Tuesday, 27 August 2013


I need a rant!
It's been a long week or so. It's been a good week, don't get me wrong, but a long one as well. My family don't know an awful lot when it comes to my diabetes, and the last week has been filled with family gatherings. This means lots of questions and comments regarding my diabetes. I'm all for advocacy and educating others about diabetes, but these comments come up time and time again!
"So what does this number mean?"
"You've already done that [check my blood] once, why are you doing it again?"
"Another injection?"
[When looking at the nutritional info on a packet] "You shouldn't be worrying about calories at your age!"
"How do you do that [shoot up] so comfortably? I could never do that!"
"So, you'll have diabetes forever? Like...there's no cure?"
That number means my blood sugar is high/low/within range.
Oh, how amazing it would be if I only had to check my blood once a day! No, blood sugar needs to be checked systematically throughout the day.
Yes. Another injection.
Carbs are what I'm looking at so I can adjust my insulin dose to match the food item.
I shoot up because I don't have a choice. The alternative is...I don't like to think about the alternative...I'll take injections, thanks!
And yes, I will have diabetes forever, or until they find a cure. Thanks for reminding me of that fact. It sucks. You don't need to tell me that. But I try not to think too much about it, because when I do, more often than not, it ends with me in tears. So instead, I look forward, and hope that, one day, the news headlines will read "Type One Is Type None".
Until then, I'll continue doing what I'm doing. Any comments?!
I feel better now.

Monday, 26 August 2013


...Kinda...of blood glucose perfection! It's all within the dark green section of the graph, so I'll take it!

This never happens! But when it does, it's one of those little victories that I celebrate. Because we all need that pat-on-the-back when we have a good day. 

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend! 

Friday, 23 August 2013


Home Screen.
If you're not using the mySugr app, I ask you to give it a go. I think it's awesome. And so do a lot of other people (see: Six Until Me, Scott's Diabetes, Everyday Ups And Downs to name a few) Here's why I love the app.

First off, you can name your "diabetes monster". It's the little things that please. Mine's currently called Zurg as I was watching Toy Story 2 when I set it up. And speaking of little things, the sounds on the app are brilliant! Such a silly thing to comment on but something I feel the need to mention!

Second, it's fun. Yes. Fun. It's no secret that keeping a detailed log of blood sugars/insulin doses/carbs consumed is...well...boring. However, this app turns logging those bits of information into a game. And you get sucked in! The more you log, the more points you get. There are also challenges you can do, and if you complete them successfully, you get upgraded to the pro version of the app free of charge for a couple of days. This brings me to my next point.

Data Analysis Screen.
There are two versions of the app: free and pro. I personally think that the free version of the app is sufficient enough. The pro version gives you some extra features such as the option to add photos to records. However, for me, the basic version logs more than enough (time, location, blood glucose (in both mmol/l and mg/dl), carbs (in exchanges or grams), bolus, basal, activity duration and description, notes and finally you can tag things such as meal time, how you're feeling, sports/travel/work.) I told you it logged more than enough!

The data analysis the app offers is pretty amazing too. The home screen gives you an overview of the last 24 hours, changing colours according to how your day's going (green is good, amber if you're slightly out of range and red if you're really out of range). It also allows you to see the average and standard deviation for the last 24 hours, 7 days and 14 days. Awesome.

Challenge Screen.
The last thing I want to comment on is the open "notes" boxes. Brilliant. Drop down lists never work with something as complicated as diabetes: there are far too many variables, so I find having the "notes" box to type in extra information so much more useful!

Finally, all of this is searchable! Just tap the magnifying glass on the home screen, type in what you want to search for and away you go. Genius!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid by mySugr to write this review. I heard about it, I read about it, I downloaded it, I loved it, nothing more.  

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Good For The Sole.

Yes...I do have weird tan lines!
There are a number of health reasons as to why people with diabetes need to control their blood glucose levels: there's the obvious immediate benefit of just generally feeling good and being able to function like a normal human being and then there are the long-term benefit of reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications. Retinopathy, cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy. And for those of you that aren't medically-minded (like myself): eyes, heart, kidneys, feet.

I get my feet checked once a year by my endo when I have my Annual Review (aka health MOT) but between those checks, I don't really think to pay much attention to them. I paint my toe nails but that's about it. I'm not a huge fan of having people touch my feet, so having a pedicure or something like that has just never happened.

Until now. 

I figured it was about time I put my feet first. With some money I got for my birthday, I booked myself in for a pedicure at a local gym. One deluxe pedicure. 75 minutes of someone touching my feet. This was a big deal. But I did it. And my feet feel lovely. Look good too (if feet can look good?!) And what's more?! I'd totally go again! All in the name of diabetes health, of course! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Day After Turning 21.

Yesterday was a good day: I had a lovely day with family and friends, I had a fun night with the girls (alcohol obviously included) and I got absolutely spoilt rotten! And there was cake. Giant French Fancy. Which I somehow managed to bolus correctly for. And I'm not hungover. A successful birthday, if you ask me!

Monday, 19 August 2013


My 17th birthday was my last birthday pre-diabetes. I don't remember much about it if I'm honest. I think some friends and I took a picnic to a local park and spent the day there. I'm not a birthday person, so I never really do anything big. 

I've never really been one to think too much about the future. Until now, that is. Now, I kind of need to as I need an "after uni" plan. But before now, I never really have. However, when I think back to my 17th, I know for a fact that I did not expect to be where I am now.

Today is my 21st birthday. 

And although I didn't expect this life when I was 17, I wouldn't change any of it. Okay...I'd quite like to give my beta cells (which I imagine to look like the minions from Despicable Me. Random thought, I know) a jump start...but, at the same time, I'd quite like to keep what came as a result of that

Yes, okay, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes, but I also finished sixth form having passed most of my A-Levels and I got a place at university. My best friend from school is at the same university as me. Awesome. I got so lucky with my housemates in my first year. So much so that I lived with them in my second year, and living with some again when I go back in September. I became Auntie Vicki. I passed my first year at uni. And my second. I lived abroad. In two countries, which was pretty cool. I finally got involved with the diabetes online community. I started this blog

It's taken a fair amount of time, but I finally feel like I've found "me" again.

And I'm excited to see what comes next.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

You've Got Mail.

Not quite as awesome as the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan classic, but look at what was waiting for me when I got back from Florida:

Pump Assessment Clinic?!


Like I said, not quite as awesome as the movie, but this is good news. For me it is, anyway! I know it's forever away, and I'm very aware of the fact that there are no guarantees, but it's definitely a step in the right direction! Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Catching Up.

I know I carried on writing whilst I was on holiday, but staying on top of emails and things just didn't happen! I receive a lot of emails that are diabetes-related. As I read, a lot of the time I think "that's interesting...I should link that on the blog..." and I never do. So, whilst I'm re-adjusting to UK time once more, I'm finally doing it! With bullet points!

  • Something that caught my eye whilst I was away: Theresa May, Home Secretary, has been diagnosed with type one diabetes.
  • Strip Safely Campaign - this one has been on my radar for a long time. I think it's mainly a US based campaign, but an important issue for diabetics.  The following is taken directly from their website: "Blood glucose test strips are at the centre of diabetes life. The FDA acknowledges there are inaccurate strips in the marketplace but has no process to remove them. People with diabetes are at risk from inaccurate strips."
  • Test strip restrictions in the UK - I personally haven't had an issue with this (yet!) but the way I see it, the cost of test strips is significantly less than treating diabetes-related complications as a result of not being able to check blood sugar levels frequently.
  • Have you signed up for the Diabetes UK Big Collection Weekend?! From October 4th to October 6th, lots of Tesco stores will be participating. You only need to do one three-hour shift on one of the days and all money raised will go to Diabetes UK (obviously!)
  • Kim who blogs at Texting My Pancreas had a baby girl! Yay! Kim has written throughout her pregnancy - click her name to go read her posts.
  • A little while back, I was asked to test out a new diabetes app called Carb-O-Mentor. I have and I love it. Expect a full blog post on this in the near future. Also, if you haven't tried using the MySugr app, I highly recommend you do! It's awesome! (Disclaimer: yes, I was contacted to provide feedback on the Carb-O-Mentor app, but I have not been paid to do so; it is just my opinion of the app. Likewise, I am not being paid to endorse the MySugr app either. I just love it. Full disclaimer can be found here! We good?!)
  • And finally, I want to share with you a new JDRF campaign video called Believe. Brilliantly done, in my opinion.

Think that covers everything! I'm pretty certain all the links are correct(!) If they're not, I blame the jet lag!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

My American Adventures.

Busch Gardens.
Two weeks ago, I boarded a plane ready to spend two weeks Stateside. To say I was excited is an understatement, and it's safe to say the last two weeks have been beyond incredible! I have had the time of my life!

After I land in England, I would have flown four times in fourteen days. For someone who's a nervous flyer, that's a big deal!

I was offered different options when I asked for sweetener at a coffee shop. It's the little things that make me smile.

In keeping with the little things, I also found that you can buy glucose tablets in pots of 50 here, and the range of flavours you can get is vast. Tropical, Grape, Cherry, Strawberry, Orange! Amazing!

I took part in the DSMA tweetchat. So much fun. And so many more blogs to check out

I went to New York City and had the most incredible, and tiring, weekend catching up with some very good friends!

I had my first peanut butter cup. I loved it so much that when I went to TGI Fridays, for pudding, I had the chocolate peanut butter pie. Such a thing should not exist when you have a pancreas-gone-rogue. Very bolus-worth though!

My feet ache from walking and I am so ridiculously tired, but I have had the best time. Seaworld, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens, and the streets of NYC.

What a way to end my year of travelling after year abroad

Time to re-join the real world. Gotta go get me a degree! 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Embracing the rain!
Question: if you're reading this, and a person with diabetes, do you find you're more susceptible to insect bites? If so, is there a link between you glucose levels and your chances of getting bitten?! Let me explain!

Yesterday, we went out for my Mum and Dad's anniversary to TGI Fridays and I had the best pudding in the world: chocolate peanut butter pie (which looked a lot like this). It was amazing, and very bolus-worthy! But this did lead to me waking up in the morning with a blood glucose reading of 12mmol/l. Not fun.

I had breakfast, like normal, and added a correction dose to correct that 12 and off my family and I went to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. 

Within an hour of being there, if that, I was itching away at three bites on my leg and one on my arm.

By lunchtime there were two more on my back.

And by the time we left I was just immune to the itchiness!

Now, Busch Gardens is an animal park too, so there is that to factor in, but no one else in my family got a single bug bite whilst there. And, since arriving in Florida, I've had no problems until today, and my bloods on waking were high. Is this a coincidence are people with diabetes more prone to bites?!

I've tried looking on Google, and the closest information I can get is from Mike's post on Diabetes Mine and then Reva's post at Type ONEderful, and they both support the fact that diabetics are more prone to insect bites. So at least I know I'm not alone in thinking this!

Ideas, oh great DOC?! 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

The City That Never Sleeps.

Top of the Empire State Building.
New York City. NYC. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps.

Trust me when I say I've hardly slept these last three days. But I have had the best time. 

Thursday, August 1st, I flew to NYC to meet some friends from my first year at university. 

My weekend has been incredibly busy, but I managed to do so much: Times Square, the Rockefeller Centre, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Seaport, Empire State Building, The Met. We pounded the streets doing as much as we possibly could in the two full days my friends and I had. And it was so worth the sore feet and insane tiredness I currently feel!

It's safe to say I became a coffee afficionado. So much for going decaf! Caffeine was 100% necessary! And I didn't see that much of an affect on my blood sugar, maybe because of the walking (?), so that's something I'm going to investigate. Would be so great if I didn't have to worry about the spike in blood sugars, especially going into final year where caffeine will more than likely be my new best friend!

If anything, I spent the most of my weekend on the low side: I had a fair few hypos that I did not like! You know, those ones that come on quite quickly, and then there's that panic that you're not coming out of them? Not fun. But they were just background events whilst I created bigger and greater memories. 

Similar to what I said back in May, diabetes you've had your moments since you entered my life. But NYC?! That belonged to Lopez and I, and a few other friends.