Thursday 28 August 2014

Adventure D launch: come and be part of it

When I fist posted about the start of Adventure D, a project my brother, Chris, and I had started, we were taking a gamble as to whether or not people would agree with us that people with diabetes should have more opportunities to get shoulder-to-shoulder and try adventure sports.  As it happens, we didn't need to worry so much.

Our first weekend, a Learn to Kayak weekend, being held at CYE Sailing Centre in Chichester Harbour, is filling up beautifully...but there s still space!

To explain a little more about the weekend, it is a learn to kayak weekend on 12th - 14th September, which will take you from basic to advanced skills, with freestyle games sessions included using the techniques you've developed.  All equipment and tuition is covered in the cost of the weekend so you would just need to bring yourselves and some basic personal must-haves which we can tell you more about.

The weekend will include a talk on exercise and blood sugar levels from Lead Diabetes Specialist Nurse Claire Pesterfield, who has type 1 herself, and who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!  She will give advice and information on the effects kayaking is likely to have on blood sugar levels, to give you an idea of what changes you may want to consider making to your insulin dosing.  This will be put into practice on the Saturday and Sunday across three sessions.
Food is all covered in the cost and will also include any hypo treatments you may need over the weekend, as well as there being 'hypo stations' in case sugars drop throughout the day.  The food will also be carb-counted to make everything just that touch easier. In the evening there will be some free time to explore local pubs or chill out in the 'snug' which is a mini cinema style room on the ship.
The accommodation is amazing and probably unlike anything you may have seen before.  You can see photos here, at the bottom of the page. The TS Resolute is a multi-purpose floating accommodation vessel with two decks; the lower deck containing the accommodation and snug (cinema) and the upper deck housing the conference room with 180 degree views out over the harbour.  Rooms are new, clean and bright, and all have en-suite facilities.  The cabins have ample room for two people to a cabin (which will be single sex unless you know each other and choose to stay in a room together) allowing you to get to know other people with T1 from the moment you arrive. 
The cost of the weekend including all the above is £150 pp which, as mentioned, covers tuition, accommodation, food and the informative talks.

There is still space so if you feel like joining the group for a fantastic weekend, just get in touch at

See you there!

Friday 22 August 2014

Sweaty palms and monster spikes: what stress does to diabetes

I did my best to pretend to the surgeon operating on my wrist that I was fine, even taking the opportunity to look at the exposed tendons in my cut-open hand moving around as I wigged my fingers, but my dry mouth and twitching foot gave me away as a fraud; the surgery was stressing me out.

'The Club'
If you were to ask me what the most impactive factor is on blood glucose (BGs) I would tell you  carbs, illness and stress, in that order.  And yet very rarely do I have my eyes open to it when a stressful day at work leaves me snapping at the heels of 20 mmol.  Or when my BGs go ape-shit when I travel.  I usually blame it on the food.  And likewise, when I tell myself that the week off work I just had was nothing to do with why my levels are better than that of a non-diabetic.  It must be a stroke of luck.

Two days ago as the Queen Alexandra hospital kitted me out with 'the club', my BGs stayed between a beautiful 5.4 mmol and respectable 8 mmol all morning.  Even during and immediate after surgery they were dancing gently around 6 mmol.  But an hour later, as I tried to figure out how a simple mocha could have me flying vertically upwards that I remembered the sweaty palms that gave me away in surgery, and realised that no coffee in the world could do this:

If ever I needed a reminder of the impact stress can have, my trusty CGM was happy to oblige!