Staying positive through the challenges of Diabetes

Second Trimester…. (second the best??)

Well here we are 27 weeks pregnant! When did this happen? The last three months have flew past! I can’t say it has been the easiest but I have been able to enjoy some of it… 

Let’s be honest type 1 diabetes isn’t easy at the best of times, adding in extra stress from work as well as the stress of growing a human it can send you a bit yampy (to non Brummies crazy). From weeks 13-23 blood sugars were still lower than normal and quite frankly easy peasy, my HbA1c came back at 5.4%, I don’t think I have had one that low since I was about 13! The tiredness has been another thing altogether, I wasn’t that tired in the first trimester still going to the gym regularly, but as soon as week 13 came along with headaches, I did wonder what the hell this second trimester bliss people were on about… are you crazy?! Week 19 brought heartburn and that had stayed ever since, I think this baby is going be born with a wig! 

Let’s talk about week 24… well, what the hell happened, blissfully (or rather knackered and stressed) going about my day and bam needing double the amount of insulin for my meals and needing to bolus 45 minutes before acting, quite literally overnight. Now when you have a non hormonal brain you could probably think about this logically, but as I was on the verge of meltdown seeing blood sugars spiking from 5 to 14 and staying there with no matter how many corrections you gave and then crashing big time hours later, worrying about your unborn baby, trying to actually stay awake at your desk, worrying how to stay awake… I mean is that even normal? That I decided enough was enough, after speaking with my DSN she decided that it would be best for both me and baby to take two weeks rest to see if things improve. Well I have to say it did, it took some work but now we are back to hypo city, but I am not stressing so much.

So week 27 let’s see what you are going to bring me by taking me into my third trimester, nesting is trying to start but it’s hard when half of your house is being renovated, the lack of motivation for the gym due to being out of breathe and knackered is in full force, worrying about the most stupid of things, having a meltdown due to there being no cheese for your beans, feeling tired yet going to bed unable to sleep and pints of milk and spoonfuls of gaviscon to ease the never ending heartburn. 

Let’s hope that my sanity stays around for the insulin resistance due in the next three months. Only six working weeks left and can’t I wait to have some calm before the storm! 

Second trimester you have been a good test of my sanity and strength, there have been some awful times but great times seeing my baby grow on ultrasound to seeing my belly kick, punch and move knowing you are safe for now. Love you baby xxxx 

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Lindsay Wilson’s Story


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First Trimester… (first the worst?)

I write this as I approach my last week of the first Trimester… week 13. I still can’t believe how quick the time has gone. How is it that I wasn’t pregnant but now I am…. I still don’t really feel pregnant. 

I may not have been unwell when it comes to normal pregnancy symptoms… the one week of feeling sick and the last few weeks of smells making me gag, but diabetes has been a whole other ball game.

Your diabetes team tell you, you must have blood sugars between 4-7 crap… yes I understand why but realistically you are going to get highs and lows. Erratic blood sugars, changing most weeks, eat one thing fine for one week and then the next it shoots you up. It can be overwhelming and I may have had one day where I panicked… but that made my blood sugars worse. As long as I’m not having highs and lows all day long I’m not going to try and make myself ill with worry. I can only do my best and who knows why your blood sugars don’t play ball when you have so many factors going on.  Hypos have been a bit of a problem, more so at 4 am, I don’t seem to get that dawn phenomenon right now and meals which are high in fat. Well obviously your digestion slows down to the point that you can’t poo for a couple of days (I do realise this is normal for some people), so having foods that take longer to digest is just going to give you that blood sugar of 2.0 and feel like death, to needing to sleep for the rest of the day. 

Exercise is another thing, the next day I could eat a horse and then some with hypos, so I have had to scale back to amount of exercise I do as well I just feel worse otherwise! I still try to aim to do body pump once a week with lots of dog walks and pregnancy yoga! 

When it comes to what is called a diabetes midwife I feel like am delivering a a teaching session each time on type 1 diabetes, obviously on the board it says gestational diabetes but this is not what I have! So biazzare questions like have you been given a meter… yeah 17 years ago! And are you monitoring your blood sugars… no I thought I would give it a miss now I’m pregnant… are just damn right irritating. Being told there is 2+ glucose in your urine… yeah that would be the bottle of lucozade I drank in the night to save my life from a hypo.  Then being told because I am on Metformin (I am not I have an insulin pump) that I won’t go to 40 weeks…. like please do your homework before talking to me.  Now running over at clinic is a whole new experience, how can someone be running an hour behind when your appointment is at 9:30… to just then be told you now need to start taking aspirin aahhhh. 

Obviously pregnancy hormones makes me think everyone is stupid and I have little patience but honestly the things these midwives come out with around diabetes! I will be glad to see my diabetes specialist nurse who goes to the maternity clinic… like someone please talk sense! 

The last three months have been strange, getting used to my changing body, some things embarrassing (glad for things like Google and netmums), where you wouldn’t dream of asking anyone if they had them too! Also with my dad in mental health hospital it has felt strange to feel excited or happy and obviously being diabetic there are so many things that could go wrong (one being retinopathy which I have again) I’m just enjoying the experience for now and see what happens… not enjoying strange reactions from people, people touching my belly, a weird bloated belly, strange dreams, jeans too tight, tshirts too short, hypos, sugar, extremely hot feet and getting out of breathe easier! 

Let’s hope the next trimester brings some interesting conversations with health care professional (joke), healthy scans and a healthy mum and maybe my dad well enough to come home. It’s been lovely sharing this news with my dad, you can see he is excited I just wish he would get better.. fingers crossed for ECT! 

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Who am I? What is my purpose? Do I need a purpose? Simply existing is quite frankly boring. But is feeling bored what I am actually feeling, or is it loneliness or the feeling of I don’t belong, or that I am a lost and unsure where to place myself. 

Feeling empty is a good way to describe this boredom I am feeling, not to be confused with depression but I could quite easily send myself insane feeling this way. I feel I have spent the last year worrying, stressed and exhausted that now its calmer (it’s really not calmer from my Dad point of view), that I’m a little bit lost. I don’t want drama in my life, I just need well some fun. But if I’m honest I feel like I don’t know how. I can’t even enjoy reading a book… where are you Lindsay?!

Identity is a funny thing, we all give ourselves labels, but do we really only have one label. I have lived nearly 29 years being a daughter, in the last 7 years being a partner. These are very different roles. But when a crisis happens within the family and the whole dynamics change you then become an advocate, councillor a friend or even a parent. My family is no longer like anyone else’s, I can’t go to my dad for advice like I would have done all those previous years, I can’t even ask my dad if my outfit looks nice as he used to give me he best compliments when I didn’t feel that great, just yes and no answers, he is more lost than me on a downward spiral weighing only 7 st 8, he is at risk of severe organ failure and still the mental health team want to discharge him…. think they have the rose tinted glasses on utter morons! 

Whilst all of this is going on I am trying to become a Mother myself… that is easier said than done. Months of planning to get yourself preconception ready from a diabetes point of view, plenty of sleepless nights whilst trying to sort out basal rates, getting it wrong or just simply what the hell!? Moving onto the try to conceive time… the hateful time of you can’t do this and trying to make sure your blood sugars are in target as the “just in case” the “two week wait”, checking if you are actually ovulating (possibly not), whilst worrying about previous surgery and other previous ‘things’ that I need a new focus in my life as all this planning and trying to keep yourself in target for nothing to happen… drives you a bit mad. I want cake and not to worry about said cake after eating it… unless I cause myself a hypo then I could eat more cake…. 

I just need to be Lindsay, no label with preconceived idea that I should act in a certain way. I have a huge gap in my life and I need to learn how to enjoy being just me. My sense of adventure has gone, I feel old before my time, I need to laugh until tears run down my face, as much as I love my caramel (dog) I need human contact. Gav working every other weekend, my Mum works every weekend, my dad in a nut house… I need a new hobby as at the moment my hobby feels like diabetes haha… seriously get a life! 

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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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