Getting Used to an Insulin Pump

Archive for the ‘Nottingham Type One Diabetes Group’ Category

Let’s Have A Party!

Xmas Pump

Xmas Pump

You might have noticed it’s getting a little close to the Crimbleton holiday period, which is nice, a week or two off work and food, drink, presents and family time for most of us. With this in mind I thought I’d just give a quick update on a few things.

  1. Don’t forget it’s the NottsType1 Xmas do at Fat Cat’s in the city centre this coming Saturday (the 15th of December). If you happen to be the sort of person who uses Facebook then you can tell us you’re coming here. If not just roll up and start imbibing. There will be the customary blood tests at ten o’clock, highest BG wins, plus we’ll probably have some kind of long drawn out discussion about the merits of drinking and bolusing.
  2. If you went along you’ll know this already but last weekend was the inaugural-probably-to-be-Annual NottsType1 Quiz Night at the The Willow Tree Pub in West Bridgford. According to those who attended the night was a roaring success. Personally I think it may have been some kind of set up as Sam won and she doesn’t even live in Nottingham, however the night managed to raise us £158.00 which isn’t bad and may go some way to allowing us to continue to hold our meetings and events and frankly do the stuff we would like to do.
  3. Web-Monkey attended a pump clinic yesterday, not as much fun as it sounds! The topic was festive eating and it mainly consisted of lots of Type 1’s guessing how much carbohydrate was in Christmassy fare like mince pies, etc. A useful exercise and handy because it meant Web-Monkey could invite all those people to Saturday’s knees up too so we might just get some unfamiliar faces turning up.
  4. The first “Travels with my pancreas” story has been submitted to Alex, if you have no idea what I’m talking about it was suggested some while ago that the NottsType1 group produce some kind of publication on holidaying in far flung places with Diabetes, without giving too much away the tale is called “How I Met Your Mother” and is about five thousand words long. If any of you are interested in doing something like this and becoming a famous writer, published author, target of others’ derision then get in contact with us and get writing,
  5. In case I’m too lazy to write anything else before the 25th, have a Happy Christmas.

See you all on Saturday.

Australia – A Really Badly Written Travelogue

Some Native Wildlife

Some Native Wildlife

In case you hadn’t realised Deanne, the Young ‘Un and I went to Australia for a month in March. This was partly to show the toddler off to the in-laws (Deanne is from Australia originally), partly because we hadn’t visited for five years and partly so we could all have a month off work/nursery and relax bit. I took the advice offered at the last Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group meeting by Dawn, she was rather handily (for me) talking about travelling with Diabetes. The main thing I was interested in, which she did actually mention was the fact that when she’s changing time zones she leaves her pump set on UK time until a few days have passed and she is more or less over the jet-lag. That may not be exactly what she said but that’s what I made it out to mean so that’s what I did.

The day of departure came and our bags were packed. My hand luggage obviously contained the requisite number of bags of Jelly Babies, a recently purchased Frio Insulin Travel Wallet (another suggestion from Dawn, thanks Dawn!), many, many infusion sets, insulin cartridges, blood test sticks and lancets and all the other Diabetes rubbish that we need to take when we go overseas. We arrived at Birmingham in plenty of time, which was lucky ’cause we had off site parking and had a bit of a job finding it, but then we got on the bus and it dropped us, with all our bags outside the main departures door at the airport.

The plane ride over was fine, although the service on the Birmingham to Dubai leg of the flight was less than we had hoped for, they (Emirates) hardly offered anything in the way of drinks (not talking alcoholic here, just water/soft drinks/etc.) and when the food eventually came they didn’t clear the trays up until about an hour later, which when you have a two year old makes doing anything in the already limited space available to you quite challenging.

Twenty odd hours after taking off we arrived in Perth. It was a bit of a change from the UK, it was about tea time when we arrived, eight or so hours ahead of the UK and the temperature was around 26 degrees (centigrade) when we left the airport. It was nice!

We actually went on a mini holiday the first few days we were there, drove a couple of hours south to Busselton which is a kind of hot version of Weymouth, only it’s nice! Being a bit further south the weather was nice but not too hot and we spent a lot of time going to chocolate shops and playing on the playground at the place we were staying at, it seemed to tire Deanne and myself out more than it did the Young ‘Un.

When we got back to Perth we had the important and serious task of meeting up with family and friends which included going to lots of parties and spending a lot of time sitting in coffee shops by the river. It was hard work! My control was relatively stable even though I was eating some pretty strange food. Certainly a lot better than the previous trip I had five years before where I was neither carbohydrate counting or dose adjusting (also didn’t have a pump at the time). Admittedly I had a few high blood sugars, seemingly for no reason although I worked out afterwards that it was actually due to ice cream cones which apparently had an awful lot more carb’s in than I was expecting (like 80 instead of 40 grams that I was guessing).

Me at Diabetes WA

Me at Diabetes WA

Anyway, once I had sorted that out everything went much better, I had a relatively low number of hypos and most of my blood sugars were below 12 with the exception of a few after meals out, however that happens to me in the UK too so it was nothing to do with being away. I even managed to do some Diabetes Web-Monkeying while I was away, I found a few bits and pieces in local papers and magazines which I posted on-line when I got the chance and also decided I’d go visit the local branch of Diabetes WA to find out what it’s like being Diabetic in Australia.

The main difference seems to be the fact that they don’t have a National Health Service, like what we do! Instead you have to take out health insurance which then covers the cost of a large percentage of the things you need as a Diabetic, e.g. needles, insulin, etc., etc., etc. They were very forthcoming and I in turn offered them some advice on how we use Twitter, Facebook and other on-line resources to keep in touch with people. It was interesting to speak to some people on the other side of the planet who have the same everyday problems and annoyances that we have over here.

After being on an insulin pump for over a year now my Diabetes certainly seemed to be a lot easier to manage and although I had highs and lows the way the pump adjusts them down and up again seems to be a lot more natural and my body seems to respond well to that, I don’t feel ill for hours after a high result and I don’t keep dropping and rising all day long like I did previously. I also feel like I can eat whatever I want while away and have almost got the hang of guessing carbs well enough to keep me fairly straight and narrow without needing to refer to my Carbs & Cals book all the time.

Now however I’m home again, in fact we got back about a month ago now and it’s taken me all this time to get this written down what with one thing and another including a Little ‘Un with chicken-pox, work, getting the house back to a manageable state after being away for a month and all those things you have to do upon returning from a long holiday.

The main difference between this trip to Aus’ and holidays I’ve had in the past is that whenever I’ve been overseas in the past I worried almost constantly about my control and about getting high or having hypos from having strange and exotic foods and experiences, this time however I didn’t worry, partly due to the pump, partly due to the fact that I have become a lot more confidant in controlling my diabetes with a pump than I ever was with injections and I guess mainly because when you have a toddler to look after you spend more time worrying about them than you do yourself!

We’ve already booked our next holiday in fact, we’re headed for Barcelona in the not too distant future, is there anything I’ll be doing differently because of my experiences down-under? Well no, the time away just went to prove to me that I am coping as well as I can with a chronic (/annoying) illness and all I need to improve even more is further practice. Which you only get by living it and doing things which you want to do rather than worrying about what might happen!

Here’s Looking at You Diabetics!

Looking Ahead

Looking Forward

Well, new year new me! Actually that’s a lie I’ve not made any kind of resolutions and I don’t intend to change anything in particular, however I am quite excited as to what the next 12 months might hold for myself and all the other Diabetics in the world.

Personally I think the most exciting short term news is the fact that there are some serious jumps being made in CGM, that’s Continuous Glucose Monitoring, technology at the moment, I’m hoping that by the end of this year or not long  after we are going to be seeing the first commercially available CGM enabled Insulin Pumps, that is Pumps with a continuous feedback loop that monitors your BM and adjusts your insulin intake to compensate.

Of course like most scientific developments this could actually take a lot longer than it should and will need proper sign off by whoever the governing bodies are, however it will certainly be a big step, when available, to giving us Type 1s a fairly normal life (minus the obvious infusion set changes and being woken up in the night when your pump battery runs out, etc.)!

Next of course are the ongoing promises of some kind of genetically engineered “cure” for Diabetes, as far as I can make out at the moment the scientists are looking at a number of ways of doing this, for instance putting beta cells in one way membranes which carbs can get through but white blood cells can’t so they pump out insulin without getting destroyed. Another one is fiddling about with your existing biology to regrow the cells in your pancreas that do all the hard work (that they don’t at the moment). This is much further off and I think of all the things happening the First thing I mentioned here the “Artificial Pancreas” is probably most close to fruition and also most exciting for all of us.

The Notts Type 1 Diabetes Group is also steaming on with various members doing various exciting things, the next of which is apparently some kind of video performance thing (sic.) by the committee members prior to the next meeting but I’ll tell you more about that when I’ve had some more details myself. Also just a quick aside, I apologise for not updating the web pages, however it does tend to be a darn sight easier and less disruptive updating Facebook and Twitter so I tend to do those most often and leave the website for if there is anything specific that is worth putting on it!

Personally this year is quite a big one as Deanne and I have a trip to Australia for a month coming up in the not too distant future, the reasons behind this are several-fold but it’s mainly to show the Little-‘Un off to the in-laws, but while I’m there I think I might look in to what’s going on Type 1 Diabetes wise as it is always interesting to get a different perspective on things.

Other than that it’s business as usual, work is busy, life is packed with things to do including childcare, housework, open mic’ nights and attempting to write a novel. Apart from that of course it’s a breeze.

Look after yourselves in 2012, do lots of blood tests, eat well, drink well and most importantly have lots of fun!!!

🙂

Happy (ever so slightly belated) new year!

Type1 Group Stuff

Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group

Probably the Best Diabetes Group in the World

All right Dudes,

I won’t apologise again for the lack of updates ’cause it’s starting to get boring but I thought I’d post a few things that came out of the meeting on Tuesday night along with a few things I’ve been meaning to put on for ages but kept forgetting:

  1. This is the book I mentioned when I did my talk a couple of months back. It’s very good and if you do carb’ counting it can be a lifesaver!
  2. For those looking in to Insulin Pumps this is what I was talking about, it’s an Insulin Pump with a Continuous Glucose Monitor which work together to control your blood sugar. Haydn mentioned there is a newer and smarter one out but I can’t remember who makes it so I’ll look in to that and see what I can do!
  3. If you want to get involved in research then take a look here or here (other research projects are available!!!).
  4. The Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Kids group can be found on Facebook, if anyone is interested in getting involved message the group.
  5. This article appeared in New Scientist months ago, one of my brothers passed it on to me so I thought I should post it for you all to have a look at.
  6. Having problems with Twitter and Facebook on Internet Explorer 9 at the minute in case any of you were wondering why the status updates seem to have dried up a bit! Trying to fix!!!
  7. Oh yes I’ve set up an account for Notts Type 1 on Google+ in case anyone is on there and wants to put us in your circles search for Notts TypeOne.
I can’t remember anything else but I’m sure something will come to mind just after I’ve posted this. If you have any thing to add feel free to post comments on this blog, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Thanks for listening 🙂

Picnic Time

Picnic

Picnic

In case you haven’t been looking at our various social media (shame on you) you might have missed the fact that the Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group is having a picnic on Sunday the 31st of July at midday meeting on the steps of Wollaton Hall at 12:00 (midday).

That’s here!

All we ask is that you bring some food, drink and maybe a frisbee or some other means of entertaining ourselves for a few hours.

See you on Sunday 🙂

I’m Still Alive!

Not Crazy

...Really I'm not!

Don’t worry I am still well and of sound body and mind, I’m just kind of busy at the moment.

However I am planning on doing some updates before too long, firstly some information on the pump and how I got hold of it on the back of the talk I did at the Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group last week.

Secondly I shall do a post with information about Diabetes in general, e.g. what it is and what all the numbers mean, etc. This is due to the fact that a couple of people have pointed out that not everyone who reads this site is Diabetic so I shall attempt to explain what all of the rubbish I have spouted up to now actually means.

Back soon.

See Me Talk

YMCA Stormtroopers

YMCA Stormtroopers - They do exactly what you'd expect!

Tonight is the night, I’m talking about getting and having an insulin pump and being diabetic for nearly 35 years. Its at:

61b Mansfield Road,

Nottingham

NG1 3FN

See you there!

Not a Barbecue!

I had quite a good weekend. Most of Saturday was spent at a Diabetes UK Networking and Consultation group meeting, which was quite good, they invited Diabetes Groups (Like the NottsType1 Group) to give suggestions on a number of topics around volunteering. We all found it pretty helpful and enjoyed it. Although personally I had a problem guessing the carbohydrates in the buffet they laid on so was quite high by the middle of the afternoon.

A Tasty Salad

A bit like some of what we ate on Sunday.

Sunday was also a good day, in the afternoon our neighbour popped round and asked if we’d like to go to theirs and have some food and alcohol, which we did of course being good neighbours. It meant the Little ‘Un got to play with some other babies for a few hours and we got some fantastic food and a few glasses of wine. Surprisingly I managed to guess the carbohydrates much better for this than for the sandwiches at the event the day before.

Today has been fairly quiet, although busy…if that makes sense, one of my colleagues is away which means I’m doing about twenty five things at once but my blood sugar has been pretty stable. I have recently noticed that I seem to be high in the mornings when I get out of bed so I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and do some overnight blood tests to see what my BMs are doing overnight. Looking forward to that 😛

In case you haven’t heard I’m tlaking at the Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group Meeting tomorrow night about living with Diabetes as well as how I managed to persuade the NHS to give me an insulin pump, if you’re free then head along to:

The YMCA International Community Centre

61B Mansfield Road,

Nottingham,

NG1 3FN

at about 7:30 in the evening to see me talking rubbish for about 20 minutes.

Hopefully see some of you then.

My Eyes, My Eyes!!!

Tropicamide

1% Tropicamide

This afternoon I went for my Diabetic Retinopathy screening at Boots in town, therefore if there are any spelling mistakes in this it is down to the fact that I can’t actually read what I’m writing because the 1% tropicamide has taken effect and everything is blurry and bright.

I don’t have a great deal to say following on from the essay I wrote yesterday, what I do need to do is start preparing my talk for the Notts Type 1 group in three weeks time otherwise I’ll just end up jabbering on about whatever comes in to my head and that could be very dangerous for everybody who attends.

Oh yes, there was one thing which was possibly useful that I was told at my EDWARD follow up yesterday, looking through my blood test results it looks like I am invariably high the morning after I have changed my infusion set, it was suggested that other people have had this same problem and the way to overcome it is to leave the previous infusion set in for a couple of hours after swapping over…

I can’t really see how this works because there is nothing (e.g. no pump) pushing the remaining insulin from the infusion set in to you but being an open minded sort of chap I’ll give it a go and see if I get better post change results.

My next change is on Thursday night which is volleyball night anyway so not sure if that’ll give me a sensible post change result but I’ll try and remember to keep my eye on my post change results the next few times I do it and update you on whether it’s helped.

Next Meeting Poster

NottsType1MeetingPoster

Our Next Meeting

Busy

Busy

Busy, Busy, Busy!

In case you were wondering I’m kind of busy at work at the moment which is why I’ve been a bit quiet, blog-wise! Thankfully I’ve managed to steal a few minutes this afternoon to post an update.

I think the last time I wrote anything I was still having high blood sugars first thing in the morning and was wondering if it was something to do with my extended time off work. Well it looks like it was because I am now back to where I should be with my morning BMs, which is good.

I had a strange night last Thursday at volleyball because didn’t drop my basal rate I just had about three lots of 20 grams of carbohydrates and was fine throughout the practice and the night afterwards. Think I might try this again this week, although the season and practices are nearly over so I will then need to remember this stuff until we start back again in a couple of months.

Went to my EDWARD 12 month follow up course today, I’m quite pleased because my HbA1C test came back at 7.0mmol/l which is frankly better than it’s ever been, Admittedly my previous results were 7.8, 7.6 and 7.8 again but the main reason for that was the number of hypos I used to have, pretty sure it’s gone down or at the very least they aren’t as severe as they used to be as I seem to get warning signs in the high 3s now rather than under 3.

I built and installed a raised bed in the garden yesterday, excitement central at the Ladle house, but the reason I mention it is because I didn’t have a hypo even though it was quite good body and brain exercise. There was however a fair bit of swearing, even though I have vowed to stop, the only times I seem to swear now is while doing DIY or volleyball, personally I think that’s excusable.

Last (but obviously not least!!!) for anyone interested I will be doing a talk at the next Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group meeting on Tuesday the 7th of June at 19:30 at the YMCA on Mansfield Road. I have entitled the talk “A rambling session from Dan about his life with Diabetes and obtaining and operating an insulin pump“. I think that may perhaps be overkill in terms of wordcount for the title of a talk but I asked Alex and she didn’t disagree so that’s what it is. I will be talking about my life up to now with Diabetes along with information on how I managed to persuade the NHS to give me an insulin pump and how my life has been since getting it. Feel free to come along if you are interested.

That’s it for now, back when I get some more spare time!

Bats, Alcohol and a Garage

A Bat

A Bat

Sorry if they were helping you to keep track but after Ben commented last week that he thought a blood test monitor didn’t even go up to 42 I have decided to stop using the numbers at the start of each post 😉

Friday night was fairly quiet, Deanne was out at Nottingham University attending a talk on bats, which meant I had the night in on my own so I did a bit of house tidying and a bit of painting. probably not the most exciting evening but my control was fine and it meant I had something to do for the night.

Saturday however was a different matter, had a fairly late morning only getting up at 8am, we went for a drive round some furniture shops to try and find a wardrobe for the Little-‘Un’s bedroom, found a suitable candidate but it was obviously pretty hard work ’cause I was low by half twelve. had some friends round in the afternoon so mainly just sat around chatting and playing with the babies.

In the evening however I went along to the Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group night out at Fat Cat’s bar in Nottingham. It was a good night and a lot of people came along, it was nice to meet everyone and have a night talking about all things Diabetes related including pumps, injections, hypos, and many other things too diverse to mention. If you didn’t make it then you missed an interesting evening.

It did however mean that I had a number of beers, which I haven’t done since starting the pump, unlike the wine I normally drink beer does actually contain carbohydrates which meant that when I did a blood test at half eleven my blood sugar had gone up to 10mmol/l, not hugely high but higher than it should have been, therefore as a future note to self “if I’m drinking beer I need to do more blood tests”!

Went home and had supper and was fine but when I got up the next morning I was low at 2.5mmol/l so apparently when I adjusted at near midnight I hadn’t taken in to account the drop that invariably comes after drinking. Oops!

Sunday was mostly spent tidying the shed in our back garden. The best bit of which was that I actually finished doing it and now have a useable space in which we can find things when we need them and keep things while we don’t. Was quite pleased with myself as I managed to only go low once while I was doing the thinking/physical exercise that the job involved, survived by eating occasional packets of crisps and having the odd chocolate cookie with an exercise adjustment.

Tonight I have a volleyball match which I’m hoping I’m going to manage better than the one I had last week but only time will tell.

Thirty Seven – Faster, Faster!

Wordle: NottsType1 07/04/2011

From Wordle.org

I managed to do another set of fasting blood glucose tests this morning. They are pretty close to where they should be so I thought I’d actually share the results this time:

Time Blood Glucose mmol/l
06:31 7.1mmol/l
07:01 5.8mmol/l
07:59 5.9mmol/l
09:01 5.7mmol/l
10:01 7.1mmol/l
11:01 6.4mmol/l
12:00 5.7mmol/l
13:01 5.5mmol/l

 

So, that’s pretty good! I’m not sure if I should bother trying to adjust the ten and eleven o’clock results down a bit or if they are close enough? All the results are within 1.6mmol/l of each other so by all accounts I ought to not worry about it, however being the optomist/perfectionist that I like to think of myself as (my wife may disagree with both of those terms?) I might leave it for now but then come back at a later date and try and get it so the 7 comes down a bit.

I’m also a bit freaked out about the fact that when I woke up and did a blood test and then half an hour later was 1.3mmol/l different! However for one thing that isn’t enough to worry about, for another I suspect that that time of day is when your body wakes up and starts to take control of your blood sugar again and lastly that result will really come under the night time fasting tests so I’ll try not to worry about it for the time being.

If you’re wondering the image at the top is a Wordle word map of the top two hundred and fifty words from this blog up until today. I decided to go with the colour scheme that we have used for the other Notts Type 1 sites and logos and thought that it was pretty enough to show off. Feel free to go take a look 🙂

Day Fifteen

Random Banana

Random Banana

If I’m reading his updates on Alex’s status right then it looks like Jeremy might have got his pump today, that’s at least four of the committee that have them now, Jeremy, Alex, Haydn and yours truly. We’ll have to try and strong-arm the other committee members who are currently pump-less in to getting them.

I went through resetting the basal units on my pump last night as per the conversation I had with Clare at the Diabetes Unit yesterday. Now I have to wait a couple of days before I can do another lot of fasting blood glucose tests to see if I need to adjust it some more, my suspicion would be that yes, I do. But don’t hold me to that!

I now feel like I’m settling in to life with a pump, I think I’ve been through most of what it has to throw at me, some highs and some hypos, quite a few infusion set, tube and insulin changes and at least one occlusion alarm. I’m really impressed with the level of control it gives me over my basal rate and my boluses, and I also feel different, not necessarily better, just different!

However I would say that ’cause I’m just recovering from quite a bad hypo so I don’t feel altogether with it at the moment, probably not the best time to write this but hey, I’m hardly Shakespeare at the best of times so I may as well just get on and do it.

I’m quite looking forward to the next few weeks as I start to configure it specifically to deal with my daily routine and how my body processes carbohydrates from hour-to-hour, I’m also feeling pretty good about the fact that I don’t have to do injections any more, it’s such a strange feeling getting to 6pm and not having to give myself Lantus every day.

Actually now that I’m properly recovered I’ll rescind my earlier statement that I don’t feel better on it! I do actually feel like a different person and I think it’s already starting to affect my behaviour. I don’t think I realised quite how heavily my diabetes was weighing on my shoulders prior to changing on to the pump, but I’m pretty sure that I feel a lot more care-free and confident about controlling my diabetes and keeping healthy and happy now.

Of course I’m sure I’ll still have highs and lows, both blood sugar and emotional, but already Deanne has noticed that I don’t seem to get as grumpy when my blood sugar is high, and that has to be a good thing.

Sorry if this has been a bit of a random post but that’s Diabetes for you, sometimes you just can’t help your blood sugars, and what you do when they are low 😛

A Bit of History

Dan, Playing Guitar

When I used to be cool!

Hi, I’m Dan. I’ve created this blog on behalf of the Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group, who are a community of type 1 diabetics within (and around) Nottingham who decided that it would be a good idea to get together every so often and have a chat about things.

Personally I have had diabetes since I was 22 months old, at the time of writing that means 34 years and 8 months. Wow, that looks like quite a long time when you come to write it down.

I may publish a bit of history about my personal “journey” with diabetes at some point but for now I just wanted to get this blog started and let you know that in the first instance it is going to be a blog about my insulin pump (which I’ve had for four weeks now) and how I’m getting on with it. Therefore my first task is going to be to copy all the stuff I’ve written on the other sites, http://nottingham-type-1.diabetesukgroup.org and http://www.facebook.com/nottstype1 to this page and do a bit of decommisioning to get that stuff gone!

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