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Hi all,

So the end of British Summer time has finally hit us all with vengeance and at 5.00pm tonight it was almost dark which is awful.

As you may already know I have had numerous trips to eye clinics due to suffering with Diabetes Retinopathy for the past 7 years which is really awful and was a real scary shock when I was first told, it was Vision Express that actually discovered the problem and instantly booked me into my Diabetes eye clinic. The problem really started after I had small blood vessels at the back of my eyes burst which affected my vision and made it very cloudy in both eyes. The treatment started with laser to burn around the blood vessels which prevents any new weak blood vessels from forming which then burst. Laser itself is very uncomfortable indeed and I have had approx 10,000 burns in each eye which I am told is the limit but this does seem to have stopped the bleeding which is great news and I am so thankful to the Eye Specialists. After all the laser it still left my vision cloudy so meant I had to have what’s called a Vitrectomy in each eye which basically entails having the clear jelly in your eye removed (Your eye replaces this fluid), I can honestly say this operation is not nice at all and means you have dissolvable stitches in your eyeball (Gross I know). Having said all that If this had not been done I would certainly not be typing this Blog even though one eye has very poor vision and both eyes have awful night vision.

So to the present day – my eyes seem to be stable at the moment and my latest eyesight test did not show any problems, even my prescription had not changed apart from my short sight vision which has got slightly worse. My next Diabetes eye check up is at the Western Eye Hospital in a few weeks time so fingers crossed I get the all clear but I am a little worried.

One of the worst things I am left with is very poor small detail reading in both eyes meaning typing Blogs like this I have to have the page zoomed in to make the words larger, damage to my central vision in my right eye meaning details in my right eye is near on impossible to read, also my night vision is really bad and means I am unable to drive in poor light so this time of year is even worse as it is dark late afternoon. It means I have to carry a very bright torch with me that literally lights the whole path/road that cost me a fortune and even then it is really hard to see if I am on my own walking home from work, without a super bright torch I would literally be stuck and please let me know of any pocket torch companies who make super bright torches. We just take our vision for granted and I am also guilty of this in the past.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment.

Andrew Borrett

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Animas pumpers complete Channel Swim Relay.

The purpose of the Animas Channel Swim Relay challenge was firstly to
raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), but equally to
celebrate people with Type 1 diabetes performing at their best. The team was
made up of three swimmers with Type 1 diabetes, using Animas® Vibe™
insulin pumps; Mark Blewitt, Matt Cox, and Claire Duncan. They were supported by
two, experienced channel swimmers, Pawel and Boris, as well as 17-year-old
Lorcan who will be attempting his first solo crossing this
August.

At 1:45 am on Thursday, July 21, 2011, the first swimmer lowered
himself into the cold water at Dover Harbour on England’s southeast coast. The
Animas Channel Swim Relay was underway. After months of training and
preparation, Mark, Claire, and Matt were about to take on one the biggest
challenges of their lives. The 21-mile swim across the English Channel is one of
the most famous and arduous swims on the planet and those of us offering our
support from the dockside were relieved it was them rather than us, especially
as the news had been reporting an unusually high number of jelly fish in the
English Channel.

Just a few days earlier, we had been wondering whether the swim would
ever happen. Our original swim date had been postponed a couple of times due to
bad weather, and with a number of other groups waiting for their chance to swim,
we worried that we may have had to wait a few weeks before we got another
chance. Then, on Monday, July 18th, with just three days notice, we got the call
to say it was “all systems go.”

On Wednesday evening, the swimmers, plus a large support crew of
friends, family, and Animas representatives, congregated at a hotel in Dover.
There was excitement among the swimmers, but also naturally some trepidation at
the challenge that lay ahead. The pilot of the support boat, which accompanies
all Channel Swims, gave the team their final briefing and then it was time to
go.

Each swimmer was scheduled to be in the water for hour-long spells.

The first into the water was Mark, and as the rest of the team
boarded the support boat with photographer in tow, he took his first strokes
towards the coast of France.

Once the swimmers were out of sight, it was our job–those left on
dry land–to keep everyone back home up to date with the team’s progress.

By using a live GPS tracking link and regular calls and texts to the
support boat, we were able to provide a running commentary of their journey via
a dedicated Facebook page. The regular updates made for great reading and the
team’s terrific swimming meant they were making great
time.

At 3:04 pm, the final strokes were made. The team reached the French
shoreline at Cap Gris Nez, a small outcrop of land between Calais and Boulogne.
The swimmers endured 13 hours and 26 minutes in water temperatures as low 15
Celsius /59 Fahrenheit and had run the gauntlet of seaweed and jellyfish. As
soon as we got word, we relayed our congratulations back to the boat team and
uploaded the great news via the Facebook page.

The swimmers’ return journey by boat was naturally much quicker than
the outbound leg, taking just four hours, and when they reached Dover we were
there to welcome them and begin the celebrations.

Our swimmers can be proud to have raised over 4,000 GBP for a great
cause and they most certainly demonstrated that having diabetes shouldn’t stop
anyone from taking on a challenge of a lifetime. I think swimmer Matt Cox put it
best when he said, “My son was diagnosed with diabetes and I’m hoping this
challenge will help Jack and other people with diabetes strive to achieve
exactly what they want in life.”

Huge congratulations to everyone involved and don’t forget, you can
still donate to the cause by visiting www.justgiving.com/animas-swimmers

Sincerely,

Animas UK/Ireland Team

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Good evening all,

I hope you are all keeping well ?

So tomorrow is my annual Diabetes check up with my GP and of course the dreaded blood test for Hba1c, Cholesterol etc as it us quite a list. My last Hba1c was 7.1 and that was almost a year ago so we shall see if it has improved or got any worse (fingers crossed). I will need to wait a week for my results so I will keep you all posted.

I don’t mind my Diabetes check ups so much as they usually go ok, I do however panic when going to the Eye Clinic as I have had quite a few eye operations. I have had 10,000 laser burns in each eye and a Vitrectomy in both eyes which are not pleasant operations at all. I have lost some central vision in my right eye and have really bad night vision which means I can’t drive in poor light, walking is bad enough. So when I go about my eyes I always have in the back of my mind are they going to say my eyes are worse or even that I may lose my sight which is really scary.

Anyway now I have cheered you all up I am off to bed – please let me know your last Hba1c, Your age, Are you on a Pump or not and how long have you had Diabetes as it would be good to know for us all.

More comments on my site would also be great.

Take care
Andrew 

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