Saturday, 29 December 2012


This Christmas eve I passed the 26 year mark of being a member of club-D (definitely not as great as it sounds).  I am proud to say that despite a little scare this summer, complications have still not caught up with me and nor do I plan for them to. In many ways diabetes has become a way of life for me, the only way I know.  I work full time in the Police and love my job dearly, but when the 9-5 has come and gone I spend almost every spare minute of my time immersed in the diabetes 'world', advocating, attending conferences, manning stalls, participating in market research or product reviews and generally diving into what I would term 'diabetes culture'. I speak to parents of T1 kids daily, take advice from other PWDs (People With Diabetes) who can help me with my latest dilemma and reminisce with other 'old-timers' about orange plastic needles and 2-minute long blood tests.  

What I wasn't expecting was for diabetes to darken the door of my family once more.  This time, it has come a-knocking on the door of my mother-in-law, mamma P.

When she told me about the symptoms she was having I knew that diabetes was a possibility; inevitable even.  The symptoms she described - tired, thirsty, blurred vision - made me sure that this Christmas we would once more have an unwelcome addition to the family.  Her expression as she listed her symptoms told me that she also knew, she just hadn't said it out loud, until now.

One of the many things that has given us our closeness over the years is our shared battle with weight.  Neither of us require the side of the house to be removed to allow us to be crane-lifted out, but if I wasn't already a type 1 I would - perhaps ironically - be in the 'at risk' of type 2 category, due to my weight.  Knowing the risks at hand and the likelihood that this could be type 2, my wonderful husband and diabetes partner in crime gave her a shove in the right direction and demanded that by the end of the week she needed to have an appointment booked.

Her diagnosis followed only 3 days later. Treatment with Metformin followed 2 days after that.

Now we have the task on our hands of navigating the type 2 tightrope.  Admittedly I am no expert on type 2, in fact, her diagnosis has made me realise just how embarrassingly little I know.  It has never been something I needed to think about, in exactly the same way that the non-D population know nothing of type 1, much to the dismay of those trying to raise awareness.

Her determination to address her health problems has already staggered me.  She has already stopped drinking fruit juice - her tipple of choice, she is asking questions about low carb and exercise and is already recognising her habits of mindlessly reaching over to the biscuit tin are what found her in this position in the first place.  But she is determined to change it, and it makes me respect her all the more.  It took me 16 years to start taking my condition seriously.  It took her just 2 days.

So, knowing that you know far more than I, I am asking for your help - if you know tricks and tips for managing type 2, Metformin, low-carb or losing weight, I would LOVE to hear from you.

Do you have any advice I can pass on?


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Driving, hypos and coming clean

In 2011 ripples of anger traveled through the diabetic community in the UK when the DVLA announced changes to the driving regulations for diabetics.  As a result of the changes, any hypo needing 'assistance' (ambulance attendance, for example) needed to be reported to the DVLA.  More than 1 serious incident in a calendar year now results in the suspension of your license.  As someone who suffered my own 'serious incident' this year, it is something I have often thought about; would I tell my team if I had another one?

INPUT, the world's favourite patient advocacy service are hosting the worlds quickest online survey to find out how you feel about this issue.  It will literally take 10 seconds of your time, but will help us uncover what YOU think.

Please check it out, here.