It's been a while, but I'm finally returning to my blog........
It's been just over 2 months since I last blogged so it's about time I stopped neglecting it. I enjoyed (and needed) the break from it I must admit but over the last couple of weeks I've been feeling the occasional urge to get back to the world of blogging.
Time to press the rewind button.......
My last post was all about the laser treatment (for Diabetic Retinopathy) that I had had on 31st August, which I had thought was going to be my last one for a while. Anyway, it turned out that I needed to have one more session so off I went back to the Eye Infirmary on 4th October for approx 1200 laser burns in my left eye and I was told that the next time I have to go in it will just be for a check up in 3 months time which was fantastic news. I'm really hoping that at the check up things will have stayed stable due to having better sugar levels since being on the pump!!! Fingers (and toes) crossed!!
So, what else has happened since my last post.....
We (me, Gareth and our 2 pooches, Poppy and Daisy) took part in one of Diabetes UK's Walk the Extra Mile events at the Lickey Hills Country Park on Sunday 12th September. I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who sponsored us. We managed to raise £248.00 in total which I was really pleased with and it's more than I have raised in the other years that I have done the walk. Next year I want to try and get up to at least £300.00 if possible. The weather was lovely and we had great fun, in fact I think the dogs enjoyed it way more than us!! I posted some photos on my Facebook page which you can see if you click on the link below:
Now onto the most important part......the pump!!! I've now been 'attached' to Posy for 3 and a half months and I have to say its the best thing I ever did. Ok, so I've had some 'moments' (like yesterday for example) where I've wanted to rip the damn thing out and throw it against a wall but 99% of the time I'm very very happy with it and the results I've seen. When I started carb countng (in April) in preparation for going on the pump my HbA1c was 11.6 (horrendous I know), it had dropped to 8.8 in July and in September it had dropped a little bit more to 8.1 so although its not perfect yet, I'm certainly getting there!!!
I've had a few scary moments with the pump such as infusion sets popping out of their own accord and a "no delivery" alarm during the night which sent my blood sugar up to 33. I've had a few 'wobbles' about being constantly attached to a contraption forever, like when I'm in the shower and I see the pump sitting there on the side waiting for me to re-connect myself to it, but these moments soon pass and I just re-connect and carry on!!! I've also had a few instances where when changing the infusion set and priming the tubing the drops of insulin get onto the paper on top of the sticky bit and this then makes the sticky bit become unsticky - hope that makes sense!! It's quite frustrating when this happens, especially if I'm getting ready for work in a morning and I'm in a bit of a rush because it means starting again!!!! I use 'Mio' infusion sets so this might not happen with other types. However, one of my friends in the D.O.C. suggested a solution which I'm going to try tomorrow morning when I do a set change (hold the set upside down so the drops of insulin drip onto a tissue instead of down onto the sticky part - Thanks Angela, you're a star x x )
While I've been away from blogging we've had a bit of a stressful time at home which unfortunately had a bit of a negative affect on my dedication to the pump. Nothing drastic, but instead of being completely focussed on looking at patterns in my blood sugars and making adjustments according to those patterns, I have been tendng to just see the result and do what I needed to do at that point in time rather than building up a picture of whats going on with my levels at different times and whether certain foods make my levels rise etc. etc. I was comfort eating a fair bit too and just using the pump to compensate for any rubbishy foods I fancied eating!!! I did start to feel guilty about it all and had a bit of a confessing session when I last saw my DSN on 4th November. Funnily enough she said that when I started 'confessing' she thought I was going to say I didnt want the pump anymore so when she found out all it was was not paying quite as much attention to my levels as I had when I first got the pump, she was quite pleased!!! She also said that the way I started off being so focussed and dedicated to it was not a realistic way to carry on which made me feel a bit less guilty. The last thing I wanted her, or anyone else, to think was that I'd got my pump and was now just abusing it by eating tons of crappy foods and using it to compensate. I am very grateful for my pump and always will be but I do think that sometimes "life" takes over and other things get in the way and it really isnt realistic to focus on absolutely nothing but Diabetes every single second of the day. I hope this is making sense to at least a few Diabetics out there!!!! Anyway, I felt much better after "confessing" to Gill, my nurse, and she said I need to stop beating myself up so much because I have done brilliantly so far. We agreed that as my morning levels are still rising I need to do 3 overnight basal tests where I get up to test at 4am, 6am and 8am and then make adjustments to my basal rates according to the results of those 3 tests, over 3 days.
Since my last post I have met up with a lovely lady at work who also goes to Stafford Hospital and sees the same DSN (Gill) and consultant (Dr. Coates) as I do. We met up for lunch a few weeks ago which was great. I was really good to 'compare notes' and I must admit I did find it funny when we both sat down and immediately got our blood testing kits out!! (I've never been in that situation before so it was nice to not be the only person in the canteen doing a blood test!!!! Lol). She is on a different pump to me but it was good to see a different one in action and talk about the issues she has with hers.
I saw my consultant on 11th November and he said he is really pleased with my progress and that, if anything, my HbA1c has come down faster than they usually like to see. I had my bloods done again whilst I was there so I'm waiting for those results now. I dont expect it to have come down this time and if I'm honest I think it may even have gone up slightly but Dr. Coates said not to worry about it too much so I'm trying not to!!!! We also discussed, with my DSN and dietician, my next challenge which is to try and reduce the amount of carbs in my diet - easier said than done!!! Apparently my diet is pretty high in carbs and I need to have a re-think about my daily intake!!!!! Bad news as I LOVE my carbs!!!!! They said that they are pretty surprised that I haven't put a lot more weight on, especially as I apparently eat such a lot of carbs, because usually with every 1% drop in HbA1c you can expect to put on around 4 pounds in weight which would mean I should have put on approximately 12 pounds but I have only put on 2 pounds (so far). They mentioned to me about maybe starting to take Metformin in the future which is a tablet that can help with insulin resistance, appetite control and weight loss. I'm not ready for that yet though as I want to make sure I've tried everything I can with the pump first before starting to take yet another tablet - I'm sure I would rattle if I jumped up and down!!!
Well, I think thats quite enough for one day, its great to be back but I need to ease myself back into it gently I think!!!! Lol :o)
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