You are here: Talk > Blogs >

Diabetes blog

  • I was at the DRWF wellness conference in Kent at the weekend, which was amazing both for me and the site. I spoke to a team from Accu Chek who were showing people their Insulin Pump. I always thought I would never think abou going on the pump mainly saying to myself I have good control and I love the flexibility of a prefilled pen. I also thought I would feel intrusive with something attached to me. The first thing that got my attention was the level of flexibility of the pump, it can administor the insulin in many ways depending on how you are eating, you can also have settings for exercise. I then wore one for a couple of hours, obviously with no insulin, at first I new it was there but after about 30 minutes I completely forgot.


    The insulin is controlled by your testing kit, all you need to do is enter the amount of carbs you eat - this I know because the DF Diary app tells me! Now that I have looked at the pump I think it would give me better control. One main issue for me is having a second baby, as the first was no doddle. 


    I am meeting my DSN on Thursday to discuss in more detail. I will keep you informed and please let me know what you think about the pump.


    Until next time


    Visit my Blogs at


    Blood sugar levels became unstable, high temperature, nausea, extreme pain, ketones, all bad signs, then I started shaking violently and uncontrollably- hospital time for me! I was assessed by a nurse then waited a few hours to see a doctor who said I had an infection and that I just needed antibiotic tablets then handed me a prescription. An hour later I was back at home feeling even worse, I continued to worsen overnight. Next day I made a phone call to my GP who confirmed that I needed hospital attention and told me to phone an ambulance to get me to the Emergency department quickly.

    The ambulance service told me I wasn’t considered an emergency, but they would send me an ambulance anyway although it would take longer to reach me- so I crossed my fingers and hoped I wouldn’t get any worse. After a couple of hours an ambulance arrived. The paramedic assessing me asked lots of questions as expected, but also told me that it was a waste of time me going to the hospital as it was highly unlikely anyone would treat me, I said that I needed to go anyway. I was asked about my insulin pump and remarks were made suggesting that it was unnecessary and down to my behaviour that I had problems with my diabetic control. I even received a lecture on what it meant to be a diabetic, after being one for 26 years I thought that I already knew this one! I was relieved when I finally arrived at the hospital, I still felt very ill but now also felt judged, both me and my illness were misunderstood. I felt bullied and upset. I was then relieved that the views of the hospital staff were very different, I was told that I needed admitting for intravenous antibiotics, fluids, pain management and monitoring of blood sugars and ketones. My original infection had spread causing blood poisoning, I required inpatient treatment for a week and another 10 days of tablets at home. The doctors treating me said that my insulin pump and the way I used it monitoring blood sugars and increasing basal rates/ giving extra boluses when needed had helped me immensely, without it I would have been even more ill.

    This incident really has concerned me that some of the medical profession have absolutely no awareness of pump therapy and yet are happy to make vast assumptions about it and also about the diabetic people making use of pumps. Pumps are to some extent a specialist treatment but ignorance towards them and bad attitude towards patients who are ill, in pain and worried really has no excuse. Insulin pumps are amazing devices that can transform and save lives. The more diabetics and diabetic clinics embrace pump technology the greater the need for education but not just of patients also the medical profession. So come on NHS, good for you funding pump therapy but make sure diabetic people are treated as equals, yes even those of us using infusion pumps!



  • For a while now I have been struggling with the Autopen 24, I hate that I cannot control the speed I can inject it at and that you cannot correct a wrong dosage on the pen without wasting the insulin. I used to use the Autopen for Lantus and if you’re familiar with Lantus you’ll know it has a tendency to sting due to it being acidic. I’ve been naughty with my injection sites, there are only 2 spots on my abdomen that I can inject Lantus and not experience too much pain. I noticed that those 2 areas were badly bruised and that I needed to move sites. I did and I couldn’t handle the pain when pressing the plunger on the pen. It got to a point where I almost passed out from the fear of pressing the plunger before actually doing it.


    I then made it my mission to find an alternative whether it be a disposable or refillable option for Lantus. I came across the Clikstar and the Lantus Optiset. I rang some pharmacies asking if they stocked any, none of them had heard of the Clikstar and only 2 out 4 pharmacies stocked the Optisets. So I spoke to my GP about getting a script for the Optiset pens, he gave me a lecture on the costs and said that I will have to continue using the Autopen and just have to get use to rotating my sites and withstanding the pain. I wanted to cry, I resorted down to not injecting my Lantus because of this and ended up with Highs and feeling not too good. I rang my DSN, maybe they had SOMETHING, so I spoke to her and she didn’t even hesitate, she had the Clikstar pen and reserved 2 for me to collect from the Hospital.


    I love my diabetic team at the Hospital!


    The Clikstar pen is great in my opinion, it’s still a refillable pen where you can pop in your Lantus cartridges, the pen mechanism is very similar to the Novarapid Flexpens and it’s a lot easier injecting.


    Clikstar pic


    If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll see that for many years I didn’t take my Diabetes seriously and kept my head in the sand. I sometimes think that I if I was given the support back when I was diagnosed, maybe it could have been different. Back then all I had was a grumpy GP within a PCT.


    The Diabetic team now offer advice, support and encouragement. My DSN is so nice, my Dietician is very helpful and my Hospital Doctor is so cheerful. I wish I knew them back then!


  • I was on holiday with my husband and some friends at the beginning of February 2011. We went to Morocco for 5 days in an all inclusive resort. It was amazing the sun was shining and we could eat and drink as much as we wanted! I tried to test regularly and carb count, but I found it really hard to decide what carbs were in things. Even regular foods seem to be different I think Moroccan food has more sugar in. It certainly felt that way, nearly everytime I tested I was in double figures so I ended up injecting about 8 times a day!

    The main reason for getting away with freinds was to relax without having to worry about the little one - so this was different to the holidays I normally go on. I am normally running about seeing the sites, which is good in a way because it counter acts all the extra food I eat! But not this time... I gained a whopping 5 lbs!

    So over the space of 5 days I managed to undo all the good work I did in December and January. This means I need to be good for the rest of February.

    I found that this holiday was the worse to keep my levels under control not sure if that's to do with the all inclusive thing! I also didn't do much exercise which always has a negative impact on my levels.

    Anyway here's to a more stable February......


    For more blogs and information about managing diabetes please visit my website




  • Its all falling into place......

    by crim33 on 18 February 2011

    Finally my Ulcerative Colitis has cleared so goodbye to the Steroids.....

    I had an MOT with the nurse on wednesday morning (feet check too!) Pneumonia and flu jab included.

    In the afternoon I attended a Diabetes clinic at my local hospital (along with the wife).

    I guess alot of you know what the clinic consisted of but for the benefit of those who don't I will explain.

    It consisted of a chat about the whys and wherefors of type 2 Diabetes and more importantly the long term implications of mismanagement.

    A talk by a dietician, most of it is common sense I guess but before being diagnosed I 'played' at dieting, now I have to do it for real its quite frightening!

    If you are referred to one of these clinics, I urge you to attend, it costs nothing but time and importantly (in my case anyway) it brought it all home just how serious diabetes can be.

    So, onwards and upwards, I shall blog around about 3 months from now (unless owt serious happens!).

    Best of health to all, thanks for reading!


  • In this NHS Choices video, Cathy Moulton, a Diabetes UK care adviser, explains how gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. Kimberly, who was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, talks about the symptoms she experienced and how she dealt with the condition. Find out about complications of gestational diabetes.

  • I have been feeling rough recently - the same kind of symptoms I had when my hypothyroidism was diagnosed, with fatigue, hair falling out, weight gain, etc - and an A1c going from 5.2 to 5.9 in 6 months, grrr. I went to my GP; got a bunch of blood tests. They came back with a TSH of 0.05 and T4 at 25 - in other words, according to the bloods, I'm being over, not under, medicated. Hyperthyroid should be thin, agitated, not sleeping - hah!

    So yesterday I went round to discuss said anomalous results vs feelings with my GP - and managed to stay awake long enough to keep insisting that I felt bad whatever the blood test results, so what could be done? I would like to try cranking down the T4 supplementation and try a bit of T3, but that's Not Done in the UK - the GP says that he's not even allowed to order a T3 blood test to see if, as I suspect, I'm converting T4->T3 poorly.

    His solution to an unsatisfied patient is to pass the buck and send me off to the local clinical biochemist - apologosing as I went out of the door that we are still so far behind the times that he simply wasn't able to triall me on T3. I think it's a reasonable solution - the consultant might have access to prescription powers beyond the range of the GP, or might have other ideas as to what's causing the symptoms, or more tests to try - but would this even be an option in a couple of years, when budgetary control passes to GPs? I suspect not. Why would the GP want to spend his pennies to fly in the face of the oracular blood test results? And what chance would someone have to persuade him to spend, if they were feeling just a tad more under the weather than I was? Worrying.




    Prior to my diagnosis I had never imagined a world of numbers when I thought of Diabetes. Injections yes…tablets yes…healthy eating yes…calculations…not really

    This is my formula on my spreadsheet =(E13-5)*3+C20/10*3 = Units of insulin to take when having a meal.

    E13 is my current sugar level, My target is 5 before I eat. If there is a difference I multiply that figure by 3. E18 is my total Carbs which is divided by 10 and multiplied by 3. Headache…? In Diabetes terms I take 3CP per 10g Carbs. I also have 40 units of Lantus for background insulin. Oh and I am insulin resistant, so I have to take 2 tablets a day too.

    Every time I eat a meal, I do the above :)

    In total 5 injections a day :D

    Secretly I like to think I am a little genius when doing these calculations…hehe

  • You have seen the Doctor?

    by crim33 on 24 January 2011

    Well my visit to the nurse was interesting.......To be honest I wasn't sure what to expect but it seemed to go the way I guessed it would with the usual leaflets being presented.

    She was very nice about it all, my wife came in as well as she has the opinion that what affects me will affect her and as she prepares the majority of the meals it would be prudent for her to be there.

    But what made my ears prick up was when the nurse asked about the medication.....'medication? what medication?' followed by 'You have seen the doctor?'

    Well, no actually I wasn't aware I had to! I thought seeing you was all I needed.

    'Hmmm with your level being so high you should be on medication now so you should see the doctor ASAP.....

    Appointment duly made with a further wait until today.....

    She also informed me that yes, you are type 2 diabetic with your  HbA1C level of 12%

    Before I leave the nurse though she did refer me to the eye people and the local diabetes group at my hospital so things are advancing on that front...oh and she also took a reading which was down to 14 (half the original figure so some relief there then!

    So, back to the doctor for a nice chat. I should make it clear at this point that I am not duly concerned with the diagnosis..should I be? I am hoping that just making alterations to my diet would do the job but with my Ulcerative Colitis refusing to play the game the doctor said it seems that one is affecting the other so a course of Metformin has been prescribed to help the issue.

    On the plus side, since my visit to Tescos I have avoided the usual bad stuff and noticed although I am still thirsty, I am not as thirsty and my nocturnal visits to the loo have gone from 2-3 down to 1 (usually).

    The one thing though is my close up vision is totally useless...blurred as reading through water! I had my eyes tested at Specsavers a few weeks ago and had to buy new reading glasses only to be told by doc that once my diabetes is in control my eyesight may thats a waste of money on new specs then! (I even told the opticians about my diabetes too so am a bit miffed!)

    So, thats the story so far, I hope this blog helps someone or someone can identify with me.

    Will keep blogging when I have more to say.

    Til then

    Stay Healthy!!!


  • New Year New Goals

    by tintin63 on 19 January 2011

    Hi All,

    Sorry it's been a while since I last contributed, but once I got back from my holiday everything went so fast! Between  the 'weather', Christmas & hospital visits - my time was not my own. I must now be well over due my check up with the diabetes nurse I'm sure when I went last she said they'd call for me in 3 months but now its looking more like 6 months but I've been far too busy to look into it.

    Since I was put on the metformin slow release tablets my eating has improved but the acid reflux has become a problem. I'm now on Gaviscon every night before bed to ward off the night time reflux. I've now got some pills for the IBS too so that's more under control; a side affect of this new improvement is I'm not loosing the weight anymore. This means I'm now under a dietitian who believes my diet is fine but I need more exercise. All I need is an extra day in the week to enable me to fit it all in! I'm also awaiting an appointment for an operation to remove some polyps. So I have been spending half my month at the hospital but at 3 different departments. I've now been referred to a physio to help me get back into regular exercise so more appointments.

    I hope you all had a good Christmas. Mine just came and went in a rush really. I didn't feel I was ready for it and then it was gone. Every one enjoyed the food, I admit I wasn't as strict as I should have been or even would have been had I been able to get some test strips for my BG meter. The post was abismal in the lead up to Christmas for us and nothing arrived on time. I was going to eat a little of everything I wanted and test to see what effect it would have on my levels but couldn't as I had no test strips. I didn't experience any bad effects from it shooting high except when I had some Bailieys it was only a drop but it went straight to my head and I could tell the sugar went straight up too. So lesson learned no more Bailieys. I was OK with a small glass of red wine with the meal but not the spirits.

    I didn't put out as much chocolate and sweets as in past years to avoid temptation but I found nobody was really interested in the sweet things this year, we're still trying to clear it. It seems cakes were the thing they wanted this Christmas. The Christmas cake didn't even last till New Year which is a first. I was allowing myself a piece of fruit cake after a meal rather than turn to the chocolates and sweets.I have to admit it was good. Even that was a last minute thing, I made it on the 20th December. Well I'll just have to wait till the nurse tests my blood again to see how far it has gone up over christmas.

    Did anyone else have any problems over the Christmas Period balancing the sugars?

    My weight stayed fairly level over the festive season so at least I don't have any extra to loose. My dietitan suggested last week that my body may have reached the weight it was happy with. Now I've never heard of this have you?

    It certainly seems a strange thing to say to me as I'm still classed as obese so to tell me my body was happy with my weight just doesn't compute! I know I'm not eating more than 1500 calories per day on average through the week but my weight hasn't budged.

    Now my metformin will be taken at breakfast and at tea so a smaller/lighter lunch will be possible but they don't really want me to go too far below the 1500 cal /day so we will just have to wait and see.

    Back Soon






  • Not yet fully diagnosed

    by crim33 on 15 January 2011

    I am 50 years old, happily married and live in hampshire. I am half diagnosed with Diabetes but dont know whether it is type 1 or 2 yet.......

    My story starts last year during which I had all the hallmark symptoms of diabetes but was blissfully ignorant that the constant thirst, tiredness, nocturnal night time toilet visits, a cut on my leg that took ages to heal was a sign I should see my GP.

    After a bit of nagging from my my wife I finally decided to get it checked out. Instead of going to the GP, however, I went to my local tescos for a health check.

    It was comical as the lady doing the test thought that the machine was broken and had to take another test as the reading was 29.........she said she hadnt seen a reading that high before and suggested I see my GP asap.

    Bearing in mind it was 29th Dec and I had been guzzling coke, eating loads of chocolate, mince pies and all the other stuff all over christmas it is no wonder the level was high!

    GP duly consulted, another blood test taken and told 'yes its probably diabetes' (my late father had it which was another clue I guess) you will have to see the nurse in a fortnight....hmmm (my appointment is on weds morning and cannot come soon enough!).

    I was bit miffed with the GP as I had to coax out of him what to do whilst waiting for my nurse appointment (ok I had an idea to avoid sugar but was looking for more guidance).

    Anyone else had this experience? It has been torture waiting for a full diagnosis and further help!!!!

    To make matters worse I have Ulcerative Colitis (a condition which affects the intestine) which is affecting me at the moment and I am on steroids (which the GP did say could cause a high reading) but finishing this week. However the Colitis doesn't seem to be clearing up maybe due to the diabetes....

    Hopefully lots of questions will be answered on weds morning!!!!

    Hope to have more to add on weds, til then, bye.



  • To Pump Or Not???

    by Woman1501 on 12 January 2011

    Hi Everyone!!

    This is my first blog so I'll start by introducing myself. I am 24 and have been diabetic since I was 12. At first my control was really good then when I hit teenage years it all went a bit wrong. Since 18 I have had 3 ops on my back for an abcess which last year they finally did a different op which seems to have cured the problem, It does mean however that since 18 I have been on and off antibiotics which really messes with my sugars. So for the last year I have been trying to control and get my sugars to a good rate again. I am getting married in August (yey) and we are keen to try for a baby this time next year....I have been to pre conception and all that jazz. So here is my question. I have heard wonderful things about the pump from Patients where I work but I don't really know anyone with one.....For the purpose of wanting to get my sugars as perfect as possible and wanting a healthy baby is it worth changing to the pump? My sugars are normally either low or high and I rarely get a happy medium.... All comments would be greatful as Its only you guys who can anwser this question with real experience...Not a Doctor who has got diabetes or a pump!


    Thanks very much...I look forward to reading your comments :)

  • Intro...

    by Sookiep on 11 January 2011

    Hi I'm known as Sookie and I am 26 years old.

    I'm type 1 Diabetic, have been since 2003. Unfortunately I only recently started to take my diabetes seriously after hearing some scary news from my Doctor, classic head in the sand syndrome :(

    I was recently referred back to the Hospital and I love my Diabetic team at my local hospital, no offence to the local PCT/GP's but I needed a support system that worked for me.

    I also realised that eating 30g of carbs a day was doing more harm than good and have now started calorie & carb counting :)

    I started my blog to keep me motivated and under control. I hope that I can share my stories and learn from yours :)




  • The Day I was diagnosed :)

    by Sookiep on 11 January 2011

    In 2003 I was 19 years old, I got a message on my answering machine from the receptionist from my local GP (Doctor’s Surgery), the message was that it was very important that I called my GP and book an appointment to see the Doctor about a blood test I took when I was 13 years old. It seems my previous Doctor retired and the new Doc wanted to see me pronto!

    Which I did and when I met my Doctor I got the news, my blood test from six years ago indicated that I was Type 1 Diabetic and that I was to go to Hospital immediately for full diagnosis. I was diagnosed after 5 hours, after seeing 3 Nurses, 2 Doctors and a Dietician that I was in fact Type 1 Diabetes, probably had it from a very young age…

    I could have ranted about the fault in the NHS system for letting me go years without knowing about it, I could have blamed myself for not bothering to ask about the blood test and to some extent blamed those that knew about Diabetes symptoms for not picking up on mine. However I decided to move on, nothing will change the fact that I am T1.

    I didn’t absorb all the information that day, who could? I’m glad my husband came along and listened to the advice given out. All I heard was, you have to take injections everyday…EEEEP!

    No matter what type you are, what age you are, how mentally strong you are, hearing that you have Diabetes hits you like a ton of bricks. It changes your entire life and opens your eyes to how much you and the world did not/does not know about Diabetes.

    What was it like when you were diagnosed?


  • It was hard being pregnant and a type 1 diabetic but it turns out that was nothing! I thought once I had given birth that my sugars would be back under control and the hard part of keeping an eye on them was gone. How wrong I was, for the first 8 months or so I found it very difficult to keep my levels under control.

    When I was pregnant the only thing I had to keep a close eye on was my levels and gradually increase my insulin intake as the pregnancy progressed, I found this relatively easy. When the baby arrived I found I had never had so many hypos and such erratic readings.

    There were times that I was so tired I would forget to take my night-time insulin, I would then try to correct this in the morning by taking a little of it with breakfast. The other problem is taking insulin for the food you are going to eat but not being able to finish the food because the baby cries and needs something.

    Your baby’s needs become more important than your own and you are now not the most important thing in your life! The baby is now not so much a baby and is now 12 months old, he is walking and causing mayhem where ever he goes. I now feel I am more in control and can (for most of the time) give myself insulin and finish my meal. I think it all changed around 6 months when he started to sleep through this meant I was able to sleep and wasn’t dealing with sleep depravation so I didn’t forget to take insulin. It was also very strange going back to my old regime after taking so much insulin whilst I was pregnant, my HbA1C is higher than it’s ever been but is coming down so I am doing something right. I will not worry about it though as I know it’s a small glitch and they will stabilise even more over the coming 6 Months.

    I have blogged a lot over the last 12 months about coping, or trying to cope, with the baby on my site I have been using the DF Diary iPhone app to monitor my levels and this seems to be working, but I will know at my next check up. Hopefully my HbA1C will be in the 7’s! also has a forum for you to share ideas and problems, a weekly recipe page and a UK Food Database to help you carb count. The iPhone app (called DF Diary) has the UK Food Database and Restaurant data to help you keep a diary on the go.

More Posts Next page »

Share this page

Become a diabetes blogger

The diabetes blogWe're looking for more people with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes to tell their stories in the diabetes blog. So if you want to help others please complete this form, and we'll set you up as soon as possible.

The diabetes bloggers

Sookiep was diagnosed type 1 at the age of 19.
diabeticfriend was diagnosed with type 1 quite late in life at 28, after feeling run down for over a month
writes a personal blog with his family about the trials and tribulations of living with type 1:
has been diabetic since the age of 13 but had a healthy baby boy last year
is a marathon runner with type 1, diagnosed at the 'advanced' age of 49
has giant cell arteritis in addition to diabetes

Meet all the diabetes bloggers.

More information:

The views expressed in this blog are those of the bloggers, not the NHS. If you have any concerns about your health you should contact your GP or use our medical advice now section.

Search this section