Saturday, 19 December 2015

Hugo the Great!

I've been living with my insulin pump for 9 years this December. 9 years is a hell of a long time, over half my life. I have to say it does feel like an extra limb now!

A couple of years ago, my veo that I had at the time broke and we had a new one delivered (within 6 hours, medtronic was brilliant with it!). I then left my old pump upstairs and me and my mum were sat downstairs for a few hours watching films. We heard it alarming after a few minutes of sitting down but decided to ignore it, after all it was broken. 

After probably 6 or so hours, I went upstairs to bed. I found my old insulin pump screaming it's poor head off! It was sirening virtually non-stop and I clicked the screen on to find 'lost sensor'. I actually can't believe how bad I felt. I was super guilty and almost wanted to cry because all my poor ole pump had wanted to tell me was it couldn't find my sensor (which of course it wouldn't - how had I not realised that?). It had kept me alive for years, been my friend and my safety net for as long as I could rememeber and I had ignored it, FOR HOURS. 

I'm still surprised I'm so attached to my pump (pun very much intended) but not surprised at the same time. My current pump, a Medtronic 640G, is called Hugo and I love him. My last pump, a veo, was George and my first never had a name.  Each upgrade gets a new name and then replacements get numbers. So there was George, he who screamed his head off, then George 2. As of yet there is only Hugo. So far so good. 


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The (Mock) Exam Week - Take 1.

The past week and a bit I have been doing my mock exams. I haven't even enjoyed them a little. I can officially say that I hate GCSEs. I also hate exams. (Somehow it still hasn't put me off my dream of medical school which is a miracle!)

So for just over the past week I've been taking exam after exam. The mocks aren't supposed to be terrible, they're supposed to be easier than the real exams I have next year. But they were. They were beyond terrible. Did I mention the fact I hate exams? I have to do it all over again in February when there's  another set of mocks. And of course I have to do the real exams in May/June time. Oh, the joys of high school. 

Although the revising for the exams is worse than the exams themselves. Simply put, it is boring. Revision is painfully boring. (Yes, the subjects that I have an interest in aren't as tedious but I'd rather be chatting with friends or go out shopping rather than sat inside for hours on end cramming facts into my already fried brain, you know?)

I even started snacking on my hypo treatment, well I used lucosade as hypo treatment as per usual but if I started heading low the smartguard wasn't enough, so I would munch on a couple of jelly babies too, but they're my all time favourite sweets. Bad move getting them for hypos, I know. I'm usually pretty good at self control with my jelly baby hypo jar but sometimes the urge to consume the entire jar was to much and I would indulge in some much needed sugar. Which sent me high. Because I'm rubbish at accurately bolusing for them time-wise. I eat them guiltily then forget I'm a diabetic. So I give insulin after. Again, bad move.  

However, my blood sugars have been pretty amazing throughout! I've hovered in the 9s and 10s for every single exam which is excellent compared to what could have happened. Those numbers are just because I still haven't figured out how to manage my breakfast bolus and what is the best food to eat. But other than that it has been a walk in the park diabetes-wise! Revision hasn't impacted on my blood sugars to horrifically either. I did have a 1.9 after a practice exam I did at home in preparation and I've had a few hypos but not as many as I had when I revised last year. So, I consider myself successful at revising too, when it comes to blood sugars.

The school have been utterly amazing with my exams, so I reckon I've got a better deal than all my non-diabetic friends with all these exams. I have (not even kidding) been given a room of my own. It is a little lime green wedge shaped room, with a little triangular table and thankfully normal shaped chair plonked in the center. It definitely beats sitting in a huge drafty exam hall with hundreds of others! I needn't worry about my pump alarms going off, testing in the middle or treating hypos and highs, which is a huge relief because I'm that type of person that doesn't want to disrupt others so I would do something stupid like not treating the hypo or not stop the exam to wait for my blood sugars to rise (which I can do in my lime wedge)! I find it so much easier to concentrate on my exams when I'm isolated too, giving me the best chance possible of getting the grades I need. So, I owe a big thank you to my school when all of this is over! So, I hated the exams but they weren't as horrific as they could have been.

But, exams are exams so to sum it all up: Exams are stressful and revision is boring. What a wonderful mix!

I can't wait until I only have to study the subjects I enjoy, at A Level. I long for the days when I can enjoy my study time.... I've got to survive another few months of high school and then I'm free! 



Saturday, 14 November 2015

Am I normal?

It's world diabetes awareness day 2015!! So to celebrate I'm going to write about a thought that crosses every diabetic's mind at one time or another - am I normal?

have been type 1 diabetic for 15 years.

I have always felt that I am different from my peers because of that fact. I viewed my condition as a hindrance and throughout the years I have resented the fact I am diabetic, been angry that I am diabetic, been wishful of being a non-diabetic or been highly annoyed about what life with type 1 diabetes entails. Sometimes I think these things more often or more strongly than other times but at the very least they were always in the back of my mind. However, all this completely changed when I started asking myself - what is normal?

In the Oxford Dictionary the adjective "normal" is defined as:

"Conforming to a standard; usual, typical of expected".

In terms of people, the definition is:

"Free from physical or mental disorders".

I cannot categorise myself into either of those descriptions therefore I am not normal. I am different. 

If I am not normal, who is normal? 

But, I can't answer that question simply because normality changes. I once heard a friend of mine say - "normality is just a perception of the mind" - and he could not be any closer to the truth. What is normal to me is abnormal to the next person, what is abnormal to me is normal to someone else. But still we believe that society has these unspoken terms and conditions and we question ourselves. 

Am I normal? 

If you put me in a line with 9 other people who were all non-diabetics, 7 of which were female and the other 2 male (including myself there would be 8 females in total), no, I am not normal because I am the only diabetic stood there. I am not usual, typical, expected or conforming to the diabetes-free standards. I am not free from a physical or mental disorder. I am not normal. 

And yet, I am normal at the same time. 

I am normal if you are judging us on gender. In this circumstance, I am normal.  I am conforming to the female expectations of that line up. I am also normal if I am in a line up of 9 diabetics and 1 non-diabetic. 

So, I ask myself over and over again - am I normal? Well my answer is this,

Why would you want to be normal?






Friday, 6 November 2015

My Home away from Home

I cannot emphasise enough how much I love the Friends For Life conferences. After 6 years of going, it goes way beyond simply being with other diabetics now. I'm not sure my friends at school would recognise the me at FFL, I feel like a whole other person - in a good way - whilst I'm there. 

For those of you who don't know, FFL is a conference for families living with type 1 diabetes usually in held all over America throughout the year, but once a year they bring one over to the UK for us. This year was my seventh and was quite possibly the best one I've been to so far! The parents go to educational or emotionally supporting sessions (four a day, breaks and food in between each!). While they do this the children go to sessions of their own. I am in the teens, 13-18 and I wouldn't miss it for the world. 

We did fun activities and group discussions all day Saturday and Sunday morning such as a competition for carb counting fast food (which for non diabetics probably sound difficult and boring as hell but for us diabetics and siblings it is great fun and highly competitive!), a presentation on the latest technology (I will probably do a post at a later date about these) and separate girls/boys/siblings discussions (I'm in the girls diabetic talk of course) which always goes slightly off track but are brilliant because of the tips, tricks and stories we get to hear. 

Sunday afternoon and Saturday evening are the best parts though - the disco and Thorpe Park. 

I'm not a party animal in any way shape or form and I have rhythm but I cannot dance properly at all. However at discos you can't get me off the dance floor easily. This would be one of the times my non diabetes world friends wouldn't know me! Moments when you're all dancing like maniacs and yet can still compare blood sugars on CGMs whilst dancing are what I go to the conference for. A lot of people wouldn't understand this but it is moments like that are when I am completely normal and completely myself. I don't hide any part of me from my diabuddies - I love it. 

Thorpe park was just incredible. Walking round with a group of type one diabetics free to go and do whatever, in an adrenaline junkie's heaven is something I will always remember. When we got there initially and the leaders yelled "Right. There's forty of you. We have 20 fast track passes so get into pairs, one diabled and one carer!" I knew it was going to be a good day. 

I only recently got into the whole rollercoasters and rides thing, I used to be quite scared of them and would only go on the mediocre rides at most. So (for those of you who know Thorpe Park) I went on Swarm first (forwards), Nemesis Inferno, Swarm (backwards) and I would have gone on Colussus if it had been a shorter queue (even with the fast track it was a really long wait!!). I had an incredible day and I would go back again any day!! 

But the weekend wouldn't be complete if it weren't for all the people I get to spend time with whilst I'm there. There is nothing quite like being with someone in the same boat as you, no matter what you're doing or talking about, there's this unspoken agreement. They understand you and have your back and vice versa. That's what makes these weekends special:)


This year's group photo of the conference. I'm in there somewhere....!


The green diabetic band I wear all weekend (everyone gets colour coded into orange non diabetics, green diabetics and yellow coeliacs) and the yellow Thorpe Park fast track band!


I got soaked. Twice. This was the first time - there's nothing like a large caramel latte to warm you up. (Carb counted and insulined of course!)

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Self conscious-ness:/

 Type 1 diabetes is a hell of a big part of me. It always has been. And yet recently I keep on feeling like I talk about it too much. I probably bore my friends with all 
the T1D lingo, I feel awkward when I get out my test kit. I still do all my treatment and that, but I'm not as relaxed when I do it anymore. I'm so conscious of it now. And I have no idea why!

I am usually confident, and couldn't care less who I was with when dealing with any diabetes related activity. I've been through blips similar to this before. But normally there is a trigger, like a conversation about it, or meeting another type 1 in non-diabetes related circumstances, but I can't think of a trigger this time. 

I will carry on and test, bolus etc. I'm not silly. I know the consequences of not doing it, but I wish the feelings of normality would return. 

I've started talking with a year 7, in my form group, she's lovely. (I'm year 11).  But wandering around with her at break, I felt awkward answering my pump beeping. I want her to see me as Jess, a year 11 girl she can talk to. Not Jess, a year 11 girl she can talk to who is also diabetic. I always wonder about this type thing in relation to my friends. 

Do they see me as 'the diabetic girl'? I sincerely hope not because that would mean I had no other characteristics in their eyes. I guess I will never know. But hopefully by talking about being diabetic less will not make it such a prominent feature of mine, although it is definitively a part of me - I can't deny that. 

I guess I'll just go with the flow, not really talk about diabetes unless I'm asked and treat my diabetes as I would normally. 



Thursday, 3 September 2015

Fictional Diabetes

Recently, I've not been able to stop reading. Literally. Every waking hour that I can, my eyes are glued to a book, or my reading apps on my phone. I'm truly addicted.

You're probably wondering what on earth this has to do with diabetes. Well, put simply, it doesn't. And that's the issue with it! I've never found a book, (I read teen and young adult fiction) that has even a single character with diabetes. I've read books containing characters with ADHD, dylexia, asthma, cancer and plenty of characters in wheelchairs for various reasons. But no one with diabetes - any type!

I'm only a little miffed, because to be fair it would probably be a difficult condition to write into a story line accurately. But, the fact that diabetes is barely mentioned in fiction books most likely adds to the ignorance and misconceptions surrounding diabetes. I would write a book with the main character as a diabetic, type 1, if I could. But I don't have the skills set nor the time to do this, so I hope that one day a proper author tries!

Imagine a sci-fi thriller, with the male lead being awesome shooting guns and fighting villains. Imagine him beginning to get injured and yelling "Help! I'm starting to struggle here!" Imagine him turning round in desperation and spotting the other lead sat on the floor a short distance away with their bag open and their kit spread around on the floor in front of them yelling, "Give me a moment! I just need to test and probably put on a temp basal rate!"

Yeah. I somehow have this feeling that it wouldn't work out well.

But maybe a romance novel or a drama with a diabetic. I personally think it could work.
****Hint, hint, anyone reading this.....!****



Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ketones?

I'm lucky, in the way that I don't get ketones. If I ever test them because my sugars have reached the high 20s I always have 0.3, tops. 

But I was in a situation recently where my blood sugars had sat at 20 to 23 for hours, which never happens. So I tested my ketones, even though it was highly unlikely that I had any. (The reason I don't get them is something to do with the fact that I still produce my own inuslin even though it's only occasionally.) And for the first time ever, I was scared to see the result. 

Whenever my blood sugar is high, it has always come down fairly easily, especially compared to stories I hear on Facebook groups and from my type 1 friends. I don't remember any times that it hasn't, even when I'm ill (which isn't often I'm proud to say, once in the last 5 years)! So with my sugars not budging for several hours, I stared to wonder if I would have ketones. 

What-ifs started running through my head. What if I did have ketones, and they were dangerously high? What if I had to go to hospital? Don't get me wrong, I'm not scared of being admitted to hospital or hospitals in general, after all I would be in the possible place to be treated. However, I am scared of the horror stories in the type 1 diabetes world, of comas and worse. 

Thankfully, after a countdown that felt like it lasted years, I only had 0.2. But someday my tiny-weeny pancreas will probably die out completely, and I would be susceptible to ketones when that eventually happens. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but I certainly don't look forward to it. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

"We're sooooaaaaaaring, Fllllllyyyyyyyyiiiiiing"

(Yes, I was a High School Musical fan when I was younger!)

So. I'm off to Majorca! I'm going with my mum, grandma and aunt. It'll be a nice, relaxing, beach holiday during which I can concentrate on my currently non-existent tan. (I'm hoping that I don't return looking like a lobster!)

But before we even get onto the gorgeous island, actually leaving my own country proves a tad more difficult as a diabetic than as your average traveller. Attempting to get your life-saving, hypo-treating lucosade and your life-saving, instead-of-an-important-organ insulin through security is an absolute nightmare. The last time I flew, a few months ago, we ended up being marched around the airport (even though we had a letter from my hospital) by some patronising manager on the hunt for 380ml bottles of lucosade (of which there were none!) because apparently "we could buy all we needed in the airport". 

Thankfully this trip through security went a lot more smoothly, because we had a letter from gatwick themselves apologising for the last trip through security and it stated we could take my lucosade through! So I got the full pay down as per usual (I haven't gone through an X-ray scanner doorway thingy for YEARS because of my insulin pump) and off we trotted into the terminal to go shopping. 

Last night my grandma called, in middle of booking special assistance for my aunt because of joint problems, asking whether I would like to be booked in too. I was stood there shaking my shaking my head like a lunatic going 'NOOOO. I AMNOT INCAPABLE  OF WALKING!' so I of course I was booked in for special assistance with my aunt. I have to say it was rather fun!

Me and my aunt (my mum tagged along with us but my grandma had to walk!!) got a ride on a 'beep beep' with another couple. A 'beep beep' being a slow moving cart thing. A VERY slow moving cart thing. We actually had to wear seat belts, not that we needed them! 

Then when we reached the gate we were immediately transferred into our own private little minibus! We'd increased in numbers, with a total of 7 people now. We travelled round to the airplane sat on the Tarmac (the peasants went by big cramped bus) and we all sat there a few minutes. Us lot on our spacious minibus were then asked whether we would like to get into the plane by stairs or ambulance. So we all ended up on a truck which they'd named an ambulance (it was nothing like the emergency ambulances you find in the UK normally)! After being penned in whilst stood on a fancy piece of metal that took us up to the truck bit itself we sat in this ambulance/truck and eventually proceeded into the aircraft after being boosted up another few metres. It was definitely an experience and a half. 

Once we'd got onto the plane I got to use one of my pump's new exciting features again! Aeroplane mode. (Airplane? Aeroplane? Thought I'd use both in this post just to be sure!) But sadly it means that my CGM doesn't track:( My blood sugars don't usually get affected by flying but hypos just love to surprise me when I'm without CGM. 

So today was a bit of a different airport experience, but I'm on the plane and on my way to Majorca which is the part that matters!

        ^^^The fancy bit of metal^^^
     ^^^Saying goodbye to England^^^

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Stress vs Diabetes

Well. I've recently found out what a heap load of coursework looks like on my blood sugars. It's.... interesting. Yes, that's the word I'll use. Squashed would work too. If my blood sugars were a lilo (I'm getting in the holiday mood!) and people were pieces of work, the more people standing on the lilo (whilst it is floating on the turquoise-y blue sea..... with the sun beaming down, reflecting off the pleasantly warm water....) the more it sinks! That was the effect of work on blood sugars. (I have to say, my analogy is making me long for a sandy beach!)

I do just seem to drop when I'm doing coursework or exam revision! My blood sugars are great when I'm doing normal not as important homework, but the important stuff sadly does not slip under diabetes' radar!

I was juggling with lower temp basal, however I've found that as soon as I hit the 4s, eating a couple of sweets does the trick. Not the healthiest of solutions, but hey ho! I'm not complaining!

As the workload increases over the next year, I will have to find a better option to keep my bloods stable, but for now I think my workload has decreased a little for the summer thankfully!!! (If I think this is a lot of work, I think I'll probably get a shock next year. Oh well. I'm sure I'll cope somehow haha!)
 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Diabetes in all walks of life:/

(Apologies for not posting for ages!!! I've had a busy last 3 weeks and literally haven't had a minute. I'm not even kidding.) 

I've found that talking to people about type 1 diabetes is actually extremely difficult. And I don't mean about how to manage it, the science behind it or even the emotional effects. I have absolutely no problem with any of those, I will talk to anyone that is even only vaguely interested!

What I mean is how I should explain the severity to different people in my life. For instance, I've applied for a job (in a nursing home!! If I get the job it's one step closer to being a doctor!) but if I get the job, what do I tell the boss? I don't want them to think that it is a major life-threatening condition because they might only give me tiny tasks to do, or baby me. I don't want them having to learn the glucagon or anything! I wouldn't want whoever my particular boss was to barely even think about my type 1. 

However schools and whatever sixth form/college I go to, I would want them to think it was a major life-threatening and difficult to manage condition! Because then I get the extra privileges I desperately need, like calling my mum, having hypo treatment in class or if I get late to school because of a hypo it is easy to explain. 

It's two extremes with those particular situations/people, and what do I do about either?! It's silly. And frustrating. 

Oh well. I want to be grown up about this and talk to whomever I would need to myself, but how do you explain the severity of the condition, particularly Hyperinsulinism, without scaring the person or making it seem too easy?! I wish there was a stock answer that suited ALL situations and explained EVERYTHING in one sentence haha:)

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

My beloved CGM (Enlite Sensors)!

Sometimes, life is just too full on don't you think?

I've had a fair few exams recently, including three very important exams tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. (Predictive grades for Sixth Form! Eek!) So I haven't had a great deal of time to do a blog post so this is only a quick one, and I'm hoping things will die down and become less homework-y next week!

I was reminded last week, exactly how fabulous the CGM is. A sensor that I had in for quite a while stopped working early on in the day, so I didn't have a CGM for most of that day, and I'd put a new one in (I can now say I can put my own Enlite Sensor in, set up and insertion!!) that evening but we can never get it to work for the first 12-24 hours. So for approximately 2 days I went minus the sensor. Not good. At all. I'm used to relying on the high and low alerts, so I forgot that I didn't have a sensor in and just tested my usual amount, which isn't enough for me when I'm without a sensor. So I dropped to 2.8 three times. Including in the middle of the night. If I had had a sensor in, it would've either prevented the low, or at least let me know when I reached the 3s. I also climbed to 11 a few times, and for me this is really out of control blood sugars especially as it was a few times these drops and spikes occurred.

This has happened before, lots of times without my CGM, for instance a few months ago I didn't have one in and I was stood next to my mum at a train station having just gone across a road to the car on my own, thought I was maybe in the 4s, or heading that way so I tested. 2.2.

It just seems that I cannot control my blood sugars when I'm sensorless! The CHI probably doesn't help with the whole no liver releasing sugar backup, and my unreliable symptoms of both highs and lows aren't helpful either. I have such a busy life (it's so easy to just look at the Sensor Glucose, knowing it is accurate than test 12 or more times a day) that I just REALLY REALLY need my CGM. Whoever invented them was a genius!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Medtronic Bloggers and Advocacy Gossip Day:)

I've had a very interesting day today. I was dragged along (by my mum) to a type 1 diabetes bloggers and advocates meeting at Medtronic, in Watford. When I say dragged along, I mean, I eagerly followed her. Medtronic get ideas and/or feedback from us about various projects or products, and in exchange they tell us what their next steps are, and what the latest news is in the Medtronic (pump therapy) World. And oh my word was it exciting to hear what will be coming!

Also invited to the meeting were:

@everydayupsdwns
Little D (can't find a Twitter account)
@LwSweetpea88
And other t1d advocates and a couple of company representatives (all diabetic, or a parent of a diabetic) (and mostly adults with the exception of two teens including myself) 
Ninjabetic, The GrumpyPumper and The Tangerine Diabetic all also usually go but weren't there today. 

Did you know that the UK only has UNDER 10% (about 8 or 9 % to be precise) of type 1 diabetic patients on a pump?!?! It is in the same percentage category as places such as Serbia, Kazakstan and Russia! Whereas places such as Italy, Hungary, France and Canada have 10 to 20 % on pumps? Surely we should be alongside these country's statistics?! 

But, thankfully, that was the only disheartening aspect of today. However, the next thing I learnt today pushed that disappointing fact very far from my mind. They are developing a system (there is absolutely no timeline on this) called MiniMed Connect. And it is exactly what the name says, the MiniMed platform connecting.... WITH A PHONE. An iPhone, (perfect for me then!) with the pump and CGM being seen on the phone screen. The user would still have the pump, and use it whenever, but your pump would have this little transmitter-y thingy kept near it which would basically just allow the phone to show the pump screen using a cloud or something. I don't understand the technical business, but I understand the !!!PUMP BEING ON AN IPHONE!!! part. It would be able to be transmitted to up to 5 devices, so yours and for instance, your mum's. 

This is working in America, or being trialled, I'm not sure what was said exactly, but it only works with American pumps so sadly it can't be bought in America and brought to the UK by a family member or someone similar:(  The system would work with the 640G, but not the Veo. There's a press release somewhere about it, if I find it I'll link to it. It'll have more details than I can give you. 

Medtronic will also be setting up a Facebook page (finally!), and we were asked to write down ideas about what they could post, link to and make the Facebook page about. We were each assigned to one of the 5 subjects, me being assigned to 'Teenagers' with the other teen there (17).

Some of the things we put were:

- Exams and managing stress, revision and blood sugars. What is available equipment and resources wise. Such as CGM, even if it is self funded for the exam period, or having a seperate room. 

- Social, how to explain and talk about diabetes and pumps to friends, boyfriends/girlfriends. 

- Puberty, parties, alcohol, sex and drugs. 

- Driving

- An introduction to diabetes for newly diagnosed teenagers (there seemed to be children and adults but a gap where teenagers help and guidance would be, in the other teen's area)

- Case studies, real people coping with real, actually did happen, diabetes crisises i.e. Being on stage and having a low, how it was dealt with. 

(There was one more, but I can't remember it now.)
Oh and I mentioned funny memes and pictures, to keep things light on the future Facebook page ! 

The other topics were pregnancy, hypoglycaemia, parents and guardians and a random column for interesting topics. 

We then had a guest speaker who spoke about percurement (who had been dressed like us in the morning sessions, mixed with us and was genuinely type 1 diabetic but had actually been disguised as he was actually the guest speaker!) 

I can't talk about what he said at all, as I understood barely any of it! I do know that it was about where the funding for pumps and CGMs came from and who makes all the decisions about who has them or not. The bits that I could understand were very interesting. 

(I know this next but seems a bit random, but I wanted to mention it somewhere in this post and here is as good as any a place!)

I like Medtronic as a pump company a lot. Smartguard, customer service, support, actual products.... I personally feel as if you simply can't beat them. I do wish they'd bring out a tubeless pump or at least a fully functioning remote control, but that, as of yet, hasn't been brought out, (I'm praying that they're developing or at least thinking about developing one!!!). 

Overall, it was an excellent day and I can't wait until the next meeting! I sincerely hope I'm invited again. I really look forward to the future of pump technology too!!!!!!

(Oh and disclaimer: I wasn't asked by anyone to say anything I have in this blog post.)


(Look how amazing their latest pump is!!!! And sensor!!!! COMBINED!!!)





Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Italian afterthoughts

I actually managed to survive the week in Italy, and come home in one piece! That in itself is an achievement me thinks. 

It turned out to be a very good week, and I definitely don't regret going. The teachers were absolutely brilliant too, especially the two female ones! Every single night they woke up, or stayed up until 11 for me to text them my sugars. And then at 2 or 3 depending what I'd decided at 11 (and that depended on my number and arrows on my CGM at previous test) they would wake up and wait for me to text them. The agreement was if I didn't text within 15 minutes, they had to knock on my door. That unfortunately did have to happen once, on the first night in the hotel because at 4:30am (the first night I tested once more after my 2 am test because I'd hypoed in the evening due to the sudden change of temperature from country to country, so was t sure what on earth my bloods we're going to do!) I ended up only semi waking up to my alarm, turned it off, then when the teachers texted me, twice (whoops!), I'd turned them off too and then finally actually woken up. Once fully awake I totally forgot I had heard an alarm AND texts! So the knock on my door 5 minutes later certainly surprised me. 

The only other overnight blip was on the final night when my phone decided it wouldn't send texts anymore. Helpful. So at 11pm I told the teachers this problem, and eventually agreed for me to knock on their door at 2/3am. And at that time I bumped into them in the corridor! (The tow of them prefered to both wake up each time, I think they felt more confident like that). So overnights went pretty well! I had no highs OR lows in the night, at all!

But what I couldn't have done the week without, or at least it would've been a whole lot harder, was my CGM. Oh my gosh the amount of times I looked at it, was unbelievable! I was constantly checking what direction I was going, and what I should do insulin wise. It was utterly brilliant, all week. This was the MiniMed 640G Enlite Sensor. I've completely re-fallen in love with it again! Even more so now that I can insert it myself! (In my thigh is my prefered spot). 

I did have a few lows throughout the week, but my lowest was 2.9, so not terrible. And it couldn't have averaged out at more than 2 per day, maximum. And I had the grand total of perhaps 2 or 3 high blood sugars, 2 of them being in the first 24hrs, on the coach journey. And they all came down quickly and easily. My blood sugars, in conclusion, were a success!

We spent three days in Italy in total, and two either side travelling. We did 4 drama workshops, all of which were excellent fun. We did shopping and the Scalla Opera House (and my group plus 2 teachers headed for McDonald's instead of eating our packed lunch! Our group ((the rest of the time we stayed as one big school group, only on the middle day did we split into three groups for ease of shopping)) was the best as we went in the most shops and were given the most, although supervised, freedom!) in Milan and we did Romeo and Julie's balcony (on which two of my friends kissed..... ((Both male, and best mates, not dating or loving in any way, shape or form!)) and I witnessed a proposal in front of the love notes section of the wall! Very romantic and sweet!) and the colosseum (oh my word was it embarrassing whe we had to walk out early, but oh my it is such an amazing building to sit in, or is 'in' the right word, due to it having no roof?!). Even the almost 24hour coach journey wasn't too bad, just sleeping was damn near impossible. 

I would definitely recommend Italy, I would go back! But only go provided that you take A LOT of sun lotion!!:):)

The results of my week:







I'm very pleased with the first and last photo!! The middle one, to me, seems very out of control. But then again a type 1 diabetic's graph is always going to go up and down a fair bit, so actually it's pretty good. (1st photo = test kit, 2nd + 3rd = CGM)!!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Italy - Day 1!! Or, well, Day 2....

I am writing this post at 4am, halfway through an almost 24hour coach journey (with a bit of ferrying involved), because I cannot sleep. Turns out, I can only sleep in a bed, and definitely not on a coach. Unless I'm hit round the head with a hammer. Although I'd rather not be.

The reason I am sat on a coach is, I am on my way to Italy!! (With the school). Currently I'm in France, and yes I'm going via Switzerland, but we will eventually end up (hopefully) in Italy. 

And I'm in charge. (Not of the trip, we'd end up in Sweden or something if I was in charge of the whole thing). But I am in charge of my diabetes. And boy am I excited! 

I do have a deal with the teachers, where they're my alarm clock, and then I let them know if anything is drastically wrong plus they're emergency trained. However, the rest -the majority - is down to me. But I'm doing great so far. With the exception of underestimating my dinner carbs on the ferry yesterday evening resulting in a 17.0 back on the coach an hour later. But I'm going to pretend that never happened. So, I'm doing great so far! (I am now okay again). I'll attempt to make sure the rest of the week goes a little smoother than the first 12 hours!

Wish me luck!

Look at the amount of medical I had to pack for just a week!! That's not even all of it!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

DBlog Week - Continuing Connections

It's the last day of my first DBlog Week today...... It's actually quite hard work which I didn't expect! 

I'm not a massive reader of blogs, I usually just write my own and that's it. But, recently I've found a couple of really good ones, which really enjoy reading! 

missjengrieves.com is very funny, and the first blog I read which got me into reading blogs. theunderstudypancreas.com is also a very good blog, one I enjoy reading:)

But the blog that first inspired me to blog properly, was Ellie Huckle's elshuckle.blogspot.com and I still read it. 

Please go and check out all the blogs I've mentioned on here!!

Until next year, goodbye DBlog Week!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

DBlog Week - Favourites and Motivations

I made a New Years resolution at the beginning of 2013, to make a type one diabetes blog. So, I made one. However I only posted twice. I was absolutely rubbish at it! Then in 2014 I made a new blog, in May. But, I couldn't keep it up well so I stopped and switched to Twitter. 

Earlier this year I decided to start it up again on the same blog (the very first one is no longer in use). I gave it a complete new look, a new name and new style of blogging. Plus I blog about other things such as HI and Gastroparesis now. And I've kept it up! I deleted all my old posts from May to when I stopped it in October, so I only have my posts since March (I read my old posts back and wondered how I'd ever been happy to post them! They were awful!)

So, since restarting my favourite post has been 'Invasion of Test Strips', the link to it is at the bottom of this post. I like it simply because I had a lot fun writing it!! More than I usually do haha. Or actually 'My Brand New MiniMed 640G' I quite like because it's more of a story of a day rather than opinions:)

I think my favourite line is actually one I said, I may have mentioned it in one of my DBlog Week posts. It being -

'Diabetes is only one piece of me, both the whole picture.'

Links - 

http://pancreas-lessandproud.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/invasion-of-test-strips.html?m=1

http://pancreas-lessandproud.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/my-brand-new-minimed-640g.html?m=0


Friday, 15 May 2015

DBlog Week - Foods on Friday

I can and will eat anything I like. I do try and stick to a healthy diet, because obviously that's good for you. But I don't stick to it because I'm a diabetic. In regards to my diabetes, I will eat anything I like!

I'm not the cook in the house, so I don't know any recipes we use frequently, to be honest I don't think we use recipes!

I carbohydrate count, I eat healthily, I eat normally. I work my diabetes around the food, not the food around my diabetes. 

(I'm sorry that I don't have much to say today!)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

DBlog Week - Changes

Well. I've definitely seen some changes. Liiiiiiiiiike transitioning from MDI to a pump...... Aaaaaaaaaand ummmmmm starting to carbohydrate count....... But sadly I cannot remember them very well at all because my memory is atrocious. 

So I will blog about the future changes!! No memory required for this! 

Recently I've heard of some of my friends  trialling the closed loop system overnight. (Is this one called the artificial pancreas??) So it would stop and start insulin automatically!! I'd be scared to trust it though. A machine doing it all itself. At least with the pump you control it yourself. Although I'd love to be able not think about it at all!! Saying that, I think I would think about it anyway, it's a habit now. To wonder what my blood sugar is. 

I would love to trial it, to see it in action. But, my A1c is too low!!! 

I look forward to future, life saving technology. But I am also fearful, because I won't be in control anymore. 


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

DBlog Week - Clean it Out

Hmmmmmm. I definitely have PLENTY to clean out of my medical cupboard. Well, all my cupboards could do with cleaning out but this is a diabetes blog so I can't talk about my other cupboards on here. 

I think at least half of the cupboard must be packed with test kits. The amount I have collected over the years is truly insane. And the amount of finger testers that came with them..... At least ousted all the test kits at some point. But finger testers is nuh uh. I will only use accu check multiclix. Fastclix at a push. Any other one - NO NO NO NO. But my mum kept them anyway! 

Obviously my medical cupboard is filled with sets, reservoirs, sensor bits and bobs and loads of hypo treatment but there is so much old stuff I simply don't use anymore! Like my old test kits and pen pot of finger testers, alongside those is my old MDI kit. I don't even remember how to use it anymore! Sadly we have to keep it for those extremely rare highs that require a pen injection, or that even rarer time that my pump completely breaks (only happened once in 8 years, and that was when we couldn't get a new pump within 6 hours, which we can now!) So although I can't chuck out the pen kit, it is in my medical cupboard so gets a mention:) (there is also a box of unseeded straws in the cupboard, I used to use them to take hypo treatment but haven't for YEARS so in sure they'd disintegrate with one touch!)

But, the thing that definitely takes the biscuit for not belonging in my medical cupboard is by far, the suitcase. Yes, a suitcase. There was a gap, so we filled it. Because of course a suitcase is essential in your medical cupboard. It is the most important piece of kit didn't you know?! Well, it could be of you were in hospital overnight, but touch wood I haven't needed an overnight bag for quite a while. 

So yeah, my medical cupboard is very very full. Sadly that is not an understatement. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

DBlog Week - Keep it to Yourself

This is a very difficult subject for me!! I try to make my blog as honest as I can get it! I don't even keep things from my friends, or family, when it comes to diabetes. I like to think I'm a pretty open person, and I love to talk about a wide variety of subjects, anything basically! I figure, that me talking about being diabetic, is just like my bestfriend talking about her horse riding! I find medical conditions or situations interesting to talk about, especially diabetes as I live with it! I will literally talk to anyone about any aspect of diabetes. 

But, there is something I try and keep to myself. Sometimes I fail and let it slip out by accident, but generally I'm good at keeping it in. I don't like to talk to friends and family about my problems. If I'm having a bad day, or just a bad low I don't like to moan about it to people. I will tell them because it is often important someone knows that it's bad, or I need help but I won't moan about it. Because I feel like it is attention seeking, which is something I don't lie other people doing, so I certainly try not to myself. 

Once in a blue moon, I'll have a rant because my patience or strength snapped. And I am sick of it, full stop. But I try to make that a rare occasion. I keep my rants to my blog, when I want to, but even then I limit it because I like to think I am a very positive person. 

So I am open, but keep my frustration, when I can, to myself!

Dblog Week - I Can

Believe it or not, diabetes isn't all bad. I make out that it is terrible and I hate it, but there are some perks. Every cloud (albeit a rather large cloud, probably pouring with rain!!) has a silver lining. Plus, you can dance in the rain.....!

Anyway, enough with the soppy quotes. Being diabetic, and having HI, has given me so many opportunities! I reckon the majority of my CV (when I finally get round to actually writing the damn thing) will be made up of the T1 opportunities I've had the honour of partaking in! 

And some of the all time best people I know, and have known, are diabetic. Or have a sibling/son or daughter/or simply are just involved in the T1 world. I would never have met them had I not been diagnosed with it all.

So. Day 1 of diabetes blog week, subject: I can. 

- I CAN talk in front of large groups of people from having given presentations about various aspects of life with T1/HI. 

- I CAN cope with extremely long journeys from travelling up to hospital so much. 

- I CAN drink a mini coke can in under 10 seconds, in my sleep!

- I CAN live with a chronic medical condition everyday AND kick its butt daily. 

- I've found (I couldn't find a way to make this point work when starting with 'I CAN' but it still counts!!) a passion, helping others with medical conditions like my own, which has lead me to find my dream career - a doctor! 

- I CAN do and be whatever I want, whenever I like, because diabetes is just one piece of the puzzle that is me, it is not and will never EVER be the whole picture. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The future!! Eek!!

This is probably really early to think about such things, but I'd really like to be a mother one day. I've been thinking about it quite a lot recently, in respect to my diabetes, CHI etc. And I'm worried if I'm honest with you. 

First of all, being a pregnant type 1 diabetic sounds damn near impossible. I know there have been plenty of T1 mothers but I can't help but worry. I've heard you have to be like a robot, perfect blood sugars permanently so eating little and often (don't quote me on that, I haven't done my research - this is just my thoughts). It sounds like a hellish way to live for 9 whole months. But even worse than that, I couldn't imagine the guilt if my baby was born with medical issues because of bad blood sugar levels on my part! I'd feel so awful. Then there's whole my blood sugars whilst giving birth. I dread that too. 

Another thing I'm equally as worried about is, because of course I had 3 major surgeries when I was a baby, I have a pretty big scar across my stomach. I'm not complaining about the scar, it's neat and it makes my stomach more interesting than the average person's, but it hasn't grown with me whatsoever. It's fairly indented and has gotten shorter as I've got bigger (but still manages to cross my entire stomach!). Obviously being pregnant involves having a mini human being inside you, meaning you have to grow to host them. What the hell will happen with my scar? Will I even be able to have kids because of it? What if my scar didn't grow with me, even though a doctor had perhaps said it would've been fine, but it wasn't, and then the baby had growth problems or something?! Or what if my scar stretched or came undone (I'm hoping that is scientifically impossible haha!!) and cause me problems? 

And then the biggest worry about it all for me is, Congenital Hyperinsulinism is of course genetic. Hence the 'congenital'.  Apparently doctors can't test for my dodgey gene in the father as it is too difficult as of yet, so I wouldn't know if he could pass on the same bad dodgey gene. There are a hell of a lot of genes in the body, so you'd think that the chances of the father having the exact same bad gene as me would be so miniscule it would count as impossible, but it happened to me. Neither of my parents had the condition so the chance was probably even smaller for them to pass on two bad genes to me than for me to give it to my baby but they both happened to have 1 dodgey gene out of two. I then got 1 gene from each parent and they both managed to give me the dodgey ones. So I have two dodgey genes so my baby will definitely get at least one bad gene. What if the father had and gave the baby that same gene, and the bad version?! I dread that happening. I would hate for my child to grow up and live with that sort of difficult condition. The only thing to put my mind at rest is I could in theory make sure the baby didn't have two bad genes. And the treatment these days, and the diagnosis process and everything to do with the condition, is a whole lot better technologically and there are more medications than when I was born, and there will be even better technology and more medications, I hope, when I, hopefully, have a child. So at least they'd have an easier ride. And I desperately hope it didn't/doesn't get diabetes either from HI or normal T1. Or any medial condition for that matter!!

You'd think I'd dismiss wanting children after all that, but I reeeaaaally want at least one child. Or two. (Haha I haven't decided!) I hope everything works out really!!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

My Attempt at Socialising

So, I don't have a particularly busy social life I'll admit.... But, I do know a fair few fellow diabetics. A lot of which I spent this weekend with in a Caravan Park, the weekend (Friday to Monday), nicknamed Hoburne. 

My mum actually organises this particular weekend, and has done since I was 6 years old. This year was our 9th year! The time has really flown since the first year. 

I really really love being around others with diabetes. I just fit in so easily it's crazy! At school I have my friends of course, but I find I have more in common with other type ones and/or thier siblings 
Even if personality wise we're poles apart. I think it's to do with how we all have to deal with the same type of burden, so we understand each other on a whole other level, even the siblings who aren't T1 themselves! 

It's not even the in depth conversation of what regimes you've been on, or your scariest hypo stories that I enjoy. (Yes I do like to hear those types of things, it's interesting!) But it's the moments that an insulin pump beep and no one knows which pump it was, so everyone pulls thier electronic pancreases (has someone invented the plural for pancreas yet?) out of thier pockets. 

We're a family. When you haven't met before, or when you've known each other for years. There is just a connection between diabetics, and the siblings that get dragged along. It's amazing. You don't know what it's like unless you've been there. I love it. I love them:)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Idiot Within Me Strikes Once Again

Guess who was an idiot and forgot to take any spare strips on a school trip this last week? Moi!

I was off to London to a University with the school, I'd been told the day before that two trained Teaching Assistants (two that I know quite well, one more so than the other) would be going on this trip too, just in case I needed help.

So that morning I was all ready, bag packed with my test kit, spare needles, lucozade, glucagon, creon (digestive enzymes, taken because of my lack of pancreas), spare set change and even an injection kit in case my pump failed! And I never carry a spare injection kit (I know I'm meant to......). I was definitely ready for this trip.

It was quite a long journey, especially as it was by coach. I think it was 3 and 1/2 hours. Not my longest journey by far, but it wasn't exactly fun. About 1/2 hour into this journey, the smartguard activated. So, because smartguard isn't working very well for me, and I go low anyway, I tested. I was 2 mmol/ls above the sensor. So, I turned smart guard off. It then activated again 1 hour later. (If I remember correctly!) I tested again, using the last test strip in the pot in my kit. The sensor was wrong again. This was clearly a bad sensor. Suddenly thinking for once, I decided to get the other pot of test strips out of my bag, ready for my next test.

So I'm rummaging through my bag and I stick my hand in my medical kit (kept in a makeup bag within my bag) and I pull out the spare test strips. I open it up........ Empty.

Completely and utterly empty. I had no means of knowing what my blood sugars were, and I couldn't even rely on the sensor.

I froze. Panicked. Then actually thought logically.

So, I called my mum. She was fuming, but she worked her magic.

There was then a pot of test strips found at the hospital I'm under, and the University was told to expect a package. The strips just had to get there. Somehow, a barrista (apologies for the spelling) offered to be gofer. And hey presto the test strips were handed to me, (by the T.A who'd gone to grab them from the main desk) just in time for lunch.

I can be sure I will never not check the spare test strip pot again! ESPECIALLY for school trips!!!



Sunday, 19 April 2015

Taking off more than I can chew..... Literally

I went out to dinner with my dad and his girlfriend last night, to a newly opened Indian. I've had Indian lots of times before and I do eat rather a lot. The curry, rice, naan, onion Bahaji and often a side dish that I share with someone...... And I tend to finish the lot. (You're probably thinking "Oh my word she's so greedy! What a pig!" But I promise I don't do this often! It was a treat last night I swear!)

Anyway, we got a few poppadoms (Is that how you spell it???) with the little topping thingys and I had one and a half with a couple of spoonfuls of various toppings. We were waiting a long time for our main to come, because it was such a new restaurant so they were extremely full but with limited staff. When the main course came I piled the rice onto my plate, put most of my curry on top and some of the side dish (Saag Paneer, spinach and cheese in sauce, probably my favourite part of the meal!) I ate a forkful. And then another....... And then I was full.

I realised this would be Gastroparesis mucking around. Only a few bites into my delicious meal, I didn't want anymore! I decided that this meal was just too nice to pass up, plus I couldn't exactly leave heaps of food at a restaurant, so I ploughed on through it. I don't regret doing that either! I felt super full at the end, so I didn't have seconds sadly:( Thankfully I didn't feel sick! I've felt much worse after much smaller meals before, so it wasn't bad at all.

It was a delicious meal, so was a very good night out!:)

But, I accidentally over bolused. I actually gave the same amount of insulin as I normally do, so I don't know why I reached 3.3 an hour after getting home. But I was minus a sensor due to it dying on my about 2 hours before going out so we'd decided to try and resurrect it (and failed) so I didn't have one in at all that evening. I wouldn't hve gone that low, if low at all if I'd had my CGM working-_- 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

My brand new MiniMed 640G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will start off by just clarifying that my brand new MiniMed 640G, is in fact my insulin pump. Now you know what I'm actually on about, I can start!!

So, at the beginning of February, the 2nd I think, I was due a new insulin pump. But, I wanted the new all-singing all-dancing Medtronic pump (said 640G) which was launched on the market that very same day I was due one. Basically, that meant I couldn't get my hands on it during that appointment on the 2nd disappointingly. We were then told I would get it within that next couple of weeks. But, we are talking about the NHS here. (Don't get me wrong, I love that it's free and cares for you, but boy is it slow. If the NHS and a snail were in a race to get the best time, the snail would probably win, being faster). We were told they had to order the pump, train the hospital staff who were meant to train the patients blah blah blah. 

So here we were, 2 and a half months later, finally getting my new pump! September before last, so 2013, I took part in the trials for the 620 which was virtually the same as the 640G except it was minus a few features and it isn't actually available (a slight problem if you want it.... But the 640G is better, so the 620 probably lays in the corner forgotten somewhere). 

My mum and I therefore didn't strictly need the training for my new pump, having been trained a little over a year before and we were going to just stop by the hospital and pick up the pump a few days before the official training day. It then turned out that I knew 3 of the people going and were good friends with them, so UCLH managed to squeeze us in and 2 of my friends and our mums made a day of it (they both live nearby me). 

Our training was in the afternoon, so after getting the train up there with them, we found a place called Kamps (I recommend it, it is utterly delicious!) just down from the hospital (UCLH). I'd eaten there before (and will definitely go back!) and had my usual tuna melt with a caramel coffee frap (both mouth-wateringly good!). I couldn't for the life of me remember what carbs I had given, or whether it had worked last time I ate there. So, I guessed. My friend, and fellow diabetic, also had a tuna melt (minus my amazing drink) and we guessed slightly differently. I did 10 carbs more than he did (I still think I was closer carbs wise hahaha!) and added on what I guesstimated for the caramel thingy-majiggy. We had to wait and see who'd guessed better! A mini competition of sorts!

The training was fun, I won't go into details as my post is already super long (I do hope I'm not boring you now! If you've managed to read this far, thank you very much! I really appreciate views and always forget to say thank you!). It was a rather hot and stuffy room we were sat in for a good 3 hours, and halfway through the session I had to test. Hello mr blood sugar of 18.0. Fabulous. I'd under-bolused horribly, and the heat hadn't exactly helped. Luckily it came down quickly but annoyingly my friend's blood sugars were perfect even though he bolused less (and he had a donut so we had roughly equal carbs!). 

We got a new pump, a new transmitter for the sensor and a new test kit! (Contour link next USB 2.4!!) So all very exciting. The training was good fun, we already knew most things we were taught but it reminded us. The main thing we didn't know about, only rumours and other friends being on it (and Twitter of course!), was the smart guard. (The CGM and pump work together to turn off the insulin to prevent a low blood sugar!! The graph turns orange for when smartguard is active!) Oh my word. It's so cool! I'll do another post on it and how it works:)

After training, those of us who travelled up together went out for dinner...... All bolused using our new pumps...... Then we travelled home....... And on the way home my smartguard activated!!! I was so excited, I couldn't stop looking at it! 

love my new pump and all it's extras! I really love it!!!:) 

You can see how my day went with blood sugars haha!!
Second photo you can see the smart guard just activated because I was dropping!
Last photo you can see smart guard had been on (same section of smart guard as photo above, just hours later!). Apologies for the atrocious nail varnish, I really need to sort it out. 
Sadly the smart guard didn't work in this instance, and after giving it every chance of working, even not having lucozade when I tested at about 22:10 and was 3.5. The smart guard reached its maximum time - 2hours - and had to switch off. At which point I was 3.0, and feeling it very much so. However, later that night it activated again, and worked! 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

University

Now, I know I'm only 15 (And only just, I had my birthday last week! And if you wanted to know, which you probably don't but I'll tell you anyway, 15 doesn't feel any different whatsoever to 14) but I am already thinking about my future. And my future is one that I hope involves becoming a doctor. Well, it WILL involve being a doctor, I'm not the type to accept no as an answer in this circumstance.

But of course becoming a Doctor involves being a medical student first, and recently I've been thinking about the course I want to do, (which is the A100, another fact you probably didn't need or want but I've told you anyway). But more importantly I've been thinking about where I want to do that course.

Last weekend, I spent 3 days in Cambridge having a look at the area and the outside of the colleges under the university. (It is a very lovely area, sooo beautiful and old) but I'm not sure the course structure is right for me, I'm not sure. Oxford is exactly the same structure as Cambridge, and they are the only two in the UK that use that structure. All of the other universities either do lots of studying and lectures in the first 3ish years and then clinical placements in the last few years or do a mix of both all the way through. But it is a 6 year course either way you do it. (Cambridge and oxford appear to do two 3 years courses strangely).

I won't bore you with all the details of the courses but the other Uni I'm very interested in happens to be UCL, the hospital I'm under for my diabetes care! I plan on talking to my consultant about his experience there. Plus as a medical student I could get placements in GOSH, the other hospital I'm under, for my CHI. (I want to work in paediatrics, and specialise within that, so GOSH would be a perfect placement! To study at UCL would be quite frankly a dream of mine!)

But thinking about the course and Universities, especially UCL because it's in London has got me thinking about just general student life, and how expensive and busy it is!

And the point of this now rather long post is, how on earth do I fit Diabetes/CHI into it?! To try and get as high an income as I could to cover living and Uni expenses I would most likely have to get a job, but I would have to pass the course and become a doctor too (Kind of the point of being there really?) so I would be SOO busy. I dread managing Type 1 with that kind of lifestyle. Although, others will have done it before me, I'm sure it is possible.

With all that negative thoughts about fitting medical stuff, oh gosh I hadn't even thought about appointments before now, into that life there is a positive. Well, two. No, I correct myself again, three.

1. It is after all a serious medical condition, and then combined with CHI and Gastroparesis, although the CHI more, I would probably, hopefully get some privileges. I've heard of Type 1 Diabetics getting ensuite rooms, for high overnight bloods, and fridges in their rooms for insulin etc. (A mini fridge of course, could you imagine a big, fat, tall fridge sitting in the corner of your bedroom?!)

2. I would be excellent at the diabetes section of the training! And a little knowledgeable about the endocrine system, the pancreas in particular I guess. But not much.

3. I would be able to empathise super well (I hope!!) with my (paediatric) patients if I worked in endocrinology, which I'm interested in at the moment. In fact I'm interested in specialising in the pancreas and/or CHI! That would be cool.

So, life as a medical student will be busy and difficult especially with diabetes/CHI thrown into the mix, but it will be rewarding too, at the end:)



Friday, 3 April 2015

The Smallest and Yet Most Annoying Diabetes Moments PART 2

- When you're getting ready for bed and you're just cleanin your teeth when your blood sugars suddenly drop. Well, orange flavoured lucozade and mint toothpaste is a lasting taste....... And not a very pleasant one at all.

- When you've had high blood sugars for a few days, not 18+ high (although this point is very true if you're 18+ high for a few days!) but even only 11ish. Just higher than you usually are. You've finally gotten your bloods back down into range, you're 5/6ish but your body is trying to persuade you that you're low. You test over and over again during that first day back to normality but every single test you are very clearly fine. But still you're feeling very low. It is highly frustrating because you think lucozade will help, but of course all it will do is send you high again!! I often feel like saying "brain you had one job. Give me symptoms when I'm low" because of course the rest of brain basically packs up for the non hypo but symptomatic day. Why brain why. 

- When there's loud music on and you suddenly hear what could be your pump. But you're not too sure because there's an instrument in the song that's playing that sounds vaguely like your pump. Plus your pump is in an awkward place because you're at a party. To get your pump out or not to get your pump out. So, because you don't want to risk it being your pump and it then sirening, you get it out, (with difficulty and few odd looks). You then find out it was never your pump in the first place and you needn't have worried or got it out. 

There are plenty of other small and yet highly annoying moments that comes with being diabetic, but these are the only ones I could think of!
I also apologise for not writing this post sooner after part 1, I swore not to write this post until I finished a particular piece of homework....... I may have procrastinated rather a lot......

⬇️See part 1 here!!!⬇️

http://pancreas-lessandproud.blogspot.hu/2015/03/the-smallest-and-yet-most-annoying.html?m=1

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Smallest and Yet Most Annoying Diabetes Moments

My smallest and yet most annoying diabetes moments.

- When it's late at night, you're lying in bed. Perhaps you've been re-running the days' events in your mind. You're at the stage of sleepiness where keeping your eyes open is physically impossible. Your thoughts are no longer coherent..... You are pretty much asleep, but not quite. That's when your pump beeps. Even worse, it's telling you you're low. You want to stay snuggled up in your warm duvet, but the test kit unfortunately calls. This is very VERY annoying moment. And what makes it even worse is when the meter tells you, you're not even low! Or even heading down! (You're probably thinking - "What?! But it would be worse if you were low surely?!" But no. Not being low is worse because it means you being dragged back from the brink of dreamland was POINTLESS. Completely pointless! You could've finally fallen asleep, instead of wasting your time (well I guess wasting is the wrong word because if you were low it would be well worth having tested) by waking up.)

- You had a really good day of blood sugars, you've done everything correctly, given insulin on time, tested throughout the day to keep track. Your bloods were perfet through the night too, but when you wake up in the morning you're something like 17. What the hell?! How did that even happen?!?! 

- Being stood in the shower, you're pretty tired because of getting up so early. You don't want to get out anytime soon, but then you start to feel a bit hypo. Then it's the whole debate of do end my lovely shower and test? Or do I stay in here a little while longer, because I won't drop that quickly. You decide to stay in the shower because you don't really feel hypo quite yet, just dropping a tad. But then irrational thoughts start going trough your head, like what if I collapse, and the paramedics have to walk in and treat me whilst I'm lacking clothes. (That is something I am terrified of happening. Imagine the embarrassment!!) so then the fear of being found by strangers (i.e. the paramedics) collapsed whilst lacking clothes wins and sadly out you get. 

(To be continued.........)

⬇️See part 2 here!!⬇️

http://pancreas-lessandproud.blogspot.hu/2015/04/the-smallest-and-yet-most-annoying.html?m=1 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Invasion of the test strips

As a teenager, my floor is littered with hairbands, charging wires, clothes, occasionally pieces of homework and school books. But my floor differs from your average teenager's because all the normal teen mess is added to by used barrels of needles, empty Lucozade bottles, full Lucozade bottles, empty test strip pots, old set change packaging, even old sets (!) and you can almost guarantee there will be blood stains from overnight testing on my duvet. Okay, yes the spots of blood are tiny, but against a white cover....

But what I find the most of is used test strips. There is no place that I haven't found a strip! They are EVERYWHERE. I climb into bed at night and hey presto, test strip! And usually around 2 or 3 have to be swept out before I lay down. In fact I'm surprised I haven't woken up with one stuck to my face yet. However I do get the damn things stuck to my feet when I walk around the flat. I can even see one on the floor from where I'm currently sitting! I am going to set myself a little challenge. I am going to take a little walk around my flat and count how many I can see! I will be back.

Shock horror, I can only find the one I saw whilst unmoving! I have a feeling my mum has picked them all up. I certainly know she hoovered this morning.  Anyway, they cover the floor (Usually!). I'm surprised I drop that many to be honest. Perhaps they reproduce or magically multiply or something, that would explain the sheer amount around. 

But, their all-time favourite hideout is the bottom of my bag. I stick my hand in my bag to root around and find something, for instance, my phone, and before my hand has located said phone I easily touch at least 7 test strips. If not more. (I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but when you live with them, 7 is 7 too many!). Unfortunately test strips aren't little balls of fluff. They have corners, that hurt when you put your hand in a pile of them-_-. But, the meter I like to use, uses test strips. Which means if I want to use my particular meter (I love it, so that's a yes) then I have to put up with the invasion of test strips.


Diabetes - the many, many types...

How many types of diabetes are there?! It's confusing me so much!! I've been trying to count how many there are, but it's not easy. It also doesn't help that a couple have multiple names! And trying to distinguish between them all is damn near impossible.

Okay, don't quote me on these as I am not totally sure on any that I don't have! These are just my thoughts and what I believe, not medical advice or whatever!

I know there's type 1 and 2, of course. Type 1 is autoimmune where the pancreas doesn't secrete any insulin whatsoever (helpful, huh?) and is treated by taking insulin. Then type 2 where the pancreas produces some insulin, not enough sometimes or simply  the body doesn't use it effectively, treated by diet and exercise, tablets or insulin. Or a mix of them. I'm not sure. They're the two types that virtually everyone has heard of and the two types that a lot get mixed up about!

(Please note: Type 1 is NOT ever caused by eating sweets or being overweight. The type 1 diabetic didn't do ANYTHING themselves to cause it. Oh and may I add that a type 1 diabetic can eat anything, with the exception of poison, and household objects probably aren't a good idea either... Anyway you get the point! Type two isn't caused by eating too many sweets or being overweight either, you simply are at RISK (although that doesn't exactly help. But that's way too confusing for me to even comprehend, basically it may contribute) not definite at all, of developing type 2. And type 2 can be hereditary anyway, and wouldn't be caused by the type 2 themselves.)

I can't forget my own type, surgically induced diabetes (Well, I think that's my type. I could say I have insulin-dependant Congenital Hyperinsulinism, instead of diabetes. I stick to saying diabetes though! And I say type 1 because it is the closest to what I have really). That surgery being a Pancreatectomy (removal of part or all of the pancreas), I don't believe there's any other surgery that can cause diabetes? I'm treated with insulin.

Gestational diabetes is developed during pregnancy, and other than that I have no clue. I think you don't have it after you give birth, but you're at risk of developing either type 1 or type 2, it's one of them and I can't remember which, because you gestational. Apparently there is Chemically Induced Diabetes. I have no idea what that is either. I have heard of Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) aka Type 1.5, but again I don't know any details. Maturity Onset of Diabetes in the Young (MODY) is another type. I think there are types of MODY aswell?

Brittle diabetes (Does this one even exist? I'm not sure it can be officially diagnosed.... It's an opinion surely?) is type 1 diabetes that is hard to control. Like a type within a type again. I'm so confused about Brittle diabetes because it isn't actually it's own type is it really?!)

And isn't Alzheimer's being considered as being named type 3 diabetes? (I don't think it is though, they were just rumours I believe) Because you get Alzheimer's from something to do with glucose in your brain. I think.

I also think there are even more than that lot, but I can't name them as I simply don't know them. This blog post hasn't actually straightened my thoughts on all the different types, just confused me further.

I give up.

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Fault In Our Stars

I've just watched the fault in our stars for the third time, and EVERYTIME I watch this movie, it causes me some seriously deep thinking!
I moan about diabetes, who doesn't? I moan about needles, having no break etc. But then I sit and watch TFIOS and feel lucky that I am diabetic. Weird right?! Suddenly the needles seem so insignificant and diabetes appears easy to me, compared to what Hazel and Augustus and their parents have to face. The two of them get death sentences. And okay yeah, type 1 can be fatal, but ever so rarely! What they're going through is so awful (well, they're fictional characters, so actually, what people in their situation are going through really) that I feel really bad for moaning about diabetes!
I end up promising myself never to moan about diabetes again! I always end up breaking that promise anyway, and then I want to kick myself for moaning-_- If I rant at my friends about it, I feel bad because they don't fully understand it of course and so I feel like I'm attention seeking, for something that in the grand scheme of things definitely isn't the worst thing that could happen to me! Talking to other diabetics is better, but I don't want it to come across as 'I'm in a worse situation than you' type thing. And my mum, I like to talk to her about my struggles or whatever, but she's in probably just as bad a position as I am, if not worse. Because it's bad enough having the condition, but even worse having a child with it I'm sure! So I don't want to burden her in a way, or make her feel down about it or something. 
Perhaps I could let out my frustration on here, instead of feel bad about venting at my friends! (Is venting a word??? I mean ranting and moaning:)) 
So, I have been doing some deep thinking this evening.......!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Re starting:):):)


I started this blog last year, may I think (So May 2014), but I removed my old posts after rereading them, I've decided they are truly terrible! And definitely not worthy of being on my blog. 

I really enjoy blogging, so I'm going to start it up again! I'm not going to blog too often or make a routine of it. Some days I'll do one a day..... Some days (well, weeks) I'll do one a week, or less frequently than that! Because I do a lot of other stuff, but I used to use it as a kind of diary (for diabetes of course) and it was nice taking a break from blogging, but I miss it now!

Not much has happened since I last blogged. A few weeks ago I had a reading of under 1.1 (SCARY!!) and the past 10 days or so I have had constantly low bloods. 

Oh and I've started getting my chest/stomach pains back so I had a gastroscopy 2 months ago. But it came up as all okay, so the doctor thinks it's psychological (Doctors always do that with stomach pains! Lazy I think!) I had them at age two until I was 9/10 when they diagnosed me with gastroparesis (I had a scan thingy, and had to eat radioactive porridge pretty much) and I was put on meds which made my pains disappear!! I was weened off them 2 years ago and now I've got the pains back-_-) the doctor hasn't retested me or even acknowledged (I think) that I had gastroparesis and probably still have it as I'm pretty sure there isn't a cure!

So I'm just dealing with it all. It's annoying, but that's life!!! Life isn't fair. But then again life isn't fair to anyone. So then that means it is fair...... That just totally contradicts itself.....
(I'm still going to tweet. Pretty please follow me!!! Jess_Burton3)