Monday, 22 May 2017

Diabetes Bloopers - Wildcard Link List

Whether you or your loved one are newly diagnosed or have been dealing with diabetes for a while, you probably realize that things can (and will) go wrong.  But sometimes the things that go wrong aren’t stressful - instead sometimes they are downright funny!  Go ahead and share your Diabetes Blooper - your “I can’t believe I did that" moment - your big “D-oh” - and let’s all have a good laugh together!!  (This topic is borrowed from our 2011 #DBlogWeek.)

What a topic title!

I've got to admit I've had my fair share of 'bloopers' especially since my first pump arrived! Some of them have already featured in my blog I'm sure but I thought for the sake of giving people a giggle I'd give you a list of some of the most memorable ones!

So day one whilst having my pump fitted I nearly shot myself with the needle! The rep leading the session instructed us to put the inserter over the cannula and draw the inserter back to prime it ready to insert. What I hadn't realised is everyone else had played with the new equipment prior to getting to the hospital, id left mine wrapped in its cellophane. When I picked it up I didn't notice the button you pressed to push the needle into the stomach. Rather than inserting it my stomach it fired at me, missed and stabbed the chair behind me. I was so shocked I started to giggle and it became catching! The whole group was in stitches except the rep who thought we'd all gone mad!

So I'd been at home with said pump for a few days and I'd been noticing strange goings on from my family. Getting up frequently and checking the kitchen a lot - I thought they'd all gone mad. About four or five days in I realised that the beeping on my pump was almost identical to that of both the oven timer going off and the fridge door being left open!  I think my favourite line was when my sister said is that you or is my pizza actually ready!

One of my all time favourite 'bloopers' was out in a supermarket carpark! At the time I'd been registered for the wrong tubing length for my pump. They were that long the pump could reach the floor without pulling on my cannula! I think it was 110cm length rather than 40c. Anyway I was in a bit of a rush and jumped out of the car and with all the extra tubing didn't notice I'd become tied around the wing mirror of the car next to me. s I attempted to run into the shop the force ripped the cannula from my stomach. As if to add to the drama I'd obviously injected into a rather bloody spot which proceeded to erupt fountain style all over this cars window and door, The woman inside lost all her colour and started to look faint. The car and my clothes looked like something from a horror film and my mother laughed so hard I thought she was going to stop breathing! Interesting day.

In a similar thread due to the exceptionally long wire I somehow scooped my pump up with the dirty washing to put into the machine!! I then (because I hadn't noticed) put washing liquid in with it. Then (because I still hadn't noticed) slammed the door shut and pressed start!! As I stood up I realised in a nano second what I had done and in my panic had no idea how I was going to fix it! Lots of shouting alerted mother Nulty who rushed to my aid pausing the machine and releasing the door before any damage could be done!

I once knocked the pump off onto the passenger seat of a car after getting a lift and shut the door behind me, I ended up jogging alongside the car banging on the window!! Thank god it was moving slowly out of a space!

One of my first pumps had optional tunes it would play if it was high or low - you selected them like mobile ringtones. I was wearing it in work one day and my chosen low tune was very sci-fi. In a SMSC meting my pump starting ringing to say I was going low as the presenter introduced the spiritual slides! Lots of jumpy faces in that audience I can tell you!

So you see for those who have a pump you've got to remember the funny moments it brings you and be able to look back with a smile otherwise you'd go crazy. I've got loads more bloopers (I'm one of those people!) but I'm beeping low so better go for lunch!

Keep laughing!  H x

Saturday, 20 May 2017

More than diabetes

Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes, because there is more to life than just diabetes!  (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)

Ok so this is the fifth and final post. The idea of looking past the diabetes and explaining who we are! Hard it's been part of me almost forever! But there is so much more so here's a quick list lol; 

* I have a fab, sometimes wonky, family. All of who are special in their own way. They get me through day to day with a smile and a laugh. 

* I'm proud mummy to a beautiful little man and an amazing hound  


* I'm a crazy wife to my amazing hubs who I drive mad daily! 

 * I'm a teacher who loves seeing student 'get' something
* I'm addicted to certain T.V shows which I ❤️ 

* I good movies. (Marvel, Star Wars, Comedies etc) 

* Oh and I sing dreadfully EVERY morning on the way to work. Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't! (And it's anything from 90s cheese to Disney hits) 

* Oh and I suppose appropriately I've been diabetic 32 ish years!!

So in a nutshell that's me. There's probably loads I can add (and loads of people I've missed out) but for now I'll leave it there. 


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Throwback Thursday - What brings me down

Today let’s revisit a prompt from 2014  Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? 

EVERYTHING. Simple and straight forward answer. Some days I feel like I can take on the whole world but other days I can't even face getting out of bed. So I push myself to try and think positively. Some days it's others that bring me down, other days it's me or the surroundings, it can be something that's happened or not happened that makes me feel off. 

For a long time now I've suffered with anxiety. It's hard to explain how it makes me feel, how scared I can be some days but others I'm ok. 

So let's bypass the negative and focus on the getting through it! 

Things that help me; 

  • My little O. His smile warms any room and he's my everything. 
  • My lovely hubs, who gives the best snuggles (even on day three of me falling asleep on the sofa pinning him to watching whatever to show I've left on) 
  • My family, all of them. There's always someone at the end of the phone. Whether they're listening or driving me potty with laughter they're amazing. 
  • My friends. All of them. They're understanding enough to know that sometimes we can go ages without speaking but catching up is like we've never been apart. 
  • My Jazzy. Gives amazing comfort. 
Laughter is something that everyone should aim for daily. Find a reason to smile and hold onto it. ❤️

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Blame Game - Wednesday 5/17

Having diabetes often makes a visit to the doctor a dreaded experience, as there is invariably bad news of one kind or another.  And sometimes the way the doctor talks to you can leave you feeling like you’re at fault.  Or maybe you have a fantastic healthcare team, but have experienced blame and judgement from someone else in your life – friend, loved one, complete stranger.  Think about a particularly bad instance, how that person talked to you, the words they used and the conversation you had.  Now, the game part.  Let’s turn this around.  If you could turn that person into a puppet, what would you have them say that would leave you feeling empowered and good about yourself?   Let’s help teach peoiupe how to support us, rather than blame us!  (Thank you, Brian, for inspiring this topic.)

The Blane Game - interesting topic for me! I think I'll try and approach this logically, or at least as logically as I can! 

I'm very lucky, my diabetic healthcare team are AMAZING! I cannot praise them enough, they're supportive, helpful, non judgmental. Good at listening and advising. However when I need to visit the GP I often feel like they're inwardly rolling their eyes. Sighing because I'm back again. Almost always I hear that old line "well you're diabetic, your more susceptible to these things" erm no I disagree it's probably not the fault of my condition but hey let's go with it because you can't look beyond it. 

I'd love one day for them to say yes yes I see and look exactly at the problem rather than what they can blame upfront!!

Friends, yes been abandoned by some of them to unfortunately. I've had the friends of friends who've complained because I've tested my blood at the table or because they think my pump is dirty. It annoys me because the ignorance of people causes so much hurt. Wouldn't it be easier to say oh, wow does it hurt? How often do you have to do it? Etc! 

Haha I've also had the well you've been off sick again, what can you do to help yourself? This year I've had influenza H at least twice likely three times. The second and third time I lost my voice and felt dreadful. Bloods bounced around like a roller coaster and some days I barely made it off the sofa. I was honest and up front about it. Why I've no idea as I still got the same treatment as if I'd bunked off. I'd much rather have been in work than in bed feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. But instead of the whole oh so it's just unfortunate that you've had this recurring illness, are you feeling better? What's the after impacts going to be if any? What would help you now? I got smacked with a nice big warning. 

Random strangers yep done them to! They stare and then complain that they don't like what they're seeing, here's a suggestion - STOP LOOKING!! 

I sound like a right moaner tonight but the truth is I'm happy to educate, happy to help but it's part of me and that's life. 

One thing that does make me feel positive is that for my little boy my pump and bm kit are normal, it's part of everyday life. He's no fear of any of it. 

Monday, 15 May 2017

The cost of a chronic illness

Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?  (This topic was inspired by suggestions from Rickand Jen.)

An interesting topic for me as here in the UK we have the NHS (for now) and this absorbs a lot of the cost for supplies needed for care. There was a time though when we had to buy plastic syringes if you wanted them instead of using a glass one. Whizz right up to current day and we're in a similar position, pump funding comes from the hospitals and necessary supplies are included in this, cannulas, reservoirs, insulin.

As with most pumps the Medtronic one I'm wearing has the capability to upwork with CGM. In the UK CGM is funded for those planning pregnancy and as such I used mine when carrying my son. As I had some sensors left over I'm still using them up but as soon as my son was born funding was revoked. I think this is quite dangerous as you become reliant upon it to an extent and as such it can be quite a shock to go back to nothing. As they're so expensive self funding isn't really an option and we don't have any other funding options at present. So yes in essence the costs can be great in more ways than one.


Diabetes and the unexpected!

Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens?  Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?  (Thank you, Heather, for inspiring this topic!)

So when I suggested this topic I had a direction in mind for my post but today's events have thrown that off course! With that in mind it seems fitting to use today's blog to talk about today. 

Last night we had a plan - this morning I'd get up and go to work and daddy would get Owen ready and take him to nursery. Problem number one, Owen got up in the middle if the night wide awake and wanted to play. Eventually daddy took him downstairs but not before we'd done enough playing to lower mummy's BM. Emergency bedtime routine -check! 

As daddy had been up most of the night mummy had to take Owen to nursery and Jasper too Nanna so I was already running late, as per the madness of course I forgot breakfast bolus and ended up doing it halfway to work! 

Any way everyone delivered to the right locations and I was hoping the plan might slide back into! BM started to slide down so I grabbed an extra bite to eat which then caused a nice spike and so the morning went on in the pattern up and down. 

I hoped that lunchtime would allow me to grab some control back and so did a bm, calibrated the pump and had my dinner. All looked promising until I arrived at the exam I was invigilating and I got the dreaded double down arrow. 

So now I'm sat here with a pump showing a good bm but with three, THREE, downward arrows. 

So to revisit the topic Diabetes and the unexpected, what I've learnt over time is that there are some days you've got to let go and put down to the butterfly effect!  

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Healthcare Experience - Thursday - Diabetes Blog Week

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What's your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

This is straight forward - my healthcare team are the best. There's not much else to it, my consultant is fantastic. He listens to me, explains things so I understand them, supports my decision even if he disagrees and helps me with pretty much everything I need. 

My DSN is my go to. Even when I'm not venting about something diabetes related. She gets me. She understands I'm not perfect and takes on board that I'm doing my best and that's good enough. She's supportive, straight talking, compassionate and best of all calm when I'm having a meltdown. Even the DSN she's training to take vet when she retires is fabulous. She's great. 

The rest of the team are exactly the same give or take the odd personality clash. 

However healthcare outside of specialists I think could be improved. I think people who don't understand type one find it very difficult to advise. When I was in hospital having my baby I was asked to self manage which we agreed to but when I was feeling unwell post surgery I was told I was being over reactive to my blood sugars. Being that I was on a pump and knew if I hadn't treated then I'd be massively off target later I ignored her. But I felt they were always quick to blame my diabetes. 

I always wonder at appointments why they measure my height? At my age I'm not getting any taller...! 

I also get annoyed when I go to an aappointment at say 2 o'clock and they come out and weight me/take height/hba1c and then leave me in a waiting room for an hour. Then when I ask why they're keeping me waiting they say well you were seen at 2...! I feel like they're suggesting my time isn't important. 

My biggest rant I suppose is funding - CGM is funded during pregnancy or in trying to get pregnant. Whilst I think this is great it needs to be extended. Following trying for a baby, getting a good Hba1c and delivering a baby it's unrealistic to think that it'll just drop back into place! You need a least six months postnatal sensors to achieve this. On the flip side of this - if you don't want children does that make you any less entitled to CGM? I've also heard CGM IS often funded for people who've abused their condition and so have no hypo awareness. It seems unfair to not give someone who wants to improve there care funding but to give it to someone who doesn't care! 

I suppose to be honest I don't have much to moan about from a diabetes healthcare point of view. To be honest I'm pretty pleased about that.