Friday, 9 December 2011

DSMA December Blog Carnival - Pancreas In My Stocking Please Santa!

For this months DSMA blog carnival, we can choose to answer a question of our choice. Being that it's December and Christmas Day is fast approaching, I decided to go for this one:

Do you have words of encouragement for people living with diabetes that may experience depression during the holidays? websites?

The holidays are incredibly full on and overwhelming with the build up to the big day, without the added pressure of Diabetes. Everyone is rushing around wrapping gifts, sorting out and naming the turkey, and getting everything prepared for the perfect Christmas.

If you're struggling with erractic sugars or just received a bad HbA1c result, you probably don't want to bother your family with it. Fearing that it will add to their stress, you bottle the anger, upset and frustration and keep that Macleans smile on your face. You'll probably spend more time alone away from the festivities, feeling isolated and just wanting someone to understand what you're going through.

Everyone with Diabetes has that feeling at one point or another during their journey with D. The important thing to remember is that you are most certainly not alone.

Should you be feeling this way and don't have anyone to talk to, talk to us. On Twitter, Facebook, a forum or on your blog if you have one. We will reply and be there for you, anytime, anywhere (not just the holidays!). People are online throughout the day in different timezones. The DOC is amazing and supportive, plus they have a great sense of humour!

You can also have a look at other people's amazing stories/experiences at http://youcandothisproject.com/

So enjoy the time with your friends and family, don't deny yourself the odd treats at Christmas. Keep testing and cut yourself some slack :)

A problem shared is a problem halved << Cheesy but very true!

Merry Christmas <3










                           This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/december-dsma-blog-carnival/

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Blue

Apologies for the lack of posts during Diabetes month. It's been a weird and wonderful few weeks and although I've neglected my blog a little, I have been wearing my blue and telling the people who asked why. I even had the bestest person I know wearing blue almost every Friday as well :)

I didn't take photo's of every single blue outfit, but I did get little Winnie involved one Friday so here it is!


(She was awake at the time I promise!) If I weren't working each Friday I'd have gotten some blue streaks, who knows maybe next year..?

So here's the little update on me:
About six weeks ago I was told I could be made redundant. I have my suspicions as to the REAL reason why this was happening (I finally stood up for myself a couple of weeks earlier) but I'll never find out the truth so took it on the chin. Lots of people have this happen to them especially in recent times. It hasn't been the actual redundancy that's upset me, it has been the way it's come about, feeling pushed out and isolated when I'm in a team of around 20 people.

I hadn't wanted to tell anyone until I know myself, but as D-Day is looming I need to get it off my chest. Unfortunately when I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I'm not one of those lucky people who says at the age of 18, right I'm going to go be a lawyer/doctor/teacher now. I had absolutely no clue, felt incredibly useless and lost for 3 months before finding a local admin job.

Now I'm back in that place again, except 3 years older. Making me feel even more useless and frustrated that I don't have any idea what I want to do in the future. I got reasonable grades at school/sixth form but sadly wasn't one of those who could write an essay 30 minutes before class and get an A for it. My parents and friends are being incredibly supportive and trying to keep my spirits up, but I just feel like such a burden. And a miserable one at that.

Diabetes isn't my top priority at the moment (yes I know it should be) and it's showing. I'm still testing/injecting, but getting more emotional with any high/low results. Feeling like you're losing control of all aspects isn't nice but I'm determined to get back on it well in time for Christmas.

Thank you so so much to the people who are putting up with me at the moment <3

Monday, 14 November 2011

World Diabetes Day



Not gonna lie, that banner is a little scary and upsetting. But without it, people have no idea just how serious Diabetes is. They just think you've eaten too many balls of candyfloss, and if you stop you'll be perfectly fine.

BULL!

I didn't eat sugar till the cows came home, and two years ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It's never going to leave me until there's a cure. I'm so incredibly grateful for insulin, its keeping me alive and well! It's not the answer though, it's like a ventilator keeping me going. We desperately need a cure, and for people to realise that Diabetes isn't what they read in the media.

Until a cure is developed I will:

Test my sugars 4 or more times a day.
If I live to 81 and tested 4 times a day, I'll have done nearly 120,000 finger pricks.

Inject my NovoRapid
If I live to 81 and inject my NovoRapid after each meal, I'll have injected nearly 90,000 times. And this doesn't even include corrections.

Inject my Lantus.
If I live to 81 and inject my Lantus every night, I'll have injected myself nearly 30,000 times.

Diabetes doesn't seem as easy now you read that, does it?

As part of World Diabetes Day, Diabetes UK is asking people to get behind the 15 healthcare essentials campaign to make sure we are all getting the care we need. If you're not aware of what you should be getting from your care team then you could be missing out!

Also there's still time to get your Big Blue Test in! Head over to www.bigbluetest.org/ and enter your results in to help get D supplies to people in need. Over the 5000 mark now but still need to hit 8000 before the end of the day.

Simply, test. Get active for 14-20 minutes. Test again. Enter your results!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Diabetes 11.11.11

Tomorrow is 11.11.11 which (thanks to the lovely Mike) has been claimed as Diabetes 11.11.11

If you haven't already heard of this then here is a snapshot, from the main site, of what you need to do if you'd like to take part:

On November 11th, 11.11.11, across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and other inspired citizens will record the human experience over a 24-hour period and contribute their voice to the second annual global day of media creation called One Day on Earth. Together, we will create a shared archive and a film.

www.onedayonearth.org/

I would like to invite everyone from the DOC both online and offline to take part if possible by
taking a Diabetes related image on 11.11.11 and submit them either via this Flickr group, via twitter with the #diabetes111111 hashtag or directly on the Diabetes in Spain site.

Please join me and share! – diabetes111111.com

Imagine being able to capture the world on the same day, each giving their unique perspective on

Diabetes around the globe!

Anything goes! It just has to have something related to Diabetes. Please share and pass on to friends, family and anyone else you may know.

I would like to bring together all these images to create a snapshot of diabetes from around the globe!

I'm off work tomorrow so I may take more than one picture... Plus it's a Blue Friday so lots of blue too! :D

Please spread the word about Diabetes 11.11.11 on your blog, your Facebook and your Twitter and get as many pics on the website as posible!

Will post the pictures tomorrow :)

Monday, 7 November 2011

DSMA November Blog Carnival - Poke or Tweet?


Over the past few years social media has pretty much taken over almost everything. Helping people re-connect, make new friends, promote/sell stuff and much more. Lots of people criticise it for various things, however it is brilliant for bringing people together.


Without social media I wouldn't have met so many wonderful people from around the world suffering from the same condition as me. I'd have continued struggling with D 24/7 feeling incredibly alone and isolated, no-one to say 'Yeah I know exactly how you're feeling!'. I've read some incredibly powerful and emotional stories about D from parents, and other Type 1's which has helped me learn a lot more about D and inspired me to set up my blog.


If someone was new to the whole social media thing, my tips/advice would be:


┣▇▇▇═─ Start off by reading a few blogs/forum posts. People will always have different opinions on things but it will help you form your own ideas :)


┣▇▇▇═─ Join Twitter! The DOC will be there for you at any time of the night or day. Whether you're celebrating a good result or having a nightmare with your sugars and just need to vent.


┣▇▇▇═─ It all starts with a Tweet or a poke! Whether its a question or a comment if you reach out to someone, they will be sure to reach back :)


┣▇▇▇═─ When you feel ready (and if you're in the right time zone :P) you can participate in things like #dsma chat every week!


┣▇▇▇═─ Humour is one of the best ways to cope with D, and people from the DOC have THE best sense of humour. Lots of glitter, unicorns and cupcakes included :D


┣▇▇▇═─ Be prepared to get addicted. One you start you won't look back.




This post is my November entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/november-dsma-blog-carnival/

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Remember, Remember..

... the 5th of November - Happy Bonfire Night everyone! :)

Apologies for the lack of recent posts, it's been a tough few weeks but it's November which means it's finally Diabetes Month! Just the kick up the arse I needed to get back on track with my blog.

Firstly, I posted a couple of weeks ago about the World Diabetes Postcard Exchange (which I thought was an awesome idea!). I finally finished my card on Thursday and posted it yesterday to my match. I'm not a particularly crafty person, but managed not to glue my hands together or make a big mess and have to start again!

have also now been challenged to make a Diabotic :D
Who knows, maybe I'm a crafty person after all...















November also means the start of Blue Fridays! I had to help out at Stores so used this as an excuse to wear my bright blue hoodie (please excuse the rubbish camera phone quality!). I also got to wear my Circle D Rocks badge as it's blue too. Afternoon back in the office meant changing back out of my jeans BUT I found a blue top and kept blue all day!






















I'm hopefully off on Friday so I can wear blue whilst completing my Big Blue Test! Just test and record your reading, complete around 15 mins of exercise in any shape or form then test again and post  your results on the website and share on FB/Twitter etc :)

This year aims to get 8000 participants sharing their results so get testing and exercising!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Blue Monday? Blue Tuesday? NO, Blue Fridays!

The lovely Cherise at Diabetic Iz Me has created Blue Fridays, an initiative to promote World Diabetes Day (November 14th) by getting everyone to wear blue on each Friday in November and also on the 14th itself.

Help promote both WDD and Blue Fridays by visiting their Facebook page and sharing/tweeting/blogging to spread the word. You can also post pictures of yourself on the site wearing your blue :)

I'd sooo love to do blue streaks in the barnet... but I don't think it'd go down well at work, so it'll just be blue clothes, blue nails and (if I can find any) blue jammies!! :D

Just a little update with me and the D..

I've been dreading my HbA1c for a little while now, it's been sticking around the 8/8.5% mark for the past few results and I was hoping desperately for a drop, even it was 0.1%! I've had a rough month professionally which has had a negative effect on my levels, especially the two weeks before my bloods were taken.

*cough* typical *cough*

My carb counting course helped my keep under 10mmol the vast majority of the time, so getting readings of 20mmol+ was pretty gutting. The stress has also taken its toll on my appetite, which brought ketones into the mix. I knew I had to keep eating but struggled a lot so I was having about half of my normal food.

Not exactly what you need before visiting the consultant!

Tested my ketones on that morning and got 0.4, so I knew I needed to get over what had happened before it affected my health further. I was expecting the worst when I arrived, however I was given a silver lining, and a HbA1c of 7.5%!

Since then I'm still running high than usual, however today I've had one reading of 10mmol and everything else below. So hopefully my rough patch is over and I can get back to the 5s and 6s I'd only just gotten used to! *crosses fingers*

Friday, 14 October 2011

DSMA October Blog Carnival - Do You 'Get It?'

This month's DSMA asks: What types of decisions and frequency of diabetes related decisions do you make in any given day?

I think pretty much every decision I make during the day is diabetes related, because at some point or another it WILL affect my finger pricker results:

How many carbs are in that?
Am I going to eat all of that?
Do I round up or down?
Am I coming down or going up?
To exercise or not?
What's the weather like outside?
Is my site not absorbing or is it my pen?
Is that packaing correct?
Will that jelly bean/glucotab bring me up enough?
Should I test?
Will this correction dose be too much?
Is it diet?
How much insulin do I have on board?
Have I touched something that could affect my reading?
Has something happened whilst I've been asleep?
To flu-jab or not?

Every day is filled with different decisions and whether or not you think they are diabetes related, they usually are.

You'd be surprised at the amount of things to take in to consideration before putting food in your mouth!

This post is my October entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/october-dsma-blog-carnival/



Friday, 7 October 2011

No D Day

Today is No D Day, created by the lovely George at Ninjabetic and my first time taking part :)

This is my day without D.









I'm going to have a lie in.

Be woken up by having a crazy puppy being dropped on my bed licking me to death.

Snuggle in my jammies watching crappy daytime TV enjoying a cup of tea in bed.

Go to the beach with my best friend.

Make sandcastles.

Paddle in the sea.

Eat ice cream in a deck chair.

Do some shopping and people watching (in a non-stalker kinda way..)

Enjoy a meal out with my friends and/or family.

And order dessert!

Get dressed up.

Have a few drinks.

A dance.

Stay up till I wanted.

ALL WITH NO WORRYING! <3

For more No D Day posts please click here. Thank you so much George for creating this :)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

You've Got Mail!

Over the past few days I noticed a lot of people on Twitter talking about a postcard exchange celebrating World Diabetes Day on November 14th.. so I decided to have a ganders and discovered a brilliant way to celebrate WDD and make new D friends from anywhere in the world!

Lee Ann Thill from The Butter Compartment and creator of Diabetes Art Day, came up with the World Diabetes Postcard Exchange. The rules are:

1) Email your postal address to Lee Ann at leeann@thebuttercompartment.com. If you would like to be matched with an adult, child or family, another T1/T2, or if you are a T3, spouse, sibling or parent, please indicate that.  Lee Ann will do her best to match you with someone similar. Otherwise, your recipient will be random, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! We’re sending old-school post office-delivered postcards, so Lee Ann will need your snail mail address.

 
2) Expect to receive an email with the name and address of your postcard recipient.  Lee Ann's trying to collect a list of people from many different places, and as soon as the list fills out, she’ll be sending the emails.
 
3) Use the WDD Blue Circle and all the creativity you can fit on a 3.5” x 5” piece of cardstock.
 
4) On the back of the postcard, complete this mini D meme, in addition to anything else you’d like to share with your recipient: 
  • Your name:
  • Where you live:
  • Your connection to diabetes:
  • Type of diabetes:
  • Year of diagnosis:
  • One thing you do to Act On Diabetes:
  • One Word:
5) Mail it, ideally in time for the recipient to receive it by November 14th. If you’re unable to do that, please at least have it postmarked by then.
 
6) Check your mailbox for a postcard from the person who was assigned your name and address.
 
7) If you like, post a photo of the postcard you receive on the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange Facebook page.

If you are a little wary about sharing details, then please visit Lee Ann's page for further details. She has assured everyone taking part that only she, and the recipient will receive your address details. I signed up yesterday and now just need to find a piece of card and a little inspiration for my design! Who knows I may make a new D-friend and we become penpals :D

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up now! x


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, 30 September 2011

PDAC Adjusting Course Day Four

Monday was my last day of the PDAC course :(
Those four days went far too quickly, and I'm going to miss my Mondays off..

It's been brilliant meeting new people in similar situations with the D, watching how they've completely changed their regime in order to improve/gain control.

For me it was about stabilising my levels so it's not quite such a bumpy ride throughout the week. My books have helped me guesstimate the carbs in food, however it needed a little more fine tuning which I think the course has given me. The dietician said I need to be a little more of a round-down kinda girl :)

My diet needing a kick up the jacksy, I already knew so I am trying to up my fruit and veg intake again. Saying yes to the green stuff rather than 'Um, maybe next time..' I'm still finding things that are equivalent to 1 of my 5 a day.. but at least I'm trying, right?

I also found out that I could have caused my own high sugars whilst on holiday earlier this year! They suggested rather than adjusting my Lantus each day to get into the US timezone to do it in 2 blocks so my body gets used to it quicker. My way would have just settled as we were coming home, only to be changed back on to UK time! *GAHHH*

At least I know for next time! Plus it's put my mind at rest, as I was a little wary of travelling abroad again.. =/

Learning about the complications of D was a little rough, but something that needed to be done. We're all told by the media, or relatives, about that uncle twice removed who lost his life or limbs to D but nothing else. The consultant who paid us a visit was quick to say that the majority of cases he has seen, the people involved were smokers. Something that isn't usually reported as far as I've seen. As long as we keep control of the D, have regular check-ups, screenings and HbA1c tests then the complications will be lurking in the background but nothing serious.

I just wish they did a '1 Year Renuion' for PDAC alumni! :D

Here's hoping that the course is a good influence on my next HbA1c x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

PDAC Adjusting Course Day Three

I can't believe my four weeks is up tomorrow. It's gone far too quickly!
It's been brilliant spending every Monday with other PWD. Talking about our highs and lows during the past week, the changes we're making and what we are learning from this whole experience is great. I don't feel like I'm boring people with my D because we're all in the same boat.

It was a full house on Monday which was great. We could all catch up again and find out how we are getting on. As mentioned in my previous posts, a couple of us (myself included) are already carb counting, so it's been great watching those who haven't, managing to conquer the D and getting the readings they've been wanting for a long time (especially as a couple are in pursuit of a pump!).

Since starting the course I have noticed that my levels are stabilising throughout the day, the above 10 results are still there (and always will be, especially during certain days) but are becoming less frequent. I'm adding up my carbs a little more too, whereas before I'd always round up. Sometimes it worked perfectly, and others.. well, it didn't. Now I'm doing more sums, it's still a little rough but I have reduced some meals by a unit or two of insulin.

Another thing I've gained from going on the course ,and recent fundraising for a local dog rescue charity, is the inspiration to do some fundraising myself for DUK next year. I can't promise a skydive or a marathon! But I'll have a go at something :)

With various things going on this week has been a bit of a struggle, particularly over the last few days, with hypo's. A combination of walking and not reducing my insulin enough has meant me battling lows, and also waking up in th early hours this morning with a 3.3mmol.

It brought up a sore point with my meter, as I felt lower than that. If I've ever had night hypo's where I've woken up sweating and shaking I've been in the 2s. I know that meters aren't exact and have a certain 'range' which isn't helpful when you don't really know how low you are. Lows that don't budge, and night-time lows are the ones that get to me. Over sensitive, emotional, quiet. Useless.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

PDAC Adjusting Course Day Two

Apologies for the delay in posting this! It's been a busy few days with illness, dog walking, fundraising for dogs, more dog walking and some baking!

Last Monday was session two of my course (can't belive I'm halfway through already!) and it was great catching up with everyone to see whats gone on BG wise and how/if people have changed their regime on the new advice they are receiving.

We were told straight away that if we were making big changes, to expect some variety in our results, which a couple of members had in particular as they were almost halving their dose! As I've been carb counting roughly for a few months now I haven't noticed any significant changes other than reducing my insulin by a unit here and there, and also that I really need to improve my diet.

I'm finding the trend spotting incredibly helpful, as I'm finding out other things which could be affecting my readings. Such as.. Lantus for some people doesn't last the full 12+ hours so around early evening, could be wearing off =/

Also the other members of the group going through their readings/queries is showing me what to do if I get into the same situation. Plus I'm finding myself making suggestions of things they could do, ME! xD

As we're such a small group we're bonding a lot more, one of the older gentlemen became a grandfather in the early hours of the same day! We're sharing our D stories, and experiences with medical professionals. Unfortunately some aren't brilliant, being told to check the BS and add more insulin on if its high and knock a bit off if its low.

What kind of use is that really?!

I feel soo luckily that my local GP surgery and hospital take such good care of me. I see them every few months for check-ups and my HbA1c results and they are on-hand should I need to speak to them about any concerns. I've never been brushed off or given ridiculous advice such as 'You don't have Diabetes, just take a bath'.

Tonight I uploaded my meter results and pulled off this, which I'm very happy with right now :)



I was terrified that my two weeks in the USA would spoil things for some reason, but everyone's going to have weeks with highs and then with lows. That green part is steadily increasing so I'm happy with what I'm doing right now, and can't wait till next month!

Bring it on baby!!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Invisible Illness Week - Meme

This week it's Invisible Illness Week (another one I wasn't aware of until recently!) so I'm celebrating mine with a Meme post.

If you want to contribute please visit Invisible Illness Week where you can Tweet, Facebook or blog, raising awareness and making your illness visible :)


1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009
3. But I had symptoms since: 2007
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: getting used to watching everything I do as it will more than likely affect my BG, injecting and testing each and every day.
5. Most people assume: that I ate too much sugar, or that it's odd that I have D because I'm not largely obese, that I can't eat sugar
6. The hardest part about mornings are: remembering to test before breakfast and then remembering if I've injected or not xD
7. My favourite medical TV show is: Dr Quinn Medicine Woman < cos she's awesome!
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my meter is the only D gadget I have, other than that my laptop/blackberry :)
9. The hardest part about nights are: wondering whether I'll have a hypo in the early hours causing me to wake up with a hypo-hangover
10. Each day I take 1 pill & a billion vitamins. << Actually I don't..
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: don't think anything can be an alternative to insulin, however there are things that can go hand-in-hand. Such as laughter! Having a sense of humour with an Invisible Illness, to me, is pretty important. Otherwise I don't know where I'd be now.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible illness. When I want to say 'Hey look at me with my D' I can wear one of my D-Tees and when I'm suffering from burnout I don't have to do anything.
13. Regarding working and career: they don't fit into my D, my D fits into them.
14. People would be surprised to know: that I don't mind people asking me questions about my D, I'm not embarrassed/ashamed about my Invisible Illness. I'll only get embarrassed if you make a dumb ass comment about me being a junkie, for example, and it'll be embarrassment for you. Not me.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that I can remember my pre-D life with no hassle, and also that I may never see a cure in my lifetime.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: carry on with a relatively normal life :)
17. The commercials about my illness: non-existent as far as I'm aware in the UK?
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: going downstairs in the morning, eating my breakfast then watching TV in my jammies. Carefree.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: nothing! I don't feel I've given up anything due to D, I've gained a lot from it. Sometimes giving up time with friends etc sucks because I've had a bad hypo sucks but you've gotta roll with the punches!
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: blogging, regularly!
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: probably cry in shock!
22. My illness has taught me: that people are amazing, strong & can take on so much then help others too!
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “You Can't”. In the words of Sherman Klump.. “YES I CAN”
24. But I love it when people: love me for who I am, and not because/despite diabetes. Also telling me that they've passed on some of their D-knowledge to someone else :)
25. My favourite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: that they aren't alone. There will always be people on hand to offer support and advice both on and off-line. You can have a great life after diagnosis :)
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: sometimes I can cope with it.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: gave me a bear hug and asked if I was okay <3
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: us PWD have to speak up and make D visible!
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: happy. If you have an Invisible Illness and a blog, make yours visible too and take part in the Meme posts :)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Poorly Wordless Wednesday



Sunday, 11 September 2011

DSMA Sep 11 Blog Carnival - D Blanks

My laugh-out-loud funny moment with diabetes occurred when at the latest Brighton forum meet. Amy and I made a little holiday weekend out of it, and before meeting the lovely forum peeps we went to the pier. Amy brought some candy floss, rock and fudge (for her parents) and brought it along to the meet. Of course us PWD can't eat sugar (cough sarcasm cough) so we all had a giggle and Amy did go a bit red! :)

The hash tag that best sums up diabetes is #glucoaster because D is never stable, you can do everything right and still have the extreme highs/lows, feelings of loneliness. Unfortunately unlike a ride D is for life so you just have to take things one day at a time.

One reason I love the diabetes online community is that everyone is so helpful and supportive no matter what the situation or time zone. We're all in the same boat and need to fight D together.
They don't need explanations, they just get it.

If I didn’t laugh about Diabetes then I would spend a lot of time crying in despair. Either that or I might not be here right now. Laughter is definately the best medicine, particularly for something like D!

Diabetes, I have a bone to pick with you:
You take up a lot of time.
You cause a lot of pain.
You take people before their time.
You don't come with an instruction manual.
I'll never fully understand you.
I'll never be free of you.

Diabetes, you’re not the boss of me because I said so. Despite my down days I LOVE kicking your ass into touch!

I think A1C stands for Always 1 Catch.

My favorite exclamation about diabetes is Ducking Fiabetes!

The one thing the DOC needs is more members and more publicity! You can never have enough support when it comes to D :)

Diabetes needs a better slogan, such as The 'Betes!

I think #dsma should be available all over the world on free prescription.

Diabetes is to cupcakes as the DOC is to unicorns and glitter!

This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/september-dsma-blog-carnival/

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Adjusting Course Day One

Finally started my PDAC (Peterborough Dose Adjustment Course) adjusting course on Monday! *does a celebratory jig*

For some reason it felt like I was going to school so I got incredibly nervous beforehand, not knowing what to expect (or if I'd get a slapped wrist for not eating my five a day).

It was a great experience for me and I'm really looking forward to the next three sessions. The course instructors are lovely and very approachable. Keen to listen to our questions/grumbles and tailor the course to our needs.

I'm currently on the course with 5 other people, from the age of 22 to 70 each with different D experiences. Our years with the D range from 37 to less than a year, so it's great swapping stories and learning how people used to treat D before the luxury of insulin pens/pumps and disposable needles! It's like 4 D meets once a week :) Talking about D, testing and injecting at the same time. Feels nice!

The carb counting I'm kinda doing already thanks to my book, but the course has shown that I can do some maths and tweak things a little to hopefully improve my control and reduce my insulin intake slightly :)

Some of the stories I've heard so far have amazed me, one of the people went to the doctors with all of the god awful D symptoms and was told they were depressed and should take a bath.

A BATH!

At that moment I felt so incredibly lucky that the nurse and GP at my local surgery were on the ball and referred me to the hospital. If that had happened to me, my stay at the hospital could have been for much longer.

I've gotten my food diary and also a mood diary to fill in over the next few days to see if there are any patterns/correlations between certain readings and how I'm feeling.

Very much looking forward to the next three sessions and getting that next HbA1c down from 8.0% :)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Diabetes Art Day 2011

Today is Diabetes Art Day!

Started last year by the lovely Lee Ann Thill at The Butter Compartment this encourages the DOC to get creative using from everything from cupcakes to D supplies!

As this is my first year participating, I've snuck in two pictures.

Today has been scuppered by the Diabetes Fairy and hypo's, which has heavily influenced the pictures I've created/used!



If you're feeling arty and would like to participate then please visit the Diabetes Art Day site for more details and to see everyone's awesome creations :)

P.S It's supposed to be the D Fairy's wand. Kinda looks like she's trying to escape from the paper....

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It's getting there!

Guest Post - Monster In Me

A few weeks ago Amy asked if I'd do a guest post over at Monster In Me in return for her lovely guest post on Teapot_Diabetic (which is here if you missed it).

You find my guest post over here.

Diabetes and Depression have always been closely linked, which makes me chuckle as Amy and I are such great friends and hopefully always will be :)

D Fighters Forever
KAPOW!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

But Baby It's Cold Outside...

The cuddly winter duvet is out and the lower levels are starting to kick in!
Over the past couple of days my highest level has been 7.5mmol which I'm very chuffed with. I did a lot of walking yesterday at Grimsthorpe Festival (which was awesome), which did induce a 2.9 hypo just before lunchtimem but apart from that I was around 5-7 for the rest of the day. It seems to have rubbed off on today's readings too with my highest being 7.1mmol :)

I'm hoping that with a little extra dog walking, these levels will continue in time for my HbA1c in October and also my adjusting course next week.

If the bloods that were taken a couple of weeks ago show my HbA1c has stayed the same or gone down I will be sooooo happy! It's been between 8.0 and 8.4mmol for months and months now so a drop would give me a little boost of confidence, that I'm heading in the right direction..

I'm very much looking forward to the PDAC course starting on Monday. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing everything right and then it suddenly goes to shit despite nothing changing. I'd like more guidance/advice on when I'm feeling ill, time difference and different temperatures - especially if I'm to venture abroad again without being worried 24/7 that my levels will shoot up.

I know I don't eat enough fruit and veg.. something which I'm trying (not much lately but will get back on it) to improve. I'm drinking a lot more water and exercising regularly much more than pre-D so I'm getting there slowly I hope.

Monday, 29 August 2011

First Blogaversary!

Today is Teapot_Diabetics 1st birthday!

Wooooooot :D


















I can't believe it's been a year already, it's gone far too quickly!

When I joined the forum last year I came across a number of great blogs and thought I'd have a go. It was a scary thought at first, opening myself up to total strangers about a condition that I was still getting to grips with myself.

I wanted to share my D experiences with people and hopefully alter people's perception/awareness about D as it doesn't get much press in the UK, nevermind good press! I also wanted to help people in a similar boat to me. D is a very lonely and emotional condition, and talking to fellow sufferers helps me personally a great deal.

Shortly after my first post I discovered the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) and haven't looked back since :) Unfortunately I can't participate as much as I'd like due to time differences but I love taking part in the DSMA blog carnival and talking to people all over the world with D via Twitter and Facebook.

I know that my blog isn't all unicorns and sparkles sometimes but neither is D, it's bloody hard work sometimes! However without it, I wouldn't have had the privilege to meet so many incredible people, on and offline, who either have D themselves or support a loved one. Over the past 12 months I've found a whole new support network which I'm very thankful for, especially during the past few weeks.

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts
Thank for the lovely comments you leave me, they are very much appreciated :)
Thank you to the DOC

D-peeps are the best.
Fact.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Two Years

I'm posting this a couple of days early as I'm not sure if I'll be in the mood to celebrate two years with D on Thursday, but maybe a cupcake at the weekend...

Two years ago on August 25th I took a trip to my local GP's which would change my life forever.

Despite my parents' fear that I had Diabetes, I didn't think I did. I thought they were overeacting and just being cautious.

If it weren't for them I'd have probably ended up in hospital in DKA.

Ever since my diagnosis they have been brilliant, buying food they thought would be better for me, taking me to appointments and coming in with me, hugs when I was upset and bought sugar free jelly when I wanted. They do get the rough end of the pineapple sometimes, D is incredibly frustrating and as the Diabetes fairy doesn't actually exist the frustration often gets aimed the wrong way..

I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them for all of their support and time. I don't think I could have coped during the first year without them. They don't know what DKA is or if I need to inject when I'm hyper (still working on that!) but they're here for me when I need them.

My first year with D was kind of a blur, figuring things out and learning day-by-day. So this second year feels more like my first.. if that makes sense.

I've learnt some things the hard way and have had numerous ups and downs throughout the year, but every day is a school day. With D I don't think I'll ever stop learning and I'll never fully know the ins and outs of how D works, but I don't feel like I'm on square one any more.

┣▇▇▇═─ I have a brilliant network of support both on and offline, in the UK and Overseas.
┣▇▇▇═─ Readings are now more in range than above.
┣▇▇▇═─ Last HbA1c had come down after a while of sticking at 8.4
┣▇▇▇═─ My PDAC course starts at the beginning of next month.
┣▇▇▇═─ I'm trying to deal with the D emotions more openly

Happy Diaversary to meee xD

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Diabetes From A BFF's Point Of View

My first ever guest post comes from my BFF Amy at http://fallenangelkilljoy86-monsterinme.blogspot.com/ 

She is my Type Awesome person, my D Police and my part-time pancreas/D-Mom so it's my pleasure to share her view on the big D!

If you would like to guest post on Teapot_Diabetic then just click Contact Me and drop me an e-mail! :)

Diabetes From A BFF’s Point Of View
     
"Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down" - Fall Out Boy

Emma (my BFF) was diagnosed with diabetes just after her twentieth Birthday, approximately two years ago. She’s a type one diabetic, who treats with insulin injections. When I found out she had diabetes, I really didn’t know a lot about it. I knew what diabetes was, but that’s about as far as my knowledge went.

For those of you reading this who aren’t diabetes savvy, I’ll do a quick run through. Diabetes is caused when the organ in your body that creates insulin, the pancreas, doesn’t work correctly. Insulin is the chemical the body uses to control blood-sugar levels (the amount of sugar in your blood-flow), and without it, the body will push sugars level to a dangerous high, which can lead to a diabetic-coma.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetics have usually inherited the diabetes from somewhere in the family gene-pool. They tend to have to treat using insulin injections, but some cases may require a diabetic insulin pump, which is connected to the body around the clock, feeding you a constant stream on insulin.

Type 2 diabetics, usually develop diabetes through-out their life, and are normally diagnosed much later on it life. Some very lucky Type 2’s can treat with diet regulations, or oral medication, but some cases will have to inject. The injections for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, must be issued after every meal, and for general corrections to the blood-sugar levels, which are monitored with a metre. The testing of the blood-sugar levels must be done periodically through-out the day, and then treatment provided when necessary.

I knew Emma when she was diagnosed; we had worked in the same department of our place of employment for a while. But we weren’t close at the time. However, Emma took my medical curiosity in her stride. I can be a little bit of a pain when it comes to things I don’t understand, and tend to ask several questions, until I do understand.

I didn’t have much idea about diabetes, but Emma patiently, and thoroughly answered every question that I asked, and seemed to perceive that I meant no offence by this, and that I was just a little curious. Within these conversations, and due to some extra-curricular activities (outside of work fun), we began to grow close, to the point that I now joke and call her my BFF (Best Friend Forever).

Emma is amazing with her diabetes, and is a true inspiration. She’d probably say that she doesn’t think that she handles it well at all. But I beg to differ. From my reasoning, a diabetic has to walk a fine line of monitoring your sugar levels, whilst not letting it become an obsession. If it were me, I’d constantly be giving my finger the little pricks that it takes to test. But Emma seems to have got this balance just right. She has the odd little hiccup with the levels, but it (the diabetes) doesn’t stop her from doing anything.

She has a very refreshing sense of humour about her diabetes (even sporting t-shirts with the slogan "Ducking Fiabetes"), and seems able to overcome any problem that D has to throw at her. Her strength in the face of Diabetes makes me proud to be her friend.

I know that her "adaption" period after her diagnosis was really hard. I sometimes wish that I had been her close friend before her diagnosis. I’m not sure if I would have been much comfort to her during this life-changing time, but I sure would have tried my hardest.

However, she did have some amazing support. I can never thank the Diabetes Support UK Forum members, and fellow D-Bloggers and members of Circle-D for the support they have provided Emma. It’s a difficult time for newly diagnosed people, but the Forum gave her answers to questions that the NHS (with all it’s well-meaning) couldn’t, and gave her an ear of someone who knows exactly what she was going through. The support the Forum members offer is invaluable, and, as I’ve found out from the couple of diabetes meets that I have had the privilege to attend, they are amazing people, who all seem to have that same drive and strength to not let the diabetes beat them.

It’s not all plain sailing with diabetes (as you can probably imagine), and like most people in her position, sometimes Emma finds herself quite down in regards to her circumstances. Almost anything can affect your sugar levels, and as a non-diabetic, I sometimes take my pancreas for granted, but Emma doesn’t have that choice. Occasionally, after a particularly bad hypo (when her blood-sugar levels have dropped to well below what they should be, which can have some rough after-effects), or due to the finality of her diagnosis, she can seem troubled by her diabetes. It’s at times like this that I would pay the world for a cure; just to see her smile again.

I love Emma, with or without diabetes, but for her sake and peace-of-mind, I wish it was something that she could escape from. She would say that she moans a lot, and is forever apologising to me about off-balance level readings, or for being down, and I say, I want to be a good friend to her and that I will always want to offer any support that I can, even if it’s just a little thing.

Although diabetes is a life-long circumstance, Emma has decided that she will be in control on diabetes; diabetes will never control her, and it’s this fighting spirit that makes me love her so much. Plus the fact that she’s the funniest person I’ve ever known. Diabetes making it’s presence known or not, Emma is the person I have the most fun with, and the person I admire more that anyone else. She’s a true friend, and I hope that she knows, as long as she the BFF (which will hopefully be man more years) we’re a team, and despite everything, we’ll kick D’s ass!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

DSMA August Blog Carnival - Fighting Our Cause

Unfortunately not all PWD out there are able to access the supplies and medical devices they need. Insulin, pumps, strips etc cost a heck of a lot to fund each month and although I'm lucky that I don't have to pay for my supplies at the moment, I'm very aware of how fortunate I am.

So what can we do?

In my opinion the first step is education. When I was diagnosed with D I couldn't name a single person in the spotlight with the condition, it wasn't until a year later I discovered that a famous Olympian athlete and a certain member of a well-known American boyband also have D.

In the UK we don't have adverts for D on the TV (saw them in FL this year and was like OMG a D advert - got a bit excited..). D only gets mentioned here in a bad way especially in the press (particularly for T2 PWD), we don't have a famous face proving that these stories are total bull. It's sad that you have to have a famous face for people to take notice, but unfortunately that's what we need...

I try to educate people whenever I can, proving that I CAN eat what I want in moderation and that you don't get Diabetes by eating too much sugar. If that one person spreads what they know on to another person then that's another person beating the D myths. Educating people would hopefully lead to more fundraising for PWD who don't have the same access to insulin and supplies. Silent advocacy with awesome D-Tees is another way that I try and use. Ducking Fiabetes being a fave of mine :D Not everyone with D fits the stereotype! Plus we have the BEST sense of humour ;D

What can the DOC do offline? How can we be heard?

By shouting it from the rooftops! Continue educating people and raising awareness either by wearing a Tee, blogging, Tweeting or Vlogging. Prove people's ignorant pre-conceived idea's of D wrong.

Stand up and fight for our cause. A change is coming.

This post is my August entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/august-dsma-blog-carnival

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Back to Black

So I've finally decided to bite the bullet and write this post. It's been a few weeks/months coming but hopefully sharing will help... *gulp*

Since getting back off my holiday I've been incredibly D focused, trying to get back on track with my BG levels and feeling more in control of things. I've had the occasional blip along the way with both bad hypo's and one bad hyper a couple of weeks ago but levels are back to pre-holiday.
PHEW!

My moods are yet to return to normal though. Losing control on holiday got me pretty low and upset, it was like I'd gone back to square one after almost two years and I hated it. I was snappy one minute and crying the next in sheer frustration. None of which is great in the Sunshine State and Disneyland where everyone is happy happy happy!

It's not as frequent, but it's still very much there.
Diabetes burnout or depression? Both? I don't know.

I pretty much wake up in a 'black' mood, irritable for no reason, lethargic, introverted and generally not nice to be around. Nothing bad has happened though, it's like waking up on the wrong side of bed as some people say. Little things can set me off, crying, angry and generally feeling alone (even though I know I'm not). Thoughts of living with D for the rest of my life enter my head and I question if I'm strong enough to do it?

Since been diagnosed I got on with it, I didn't really grieve if that makes sense.. I went back to work within a couple of days and that was that. As my parents still don't know a huge amount about my condition I don't really tell them how scared I am sometimes about D and its possible complications..

I'm hoping that the PDAC course next month will help me with my emotions and how to deal with them properly. I'm a bugger for bottling things up and not telling people how I'm feeling. I'm trying though. I try and be open with Amy as much as a can, even though its still a bit alien to me and it does help. Hopefully these 'black moods' will become less and less frequent and will just be a once in a blue moon thing..

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Winnie Special



Sunday, 31 July 2011

Is It Just Me?

As some of you already know I went abroad in May and suffered with stubborn high blood sugars for 95% of the trip, numerous corrections, leaving me a bit of a tired and emotional mess for a few weeks.

Before I left for my trip, the general consensus  from my DSN, Consultant, and other PWD was that hot weather reduces your BG so you need to reduce your insulin as the heat and exercise will absorb it much quicker...

At my Grandma's today we were talking about it and my Dad turned to me and said "did anyone else say that they've had a similar experience  to you whilst going on holiday?"

Ummm...

Sometimes it's great being unique and different from everyone else..but with something like that, another person going yeah I know exactly what you mean would have been brilliant and a bit of a relief. My parents were awesome but didn't really know what to say or how to help me =/

Have any of you suffered with this as well? Or had your D go against what everyone said making you feel like the odd one out?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Happy Birfday!

I found out today (via Twitter cos it's awesome) that it's 90 years today since insulin was created.
Happy birthday insulin have a whopping great big mahoosive jam doughnut to celebrate!

It's amazing to think of all the millions of lives that have been saved thanks to Banting & Best over the past 90 years, if they hadn't you wouldn't be reading this right now!

Dear Mr Banting and Mr Best

I don't think anyone will ever be able to put into words how grateful they are to you both for discovering insulin.

Over the past 90 years you've turned Diabetes from a death sentence into something that can be managed day to day by millions of people across the world. You've saved parents from losing their little ones, children from losing their parents and husbands & wives from losing their spouses.

Thanks to you:

♥ I'm still around today
♥ I've shared some great memories with my family (and puppy)
♥ I've got an amazing best friend
♥ I've met other people on and offline with Diabetes who inspire me to do better
♥ I'm stronger
♥ I blog about my D sharing my experiences, good and bad
♥ I got to celebrate my 18th and 21st birthdays with lots more to come
♥ I'll go travelling
♥ I'll have some awesome times with lots of laughing
♥ I'll (hopefully) find someone to settle down with and have a family
♥ I'll live to a ripe old age, with grey hair, lots of wrinkles and many happy memories

♥ I CAN KICK DIABETES BUTT! *KAPOW*

 

I toast my doughnuts and cupcakes to you both, and thank you sincerely for saving my life.

Yours,

Teapot Diabetic.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Brighton With The Betes

Last weekend was the annual forum meet in sunny Brighton :)

Me and Amy decided a few months ago to make a weekend of it, as we'd never been to Brighton before, and stay for a long weekend so we could have a little holiday and a proper catch up with the forum D-Peeps!

The hotel was pretty basic but clean, and unfortunately didn't come with a mini-fridge.. luckily I'd sorted my Frio bag for my spare pens!! After a while settling in and unpacking we decided to go have a wander and explore our new surroundings (we were literally across the road from the beach).

Diabetes: "Oh I'm sorry, you've had it easy all day so I'm going to throw in a hypo! Moo ha ha"

About an hour and a half went by with me testing and scoffing the jelly beans until I reached the low 5's so off we went! The pier was about a 10/15 minute walk away along with the beach bars/shops and the city centre was about the same. We nipped back to the hotel to get our gladrags on - and I had to give a correction as had shot up to 14mmol!! - went to the pier to have a look round and grabbed some food.

Have to admit I was a little wary of the deckchairs as I've seen plenty of You've Been Framed clips of people falling straight through on their butts! But I stuck with it and even did my jab right on the middle of the pier! :D


Visited a couple of local bars (diet coke for me obv.) and then hit the hay after 11. Me being the clever soul I am had no idea how loud things would get and how noisy god damn seagulls can be!! Took until half 4 in the morning to finally get some sleep...

I'm sodding awful not great when I've had no sleep, as Amy found out on Saturday morning.. :)

But we did make it to the meet! (Did have a shower and go on some rides to wake me up a bit more). As this was my second one it was a lot less nerve wracking and I was actually chatting to new people instead of going all shy and quiet. I love being with other PWD because you can share your stories all day long and have a giggle without being asked 'are you sure you can have that?'. Due to my serious lack of sleep I started flagging by the afternoon so we did leave early and ended up having a mid-afternoon nap followed by an indian takeaway eaten with teaspoons!

Overall I had a brill weekend and my D behaved about 85% of the time which I'm pretty pleased with. Just wish I'd have had a better night so I could have had longer at the meet! *frowns*

Thank you Amy for putting up with me this weekend, it's not all been plain sailing but you've kept me smiling and have been an awesome BFF/adopted pancreas. I really enjoyed myself, so Brighton next year? ;)


*The guys in the background were from a Ginger Spice themed stag-do! :D

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Balderdash And Piffle

Yesterday was the seventh annual Chap Olympiad in London's Bedford Square Gardens (my second) :

THE CHAP OLYMPIAD. Saturday 16th July, London. The nation's most challenging sporting occasion - if your idea of a challenge is pitting your finest trouser creases against another man's, or seeing who can hurl a plate of cucumber sandwiches with the most panache. The Chap Olympiad is open to all comers, male or female, moustachioed or clean shaven, top drawer or bargain basement, just so long as you are keen to cut the mustard on the field of drachms.

It's one of the most surreal days out you can have but brilliant! Am already looked at potential outfits for next year :D

Our day started at around half 8 (as we were intending to help set-up our Subs stand) and by the time we got into Kings Cross the heavens opened. The entire event is outside without much cover so we were a little worried that everything would be cancelled...

Everyone persevered despite the awful weather and at 12pm the gates opened. It was great to see so many people arrive complete with picnic baskets, waterproofs and umbrella's, and within a couple of hours the sun came out so on went the events and dancing. It was a credit to both Gustav and team!

Unfortunately we didn't get to see as many events as last year (where we had front row seats) as we were working selling subs, books etc however we met the lovely Gustav (Editor) and the slightly naughty Atters (a regular contributor to the mag), and we even sold some wares within a couple of hours!

Q How did D react to such an awesome day out?
A Badly, very very bad.

We each had an Angus burger for our dinner (which were scrummy) and mine was with a little burger relish. I injected about 6u in my leg - through my tights which was very strange - as the burger was homemade so a little bigger than supermarkets ones. I was 6.5mmol before dinner so decided to test again at around 3pm to make sure everything was going okay.

28.4mmol are your fking kidding me?

I almost cried then and there on the spot. How could this have happened? I felt so ill for the rest of the day and worried both Fliss and Amy. I injected another 6u in my leg and sat back down in a daze. We decided to call it a day at around 4pm and walking back to the tube station I felt woozy, wobbly and like someone had rammed my head through a brick wall.

Delays on on of the tube lines meant walking to Covent Garden to grab the tube to Kings Cross, I grabbed a couple of Ribena cartons and downed one within seconds. I had to walk holding Amy's hand to steady myself (sorry again for almost cutting your circulation off Aims!) and felt a little better when we eventually got on the train home.

Tested again on the train, 13mmol. Better. Tested again when at home 5.4mmol. Phew.

Had some tea and then went off to bed at about 9 as was absolutely exhausted. But D had one last surprise for me. Another high? Nope, a hypo! 2.2mmol

Went to town on some jelly babies and went to sleep. Not the most responsible thing to do after such a bad day with D, but my body had reached it's limit.

Woke this morning to 9mmol, not bad considering the past 24hrs!

What caused the mahoosive high? Burger relish? Fresh air? Too many chaps in one garden?

Bah, you're a bitch Diabetes and I hate you for ruining a day I'd looked forward to for about a year.