I have been a diabetic for over 12 years now but have never really altered my life the way I should. I am starting this blog as a way to try and hold myself accountable. I know that this blog may not be of any interest to the majority but if you should take the time to read it please leave a comment with an encouraging word or a kick up the bum depending on the need at the time.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Well it's been quite a while since my last update but I am pleased to say this is a positive post for a change.

I have now started on my new medication and can definitely see a change in my eating habits.  I am not hungry all the time and have virtually stopped snacking between meals which is not like me.  The most amazing thing happened yesterday, I opened a packet of biscuits and ate one biscuit!  I know this probably sounds ridiculous but normally I would eat half if not the entire packet!!

I've been testing my blood a lot more at least three times a day although mainly before lunch time so I just need to start testing in the afternoons and evenings as well.  Best of all when I am testing all of my readings have been below 10mmol/l which is a great improvement for me.

Will have to see if the success continues but keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday 28th September 2011

Today was the day I had my appointment to go back to the hospital and see the Consultant.  I was able to tell him that although I was by no means doing as much as I could but there was much improvement from the last time I had seen him.  I told him that I had started this blog and that I was getting loads of support from you all and he was really touched.  I know I haven't published on here for a while but I have been testing my sugars more than I had been.

I also asked the Consultant about trying another medication called Victoza basically you have to give yourself one injection of it a day and it helps to control your blood sugar and apparently also reduces your appetite and can help with weight loss.  My Consultant told me that one third of people will not be able to tolerate the drug, one third will see little effect and the final third see dramatic weight loss and great improvement of their blood sugars.  So lets keep our fingers cross that I am in the "right" third!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sunday 28th August 2011

Okay so it's been 2 weeks since I last blogged so I'm now a bad blogger as well as a bad diabetic!

This morning I put my insulin pump on after not having it on for 36 hours - there was no reason for not having it on I just didn't get round to it (or ignored it).  So this morning I tested my sugar and it was 17.3mmol/l which is high but not too bad for not having had insulin for 36 hours.  So I gave myself a bolus to correct the high sugar and have bolused for my meals so far today.

I'm not in work for a couple of works and really hope that I can get into some sort of routine of regular testing. There should be no excuses of not having time although I have got a busy week at home and then a week away but I'm going to make testing and getting my control on track my top priority.  My next diabetic appointment is in less than a month and I really want to go in and be able to give some positive feedback on my progress.

This week I also changed GP and the nurse I saw seemed really good.  She used to be a diabetic nurse in a hospital so she actually understood my condition and medication better than some medical professionals have done.  Anyway I have to go back on Friday (without Samuel this time) so we can have a proper chat apparently there are some other medications that I can take to help my body absorb insulin better.  I am a type two diabetic but I think my main problem is insulin resistance my body just can't absorb the insulin it is producing and I am providing.  To give you an idea I read the other day that a type one diabetic boluses 4 units of insulin for a meal (this is one individual and will obviously differ for others) whereas I bolus up to 35 units for a meal so a massive difference.  I  used to be on metformin which is a tablet which helps your body to absorb insulin but the side effects for me far outweighed the benefits and my diabetic consultant agreed it was not worth taking them.  Anyway I am intrigued to hear that there are other medications I can try and a bit disappointed that they haven't been offered to me before.

She also asked me if I have ever attended a Dafne course (this is a course which helps type 1 diabetics to learn calorie counting and how different foods affect blood sugars).  I haven't done the course but was interested to be referred for it, however, having done some research on the internet it is definitely targeted at type 1 diabetics and I am not sure if the same rules apply for type 2s so I will have to ask her about this on Friday as well.

So even though I have been bad I feel this is quite a positive post.

I'd like to say a big thank you to Kylie Hodges, Emma Bridges and Sonia Newton for keeping on my case about testing and posting my blood sugars.  I have been posting them occasionally on Facebook when I haven't had time to come and blog and will endeavour to keep doing so.  I've decided I don't care if other people get fed up with me posting my sugars the amount of twaddle that other people post sometimes - if they don't like it they don't have to read it.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Saturday 13th August 2011

Sorry I've not updated for a few days but I spent Thursday and Friday in bed with a stomach bug and have just been getting myself right today, normal service should resume tomorrow!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday 10th August 2011

Yesterday I tested my blood sugars four times (yes 4 times!!) all the readings were higher than they should be in the low teens but I tested four times.   I am proud of myself for doing that and am going to try and keep hold of that feeling.

Today I tested first thing and got a reading of 8.3mmol/l but haven't tested again.  Tomorrow is another day and I want to feel proud again :-)

Monday, 8 August 2011

Monday 8th August 2011

Really bad day today - biscuits for breakfast, McDonalds for lunch, kebab for tea and more biscuits.  No blood tests done :-(

Friday, 5 August 2011

Friday 5th August 2011

Blood sugar first thing was 9.3 but two hours after breakfast had dropped to 7.5.  I'm really pleased at the moment with my post-breakfast blood sugars as they are either less than the first thing in the morning or near to a normal reading.  In the past I would have normal blood sugars before breakfast but then two hours later they would be in the high teens.  I'm not sure what if anything I'm doing differently but I feel it's progress.

My insulin pump ran out at about 1pm at work today and I changed it straight away.

I didn't make it to Slimming World last night and this week I think we have had some sort of takeaway every day. I think it might be the heat but I have just had no energy to do anything when I get home.

So I'm going back to setting myself some goals so here is what I'm going to attempt this week:-

  1. Test blood sugars at least once a day every day (try to test at different times of day to get a better idea of what's going on)
  2. No takeaway
  3. Go to Slimming World on Thursday

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wednesday 3rd August

Nothing to say today really, no blood tests done, insulin pump needs changing - I promise I will do it as soon as I finish typing this.

Tuesday 2nd August 2011

I left my blood testing kit at work yesterday so couldn’t test first thing this morning, two hours after breakfast though my blood sugar was 11mmol/l so not a good start again.

An hour later blood sugar had come down to 8mmol/l.

Pre-lunch blood sugar was 5.6mmol/l.  I’m really happy with my blood sugar readings at the minute and it is spurring me on to keep in control.  My eating habits however are another story.  I think I am going to try and start going to Slimming World again – there is a class which has started near me recently which would fit in with everything else going on - it's on a Thursday night so watch this space and see if I make it on Thursday.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Monday 1st August 2011

Not a great start to the morning with a blood sugar of 10.4 but tested again at about half 10 and it had come down to 6.7 which is good.

Pre lunch blood sugar was 5.6 which is excellent.  Had a piece of cake this afternoon though.

My insulin pump is just about to run out, now last week I would have disconnected the pump and left it off over night and may or may not have reconnected in the morning, but today I'm changing the pump right now before it runs out.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Saturday 30th July 2011

I've only tested my blood sugar once today, first thing this morning but it was a good 7.4mmol/l.

My food consumption has not been good today.

Tomorrow however is another day!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Friday 29th July 2011

So after yesterdays post I agreed to post my blood sugars on facebook but I figure this is going to become quite boring for those people who don't care.  So instead I thought I would do a little diary for each day with my blood sugars and what I've eaten etc.

So after breakfast my blood sugar was 7.2mmol/l.

At 11.25 I had not had anything to eat since breakfast which for me is an absolute miracle.  I was starting to feel a bit peckish but had a drink of water to hold me off until lunchtime.

My blood sugar before lunch was a fantastic 5.7mmol/l.

I was really pleased with my pre-lunch blood sugar - it just goes to show that no snacking in the morning makes a big difference.  I went to Greggs to get my lunch and got a chicken and bacon sub roll and a lemon drizzle doughnut.  I know I shouldn't have had the doughnut but I'm a bit emotional today so treated myself.  I went to the Greggs website to find out the carbohydrate content for the items and was shocked to find that although they list the calories and the fat content they don't actually list carbohydrate content.  I decided to see if there was anyway of contacting them to ask if they can add carbohydrate content as surely this is part of nutritional information that should be given.

My blood sugar after lunch was 12.8mmol/l a little higher than it should be but I'm happy.

I found the contact details for Greggs and sent them this e-mail.

I was looking at your website today to try and find the carbohydrate content in one of your sandwiches and a doughnut.  I am diabetic so carbohydrate counting is very important when it comes to knowing how much insulin I should be giving following a meal.  I was surprised to find that although you list calorire and fat content for your products you don't actually list carbohydrate content.  It may be that I was looking in the wrong place and if this is the case I would appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction.  If it is something that is not currently available I wonder if you would consider adding this information to your website in the future as I am sure all diabetics and others would find this information extremely useful.

Many thanks

I was quite surprised when within a couple of hours I got the following e-mail back.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us about the carbohydrate contents in our food.

I'm sorry that this isn't available on our website and I have passed your comments on to our Marketing team to take into consideration when looking at future changes.

I've attached to this e-mail a copy of our nutritional leaflet which is available in our shops.  I hope this is of help to you.

If in the future you require any information for food that isn't on the leaflet please don't hesitate to contact me and I'll be more than happy to help.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us and we hope to see you in one of our shops in the near future.

I wonder if they really meant that anything from Greggs I can e-mail them about to find the carbohydrate content because although the leaflet they attached is very comprehensive it doesn't actually cover any of the cakes!!

Anyway let me know what you think about this diary style blogging.

Thanks again for your support.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thursday 28th July 2011

So it's been over a month since I last posted and I'd love to say it's because I have been in control of my diabetes but the exact opposite is true.  I've maybe tested my blood twice in that time.  When my insulin pump runs out it is taking me far too long to change it.  I've regained all the weight I lost from when I was ill and there are days when all I do is eat rubbish.

Why can't I get my head around this.  I know what I need to do and can't understand why I can't do it.  It's the same with my weight I know what I shouldn't be eating but I keep shovelling it in.

I'm going to try again but I'm not making any promises anymore I feel like I'm letting people down.  All the support I got initially with this blog has dwindled and I am sure it's because people are thinking for goodness sake this is just the same thing over and over again.  There has been no improvement since I started but then there has been no improvement since I was diagnosed 11 years ago!

All I can say again is that I'm going to try.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Saturday 11th June 2011

I feel like I am back at squre one before I started this blog.  The past week I haven't tested my blood sugars, have eaten loads and loads of crap and done no exercise.  In my defense I have been on the third week of my course and it was the most intensive week so far.  I was absolutely exhausted at the end of every day and quite a few days felt totally overwhelmed by the course content and my ability to put everything I was learning into practice on my return to work.  As is my way when I feel down I turn to food and I am ashamed to admit how much I have been eating but I want to come clean.  I would have breakfast at home and then buy a sandwich and a danish pastry at the train station to eat on the train.  I would have a sandwich, crisps and chocolate for lunch and then on the way home I sometimes got a burger or another sandwich and then ate tea when I got home which the majority of the time was takeaway.  Is it any wonder I have managed to put on 8lb since I started this course.  So I am clearing my conscience by telling you my secrets.  Next week I am back at work, the week after I am holiday for a week with my parents in Wales and then the third week I complete the last few days of my course and then it is back to normal.  So I am wiping my slate clean and starting again.

Next week I will
  1. Test my blood sugars at least once a day
  2. Get some exercise everyday (I am sure my sister will help me out on this one)
  3. Cut down on the amount of food I am eating
I am also going to try and get back to updating here every few days as I feel it helps to hold me accountable.

Thanks for your support


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Saturday 28th May 2011

Firstly apologies for the delay since my last post.  I have been on a very intensive course for work for the past two weeks and what with working five days a week for the first time in over 18 months and 4 hours travelling a day I haven't had a spare minute to update the blog.

I haven't been testing everyday but I have been testing more than I was before I started this blog.  I definitely haven't been eating healthily in fact I've been eating much more junk but to be honest I just need to get through this course before I can put myself 100% behind the healthy eating etc.

One good thing is that I got a letter from my consultant following my last diabetic appointment and the blood they took then showed a HbA1C of 8.8% which is a really good improvement on the 9.9% it was last time.  It is still my aim to reduce it again before my next appointment but things are going in the right direction.

I am off work next week, but have quite a bit of studying I want to do during that time.  I also have a lot of house work to catch up on but I am going to try and go for a walk everyday as I have been doing more walking than usual to get to where I go for my course so I think this wouild be a good goal to set this week.  I aim to walk for at least 30 minutes each day.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Wednesday 12th May 2011

The last time I posted my goal was to test my blood sugars at least once a day and I'm happy to say that I managed to do this.  The ideal would be that if I am only going to test once a day I do it at different times of the day so that I get a better picture of what my sugars are doing during the day.  But I thought to try and get myself into a "habit" it would be easier to test at the same time everyday so I chose first thing in the morning.  I am going to set up a different page and post my blood sugars on there so if you are interested you can look at them but if you're not you don't have to look at the boring figures!!

Today has not been a good day foodwise.  I am feeling extremely nervous and stressed at the moment.  Next week I am going on a course for work, the course is taking place at a hospital near Liverpool and will mean getting two trains and a bus.  It probably sounds silly but even though I've already been and checked out where I get the train to and how I get to the hospital I am really nervous about making this journey.  Will I fall asleep on the train and miss my stop, how will I know which is the station I need to get off at, will the course finish in time for me to get the train home or will I have to wait an extra hour in the station etc etc.

Basically the next seven weeks are going to be difficult.  I do two weeks of course (full five days - no Wednesday off for me!) then I have a week off, another week of course, a week in work, a week on holiday and then in the last week another three days of course.  I know that by keep thinking about the 7 weeks in total I am going to overwhelm myself so I am trying to think of it in smaller bite size pieces.  So to start with it's just the first 5 days I have to get through.

So because my stress levels are high I've been turning to food.  Honestly it could have been a lot worse today but I am a bit disappointed in myself now.

So my next goal is to carry on testing my blood sugars at least once a day and try and replace at least one unhealthy snack a day with a piece of fruit.  Still starting small and building up.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Saturday 7th May 2011

After my last post I continued to have a really good day - for the first time I can ever remember I didn't have any chocolate at all.  Friday however was a different story.  I don't know why but there are some days where it doesn't matter how much I eat I am still hungry.  I snacked all day at work and could tell my sugars were high (although I didn't test) as I was nearly falling asleep at my desk in the afternoon.  It was a colleagues birthday and they had brought in chocolate chip cookies so I had a couple of those, another colleague was retiring and they were having a get together at lunch time and I ate more than I should have there and then we had a takeaway for tea.  My insulin pump ran out just before I was going to bed and I was so tired I didn't change it before bed so I also had a whole night without the insulin I should have.

I am still feeling motivated with all your support but it's so hard.  I haven't tested my sugars at all today either but haven't had such a bad day food wise.

When I listed my goals in my first post these are all the goals I want to achieve long-term not all at once.  However I think I am trying to concentrate on too many things and getting a bit overwhelmed.  It's difficult to decide what I should tackle first though because what I eat will affect my sugars but if I don't measure my sugars I don't know how it's affecting them. 

I think for now I will just concentrate on taking my blood sugars and I am starting small so for this week I am promising you all that I will test my blood sugar levels at least once a day.

Now for the very scary bit for me - I said in my previous post that I would weigh myself and then publish on here how much I weigh - well yesterday morning I weighed 222.8 pounds.  I will try and weigh myself every Friday but at this moment my goal is not to lose weight but just to try and eat a little healthier.

If anyone has any suggestions or motivational words they'd be appreciated.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Thursday 5th May 2011

When I published my first post I really didn't expect anyone but my sister to read it.  I have been completely overwhelmed with the amount of support I have received with comments on here, on facebook and private messages people have sent me. 

On Wednesday after my appointment I tested my sugar before and after my evening meal and counted the carbohydrates in the meal.  I can't remember the last time I did this.  The readings were higher than they should be (10.5 before and 8.5 after) but I have to start somewhere (my blood sugar readings should be between 4 and 7).

Thursday morning the first thing I did was get on the computer and start writing this and reply to some more of the messages and comments I'd received.  I did my blood test and it was 5.4 which is perfect!!  I hope I can keep this feeling going as I really feel amazing. 

I hope my posts aren't going to be too boring for you all but I feel I need to make a record of what I'm doing again for the accountability but also so I can look back and see what I've accomplished.  I suppose I am going to use this blog a bit like a diary but I'm not going to commit to posting each day, I'll just see how it goes.

Later I am going to weigh myself and will publish what I weigh so I can keep track of my weight loss.  The thought of people knowing how much I actually weigh is actually quite terrifying for me but again I can't measure progress if I don't know where I started from.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Me and Diabetes - 4th May 2011

I was diagnosed with diabetes in August 2000, it came as a complete shock as at the time I had no symptoms.  I had applied for a job as a medical secretary on a Special Care Baby Unit and part of the recruitment process was a medical.  As part of the medical they did a dipstick urine test, my sugar levels were high and I was told I needed to see my GP for a blood test.  I had the blood test and they confirmed I was diabetic.  They suggested the rest of my family be tested and this is how my mum found out she is also diabetic.

So I started off "controlling" my diabetes through my diet.  Well I didn't change anything I did so that didn't work.  I was then put on medication and lost about 3 stone in 2 months as I had quite severe side effects from the tablets.  This was the one and only time in my life I have lost a significant amount of weight and I didn't really do anything - basically I had no appetite at the time and anything I did eat shall I just say quickly came out one end or the other.  Finally I was started on insulin - five injections every day it was hell.  About 3 years ago I started using an insulin pump and I now only have to have a needle once every 2 days when I change the infusion set on my pump.

While I was pregnant with my son my control was excellent - my HbA1C (the blood test which shows what your blood sugar levels have done for the past 3 months) was at the level of a non-diabetic.  I was very proud of the fact that my son was born weighing 6lb 13oz when most diabetic women have much larger babies.  This just proved that I had looked after myself and my son during my pregnancy.

After my son's birth I unfortunately suffered from postnatal depression.  It was an awful time and the last thing I was thinking about was looking after myself and my diabetes. 

In February 2011 I had my first follow up appointment with the Diabetic Team since my son's birth.  My Consultant is absolutely amazing.  When I told him I hadn't tested my blood sugars for 12 months, had been skipping doses of insulin and eating whatever I wanted, he told me that this was not unusual during the first 12 months after having a baby but that I really needed to get my act together and start looking after myself.  He wanted to see me again in 3 months time. 

So today I attended clinic again my last HbA1C was 9.9 (it should be less than 7).  I told him the truth I am now giving myself my dose of insulin with the majority of my meals although I do occasionally forget and I am very rarely testing my blood sugars.  I don't need education, I know what I should be doing, I know the terrible consequences I could face later in life if I don't take care of myself.  My biggest fear is that I will lose my sight to diabetic retinopathy and will no longer be able to cross stitch, read or knit, these are the things I do to relax and honestly I don't know if life would be worth living if I couldn't do them.  That probably sounds very harsh but I am trying to be open and honest.

He suggested that I take half an hour to an hour 2-3 times a week to sit down and think about my diabetes.  What I am doing wrong, what I could be doing better, what the consequences may be and what those consequences could mean to me.  I thought about writing a journal but then thought if I were to write a blog about this then there may be someone out there who will read it and encourage me or give me a virtual slap and basically just hold me accountable.

I know that I cannot change everything overnight but my aim is to make small changes every week and hopefully by the time my next appointment with the Consultant comes round I will be able to report that I am making good progress.  I have found with my cross stitching that setting myself goals motivates me so I am going to try that technique with this as well.  So here are my goals.
  1. Reduce my HbA1C by my next appointment, even if it is only by 0.1 it will be lower and going in the right direction - once I know what the result was from today I will add it here - my next clinic appointment is 28th September
  2. Test my blood sugars at least once a day
  3. Measure the carbohydrates I am eating rather than just guessing
  4. Reduce the amount of sugar I eat
  5. Reduce the amount of fat I eat
  6. Lose weight
  7. Exercise more
This is all I can think of at the time being but will review these goals and update my progress regularly.

My next list is the list of things that could happen should I not get control of my diabetes.
  1. I could lose my sight
  2. I could lose limbs due to neuropathy
  3. I could end up with kidney failure and have to have dialysis
  4. I could shorten my life
If you've made it this far I thank you for your patience.  I hope you will come back and help me on my journey.

I would also like to add that if there is anything here you don't understand please ask me and I will try and explain.  If you have questions about diabetes please ask and I will try and answer.  If you have any suggestions as to how I can change please tell me.