Staying positive through the challenges of Diabetes

Finding Balance…. Again

I regularly find myself back in the world of feeling overwhelmed.  Whether that be from diabetes, work life balance or putting unnecessary goals in my head. 

What’s going wrong… well where do I start, we are very good at listing the things that aren’t so good in our life. My dad has been sectioned under a section two and doesn’t look likely he will be coming home next week, he would have been in for twenty eight days at this point and he really is not getting any better, still very low in mood, not doing any self care including emptying his ileostomy and rather be in favour of letting the bag burst and we’ll be covered in shit…. he has days where he refuses all medication and is very verbal with his anxiety which could look like to some schizophrenia. This has been coming on for a long time. But being male and also my dad, he did not wish to seem weak or a burden. Unfortunately things got too out of control and he needed specialist help, which in fact took much longer than necessary due to the “no beds….welcome to the NHS.  So this is an ongoing stressor that I have no idea when is likely to get better, he is in a mental hospital which is not particularly close… which brings me on to my next topic time management.

Managing time, how exactly are we meant to do this? Get hold of Bernard’s Watch and stop time just so I can fit in having a shower, before rushing out the door to the other side of the city to visit my nutty dad, who sometimes would rather spend his time walking down the corridor than speaking to me. Am I sounding like the victim, this is really not what I’m trying to do, I don’t want no one to feel sorry for me, I’m just being realistic. 

Now some people are like super human and can seem to fit everything in and still have energy for more… but seriously working full time and managing type 1 diabetes is bloody hard work.  How do people do it, I look at people when they say to me, but it’s okay for you, your blood sugars are great, it’s easy for you…. what the hell? Sorry do you have a different type of type 1 diabetes to me? I make what look easy exactly? Breathing? It’s something my body does without thinking…. unlike my pancreas?? Maybe on the outside I look the picture of health, but what good looking good on the outside is, if on the inside you are in turmoil on the same broken record “I need to walk the dog, I need to do yoga, yoga makes me feel good, I need to go to the gym, I need to look strong, I need to be like Wonder Woman, I am Wonder Woman (maybe a step too far)… I must set my alarm for 6am, that gives me 30 min walk with the dog, but then I need to prebolus 20 mins before breakfast, should I set my alarm for 5:30″… when that alarm goes off I never get out the bed to walk the dog, I then beat myself up all day and promise to try and again tomorrow. I promise myself to do more yoga, I promise myself to do mindfulness… all these promises are ones I can’t keep. I let myself down over and over again. All this anxiety makes me feel exhausted, end up mismanaging the diabetes and hypo central is my world.

Looking for guidance on how to find this balance of life I look on Instagram, twitter, Facebook…. but it actually makes me feel more depressed. I wear a Fitbit monitoring my every move, I beat myself up that I haven’t done enough steps as others, which is madness reaching 10,000 steps in a day should be a big pat on the back. All these things are toxic to me. But yet I keep doing them. When I do get time to watch telly or read a book, I just end up sitting and thinking. Forever thinking and never listening to myself. I know there is no off button but sometimes I really wish I could sit back and observe myself. 

This week I have taken the time to sort my basal rates and actually it’s made me feel calmer as I am taking control of my life and not putting it off for another day. To add to all these stressors my poor caramel (the dog that never gets her morning walk) ended up in hospital last night due to a seizure that lasted a very long time, she needed to be kept in and started on antiepileptic medication.  

Who knows the right balance, of what to eat, what exercise is the best. But looking good in the outside does not always make you happy. 


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Merry Shitmas

It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, I do love family get togethers, as family means a lot to me… expect my family who I can count on is going through a thought patch…. a very tough patch.  This Christmas has been very difficult. In fact the whole lead up to it has been so very difficult. I see other families having a lovely time, may be wearing my rose tinted glasses and think to myself, what happened to my family. It makes me feel very sad. I wish I could run away from it all. Or just wish it didn’t happen to be Christmas. 

You see I have blogged about this in previous posts, the black dog. But what happens when you don’t contain the black dog and it takes such a hold of you in a way that you become every you despise in people. This is my dad. He has become every he despises in people. This would be why he is a loner. He doesn’t have friends, never has done or well, he has never had any since I’ve been around (28.5 years to be precise). It’s quite a sad existence. If you have no social network, no worklife, no hobbies and your life changes completely for the worse you looking at a very sad state of affairs. 

My dad is no longer the man I know. I am not sure where he has gone, I feel like there are glimpses of him every now and then, but mostly he is this stranger. A stranger who can’t understand why he has become like this. To me is is plain to see. Expecting to die from a life saving operation, surviving the operation and then left with a life changing condition that you cannot come to terms with, them letting it take over your life, letting it consume you so much that you literally loose your mind. My dad likes to spend his days pacing around the house, swearing and talking loudly to himself for hours on end, both paranoid and delusional. He has now in the last couple of days refused to eat, drink or take any medication. He is basically giving up on life. He sees no way out. So he has been sectioned… that is for another post another day maybe.

This is a hard time, my anxiety levels are through the roof, impending doom is coming. The unknown, worrying about all stupid things. Trying to make sure I rest as when I go back to work next week I’m going to be exhausted. Trying to fit working full time, visiting a crazy dad in hospital, looking after my mum, worrying about my mum. I’m not sure who is worrying about me. That’s selfish but I’m scared and unsure where I should be or what I should be doing. I need to save some of me for me otherwise I’m going to end up with the black dog too. 

So I would like to wish you all a very merry shitmas… can’t say much about happy new year… 2016 you sucked 

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The Black Dog Has Taken Him….

I feel like I have been stuck on this topic for a long time, with my own mental health and now my Dad’s. It is with the most of heaviest of hearts I write this blog, my Dad has been stolen by the black dog and I’m not sure how I’m going to get him back. 

Depression…. what a misunderstood thing it is. Everyone’s experience of this is very different. My dad has basically given up on life. He is living in a shadow of his former self. I feel like I need bereavement counselling even though he is still here, but he isn’t the Dad that I grew up with. I would always go to my Dad for advice, I could always rely on my Dad to help me get out a sticky situation, for instance leaving your insulin at home when you are at work, and kindly dropping it off for me. Sounds like I took him for granted, maybe I did but aren’t we all guilty of this? Where have you taken my Dad, I want him back! 

I feel so empty but sad at the same time. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel, how I can make it better… knowing that I can’t. Knowing that I have to be the strong one. Being an only child is hard I only have myself to fall back on. The roles have reversed. My Mum is fit and well but there is only so much she can try and do, before she also gets taken by the black dog too. 

My head is all over the place, thinking all strange things, wishful thinking, looking at other people’s families and thinking how nice it must be to be able to go out for a meal together, go on holiday together, just enjoy spending time together, without a chronic illness being involved. I feel like I had my teenage years robbed of my illness and now when I want to be looking forward to starting my own family there is a heaviness in the air like eeyore and the grey cloud, I’m watching my Dad slowly deteriorate before me and there’s nothing I can do. 

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Hindsight – a year of hell, but what could you have changed….

We could all do things differently after we have experienced an awful event, but then again would you have learned anything new about yourself, how could you have predicted how your life was going to go to prevent it from happening, how can you say in hindsight blah blah blah. Hindsight is a funny old thing. I am a big believer that things do happen for a reason, there is obviously decisions you make but still you cannot always control the outcome. 

Rewind back to August 2015. Starting on the Omnipod. I was so excited to moving away from my what felt then a clumpy pump (Roche combo) that liked to go flinging across the room during grit classes at the gym. So I was happy to drop the tubes and heavy pump in favour of a patch pump. It really was or still effortless to do a set change, that’s the main thing I liked about it, it felt like diabetes was easier to manage… as in taking up my precious time in the day. When it comes to managing blood sugars well, I had such varied results, no patterns, tests for thyroid hormones, short synacthen test, stool samples, coeliac screen. You name it I was tested for it. That was all within three months of starting the pump. 

Still I persevered, really testing my mental wellbeing, crying due to blood sugars swinging, then ended up on Sertraline last November, as I just couldn’t cope anymore. Stopped going to the gym for about three months also. Lost a stone in weight through the stress of it all. I wasn’t until January that I wanted to start getting better. Blood sugars didn’t really improve. 

It came to the final straw when I started having allergic reactions to the pods. It drove me mad so itchy and then so sore. I contacted my DSN asking whether I could switch pumps and maybe Cellnovo as an option. 

Well I switched to Cellnovo and wish it had been the pump that was available when I was due to change, but like I say i made this choice, no one forced me to choose the omnipod. It just isn’t for me. Some people get fantastic results with this pump! 

My HbA1c was in July whilst still on omnipod 7.8%, I switched mid October and now my HbA1c is 6.9%. Just goes to show with the right tools anything is possible. I am now withdrawing from Sertraline and planning on trying for a baby next year. Let’s hope it’s a year of good things! 

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Set Change Day – Cellnovo


I thought that this time I would do a video (or should I say videos). It’s been a bit of a pain trying to get my iPad to upload the videos so have had to cut them! So sorry they are in several parts :-).

Hope you get some insight into the Cellnovo system. 





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10-minute Protein Brown Rice Crispies Treats from the FitMenCook app

Since protein snacks in general tend to cost a bomb, I like to try from time to time recipes that don’t need expensive ingredients and are easy to make. I hate it when they lost ingredients I’ve never heard off… Elixir of young purple unicorn… Erm no. 

So since I already had the FitMenCook app on my iPad I thought I would give these a try. You can make it as cheap or expensive as you need. Since I only need to buy rice Crispies, already having the rest of the ingredients in my cupboard. 

There is no cooking involved and thankfully no blending as mine has give up the go, and I’m too broke to buy another right now! 

Ingredients needed:

120 g almond butter (or whatever nut butter you like)

170 g honey 

75g rice Crispies 

1tsp cinnamon 

1 scoop of protein powder (I used optimum nutrition vanilla)

Mix together the nut butter and honey, zap in microwave for few seconds if not runny enough. Add in cinnamon and protein powder then slowly combine the rice Crispies. Leave to rest for 20 mins in fridge in whatever container you want to use. It should make 15. 

Using the products I purchased gives you these macros

and look like this

Here is the link for FitMenCook recipe  http://fitmencook.com/10-minute-protein-brown-rice-crispies-treats/

Or here is a screen shot 😉 

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Never Workout on Rest Day!

If it’s one thing I hate is feeling exhausted. I workout 5-6 times a week, come Thursday I am always ready for a rest. I’ve been training hard so I deserve that long soak with bubble bath and to read a good novel. 

What you should never do is let your gym class friends talk you into doing another gym class on your rest day… That being body pump. I do five days a week of weight training as it is, Thursday as I have already said is my rest day… I needed pre workout just to get me there. I can normally lift quite heavy weights… 20 kg on squat track killed my shoulders never mind my legs just to hold it there. They felt bruised. Everything felt like an effort. Why the hell am I here!? 

Later that night I had to get Gav to massage my shoulders, I felt like a mess. I felt like I needed a sports massage. What is going on? I over slept by an hour the following day, typing at work hurt as my wrists were aching from bent over row. All I craved was carbs and unhealthy food… I.e. Crisps and chocolate. 

So here I am aching all over but not in a good way, feeling exhausted , hungry, grumpy, tired… A walking disaster! 

Another subject altogether, working out with gym class friends in weights room is a whole different story, in class it works but in weights room you become the PT as they are used to being prompted to what moves to do.

Lindsay needs some head space working out alone too sometimes!

Bye for now from a grumpy, glycogen depleted Lindsay 

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Oh Look a Woman in the Weights Room :-O

Nothing beats that “pumped” feeling. If you lift you will get this. Obviously you get those people who like to pass you the odd comment, about getting bulky like a man… But let’s be honest I don’t have the right hormones for that crap. Plus what’s wrong with feeling good inside and out? Does it really concern anyone else… No. 

I initially started lifting weights two years ago due to injury from running, I was gutted that I couldn’t run the miles I used to. I thought running was my therapy, my mindfulness, to switch off from the world. It took me a while to get into the habit, my goal to strengthen my quads and generally tone up. If I’m honest I hated it, I hadn’t been in the weights room for a good few years, just guessing at what I was doing. So I went and seen my Glenn who happens to be a Personal Trainer who sorted me out with a plan which included still being able to do the fitness classes I still enjoy now… Yes to see myself improving but also I get to see my friends, part of the gym is my social life, talking to others who enjoy spending their free time like you, keeping fit. 

It did take quite a while for it to becomes habit. Also battling anxiety and depression, not having a great work life balance, that I just kept exhausting myself. This was something I needed to sort myself. I wasn’t going to progress physically until I sorted out where I was mentally. 

Having type 1 diabetes is a challenge in itself, especially when it comes to exercise. As I had been so used to what I do during running, needing a lot less insulin it felt like a whole new world being in the weights room. 

In January I made it my New Years resolution to finally get myself back on track. I downloaded the bikini guide from LDNMuscle got myself into a routine and watched the progress unveil itself in front of the mirror. Yes that sounds vain, but like I say I’m not here to please anyone else but myself. 

Having had an awful start to the year with one thing and another my blood sugars had been on the higher side. But I did not give up, I kept trying over and over, my body was progressing on the outside, I was starting to feel happy. But the diabetes like always takes a while to adjust. It has only been in the last month that it has finally clicked into place! For weight lifting I tend to bolus 1-2 units 15 minutes before I start and increase my basal rate by 60% for the hour during and hour after. This stops my blood sugars going from in target to up to 18.0 mmol.  As the weeks progress obviously upping the weights had made my blood sugars sky rocket. I’m happy that finally I have a rough idea what to go on. That works for me! 

I am not onto LDNmuscle cutting guide. It is certainly giving me the results I wanted. But most importantly the gym for me is my antidepressant. It keeps me sane and is my me time when I need to escape from the madness of home or work life. 

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Diabetes Brain Fog – Truth and Anxiety Led Decisions

Let’s be honest, diabetes is never clear cut. But when you are faced with trying to decide “where do we go from here” you are left out on limb or feeling like its on a whim… However you want to phrase it, with what is the next best step for your care… Frankly it’s frustrating, scary or down right ridiculous. 

It’s clear whatever had been working…. Whenever “had” was it was a long time ago and you seem to just muddle through hoping for the best, dreading looking at that number as it’s going to be another that’s not in target, getting disheartened that you then begin in the cycle of “who cares” but deep down you do, but in goes that other slice of cake, carry on fooling yourself you are healthy by keeping up with weight training, yes getting physically stronger on outside, but inside… Nope. This then starts to fester you get caught up in this vicious circle of “diabetes doom and gloom”, anxiety increasing and the truth gets further away and start believing things have always been this way…. Ah! Brain fog, judgment gets confusing and judgement of yourself goes up. 

So you peek your head out of the diabetes cave you have been living in, thinking “this doesn’t seem so bad”, have one hour of great blood sugars and then back to square one. 

So you keep trying to beat the beast, but it feels like you are constantly battling with the beast and getting more confused with numbers, feeling exhausted and all you have been doing is sitting there. What a funny thing our brains are. 


  • Since using Omnipod I have found blood sugars to be unreliable, HbA1c has gone up from 6.5% to 7.5%
  • In the year since using Omnipod a lot has happened in my life, stress, starting anti anxiety medication, starting to feel better, dad having emergency operation, getting told to be “prepared”, now other anxiety around my parents own mental health


  • Now trying to piece it all back together, it feels like a bit like trying to run after a greyhound chasing a rabbit, I can’t seem to get there but I keep moving forward
  • Then anxiety kicks in with a case of stuff it

So as I keep asking where do we go from here. Since I’ve been having allergic reactions to the omnipod I’m looking to trial cellnovo. I just hope I can get back to how my control was when on my combo pump. Especially if I want to think about having children. 

Diabetes you are a pain in the backside! 

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LDNMUSCLE Cutting Guide – week 1

Coming towards the end of bikini guide I was stuck with where to go next, the LDN guys suggested the cutting guide. As I was impressed with their guides so far, I thought why not. I don’t feel like I need to go and ask someone what the hell that move is, it’s clear, easy to follow and certainly gives you the results! 

I will have to be honest I didn’t stick strictly to the bikini guide as in the tempo and weight I should be using, but I have had a lot to contend with, my dad having emergency operation, being in hospital for a month then going back in again with a chest infection. I just needed some guidance and some headspace and this is exactly what it gave me. Who can’t beat a good medicine ball slam when you are that upset, with the thought you might need to turn your dads machine off. It’s the best feeling ever, other than boxing! 

So here we are back at week 1, a different plan. I am looking forward to seeing the gains over the coming weeks. But first let’s take a look over the last few months in pictures… My measurements in terms on centremeters may not have changed, but my body shape certainly has! 

January 2016 through to June 2016

Now after having a week in lovely sunny Malta it’s time to get back to my normal eating habits and burn off the 2% increase in body fat and find the pound of muscle I lost!  Oh and work on the six pack which is obviously hiding behind that 2% fat gain.

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