diabetic, I can't drive a public bus, or a train, or fly a plane. I can't join the armed forces and I can't work on a cruise ship (the last time I checked).
So please DUK, explain how it's a myth? You're right about type 2s, I'll give you that - most jobs are still open to them. But once again you have failed to distinguish between the two types, which are essentially two massively different conditions.
Let me quote your website:
"OK, let’s just get it over with and start with the jobs you aren’t allowed to do. The reason you aren’t allowed to do them is because blanket restrictions have been placed on people with insulin-dependent diabetes applying for the jobs, which include:

• the Armed Forces

• jobs requiring a large goods vehicle licence or a licence to drive certain passenger carrying vehicles (PCV's)

• airline pilot and in some cases cabin crew

• working offshore, for example, on oil-rigs or aboard cruise liners (even as a caterer – an illogical blanket ban!)

• there may be restrictions on other jobs, eg. train driving. These may be decided on an individual basis.

This may seem unfair – and Diabetes UK agrees – but unfortunately this is the case at the moment. However, things won’t always be this way. The situation is always improving.

For example, since October 2004, blanket restrictions have been lifted on joining the fire, police and ambulance service. This means you can now apply for jobs within these sectors, but your fitness to do the job will be assessed on an individual basis. People who use insulin and who already have jobs in these sectors should be allowed to continue, as long as they are fit to do so."


Let's reiterate: you would like to dispell the myth that 'having diabetes means you can't do certain jobs', but the information you give out to teh general public catergorically states that there are jobs you can't do.

I appreciate that DUK are doing the campaign to raise awareness, but when they are putting out info that simply isn't correct and is totally misleading, it makes me want to hit my head off my desk.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Review: You Snap The Whip

After hearing and reading excellent reviews of Lush's You Snap The Whip, I decided to bust out my wallet and buy some. I'm so glad I did!

You Snap The Whip is a a body scrub and body butter. It smells deliciously of blackcurrants (so much so that I sort of want to eat it. I won't.)

I've been advised to use it to help soften up the skin on my fingers, as I've been abusing them for years by testing my blood glucose levels. I'm willing to give anything a try, so I tootled off to Lush and purchased some.

I'm totally bowled over by the stuff. It smells absolutely gorgeous, and the smell lingers for a while after, which is great (yes, I am currently sniffing my arm to smell the blackcurrants again...). I use it all over my body, not just on my fingers. It's square shaped, so it's easy just to 'wipe' it over your skin! Give it a good rub in, and yum yum yum, you're done. It contains charcoal, so it does turn the water/bath tub black for a while, until you rinse it off!

I've been scrubbing the sides of my fingers with it. I've only been using it for a week so far, and I won't pretend to have seen a huge improvement - but they ARE getting softer. I made my mum stroke my fingers before I started using it, and I'll get her to do it again in a couple of weeks to see if she thinks there has been a big improvement!

At the rate I've been using it (daily), I reckon the block I've bought is going to last me about a month. At £5 a block, I will happily be buying a new one each month. It leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft, smelling beautiful and totally replenished.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Oh, alcohol

Tonight, I've had a fair few drinks (wine!).

I've also been snacking and bolusing where appropriate. We had some pizza earlier - I had one slice. Normally I would give 2u for that slice (guesstimating at 20g carbs) but I gave one, and I'm hoping that the slow releasing carbs in it will hold off the hypo from alcohol.

Never let it be said people with type one can't drink. We can, it's just a little more complicated.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Infuriated...then calmed.

I had to post about this. A friend of mine, also t1, posted on the Diabetes UK Facebook page that she had called ahead to the nightclub she was going to to inform them she was bringing an insulin pen, only to be told it was policy to have them taken off the person and put into the medical box.

This angered a lot of people. But the story has a good end!

I was absolutely furious - take my insulin? OFF me?

I sent a very angry email to them, and hunted down their phone number. The girl I first spoke to on the phone told me the same story - to which I promptly blew my steam at her.

I got to speak to the manager, who assured me that it *was* policy a few years ago, but hasn't been for a long time. He said that they have a medical room and ask if that if anyone needs to inject, they do it in there, rather than the toilets.  I informed the manager what the first member of staff had said, and he said he would set her straight.

He even offered to meet my friend at the door (sadly we're only facebook friends, and I don't have her number) to let her know the facts. He also said he was type 2 himself, so he had some understanding of the whole thing!

Oceana: still not impressed that you used to have that policy, but I'm glad you've changed, and you have a good manager there. I still won't be visiting you though.

Joe Solowiejczyk workshop

Tonight I was very lucky and got to go and see Joe S give a speech/talk/workshop. The focus of the workshop was the family approach to teens with t1. It was fascinating and wonderful to be in a room of families living with d.

Joe is a very inspirational guy; he spent as much time talking to the kids as he did to the adults. He discussed approaches to angry kids with type 1 - or defiant ones. It was excellent, I highly recommend seeing him if you can.

What was awesome was I got talking to a girl before the talk, who was there with her parents and brother. She was yonger than me - I'm terrible at guessing ages, I would guess 13 or 14? We chatted a little, her parents said that they were really struggling to keep her glucose levels within range. I took over my Contour USB testing kit to show her, and the girl was really impressed, especially as I pointed out you can just plug it in to the computer and it makes lovely graphs and stuff. She said how she doesn't like to talk about, and I told her I was the same when I was her age (er, but not in a patronising way).

Near the end of the speech, Joe asked us [t1s] what the biggest challenge was. I said that for me, the biggest challenge is that type 1 can be such a lonely condition, and that it's vital for people to be in touch with one another. He jokingly said "well, do you have a phone number you can give the parents?!" so I replied "no, but I do write a blog!" to which he said that when he put up his contact details on screen, I would be welcome to put up my blog details there too. So I did! I hope that some of you reading were there tonight. It was wonderful to speak to and meet you all.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

European bloggers!

The second edition of th Bureaux Carnival will be hosted here on Click of the Light on May 24th.

The theme is 'My First Day'. Include as many 'firsts' relating your condition as you'd like!

This is a last minute reminder to get your submissions in as soon as possible - the deadline is tomorrow (although I'll give you som slack if it comes in late!)

email bureauxcarnival @

Please include the name of your name and the name/url of your blog as you'd like them to appear and a short description of the post.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

It's been a few days.

A lot has happened over the past few days. The most important thing is that I have moved back to Birmingham, and am now living back with my mum. Not my ideal, but until I have a job and can afford to move out, this is where I am.

Observations over the past few days:

24u lantus leaves me running slightly high during the day, but I don't hypo overnight
26u lantus leaves me at decent levels all day, but I hypo overnight

- I don't have a pen that will allow me to do 25u, although I am thinking about doing 24 + 1 extra from the 1 unit pen I have. It might sound stupid, but the thought of doing two injections per night makes me feel ill :\ do not want. But, I'll try it.

Just to point out that I went up to 26u about a week or so ago.

Last night, I was 4.9 before sleep. I wasn't happy with that - I know that I tend to drop, so I have been going to bed on slightly higher numbers recently. So, 4.9. I had 2 cookies (aka 20g carbs) and set my alarm for 3am.

11.30pm - 4.9 + 20g carbs
3am - 7.3
8.30am - 4.8

...yeah I'm pretty glad I had the cookies.

I'll try the 25u when I can get my hands on my 1u pen (which is buried in a box somewhere).

Any thoughts, suggestions, comments? Ideas, advice?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Exercise...or not.

My post tonight is going to be pretty short, for one reason: at present, I do next to no exercise, at all.

But I'm hoping that's all going to change soon. I really want a new hobby. So I'm looking to take up something new and different...pilates is almost a certain, as I need to deal with my back/posture issues, and I hear pilates is good for that. If nothing else, it's more energy that I'm expending at the moment.

I recognise the importance of exercise in helping to maintain good control; I am just far too lazy. Recently though, as I've said, this is changing, so I'm hoping in the coming weeks/months I will have a new hobby and a new body (haha okay I can only dream...)

European bloggers! Yes, you there! I am going to be hosting the next Bureaux Carnival here on May 24th, which is far too close for my liking! 

The theme this day is: My First Day. This can be broadened out to your first memory. What's the first thing you remember about your condition (because this Carnival is not just aimed at people with diabetes, it's for anyone living with a chronic condition)? Do you remember your diagnosis? 

Please send submissions to bureauxcarnival @ by May 20th. I realise that is less than a week away and I do apologise, but get them in and see them up on the 24th :)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Day 4 - to carb or not to carb, that is the question

Day 4 - To carb or not to carb. Today let’s blog about what we eat. And perhaps what we don’t eat. Some believe a low carb diet is important in diabetes management, while others believe carbs are fine as long as they are counted and bolused for. Which side of the fence do you fall on? What kind of things do you eat for meals and snacks? What foods do you deem bolus-worthy? What other foodie wisdom would you like to share?

I grew up with my parents giving me the mantra of 'all things in moderation'. So I could have sweets - at birthday parties. And I could definitely have chocolate - when treating a low, or before PE or swimming. I guess I never really missed out on anything because I did have everything, just not all the time.

...Well, that was when I was young enough for my parents to have the overall say in what I ate. Cue age 18 when I went onto MDIs (yes, I stuck it out on 2 injections a day for 15.5 years) and all of that went to pot. Mainly I ate all kinds of cake, chocolate, sweets etc - the things my parents and I had always kept a close eye on, that I could now eat freely as I could bolus for them.

Nowadays I have calmed down somewhat and I would like to think I am back to having a fairly balanced diet. My plate at any given meal will usually have some form of carb in it (cereal, bread for breakfast; potatoes, pasta, rice etc for the others) although I am making a conscious effort at the moment to make sure the carb part of my plate is the smallest (aka eat more salad!)

There are only two or three things I really avoid, and this is because through experience I have found that my body does not handle them very well - but again, I WILL eat them if I choose to. Pizza is one of them; I adore the stuff, but it plays havoc with my glucose levels. So I generally won't have it, unless I'm going out for a meal or something and we choose to. The other thing I won't really have is sweets: pure, sugary, jelly type sweets. They rocket me up and drop me back down again. Pasta can be difficult, but sometimes I can manage it.

I am a firm believer in that as long as you are happy with the way you manage it, then carbs are a definite go-go. Because we people with diabetes? We are totally individual. What works for one of us does not work for the next person. Me personally, I'm going to look into going onto a low-carb diet for a while, just to see how I find it. It's just an experiment for now.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Day 3: Your biggest supporter

Sorry to be a total fail, but for personal reasons, I am going to politely bow out of this one.

To make up for such a horrendous post, I offer you the ultimate in cute:

"mmmm, YUMMY!"

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Day 2: Making The Low Go

Day 2 - Making the low go. Tell us about your favourite way to treat a low. Juice? Glucose tabs? Secret candy stash? What's your favourite thing to indulge in when you are low? What do you find brings your blood sugar up fast without spiking it too high?

Me, I'm a juice girl. If I get it right (aka I actually measure out my juice rather than just guzzling it), I can avoid the spike. Most of the time though I flip into panic mode when I go low and just grab some juice and knock it back, which is why I'm thinking of switching to Glucotabs. I hear very good things about them, plus they can come in a handy little tube, so that's a bonus.

But at the moment, I'm using the 200ml cartons of orange juice from Tesco (it's actually the Tesco basic basic stuff) which if memory serves correctly has roughly 18g carbs per carton.

I tend not to follow up with slow-releasing carbs, unless I've really hit rock bottom (and I won't have the slow releasing carbs until I'm over 4). I find otherwise I am way up in the teens/20s later on.

My all-time favourite slow-releasing snack is honey on a slice of white toast with loads of butter. Wow, that's like heaven on a plate for me. I only EVER have it after a bad hypo, and I love it.

If I'm out and about, I usually have a carton of juice in my bag. I run the risk that one day, it's going to explode all over my bag, but for the moment it will do. I keep lucozade or juice close to hand in my room in case of night time hypos.

Remember; this is just how I treat my hypos, it's not advice ;)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Diabetes Blog Week: A Day In The Life

Today is day one of Diabetes Blog Week! Karen has come up with the awesome idea of all of us d-bloggers posting about the same thing each day. So here is mine for today!

8am: wake up, feeling pretty groggy. Levels are at 9.1, which is not good, but not unexpected - I had a late night attack of the munchies, but that was bolused for. Ho hum.

8:30am: I'm up, dressed and washed. Sort of ready to go, but not quite. Today I have someone coming in to cook for my residents (I live in a residential community of adults with learning difficulties), and she's never been to our house, so I show her around and she gets on cooking quiche. I have a banana and a bacon roll for breakfast, which I estimate 55g carbs for in total. So, 11u + 1 correction.

It's a lazy morning and I spend most of it chilling out. Mid morning I make a raspberry/milk/banana smoothie thingy, which I eyeball and guesstimate at 30g carbs. Inject 5u Novorapid.

12:45pm: lunch time! I'm 5.8, but feel lower than this. We have yummy quiche and home grown salad. I have a HUGE serving of quiche though (the girl who cooked it is a good cook!) and using my previous knowledge (HA!) I guess at 30g carbs, but I'm aware I still have some active insulin hanging around, so instead of my usual 1.5:10g, I do 1:10. After lunch I do some domestic-y things, like file away bank statements with my residents and get washing out.

Again I was able to chill out this afternoon. I fell asleep - the kind of sleep where you don't realise you're asleep until you wake up. Except I woke up around 4pm and felt like the world was spinning. A quick test and I'm down to 1.8. Cue me having a hungry hypo, where I proceed to drink too much apple juice and eat 6 ginger cookies. OOPS. After a little while I felt back to normal, but didn't dare test for fear of what the cookies had done. I bolused appropriately for them, and prayed that things would balance out.

I'm not going to fib - I didn't test presupper at 6pm. Supper was a big salad and some toast and ham.

I'm now 17.9. I don't normally like to flounce my numbers around (far too many negative experiences of being judged when I was younger). But this is you guys, and I know you get it. Safe to say I'm bolusing 4u for that. And staying up for another 2 hours to make sure it comes down.

Sigh. Guys, today has been another long day, and one of those days where I wish things would magically keep my levels in place. My personal life is stressing me to hell, which isn't helping.

But I'm looking foward to Sunday, which should be the day I get to move back home to Birmingham. I'm also looking forward, and feeling motivated by, this week's blogging activities. Bring on tomorrow!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Vlog #3-ish

The part that isn't d-related!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Vlog! Yay vlog!

Okay so I worked up the courage to do another vlog! Youtube cut me off half way through, so it's in two parts.

At some point I'll work out how to embed those; bear with me!

Edit: at the beginning, I say I'll speak about something that isn't D related. I forgot about that bit. Next time!

Type one: the lonely condition, until recently

This post is written for the first ever Bureaux Carnival, hosted by Becky!

I have known type one for my whole life. Well, the life that I can remember. I was diagnosed aged 2 years, 11 months and 19 days, to be precised. At that point, all my parents knew of type one was the existence of it; they did not know any other type ones (except for a footballer whose name I can't remember, who gave me a signed picture of him many years ago).

So: off we tootled on a few British Diabetic Association (now Diabetes UK) holidays, through which I became a member of the 'Tadpole Club'. I had a jumper and I wore it proudly! I met other type ones there, but, as I sometimes feel now - being as I had not (in my eyes) experienced a life without type one, I did not know a life with type one. I was just who I was, type one was part of me, it wasn't something extra. I hope that makes sense!

Anyway, that ultimately left me feeling as though I had not connected with anyone there, and thus I did not sustain any real friendships.

Until about a year ago, when I joined the fantastic Diabetes Support Forums. Finally, I met people that had type one as long (and longer!) than me. I found a connection in some people that means more than I can possibly explain words.

Now I feel like I have a group of wonderful, amazing, supportive, caring friends who care because they know. I don't have to try to explain my frustrations - they know exactly what I am talking about. They are my safety net.

I'd like to point out that they are friends not only are they people with type one, but also because they are just wonderful people. I do have my own little theory that all type ones are resilient, understanding people - partly because they have to be, and partly because they have learnt to be (that's not to say they weren't resilient and understand pre-type one!)

Because I am type one, I have sought out other type ones. I have read blogs and websites and forums and countless articles about type one. I finally feel slightly at peace with this condition, because I know that I am not alone. I know I have amazing people to talk to when I just want to give up. I have friends.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Numbers are more than numbers

Just a short post: I'm currently sitting at 22.8. I'm grumpy, tired, drinking like a fish and weeing like...something that wees a lot. I had chip shop chips earlier (NEVER AGAIN), which I have successfully bolused correctly for in the past. Basically I split the bolus.

This time, no good.

It's made me think of two things: one, how much a number means to type ones. I know how 19, 20, 21 feels. I also know how 2 or 3 feels. They're just numbers, but to us, they're also frustration, lethargy, weak knees, sweating, shaking, so on, so forth. They represent a lot.

So I'm very grateful to have you guys around when I am out of range, and know that you know how this feels.

It also made me think of my previous post. I'm not going to give myself a hard time about this high, because I did everything I could to try and keep my levels in range; I was in the 6s and 7s, took a 5.6 mile walk, then I had the chips. Still, I'm up in the 20s.


It's got me thinking

Sam over at Talking Blood Glucose often writes very frank and honest posts about her rebellion stage, which is now leading to complications. I enjoy the fact that Sam is so open about it - it's not a taboo, or something she wants to hide - quite the opposite in fact, she wants to educate.

It got me thinking about me, and complications. I feel incredibly grateful that I have had no complications of type one diabetes as yet. This is despite the fact when I was in secondary school, I'd be lucky if I tested my sugars once a week, let alone the 6+ a day I do at the moment. I think it is also down to the fact that I led a relatively balanced lifestyle - I ate decent food, didn't snack all over the place, did some exercise each week. Which kept my hba1cs in the 7s, which the hospital were always pleased with.

My highest hba1c ever is 9.4, which I got in autumn last year. This shook me right up, especially as when I went to the opticians they had trouble getting the right prescription for me and told me it was because I had unstable blood sugars. My last was 7.4, which I am over the moon with, and I'm hoping to get it in the 6s.

I think that over the years, the main thing I have learnt about type one is as long as you are doing everything you can to keep stable BG readings, do not give yourself a hard time over the odd one or two out of range. I'll always try to work out the possible reasons of an excessively high reading; sometimes though, there isn't a reason, it's just the damn diabetes fairy sprinkling her sugar dust all over you.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A trip to the dentist.

Today I went to the dentist (short version: I have a cavity and some very sensitive teeth, need to go back next week for a filling).

I need to explain that right now I'm in a pretty low mood, and I'm feeling the weight of things. So: what got me today was the way diabetes manages to come up at EVERY opportunity. I filled in the medical form at the dentists, handed it in, waited to be called through.

The dentist was very nice, but asked me a question that made me want to tear my hair out: "what are your blood sugar level readings normally?" cue me having to bite my tongue and tell her that my average is 7.4%. I realise that she was just trying to do her job and that being a dentist doesn't exactly mean that she has to be knowledgeable about the disease, but if it's going to affect my treatment (she followed up with 'we don't treat people with levels over 13' - what, hba1c of 13 or a bg reading of 13? I was like 15 at that point due to miscalculating my lunch), I'd appreciate that she asks the right questions!

Normally? Seriously? What are my sugar levels like NORMALLY? Well, it depends on the day. It depends what I've eaten that day, it depends on the time of the day, it depends if I'm ill or stressed or if I've exercised in the last 24 hours. It depends on if I'm planning on exercising later in the day, or if I'm going to eat something in a few minutes. It depends if I've drunk alcohol in the last 24 hours. It depends how my body is feeling! It depends on the time of year, the depends on everything, and every day I have to make calculations according to all these factors.

Please excuse my unnecessary rage over just got to me :(

Monday, 3 May 2010

Making things bearable.

I intended to participate in Chronic Babe's blogging carnival this week, but for personal reasons I couldn't make the deadline.

But the topic, learning to live with pain, really got me thinking. As a type one diabetic, I do not experience constant physical pain due to the diabetes. I get it every now and again, if I hit a sore spot when injecting, or I've managed to accidently twist my finger pricker to number 5 instead of 2 or 3, or if my Lantus burns when it goes in.

It made me look on the flip side: how do I find the FUN in type one? To be brutally honest, I don't think there are many ways you can see type one as fun; but being the type of person I am, I need to throw some lightheartedness onto the situation.

One of the things I do to make things a bit less serious is to have funky cases for my kit. I carry around my insulin pen, testing kit and spare needles with me, all the time. So today I bought a new pencil/make up case (for a grand total of £1 from Primark!) that is brightly coloured, has hearts on it, and definitely doesn't look as if it's carrying around my life line.

Another thing I do, along with a couple of other bloggers - namely Sam and Tom - is play 'numberwang'. It might sound stupid, but when chatting, one of us will say 'numberwang' and then we test and see where we're at. It takes the seriousness off the situation for a moment.

Diabetes is constant, it is 24/7, it does not take bank holidays, it does not give you the day off on your birthday, it doesn't ever go away for the weekend. Being able to play on the lighter side of things allows me to remember that yes, I am a type one diabetic - but this disease is living along side me, with me, and does not control me.