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!