Unexpected Benefits

9 Jan

Below is a piece that I wrote in October 2012 that was published the Animas (and the Johnson & Johnson) company intranet as a “patient story” for World Diabetes Day.

In it I mention the Sports & Exercise Weekend that I was fortunate enough to attend. Hopefully it gets across how good the weekend was and the huge difference that it has made to me. Not just with controlling my Blood Sugar levels but with my attitude to my Diabetes in general.

This year’s event is on 10th, 11th & 12th May. If you are interested in attending you should email sportsday@its.jnj.com for more details and to register their place.
The link to last year’s video is here (see if you can spot The Grumpy Pumper): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WQL4pt22kw&feature=youtu.be

So, This is the Article I wrote…

Diagnosed at the age of 25 (18 years ago) I thought that having Type 1 Diabetes meant not eating certain foods, and that is was simply controlled by taking a blood test and then injecting an amount of insulin to correct my blood sugar. Well at a high level of course I was right. Unfortunately, the fine detail of carb counting, insulin to carb ratio, insulin sensitivity, injection sites, exercise……(the list goes on) was missing. To be honest, it continued to be missing to varying degrees for the next 15 years. Until the 8th of September 2009 to exact. Why? That’s the day I started on my Insulin Pump. Having to learn about so many of the factors of Diabetes control that I’d not really considered before made me more aware of them, but it was the ability to make small changes to the pump setting and see the effects within a day or two that really raised my interest in my own blood sugar control again, and enabled me to vastly improve my day to day control and my Hba1c percentages. Well for a while anyway (I get bored easily).

In May of 2012 I attended the Exercise and Sports Weekend held by Animas in the UK. I thought that it might help a bit with my control and with my attempts to get fit. To be honest that was probably one of the biggest underestimations of my live! It was fantastic!!
Within the first hour I had learnt how my body worked differently to non diabetics during exercise, and I could see straight away that this weekend was going to make a difference. And it did. The workshops were the education that I’d needed 18years ago, and the difference in my control during exercise was massive. Daily control was back on track. And it (apart from the odd bad day) has stayed that way. So why haven’t I got bored this time? Well that’s easy. It’s down to the people that I met that weekend. The benefit that I hadn’t considered. Meeting over 50 Type 1 diabetics. Listening to some of the amazing things that they have achieved and with great blood sugar control (climbing Kilimanjaro, Completing Iron Man events). Not just that though. Talking about their life living with diabetes, comparing notes and stories. This has continued and grown since that weekend via social networking. I can now talk to Diabetics around the globe, ask for advice and give it if needed. Sounds dramatic but that weekend has changed my life as a diabetic for the better.


One Response to “Unexpected Benefits”

  1. Star_Anise_LADA (@Star_Anise_LADA) January 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Are you the pretty red haired woman at 0.49 minutes?

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