Diabetes weather forecast for our region

Ok ladies and gentlemen!
On tonight’s show we are looking ahead at the diabetes weather forecast for the week.

It’s difficult to predict what lies ahead in the next few days.
Given the lull lately,
We predict a strong possibility of some highs 
Which will inevitably be followed by some unexplained lows through the night.
Be prepared for some sleepless nights as you batten down the hatches.

Those sporting fanatics amongst you will  no doubt be keen for predictions around your weekend games.
It’s finals weekend, adrenalin is pumping!
Make sure you avoid the post game lows by reducing those night time units.
Remember what happened the last time? 

Looking ahead to the weekend,
Not much activity is predicted 
The resulting change from the weekday routine may cause chaos in some households.
Don’t let that be yours!
Remember to count those carbs carefully and avoid random guesses 
You know you hate those three am wake up calls!

There we have it folks!
As you can see, forecasts are a fool’s game!
Nothing can be predicted with any certainty
So keep smiling and be prepared for any eventuality!

That boy and the egg is growing up.

The boy and the egg
Is growing up
He now carries his precious egg to a part time job.
He didn’t tell of his egg’s existence on his application as he doesn’t feel it is a disability.
Time has moved on.
He hasn’t felt brave enough to show anyone his egg.
I worry that he finds it a burden and is embarrassed by its presence.
I fear he may not find compassion and understanding when he is brave enough to show it to others.
What if he is rejected?
Not telling them about the egg is equally terrifying.
It’s real and it exists and if it cracks one day,
People need to know.
Yet and still,
It hasn’t cracked.
It isn’t broken.
He continues to live the length and breadth of his life.
And me?
I need him to be safe but
I want him to be his own man,
To find his own way.

This is how we do it….

We put one foot in front of the other.
We pray to the universe and the God we no longer believe in
To keep our child safe
Until he returns home
When we will happily carry his load.
We do all that we can
Each and every day
To keep our child safe from invisible harm.

We take solace in the normal moments:
The issues with homework not being done well,
The squabbling amongst teenage siblings,
The overuse of mobile phones,
The constant need to stay in touch with 765 ‘friends’ on Facebook ,
The obsession with animal videos on YouTube.

We rejoice in the victories:
A run of days with normal blood glucose levels,
Playing sport at 100% effort and staying in range,
The days out with friends jumping in rivers and riding bikes,
The meals out in restaurants, ordering the biggest chicken shnitzel,
The laughs around the dinner table, hanging out together.

This is how we do it.

What not to do! The Opposite of Tricks and Tips- Diabetes Blog Week

Tips and Tricks – Friday 5/20 Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks.  

When I saw what we were to blog about today my heart sank! I make mistakes all the time so from my now quite considerable experience, I can certainly pass on some advice to mothers of children with diabetes: what not to do!

Night time blood testing: 

These have all been tried and tested on my poor child. Do not:

  1. Try to use your phone as a torch by holding it between your teeth whilst simultaneously doing a finger prick. The angle at which you have to hold your head in order to shine the torch on the sleeping child’s hand means that your head is so far back that the hand is no longer in your field of vision.
  2. Use a camping torch on your head. Yes, it certainly does free up your hands but the look of terror on your child’s face when they wake due to the intense light in their eyes, is one you will not forget in a hurry.
  3. Choose the wrong child when entering a dark tent in the middle of the night to do a blood glucose check. Nuff said there!
  4. Take offence if your sleepy child chooses their middle finger for their blood test and even if they stick it up in a way that in other circumstances would get them in trouble , let it go! They have to get their revenge sometimes!
  5. Forget to wear your glasses. Leave them next to your bed so that you put them on as soon as your alarm goes off. If you need to make corrections to high levels, 5% can look very like 10% when you are flying blind.

Accessories. You will not need :

  1. A small handbag! Even if it’s cute, in a sale and made from Italian leather , you will not be able to use it and it will mock you from the depths of your wardrobe.
  2. Jelly beans in your bag when you are premenstrual! You know they are for your child’s possible hypos but your desire to eat them will be so strong that you will not be able to resist. You will feel guilty for the rest of the day. Stick an extra popper in your bag instead!
  3. Cheap make up! Invest in some good quality makeup. You know you deserve it! It covers up the bags under your eyes from the night time checks and stops people asking if you’re feeling sick! I’ve had to tell my mother in law to stop asking me if I feel sick when she pops into the house on a Sunday morning. This is what I look like without makeup , do not try to rub away invisible stains under my eyes (true story, I swear!). This is what your son wakes up to every morning so deal with it woman! ( I do love her, just not when she licks her finger and attacks my face to remove stains that are just under eye shadows from lack of sleep!)

Cooking and food. You must never:

  1. Forget the maths you learnt at school. You forgotten it already? You poor sod! Relearn it pronto!
  2. Lose your calm whilst making calculations under extreme pressure- it reminds me of my brother’s paramedic training where he was forced to drive at high speed whilst answering complex medical questions. The more likely scenario for us will be a starving child and buffet type meal. You may develop a muscle twitch in your eye when computing the carbs. Be careful who you look at at this point as you may receive some unwanted advances from the strange little man at the end of the buffet who thinks you are winking at him! Read this poem about being a carb counting queen.
  3. Try to pretend a cauliflower sauce is carbonara. If you are going to tell lies about food, it must taste nice! Chocolate mousse made from avocado, maple syrup, cream and cacao is a rare exception!
  4. Give up! Trying to learn to count carbs when starting from scratch is bloody hard. Healthy, home made food is a great goal to have but dialling a pizza now and then makes life feel normal!

You! Do not:

  1. Forget about yourself. In the six months following diagnosis, I did not go out for fun. What if something happened to my child when I wasn’t there? Nothing bad happened and I was there so, slowly but surely, I let go. I do go out now and I’ve learnt to trust my son and those around him. My son also needs to see that him having diabetes does not prevent me from living my life. If I want him to live life to the full, don’t I need to do the same? Put your fears in a padded cell in your brain and deal with them when you feel up to it!
  2. Drink four glasses of prosecco in quick succession then fall asleep in the corner thus missing out on the fun night you’d been looking forward to for weeks! 

    I had such fun putting this list together, reliving some crazy moments from the last two years. If I look at the lists, and not the ‘do nots’ that come before them, these are all things I have done. We have survived and even had a few laughs along the way! Does anyone else have a list like this?


    Message Monday- My dreams and hopes.

    Why the French title? Sometimes French words just sound better!

    My hopes and dreams for my son who has Type 1 diabetes are so important and keeping positive about every aspect of his future keeps me motivated. This is the same for all three of my sons but, in the face of so much negativity around diabetes, it becomes all the more pertinent when you want to keep the image of a bright, positive future alive for a teenager with Type 1 diabetes. 

    This time last year I stumbled across diabetes blog week. I found blogs by other parents and suddenly I didn’t feel as alone. From this grew the idea that perhaps I could write a blog too. I spend so much time thinking (but not talking) about my son’s diabetes, so why not write about it?

    One of the first posts was a poem I’d written. I am not a poet. I’m a mum of three boys, a wife and a full time high school teacher. Walking was my sanity in the early days after my son was diagnosed. I’d throw my self out of bed and into my walking gear and pound the streets. My head was trying to make sense of what was happening and I found myself constantly reliving the day of his diagnosis. 

    I’m pretty together in my working life and didn’t find myself often in a position of helplessness yet here I was,  feeling raw and exposed. I wrote this poem and it felt just right to share it with others who understood the feelings it expressed. The connections I’ve made through sharing this blog have given me the enthusiasm and desire to continue, albeit more sporadically. Making connections with other parents online helps so much when there is a absence of connections in my ‘real’ world.

    I love the diabetes online community the most when I feel connected or when it gives me messages of hope. I know the reality, the potential future complications for my son, but I try to help him deal with his reality with realism and, together, we face each challenge as it comes. I love to read about those who have lived their lives with diabetes and thrived in the process. I don’t necessarily mean by climbing mountains or swimming across vast oceans. Things like finding love in the midst of diabetes chaos, working at jobs which are fulfilling, travelling and experiencing the world would be the pinnacle of success in my book and those are the blogs which fuel my hopes and dreams.

    Now two and a half years after diagnosis, I know my son and our family have come a long way but I read this poem and I’m right back in that day. It must be around a year since I wrote my first blog post and it feels right to connect with these feelings again.

     I lost a layer of skin

    I lost a layer of skin
    As we entered the hospital on the day of the diagnosis.

    I didn’t feel it fall off. It certainly didn’t hurt.
    It gently slipped off with less than a whisper, unnoticed, like a soft, satin scarf.

    I wish I had noticed it leaving.
    I imagine it floating gently over the roofs of nearby houses,
    Carrying with it the half formed dreams I alone held for my child,
    leaving behind only rawness.
    Over days, weeks and months a strange new layer has grown in its place.
    It’s a bizarre contradiction – tough yet sensitive.

    Watching the drops of intense ruby blood makes it want to shred itself
    Glimpsing needles pierce the stomach where raspberries were once blown makes it ache.
    Seeing the somber eyes of a child learning to cope leaves a hollowness.
    Dragging a weary body through night times of wakefulness leaves it feeling prickly.

    It’s certainly more careworn than the layer it replaces but it’s strong and it needs to be.
    It bears the brave scars of battles: some internal and silent, others of epic proportions.

    Hiding the multitude of maternal fears which largely remain unshared have hardened the carapace.
    It has to be tough for the times when it’s all too much for a child who just wants the old normal.

    The old normal isn’t coming back.
    I like to imagine that I’ll find that layer of skin again someday and fashion a purpose for it in this new existence, for there is hope.

    Move over Miss Marple

    In the words of Taggart,

    “There’s been a murder”

    But there is no body.

    A pancreas has been killed

    And it’s inside my son.

    My dodgy gene pool looks like the prime suspect

    With weird and wonderful auto immune diseases abounding

    On both sides of my family tree.

    No happy valley here.

    Just a predisposition

    And the elusive lightening strike

    That leaves him with needles and insulin pens: the wire in his blood.

    I spend my days as a silent witness,

    Looking for the ‘green around the gills’ tinge of an impending hypo

    Trying to work out the reason for sudden high levels.

    I snuffle about, metaphorical magnifying glass in hand,

    Forensically examining the carb count of a recent meal,

    Querying the impact of an activity or lack thereof,

    Constantly learning new tricks.

    There is no right or wrong in this game.

    He is above suspicion.

    Sleepless nights feeling like I am waking the dead: a teenage boy in deep slumber.

    Blame is never attributed for the weird and wonderful numbers which

    Randomly appear on that small screen.

    No offence is taken by this amazing child but

    No convictions will ever be made for the death of a pancreas.
    Edit – how many detective shows can you find reference to?

    Motherboard Overload


    A motherboard is the main printed circuit board (PCB) found in general purpose microcomputers and other expandable systems. It holds and allows communication between many of the crucial electronic components of a system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals.(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motherboard)

    Yip, that’s me -the MOTHERBOARD

    Last month, I stopped and looked at my life and I felt exhausted. Why? I function as the motherboard for my family. I know EVERYTHING, I really do!

    That’s when I decided to do something radical – switch off the motherboard. Pull the plug and sever connections, at least for a while!

    The Motherboard

    This motherboard has had enough.

    She is overloaded.

    There are many components in this system.

    Connections are provided and updated on a daily basis.

    There is the constant throb of white noise wherever she goes.

    Free upgrades are anticipated and given in all areas.

    The requests for constant add-ons are handled in a timely fashion.

    Satisfaction is guaranteed !


    But no more!

    She can no longer be the repository of all knowledge.

    Her memory has reached its capacity.

    Wires are crossed.

    Data is corrupted.

    Sleep mode has been activated.


    You will find her:

    Reading a trashy novel,

    Solving crimes on British television shows,

    Trying to do yoga,

    Baking up a storm in the kitchen.

    Approach her at your own risk,

    She may explode.


    Supermarket Sweep. 


    Shopping in a supermarket during the holidays with a friend turned into a game show. She would throw items at me and I would tell her the carbs or in some cases guess. We’d been discussing what to buy for a meal and she was asking me about what kind of ingredients I’d buy to make sure my son had the correct number of carbs. 

    Luckily, we were in a town far from home and had left everyone at the pool. As we skirted up and down the aisles, my friend lobbed, tossed and violently chucked various food items at me, demanding the carb value:

    Her: Catch, bread one slice?

    Me: Ha! 15g per slice, if not too thick! Too easy!

    Her: Pasta?

    Me: Ouch! One cup of penne, 30g, one cup of spaghetti, 45g! Why? No carbs in air, mate!

    Her: Choc bar? 

    Me: Ooh, now you’re talking! Flick me a Flake at a good solid 15g. Easter’s coming with Creme Eggs coming in around 30g each. What, they’ve got them already? Gimme two, quick, for the car on the way home, of course!

    Her: Apple?

    Me: Small fist size, 15 g per apple! Haven’t you seem me groping my way through the apples like a dirty old man?

    Her: Banana? 

    Me: A bit like an apple but reference another body part! 15g for small!

    We laughed, giggled and guffawed our way around the supermarket! Never has carb counting been so much fun! Getting back to the car, we packed the boot and jumped in. I handed my friend her Creme Egg and we sat blissfully munching. She admitted to not knowing much about carbs and I laughed and said I hadn’t either until we had to very quickly learn after diagnosis. I wrote this poem during that initial period of learning:


    Goodbye 2015

    Well, that was 2015!

    We survived and thrived.

    We shouted and forgave.

    We laughed and sometimes we cried.

    A year of learning that it’s OK not to be perfect.

    A year of understanding that despite doing everything according to the plan,

    Type 1 diabetes does not always play by the rules.

    Increases in testosterone levels in the House of Testosterone

    Mean there are now three males over 6 feet tall.

    We took international trips and Type 1 diabetes did not spoil a thing.

    Many cities were visited, carbs were guesstimated and new flavours were enjoyed.

    Homework was done, after a fashion.

    A new study was built to facilitate easier learning.

    Yes, you may laugh!

    Sport was regularly played through all the seasons,

    With regular support and unwelcome reminders to check BGLs from the sidelines.

    Rugby and football in winter were replaced by cricket, swimming at the beach and touch football in the summer.

    We entered our third year helping our boy on his journey.

    There’s an easy familiarity with the language around it.

    There’s a realisation that control can be fragile

    But there is nothing that has not been done.

    Bring on 2016!

    Disco Inferno (Otherwise known as a night out for parents of a child with T1 diabetes)



    I wrote this after we had a great Christmas night out with all the people from my work. We still had a good time but I didn’t totally relax once that phone buzzed. My boy was only looking for some reassurance and I realised this the next day. 

    I refound my mojo that night, even just for a brief while, and that was fun! It was all I needed to remind me that I love that man of mine too! He’s the Kel to my Kath! Best Christmas present ever!