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Saying No For Reasons Other Than Diabetes


Saying No For Reasons Other Than DiabetesSo, I got my 6 month review results back from the doctor and everything is fine. Hba1c is 40. Got a list full of other results too, but I have no idea what any of them are supposed to be or what they mean. Surely the doc would’ve said if there was anything to be concerned about. Anyway, I’m fairly pleased, and happy that I have a baseline to work from in order to get it down a bit further for my next hba1c in 6 months. I would really like to get it to the none diabetic range.

On another note, I like to eat healthy and keep fit. When people offer me a chocolate or something that is considered “bad for me”, I usually say no. When I respond with a no, their response is usually something along the lines of “oh yeah, I forgot you can’t eat that with the diabetes”. At this point, I feel like screaming because I have to repeat myself again about my ability to still eat anything I want; with or without diabetes. It almost makes me want to say yes just to prove a point. I don’t say no because I’ve been told I can’t eat it, I say no because I have goals that I want to reach and eating all of those extra treats (empty calories) will hold me back from getting there. Don’t get me wrong; I do have days off where I will eat whatever I want, but most of the time it is my aim to eat things that fuel my body to be stronger and more efficient. Plus, when I eat crap, I feel like crap.

Here is my exercise for the past week. It has been combined with between 1500 and 1800 calories a day. I’m thinking of increasing calories a little bit further as I have been feeling a bit run down.

Monday – 90 minutes Contemporary Dance. 1 Hour Rehearsal
Tuesday – 40 minute power walk, 2 hours creative session, 90 minutes Commercial Jazz.
Wednesday – 90 minutes theatre Jazz, 1 hour pole.
Thursday – 90 minute Contemporary Dance, 1 hour rehearsal, 1 hour pole.
Friday – 1 hour pole, 30 minutes yoga, 80 minute walk.
Saturday – 2.5 hours walking.
Sunday – 20 minute HIIT Circuit, 20 minutes yoga.

How have you been getting on this week? My BG’s have been fine apart from the 3 hypos on Friday. Have you exercised? Ate a bit healthier? Let me know.

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Rowena x

Drawing Attention To My Insulin Pump


Drawing Attention To My Insulin PumpMy body is feeling surprisingly happy today considering I have doubled my training and upped my calories a bit. My blood sugars have been happy ones and I have managed to avoid significant hypos. The main hypo of the week came on me during a theory class where we were talking about project management. Sometime I get confused with the signs of a hypo and just think I’m being dramatic. Do you ever do that? I tell myself I’m imagining it, I fidget and organise things near me, until I actually have no other choice but to check my levels to find out that I am below 4mmols.

I often check my levels just before class and I usually do it in the studio where I keep my bag or I do it in the toilet if I have to go. Anyway, on Wednesday, I was checking my levels and one of my class mates said “Oh Rowena, are you diabetic?” I said “yeah.” She then went on to ask about injections and insulin, I told her that I had a pump instead of injections. I began to stretch as I thought the conversation was over and she jumped back in and said “that’s so cool to have diabetes”. Well, I was gobsmacked and said “not for me it isn’t” and I continued to stretch. The conversation was definitely over now. I have heard of people who have experienced the same comment and I just wonder what planet they are living on? Hmm.

If you’ve been following my blog or instagram, you will know that I reduce my basal rate for class and I put my pump in my bra. You know that little beep that happens when you have a reduced / increased basal? Yeah? Well, that beep is enough to make the teacher talk about it and turn heads to my pump (boob area ha). He heard it beep, looked straight at me and then went on to create a beat with that one beat as the inspiration, I would’ve been fine with it the once but it happened each time. Every time it beeped, people stared and I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about that.

I’ve got some cool plans for my blog so stay tuned. For now, follow my instagram and twitter If there is something specific you would like me to talk about, let me know here or in the comments below.

There Are No Complications


There Are No ComplicationsThe other day, I was scrolling through Facebook and I noticed a post from Diabetes UK. It was saying something about the complications that can occur in diabetes. Usually, when I see links like this I never click on them because it’s not good for me to focus on negative things. It sends me into a paranoid state of worry and I end up getting very upset with myself if I miscalculate a bolus and end up high. So, instead of clicking on the link, I looked at the comments that other people had made and it appeared that others would prefer not to see it either. It upset a lot of people and “made them feel even shittier about this disease than they already did”. I mean, why would anyone want to be reminded that they are more likely to go blind and or lose a leg?

Is it really necessary for us to know so much about these complications? I don’t think so! I think it is best to let the doctors take care of that and then we can learn from them (and books) if and when it happens. I didn’t start learning, in detail, about diabetes until I was diagnosed with it so why should I learn about neuropathy if I don’t have to. Non diabetic smokers don’t learn about lung cancer just because they smoke, do they? When I look through the comments on posts similar to the one mentioned above, if I see something negative in the comment I skip it straight away and look for someone who has said something good. I know it sounds pretty ignorant of me and I obviously wouldn’t ignore someone who was talking to me directly. But, for my sanity it is best to look at the positive in everything. While one person is saying that they lost their drivers licence, another is sharing their improved hba1c result.

I suppose this post is just a suggestion to you and I to carry on looking at what can go right. It would be so nice if dominant companies could post something positive. It would be nice to read the success stories of diabetics who keep their levels under control and the benefits it has had towards their health. For me, Instagram is the place to be. I always see lots of positive posts about diabetes on there.

What do you think? Do you know the ins and outs of everything diabetes? Let me know.

Rowena x

A Type 1 Holiday


A Type 1 HolidayI’m back from holiday and ready to get back to training. I now have a copy of my final year timetable and, combined with my extra activities, I will be doing around 25 hours physical activity per week. This includes yoga, weight training, pole, and various dance classes, walking and cycling. As I will be doubling my training I am going to increase my calorie intake, but more about that on another post.

Back to holiday and how I managed my blood glucose. Well, the first day I was doing great until half way through the flight. I had dinner on the plane which was a small mushroom risotto which I think I gave the absolute correct bolus for. I checked my BG afterwards and it was around 12 from 5. I took a correction dose straight away. I then checked another 2 hours later and it had risen to 14. I checked the line to my pump and there were several air bubbles which meant I obviously wasn’t receiving the insulin I was giving to myself. I went ahead and primed the pump to remove the air bubbles and gave another correction dose. I also walked down the stairs and to the back of the plane to do some jogging on the spot. Yeah, I’m weird! Within an hour or so I was back down to around 8 and I was nearly at my destination. The flight was 10.5 hours from Manchester to Las Vegas.

Throughout the week I wasn’t really too careful about what I ate, I didn’t over indulged but I did indulge more than I would at home. If I had a particularly carby breakfast I would have a lower carb lunch and vice versa. I love American hash brown and I managed to bolus for them properly. On top of the eating, I walked a lot and it was around 40 degrees outside so my insulin didn’t really increase. I also did a few workouts. The workouts included bodyweight training in the hotel room, running up and down 28 flights of stairs in the Flamingo Hotel and, of course, pole dance and flexibility classes at Pole Expo.

During the whole week I only had a few highs. If you follow my instagram you would’ve seen a pic and an explanation of one of them. I drank a splash of cranberry juice with my vodka soda water and bolused for 2 carbs which is what I usually do in the UK with the cranberry juice I drink. However, I should’ve known that the cranberry juice they serve at the bar would not have been a sugar free version. Duh! I took a correction dose, stopped drinking alcohol and continued with my night as planned. I was on my way out to dinner and a show called Zumanity by Cirque Du Soleil.

All in all I managed it really well. I took enough insulin and other supplies to cover me for a few weeks rather than just one. It’s better to be safe. I had to change my insulin daily as I think the heat was damaging it when I was at the pool or doing anything outdoors. Most days I would only go to the pool for an hour so I took my pump off and left it in the safe in the room. On the days where I knew I would spend more time at the pool I took it with me and had it wrapped under a towel with some ice. I just detached it when I got in and out of the water and it was fine. Nobody noticed or said anything about it.

The night times were interesting when I would put on a nice dress and have to figure out when to put my pump. My knickers or bra were the safest bets. The pic above is where I put my pump on the night I went to see Britney Spears. She was amazing and kept me dancing.

How do you find it to manage your diabetes when you are away from home? Do you find that you stay in control? Let me know in the comments below, email me or follow me on instagram and twitter.

Rowena x

Am I Really Diabetic?


Am I Really Diabetic?Lately, I’ve been getting the strange realisation that I am diabetic. I mean, obviously, I know I have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and I manage it daily, but I think it has taken me up until now to actually realise it and process it properly. As an automatic reaction around food, I am forced to think about my insulin needs. Every so often I wonder if this is really my life. Am I really different now? Do I really have an autoimmune disease?

For the rest of my life I will be thinking about insulin, its measurements and how it will affect my blood glucose. Am I doing a good enough job for myself? Am I annoying to others when I ask them the carb content of the food they are preparing for me? Does it bother them that I have to pay so much attention to my needs even if there is something serious going on? I was wondering what it would be like to have a day off, to forget that I know what it means to “bolus”. As I write this I can see my Insulin Pump resting on the waist band of my pyjamas and it makes me ask myself; am I really wearing a device that pretty much acts as my life support? Why do I know what an Animas Vibe is?

This post might seem a bit depressing and “woe is me” but I assure you it is not. I am not complaining about having this disease, I am trying to let it sink in. Should it be this hard to sink in? When I was diagnosed it was something I grasped really quickly and I just took control of it. When my blood sugar was “hi” and the doctor told me I have diabetes she was looking for more of a reaction than the reaction she got from me. I just said “ok”. She asked me how I feel about it and I said “I just have to get on with it”. She told me that people usually burst into tears at the point of diagnosis. I told her I was too tired to react. I was really, really tired.

Did / does anybody else feel like this? Every day I look at my type 1 active instagram and I am inspired by people who manage the same disease as me. You know what I go through, maybe you can relate to my thoughts? Would it be too intrusive of me to ask you what your thoughts are on having this disease? Can I find out how well you think you manage it?

Let me know in the comments below or contact me.

Rowena x