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

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.


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....