Monday, 30 April 2012

Day 30: Challenge Met!

So guys'n'gals, it's Day 30 and the final post of HAWMC.  I know I didn't post every day, but I still worked hard to make sure I produced all of the posts by April 30th, so I'm going to say that I pretty much met the challenge. 

The last prompt was to produce a word cloud on Wordle, buttt I couldn't get Java to work on my laptop so I drew one.  It's quite literally a diabetes word cloud...

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Day 29: Diet Coke For The Diabetic

Yippee!  I've finally caught up with my HAWMC posts and I'm on track for the final stretch.  Today's prompt is to write a 6 sentence story.  I've never been particularly good at keeping things short and concise - I tend to ramble or go off on a tangent.  Think I may find this challenging...

I took a sip through a straw.  The liquid came into contact with my tastebuds.  Sweet, sickly, full of sugar - I spluttered.  It wasn't the first time it had happened.  I took the drink back up to the counter, manoeuvring my way through the queues of hungry customers.  I addressed the woman who had served me - "I am a Type 1 Diabetic and I asked for Diet Coke!"

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Day 28: Happy 1st Birthday, Diabetic Dais!

Although it's now the early hours of the morning on Sunday 29th April, Day 28 was my blogging birthday!  Diabetic Dais is 1 year old!  In regard to marking the milestone, the prompt for this post couldn't be more perfect.

The first time I...wrote a post on Diabetic Dais, I didn't know where to begin.  It was the afternoon and I'd been trying to figure out layouts and pages and colour schemes for most of the day.  I finally sat down on my bed to write and my mind went blank.  Title?  I was unimaginative to say the least: 'The First Post' was my best idea.  Then I played around with the appearance and size of my font for a while.  I uploaded some irrelevant images to see how it all worked, only to delete them immediately.  Anything to distract myself from actually writing.  

What could I write about?  I could have moaned continuously about my rollercoaster blood sugars, or whined about what an evil, incurable disease diabetes is.  No.  If I'd have done that, I probably wouldn't have ever written another post again.  I'd have depressed myself so much that I would have never returned (and neither would anyone else!)  In years to come I would think about that blog I almost got into writing and Google 'Diabetic Dais', only to find that it's on page 9086743687367953868387568.

I spent a considerable amount of time either gazing out of my window or wandering aimlessly around the Diabetes UK website searching for inspiration.  Eventually I realised that if I didn't want to depress myself or others by writing myself into complete oblivion, the only alternative was to make myself feel better.  The positive things about having diabetes!  They do exist, right?  They must do.

I started typing.  I must admit, I was kind of nervous.  Being a blogging novice meant that I didn't really know what tone was appropriate.  At this point, I didn't even have any readers so I was clueless as to who I was even addressing!  Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.  Before long I was barely even thinking about what I was writing.

That was it.  Finished.  I read it, checking for spelling and grammar mistakes.  I previewed it.  I read it again.  Okay.  I hovered my mouse over the 'Publish' button for a few seconds.  Click. 'Your post has been published'.  I went away hoping that someone, somewhere would read it.

People did read it.  In fact more people than I could have ever imagined have read The First Post and others.  In the last year I have written 60 posts, have started my Diabetes UK blog, have met some inspiring and beautiful people and have become a part of an online community that I absolutely adore.  I want to thank you all for reading, for commenting, for following, for subscribing, for tweeting, for sharing and for supporting me.  You're awesome!

Day 27: Trials and Triumphs of T1

5 challenges:

1)  Doing my injections - I think this is one of the main challenges for most diabetics.  For me it's not because they hurt or I'm scared of needles, but because sometimes I just don't want to. Sometimes I feel I'm too busy, or I'm not in the right environment, or I just want to be non-diabetic for a day or two.

2)  Going to endo appointments -  I don't struggle as much with attending these anymore, but they used to feel like the bane of my life.  It didn't even matter that I only had to go every 3months in the paediatric clinic, just the thought of the whole ordeal would fill me with dread. Because I wasn't taking care of my diabetes properly, I hated finding out what my HbA1c was, having my insulin doses adjusted and being asked if I'd been recording my blood sugars, when I only ever felt that I was disappointing my diabetes team and myself when I hadn't.  The last thing I wanted to do was talk about my diabetes, when I was simply wishing it would disappear.

3)  Glucotabs and Lucozade - Because I've had diabetes since being really young, I've never acquired a sweet tooth.  I find anything that's really sugary to be absolutely repulsive.  However, two of the best quick-acting hypo treatments are Glucotabs and Lucozade.  Chocolate bars and cookies are appealing, but they won't raise your bg's quickly because of the fat in them and the way they are digested.  Glucotabs are the easiest to carry around with you and Lucozade is usually the easiest to get hold of in an emergency.   Convenient?  Yes.  Tasty?  No.  Sometimes I have to force myself to drink Lucozade or shove Glucotabs down my neck, even if I'm really low.

4)  Going for my retinopathy screening - Everytime I go, I work myself into such a frenzy.  Not only do I absolutely despise eye-drops, but I worry so much about what the results are going to be.  As soon as the screening is complete and they have the photos, I always hastily ask if they look ok, my voice quivering.  Sometimes I wonder if I should even go, but then I have to remind myself that ignorance isn't bliss.

5)  Doing the right thing -  I've often wrote about how diabetes doesn't give you a choice.  You have to do injections, test your blood etc.  However, I've realised that the thing that actually makes diabetes hard sometimes is that we do have a choice.  If I don't want to test my blood sugar, or give my insulin or treat my hypos I don't have to.  Although I know there will be horrendous long-term complications, sometimes it just feels easier not to at the time. So, for me, making the choice to do the right thing for my diabetes can be the biggest challenge of all.

5 victories:

1)  Doing the DAFNE program - Those on my diabetes team know that trying to just get me on it was like trying to make a sheep 'moo' for a long time.  I didn't want to know because 1. I was dubious that anything could be so amazing that it would massively improve my management and 2. I generally wasn't interested in anything that involved diabetes.  However after months of persuasion and going on and on about it, I did DAFNE.  They weren't lying, it was amazing.  I met some wonderful people and learned so much.  My HbA1c has improved significantly since doing DAFNE and I would recommend it to every diabetic.

2)  Talking to others about my diabetes - I used to be useless.  I'd get embarrassed and shy away from any situation which meant I'd have to reveal that I have diabetes.  That often meant that I'd end up in some sticky situations.  I'm not like that anymore.  I've come to realise that my diabetes is part of me and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

3)  Testing my blood - Estimating how much insulin I needed to give myself by seeing how high/low I felt at the time was never a good technique.  I did this most days for a couple of years and I regard myself as being lucky for not being riddled with diabetes complications as a punishment for my stupidity.  

4)  Carb counting - Hit and miss, hit and miss.  I was like that for years. I never really took notice as to why carb counting was so important and so, in my ignorance, rarely bothered to do it.  Nowadays, there isn't one packet of crisps or chocolate bar with unread nutritional information.  There isn't one rice dish or bowl of pasta that goes unweighed.  There isn't one place that I don't take my Carbs&Cals book.  My boyfriend and I even cook our potatoes/spaghetti/whatever in separate pans, just so we know I'm going to bolus correctly.  Some may say it's excessive, but I know I'm doing the right thing.

5)  Blogging - I see 'Diabetic Dais' and my Diabetes UK blog as victories because of how much writing them improves my diabetes control.  The more I write about diabetes, the more I focus on it and the better my blood sugars are!  Not only that, but I've met some beautiful diabetics through writing my blogs, who I wouldn't necessarily have had the pleasure of talking to if I didn't rant and ramble on like I do!

Day 26: Dais says...

DAISY SAYS:  "Diabetes loves me, it loves me not..."

Day 25: The Strangest Hypo Ever

Daisy awoke normally.  She stirred and opened her eyes a little expecting the morning light to be flooding into her bedroom, only to find that it wasn't.  It was still dark outside, but she could make out the shapes of the familiar objects that surrounded her.  Books, cushions, a teddy bear.  The dim glow of the landing light made things just about visible.

She must have had at least a couple of hours before needing to get up for school, so she rolled over on to her side to drift back off to sleep...or at least she would have done had she have been able to.  The left hand side of Daisy's body wouldn't move.  Not even a little bit.  Not at all.

Panic started to set in almost immediately.  Her arm and hand were limp, fingers splayed out and her leg, motionless.  Help.  If she were to shout loud enough, she would surely be able to wake her mother in the room next door.  Opening her mouth she got ready to scream.  She produced no sound, not even a murmur.  Not even a whisper.  Silence. 

What should she do?  Dreadful thoughts polluted her mind.  Was she paralysed?  Would she ever be able to walk again?  She was only 11years old!  She'd worked herself into such a state that the possibility of her thinking straight, and coming to a logical decision, was unlikely.  Calm down, Daisy.

It was noticeable to her that the pace of her thumping heart had slowed.  It no longer felt like it was eager to make a rapid escape from the contours of her chest.  Daisy began to dedicate her focus to each, individual limb; pleading with her muscles, begging them for movement.  They remained still.  Not even a twitch.  Not even a twinge.  Lifeless.

She had to do something.  She had to get out of bed somehow.  Daisy rolled on to her stomach.  Using every bit of energy in the right hand side of her body, she twisted around until both legs were dangling over the side of her bunkbed.  Yes, her bunkbed.  Not only was she unable to move, but she was also 6ft off the ground.  For some reason, thoughts of Julio Iglesias being determined to beat his diagnosis of life-long paralysis popped into her head.  If that was what God had planned for her too, she was going to change his mind.

Daisy put her right foot on the ladder of the bunkbed and clung on to the higher metal bars with her working hand.  Fearful, she attempted to 'bunny-hop' towards the ground.  Only using one hand and one leg, this wasn't the best idea.  Her foot slipped out from underneath her.  She lost the grip she had and began to grasp at thin air.  She fell.

Her body and the hard, wooden floor collided with a tremendous bang.  For the first time since she had awoken, Daisy's vocal chords released sound.  Sound in the form of a wail, a scream, a cry for help.

The door to the bedroom swung open and her mum entered, panicked and flustered.  She picked Daisy up off of the floor, held her and asked her what had happened.  Daisy still couldn't speak.  She was struggling to even breathe.  She gasped and tried to inhale, but her lungs felt as though they had no capacity, even for oxygen.  

When her mother realised she wasn't going to get a response, she took action by addressing her first concern.  She tested Daisy's blood - 2.4, just as she'd expected.  Lucozade, digestive biscuits, some TLC.  Before she knew it, Daisy was back to normal.  She told her mum of her frightening and strange experience.  She clenched the fist of her left hand and then opened it.  She wiggled her toes on her left foot.  Relief.

Daisy got back into bed.  Her mum tucked her up and kissed her forehead before returning to her own room.  Daisy closed her eyes, just as the sun began to rise outside.  She thought of how that was the worst hypo she had ever had.  She hoped she would never experience a hypo like that again.  Daisy fell asleep.  Her Diabetes Devil rubbed it's hands together in delight, rejoicing in it's mischief and the trouble it had caused.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Day 24: T1 Terminator!

Decided to get a bit creative and designed my own diabetes superhero/mascot
© T1 Terminator - Diabetic Dais

Day 23: Support For Diabetic Students

A little while ago I was interviewed for an article on the Guardian website about whether or not universities are doing enough to support students with long-term illnesses.  Of course every university is different and each will have it's own provisions in place, or so we hope.  Nevertheless the general consensus revealed that students living with autism, epilepsy, mental health disorders, diabetes etc. don't always have access to the help and resources they need to be happy and successful whilst studying.  

When I started uni in September of last year I attended freshers fairs expecting to come across a Diabetic Students Society of some sort, but no such luck.  Yes, Disability Services and Disability Counselling are all well and good and definitely are needed, but what if I don't want to be counselled?  What if I just want to speak to people in a similar position to me, people with diabetes?  It's for this reason that I was excited and intrigued when I was contacted about an online support network for diabetic students.

Vicki Gibbs and Lizzie Holt are second year university students who had been disappointed with the lack of support offered to them and others with diabetes.  Both girls felt they had benefited immensely from being able to interact and identify with one another on the Diabetes Support Forum (UK), and felt there should be a place where diabetic students could do the same.  So, in true DOC style, they made it happen!

Student Diabetics UK (SDUK) or 'Rant Room' is a Facebook group where students can talk about, laugh about, share concerns about and unite through diabetes.  From managing diabetes and drinking alcohol, to dealing with diabetes and exam stress, to concerns about bg levels, to where we keep our diabetes supplies - you name it, SDUK discuss it!  It's not even 2 months old, but the support group is growing as quickly and successfully as the friendships that are being made within it.

Not only is it helping me to focus on managing my diabetes as a student, but I'm learning new things all the time and I'm meeting some truly amazing people along the way.  I think it would be fair to say that we'll be seeing great things from SDUK in the future.  So if you're a college/sixth form/university student, check it out!  Trust me, you'll love it as much as I do.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Day 22: Something To Remember

Day 21: Bad Diabetes Day

Right, so I was meant to be generating a 'health madlib poem' but I've wanted to write my own poem about diabetes for ages, so I'm going to use my artistic license and do that instead...

Bad Diabetes Day

Wake up in the morning,
On the wrong side of the bed,
Gasping for some water,
And with a pounding in my head.
Testing my blood sugar,
Hope for nice digits on my screen,
Instead I just wanted to cry,
When Glucometer shows 16!

Get ready to bolus, full of rage,
I hate it when I'm high.
Especially when I'm looking after myself,
And there seems no reason why.
Inject what I'm supposed to,
Manage to keep a level head,
Want to make my blood sugars balanced,
Not end up hypo instead!

Time to check for ketones,
Hope it isn't DKA,
Don't want my blood sugars to be running high,
I just want to get on with my day!
Don't want to test over and over,
Or correction bolus repeatedly,
Don't want to inject in front of people,
Or even do it secretly.

I don't want to change my lancets,
Don't even want to think about insulin,
Don't want to prick my fingers,
Don't want any needles to touch my skin.
Don't want to count my carbohydrates,
Or worry about kidneys, feet and eyes,
I only want to carry a little handbag,
But it's got to fit my diabetes supplies.

Sometimes I want to scream,
But there's no point in raising my voice.
I have to do these things whether I like it or not,
Diabetes leaves me no choice.

Day 20: Diabetes Miracle Cure

Personally I don't like the idea of a 'miracle cure' for diabetes, mainly because I don't think I'd trust it.  I don't much believe in 'miracles', possibly because I don't believe it's something I've ever experienced and I'm yet to hear or read about any occurrence that I think warrants being called one.  I do, however, believe in luck, fate and that hard work results in a good outcome.

If there's going to be a cure for diabetes, I'm pretty darn sure that it will be a result of a heck of a lot of scientific research over many years.  That's the reason why I'm not going to fill this post up with inventing my own cure, because if it's going to be a miracle cure then I'd make it something like "RAINFALL ON TUESDAY 24th APRIL CURES TYPE 1 DIABETES!"

A few years ago, I encountered a middle-aged man who tried to tell me that I didn't have to have diabetes anymore.  I was at the pharmacy collecting my insulins, when the pharmacist came over to me with my prescription to tell me that they didn't have any NovoRapid in stock and did I want to order it in for the following morning?

The man, who had been standing behind me in the queue, obviously overheard the conversation and decided that he had something to inform me of.  As I left the pharmacy, he followed me out on to the street.  

"Excuse me" he said "are you diabetic?"  
I, of course, replied "yes"
"You do know you can get rid of it, don't you?"
"Erm, actually I'm a type 1 diabetic which currently has no cure.  Apparently type 2 diabetes can be reversed though, yeah"
"No, no, no.  I've read a book about it.  All diabetes can be cured by eating a raw carrot and seaweed diet.  You should try it!"
"Thanks, but type 1 diabetes CANNOT be cured.  If there were a cure, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have just had to go and pick up my insulin because my doctor would have taken me off it and made me eat carrots instead"
"Well you should talk to your doctor about it."

I was intensely irritated by this point and ended the conversation by saying "Thanks for your advice" and walking away from the guy.  

I totally get that he was just either badly informed or had just completely misunderstood the book he had apparently read - a raw food diet has apparently shown type 2 reversal.  However, if I were to stop taking my insulin tomorrow and eat nothing but raw carrots and seaweed I would probably become very unwell or possibly even die.  So, just in case you were wondering, that is why I wouldn't trust a 'miracle cure'.

Day 19: Diabetic Dinner Party

If I could invite 5 guests to my diabetic dinner party, they would have to be:

1)  Marc Bolan (Not diabetic but I just wanna' resurrect him...and we love to boogie!)

2)  Dr. Bernstein (I'd like to have a proper chat with him and find out more about his 'Diabetes Solution')

3)  Halle Berry (To be honest, I'd like to know why she ever thought it was appropriate as a role model to say "I'm really Type 1 though it is classified now as Type 2 because I am no longer insulin-dependent.  I was for a while but I've managed to wean myself off insulin, so now I like to put myself in the Type 2 category."  Sorry, but what-on-earth?!  Get the girl a new diabetes doctor or something)

4)  Jimmy Carr (We're going to need someone to make us laugh by telling inappropriate jokes after I've ranted at Halle Berry for an extensive period of time)

5)  Plato (Can't say I necessarily agree/believe in all of his theories, but a superbly interesting bloke nevertheless!  Plus, if I bring him back from the dead to attend my dinner party, he can let me know if there really is a 'world of the forms' or not!)

Day 18: Mind The Misprint

Alright, so the prompt for this post is to open any book to a random page, take the first sentence you read and write about it.  Basically, I don't want to.  The only book I currently have in the room I'm writing in is 'A Dummies Guide To: Living Gluten Free' so I'll give it a miss.  May I point out, however, that when I have my own place I will have books of some sort in every room.  It's not so easy when your stuff is split between two homes in two different cities, but it will happen.

Instead, this is a quote I came across awhile ago and it made me smile:

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
-  Mark Twain

Day 17: Lessons Learned The Hard Way

Lessons I've learned the hard way:

1)  You cannot cook rice in a sieve in the microwave - you will almost set fire to the house and Mum won't be happy.

2)   Being forgiven by others means very little if you will not forgive yourself.

3)  Do not dwell on negative things that happen to you or allow yourself to play the victim - it will only make you bitter.  You are in control of your own happiness.

4)  Inject your fast acting insulin after eating, just in case you accidentally drop 60g worth of carbohydrate on the floor.

5)  It's never good to forget that you've already injected 10u of fast acting insulin for a meal and end up injecting the same again an hour or so later - eating yet another 100g of carbohydrate to make up for the insulin overdose is not fun!

6)  Have high hopes and big dreams, but maintain low expectations.  That way if someone or something lets you down you haven't got far too fall, or if your expectations are exceeded you can be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Day 16: Pinning Diabetes

Going to pin up 4 photos that say something about diabetes for me.  Messages that I think are important and ones that I hope will someday help us to pin diabetes down.

The first image hilights a problem.  No one wants to have diabetes, but it cannot be ignored!  The longer someone goes without being diagnosed and without proper diabetes treatment, the higher the risk of them becoming really ill, getting serious long term complications and even losing their life.

It's because of the reasons I have just mentioned that I think the symptoms of untreated diabetes should be emphasised more!  Surely the more aware people are of them, the more likely they are to go and get checked out if they experience them.

Basically, the next image just bugs me.  The guy who wrote this book is meant to be an MD, yet it's clear that he either can't be bothered to specify that there may be a possible cure for type 2 diabetes, or he actually reckons he's got a cure for type 1.  If he has then hallelujah, give me and every other diabetic this cure now!  Pfft...just annoying.

Thought I'd follow the last irritating image up with my poster design for National Hope For A Cure Day.  There isn't a cure yet (sorry to inform you of this "MD" Gabriel Cousens!) but the more we focus on it, the more we hope and wish for it, the sooner we'll be diabetes-free.

Day 15: I Got Style

I don't mind much where I write.  I first started blogging in my bedroom at my home in Nottingham, but my laptop broke a few months after creating Diabetic Dais which meant that I would seize the opportunity to write a post wherever and whenever it was possible.  Sixth form, my grandparent's house, even on my dad's touch screen phone at one point if I remember rightly.  I didn't really care how I did it, but I was enjoying writing so much that that was all that mattered.

I only find it difficult to write if I'm in an environment where I'm not comfortable, or if there's no background noise.  Being surrounded by silence just about triples the amount of time it takes me to complete a post.  I end up becoming frustrated because I get wrapped up in my own thoughts and start rearranging and focusing too much on my words, rather than just typing out what I really want to say.  So I play some tunes and away I go!

To be honest with you, I don't really know what my writing style is.  I like to mix things up a bit on this blog, writing about a range of different things and usually with a slightly different tone depending on what I'm writing about.  Obviously I wouldn't write about the worries so many diabetics face regarding serious complications in a jokey manner, just the same as I wouldn't write about something funny that's D-related in a way that sounds so serious, the last thing you'd do is laugh.

I write my Diabetes UK blog a little differently.  I like to use humour quite a bit, usually in the forms of puns, sarcasm or strange similes and metaphors.  I'm a bit more consistent with the way that I write and prefer to portray a positive outlook on diabetes there.  In other words, I save the majority of my 'rants' (although I hope I don't do it too much) for Diabetic Dais.

I believe that there's an appropriate way to write each post and I write the way I do hoping that you're going to want to read it.  The last thing I want is for all of my fellow diabetics out there to rather go and consume 100g of pure sugar without bolusing even a single unit of insulin, than read another one of my posts!

Day 14: Diabetic Dream

The prompt for this post was to write about my dream day.  I know that this probably means imagining a day where everything you've ever wished for and aspired to comes true, all within a 24 hour period.  

In which case, my dream day would consist of me waking up with not a single hair on my head out of place, flawless skin, going to my place of work where I will have a job which makes me ecstatically happy, coming home to a beautiful house with my equally beautiful family and sitting down to an incredibly tasty meal and not having to give any injections because diabetes has been miraculously cured that day.  

Oh and of course I'd probably fly around the world a few times, marvelling at the landscapes I see and the people I meet.  I'd also do everything on my bucket list and spend quality time with all the people I love...and this will be possible because it's my dream day and I can do whatever I like in it.  Not only that, but there's no realistic concept of time in a dream so the possibilities are endless!

The truth is, I didn't really want to write about my dream day to begin with.  That's why it's a bit vague and starts to sound a little sarcastic I guess.  Instead I thought I'd share a dream I had about diabetes about a month or so ago...

I was in a large space, a bit like a conference or meeting room.  I was sat in a big circle, with loads of familiar faces although I could barely recall who the people actually were when I awoke.  

The only individual I definitely remember being there was my Diabetes Nurse.  For some reason everyone in the room was testing their blood sugars.  My Diabetes Nurse told us all that there was a diabetic in the room and we needed to identify who it was.  I remember thinking it was me, of course.  However, when we tested our blood and saw the results on the Glucometer's screen, she said that everyone in the room had diabetes except from me!

As you can imagine I was pretty confused, both in the dream and when I woke up.  I suppose there is one thing that both of my 'dreams' have in common though...being cured of type 1 diabetes is obviously quite high on up on my wish list.

Day 13: I love you

We're meant to be focusing on 10 things we couldn't live without, but as the lovely Vicki Gibbs mentioned in her Day 13 post, if we only talk about the things we physically could not survive without then you're just going to get a boring and pretty obvious list of daily essentials.  Food, water and diabetes supplies being the main ones of course.  It's for this reason that I'm going to list the things that I love the most because I figured that, without the things I love, life wouldn't really be worth living anyway.

10 things I love:

1.  My family.  We may not be the most conventional bunch, but I like that.  The most important thing is that we love each other, support each other and can trust each other with anything.  You are beautiful, wonderful people and I love you all dearly.  Thank you for making me, me.

2.  My lovely friends.  It doesn't matter how long I've known you for, I appreciate each and every one of you.  I'm not going to put your names on here because you know exactly who you are.  I adore you all and I feel blessed to have you in my life.

3.  Anthony Brown.  I don't have to write much here because I think you already know just how much you mean to me.  You have become such an important part of my life and you make me so happy!  You're caring, thoughtful, intelligent, funny, creative and so much more.  I know we joke about how we can read each other's minds because we usually know pretty much exactly what each other are thinking, but I think that's probably because we're so well suited.  I know we never planned to be with each other, or to fall for each other, but I'm so glad we did.
I love you lots!

4.  The Diabetic Online Community.  When I first started blogging as Diabetic Dais, I never expected to become a part of such a supportive and wonderful group of individuals.  I used to feel alone as a diabetic and that probably lead to me not taking much care of it when I was younger, but I don't feel that way anymore.  If I'm annoyed by the fact that I've woken up with high blood sugars, my head hurts and I feel as though no one understands, all I have to do is go on my laptop and suddenly I'm surrounded by so many people who completely identify with me.  DOC - you make me a better diabetic, so thank you!

5.  Reading.  My favourite book is The Time Traveller's Wife because it's beautifully written and you know it's a good book when you cry more reading it than you did when watching the film.  Apart from that, I love reading everything.  Fiction, non-fiction, blogs, newspapers...oh and, since doing the DAFNE programme, the nutritional information on the back of food packaging.

6.  Movies.  The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile being my personal faves.  Those and The Sound Of Music...but that goes without saying.

7.  My music collection.  'Easies' is my favourite Spotify playlist at the moment.  Oh and Ray LaMontagne's voice warms my heart.

8.  My Uke.  I've played the ukulele for a couple of years now, thanks to my dad's musical influence.  I love it...and before you start picturing George Formby cleaning windows, he actually played the Banjolele (just to clear things up!)

9.  Flowers.  Lots and lots of flowers.  Especially tulips (bet you thought I'd say Daisies, right?!)

10.  My cat, Millie...because she's gorgeous!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Day 12: Spotty Dotty Diabetic Dais

Stream of consciousness day?  Guess this will be a test of how conscious I've actually been today!  Have felt a bit like a member of the living dead but, nevertheless, here goes...

This morning I looked in the mirror and wondered why I have yet another pimple/spot/thing on my face!  Before Christmas, I'd hardly had a single spot in my life.  Maybe the odd one on my chin or nose when I was ill or feeling a bit run-down, but apart from that I was one of those annoyingly lucky people with pretty good skin.  Now you could probably play dot-to-dot on my face if you wanted to, although I'm not welcoming offers anytime soon just so we're clear (unlike my skin, just to reinforce my point!)   Anyway, I've wasted plenty of money on Clean and Clear and other facial cleansing, spot destroying products that cost more than my weekly food budget and I'm not doing it anymore.  Just going to rename myself: Spotty-Dotty-Diabetic-Dais...I think it's got a ring to it personally.

Went downstairs to grab breakfast with my boyfriend, although it was about 11.30am by this point so I decided I'd skip brekky and have lunch in a couple of hours.  Anthony had a bowl of natural yoghurt mixed with Morrisson's 23p 'Mixed Fruits' jam which we discovered, after reading the ingredients, actually only contains the smallestttt percentages of apple and blackberries and something ridiculous like 86% I gave it a miss.  Had a big cup of Earl Grey tea in my mahoosive Cath Kidston mug which made my insides feel very warm and I was sure that, if I'd jumped up and down, you'd be able to hear the liquid sloshing around in my tummy.  Nice.  So I didn't jump up and down.

I was feeling a bit grumpy - I'd woken up with some massively high blood sugar reading like 18.3mmol and had wanted to rage bolus but just about managed to keep a level head and gave myself 6 correction units of my fast acting insulin, thinking that it should bring me down to about 6mmol.  Injected my new best friend Levemir too.  13u - that should do the trick!

Started to notice that I'm beginning to look very much like a pin cushion.  The tops of my thighs and tummy are pretty bruised and 'dotty' (again, kind of like my spotty face!) My fingertips are covered with tiny little pin-prick marks, especially the ring finger on my right hand seeing as it appears to be my favourite to bg test on for whatever reason.  I try and move my injection sites around as much as I can, although I'm yet to brave injecting into the Gluteus Maximus.  

Ant gave me my lunch-time jab in the top of my arm.  I can't do my own injections in my arms because I have a thing about pinching before putting the needle in and I obviously can't do that unless I grow an extra arm, which would not only be a bit creepy but if I'm going to do that I might as well grow a new pancreas too.  Once I'm able to grow extra human organs, I'll save loads of people by making loads of new hearts, pancreases, livers, kidneys etc. (although they'll have to get them out of me quickly once I've started growing them because I'm only small so there's a very high chance that I would explode from an overdose of human organs)  To top it all off, I could go on Britain's Got Talent and perform for the Queen if I won...I suppose I'd have to grow Her Majesty some sort of diamond encrusted body part.  I'm sure she'd like that; gotta' be better than Susan Boyle or Diversity, right?

Tried to give Ant a hand with making the model for his building which was fun but eventually we both became frustrated because the table we were doing it on was too low down so we looked and felt the the Hunchbacks of Notre Dame.  At dinner time we attempted cooking a Panang curry from scratch after ordering a deliciousss one from a Thai takeaway the other day.  We both came to the conclusion that although it was a very tasty curry it was no Panang, so we have agreed to try again another time soon.  In the meantime, the mystery dish we conjured up tonight will be called 'Ant and Daisy's Special Curry'.

Now I'm sat in bed writing this, listening to the soothing sounds of David Gray and hoping that my knees will stop aching soon.  My fundraising job involves a large amount of running/skipping/hopping about (whichever makes you feel most enthusiastic and energetic when you're out and about) and my legs are starting to feel the consequences.  Considering growing some new ones overnight...y'know, as you do.

Day 11: Blame The Diabetes!

Day 11's post was all about a theme tune for Diabetes, so I thought I'd alter the lyrics to The Jackson 5's 'Blame It On The Boogie'.

My baby's always injectin'
And it would be a bad thing
But means I eat all the chocolate
In the house

We spent the night in A+E
Doc found out she had Diabetes
And from that night I started to
Learn some things

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

That nasty disease, it bugs her
Wish things to go back to how they were
Night-time hypos got her
In a state

She's changed her life completely
Doesn't care much for sweeties
My baby just can't
Make her pancreas work...

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

She just can't
She just can't
She just can't break down glucose!

She just can't
She just can't
She just can't break down glucose!

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

This insulin keeps her alive
This insulin helps her survive
Although she doesn't make it
Artificial stuff gets a high five!

Bg's are balanced, she 'aint snappy
And I can see she's happy
When Glucometer shows
A 5.3!

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

Don't blame it on her lady time
Could blame it on sweet Apple Pie
Just don't blame it on her or I
Blame the Diabetes!

Nottt - lady time!
Maybeee - Apple Pie!
Neverrr - her or I!
Must beee - 'Betes!

Nottt - lady time!
Maybeee - Apple Pie!
Neverrr - her or I!
Must beee - 'Betes!


Day 10: Dear Baby Daisy

Dear Baby Daisy,

Your life's barely even begun.  You have so much ahead of you - so many things that will mould and shape you.

In 3 years time you will be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  It won't bother you too much to begin with - mum and dad take care of every aspect of it.  Most of all you'll miss 10p Freddo chocolate bars, but it's okay because a good few years later they won't interest you at all because Cadbury's chocolate gives you tooth ache and they cost a whopping 25p.  That's inflation for you, little one.

Dr. Johnson's going to upset you.  He's a nice bloke but he'll squeeze your little fingers so hard to try and get blood out of them that they'll throb for ages afterwards.  Years later, when he's retired and you can no longer remember what he looks like, you'll picture his face as the Kentucky Fried Chicken man.

When mum and dad split up, remember that it's for the best.  You'll come to realise that, as much as you love them both, you would never want them to get back together.  After being separated for 14 years, you'll have been lucky enough to have spent 4 Christmases together and have been on holiday to Switzerland, just the 3 of you.  You'll be more of a family than you ever might have been had they stayed together.  Most importantly though, you'll have two of the best friends you could have ever wished for.

Ye of little faith, remember that you are capable of so much.  Don't leave your GCSE and A Level exams almost in tears because you think you've messed them up - trust me, you really haven't. 

Appreciate those you love and who love you.  Make the most of the time you have with good friends and wonderful family - some of them won't be around for as long as you will hope.

In the 6 years you spend at primary school, do not waste a single second of them wishing you were older.  When you look back at your class photos and you remember the names of every single one of your peers, you'll wonder where the time went and be baffled at just how much things can change.  Losing Alice will hit you hard, but you'll remember her beauty and how she was always an angel, even here on Earth.  The same goes for when you're older; don't dwell on wishing you could go back because you can't - move forward confidently and keep going.

As for your diabetes; don't neglect it.  You may feel like you're invincible sometimes but you're not.  Don't blind yourself with ignorance, thinking that you're immune to the complications of diabetes and so you can treat it as you like.  You're only human, Daisy.  Remember your hypo treatments, your prescriptions and most of all take your insulin!  When your blood sugars are running so high that you can hardly drag yourself out of bed, or you're in A+E with DKA, you'll kick yourself for being so stupid. 

Last of all, don't run up a £240 phone bill ringing your friends' mobile phones from the landline when you're 14.  Mum will make you pay it back to her in full and rightly so.  You won't be happy when you have no pocket money for months on end.  Not only that but your mother will bring it up in front of people to embarrass you for years to come, so just don't bother.

Walk with your head held high and with a smile on your face.  You have so much to look forward to - believe me, I know...

From 19 Year Old You.