Tuesday, 29 March 2016


Things I've learnt having been sans insulin since 2010:

  • There's a life after diagnosis. 
  • There are times when diabetes scares me. It's not something I voice often, but it does. 
  • There are times I wish diabetes wasn't my reality. 
  • On the flip side, however, there are people I wouldn't have met if it wasn't for this disease. People that I can't imagine not knowing. 
  • And as much as I wish it wasn't my reality, what frustrates me more is that there are people in this world that don't even have access to insulin. And as much as I'd like a cure, I'd like to see insulin for all happen first. Because diabetes shouldn't be a death sentence. 
  • Sometimes, diabetes is funny. Sometimes it isn't.
  • Testing my blood sugar is the best way for me to keep my diabetes "on track" - I wish it were true that my pump just "sorts it", but it's just a tool that I choose to use to manage my diabetes, along with my Freestyle Libre. 
  • Diabetes and food is so complicated. But a healthy balance can be found. 
  • Diabetes changed me: it's made me more in tune with my health. I watch what I eat, I exercise, I see my health care team regularly. It's made me more appreciative of the world around me. It inspires me to do more, love harder and not let it hold me back. 
  • I have type one diabetes = I'm a person with diabetes = I'm type one diabetic. Some people have preferences about this. I personally don't. Bottom line: my pancreas doesn't work.
  • I am not alone. 
  • Knowing that, community and peer support has become as essential to my diabetes care as the insulin I infuse. 
  • Diabetes is not a character flaw. You accept me with it, not in spite of it
  • Disclosing my diabetes acts as a barometer for jerks. When disclosing, I'm carefully watching, looking at how the person reacts.
  • Emotional health is SO important: my blood sugars get chaotic quickly when my head's not in the game. 
  • NovoRapid ain't that rapid. 
  • Pre-bolusing is the one. As is actually carb counting, and not just guessing.
  • (The point above first came out as "Pre-blousing is the one. As is actually crab counting, and not just guessing" because autocorrect.)
  • Diabetes sometimes makes me cry, and that's okay. It can be a relentless fucker at times, and every now and then a good cry is what I need. In the same breath, I celebrate the victories too. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and it's totally okay to feel all parts of life, whether diabetes related or not. 
  • That time flies pretty damn quickly! When I was diagnosed, hitting five years with diabetes seemed like forever away, let alone getting closer to the ten year mark! 
  • That I can do this. 

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Food Diary.

I've always avoided keeping food diaries. Always. There's a guilt that has always accompanied them, for me, so I've always dodged them, focussing my clinic appointments on other aspects of my diabetes care and not the food side of things. My blood sugars aren't exactly horrendous, so keeping my HCPs' eyes on other parts of my health, for the most part, is easy.

I had an appointment with my diabetes team last week. My hba1c wasn't where I wanted it to be, and I was told I'd put on weight. Not a lot, but, much like my hba1c, my weight is personal, and, again, it's not where I want it to be. As per usual, I kept emphasis on my ratios and basal rates, discussed my thyroid medication and my love-hate relationship with exercise.

With no mention of food or diet, I left my appointment and headed back to work before heading away on course the same evening.

It was Saturday evening, when I was sat watching X-Men with a (small) bowl of popcorn on my lap and a (large) glass of wine to my left that I wondered how I got here. I didn't feel hungry, but I was eating the popcorn anyway. And who knows where the glass of wine came from!! (Wine fairy, anyone?!)

That was when I resolved to keep a log of my food intake for a week. Not because I had to, and not because I was being told to by my health care team. But because I wanted to hone back in on my food choices and what I'm eating day to day. Because, it became very clear halfway through my movie that I had no effing idea what was happening day-to-day.

Now I'm coming to the end of my week of food logging, I remember why I don't like it. (Actually, it only took me a couple of days to remember why I don't like it!) It's not a level of accountability I enjoy or embrace, and I still feel guilty for some of my food choices. But (and I say this with SO MUCH reluctance) it's so damn useful. After just a few days, I could see that my coffee intake is shocking (and I can't even say the mug is small to make up for it), and my willpower is fine in the mornings and afternoons, whilst at work, but the moment I get home (or at weekends), I undo what has been, for the most part (let's ignore the caffeine intake) a balanced day of eating.

As insightful an exercise this has been, I'm happy to stop now. I know where the issues are, and I know what I need to do going forward. I'm glad to have made a conscious effort to realign my diabetes, brain and stomach. It's a step in the right direction to (hopefully) get my blood sugars back in check.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Thinking About Blogging.

Hi *sheepishly waves from the safety and comfort that is behind my laptop screen*

I don't really know where to start. My time between blog posts seems to be getting longer and longer, and there are only so many times that I can make excuses for it.

So, this time, no excuses.

I somewhat lost interest in blogging.

Not because I didn't have anything to say, but because I needed to work out where I was at with regard to social media.

I love the Diabetes Online Community. I've said it time and time again: for me, it's as important as the insulin in my pump - emotionally, it keeps me grounded. Nothing beats understanding, particularly from those that are at a similar stage of life as me (twenties, wading through life not really having a clue where you're at, who you are or what you're doing, and T1D is along for the ride - if this sounds familiar, hit me up! We'll figure things out together :) ).

When I was at uni, I threw myself into the DOC. And I have no regrets over that - it's brought me some fabulous friendships that I wouldn't trade in for the world. The connections have been there through a hypo at 2am, the stories shared offering endless amounts of hope about my future with type one. But since leaving uni and entering the (exciting?!) world of employment, I've leaned towards being more of an avid reader as opposed to a contributor.

I needed to figure out what I wanted from the community, and what I wanted to contribute to it. (Because support required changes as often as insulin requirements - it's never static).

Blogs are something I love. Real life stories of living an *actual* life with diabetes are what I look for. Not only do they often resonate, but they also inspire me in terms of my future.

I loved (love) writing and blogging. It was (is) my diabetes therapy. I don't care how many or how few people read my ramblings (and this blog is most definitely a rambling!) One thing I have umm-ed and ahh-ed over, however, is privacy. How much of my life do I want online? This is what somewhat explains the blog tumbleweed. I needed to have a very long think about what I wanted online. Because we all know, once it's out there, you ain't getting that shit back.

And that's not always a bad thing. It's just a case of thinking about what I publish. You'll notice in past blog posts, real names are a no-go, particularly when it comes to my littlest friend (who's not so little these days, and will be taller than my 5ft1" self very soon, I'm sure!)

When I started this blog, I was 20. I was living in Spain (oh, tapas and sangria, how I miss you!) I was struggling and I was removed from my support network. So I blogged, blogged, blogged. Anything and everything. And, for the first time in a long time, emotionally at least, I felt better.

Now? Now, having had a long think about privacy, and discussions with a few friends, I've decided I want to get back into blogging. For real this time. Because the blogs found in this little corner of the Internet have helped and inspired me immensely. And I want to continue to put my story "out there". Providing a story that resonates with just one person makes it all worth it, in my opinion.