Sunday, 16 June 2013

First Long-term complication

I suppose I have been lucky to make it 12 years without a long-term complication of this condition especially since I spent about 3 or 4 years with a highish fructosamine. But a year after I start to concentrate my efforts on managing my diabetes better and keeping my bg's lower this letter landed on my doorstep (or in the outdoor postbox where the letters get soggy). It tells me I have some background retinopathy and that it shouldn't be a problem etc.

This is not the worst of that long list of diabetes complications, it is however my first and also many peoples first and was a bit of a shock. I am aware my vision has gotten worse and eyes have been playing up (by getting stye infections) recently and although its probably not the result of diabetes it is a pain and the niggle of blame lies with diabetes, my control and ultimately me even if its not the case. This is why the letter I received wasn't how I felt the news should be delivered. Due to the DOC and good education I know a fair bit about diabetic retinopathy and the causes etc however the news you have background retinopathy and all the info about it should not be delivered in a letter and leaflet. Although it offers for you to contact and talk to your GP or part of the retinopathy team I feel the whole thing is very impersonal and if you don't know what to do and have little support it can be a shock and quite intimidating. I understand the cost of face-to-face appointments on the NHS would be more than a simple letter, it would just be nicer if it was that way!

On a positive note after being sick (for the second time this year urrghh) diabetes seems to have 'reset' itself and my numbers for the past week have been really good (apart from after the pizza last night!) :)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Pump logistics

Dresses and diabetes, two things that don't go together very well. (sorry to any males reading this, its all about dresses for this post!)

I really like wearing dresses but have never really wear as many of them as I would like because logistics of them with diabetes can lead to some embarrassing moments. When on injections I found doing injections discreetly when out quite difficult as hiking up your dress to get to a stomach site at the dinner table tends to be frowned upon! This meant trotting off to the loo to do an injection whilst everyone else digs into their meal, definitely not ideal.

Moving over to a pump there came the problem of where on earth can I put this thing and still access it in a dress (this is where remote connections would be useful!).
Theres the spibelt option which I used, this is fine and well hidden up until it comes to accessing the thing, some shuffling and catching of the pump is done which takes some time.
Theres the thigh garter which is again fine apart from the square lump on your leg, the occasional pulling it back up my leg and again access to it.
Dress with Pocket,
pump can't be seen.

So diabetes and dresses don't mix right? Wrong! I found a solution for my dresses. Seeing as most of my dresses are fairly flowy with a full skirt, I thought pockets might work. And they did!

So following this tutorial I added my first pockets in the seams of one of my dresses. I then added a buttonhole to the pockets (probably best done before sewing them in instead of after!) and the lining of the dress so I could thread the tubing through. Although I would suggesting measuring the size of the little clippy bit that attaches to the site as one of them was too small and I needed to redo it :(

The pockets in my dress turned out well and they can't be seen even with my pump in one of them. I will be adding them to all of my others :)
Inside the pocket

I'm now off to buy more dresses to add pockets to after!

Inside out

I just wanted an excuse to use my sewing machine and this lovely fabric!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Being ill... Properly!

I am not a sickly person the last time I physically threw up I was either 3 or 7 (I seem to remember being ill at 7 but not sure if I actually threw up and before that I was 3). So when on Thursday last week I felt sick and my bg's dropped and stayed down, taking a piece of toast (20g carbs) and 3 cartons of apple juice (60g carbs) to bring it up to just 5 mmol/l, I had no idea of the reason for it. Until the morning. When I promptly threw up. Everywhere.

Sorry about the details, they probably aren't needed but you get the picture. I also woke up with an 18mmol/l which was corrected to hovering around 10-12 all day whist I drifted in and out of sleep on the sofa. I didn't do too many corrections in fear of going low and being stuck there as this is not an illness I have dealt with before - give me colds I can deal with them as I have had 6 in total this winter, but throwing up nope not common here!

So It has taken probably a week for me to get back to normal BG's I was low everyday until wednesday and every low took over an hour to get back up and around 60g to 80g of carbs to get me there - It was exhausting. Especially because I then had highs that were unpredictable (no rebound from the low or overcorrections just random highs popping up here and there!).

So I have had a crappy easter week but all back to fairly normal now and back to work and preschool next week and a YLAG meeting on friday and Saturday!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Saturday, 23 March 2013

New pump | Clinic | Think like a Pancreas

A month (or more like 2 months) ago I posted that I would be getting the animas vibe pump well here is an update using the new pump!

My Animas Vibe and
cannula site on my back
My new pump is pretty much the same as the 2020 with a few changes, which are all useful such as being able to match the suggested dose on the bolus screen with the dose being given by pressing the up button.

The CGM feature is the major change but as I can't use this, the option just sits there on the menu screen taunting me! It would be so good to see where my bg's are trending but alas not on the NHS for now!

I have a clinic appointment coming up which I am now not looking forward to for a few reasons. The first reason it's that my bg's have not been that fantastic over he past couple of weeks so I can't go in beaming with lovely results to show my Dr and nurse. They are getting back on track (the main reason for them being high was calculating my lunch totally wrong as being half the carb count it actually was for a couple of weeks) which is good my my mum said time earlier that 'we need to get them sorted' this kind of annoyed/upset me as she has very little to do with he day to day control of my diabetes now as I do all my carb counting and pump running as my parents can't really do these things. I know it was supposed to be supportive but all the mistakes are my fault and I need to deal with them myself I think. I also need to go to clinic as this is the last one before I am 19 and need to transfer over to adult clinic so I have to go and see what they say about that as I have had little to no conversations about my transition!

Lastly I have started reading 'Think Like a Pancreas' by Gary Scheiner which I can hopefully use the tips in it to help manage this stupid chronic disease that is diabetes and I will update you on this in the near future (if I remember to!)

Monday, 4 February 2013

New pump already? | YLAG

So you know how just 7 months ago I got my pump and how amazing it made my life?
Well tomorrow I get my second one, this time an Animas Vibe (remember the one I thought I might get?), this is because my 2020 had been recalled by animas due to a couple of faults including one telling me that after august 2015 my pump will no longer give me insulin! I'm not too sure what to think of that one to be honest!

I'm excited to be getting a new pump and setting everything up again so i will let you all know any differences I notice (although I don't think there will be any)

A few weeks ago I applied to a diabetes UK project called the Young Leaders Action Group of young people aged 16-30 who are going to work to improve services for people in this age group. Today I heard back that I have been invited to join and our first meeting at the end of March. This is a great opportunity and I am very much looking forward to it!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Dad I love you but... no

We were watching a gameshow on TV last night and my Dad pauses it.

After a short delay he suddenly announces proudly 'He's wearing an insulin pump!'

Me and mum both reply together 'No it's a mic pack!' (which was quite obvious)

'Oh ok then'

Nice try Dad but better luck next time!