Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Just Another Day.

Sunday, March 29th, marked five years of living with type one diabetes for me. .

In the past, it's something I've always marked. A night out, dinner with my favourites, a park run.

This year, however, it was just another day, one I spent running around one of my favourite cities, catching up with some of my favourite people.

It wasn't until I received a text message from E.Hales that I even remembered. (She remembered, and thought to send me a text! Definitely a keeper!) And I'm grateful for that. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for marking the day if you want to. But this year, I liked that diabetes wasn't centre-stage. Instead, it peppered the background of my day like it usually does. 

Just another day this year.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Things I Like.

In an attempt to regroup, a list of the diabetes things I like. Because as crappy as this thing is, it's not all rain clouds and lightening bolts:
  • I like the friendships that have formed as a result of my diabetes! 
  • I like running my pump reservoirs down to zero units. Because the insulin in it is liquid gold. 
  • I like it even more when I hit zero on a cartridge change day.
  • I like the sound of my pump delivering my bolus insulin - it's one of comfort.
  • I like when my meter reads 5.5mmol. 
  • I like when my pump supplies delivery arrives and I can organise my cupboard
  • I like emptying the pencil case I keep my day-to-day diabetes supplies in of all the used test strips. The more there are, the happier I am - it makes me feel like I've been really tuned in.
  • I like the smell and taste of the blueberry glucotabs.
  • I like having a better understanding of my body.
  • I like that I pay more attention to my health in general.
  • I like that my family and friends took the time to learn about diabetes as I learnt too.
  • I like that my littlest friend asks where my pump site is before we start playing.
  • I like blogging.
  • I like the Diabetes Online Community, and am so proud of the things accomplished within the community, such as Spare a Rose.
  • And I like (love, actually) when I'm busy with life and other things, and diabetes is no longer on my radar. And then when I do remember, I am so very grateful that diabetes is just a small part of a much bigger whole

Monday, 16 March 2015

Ball: Dropped.

mySugr has been my chosen form of blood sugar logging for a long time now. Yet it was only the other day that I text Lizzie (excitedly) about the fact that you could also access your blood sugar logs through the mySugr website, where much more detailed reports can be found compared to the app.

I then properly looked at my report.

The ball has most definitely been dropped. Or, to quote a friend, "a momentary shift in priorities". Why? I'm not too sure. I don't really know why I didn't pick up on things sooner. Maybe I just didn't want to. There's a guilt that comes with blood sugar readings, a reflex reaction for me, and maybe I just desensitised myself from what they were showing me. Because there is no doubt that they were telling me I'd dropped the ball. Take a look (and for context, my target on the app is set at between 4mmol and 10mmol):

There's more above the green (and off the scale) that I personally like.

For me, the hardest thing when it comes to times like this (because it has happened before, and it will happen again) is pin-pointing where things aren't working.

I've recently started taking The Pill, which is more than likely having an effect on my blood sugars. My before bed readings have been significantly out of range recently.

My waking blood sugar has been higher than I'm used to too, and I'm feeling crummy for it. This could also be because of The Pill, I'm not too sure.

My weight could also be an issue. I know I've gained a little. I'm not worried about it, but I know that I'm very insulin sensitive: a little weight gain, I see my insulin requirements increase and vice-versa. Factor  in that I have  a desk job, and until the last couple of weeks hadn't really exercised, it isn't much of  a surprise.

The pre-bolus is no more in my diabetes management. This, for me, is a pretty big thing.

I've joined the gym. It's helping, not only with reigning in my blood sugar management, but also with dusting away those mental cobwebs that seem to have made a reappearance of late. I've been spending a lot of time second-guessing my decision to move back to where I currently live. I miss my old town, and I was kinda hoping (maybe naively) that I would have had a sign by now telling me I'd made the right call. I'm still waiting. And I don't doubt that this frame of mind isn't helping either. I've also missed gym-ing it for me, not just the above reasons.

One thing that is for certain is that I need to make some changes, otherwise, before I know it, these tendencies I have picked up will become habit, and that will make things a hundred times harder to snap out of.

"Do you regret finding more detailed sugar logs online now?" a friend asked me over coffee at the weekend.

"No," I answered slowly, "because if I hadn't have picked up on all this now, when would I? At my clinic appointment? When I start to feel too crap to function well? Downloading data helps me see the big picture. And at the moment, I don't like what I see."

"Time for changes?"

I nodded. "Time for changes."

Time for changes.

Friday, 13 March 2015

PWD Conference 2015.

This past weekend, I had the honour of attending the PWD Conference 2015, organised by the GBDOC and Team Blood Glucose. It's the first of it's kind in that it was organised by patients, for patients. There was no agenda. There were no companies present. Just us: the people living with diabetes, both type one and type two, and those caring for those living with diabetes.

So, Friday evening saw me running out of work, rushing home, getting changed, grabbing my things and leaving again to make the train to Nottingham, where the conference was held. I met Lizzie en-route, and after just under two hours on a very packed train, we'd made it. (A word of advice - never catch the first super-off-peak train out of St Pancras to Notts if you want a seat; it is highly unlikely you will get one!)

I don't think anyone was really sure what to expect when it came to the day. Like I've mentioned, there was no agenda. What this basically meant was we picked what conversations we wanted to be having. Topics ranged from diet and food to managing blood glucose when exercising, diabetes in adolescents and mental health issues. The sessions were ran by us, and the conversations kept on going. It was diverse, and if you didn't want to go to any, you could stay in the main room and catch up with friends, old and new.

A-conferencing and checking out DexDrip.

When I go to events such as these I'm looking to connect with my peers, and that's exactly what I did. I hung out with old friends, connected with new ones, and hugged those that I talk with online through the DOC on a regular basis. We laughed, we learnt, we listened, we loved. We also ate cake. There was a lot of cake. Don't get me wrong, I also enjoy the more structured conferences, but it's also nice to go to these things and chill. It's nice to not be running from one presentation to another, and it was empowering to know that we, the people living with diabetes, were shaping the conversations being had.

The GBDOC and Team Blood Glucose should be SO proud of what they achieved last weekend, and I would like to thank those that organised it for having me. It was a privilege to be a part of, and I hope that there are more events like it in the future. 

(On a side note, after the conference, a small group of us ended up at Wollaton Park, the home of Wayne Manor from the Batman movies. Given my love for superhero-type movies, I thought this was wicked awesome, and it nearly (nearly) topped attending the conference itself. (I really love superhero movies!) See pictures below).