Getting Used to an Insulin Pump

Posts tagged ‘Volleyball’

The … Diabetic

The ... Diabetic

The … Diabetic

I received an e-mail the other day relating to playing volleyball with an insulin pump and thought that the questions and my answers may be relevant, not only to volleyball but to a lot of other sports and activities.

I asked the nice young lady if she’d mind me using it for a blog post and she said that was okay as long as I used her pen name which is The … Diabetic, She writes her own blog (click on that link to get to it). I’ve also changed her e-mail address for the one she requested so feel free to contact her if anything on her pages floats your boat.

Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 14:43:08 -0800
From: the_3dots_diabetic@yahoo.com
Subject: Insulin Pumps and Volleyball
To: NottsType1@hotmail.co.uk

Hi Dan,

I came across your blog when doing some research on insulin pumps and playing volleyball. I’m quite interested in getting an insulin pump, but am only at the start of my investigations. I have an appointment with a Pump Doctor at my local clinic in a few weeks time, so I’m trying to do some homework beforehand and be prepared at the appointment!

I’m quite a keen volleyball player. I train 2 hours on 3 nights each week, I help coach juniors for 1 hour on one of these nights (before training), and play matches on a Saturday. Depending on the match schedule, I sometimes play on a fourth night in the week too.  I guess my main worry is how well infusion sets stay in place when jumping, blocking, hitting and diving, as well as how easy it is to avoid a pump getting damaged whilst throwing myself around court.  Would you be able to give me a bit of insight? Do you disconnect your pump? Have you had problems with air getting into sets or sets coming dislodged? From your blog, I gather you’re using a Roche Spirit Combo – has it been a positive experience? Where do you put it when on court? Finally, did you have to ask permission from the referees commision to play with a pump at matches?

Apologies about the million questions, there aren’t many testimonies out there of people playing volleyball with their pumps, and providing details on how they manage, so any extra insights would be much welcomed.

Kind regards,
The … Diabetic

My Response:

From: Type 1 Diabetic <nottstype1@hotmail.co.uk>
To: The … Diabetic <the_3dots_diabetic@yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, 6 February 2013, 16:34
Subject: RE: Insulin Pumps and Volleyball

Alright The … Diabetic,

I’ve actually quit volleyball temporarily for a number of reason’s, none of which, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear, are to do with the pump!

So to answer your questions as best as I can:

1. My infusion set always stayed in fine while playing, I chose the Accu-Chek TenderLink when I started off pump therapy but have changed to the FlexLink, both of these have a flexible cannula but the TenderLink goes in at an angle which I thought would protect it better from bumps while playing, however I am on the thin side (about five foot eight (1.72m) and 10 and a half stone (65kilos)) and I found after a bit of use my stomach looked like a pincushion. The FlexLink ones are, in my opinion, if anything a little hardier and come with the added bonus of the Link Assist Insertion Device which works like a kind of staple gun to get it in to you (honestly, better than it sounds!!!). If you have a preference for which side you dive on it might be worth considering that when placing infusion sets but with the amount you play your probably better just to stick it in and see how it goes. Certainly reaching up for blocks and the force of hits seemed to have no effect on the set staying put!

2. I have a neoprene pouch with a loop to feed the velcro elastic strap that came with it through, not sexy but worked for me, however you sound like you play pretty intensely so it might be worth you looking at the hard case along with sports belts here. I wore my pump on my back turned so it ran vertically up my spine, more or less, so there was little chance of me falling on it, kept it on the whole time and didn’t have any problems with bits falling off or coming loose.

3. Keep it plugged in pretty much all the time, only time it comes off is when I shower or swim.

4. Never had problems with air getting in, they are pretty well sealed units, although when I got it I was warned that I should keep checking the tightness of where the pump connects to the cannula and I now do that pretty much as standard without even thinking about it.

5. The Accu-Chek Combo has been brilliant for me, although I suspect that there are probably better pumps out there already, I’ve had it nearly two years now after all. This site is pretty good for the latest info, but as above it’s probably worth checking what accessories you can get when trying to make a decision, it might also be influenced by your healthcare team but frankly I have a lot of friends on various pumps and no one has been disappointed!

6. Never even thought to ask the referees, although I did check with my coach as well as my Diabetes consultant, whether they thought I needed to consider taking any action other than what I had already decided (e.g. wearing it strapped on and on my back while playing) and they both said it should be fine.

If there is anything else I can help you with, Volleyball related or otherwise please drop me a line, I’m always happy to help.

By the way is it okay if I use your e-mail and my response in a blog post? I suspect this information would be useful to a lot of people!

Cheers

Dan

Web-Monkey
Nottingham Type 1 Diabetes Group
I’m Gonna Stick You!!!

Hope you all find that useful!

Ooh, Pointy!

When I was at the clinic the other week for my annual pump check up I asked if I could try a different infusion set, because my stomach looks a little like it has a bad case of acne from the places where the needles have been. My pump is an Accu-Chek Spirit Combo and I’ve used the TenderLink infusion set since I got it because I thought having the bit that sticks in to me at an angle rather than at 90 degrees would be better for e.g. when I was playing volleyball and such like.

Anyhoo, I was given the only one they happened to have a few of laying around which was the Ultraflex, this one has a needle which goes straight in to you but is much shorter and (I think!?!?!) thinner than the TenderLink. Anyway I got four of them and so I used them over the previous couple of weeks, then last night I went back to the old standard.

I have put a picture of both below, the old one on the left and the new one on the right and I just wanted to say that the old one now feels like trying to stick Cleopatra’s Needle in to myself. Sadly I have about three or four boxes of the TenderLinks left and I don’t believe in needlessly sucking money out of the good old NHS so I’ll use them up first but when I next give those nice people at Roche Diagnostics a call I’ll be changing my standard order to the FlexLink infusion sets!

Accu-Chek FlexLink Infusion Set

Accu-Chek FlexLink Infusion Set

Accu-Chek TenderLink Infusion Set

Accu-Chek TenderLink Infusion Set

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!

Up and Down

Up and Down

Up and Down

Having an odd day today – Control wise!

These are my blood test results since midnight:

Time 24hr Blood Glucose in mmol/l
02:30 31.7
05:02 27.0
07:01 23.8
11:32 13.2
13:00 7.8
14:26 2.9
15.11 3.9
16:17 2.9

Let me give you a bit more information…

Deanne and I had a nice meal together last night after we’d put the Young ‘un to bed, it consisted of Pizza, Garlic bread and then a wonderful chocolate Torte all from Waitrose (other supermarket chains are available!) I made some frankly random guesses about the carbohydrates but did do a bit of checking up afterwards and thought I’d massively overestimated. But as it turned out I hadn’t!

I woke up at 2:30 ish needing to go for a wee (sorry too much info.) but I also felt pretty ropey so decided to do a blood test as well, the 31.7 was not what I was expecting, usually my highs only go up in to the 20s even if I’m ill (which I suppose I might actually be).

I didn’t consider that my infusion set may not be working properly because frankly it was half past two in the morning and I wasn’t really thinking straight. So I stayed up and watched some six-s-side and beach volleyball on TV as it was on when I turned on the telly. I did the next blood test at 5 and was a bit shocked to find out I’d only gone down by 4.7 mmol/l. so I did another bolus and went back to bed.

Got up this morning and realised there was probably something up with the infusion set so I changed it (it was due today anyway) and waited to see what happened. Had my lunch at half eleven and was still 13.2 the pump gave me a couple of extra units bolus to get my blood sugar down!

It worked. The rest of this afternoon my blood sugar has been rock bottom and I’ve been eating Jelly Babies like there is no tomorrow.

I don’t feel particularly unwell, although I’ve had such an up and down day that it’s hard to say for certain and what I’ve eaten hasn’t been massively different to normal so I really have no idea what’s caused it.

I’m not asking for sympathy, advice or even acknowledgement from anyone I just thought it might interest those of you who are more newly diagnosed that even after 35…nearly 36 years of doing this I can have a bad day. I’m not trying to depress you all just reminding you and all of those who support and live with you that you can never take Diabetes for granted.

…and on that cheerful note I’ll sign off for now 😛

Unidentified Flying Illness

Unidentified Flying Bacteria

Unidentified Flying Bacteria

I’m Ill!

Okay that may seem like stating the bleeding obvious, however I’m not talking about my Diabetes, this is something new and frankly not super-comfortable. Let me tell you about it.

A couple of weeks ago we visited my parents in Dorset for the weekend, everything was fine until Saturday Morning when I started feeling a bit odd. Then at about ten or eleven in the morning I ran to the toilet and was ill. I continued to feel unwell for the rest of the weekend.

After getting home I forgot about it until the next weekend when I got a kind of pain under my ribs which lasted a good chunk of Saturday. We went to our neighbours’ house in the evening and frankly got a bit drunk, which was quite good fun, then on Sunday I didn’t feel great, which I put down to the alcohol I’d consumed, however I had a volleyball game on so I thought “self-inflicted, just put up with it” and played anyway (even with my ill-health and at-the-time-unrealised underlying health condition we won three sets to none – I actually played pretty well!!!).

Anyway, it got to Tuesday and as the day went on the pain under my ribs came back and I was having pains every time I took a deep breath in, coughed, sneezed or laughed…funny! I got myself to the NHS walk-in centre in town and got seen by a Nurse. Deanne had suggested it was Pleurisy but he discounted that because when he listened to my lungs they didn’t rattle, probably a good thing really.

After a bit of consultation he decided that it was possibly pancreatitis, caused by my recent-ish change in regime on to an insulin pump, he said this may have upset my pancreas due to the difference in my blood sugars and general control from being a bit random and bad to being quite well controlled.

This actually seemed to make a lot of sense to me but he said it was sensible if I went and saw my GP anyway so he booked me an appointment in the afternoon. I went and saw the GP and after a bunch of questions she decided that she wasn’t sure exactly what it was but that it may have something to do with my diaphragm and lungs or else something completely different so she gave me some pills called “lansoprazole” which seem to calm the acid in your stomach down so it doesn’t upset your other organs but sent me to the blood-letters at city hospital in the morning for a blood test just to discount the pancreatitis.

So currently I have no idea what’s wrong with me but still have pain and no idea when I’m likely to hear about my results.

Great!

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!

 

Feeling Better

12 Jelly Babies

12 Jelly Babies

Got to dinner time on Wednesday and was 2.1mmol/l…which is obviously low so it was at that point that I stopped giving myself extra basal insulin and the illness setting!

Thursday went pretty well, admittedly I woke up a bit high in the morning and my next blood test after that but after that I was between 5.8 and 7.6 for the rest of the day, including after volleyball, once again I didn’t try adjusting what I had with dinner I just ate 12 jelly babies over the course of the session and that seemed to do me fine!

I did however use the exercise setting when  got home and had supper, I normally have about 8.2 units for supper, my adjustment dose was -0.1 and the exercise setting removed another 2.4 units of insulin, I did this because I have woken up a few times after volleyball with blood sugar verging on the low side.

So I woke up this morning and did my blood test and I was…

13.7!

Hmmm, back to the drawing board I think.

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

Five

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.

Mine’s A Pint

A Pint

Mine's A Pint

What a long weekend that seemed!

Volleyball on Thursday night went okay, I had two Bounty bars (about 33 grams of CHO each) and that seemed to very nicely get me through volleyball, coming out the other side with a BM of 4.9mmol/l, it stayed exactly the same between my post practice blood test at 21:59 and the test I did before I ate at 22:10, which mildly surprised me!

Friday was a bit stressful as I had to mosey over to Clifton to try and sort out some problems people have been having with some new software that I’m helping get installed on peoples’ laptops around the University. I finished work at 16:30 which is admittedly when I should (but rarely wait so long to) finish work on a Friday but usually I jump on a bus straight home whereas this time I had to get to town first.

However Deanne and the Little ‘Un decided they would meet me there and we could have a drink somewhere so we did, which was nice, then we had to go home (which took longer than normal due to some roadworks), feed ourselves, put the boy to bed and then I had to get ready to go out.

Went out with four of the guys from my NCT “having a baby” class, we’ve known each other for about 18 months and occasionally go out on the town together. Suffice to say that I probably drunk more than I should have and woke up the next day feeling a bit ropey, however I failed to write down any of my blood tests for that night so have no idea what my blood sugar did 😛

Saturday morning I was 16mmol/l which is kind of high, however I came to believe that I actually had something wrong with me (e.g a cold rather than a hangover) later that day ’cause I had difficulty bringing my blood sugar down all day long.

Went shopping in the afternoon and the three of us ran around town and then home for a late dinner at which my BM was 18.2mmol/l 😦

Sunday was better, started off a bit high but soon brung it down and spent most of the day within reasonable limits, even though we were doing some gardening, but the garden looks nice now.

Today I’m still sorting out software problems at work so have been back and forth to see various users in various different buildings, however blood sugar seems to be back on usual form with relatively good control most of the day then dropping in the late afternoon so I might do a fasting BM tomorrow afternoon to try and get back on track to sorting out my basal units again after a bit of a break.

Infusion Set Fun

Infusion Set Drawing

A Drawing of an Infusion Set

Well I changed my infusion set last night, usually I would do it just before or after supper time which would mean I wouldn’t have a couple of hours before I went to bed so couldn’t then take the used one out afterwards. So I changed it at about eight o’clock.

Things seemed fine initially I did a blood test at twenty past eight to see how it was going and I was 6.7mmol/l…all good so far. I waited until nearly half nine before I did another blood test and was mildly surprised to find out I was 2.7mmol/l. Oh dear! So I took the used infusion set out then and there and I think the next time I change it I will try leaving it in for less time after the changeover.

Todays been fine so far, no hypos and the highest result has been 9.4mmol/l so I’m feeling pretty good about that. I’m doubting it has anything to do with the infusion set change last night though because I had to have a few jelly babies and then have my supper after the blood test so goodness knows what that did to my overnight blood sugar?

Volleyball tonight so I’ll probably say something about that tomorrow, going to try keeping my mealtime dose the same as normal (e.g. not adjusting for exercise) and then eating while I’m playing again like last time.

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

Forty Six – Volleyball-A-Go-Go

50 Percent Off

50 Percent Off

The change to my basal rate in the afternoon seemed to work okay because yesterday I was 3.7mmol/l at about 6pm and having just done a blood test I’m 4.8 which is a little low but not hypo at least! I suspect another couple of fasting afternoons may be necessary to get myelf completely sorted but I’ll worry about that when I get the chance to do them! I might also do some micro adjustments on my morning doses at some point to try and get the slight peaks I have later in the morning a bit flatter.

So, to the main issue, I went to volleyball last night and tried to manage my blood sugar using a mixture of the exercise setting on the pump, a temporary basal rate, jelly baby therapy and extreme violence (okay, no “extreme violence”, it’s a quote. Ten points to whoever can identify it first!). I dropped my basal rate to 50% and had an exercise dose for my dinner at 6pm. Got to volleyball at about 8 and started practice then realised I was feeling a little low by about quarter past.

I didn’t do a blood test just had four jelly babies, followed five minutes later by another four ’cause I was still feeling a bit light headed, after that I just played on! Did a blood test at about 9:40 and it was 5.5mmo/l which is a lot better than any previous attempts I’ve made to control myself through the rigours of volleyball. Did another test at about quarter past ten after finishing and it was 4.4, had some supper and again set the exercise dose on my monitor.

Woke up this morning and I was 4.9mmol/l which is AMAZING!!!

So next time I might try having four jelly babies before I start practice and then another four after the warm up and see how I go from there.

So once again I’d like to thank the staff at City Hospital’s Diabetes Unit for all their help and encouragement, they are stars.

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 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 Nine, Forty, Forty One – We’re All Going To The Zoo Tomorrow…

A Bit Like Our Shed

A Bit Like Our Shed

…actually that’s a lie, we went to the zoo on Saturday!

It was the Little ‘Un’s birthday on Sunday so we had a big birthday weekend, on Saturday Deanne and I and the young ‘un went to Twycross Zoo, I started off very well writing down all my blood test results in the little book and trying to accurately judge what I was eating (ice creams, etc.) but by 11am had given up completely and was just trying to play it by ear. The main reason for me giving up was because my blood sugar was dropping like a rock and so I had to keep doing blood tests and eating to try and keep up with the high level of carbohydrate that pushing a pushchair and carrying a one year old round a zoo entails.

A good day but a very tiring day.

Sunday was pretty good, didn’t do a great deal in the morning (opening baby presents, playing with new toys, going to the toilet on a potty (him, not me!!!)) but in the afternoon while the weather was hot I decided to start clearing the garden shed out. To understand this fully it is worth mentioning that our shed (prior to me starting this) looked very much like one of those old shops you go in that have bits and pieces of everything stacked higgledy-piggledy on top of, inside and around each other with a blatant disregard for health and safety.

So I started by clearing a lot of stuff out of it, then screwing some hooks up so I could hang some things up to save floor space, then I started chucking out old rubbish and filing stuff in to boxes.

Interesting as this probably isn’t to read what it meant is that I had to do a lot of blood tests and have quite  an amount of carbohydrate-y things over the course of the afternoon – which I did! Although the work wasn’t particularly back breaking it was constant and so my blood sugar just kept going down. More on this phenomenon in a minute though.

Today started with a high blood sugar, mainly because I had a piece of birthday cake with dinner last night and failed to calculate the carbohydrate correclty apparently. However everything settled down enough by lunch time in order that…wait for it…I’ve finally managed to do my afternoon fasting blood glucose tests. Hooray 🙂

So far all is going well with a small surprise of my BM taking a swift upwards turn from about six to about nine at 4pm. This has shocked me because I was expecting it to start dipping about then, however I’m still guessing that I’ll be low before the end of the results. But don’t quote me on that.

I also managed to speak to the Diabetes Nurse this morning about my exercise rates and she pointed out something quite obvious which is that just because I have gone on to pump therapy doesn’t mean I don’t need to have carbohydrate while I’m exercising! So tonight I have a volleyball match and so I am going to have drink/food while I am playing to keep my blood sugar at a sensible level, as well as using a temporary basal rate and the exercise setting on my pump.

Frankly I should have realised this myself and/or called them up much earlier, but there are such a lot of things to consider when initially using a pump that you just have to try and address them one at a time.

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