2016 – The Second Half
The first 6 months of 2016 absolutely flew past. At the end of June I was excited for the second half of the year. I knew that big changes were ahead for me, with regards my diabetes management. Come the end of 2016 there was a real possibility that I would be on insulin pump therapy, and that thought was exciting to me.
In case you missed it have a look back at the first 6 months of 2016
Anyway, enough of my waffle, on with the year.
This month bought the T1D London Meetups 2016 summer picnic. This event was thought up by my good friend Ewelina ➡ Ewelina’s Low Carb Website,
We had been to Hyde Park and selected the venue, now all we had to do was pray the great British Summer didn’t let us down. A great day was had by all, and this was by far the biggest event we had put on. Throughout the day over 50 Type 1’s attended, it was a great chance to meet new people and engage with other people who really ”get it”.
On a personal note this was also the month I started ”Operation rip out the kitchen”
This was the first real heavy laborious work I had undertaken since I was diagnosed. I quickly learnt that this will have huge effects on your blood-sugar levels. At one point I was eating about 60g carbs during the day, with no bolus needed, and my levels still weren’t going higher than 6. After the first days work, that night I lowered my basal by 20% in preparation for the next days hard labour!!
** July’s Top Tip **
If, like me, you are not used to a manual job, remember that DIY is very strenuous and will effect your blood-sugars. Lower your basal rate the night before if you know the DIY is happening. Don’t be afraid to eat and not bolus if you know there is a high possibility of hypo due to activity.
When the weather is nice, this is my favorite month of the year. I love a great British Summers day, although they are few and far between these days.
Myself and Mrs Type1Bri made the most of one sunny Sunday and had a day at the Kent coast. Had been meaning to visit the new and improved Dreamland at Margate and the weather was nice so off we went.
The kitchen works were still ongoing, I impressed myself with my DIY skills, who knew?
Couple of highlights from my blog in August
** August’s Top Tip **
Being the hottest month of the year, supposedly, it is important to check your levels more often. Heat makes some people go low, whilst others end up going high. The only way you will know is to test, test and test again.
Been waiting for this month all year. The time had come for our 2016 Summer holiday, we went away with our friends Vanda and Mike. We decided on the Island of Sal in Cape Verde for our break this year. Really had a fantastic time and let diabetes take a back seat for a couple of weeks.
September was the next T1D London Meetup. It was planned to be a picnic in the park part two, we were lucky with the weather in July, not so much in September though. As such we went to plan B and held it in a pub. I was really looking forward to this one as some friends from the Twitterverse were coming along. It is a really special thing meeting with people that you have been chatting with online for the first time.
Niki has become a really good friend and has also just started on her insulin pump journey. Niki is a prime example of what the #GBdoc is all about on Twitter, always there to support and help others. Check out Niki’s blog ➡ Here
** September’s Top Tip **
We have got Type One Diabetes for the rest of our lives, although I hear a rumour that the cure is just 10 years away. As such it is important to take it easy once in a while with your control. Just go back to being you, enjoy life and don’t sweat the numbers. You can regain control once holidays are over.
Another change of season can only mean one thing, basal rates all change again! You can see a bit of a recurring theme here, if something changes then your diabetes will react to it.
October was also the month of the London Bridges Challenge, in aid of Diabetes UK. This was the first time I have taken part in a fund raising event, guess the cause was pretty close to home.
Myself, Rob, Aoife, Ewelina, Dani, Rachel, Emma and Matt all from The T1D London Meetups group, took part in the event together. It was a really great day, we all made it to the finish line in one piece, and raised over £400 for Diabetes UK in the process. Special thanks to everybody who sponsored us. Have a look at the day ➡ Here
Thursday 20th October was going to be D-day for me, huge changes were happening to my diabetes treatment. This was my pump start day, however just 3 days before my DSN called to postpone until 9th November. The Medtronic rep had broken her toe and was off sick! Still I had been waiting since May so another few weeks wasn’t going to hurt!
** October’s Top Tip **
Give something back once in a while. Take part in a sponsored event, do some fund raising, volunteer at an event, whatever you choose to do it will be worth it. If you can do an event with your friends and make a great day of it all the better. It gives a sense of enormous well-being, sure there is a song in there somewhere!
November was always going to be a special month, it is my birthday after all, and you’re only 21 once!
My birthday was going to be extra special this year though, the NHS were giving me the best present and on my actual birthday too! My pump start day finally came on Wednesday 9th November. You can read all about how I prepared for the day and the actual day itself on the blog links below.
November was also Diabetes Awareness Month. A chance for us to try and raise awareness of the invisible illness which effects us every single day. An American initiative called ” Project Blue November” ran a 30 day challenge on Instagram. It was great fun to take part in, posting pictures everyday for 30 days all based around raising awareness of diabetes. I took part and only went and won the competition!!
All my entry pictures can be seen on my blog links below
The end of November also bought our final meet up of 2016. We made this our Christmas meet up as many people wouldn’t be able to make one in December, life gets in the way a bit around Xmas time.
We decided to go back to The Larrick in Marylebone, London. As always it was great to meet up with good friends and celebrate Christmas together.
** November’s Top Tip **
If you want something in life, go after it. I wanted to be on an insulin pump, even though 2 consultants wouldn’t put me forward I persevered and November saw my pump journey begin.
And no matter how busy or hectic life is, make time for your friends. Especially important around Christmas time, today they are a friend, but one day they might be your support network, always make time for them.
2016 is almost over, the year has absolutely flown past. I guess having an end goal of changing over to the pump has made it go even quicker for me this year.
The last month of 2016 bought a very long awaited event for Mrs Type1Bri and myself. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were at last coming to our hometown. This was to be my first gig since being on an insulin pump. I was determined not to have it ruined by a pesky hypo halfway through, that is where the pump is worth it’s weight in gold. Armed with a temporary basal rate of just 45% there was no way I was letting a hypo ruin our evening. The RHCP put bands half their age to shame, they are the most active, mental, hyper-active 50-odd year olds you will ever see!
December also bought the ”Free From Festival” in London. A chance to try out some Xmas goodies which were suitable for gluten, dairy and refined sugar free diets. Some really tasty food and great businesses on show ➡ Here
The 23rd December was my last day at work this year, which could only mean one thing…. Pub!!
This is another area where I have to approach things a little differently as a Type 1 Diabetic. We had some drinks at work before going to the pub this year, and that meant drinking from around midday until midnight. Check out ➡ top tips for dealing with Type 1 and alcohol
Christmas this year was spent with family and friends. This was my 3rd Christmas with Type 1, but my first one since being on the insulin pump. The difference in my numbers over the festive period has been amazing. The highest I have been is 13.4, and the lowest was 2.9, a vast improvement on other years. I have made full use of temporary basal rates and dual wave boluses, really does make carb heavy days much easier to control.
** December’s Top Tip **
See it, want it, then bolus for it and have it. Diabetes takes so much of our lives, don’t let it take away the fun parts of Christmas too. Make time for your family and friends and enjoy every second of the festive period.
So What Does 2017 Have In Store?
From a personal point of view I am determined to make 2017 as fun packed as possible. Planning a weeks holiday with just me and Mrs Type1Bri. Towards the end of the year we are going to the German Xmas markets with some friends. Later in the year there is an exciting T1D London Meetups event, we are going international in 2017!! Keep an eye out for more info next year.
It will also be the year that I finally take control of my fitness, for too long I have been letting diabetes hold me back from this. Always had the excuse that the gym causes hypos/hypers, now I am on a pump I am not going to let these excuses reign supreme anymore. In fact just today I have joined the gym as step 1 to a healthier me. I plan on becoming fitter and physically stronger in the new year
Big plans for my blog next year, but will leave you guessing as to which direction things are heading on that front!
Hope you have enjoyed my look back on a great year, look forward to meeting many of you next year at the events we are planning over at T1D London Meetups.
Take care, 2017 is almost there