Getting Used to an Insulin Pump

Posts tagged ‘Fasting Blood Glucose’

In Bruges

Choco Story - A Chocolate Museum

Choco Story - A Chocolate Museum

We spent last weekend in Bruges in Belgium, a really nice place with lots of history and architecture and chocolate, all of which were nice!

The holiday got off to a positive start although the young ‘un was a bit unsettled on the trip over. We went by train from Nottingham to St. Pancr(e)as to Brussels and then caught another train to Bruges itself. It was quite a long trip what with all the waiting around for connections, he was really well behaved though.

Things were fine until we got there and got settled in then I did a blood test and it turned out I was 19.6 mmol/l…Oh dear, the next couple were higher at 19.9 then 21.3, in the morning I tested three times between half six and half eight and didn’t get under 10 on any of them. This was when I decided I’d change my insulin, infusion set and cannula, the next test I did two hours later at 10:40 was 3.3 so I’m guessing my suspicion was right and something was up with some aspect of my pump or my insulin.

The next day went pretty well and with most of my results being around 6 then on Monday another good day, I put it down to eating ice cream and chocolates!

Funnily enough the 23rd (Tuesday) was also pretty good but I did have one test out of the ordinary at 17.4 while travelling on the train again, I was worried that the Eurostar was having some kind of negative effect on my pump but my worries were unfounded as the next couple of tests were around 4.

Yesterday was our first full day at home and I came to work, dropping the little ‘un off at nursery, I decided that I would be good and start redoing fasting blood glucose tests so I started at 12 o’ clock and got the following results:

6.9 mmol/l

6.9 mmol/l

6.0 mmol/l

5.3 mmol/l

6.7 mmol/l

7.1 mmol/l

I figure this is close enough to no change for me to leave it alone so I will do my morning tests again next and then something which I have been putting off and off which is night time.

I’m pretty certain I need to do these as I am having more insulin at night than I need for my supper in order to get my BMs about right in the morning, I think this means that at some point at night my blood sugar is going up and therefore I need more insulin, working this out shouldn’t be too hard it just requires that I get up through the night and do blood tests every couple of hours.

Anyway I’m signing off again now, sorry about my lack of communication recently but I’ve been doing some coursework for a thing I’ve been doing at work, however I’ve finished this now and therefore will hopefully get a bit of spare time back in order that I can start putting a few more updates on here again.

A Long Afternoon

A Big Clock

When's Home Time???

This afternoon has been a very slow one to pass, as you can probably tell from the title I’ve given this post, however on the bright side it’s nearly over now!

Part of the reason it has seemed long is ’cause I’m doing some frankly not super-interesting stuff, however the other reason is that I have been quite low twice, a 3.3 mmol/l at 13:35 and a 2.7 mmol/l at 15:16. “Why so low” you ask? To be honest I have no idea, I had my lunch at about 11:30 in the morning (a habit I picked up many years ago when I worked with my Dad) so the one o’ clock test was two hours after lunch and then the three o’ clock one was after a particularly dull meeting.

Because one of the team bought in some gingerbread men I also had one of those after the last couple of Jelly Babies, at 7.8 grams of Carbohydrate it’ll hopefully be enough to keep me going without sending me sky high.

Anyway I thought I should give a quick update on how life is going as I have been a bit busy at work lately and not really had the time to craft my prose on all things Insulin Pump.

It’s been over four months now since I first got plugged in, it has been  a fairly steep learning curve since day one but it is now a part of my normal day to day life and doesn’t really cause me any problems as far as changing  the infusion set or filling up and putting in a new vial of insulin (which I just had to do at my desk at work!).

My control is obviously only as good as my guessing of carbohydrates and for the most part it doesn’t seem to be going too badly, for instance I had a HbA1C test a while back which tells you how your blood sugar average has been over the previous three or so months and it came out at 7.0 mmol/l. This is fantastic and I believe the best result I’ve ever had for one of these.

I’ve also pretty much come to terms with doing exercise while plugged in, at volleyball now I tend to eat about 12 jelly babies (around 60 grams of CHO) over the course of a two hour training session and that seems to keep my blood sugar fairly steady.

I still haven’t got round to doing all my fasting blood glucose tests, partly because I have been lazy but mostly because it is hard to guess when a good date will be for waking up every two hours in the night when you have a hectic lifestyle and a 15 month old baby, however I really must try and do at least one before my appointment to see the consultant in September in order that I can get as near as possible to perfect. I know almost certainly that my blood sugar goes up at some point in the night because when I  wake up in the mornings I tend to be hovering around between about 8 and 14 mmol/l, even if I haven’t eaten anything prior to going to bed with a 5 mmol/l.

Of course whatever happens I am still Diabetic and therefore my control will never be perfect but all that means is that there is always room for improvement and work on my control.

I feel like I’m rambling now so I’ll bid you adieu and write again some time soon when I’ve gathered my thoughts.

One last thing, I recently wrote a short article for the Nottingham’s NCT (the UKs largest charity for parents) Newsletter, I have scanned this in and posted it here if you are interested in reading something totally unrelated to Diabetes that I wrote!


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,



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

Hopefully see some of you then.

Long Weekend Ahoy

Bank Holiday Forecast

What will probably happen this weekend!

I’m quite cheerful this afternooon because I’m off work until Wednesday because the University likes to extend alot of bank holidaysso we can get away from the students for a bit longer.

Yesterdays fasting results did not drop like a rock after five, in fact the last two were a 6.3 and a 9.2 so I’m not sure that really tells me anything other than I don’t really know what’s going on!

Volleyball was good last night, didn’t use the exercise setting or a temporary basal rate, I just had 6 Jelly Babies over the course of the evening and ended up with a BM of 7.8 at the end of the session, rising to 9.9 by the time I got home and had supper half an hour later so maybe didn’t need that many?

Anyway, it’s pretty much time to go home for me and I have a couple of things to do before I go so I’ll bid you all a good bank holiday weekend and speak to you again next week.

Perfect 5


Will my blood sugar drop at five?

Didn’t manage the fasting yesterday either but I’ve been doing it this afternoon and it’s looking quite promising so far, all tests have pretty much been around the 5mmol/l mark so that is fine. It’ll be interesting to see if it drops at the 5 or 6 o’clock tests?

Not sure if I’ll make it to volleyball tonight as Deanne is travelling home from a meeting and isn’t likely to get home until 7:30 or 8.

Only other thing is that I tried leaving the old infusion set in for an hour on Tuesday night but still woke up at 14.4mmol/l on Wednesday morning so I either need to leave it in longer or just do a blood test and have an adjustment dose before I go to sleep after a changeover.

Low and Lower

Sad Face


Seem to have been low a lot of today so didn’t manage to even start my fasting, think it’s something to do with what I’ve been doing at work so will have to try fasting again tomorrow.

Oh well, lucky there is no timescale on perfect control!

Holiday Time, Sort Of!

An Umbrella

Not that Kind of Holiday Sadly 😦

After today the updates may be a bit intermittent for the next couple of weeks as I am not at work for a bit. However I’ll do my best to keep updating every now and again until normal service is resumed.

My blood tests yesterday afternoon did not finish as I expected staying pretty much where they started for the rest of the tests, even going up a bit towards 6pm. I believe the reason for this is because once again I’m not entirely well, I have a sore throat, a cough and am apparently snoring like a herd of Aberdeen Angus (sorry Dee)! What with this and my annual leave I’m going to leave the fasting blood tests until after I’m back at work again.

I also badly misjudged the amount of mashed potato I had served myself at dinner time last night and ended up with a blood sugar around 18mmol/l which just goes to show that you’re much better to check if you’re not sure, which I wasn’t!

My time off work is going to be spent doing a variety of things including trips to Dorset and Cornwall, another (final) birthday party for the Little ‘Un and a host of DIY tasks at home so it should be a good test of my pump management skills.

The party should be good as all three of my brothers are making it, even the one who lives in Brazil, so it’s a nice way to celebrate my son’s first birthday, even if it is nearly a month after his actual birthday. There will be cake and chocolate and all manner of interesting foods.

Talking of tasty food I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but Deanne is from Australia and with it being ANZAC day we should be having ANZAC biscuits on Monday (the 25th of April) so I need to figure out how much carbohydrate they have in them, not such an onerous task really 😉

Volleyball tonight should be okay, I’m feeling a little more confident about how to not have hypos and not get too high while playing now but I shouldn’t get too complacent because that is always when things go wrong.

I’ve also got the Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group website fixed and have updated that, including details of the talk I will be doing on the 7th of June on how I went about getting hold of my insulin pump and then how I’ve been dealing with adjusting to having it so be sure to check that out and keep the date clear in your diary.

So for the time being I’ll sign off and until I’m next on-line I’ll bid you farewell and have a nice bank holiday.

Faster, Faster!

Not Very High Blood Sugar

Not Very High Blood Sugar

A couple of interesting things to say today, first of all is that I woke up this morning and needed a pee and a drink and thought ‘I must be sugary’, I went to the lavatory and then grabbed a swift drink then did a blood test.

It was 10.5mmol/l

I was surprised by this partly because it isn’t very high and partly because I think it is an indicator that my sensitivity to anomalous blood sugars is obviously getting stronger, e.g. I am noticing feeling low/sugary more because I am between “normal limits” for more of the time. This is excellent because it means that heading onwards and as I get my blood sugar under even better control that I should be able to figure out much earlier if I am rising or dropping and therefore need a bolus or something to eat.

Second thing is that I am doing another lot of fasting blood glucose tests this afternoon! I’ve been hanging about the 8mmol/l mark since I started but I suspect another drop is headed in my direction before the last test at 6pm. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

By Golly I Almost Have It

Dextrose Tablets

Dextrose Tablets

As mentioned yesterday I had a volleyball game last night, it was quite a good game as it was the last in the season and we beat one of the better teams in the league by three sets to none 🙂 however more exciting than that was before the game my blood sugar was at about eight and after the game it was about the same.

I was kind of expecting to drop to be low when I woke up this morning but it was about nine and a half so if anything I could probably have had a full dose instead of setting it for exercise when I had my supper after the game.

In other news I’m going to attempt to do my afternoon fasting blood glucose again tomorrow because I just did a blood test and was 3.4mmol/l which is obviously a bit low. Therefore please excuse any spelling mistakes that may be included in this particular post until the dextrose have kicked in 😛

Hopefully I can get to a stage before too long where I can stop having the afternoon hypos but of course being Diabetic I guess that there is no way you can permanently avoid them unless you run high all the time which causes more long term issues and complications than being low. Just one of those Diabetes things that people without it probably can’t really comprehend. Talking of which I’m considering what my options are in terms of future posts on the blog? I will definitely keep posting information about how the pump is going but would like to invite suggestions as to what other Type 1 based things people might like me to write about. I have a veritable cornucopia of experience having had Diabetes for nearly 35 years now so feel free to post your suggestions.

However I might not start diversifying with my topics until after I’ve spoken at the next Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group Meeting in June (I think!?) as otherwise I might run out of material for that :-S

Forty Five – Low Don’t Live Here Anymore

Jelly Babies

Jelly Babies

You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that I did get low after I left work yesterday afternoon, I was 3.2mmol/l at five o’clock so I had some jelly babies (I recently ran out of dextrose so got some of them instead ’cause I was nowhere near a pharmacy!).

I have now happily adjusted my doses so instead of half a unit an hour through the afternoon I am now having 0.4 units at 13, 14 and 1500 hours. All seems good so far as I just did a blood test (at about quarter past four) and it came out at 6.5 – RESULT!!!

I do feel like I’m getting my diabetes and accordingly my life under control finally after many years of having far too many ups and downs. Now I feel like any issues I have are mainly down to mis-guessing carbohydrates, so as soon as I am able to guess whats in a slice of cake at 500 metres then I’ll be sorted.

Volleyball practice tonight again, I need to think a bit more about what I dose myself up with – jellybaby wise – and see if I can come out of volleyball with a relatively stable blood sugar. I suspect it will still take a fair bit of fiddling about and retrying to get it right but I am at least now armed with the knowledge of what kind of thing I need to do to cope.


Forty Four – Low and Proud

Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Sugar

This is going to be a short one because I suspect I’ll be low before too long, but don’t fret, it’s a controlled low 😉

I’m doing my afternoon fasting tests again and this time I’m actually getting the sort of results I’d expectwas stable at around 6 until 3pm when I was 4.4 and then at 4.01pm I was 3.9. As I suggest I suspect if I manage to wait until five o’clock I’ll be low but at least now I can adjust my doses and make a start on normalising my afternoon basal doses, which will frankly be a massive relief to Deanne and myself!

Told you it’d be a short one!

Forty Two – Don’t Panic…

Don't Panic

Don't Panic

Well that was wierd. I was suspecting my last couple of blood tests to head swiftly downwards yesterday afternoon but the last one had gone up from the relatively stable 6 or 7 that the earlier ones had been by nine mmol/l and I ended up on the last one at 15.0???

I do however think this is an abberation and so will be doing another afternoon fasting test before I think about adjusting my basal rate for the afternoons.

The volleyball match was okay but I only played one set and hideously overcompensated for my previous few sessions undereating and ended up pretty high (shouldn’t have mixed the jelly babies and fanta tropical drink!) but at least I know what I have to do now, it’s just a case of getting the doses of carbohydrates right for the amount of exercise I do.

Today has been okay although I had a bit of a low patch between 9am and 1pm but have been fine since.

Apart from that I have promised myself that I am going to stop swearing. I’m trying to go cold turkey but it’s actually a lot harder than it seems when you’ve worked in engineering and IT in your career. Some of the guys I knew in engineering used to know words that I didn’t even recognise or understand and had to look them up or ask someone else afterwards. These were then of course written in to my vocabulary and have been in common usage by me ever since.

I doubt this will affect my control but you never know, perhaps I’ll be more relaxed!

Thirty Seven – Faster, Faster!

Wordle: NottsType1 07/04/2011


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 🙂

Twenty Nine – A Shopping Breakthrough



The hiatus in not talking about fasting blood glucose results was shorter than I thought it would be 🙂 I woke up this morning and my blood sugar was 6.9mmol/l so I thought “let’s do it” and started doing some hourly blood tests.

The results are better than I was expecting, there was a bit of a strange rise from the first test at 7am to the second one at 8 which was 8.3mmol/l but then it stayed constant (more or less around 8mmol/l) apart from a 10.6mmol/l at 10am. Therefore I think I need to up my 8am dose from 0.6 to 0.7 units an hour and then do it again when I next fortuitously have a decent first thing in the morning result.

Apart form that I had a pretty good night last night, I went shopping on my own to Tesco’s (big deal I hear you say but frankly since Deanne has been on Maternity leave a year ago she has done the lions share of the shopping). I always used to have blood sugar issues when doing grocery shopping but last night I was FINE! I am happy about this and looking forward to the next time I get to go to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or any other supermarket-type-place.

Three Weeks

Uurgh Blood

Uurgh Blood

Once again I had planned to eat nothing at lunch time and do blood tests throughout the afternoon and once more I was foiled by a low at my second blood test. On the bright side I got to have a tasty chocolate bar and a quiche from Boots for lunch!

I realised the last few days that I was relying a bit too heavily on the things I had read and the advice that I have been given (good as that advice is) and have been totally failing to listen to the person that knows my diabetes best, yep, you’ve guessed it, me!!! I have been doing everything by the book and not actually thinking about things with my sensible head on.

So the last day or two I have been looking at the food I’m eating and using best guess as a method of carbohydrate counting. Although I know that I occasionally get it wrong this way 90% of the time I do a better job of guessing than when I actually measure food out. I have also been thinking about my basal rate, as evidenced by the playing around I did at the weekend with Temporary Basal Rates while I was DIYing, I may need a few more attempts before I get them right but frankly I did better with my finger in the air method than I have with my ‘looking through the book’ attempts so far.

Anyway, once more I have failed to do my afternoon fasting blood glucoses and so I think I may try again tomorrow but instead of having extra breakfast I might just have my normal breakfast and spend the afternoon hungry, Although Toast and then Bran Flakes are definitely filling I have a suspicion that Bran Flakes do something odd to me (not like that, stop giggling at the back) and mean that my blood sugar takes a dive around midday, which is obviously when I start the blood tests.

So will attempt three bear any more fruit? You’ll have to wait to find out…

Two Weeks and Counting

Dundee House at City Hospital

Dundee House at City Hospital

I’ve now had the pump attached to me for two weeks, although it feels like no time at all! I’m guessing the main thing I should talk about today is my fasting blood glucose tests but first of all I’d like to make a small apology!

Anyone who has been reading this since I started will have seen the post entitled “Days 5, 6, 7 and 8”, which was about my weekend away in Dorset, at the start of which I suggested that the team at the Diabetes Unit at Dundee House had given me some advice which I failed to take any notice of! Firstly I didn’t actually fail to take any notice of the advice and secondly the advice they give tends to be more suggestions which more or less tell you that you know best and so I would like to say sorry to Clare and the other ladies if I have been writing untruths. You guys are the best.

Okay, back to me (my favourite subject!!!)…

…I got myself all prepared last night to miss supper and wake myself up every couple of hours in order to do blood tests. As the time drew near I started thinking “I’m quite hungry”, which I should have taken as a sign really! I did my first blood test at 10pm and I was 2.2mmol/l which obviously meant that I had to knock the whole thing on the head as I had to have some Dextrose which would of invalidated the whole thing.

So I got up this morning and decided that I’d do it then instead, this meant I missed breakfast (the most important meal of the day) and did a blood test every hour from 7am until 1pm. My blood glucose stayed around five until 10am then I got up to nearly seven, then had three nines!

I called Clare at the Diabetes Unit this afternoon and she has given me some advice about altering my doses (thanks very much, again) and so I need to have a fiddle with my basal dose before tomorrow morning and see what happens over the next couple of days.

The whole fasting process wasn’t as painful as I thought it might be and the results are interesting. I’ll be interested to see what effect changing my basal doses actually has on my control and of course I’ll update you as and when I have any news on this!

Days 11, 12 and 13…Unlucky for Some!

Headless Donkey

Headless Donkey

As suggested I did indeed do some DIY over the weekend, however with the slapdash atitude those who know and love me have come to expect I approached the tasks I needed to do in fits and starts and therefore didn’t think it was worth dropping my dose any to accommodate the bits and pieces of work I was doing.

However the lack of any extra effort in my control didn’t seem to affect me too much, on Saturday when I did the greatest bulk of the work I was high once in the morning, which isn’t unusual, however in the afternoon I had three low’s but I put those down to innaccurate guessing of carbohydrates rather than the calorie burning and exercise that goes with doing it yourself.

Sunday was a different kettle of fish altogether, I was quite low at midday when I stopped for lunch, and all I had done in the morning was a small amount of painting…after lunch my blood sugar shot up within a couple of hours to 18!!! I have no idea why this happened as I’m sure I did my calculating right for lunch. Then when it got to tea time at about six o’clock I was low again (I’m talking under two for both of these ones).

Then to top off my Sunday at nearly half nine at night I had my first <NOT WORKING> alarm, and rather than being cool calm and collected I ran around the house like a headless donkey because I couldn’t find my manual to tell me what was going on. It was an E4 – Occlusion, which it turns out means that you should change the cannulla then check if that has fixed it. It did. So I had supper and went to bed.

For some reason today I seemed unable to get my BMs down, I had a 13, a 15, a 10 and a 12 before my body took over doing it’s normal mid-afternooon drop and I got low. However I seem okay now and I think that I’m going to do my first fasting BMs tonight so I’ll report back tomorrow through eyes held open with matchsticks, or more likely because of where I work pen drives or something?

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