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Posts Tagged ‘diabetic’


So on the news this morning which I am sure you have all seen but it’s going to be 35c – wow what a scorcher.

This heat plays havoc with my BG levels through the day and especially in the evening once I am home from work, last night when I got home from work before dinner I was 7.2 then had dinner but a little less insulin, woke up at 12.15am as it was hot to 3.2.

The most frustrating part of this for me as that this morning I am 12.2 ggggggrrrrrrrr.

I also have another problem as I use an Animas Vibe Insulin Pump which is the easy bit however in the heat I find the cannula can peel off the skin, however I have found something called Tac Wipes which are also available from Animas. Certainly worth asking the question as these work very well.

So trying to keep hydrated and BG levels up as the carbs seem to burn away fast in the heat especially as we are not so used to it.

Stay cool.

Andrew

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Suprabeam2

Hi all,

As you may or may not know I have had many problems with my eye site over the past 10 years and I have had approx 10,000 laser burns in each eye to help correct Retinopathy and also a Vitrectomy Operation in each eye.

Please take the time if you can to look at my previous blogs relating to eye health and the importance of regular Diabetes Eye Check Up’s.

Over the years my night vision with all the treatments I have had my night vision has suffered to the point where I am unable to drive during the winter months as it tends to be dark at 4.00pm, it is so frustrating to have to rely on other people,public transport and cabs to get around as I like to think I am quite independent – my wife Gill is a huge help to me.

So what I tend to do is carry a large torch everywhere even during the summer as if I am out late (doesn’t happen much as I have three young children lol) I would be stuck or struggle a lot to find my way around even just using the torch on my phone which is pretty poor. I have tried lots of different options of torch ranging from very cheap small torches which are useless to expensive large torches which are too big.

I then cam across a company who manufacture a superb quality range of torches and head torches that I was hoping could help me.

The company is called Suprabeam and from the first enquiry I sent them I knew they could help as they certainly know their stuff, they seem to deal with people who run, ride and even climb who need a decent quality torch that they can rely on 100%. The reason I decided on a headtorch is purely because I don’t have to hold it and they are now very small and bright, especially compared to what I have used in the past. The Suprabeam head torches are very comfortable to wear, small but extremely bright – I can even use if I decided to cycle.

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The Suprabeam head torch we decided on was the Suprabeam V3air Rechargeable as I didn’t want anything super bright but bright enough to light the path or road in front of me, this certainly does the job, I have been using this now for about 4 months and I am so pleased I bought one as it has given me so much confidence when being out during the evenings or night. It is very a small and just fits in my pocket ready for when I need it.

Personally if you are looking for a top quality Torch or even HeadTorch then have a look at Suprabeam as the products are very high quality and affordable, the staff are also very knowledgeable and not pushy at all so they will guide you to the product they think will best suit your requirements.

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Hi,

So here I am again for my yearly check up at the Western Eye Hospital nr Paddington London for my Diabetes Eye Check.


For me this is always a nervous time and can be a long day 😄

My appointment was for 9.40am so I left my home at about 7.30am to get the train to London which is always fun (not), it is incredible just how many people travel in and out of London expecially at rush hour. I was lucky enough to get a seat on the train that takes about 50 minutes to Paddington as I then have about a 15 minute walk to the Western Eye Hospital.


There are possibly closer places for me to have these checks but I have been going there for about 10 years now and also had laser treatment along with two Vitrectomy Operations about 8 years ago, I like the fact they can do everything there related to eyes.

Good to see a large TV which gives you an idea of the waiting time which can be quite lengthy  sometimes, when I arrived it was approx 30-60 minutes to see the nurse for the eye check, photo’s of the back of your eye, lovely drops in your eye, scan the eye for any vessel leaks. This all went quite quickly and my eyes from the nurses perspective were okay and pressure good along with my actual eyesite. Really good news to hear my eyes are healthy and I am still okay to drive.

After seeing the nurse I then waited about another hour to see the Doctor who looks at your previous notes and then has a good look at the back of the eye, since my last appointment everything has remained stable which the Doctor said can be down to good blood sugar control which is not easy. I have had a lot of laser treatment previously to burn the tiny blood vessels to stop them bursting and leaking, fortunately I do not need any further laser at this time.

I did ask about my vision as I do get slightly paranoid that I can’t read a number plate but she confirmed I am well in the limits of this – great news.

So as you can imagine I am extremely happy and just proves that good control, healthy eating and basically looking after yourself does help make a difference.

Thanks again for reading.

Andrew

http://www.mypump.co.uk

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Hi all,

I know it was a long time ago now but in some respects it is nice to get back to normality as my eating and drinking habits over Christmas & New Year have been very bad, far too much food and drink which has played havoc with my BG levels so I need to pull my finger out and get back on track 🙂

As you may or may not already be aware I have had numerous problems with my eyes and ensure I have regular eye checks to make sure nothing is missed, for my Diabetes Care I attend the Western Eye Hospital in London where I go each year – this is my last blog Western Eye Clinic.

I have also been to Specsavers for the past 5 years to basically check my vision where as the Western Eye Clinic is looking at issues with my eye health and any related Diabetes damage like Retinopathy etc. The reason I chose Specsavers is that the service I have received from Maidenhead Store has been superb and they give a great range of tests not just interested in selling you a new pair of glasses.

SpecSavers

So I received my yearly reminder in the post and called to book my appointment at Maidenhead which as always is very easy and at a time to suit me. My appointment was on Saturday 3rd January and I was luck enough to be seen by the Branch Manager Lisa which at the time I was unaware of. Lisa went through the eye checks with me “s last pair of glasses to get an idea of how much her eyes have changed since her last eye test”, I also had a Visual Fields Test due to the amount of Laser I have had done previously for the treatment of Retinopathy – this basically involves resting your chin on the edge of a large round ball which the lights up small lights inside at different positions, you then push a button to tell the computer when you have seen each light. All these test went very well in my eyes “Sorry excuse the pun”

I was then taken in to see a very nice Optometrist called Helen who spoke to me first about my lifestyle and Medical history, Helen then went through various checks as follows and these details were taken from the Specsavers web site which is very helpful :

1. The Retinoscope

The retinoscope

The optometrist may use an instrument called a retinoscope, which bounces a light beam off the back of your eye and back into the instrument. Different lenses focus the reflected light beam until it is steady, giving a close guide to the prescription you need.

The retinoscope is very accurate – it is used to test the sight of very small children, or people with communication difficulties who can’t easily describe how clearly they can see.

2. The test chart

The test chart

The optometrist fine-tunes his findings by asking you to read the test chart through different strength lenses. The results for one eye often vary from those for the other, so each eye will be tested individually before both eyes are finally tested together.

The optometrist flips different lenses in front of your eyes that change how clearly you can see. Depending on your answers, the optometrist changes the lenses until you have the clearest, most comfortable vision possible.

3. Using the ophthalmoscope

Using the ophthalmoscope

The optometrist uses an ophthalmoscope to examine the retina at the back of the eye, including the blood vessels and the front of the optic nerve. This important test can detect changes which can indicate diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

The optometrist darkens the room and sits quite close to you, while they shine a bright light into each eye in turn using the ophthalmoscope. The light may leave shadows on your vision, but these soon fade.

4. The oxo box

The oxo box

You are also asked to focus on an oxo box, and say whether the illuminated lines are in line horizontally and vertically.

This indicates whether your eyes work well together – balanced and co-ordinated eyes are essential for clear comfortable vision.

5. Testing your focus

Testing your focus

The optometrist may test your ability to focus at varying distances to decide if you need different prescriptions for distance and reading.


After this I sat down with Helen to go through her findings which for me was all okay, the only issue I have is sitting in front of a laptop all-day and having to strain to see the words clearly, we decided  pair of specific VDU glasses could help. We then looked at the digital images of the backs of my eyes which are incredible to see as I could see all the scarring from the laser treatment I have had going back about 7 or 8 years – all this laser also affects my night vision massively but nothing I can do about this.

Finally, I was then introduced to Jamil who showed my lots of different frames some good and some not so good unless you are someone like Will I Am, we decided on two pairs of frames one for VDU work and one pair for normal day to day wear. I collected my glasses 1 week later and I was extremly pleased with the quality/price and service so I would highly recommend giving them a try.

SpecsaversRetinal

SpecsaversShop

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Hi all,

Apologies it has been a while since my last update on MyPump Diabetes Site but busy with the family etc J

So my sailing at Cookham Reach Sailing Club is still going really well and I managed to take out a Lightning Dinghy last Saturday on my own for the first time, I just about managed to stay upright largely down to the assistance of Alistair in the safety boat – all in all I had a great time. The biggest thing I have noticed is the amount of carbs I need prior to 1 hour sailing as I must be honest I didn’t really think I would use that much energy, I tend to have an energy bar and banana prior to sailing and that is usually all burnt up.

** New members always welcome and surprisingly membership is not as much as you think.

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Dario BG Meter

I have been using the Dario BG Meter for a couple of months now and just recently gone onto the Dario for Android/IOS so can now use it on multiple devices like an iPad and Samsung Galaxy – all of which sync easily. I especially like the food diary which amazingly seems to have pretty much most of the food I eat but it would be good to have some images/sizes similar to Carbs & Cals. If you have not yet tried the Dario BG Meter then it is certainly worth a go as it is so compact and just fits in your pocket, the strips are held in a tiny container within the meter and you also have a built in finger pricker.

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Abbott Freestyle Libre

Sadly I have not tried this device for myself but I do hope to so I can write a hands on Blog review.

So if you have not yet heard about the Abbott Freestyle Libre then you will be in for a surprise as it really does look amazing and the technology behind this BG Meter is incredible, this is the type of device I dreamed of when I was young as it is a cross between a standard BG meter and a CGM. As I understand the Abbott Freestyle Libre is due for release very soon and works by using a small sensor placed on the body which you can then place the meter close to the sensor to take a BG reading, this also works through clothes so means you can test as many times a day as you like – no finger prick required, you also don’t need to calibrate with a finger prick. The software also looks incredible and I like the fact that this device can give you an indication of whether your BG levels is dropping or increasing – this is a big problem for me as I tend to go to bed on 7.0 but it’s so difficult to know if it will drop and many times it does.

The other big plus is that the sensors last for 14 days before they need to be replaced.

So next question – how much ?

I have not seen any official prices from Abbott but looking on Google rumours it sounds as though the meter could be approx. £150 and sensors priced at approx. £50 each (They do last 14 days each though), however please bear in mind these are not official figures and only rumours – not sure if we can get any NHS funding.

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Hey Dude Shoes – something a bit different to tell you about J.

So since starting up sailing I have increasingly been getting my shoes wet and I do prefer to wear shoes barefoot nr the river as I am in and out of sailing boats and end up taking off and on my sailing boots.

We went on holiday to Somerset a few months ago and on the beach with the children and a young surfer walked past with some very funky/comfy looking shoes, there is a huge range to choose from and they are more of a summer shoe than a winter shoe as mainly canvas – hoverer they can be machined washed. The Hey Dude Shoes have a leather type anti-bacterial insert which I can say makes them feel as though you are wearing slippers but with a nice thick sole to give them added comfort.

So if you are looking for a comfy shoe that gives great comfort and support to your feet then give them a try, my wife has also bought a pair so they must be good J.

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‘Feet first’ for diabetes patients

As a new study highlights major variations in diabetes-related foot amputation rates, Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, explains why action is needed to cut rates of preventable amputations.

If I were to tell you about a place where thousands of feet were amputated every year as a result of poor healthcare, you would assume I was talking about somewhere in the developing world.

Well you’d be wrong. The fact is that here in the UK, thousands of people with diabetes have amputations every year.

Not only does an amputation dramatically reduce quality of life, but the likelihood of dying within five years is greater than for breast, bowel or prostate cancer.

And yet an estimated 80% of the 5,000 diabetes-related amputations a year in England could be prevented through better healthcare and improved management of the condition.

The fact that so many people are needlessly having their feet amputated is a national disgrace. And yet despite the large numbers, awareness of the problem is worryingly low even among people with the condition.

But it does not have to be like this.

The scandal of preventable amputations is one we hope to bring to an end with our Putting Feet First campaign. Over the next five years, we want the number of amputations in people with diabetes to reduce by 50%.

Raising awareness of the issue will be a big part of this.

‘Insufficiently thorough’
The 2.8m people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes should know how important it is to manage blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure well, as well as checking feet regularly and making sure shoes fit properly.

But they also need to know what healthcare you should expect – because all too often it falls short of what people are entitled to.

Firstly, everyone with diabetes should get an annual foot check.

These are important for identifying problems at an early stage, but many thousands of people are not getting them. And when they are being done, they are sometimes insufficiently thorough.

I have even heard of foot checks where the patient is not even asked to take their shoes and socks off!

Also, at the end of the check patients should be told what their risk status is, so if this does not happen then you should ask.

Secondly, if you have a foot ulcer then you need to be seen by a diabetes specialist foot care team as soon as possible.

It should certainly be within 24 hours, as an ulcer can deteriorate in a matter of hours.

Some areas are already doing well in terms of getting diabetes-related ulcers referred to these specialist teams within 24 hours.

But there are also poorly-performing areas where this does not happen.

Tragically, that omission can be the difference between someone keeping their foot and losing it.

If people with diabetes are not offered this level of care, they should insist on it and complain if they don’t get it.

But the point is that decent healthcare is something everyone should get as a matter of course.

For this to happen, we need to address the reason that large swathes of the country are doing so badly.

We know from speaking to health professionals that many of them are desperate to give people with diabetes the best possible foot care but feel unable to do so under the existing system.

This is why the government needs to show leadership on this issue by insisting that all areas of the country offer the same standard of care that is already available in the best areas at the moment and monitoring and managing standards to ensure that they are being delivered.

This greater political will is the only way to bring an end to the tragic postcode lottery of amputations and in doing so create an NHS that really does put feet first for people with diabetes.

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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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I live in Berkshire, UK with my wife, 19 month old son Jake and 4 week old baby daughter Amy – I also have my own Diabetes web site called http://www.mypump.co.uk .

I have had Type 1 Diabetes all my life which is 40 years and technology/treatment has changed so much for the better since I was a baby. It would have been around 1972 when I was first diagnosed with Diabetes as my parents noticed I would be drinking a lot and lethargic. I still remember when I was a very small child that my Mum used to inject me with my insulin using a stainless steel and glass syringe which was very big and did used to be quite painful to say the least but I only had one injection per day. Diabetes back then was far more difficult to control and your Blood Glucose or sugar levels where monitored using a urine stick rather than the high tech blood glucose meters we use today from Bayer Diabetes Care, Roche – Accu Chek, Lifescan etc which are far more accurate. When I was very young I did spend quite a lot of time in hospital from very bad Hypo’s where I actually would go into a Diabetic Coma and find myself waking up in Hospital which was awful. As time went on my control got better and of course technology also got better with small syringes and better insulin plus not forgetting the blood glucose meters we use today. Diabetes treatment changed fairly rapidly with me going from one injection per day to two which at the time was a huge step for me and then going onto an insulin pen with four to five injections per day (what a pain literally).
I never thought I would have any complications from Diabetes but unfortunately in 2003 after a visit to Vision Express opticians they said I had signs of Retinopathy eye complications and sent me to a specialist straight away. It was confirmed that I had Diabetes Retinopathy and would need laser treatment in both eyes to save my sight. I ended up having 10,000 burns of laser in each eye to try and stop tiny blood vessels bursting in my eye. The laser was very uncomfortable but did help but because the Retinopathy was so bad I then ended up having a Vitrectomy operation in each eye, this operation is not nice at all and involves a tube being placed in your eye and the clear liquid being taken out – your eye naturally replaces this cloudy fluid with its own clear liquid. My site now is stable but the operations have still taken there toll as my night vision is very bad (i.e. I can not see to drive a car) and my left eye central vision is damaged. I do think things could be far worse and I just hope they stay stable. I got to the point where I seemed to be injecting myself 4-6 times per day which is surely enough for anyone and this is why I spoke to my Diabetes team about the Insulin Pump. So after being on injections for almost 36 years I was lucky enough to have funding from my local PCT for an Insulin Pump which is amazing and has really changed my life for the better as it is so easy to use. I use a Medtronic Paradigm 722 and an Animas 2020 pump (No not at the same time lol) with each pump having plus/minus points but far better than constantly having injections for food or correction dose’s. An Insulin Pump basically delivers a small dose of insulin 24/7 as a background dose called a Basal Rate and each time you have a meal or snack you give yourself a boost of insulin to counteract the food called a Bolus dose. The pump did take some getting used to at first but once the tiny canular is inserted into the same are as you would inject you hardly know it is there. The pump itself is a similar size to a mobile phone and can be worn in normal places 24/7 and even while you are in bed (you do get used to it). One major thing you need to do when on an Insulin Pump is Carbohydrate Count to ensure the Bolus dose you give is enough to cover the food you have just eaten (See Diabetic Friend) but yet again this gets easy with time. My last Hba1c taken in June 2010 was 7.5 which I think is pretty damn good.

I hope you enjoy my Blog and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all http://www.mypmump.co.uk or why not follow me on Twitter @MyPump1).

Thanks for reading.

Andrew Borrett My Pump

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My new baby.


Hi

Well what a hectic few days we have had !

My wife gave birth to my beautiful daughter Amy on Sunday 6th February 6.16am weighing 8lb 31/2oz both mother and daughter are doing fine. They were released from Hospital Tuesday evening after being in hospital since Friday morning. It was lovely to have them home.

This experience has played havoc with my Blood Sugar as I am sure you can imagine – it has been both high and low due to mainly stress. My Blood Sugar now seems to be back on track which is also a relief. I have also been trying dried Dates as a sugar boost and much to my surprise they work great – each date is approx 5 carbs and they seem to work fairly fast – thanks Annette for the idea.

Please feel free to comment and don’t forget to check out http://www.mypump.co.uk.

Andrew Borrett

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