Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Blog About Blogging.

Image taken from Google Images.
Last night, I hosted the weekly Our Diabetes chat and the subject was blogging. With Diabetes Blog Week coming up, the timing of the chat was pretty perfect. The questions asked were:

1. Do you blog? Where?
2. Why do you blog? (Or why not?)
3. Do you like reading other blogs? Why?
4. D-blog week is coming up - will you be writing and/or reading?

So many "new" blogs (new to me, anyway) were brought to my attention, and it was great to hear what people got out of blogs and the reasons behind deciding to blog. I had a lot of fun hosting the chat, and was excited when blogs I hadn't discovered were being brought to my attention.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: blogging is my diabetes therapy. I can come here and write out my frustrations, my victories, my good days and my bad ones. For me, it's not about page views and followers - I blog first and foremost for me. The fact that someone might read or comment is just a huge bonus.

As for reading other diabetes blogs? Yes, yes I do. Not just by people with diabetes, but their caregivers and health care professionals too. They all provide different stories, different perspectives and act as a constant reminder that I'm not the only one in this.

And, finally, diabetes blog week: yes, I will be taking part. I participated last year, and had a lot of fun in doing it, and discovered a ton of other blogs, some of which I now read regularly. If you don't write a blog, but are considering it (as many who were involved in the chat last night were), diabetes blog week is great time to start, sign ups for which start on Monday (May 5th). 

I think I've managed to find all the blogs that were mentioned during last night's chat and will update my list of diabetes blogs in due course. If your blog isn't on there and you'd like it to be, either leave me a comment or send me an email vickisnotebookblog[at]gmail[dot]com.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Mellow Monday.

It's been a busy few days what with coming back to uni after Easter break (and promptly leaving again to take a trip to see Lizzie and Louise). So whilst I properly settle myself back in, feel free to have a browse through these links:

Happy Monday, everyone!    

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

University Life And T1D.

University and type one diabetes is all I've ever known. I wasn't a child with type one diabetes. I was hardly a teen with diabetes. I was, and am, somewhat, an adult with diabetes (does being a student count as being an adult?!). And that's the theme of my post on the JDRF UK Blog today:

"I was 17 years old when I was diagnosed. I was due to sit my A-Levels in about a month's time, I'd just paid off my holiday with the girls from school and I was planning on going to university that September. When I was sat in that hospital bed, I remember my Mum looking at me. She didn't say anything, but I knew what she was thinking, and, despite the uncertainty in my mind, I turned around and said to her "I've just paid off my holiday, so don't even think about trying to stop me from going! Same goes for uni! If I get the grades, I'm gone!" "

To read more, head over the the JDRF Blog, where you'll also find posts from the likes of Roddy Riddle and Gavin Griffiths (aka Diathlete). 

And finally a huge thank you to the lovely people at JDRF for publishing my post!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sometimes... is my fault.

For the last week, I've been battling countless high blood sugars. My day of diabetes is a good example of what I've been dealing with. 

The change of routine that comes with being back at my Mum and Dad's usually leaves me running a little higher than I'd like, but, normally, upping my basal sorts things out nicely for the few weeks I'm back for. 

I've been upping my basal for the last 7 days. I also upped my mealtime ratios when my increased basal didn't seem to be doing anything to bring my blood sugars down, and still I was seeing numbers above 15mmol after meals. Not every meal, but the majority, and poor Lizzie got the brunt of my frustrations. (Sorry, sugar!)

Then, yesterday, I had a light bulb moment. This time last week, I changed my insulin cartridge. And that's also when the 'high' highs started. So, before going out yesterday morning, I changed my insulin cartridge, and for the rest of the day I was greeted with numbers no higher than 12mmol.

Lots of this disease is out of my control - I do all I can to keep my blood sugars within my target range and I carb count to the best of my ability to match my insulin dose to the food I'm eating. I exercise regularly in the hope that it will help me hone in on better control.

But a dodgy insulin cartridge?!

Yeah, that one's on me, not my diabetes.  

Monday, 14 April 2014

Day Of Diabetes: Take Two.

It started with a tweet from Kerri (blogs at Six Until Me) about doing another day of diabetes, and that was it: members of the diabetes online community started to come together saying they would do one too. The date was set (last Thursday (April 10th)), and since it had been a while since the first one I did, I decided to also participate. Here's a look at my second day of diabetes (well, not my second day of diabetes, because that was over four years ago now, but my second #dayofdiabetes).

6.9mmol on waking - great! And I'm a huge fan of the pre-bolus. It's not always convenient (like when I'm grabbing lunch between classes) but where possible, I like to pre-bolus. Usually, I find less of a spike after my meals. However, recently, I've had trouble just getting my blood sugar levels down into single digits. The change in routine that comes with being back at my parents' is having a huge affect on my blood sugars. 

13.9 after breakfast - not a reading I was happy with. But went for a walk in the hope that it would bring me down a bit, which it did. I was at 11.1mmol before lunch. For lunch, I played it safe with a salad and some mango and added my correction bolus to the bolus for the meal. Frustrated doesn't even begin to cover how I felt when my blood sugar clocked in after at 14.3! 

I've played with the settings on my meter so that when I get a reading of anything above 14mmol, an hour later it will alarm to remind me to re-test my blood sugar. The 2u correction dose I took for the 14.3 was taking effect, as an hour later I was at 11.3. 

I was at 8.6mmol before dinner. Seeing single figures made me so happy! I carb counted my dinner and the bolus wizard on my meter suggested 12 units of NovoRapid. I tend to find that split doses work so much better for me in the evenings, so I took 8u before dinner and the remaining 4u after. 

9.30pm rolls round, and it means it's time for me to take my levemir. I take 10u once per day, and usually inject it in my leg. Following this, I also did my post-dinner blood sugar check. Once again, I was high, and that feeling of frustration settled back in. I took another correction dose hoping that it would bring me down some before bed. For me, the problem with correction doses close to bed time is that I then need to set my alarm for 3am. Well...I say I's kind of my own ruling - if I have to eat something to bring my blood sugar up a bit or correct a blood sugar, I also check my blood around 3am to make sure I'm still within range - I'd much rather deal with broken sleep than I would the hangover-like feeling after a hypo or the lethargic feeling that come with a high. 

I was down to 12.4mmol before bed. I set my alarm, feeling (you guessed it) frustrated at the highs, reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day and I can try again. And again. And again, if I have to. 

And that's exactly what I'm doing, trying to get these highs under control for the next 7 to 10 days, after which I'll be back in Norwich, and hopefully more stable blood sugars will feel more within reach too!

You can check out all the tweets from me, and many other people by searching for #dayofdiabetes on twitter.  


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

100 Happy Days.

You may have seen on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram that people are taking part in the #100happydays photo challenge. The premise is simple: you take a photo a day for 100 days of something that makes you happy. I have been taking part in this challenge on Instagram and I have loved it, and it's surprised me how many diabetes-related things have cropped up in my photos. Today marks day 50 for me, so here's a look at what diabetes things I've photographed so far!

My blood sugars post-gym: 8.5 pre gym, 6.9 after and 5.6 before lunch - never have they been so good!
A new bag for my diabetes supplies.
Batman and blogging - a relaxing evening!
It's so rare for me to get a 5.5mmol on my meter that I took a picture of this one!
Retinal screening appeared fine - always good to hear!
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Slowing Down.

The aim of the game this Easter break? 

Slowing down!

Like, wayyyy down!

After a very busy semester at university, it's time to get back to me once more.

After main-lining coffee (the caffeinated stuff) for the last two weeks, it's time to slowly work my way back to decaf.

My nails have been bitten to buggery as a result of stress, so it's time to give them some TLC.

Better food choices need to happen now I have no deadlines: sitting at my desk writing essays means copious amounts of coffee and biscuits. It's time to eat real meals again. 

Sleep like a normal human being! Again, main-lining coffee and being up until stupid times writing essays means my body-clock is so out of whack right now. Time to rectify that!

Catch up with my family and friends. Although I went back to Mum and Dad's only a couple of weeks ago, still having deadlines meant that my head wasn't 100% there. Now, I can devote time to them, as well as catch up with my friends abroad, whose emails have been responded to with something along the lines of "Hi, I'm hyped up on caffeine finishing off my dissertation and don't even resemble an actual human being right now. I will reply properly as soon as I feel human once more."

Reconnect online. I feel like I've been out of the DOC for a while now, even though I know it's only been a couple of weeks. But it's become so incredibly useful when it comes to my diabetes management that I need to get reacquainted once more. (So, hi there!)

I'm looking forward to a slow couple of weeks.

Monday, 7 April 2014


Last Friday evening, I went to the LCS Ball, an event for all the final year students on my course. I'd been looking forward to this since I bought my ticket for the event back in February. I bought a new dress and even wore heels on the night. (For those of you reading this that know me, I seldom wear heels. I'm all about the comfy flat shoes.) 

Now, this event included a three-course dinner. Awesome. I ordered my food at the same time as I bought my ticket. Tomato and pepper soup to start followed by a spinach and goat's cheese tart with new potatoes and salad and the cheesecake for pudding. 

First off, I needed to work out how to bolus for this: do I bolus after each course? Take a starting bolus and then take the remainder after the meal? Where do I bolus? My left arm is still a no-go site because of my BCG, so I have my right arm and both legs. Then there's my levemir that I need to take at 9.30pm as well.

Then there was the actual debacle of carb counting the dinner to take the correct dose of insulin. I'm comfortable carb counting when I have my kitchen scales or nutritional labels to read from. I often use my carbs and cals app when I'm out, providing there is wifi. But working from nothing? I'm incredibly uncomfortable with that. (Something I've now realised I need to work on.) 

So, I decided on taking a starting bolus of 10 units with my soup, theory being that the soup would be realatively low carb anyway, providing I passed on the bread. I then proceeded to photograph each course and send it to my housemate via whatsapp. She very kindly agreed to look through my carbs and cals book to provide me with carbohydrate guesses for my meal. This isn't something I would usually ask, but given that this event was the last with my coursemates (apart from graduation), I really didn't want to stressing about how much insulin I needed. 

And I'm glad I did, as my post-meal blood sugar clocked in at 7.4mmol! Shep, I owe you big time! 

I obviously kept a close eye on my blood sugar throughout the night, as I was drinking, but knowing it didn't look like I was going to be battling a post-meal high blood sugar meant I could enjoy the rest of my night.

And that's exactly what I did.     

Friday, 4 April 2014

Filling Back Up.


My dissertation has been submitted. 

I'm done!

And it feels SO good! 

Now I have the time to fill back up in my personal life and my diabetes life. So, without further ado, bits and bobs I think are worthy of sharing.

Happy Friday, folks!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Changes.

Four years ago, I saw one year of diabetes in with alcohol. Last Saturday, I saw four years of diabetes in with a Park Run. Oh, how times have changed!