Time Bomb?……

4 Aug


I talk to myself. A lot. The outcome of which is usually the same. I ignore myself and just carry on with life in the haphazard way that I have embraced since I started pretending to be an adult.

 So as I stumble (almost drunkenly) to my 21st Diaversary on August 26th of this year I asked myself a question…..

 Q – So, after almost 21 years of T1D, how are you doing?

A – Alright

Q – No. Seriously! How are you doing??

A – Be serious! You know I never take anything seriously!!

Q – Isn’t it about time you did?!!

A – Oh ok. If we are going to play at being adult then I’m doing ok. Ticking along ok.

Q – Good. But. Is ticking along ok good enough for the next 21 years?

A – What you mean????

Q – Are you ticking along ok, or a ticking time bomb?

A – Ah Shit. Good question…………


I had to let that one sink in for a bit. The constant childish belief that I am immortal and that nothing, including and especially T1D, will take me down is always one of the strongest thoughts at the front of my mind. Closely followed by “fuck it lets have a drink”. So I had to get past those first. Yes, after Id had a drink……

Of course the actually answer is YES, I could do with making a few changes, but haven’t I been here before? Oh yes. I have. In the run up to every Diaversary for the last 21 years!

Then what do I change and why will it be different? What will motivate me to stick at it rather than go back to old habits after a day or two?

This is how it’s been in the past:-

Think about your heath – I don’t need to. I’m Immortal!

Reduce the amount you snack – Sod off, I like food.

Cut down how much you drink – Don’t make me come over there and hurt you!

Exercise more (ok at all) – I would, but I’m too tired all the time (oh, and lazy)

Loose a bit of weight – Yeh, but I’d have to do all the above, and clearly that’s not happening……


So after almost 21 years (did I mention it’s almost 21 years?) I was forced to take a long look at myself, over a glass or two of single malt of course, as to what motivates me to actually do anything to improve my heath (given that I’m immortal). I have to have short term goals and see progress as I go. So getting in shape is out as it takes too long. Anyway, I’m already in shape. Round!

So what one thing would I like to change that isn’t in the above list of things I’ve tried before? Well. I do have high insulin resistance (1u of insulin drops me by only 0.7mmol). It’s been progressive over time and if it continues I’ll have more insulin in my system than blood. So maybe I can try to reduce that? How? A bit less snacking in the evening and eating less ready meals and processed food. I can see my Total Daily Dose on my pump every day and see progress day on day. Worth a go?

Well, I started a week and a half ago. In the evening if I’m close to my target of less than 80u per day I don’t snack. It’s working ok as I don’t want to “mess up” that days total. If I have a few units “to spare” then I have a small snack. Either way I’m snacking less. In the first week I reduced my insulin intake by 110u on the week before. As a result of snacking less and eating better food I’ve lost a couple of pounds in weight too.

If I can stick at this I hope that it will go full circle. Reducing TDD, reduces snacking, reduces weight thus reducing insulin resistance…….


All I know is that after almost 21 years (I know! Surprise!!) Type 1 Diabetes has never beaten me, and it never will. After all. I’m immortal…….


Live Long and Bolus


The Gremlin Inside Me

15 May

Diabetes Blog Week Wild Card – Diabetes Personified

“If you could personify your diabetes or that of your loved one, what would it be like?  What would it look like, what would it say, what kind of personality would it have?  Use your imagination and feel free to use images, drawings, words, music, etc. to describe it.”

Basically. It looks like this……..


Live Long and Bolus


Junk In My Trunk

13 May

Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh, no, no


Day 3 – Clean it out.

Ok. So I guess the first thing that needs cleaning up is my filthy mind. No way is that happening! Without innuendo, I am nothing…….

I don’t think that I have any emotional junk when it comes to my Diabetes, so nothing to clear out there. As I said yesterday  I have no secrets, nothing I worry about when it comes to my Diabetes.

That only leaves something physical. I could do with clearing out my “meter cupboard” as I have a few that I will never use. In the UK we are lucky enough to get BG meters for free if you are Type1 or Type2 on insulin. So as soon as I see a new meter I just HAVE to try it #MeterGeek

Thing is I hardly ever end up moving to use the new one. Let’s face it, you are never going to be able to check out a new meter enough with just 10 test strips!

Why the hell do they send just 10 test strips and 10 lancets for the new “pain free, comfortable, soft, and delicate” thing that sticks a bloody hole in your finger! After all, that’s less than 2 days BG checks and at least 10 years of lancets for me. Kind of the wrong way round to what I need o evaluate a bit of kit!

So not a huge amount of physical stuff to clear out either……

Instead I will go through and check all of my back-up kit. I keep spare stuff in the car, at home, in my work bag and in a locker at work. Thinking about it, some of it has been there for a long time and never used as it’s there “Just in Case”. I bet some of it is out of date, meter batteries flat or worse corroded in the meter. I would be pretty crap to have my back up kit fail when I needed it. Now that would make me Grumpy!!

Live Long and Bolus


Open Book

12 May


The Ugly


Day 2 – Keep it to Yourself.

Tough one today and short.



There isn’t anything I keep secret about my Diabetes. It’s not really who I am. This may of course change, but to date I’m an open book.

I’ll tell you everything you want to know about:

  • My Diagnosis
  • My attitude to living with Diabetes
  • My A1c
  • My Complications
  • Dinking of course
  • Even sex and Diabetes (that won’t take me long at all…….)

If I did have secrets there is one person(s) I would tell them to. My Health Care Professional! If I’m not open and honest with them, then how can I expect to build the relationships that I need to ensure that I get the care I need? The may not like what they hear, or the things that I do, but its not their job to judge me.

“I never fear death or dying

I only fear never trying

I am whatever I am,

Only God can judge me, now”

Live Long and Bolus


“There’s No such word as Can’t!”

11 May


This is going to be a short post due to being exhausted after an amazing weekend away with 50 people with Type1 Diabetes learning about sport and exercise.


Not sure that staying up until 4am at the bar helped.

So there you have the first one!

I can drink all night, have 3 hours sleep and still wake up with a BG of this (and you can’t beat a good 6.9 before breakfast can you?…..)



Whenever I hear my kids say “I can’t do that”, my Dad’s voice in my head says “There’s No such word as Can’t!

Of course there is. It’s in the dictionary!, But as I now know (and did then but would never give him the satisfaction of admitting it) he was just telling me that I can. I can do anything I want. Maybe not easily. Maybe not first time, but I can do it.

This has stuck with me through my life. I don’t believe I can fail. I may not get the level of success I planned, but I will never fail. I may not do it first time, but I will never give up. I may not achieve things immediately, but I will keep going, chip away bit by bit until I get there.

Those words in my head were loudest on 26th August 1994, when at the age of 25 I was diagnosed with Type1. I never doubted that I couldn’t do this. Never doubted that I’d not tackle it head on. I definitely didn’t realise what it involved and how hard it would be, but I knew I would never give up!


I can:

  • Manage my Blood Glucose every day (sometimes it goes to plan, often it doesn’t, but I can do it).
  • Live the life I want to lead, the way I want to.
  • Achieve my goals however small they are.
  • Take the lead with my health care team, because it’s MY Diabetes.
  • Getting back up when it knocks me down.
  • Eat pies, drink beer and still have an A1c of 6.8%
  • Laugh at my Diabetes
  • Put my Diabetes in its place (after all, I can survive without it but it can’t survive without me!)
  • Change the world! (well, mine at least)

Ok, off to kick my Diabetes arse for the day.

Nice one Dad!


Judgement Day

9 Apr


I have not been paid in any way or received any products for writing this blog. The views expressed in this post are mine and do not represent any others. Also, the QiC programme has been made possible with sponsorship from Sanofi. Sanofi has had no editorial control over any of its contents

I have never blogged at the request of any third party or company in the past. In fact if I’ve been asked to, I have refused, even if I was intending to off my own back before the request. I’m stubborn that way…..

But, I was asked if I’d write this blog, and I have agreed to.


Because The Quality in Care Diabetes team are looking to invite some people with diabetes to be part of the judging panel for this year’s QiC Diabetes programme.

I was lucky enough to be a judge last year and I would like to tell you what is involved.


Here we go….

First thing I need to clear up is the title that they gave me on the web site.

“Patient Representative and Blogger”

The only person I could, or would ever want to represent me, is me. I was there to give my opinion based on my experience of my diabetes. The fact that I blog is irrelevant. You don’t need to have a blog to be a judge.

So learning point number one is that we need to find a more accurate title. For me it would probably be “Grumpy looking bloke with Type 1 Diabetes”

Personally I do think that it is a good thing to have people with diabetes on the judging panel, and indeed parents of children with diabetes too. I would of course love to see a large number being able to attend from cross sections of diabetes type, age, gender, etc, and I think that expanding the number by a few this year is a good progression and step in the right direction. This is why I am supportive of this and agreed to write this blog.

The Judging….

In March, applications were opened and HCP (or teams) are encouraged to enter their projects or initiatives in the appropriate category via the QiC web site – www.qualityincare.org/awards/diabetes – until the entry deadline day of 28th May.

Once applications have closed, the entries are collated by the guys at QiC and sent out to the judges for scoring, via big file links on email.

Judges are split into 3 groups, so no one judges all entries, just a third of them.

Scoring is carried out by each individual judge against a list of criteria and a defined scoring system that the QiC team will provide you with.

You get a few weeks to go through and score the entries assigned to you. Boy did I need those weeks!



Volume to start with. I wondered why we didn’t judge all entries, but as soon as I started printing them all out I realised why….

They can be very detailed and take a while to read through. That’s not a bad thing as they need to be detailed to describe the initiative or project fully with objectives, outcomes etc.

The biggest challenge for me though was the medical language used. Of course having lived with Type1 Diabetes for a few years it was not all new to me, but my formal medical education in the form of watching both Casualty, Holby City and (for those of you old enough to remember) The Flying Doctors was clearly not enough…..

So I did have to spend a fair amount of time on the internet making sure I understood what the terms mean.

So, I now know that “et al” does not mean that all submissions were written by a small alien with a glowing finger and his mate The Pub Landlord…….

After scoring is completed, the scores are sent into the QiC guys to be collated (they do a lot of collating) and individual first round scores are circulated amongst the three judging groups. This gives you the opportunity to see how your scores match up against your fellow judges, before the formal judging day.

Final Judging in the form of moderation is done in a full day and face to face with the other judges on your panel.

This was really interesting from my point of view. The first thing that stood out was that in many cases, my scores were directly opposite to those of the HCPs that had judged the same entries.

As discussions progressed throughout the day the reason was clear (not that it was a massive surprise). Simply that the HCPs in general were looking at the clinical benefit to the patient and running of the hospital, but I was looking at it from the “how would I feel if this was happening to me” perspective.

My view is that the whole day was a two way learning experience between my fellow judges and myself and that if just one of them went away from the session thinking even more about how the patient would feel, then it had been a worthwhile day.

By the end of the day, winners and commendations had been agreed and I had to keep my mouth shut (managed it for a change) about who had won. The results are announced at the awards ceremony in October, which as a judge I was lucky enough to be able to attend.

Basically it is a lot of work, you have to hit the deadline for returning your scores and commit to a full day’s judging so it takes a fair bit of time, but I found it an interesting and rewarding experience and I am pleased that QiC are looking to involve new people this year.

Like I said these are just my views about my experience, but if you think that you may be interested in being a judge this year then please apply via the Quality in Care website – http://www.qualityincare.org/awards/diabetes/qic_diabetes_2015_patient_blogger_judge

Live Long and Bolus.


My Nan’s Cat………

6 Feb

scared cat

Ok. We have all heard this at some point in our #WalkWithD when we discuss that we have Type 1 Diabetes with someone and then says………. “Oh! My Nan’s Cat had Diabetes. She had to inject it and everything………”

Note: This post is in no way meant to upset animal lovers in any way so please do not take offence. There is a very serious point to this somewhere in the post so please read on.


I have heard this several times in the last 20 years since my Diagnosis, and there are a lot of pet owners and animal lovers in the UK that have a Cat, Dog, Gerbil or Goldfish (I made that one up) that unfortunately have Type1 Diabetes.

This has me thinking (really never a good thing, and, quite painful).

In the UK we do not have to pay for our insulin, for which we are very lucky and I will be forever grateful. In fact paying for medicine or medical equipment is quite alien to us and if we have to for things like CGM or Flash Glucose Monitoring we occasionally get a bit pissed off annoyed about it. Unless it’s for our pets.  If our aforementioned Cat, Dog, Gerbil or Goldfish needed insulin, then most of us would willingly pay for this in order to keep the animal that we love alive, because of course, without insulin, that pet would die.

What’s the point to this Grumpy post?

The point is this. In other countries, children are dying because they have no insulin. It is not provided, they cannot afford it. Simple as that!

If I would fund the insulin to keep my pet alive, then I should donate to #SpareARose this Valentines to help keep a child alive.


The Spare a Rose Campaign is raising money to provide insulin to keep children with Type1 Diabetes in other countries alive. There is more information at http://www.p4dc.com/spare-a-rose

Please donate.

Live Long and Bolus