Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas cake!

You know that cake I was talking about yesterday well here it is:

I am so proud of it, its the first one I made and made all the pieces, the cake, the boarder, the snowflakes and the characters!

And again I wish you a very merry christmas and a happy new year!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Low Christmas

I am decorating my christmas cake placing sugar paste characters I made on the top.

Mum: You need to stick those down with something.

Me: No I don't!

Mum: Yes, otherwise they will fall off!

Me: No, its my cake.

Mum: but when someone picks it up they will fall off.

Me: Then no one can pick it up.

I finish decorating, wash my hands and test my BG.

You guessed it I was low and uncooperative! So I had to go back and apologise to my mum and stick my sugar paste characters down with a dab of water.

I'm such a lovely person when I'm low!

In other news Happy Christmas everyone!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Respect for my parents

I have so much respect for my parents in being able to raise me, raising a child is hard enough but when that child has diabetes there is ten times the amount of stuff to worry about.

I currently child mind a four year old with diabetes, and that has made me realise the effort of looking after her and the worry that comes with that. Looking after myself diabetes wise is all natural to me that I barely even have to think about it, but looking after another person is different. It means all the tests you do and the decisions you make have to be done for them and its not just you that will live with the result of those decisions.

Seeing her mother worry about her and how much effort she takes makes me think about my parents and what they had to go through (and still do to a lesser extent!). Looking after and raising perfectly healthy child is tough enough, when that child has additional needs and the measures you take to ensure they stay healthy, from injecting them on a daily basis to almost forcing them to eat when they don't want to but still need to.

What I wanted to say is I respect my parents and love them loads for all they did and still do for me!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

World Diabetes Day - How this started

So today is World Diabetes Day (WDD), I haven't really done too much for it but what I have done is joined the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange (WDDPE) which is a cool project which puts people with diabetes (PWDs) in contact with others with diabetes by allowing them to send postcards to each other for WDD. I thought that was a pretty good idea seeing as I don't really get a chance to talk to other PWDs that are my own age. for more information on the project and how to take part next year click here to go to their website.

Blue for WDD
For WDD I also dressed in blue all day in one of my favourite dresses which I don't wear often enough! (I have tones of blue clothes which is cool but i like this the best!)

It's strange to think a year ago I had no idea about the huge thing that is the diabetic online community (DOC), I was all alone in the world of diabetes with no one to listen to and figure out issues that I was having. Then I started thinking about going onto an insulin pump, and I researched it to DEATH, I had to know every single teeny tiny bit of information about insulin pumps and how they work, whilst doing this I came across a website called Tu Diabetes and that opened up the whole world of the DOC from Twitter to blogs to forums discussing diabetes, I have found people I can admire and people I can relate to, I also found ways to find the funny side of diabetes in cartoons and pictures posted on the web. I can hear from those overseas and how diabetes is different in other countries, those without an NHS where their care is payed for by insurance and sometimes out of pocket, I hear how much of a struggle that can be compared to in the UK with all the free care we receive.

Thats how I decided to start this blog and how amazing it has been even for this short while!

So Happy World Diabetes Day - slightly odd to be wishing someone a happy diabetes day? not really sure how that works? never mind! - I hope it was a good one!

Downing street in blue!
P.S. Check out downing street lit up blue for WDD

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


I'm not sure what got me thinking about this, maybe it was someone at work mentioning it but breakfast  is a very important meal of the day, it doesn't particularly matter what I have, just as long as I eat something!

I know many people skip breakfast and go all morning until lunch time without eating a single thing! That is something I just couldn't manage, and to me it seems weird someone could start their day without a bite to eat! Most of the time it just one slice of toast (with a small amount of nutella of course!) but I always have something!

This - but for me its one slice
and a lot less nutella!
If I didn't eat anything for breakfast I would be one unhappy bunny, so for others sake eating first thing is a good idea! My parents would tell you how unadvisable it is to talk to me before having had breakfast in the morning, I think I could probably bite your head off out of hunger! But seriously, I am not the most co-oporative or nice person before food in the morning so for the sake of those around me eating breakfast is a good plan!
I don't know how true this is for others with the diabetes but if I don't eat breakfast it won't stand me in good stead for the rest of the day, I need some carbs onboard before setting off on the day's adventures, if not i will ends up with an exhausting day of lows!

If I didn't start the day with a nice bit of breakfast I think I would be absolutely starved by lunch but hey ho maybe I'm just a greedy guts!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Working Girl!

I have been ridiculously busy recently from applying to colleges through UCAS (more on that in later posts!) to knitting christmas projects (I know its early but its a cheap way to make presents this year so I can save money! - I also know that knitting makes me sound like and old lady!) to starting work, which leads me onto this post.

I haven't really had a 'proper' job before, and by that I mean I had a small amount casual work at my parents business which I don't count as a proper job as I didn't have to do a lot of work to get it and I also didn't have any regular hours as such. So now I have a job in the Christmas department of a garden centre which is lets not lie pretty boring but also raises a few questions in terms of working and diabetes.

The first question I have come across is when, how and who do I tell about my diabetes? 
I think this is probably up to the individual and what sort of work place it is, I told the person senior to me who I am going to be around most of the time, after the interview and when I had got the job, this was because I'm worried about the interviewers seeing the long term disease and thinking 'It's not worth the risk, what if she's always off ill and isn't at all reliable?' I don't know how much of an issue this actually is but it does niggle in my mind a fair amount.
I explained about having type 1 in a casual manner i.e. 'Something you should know is I have Type 1 diabetes. It shouldn't affect my work but may mean that I need to do a blood sugar test at some points during the day.' If I'm honest she didn't really know what to do with that information and just sort of said 'oh ok then.'

A second issue when it comes to working is all the stuff you have to lug around with you everywhere you go when you have diabetes.

I have 3 vital things to carry
  1. My pump: Carried in a handy leather case which it came with from Animas. This looks a lot smarter than being simply clipped to my trousers or tucked into my pocket.
  2. A BG tester: Which I put in a SpiBelt around my waist under my T-Shirt with the tester at the small of my back. It can't be seen but isn't awfully comfortable.
  3. A treatment for hypoglycaemia: I carry GlucoTabs with me at all times in a tube as they are easy to eat, at work I put the tube in another SpiBelt around my waist the same as my tester.
I'm have just ordered a SpiBelt with two pouches in so I only have to carry one belt which could be a bit more comfortable than carrying two.

How to handle lows? How do I test?
These are questions that can be different every time, obviously I can't really test right in front of customers on the shop floor so when it is busy testing becomes a slight issue, I try and find a quiet area to do a quick test discretely but that isn't always easy and can be made harder if I'm low and trying to get my tester out to actually do a test! There is a small desk I can 'hide' my tester behind to do a test but I still feel really conscious of doing where other people are, I'm not normally conscious but whilst working I just want to be a normal person! To prevent lows I have been using a lot of temporary basal rates generally of -50% and if I am low I just have a GlucoTab and continue at a slower pace! Being low is never the best time to explain to someone what being low is actually like!

So theres some of the things I'm finding difficult at work. It would be nice to hear some of your issues and tips for working in this environment! 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

It's been soooo long...

Hi guys,

I know its been like forever since I posted anything here!

but to tide you over for a little while before I have a chance to write a new post I thought I would share this with you:

This photo excited me so much! Firstly its awesome (I mean who isn't jealous of this guy?) and secondly I found it on a site which is pretty popular ( and has nothing to do with diabetes. This excited me so much I immediately had to repost it somewhere! So it was here!

Hope everyones doing well!

Happy diabetes management!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Diabetes memes

So theres a group on Facebook (Fac-e-book?) called Type 1 diabetes memes and for those of us with diabetes or those with close loved ones with diabetes it show the lighter side of this disease.

With those popular memes created frequently which never fail to disappoint - I mean quite frankly I find them hilarious!

Anyway I decided I would create on for myself after reading this ridiculous comment on a social forum relating to 'curing' diabetes.

Said comment from someone clearly with limited information on diabetes

So this is what I came up with: 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

My Treatments

I apologise for the HUGE lack of posts on this blog. I mean I was going to do another video but I recorded it outside and all the sound was rubbish and I don't really have time right now to sit down and record another one due to being very busy.

So today I wanted to talk about what different things I use to either treat or help treat my diabetes. There are a whole multitude of different things I use because of the complicated disease this is. (This post may turn into 2 or more due to that!)

The Accu-chec mobile
BG meter
So the first thing that I use and can not even leave the house without (I am very attached to it - maybe too much!?) is my BG tester, I am currently using the Accu-chec mobile which is awesome as everything is all in one little machine that is just bigger than the size of a mobile phone. The Accu-chec mobile has a cartridge containing 50 tests in it as opposed to having a bottle of those pesky little strips, so it also means that strips that always get EVERYWHERE well just don't anymore. The tester also has a small cartridge of 6 finger pricks as opposed to having all those lancelets and lids that always seem to stray away from their holding pouch. I am lucky enough to currently have about 5 of these testers and so they are kept everywhere from beside my bed incase I'm low in the night to in my car incase I accidentally forget to take one out with me. Due to the fact they are everywhere I seem to do almost twice the number of tests that is recommended (I do around 10-12 a day!), I am not entirely sure whether this is a good thing but I always feel uneasy about not knowing where I am at with my BG level. Now if they could just combine this tester to use as a pump remote everything would be brilliant!

The animas 2020 Insulin pump
Moving on the second thing that is obviously very important in treatment of type one diabetes is that insulin stuff. I am currently using Apidra insulin in an animas 2020 pump which is working really well. When I was first diagnosed I was on two injections daily of a mix of insulin, I did this for about 6 years. Then once I was settled in secondary school I was moved over to a basal bolus system involving one injection of the  basal, long-acting insulin Lantus and three injections of the bolus, fast-acting insulin Humalog, this worked well for a few years but starting losing control of my diabetes slowly but surely and getting to the point as shown in previous blog posts where diabetes was stopping me doing things and ruining some important days. So around 6 months ago I started to think seriously about the idea of an insulin pump and mentioned it to my doctor, he told me it would be a good idea to go for it now whilst I'm still at the children's clinic. So I began carbohydrate counting and kept on at my nurse about how much we were struggling and about 2 months ago I was started on the pump with the new type of insulin. I have found that this was a brilliant decision as my life isn't the same day to day and so the flexibility the pump gives is just amazing! I mean I think someone would have to prise it out of my dead hands to take it away from me now!

I think that is a long enough post for now and I will carry on telling (typing?) you guys about how I treat my diabetes next time (maybe soon) including useful tools and apps I use on a day to day basis. I might also get around to recording another video soon so you can see my lovely face (?) at some point!


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Video - This or That a response to Danica

I just uploaded a video to YouTube as a response to DiabeticDanica's original video so here it is:

Monday, 6 August 2012


I recently went to Munich in Germany... ON MY OWN!

A small sample of diabetes
paraphernalia I took with me. 
Well technically not on my own but it was a pretty big step as I flew without my parents.

I left the UK through Heathrow's new terminal 5 with a friend who has recently moved to Munich and had come back for a visit.

It was the first part of my trip that worried me the most, going through security at the airport. Even though I had done my research online to find out other peoples experiences of travelling with a pump, I was nervous! This may have been due to reading some experiences of those from the USA and their extremely strict controls on anything and everything even if its clearly medical stuff. However despite my worries everything was fine, on the way out I took the clip off my pump and no questions were asked of it. I did the same on the way home when with another friend and the woman just asked me to take my phone out of my pocket, I told her it was an insulin pump, she was fine about it and just notified the people the other side of the metal detector gate!
So the part I was most worried about went absolutely fine and I can tell anyone who hasn't yet flown with a pump and is due to go to the EU soon that it would be fine, there is no need to worry about flying and security!
This shows where I
clipped my pump.

Whilst I was in Germany we did quite a few things including bus tours around the city and swimming in lakes, a water park and a normal pool (We like swimming ALOT!). With all this swimming I had to figure out what to do with this brand new insulin pump. Well when I went to the lakes and the swimming pool, as my animas pump is waterproof I kept my it on and just reduced my basal by around 30% - 40% for a while. However, going to the water park was a different story, I didn't want to break it by forcing the water around it on the rough slides, I also didn't want it to get in the way, so I took it off whilst I was there. This mean't every hour I had to get out, do a test and bolus a little using the ezBG bolus feature on the pump. This worked fairly well with just one low as I was doing exercise and being the first time I had done this it was a bit of an experiment and I thought it went well and I can learn from the bits that didn't go so well!

Lederhosen and Dirndl
So generally Germany was AWSOME and was also well handled diabetes wise. Went spent a whole day at the BEST zoo I have ever been to! (Don't judge you are NEVER to old for going to the zoo!) We also saw some typical German things, such as actual people wearing lederhosen and dirndls which I am kicking myself for not getting a photo of but I can compensate with this one I found on the internet.

I am now planning to go back in February to go skiing which will be only the second time I go and obviously the first time with my pump so we will see how that goes!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Fantastic Mr. Pump!

So I am now on my pump... and it is AMAZING! Seriously, it is the best change I have made in a long time!
Cartridges which are now filling
my diabetes draw!

My blood sugars are sooo much better, I'm now seeing numbers around 6.0 mmol/l and 7.0 mmol/l instead of the 13.0, 15.0, and often even 18.0 mmol/l I was used to seeing before when I was on MDI's. Its so much easier to control and correct those unwanted highs, before when it would be say 11.0 mmol/l and climbing there would be no way that I could correct that because the more I injected the worse my sites got. I had (still have I guess) lipos on the tops of my thighs and my stomach, my endo thought this may be due to me reacting to zinc in the types of insulin I was using (humalog and lantus) so I have now changed to Apidra which also seems better as it works faster lasting just 3 hours as opposed tot he 5 hours that humalog lasts! It is also way easier to prevent lows when doing activities by using temporary basals, this also means I can eat when I want to rather than having to before activity!

Inset II which also litter my
diabetes draw except in blue!
There are loads of feature on the pump which are all pretty useful! The features that I find most useful and use most of all are:

  • The ability to reduce and change basal easily for a limited amount of time such as a hour.
  • The working out of bolus amounts - meaning less maths! (this is very useful when I'm half awake in the morning!)
  • The reminders you can set for after you bolus to check your BG - this is useful to see how I:C ratios are working!

So the pump (which I have named Dory life the forgetful fish in 'Finding Nemo') is Brilliant and if you are unsure of what it can do and have the ability to give it a go do so, even if it is for a few months at least, I understand that usually it takes longer for the settings to be right for most people and I am doing very well in comparison but I would still say give it a go take the leap, if you don't like it then you can always give it back!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

All the other type 1's

I never really thought about it before I discovered the DOC (Diabetes Online Community - always amuses me how its like the shortening for doctor because it is a bit like a community of doctors to help us out with the day to day things) but I have contact with quite a few Type 1 diabetics including a few around my age!

A gathering for JDRF's walk to
cure diabetes
There are two girls in my sixth form, one who is in my year and another in the year below me. This is pretty cool because I can complain about being high or low to the girl in my year who I'm pretty friendly with and she understands what I'm talking about and how it feels!
I also live on a street with two other diabetics, one who is the mother of some teenagers I used to play with when I was younger and the other a three year old girl who was diagnosed as a baby, its pretty inspirational to see her and her family handle such a young child with this disease.
One last person I know (well know of) is a family friend's brother, who was diagnosed as a child and is now the same age as my parents.

So overall I do know people with diabetes and I am lucky to do so as many people have no idea of the number that most likely surround them!

Lastly the countdown to my pump is now just 3 days which means just 3 (including tonight's) more doses of the stingy Lantus Woop Woop!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Insulin Pump

So, one of the main reasons for setting up this blog was because I had the possibility of getting an insulin pump in a month or so due to HORRIBLY out of control sugar levels that need to be reined in. This is becoming difficult on MDI even with changing almost everything possible so pump it is! :)
I know that getting a pump is not a final solution and a lot of work is needed but hopefully with all my efforts it will offer more control and flexibility for my lifestyle.
I now have a date for training and getting up and running on the pump next Wednesday! I'm excited now!

So what is an insulin pump?

The animas 2020 in blue!
I decided on an Animas pump mostly for the fact that its waterproof but also the way it works and all sorts of reason which appealed to me. So I'm getting a blue Animas 2020 insulin pump next Wednesday and hope it all goes well :) 
An insulin pump is an electronic device about the size of mobile (bit bigger?) that continually delivers insulin through a tube into the body with background rates that can be changed in accordance with activity or time of day. To give insulin for food the user programs in the insulin needed (in different ways on different pumps) to cover the meal. The user can administer corrections if the sugar level is high.

There are different companies which manufacture different pumps with different ways to set them and different ways of working so its up to the person on what they want to get from the pump as to which one they go for.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tough times

So recently the old diabetes control has been pretty well... appalling.

This is something that has got me down because it has basically put a downer on a couple of important days in my life recently.
Firstly there was my birthday (and Olympic-torch-past-the-end-of-my-road-day) which was not brill as I woke up with a horrible low (you know one of those which is really difficult to bounce back from) this meant that I ended up embarrassingly stood at the end of my road waiting for the Olympic torch to be run past in floods of tears and clinging to my mother like a child in front of loads of people. It also meant that I can't really remember a lot of it other than those few things.

How I felt
The second day was Friday, my last day of school EVER!... in itself that is pretty scary but when you add waking up low on a hot day to the mix means that again bad day :/ So I slid myself out of bed and got myself downstairs with my apple juice, slowly got ready into my rock 'n' roll dress up and somehow got  myself to school with my friends. Everything was going well with all the celebrations until I got to the assembly in the boiling hot theatre, this meant my BG dropped fast, I treated but I ended being really confused and horribly shaky, I ended up stood outside in the heat asking my friends to help me get home, (I live literally 2 mins walk from school so can easily get home normally) they didn't do anything, I had to ring my parents and get the to pick me up even though they were both nearly 20 minutes away by car. Anyway my dad picked me up and I spent the rest of the afternoon (after lunch) sleeping and missing the rest of the celebration without a text or word from any of my friends to see if I was OK.
This experience has really scared me, what would have happened if I had collapsed? Would they just have stood there doing nothing? I don't know but I do know now I'm going to have to be EXTRA vigilant when I go out and are around them to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Low sugar blog post!

This is what typing a blog post when low looks like (don't worry I have treated it - after realising we had like the least amount of food in the house ever!).

OK so seeing as I am low let me tell you my (not everyone else's) symptoms of having hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). So the most common thing I get is feeling 'shaky' this actually became what I called a low sugar and still is, 'I feel shaky' is what I say :) another symptom is overall confusion, like what? I don't understand anything, this makes me annoyed and I often get upset and throw things (yeah I turn into a child :/). My heart beats fast and I get slightly sweaty. Symptoms that don't occur often are a massively tingly and numb mouth and tongue, and also being super hyperactive and running around before I feel any of those mentioned above this is the point where my parents say 'Danielle, do you need to do a test?' I normally answer with no, then they make me and yup I'm low!

I think that's all my symptoms but if I remember more then I will add below :)

Update: So I have looked back at this the next day, now I don't feel low and realised I missed off a huge thing that happens which is a lack of focus on anything, my vision gets blurred, its hard to explain but I can look at something and it can take me like a few seconds to focus on it. This is horribly frustrating and also happens with a high but more on that later :)

My Story - Part 1 diagnosis


I was diagnosed at age 6 in 2000 around a week before Easter! (of all holidays the one FILLED with chocolate!). I don't remember a lot (because I was just a kid!) but what I do remember before diagnosis is drink TONES of the orange juice drink 'Sunny D' because I was so thirsty ALL the time! That's about all I remember about my symptoms of type one diabetes but my Mum did tell me that I was really skinny and you could see my ribs down the other end of the corridor in our house because of the weight I lost so fast.
My mum took me to the doctors on a Tuesday, they took a urine sample and called us back in the morning. We went in on the Wednesday and were told to I had diabetes, we then rushed off to Bristol children's Hospital in my mums car not really sure what was happening. I remember being sat in the car in the car park next to the Doctors office and asking my mum where we were going and if I was going back to school after that.

At the hospital i had a cannula put in my hand in case they needed to take any blood (I don't think I had any saline as my diagnosis was caught early so wasn't too dehydrated). It didn't worry me at all being in hospital, I was in for three days and went to radio lollipop (the radio station for the kids to go to) everyday and remember making badges with the other kids.
I also remember one nurse who told me to tuck my cat shaped pillow pet's tail underneath it so it didn't annoy me when I tried to sleep and rolled onto the uncomfortable stick. My final memory of my diagnosis that sticks in my mind is sitting a room with my Mum and Dad who were learning to inject me on a orange as all parents of type ones do. 
I stayed in hospital for three days and received a lovely handmade card from my school classmates which was pink with a picture of a vase of flowers on. :)