Living with Type 1 Diabetes

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There were two predominant symptoms that really stick in my head prior to my diagnosis, they are explained below. I was 34 years old, I had two daughters and was hoping for baby number three not to be too far in the future.

First was the thirst, oh that thirst! I’d never experienced anything like it, I didn’t know what thirst really meant until I experienced that. I used to keep an empty 2L pop (soda) bottle by the side of the bed that I had filled up with water. I would get through that bottle of water every night and then need to refill it. During the day I was constantly gulping water. I remember a time that I went to visit my parents. As soon as my mum answered the door I practically knocked her over saying “can I have a drink of water please?” and headed straight to the kitchen, again gulping a glass or two down. Mum voiced her concern that my thirst wasn’t normal and I should go to my GP surgery. Once home I searched my symptoms and it came up with diabetes. I didn’t know anything about diabetes and how serious it was but I thought ok I’ll ring and make an appointment tomorrow.

I saw the doctor the next morning (a locum not one of our regular practice doctors) and explained my symptoms. I was asked to go back to reception to make an appointment to have blood taken. I was given an appointment for 2 weeks time, I was a bit shocked it was that long but was told there wasn’t a sooner appointment. Still I was unaware of how serious things could get and just accepted that I’d need to wait 2 weeks.

Now to the next symptom, extreme thrush. That isn’t an understatement, it was extremely extreme.   It got so bad that for 2/3 nights I didn’t sleep, this was only a few days after my visit to the doctor. My husband, Allun, insisted that I go back to the doctor the following morning, thankfully this was still when Saturday morning surgeries were open.

I got an emergency same day appointment, this time with a doctor from the practice. I was sent to the ladies toilets with a little tub for a water sample. The doctor dipped a stick in to test it. His response was very calm but explained that he needed to call an ambulance for me as I had very high ketones in my water and he suspected, along with my other symtoms, that I had diabetes. I can’t remember the exact number but I do remember that it was a number in the 30’s. At this time that number meant absolutely nothing to me. I asked if I could drive home to let my husband know and was told no because I might not be safe to drive. I was taken to an empty consulting room to wait for the ambulance. I was suddenly feeling very shaky and faint, anxiety was kicking in. I asked if I could ring my husband and of course I was told yes and allowed to use the phone in the room, it was before I had a mobile phone. Whilst Allun was getting the girls ready to walk to the surgery and meet me. I also rang my parents to explain what was happening and asking them to meet us at the hospital so they could take the girls for us.

When they arrived at the doctors surgery I was taken out to the waiting room. Allun asked me to breath on him and his response was to say “pear drops, your breath smells like pear drops, you’ve got ketones!” He was shocked that he’d missed the combination of symptoms, in his experience as a paramedic he’d only come across people who already had diabetes who smelled like that. I, up until that point, didn’t have diabetes so two and two hadn’t been put together. I think sometimes we can be too close to something and therefore not pick up on signs. Plus being an adult I probably hadn’t said much and just dealt with things.

The ambulance arrived and it was his old paramedic partner. Once on the ambulance he did some observations and got a cannula out ready to put into the back of my hand. I joked with him that if he hurt me I’d never make him a coffee again when he visited us. He made Allun put the cannula in, I didn’t feel a thing.

When we arrived and A&E I was seen immediately and had bloods taken and had my fingers pricked regularly. It all went by in a bit of a blur. The one thing that sticks in my head the most whilst in A&E though is a student nurse (permission asked if I minded, I did wish afterwards that I’d said no but hey people need to learn) trying to get arterial blood from both of my wrists. She had about 3 attempts in both wrist, all of which were unsuccessful in getting any blood into the vial. It was very painful and you should have seen the bruises I ended up with, they were massive. Eventually someone more experienced took over and succeeded first time. It was a huge relief to get that over and done with. I still didn’t understand the implications of all this.

They tried to get the insulin “drip” (I had no idea what the machine being used was called) into the back of my hand where Allun had put in the cannula, he asked them if they were going to flush it first, they said no, thats not what they do. He warned them that it would be blocked by now. As predicted it was blocked and didn’t work so they had to put a new in and start again. I was definitely feeling like a pin cushion. I still didn’t know what was going to happen. The only time I’d heard about diabetes was when I was about 12/13 years old and a girl in my gym class had to eat a mars bar before class because she was diabetic. I never thought to ask why, I just accepted that this was what she needed to do.  On the ward then there was continuous pricking of my fingers checking my blood, other usual observation checks and being asked to supply them with urine so they could check my ketones, I didn’t have a clue what ketones were. I didn’t even think to ask questions, I think I was in shock with all that was going on around me.

The next day this older man arrived beside my bed with a syringe, pen (an insulin pen, I later found out) and a friendly smile. I learned that he would be my consultant, he retired about 2 years ago. He said that there was good and bad news to inform me of. The bad news was that it was confirmed that I had diabetes and that I would be insulin dependant for the rest of my life because my immune system had decided to attack and kill healthy beta cells in my pancreas as it saw them as a threat to my health like it would when I had a cold. The only problem was that my immune system was actually damaging my health not helping it. He explained that I would need to take insulin for the food and drink I consumed and that I would need to learn to inject myself with insulin. I cried, firstly because I hated needles and I would have to do that to myself and secondly that I had always really loved my food and the reality dawned that I would never be able to consume anything freely again without putting a lot of thought into it. He was very kind and patient. He asked if I’d rather learn with a syringe or this funky looking silver pen. I opted for the pen as it didn’t look as scary. He feigned disappointment as he said he was old school and preferred the syringes. I was still upset even though I’d managed to stop the tears and tried to smile at his feigned disappointment. He then pulled his shirt up and used the syringe almost like a dart into his stomach showing how and where to inject. There wasn’t an orange in sight, he just used himself. He then went on to explain a few more things and said that I would have a blood glucose monitor of my own and that I would soon meet with my DSN (diabetic specialist nurse) Josie, she was a lovely, gentle, encouraging woman, I learned a few years ago whilst I was in hospital for something else that she had passed away. I was very sad to hear this news as she was always so lovely to me, she saw me through my subsequent pregnancy the following year and helped me hugely. I remember again now that he said there was good and bad news, I cannot for the life of me remember what the good news was.

I was in hospital for about a week. I used to do a lot of cross-stitch so Allun brought it in for me to help pass the time. I also used to wear glasses and I’d noticed that I was having trouble seeing the cross-stitch in detail, it was blurred. I took my glasses off and I could see much better up close. It was explained that the high blood sugars would have had an effect on my eyesight too. Maybe this was the good news? Now I only needed glasses for distance.

My DSN was now aware that we had been hoping for baby number three but we were told that that plan would have to be put on hold until my long term blood sugar levels (HbA1C) were back to a much better number as it would not be safe for a baby with my numbers where they were. So a misdiagnosis would have been dangerous to my life and my unborn baby’s.

Over the years I’ve heard of so many stories where the diagnosis of diabetes wasn’t made correctly at first or sometimes missed all together and sadly & wrongly people have lost their lives. Its either been diagnosed as the wrong type of diabetes, type 2 (not necessarily insulin dependant) instead of type 1 etc, or as a flu or other types of illnesses.

Type 1 diabetes used to be known as Juvenile Diabetes, but ANYONE at ANY age can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. A simple water sample or finger prick test can point HCP in the right direction and help to rule in/out diabetes.

Today is Diabetes Awareness Day, so I’m sharing my story to help raise awareness of the symptoms of diabetes and hopefully to help put a stop to the stigma that surrounds diabetes.

Please be aware of the 4 main symptoms (the 4T’s) are:

  • thirst
  • toilet
  • tired
  • thin

For more in depth information about symptoms here are some links

Diabetes.org.uk

JDRF

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 😀

 

 

 

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Happy World Diabetes Day everyone. 😀

A really short blog just to explain my very important appointment this afternoon.

Today has been a fabulous day. I did spend the first half of it with butterflies in my stomach only for that to get worse on the trip to the hospital and in the waiting room but my new doctor soon put me at ease.  I had my first appointment at pump clinic to see if I would be okay’d for an insulin pump. The answer was most definitely yes!! 🎉

She asked my what I already knew about insulin pumps as I seemed quite well informed, all thanks here goes to the Diabetes Online Community or DOC for short for sharing your knowledge with me. You did get a mention and I said how fab you all are. I’m sure if she could have given me a pump there and then I would have walked out with one, she was so excited and very positive. As I’m already doing lots of & good carb counting she didn’t think a carb counting course to really be necessary before pump but DSN conceded at just a refresher. Think this is basically a tick box exercise really. Dr was concerned about my problem with hypos so said a CGM would need to be looked into in the future but to get a pump sorted out first. So even more exciting news.

My refresher is 3rd Jan so I just need a bit more patience to wait for this and to actually start on the pump. Dr is hoping that it won’t be too long now, DSN said they’re still waiting on tender for pumps but Dr said it must be close to the end of that now so hoping the wait won’t be too long.

My choices are Animas, Roche or Medtronic 640g. I’m leaning towards Animas already but spam me with your experiences and what works for you with your pump.

Relieved and excited 😬😬😬😬🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉


So has anyone else been so knackered in the night that this has happened, or am I the only numpty?

I set an alarm for 3am as I was a bit lower that I wanted to be going to bed but due to a fatty meal I wasn’t sure which way my bg’s would go. I didn’t want to go low but then thinking about the meal I’d had I might end up high and I didn’t want to wake up this morning super high.

When I was ripped from my sleep as 3am, I “flashed” my Libre across my arm and had a 7.7 steady reading. I thought fine lets go back to sleep, but unknown to me I must have pressed snooze, TWICE!!  So by 3.30 my sleepy mind is thinking its time to get up, check my bg, have insulin & get up. I was 8.7 on the Libre and my bg was 9.3, so thinking “yeah it went the way I thought but not as high as I was fearing”. I then gave the insulin dose, put my head back down for a sec just to check my phone, to see if my girl had messaged at all from uni as she’s a night owl. A short while later I realise that I felt way too tired for my usual wake up time, so I double checked the time. To my absolute horror it was only 3.40am. So I chomped a good way through my hypo stash and set an alarm for an hour later. An hour later I chomped a little more of my hypo stash and set the alarm for hour later again. Hugh relief all was ok! Phew!!

At my usual wake up time my Libre said 3.8 and my actual bg reading was 5.4. Crisis averted…just! What a numpty! I’m even more knackered now. 😦


***WARNING***

Please be aware that some of the content is very upsetting.

A year ago my husband shared this as a Facebook post. I then shared it also. It came up this morning in my “Memories, On This Day”.

I asked him if it would be okay to post it here as a guest blog to which he agreed.  Allun was a paramedic for 10 years.

Here goes…

‘Finally feel able to share …. (Actual experiences … )

I was a Paramedic but nobody taught me….

I was a paramedic, but nobody taught me how to sit an 86 year old gentleman down to tell him his wife of 65 years had died in her sleep.

Nobody taught me how to watch as the desire for life left his eyes the moment I broke the earth shattering news that would change his life forever.

Nobody taught me how to accept a torrent of abuse from a complete stranger, just because they had been drinking all day and wanted a lift home.

Nobody taught me how to reason with the aggressive patient I’ve just met; overdosed, but needing my help to breathe.

Or the addict who was unconscious from overdosing. I saved his life but now he hates me because he’s clicking again.

Nobody taught me how to talk to someone so depressed that they had just slit their own wrists, panicked and called for help. Nobody taught me how to respond when they turned to me and said “I can’t even get suicide right”.

Nobody taught me that I’d need to bite my tongue when I went 2 hours over my finish time for someone who’d been ‘generally unwell’ for 24 hours.

Nobody taught me how to accept that I would miss out on things other people take for granted; birthdays, christmas day, meals at normal times of the day, sleep.

Nobody taught me how to hold hands with a dying person as they take their last breath, seeing the fear in their eyes but holding back the tears because it’s not my grief.

Nobody taught me that I’d need to keep a straight face whilst a young man explains exactly what happened to the end of his hoover.

Nobody taught me how to act when patients pulled a knife on me, a gun and a sword.

Being a paramedic was so much more than swooping in and saving lives; it was about dealing with the most unique, challenging experiences then just going home at the end of the shift. Being asked by my wife ‘how was your day?’ and replying ‘fine thanks’ because I was unable to talk about the stress and carnage the day had brought into my life.

Being a paramedic was about constantly giving a bit of yourself to every patient, because although it’s was my 5th patient of the day and I couldn’t remember their names, it’s their first ambulance, their loved one, their experience.

It’s about the bits that nobody taught me how…

Like standing in a supermarket with a dead baby in your arms seeing the desperation in the eyes of the parents and doing everything you can despite knowing it’s already too late.

It’s about standing on a bypass surrounded by carnage and body parts but remaining calm and professional even though inside your head you are screaming. Then years later waking up at night in a cold sweat haunted by nightmares from the faces imbedded In your memory.

It’s about providing pain relief and reassurance to a 90 year old lady who’s fallen and hurt her hip, and despite all the pain she turns and says “Thank you, how are you?”. Then just smiling back because you cant tell her.

It’s about a hug that you give someone on Christmas Day because they haven’t spoken to anyone for days, they have no relatives or companions but you’ve brightened up their day.

It’s about climbing in the car next to someone and saying ‘Don’t worry, we’ll have you out of here in just a moment…you’re going to be ok’ even though you know they will probably die within the next 30mins if you don’t get them out. Some made it … some didn’t.

It’s about everything that I did to save lives that required me to bend the occasional rule, which resulted in saving a life but then getting a written warning for my actions.

It’s about knowing fact that I couldn’t attend to the dying man because I was dealing with a drunk… who then assaulted one of us. Or the guy with the new shoes that were hurting him because they were too tight.

I was a Paramedic, But Nobody Taught Me How to carry the burdens into my future….

To paraphrase Major Dick Winters…

I wasn’t a hero… but I served in the company of heroes.”

 

A few comments left on his original post.

“There are a couple of good blogs by  paramedic and they are named Blood, Sweat and Tea. I dare say you could upsurp them with such wonderful and emotive writing.” – NH

“This man wasn’t just a Paramedic. Allun was a great teacher, he was able to listen out for the img_1101important information in a conversation and had that quality in a paramedic this is SO hard to find. When the **** went down, he didn’t panic. It was a great loss to the Welsh Ambulance Service when Alsie left but it was a greater loss to me. When it was my turn to steer the ship it felt like I was doing it without a rudder. The picture of Alsie’s kitbag that goes everywhere with me in work. I had my only diva moment over his bag when he handed it back.” – JG

 

“Wow. You made me cry! We take so many people like you for granted. x” – HW

“This has opened my eyes and made me think alot! Very touching Allun,  thank you for sharing your feelings like this 🙂 x” – AH

“I found this inspiring and emotional at the same time, amazing, had to share.” JD

 


As it’s Hypo Awareness week I had been thinking about my experiences of hypoglycemia (hypo).  So far in my experience there a 3 different degrees of hypos. Hypo’s happen for many, many different reasons: too much insulin for the carbs consumed, exercise or just being busier than expected, temperature and hormones to name a few.

Here are some symptoms of a hypo/low blood sugar. I can experience some of these, but not all at the same time. They can also differ from hypo to hypo, for me it depends on the severity of the hypo. I have also experienced foggy brain, nausea and tingling lips. Different people experience a difference mix of symptoms. Some people have even been assumed to be drunk when they are actually hypo (link of a story further down this page). Some people don’t have any warnings at all, this is called hypo unawareness.

low-blood-sugar-symptoms

 

1st degree – these are the type of hypos that no one would even be aware that I was experiencing a hypo. I realise that I feel a bit “strange”, check my blood glucose (bg) levels, get something to treat it and just carry on as normal.

2nd degree – with these ones I’ve usually informed someone (work colleagues/husband/child etc) that I’m feeling a bit rough, get something to treat the hypo and need to sit for 10 minutes or so until my bg levels rise to an acceptable level again.

3rd degree – these are the ones that “floor’ me.  Thankfully they don’t happen very often but when they do they can take me out of action for a considerable amount of time and make me feel really awful. These are the ones that make me panic more so than the others.  If in work, I’m also racked with guilt at the sight of my fabulous colleagues being very busy working whilst also checking in with me while I’m sat down totally unable to help. Even when my BG has risen to an acceptable level I have to stay where I am as I’m still recovering. These hypos take the longest to get over and can make me feel extremely tired and wiped out afterwards, actually during and after all I feel like doing is laying down and curl up in a ball, obviously this is not practical most of the time. At home it’s easier for me to get my husband or one of my children to do the running around to get something for me to  treat it with while I sit on the sofa concentrating on sweating and shaking.

Thankfully, for me, I’ve never experienced anything worse. I’ve never ended up unconscious and needing the help of others. Hoping that this is never the case. Recently there was a case reported where people thought a man was drunk and they just left him alone when he was actually experiencing a hypo and needed the help of others.

How much do you actually know about hypoglycemia, would you recognise and be able to help someone experiencing a hypo? Here are some pictures and a quiz that I shared on Facebook.

Pictures – Would you recognise the symptoms of a hypo?

Quiz – Hypo Awareness Week 2016

Here is a link to explain what to do if you are experiencing a hypo from Diabetes.org.uk.

 

 

 


Yesterday I had my first ever podiatry appointment. I was referred earlier this year after my routine diabetes clinic appointment. At clinic she was concerned about the pressure points on the bottom of my feet, and so thinking I needed insoles including arch support.

I was given an appointment in an area I don’t know (Bargoed) which is about a   40 minute journey from my home. This was so I could be squeezed in before the end of August. When we finally found the clinic, it was at the end of the day, I was the only person in the waiting room. So it was only a few minutes before I was called in.

I was asked all sorts of medical history questions and he looked at my last hba1c and was impressed & said it must have taken a lot of hard work. It did! I explained that a couple of years ago I’d gone right off the rails with my BG (blood glucose) “control”due to burn out. After the hospital asking to see me more regularly and more recently with the help of my Libre I’d was back on track for the most part and that it is still hard work trying to manage BG’s.

I was asked to sit on a chair similar to a dentist chair and hoped that my recently washed feet hadn’t got smelly as it was a very hot day (eeeek). Thankfully, according to the podiatrist, I had nothing to worry about as really bad foot conditions with very bad smells had been seen before so there had been no need to get self conscious.

So I had my first ever ultra sound scan on my feet. It took me right back to the baby ultra sound scans and the sound of the baby’s heart beat. Obviously we were listening to the my artery sound. On one foot there was a double sound and on the other a triple sound which is apparently very good, so no clogging/hardening of any arteries, phew!! Next I had the usual “can you feel this” pokey stick check (I’m sure that is the technical term 😀 ) which was all good too. Finally, the vibrating tongs. The only thing different this time was I had to say when I stopped feeling the vibration. Apparently I’m at 6, good is 8, diminished is 4-6 but he did say 6 could just be normal for me anyway so he wasn’t at all concerned.

I was then asked to walk across the room so he could see how I walked and my foot placement. Apparently I have tight calves which are causing more wear & hard skin on the ball’s of my feet, as basically I am rotating on the ball of my feet as I walk. So I don’t need insoles (at least not yet), I’m glad I didn’t just go and buy some as they’re not cheap. I just need lots of calf stretching exercises & I have to go back in 2 months time to see how things are going. He recommended twice daily moisturising (any cream as long as its not face cream) and to get a foot cream with urea in to help on the particularly tough patches.

He asked about the type of footwear I wear, I explained about what I wear to work during the different times of the year and if I’m going out. There was the usual advice about footwear, but was fully aware that us women still like our shoes 😀 . He said that wearing something with a strap, laces or velcro (no way!!!) acted like a seatbelt for your feet and therefore less wear on the pressure points of the feet. I hadn’t thought about it being a “seatbelt” before, but it was a good analogy and made perfectly good sense. I have in mind some shoes with a strap for work (they’ve got to be pretty though) as I am on my feet all day but when it comes to going out I am still wearing my Ruby Shoo’s. I was asked to bring some photographs of some of my footwear next time.

I asked what could cause the tight calves and, of course, he said that there are all sorts of different reasons but had I heard of glycosylation (I have since Googled it, link here), which I hadn’t.  He gave a brief description and said that it could also be a cause of things like a frozen shoulder too in people with diabetes. So that explains why so many people who have diabetes seem to suffer with a frozen shoulder?!

I’ve already been doing my exercises, I just need to remember to keep it up!


So last Wednesday (20th April) was my 6 monthly clinic appointment for my diabetes. I was quite nervous about it. Not because I would be getting my Hba1c result, even though I was hoping that the Libre had continued to help me reduce it like last time but because I was going to mention an insulin pump, for the second time.

I asked about an insulin pump just over a year ago, January 2015.  I was told that I was doing well on MDI (multiple daily injections) and that it wasn’t necessary. I was disappointed and thought that it could really help with a few issues.  The following month I attended PWDC15 (I wrote a blog about it, you can read it here if you like). I spoke to several people who use insulin pumps, chatting about some of my experiences and being informed that an insulin pump could really benefit me.  So I was all fired up to mention it again at my next clinic appointment.  September came around really fast for my next appointment and I have to be honest I chickened out as nothing had really changed since January apart from now using a Libre flash glucose monitor.  My Hba1c had improved hugely, in fact it was the best it had been in few years(50!!), and that & the Libre seemed to be the main focus of the appointment. So I kept me thoughts to myself.

I was disappointed with myself  for backing out.  I was still having issues with hypos, lots of them and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to avoid them unless, of course, I wanted to run really high. Busyness in work changes day to day and I’ve no idea how things will be until they’re happening. Also, due to the Libre I was noticing that I was sleeping through hypos for quite some time. I do set an alarm to try and catch any but sometimes I’d checked about 30 minutes or so before one has started and I’ve gone back to sleep thinking everything is ok only to wake eventually to see by the graph that I’d slept through lows. I check BG, just to make sure it isn’t reading low because I’ve been laying on the sensor, and find out that I am low.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go to PWDC16 in February again this year (I wrote another blog).  This year I attended a session about transitioning to a pump from MDI. I was able to ask lots of questions and share my experiences again. I also chatted to others individually about the same things. I was really encouraged to ask about a pump again as many thought it could be very beneficial. You know who you are, so thank  you for helping me to realise I wasn’t being silly and helping to build my confidence up to ask again.  Just before going to PWDC16 I had decided to start writing EVERYTHING down. Yes my Hba1c was much much better, things looked good but I knew just how hard I was working on it but still having lots of hypos and other issues that I felt I needed to be able to show at my next appointment to “back up” my reasons for a pump.

Anyway after all that background, lets get to this appointment. I arrived and checked in. I was beginning to feel quite anxious. Second thought, was I just anxious or hypo?  Libre said 3.4->, and a blood reading was 4.3 mmol. So maybe it was just my BG level, I quickly ate a few Jelly Babies as I didn’t want to put the DSN or myself through the Hypo box situation again. There is also a previous blog that includes that bit, but I’m not going there again it was a little embarrassing for me. After a while I still had the anxious feeling but my BG was fine. Argh, I’m such a wimp sometimes.

After a while I was called through for the usual weigh in & water sample to be handed over. Then I was sent through to the next waiting room, as usual. Next I got called through to the next waiting area where you sit and wait to see the DSN and then the consultant/endocrinologist (endo for short).

When I went in it was the same DSN I’d seen the last few times and I knew I had to get around to mentioning the pump to her. I didn’t have any worries about saying it to her personally as she is really lovely, I was just nervous about mentioning it incase I was told it wasn’t necessary again.

The usual “chat”& questions started, how was I, my feet, any lumps etc?  We looked at my Hba1c result which had dropped by 1 to 49mmol, 7.6% (eek, so pleased that I can prove to myself that the cost of the Libre is worth it).

She asked if I had any questions so I got my book out. I explained that I needed some help with a few things, hypos in particular. I had a few sticky note tabs attached to certain days so I could find them quickly. I also had photo’s of some Libre scans again to “back up” my notes and so she could see exactly what was happening and then refer to my notes to see what I had been doing.  We spent some time looking between the pictures on my phone and the notes and chatting about possible solutions.  It’s been a lot of work keeping the detailed notes but it was definitely worth it to be able to go through them with her. I explained that I also wanted to start exercise but I would need help as all I did with exercise was eat to fight off the hypos, defeating the purpose of exercise to loose weight. I admitted that I didn’t know how to deal with insulin and exercise. I was also slowly building the courage to ask if these issues could be helped with a pump. Eventually, I asked questions about a pump and my issues and with each question her answer was yes. We chatted about some of the things that a pump would offer, tbr’s, extended bolus etc, and a few other bits that the DOC chat about and some of the things I had learned about at the Nottingham conference in February, she was surprised at what I did already know about pumps (don’t get me wrong I obviously still have a lot to learn so get ready for lots of questions).

I asked my husband Allun to come in with me. Just as a bit of moral support and a prompt if forgot to ask things that I had previously chatted with him about that I wanted to talk/ask the DSN or Endo about. Next thing I knew he was telling the DSN about me and my life with diabetes from his different perspective. I got a little emotional and with much difficulty I managed to suppress the tears. I had no idea he’d bee paying so much attention. Diabetes really does effect everyone in the household and I hadn’t really realised before just how much. He supported me in my questions about a pump and finished what he was saying with “She is trying so hard to keep on top of her diabetes on MDI and struggling with these hypos, not knowing what each working day will bring either. I think it’s time she was given a chance and if a pump can help with this she needs to be referred. I just want my wife back” (me fighting back the tears here).  She then asked me a few extra questions about hypo awareness and other things, and said that she thought a pump referral was necessary, and felt that a request would be approved. She excused herself and said she was going to have a word with my endo.

Looking at the clock I realised we had been in there a long time, way over half an hour. I felt guilty as I knew there were others in the waiting room. She came back in, I thanked her for her time and apologised for taking up so much of it. Her response, “Don’t apologise, that’s what we’re here for.”

Next my appointment with my endo. She confirmed what the DSN had talked to her about and that she agreed and she would refer me to the pump clinic!!! Yay, those annoyingly time consuming notes had been worth it. She was concerned that I was sleeping through the alarms on my device (Libre) at night, I explained that it was a flash glucose monitor, that it only read when I swiped my sensor, that it holds 8 hours of information and that it didn’t actually alarm. Her reply was that we may need to look at something that alarms (I’m presuming CGM) but first we need to see if a pump helps with the night time hypos. She was hugely pleased with my glucose improvement over the last 2 years and told me that she was very proud of my achievement, thats the first time I’ve heard that in 13 years since my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes (big pressure on myself to keep it up now, but to be honest I don’t want to go back to my previous numbers). We discussed insulin to carb ratio’s and she suggested some changes to try. She wanted to check my feet, my sensation is fine but she was concerned about the pressure points on the balls of my feet and heels for the future and recommended I use support insoles. Apparently I’ve got a good arch to my foot but I need something that’s going to support my arch and disperse the weight on my feet as I’m on my feet all day.  She ended the appointment saying that unfortunately she wouldn’t see me again at this particular clinic as the pump clinic was in a different part of the hospital. Apparently I should hear from the pump clinic within weeks.

This was a particularly long appointment this time, but I left feeling excited, happy, nervous, glad that I had plucked up the courage to ask, relieved that I had taken “evidence” with me. I just need to wait to see if my request is approved now.

Thank you to the DOC & GBDoc for all your support and advice. I am very sure that should my request be approved I will have a lot more questions for you all.

 

 



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