Monday, 27 April 2015


It was just as I was leaving work that I decided to check my blood sugar. Multi-tasking, as I do, I put a test strip in my meter, locked my desk drawer, pricked my finger and put blood on the test strip, put my coat on, picked up my bag, then "beep, beep". 

The double beep. The one that means my blood sugar is either high or low. I look at my meter and my heart rate sped up.


High. Very high. But I didn't feel like my blood sugar should be that high. 

I checked again, washing my hands first and using a different finger. 


Definitely high.

I sat back down in my chair, remembering the last time I hit that kind of number. (Well, I remember what I've been told about the last time I hit that kind of number). And, for the first time in a while, my mind opened that box that I keep tightly locked and fear took over. 

Diabetes is a scary disease. Not all the time, but there are moments when I am reminded just how quickly things can go from "fine" to not. I try not dwell on it too much, as I think if I did that fear would consume me and dictate my every move in this thing we call life. And, in my opinion, that's no way to live. So that "fear of diabetes" box is kept firmly locked...until moments like today happen. Then I struggle to trust my instincts and it takes me a while to close that box again.

That's where I'm at this evening.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

I Wish People Knew That Diabetes...

Hat tip to Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness for this one! Here we go!

I wish people knew that diabetes is hard. People with diabetes may make it look easy, but it's not. And there is no time off - it's something I manage and make decisions about 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

I wish people knew that diabetes brings me a lot of guilt.

I wish people knew that (sometimes) diabetes makes me cry, whether it be over a stubborn high blood sugar, a low that just won't come up, frustration over a kinked cannula or just grieving for the life I had pre-diabetes, when I was 17 years old.

I wish people knew (and sometimes I need reminding) that diabetes is not a character flaw. I spent a long time thinking it was and hiding behind it and I feel I missed out on a lot because of that. It is not a character flaw. Just a small part of a greater whole.

I wish people knew that diabetes doesn't have a certain look about it. People don't "look diabetic", there's not a certain physical description you need to fit to have diabetes. It's a disease that doesn't discriminate.

I wish people knew that diabetes isn't cured by eating less sugar and exercising more. Okay, I find watching what I eat and exercising helps make it a little bit easier to manage my diabetes, but it by no means jump-starts my pancreas into producing insulin again.

I wish people knew that diabetes isn't cured by my insulin pump either. Just because I no longer do injections on a day to day basis doesn't mean I'm cured. My insulin pump is just the device I choose to use to manage this thing, and it's what works best for me at this point in time. (Also: my insulin pump doesn't mean I have the "bad" kind of diabetes.)

I wish people knew that diabetes is an unpredictable fucker: you can do everything exactly the same, two days in a row, and see completely different results. And it's a bit of a mind-fuck for a while as you try to work out why.

I wish people knew that diabetes-related paraphernalia is a luxury, and one I don't take for granted. I'm incredibly fortunate to live in a country where we have an NHS, meaning free health care. I don't have to pay for my insulin, my insulin pump, my glucose meter, the test strips that go with it, lancets...nothing! Yet there are still people in this world that struggle with gaining access to insulin. And that makes me angry.

I wish people knew that diabetes has caused me to see food as a number before I see the food itself. So when I go to delve into that lovely lemon poppy seed muffin from the coffee shop at work, know that I know exactly how many carbs are in that and how to bolus for it.

I wish people knew that diabetes, for all the things I hate about it, has brought be some of the best friendships. People that I can't imagine not knowing. And that screws with my head as well. Because SO MANY wonderful people have entered my life as a result of this diagnosis. I want to keep the people, but kick the diagnosis. But it doesn't work like that. I know that I can't have one without the other. And I, I know, that I will always choose the people over a life without diabetes. Like I said, some of the best friendships, both online and off.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


So me and Doodle are having a picnic and we're eating raspberries. Doodle got the juice on his fingers so licked them, then said "I'm copying Auntie Vicki." I said "what do you mean?" and he said "Auntie Vicki has juice on her fingers every day and she licks it off like this" Haha!

Sometimes, diabetes is eww. Other days, it's raspberries. 

[And thanks, best friend, for texting me this little story. It definitely brought a smile to my face :) ]

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

What's The Story, Morning Glory?

Six weeks ago, I joined a gym. It was fairly cheap (yay for corporate membership!) and near to my place of work, so very convenient.

There are a number of reasons why I exercise. For a start, it makes me feel good. That, to me, is reason enough to do it. I think better, and more clearly, I feel more energised, I like the sense of accomplishment I feel after a work out and, of course, there is that added bonus of nicer blood sugars (on the whole) when exercise is incorporated into my routine.

When I signed up, I made the decision that mornings was going to be when I go. I know me, and I knew that the chances of me going to gym after a day at work were slim to nothing. Going first thing in the morning, however, was much more likely to see results.

When family and friends caught wind of this, they laughed, and justifiably so. Anyone that knows me will know that mornings aren't my thing (well, at least they never used to be!) I barely function with a cup of coffee when I wake up! But I was (am) determined, and I have made morning work outs do-able.

Here's how I get out the door and to the gym by the time it opens! (I know...I still question who I am some days!)
  1. I start work at 8am, so I get to the gym around 6.30am, which is when it opens. This is so I can get a good 45-50 minutes in before I have to hit the shower and make myself office-presentable. My alarm goes off at 5.20am (which I snooze) and then 5.30am, which is when I force myself out of the cocoon that is my duvet cover. I head straight downstairs and put the kettle on and make a small coffee.
  2. Whilst the kettle is on, I get my breakfast and lunch from the fridge. I always prepare both the night before, as it means less to do in the morning, which in turn means more time in bed. I even get my coffee mug out and place it next to the kettle! At the moment, I'm alternating between these pancake muffins and these egg frittatas (hat tip to Jen for the latter) for breakfast, and lunch varies from salads to sandwiches to ryvita crackers and toppings. 
  3. Change into gym clothes, wearing work trousers over the top (less to carry in gym bag). Tie hair back, place medic alert wrist band on wrist and grab gym bag which, again, is always packed the night before (because, sleep). Add breakfast and lunch boxes to gym bag, grab handbag, phone, ipod and train ticket. 
  4. Leave the house and head to the train station. This is my gym warm up. My time actually in the gym is limited, so when I get there, I want to be going for it, not worrying about warm ups. So I power walk to the train station, ride the train, and then power walk from the station to the gym. Dump stuff in locker on arrival at the gym, check blood sugars, decide whether to remove pump and GO! 
And I'm sat happily at my desk by 8am drinking coffee, eating breakfast ready to face the day. Most of the time, anyway! 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Continuing Conversations: The Pill.

A while back, I wrote about the Pill. Like the title says, this post is continuing that conversation, so, once again, could be seen as borderline TMI. Also, to get formalities out of the way: nothing has changed, I'm not a doctor. This is my experience, my personal targets, etc, etc.

*      *      *      *      *

When I last wrote about the Pill, I was waiting for the start of my next period to then begin my course of the Pill. Well, said period showed up late (no surprise there, as you'll know from the first post), so I didn't actually start taking it until mid-February.

Initially, I didn't notice too big a change with regard to blood sugars. Then, after a couple of weeks, I was certain that my bedtime and waking readings are affected by it. I went through 5 weeks of bedtime corrections and waking blood sugars that made me feel like I hadn't slept a wink (my average blood sugar on waking being about 10mmol, compared to the 5-6mmol I'm used to). I put some time aside to basal test and make adjustments, but nothing seemed to make a dent in those waking blood sugars. 

Within the last week, however, something seems to have fallen into place. I gave up on trying to tweak basals, as far too much emphasis was on diabetes and I needed a break. Ironically, after a couple of days, my waking blood sugars came down, as did my bedtime readings. And my post-dinner readings. Evenings in general have improved, as has my mood with this turn in events. 

My daytime blood sugars haven't changed much at all, which is good, and has made it that much easier to pin-point where the blood sugar battles lie. I have also started re-working exercise into my routine which I feel has helped significantly - those stubborn morning highs aren't quite as stubborn with a workout, and my blood sugars throughout the day are just generally nicer. 

As for my actual period (because the whole point of me going on the pill was to regulate things), things still aren't regular, but I wasn't expecting them to be either. Things involving hormones are never simple, and I know I need to be patient (she says after venting her frustrations in this blog post here!) What I am happy about however, is that things are lighter and much less ball-curling and pain killer needing. 

It's a work in progress, one that I hope is paying off.