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November 24, 2016 at 06:14PM
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November 24, 2016 at 06:14PM
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Join our first virtual challenge now!

Thanks to everyone for their messages of support about my year long fundraiser for JDRF.

Here is a link to virtual event I mentioned in my posts running up to the “launch”

http://ift.tt/2gKNFRS

I am calling it super proud of my t1 super hero.
I’m asking people to sign up and then walk or run at least 1km. Maybe in a onesie if you’re brave!

The event is taking part throughout January.

There are only 87 spaces left for this medal, I limited the amount of spaces to 100 because I paid for the medals out of my own pocket and I was scared nobody would want to join, but they are selling well!

Hope you will join.
100% profit to JDRF to help find a cure for T1 xxx

My Diaversary – 25 years strong

Today marks my 25 year diabetes diagnosis anniversary – my diaversary.
It’s a date in all honesty, I never expected to see, I lived a life of hedonism and living for today, because when I was diagnosed age 11, it was stated quite clearly, that my life would not be as long as my peers and I couldn’t expect to do the things that I wanted.
So, I didnt care, why should I care when my life would be short and ultimately, the end would be painful.

But then Malaika was diagnosed, my heart broke immediately upon diagnosis as I imagined her beautiful life being cut short, but then I was told that advances mean that she could live a normal, long happy life and I realised that the only obstacle in her way of achieving such happiness was me, I am her role model, everything I do, she replicates. I had to make changes. I had to be who I wanted her to be.

So I began running in January 16, slowly at first, and then I stayed slow, but my distances increased.
I ran the Cardiff Half in October 2016
I struggled every step of that race because of my diabetes, every single step diabetes wanted me to stop and as I was running, I decided that enough was enough,
I decided to stop wishing there was a cure, and to start helping.

2017 is dedicated to Mission: Find a cure, I am going to be doing 12 challenges, one per month to raise awareness about Type one diabetes, to raise funds for JDRF, and to encourage people to get out and get active.
I don’t want donations (although I obviously do) I want you to join me, every month you will have the chance to join a virtual event, to get out, get active and when you finish, get an amazing medal. Literally everyone has been catered for. As long as you can get out of the house, you can take part.

I have put my heart and soul into preparing for next year, physically, emotionally and digitally and I am very very proud to announce the launch of my website and the start of the #mightierthantypeone campaign
Please take a look at http://ift.tt/2gFkUGb
Please share my videos, pages, events, follow me on twitter, on here on instagram, read updates on the blog and then sign up for one….or all of the challenges.

I am so excited to be doing this, and for the positivity I have already received despite the launch date being today,

Please tune into Radio Wales this afternoon at 1620 to hear me talking about the campaign and then tell all your friends.

Thank you for reading! Now go sign up!

Malaika

We had a lovely day playing outside, had just eaten dinner and were sitting on the couch after bath time

Malaika climbed on my lap for a cuddle as she always did and was busy chattering away non stop

Then she stopped suddenly, I thought something on the TV had caught her attention, I looked down at her and saw something wasn’t right

She was staring blankly at nothing, her eyes were glazed over. I started saying her name over and over

And then her eyes rolled back into her head and she began to shake
I lay her on the floor and watched as her tiny body began convulsing, her mouth foaming.
I grabbed my phone and dialled 999

I was placed in a holding system, Malaika slowly stopped shaking, her beautiful olive skin was pale and clammy

She began to convulse again as a call handler answered the call after 7 minutes.
It was the longest 7 minutes in my life, I have never felt so helpless

Malaika hadn’t regained consciousness at this point but her colour had returned and she was breathing heavily but regularly

I think in the 7 minutes I waited for my call to be answered, every thought was filled with pain and loss.
I was lost.
I questioned what I could have changed, chastised myself for not playing more, for getting cross about things that clearly didn’t matter

The paramedics arrived minutes after I’d given my address and I carried my little girls limp body into the back of the ambulance

She was boiling hot I hadn’t noticed this before now.
She had another small seizure and then we arrived at the hospital.

A+E are a blur and we soon ended up on the children’s ward
She was diagnosed with a viral infection and the seizure was a result of her temperature rising too quickly and it was nothing to be too concerned about

A number of tests had been done upon admission except for urine, so before we left Malaika’s urine was dipstick tested and it showed a trace of glucose.
Again, I was told at this point there was nothing to be concerned about, but a finger prick glucose test was done to be sure.
Malaika’s sugar was 16, normal is 4 to 5.
I inmediately asked it was type 1, I was told not necessarily, that her little body had gone through so much and she was still feeling poorly, so they would retest in an hour.

A long hours wait passed and Malaika’s sugar was tested – it was 4
I breathed  an audible sigh of relief, it wasn’t diabetes and we were discharged

Life went on for the following four weeks. Malaika seemed to be more thirsty than normal but I assumed I was being paranoid
She was wetting through her nappy at least once a night in bed, I brushed it off – it was because she was drinking more in the day. Nothing to worry about.

On the 21st of September 2015 Malaika and her friend Chloe did a sponsored walk for an African children’s charity.
They walked 6 miles every mile the had a gift with some sweets to keep the energy and motivation up.

The following day Malaika had wet through 3 nappies in the night.
I decided to start a little notebook to see if she was drinking a lot or if I just thought she was.

After a big Sunday lunch Malaika asked for a drink and didn’t breathe as she frantically tried to drink it all.
Before she reached the end she said she was thirsty and asked for another drink.

It hit me like a lightning bolt, I remembered the  unquenchable thirst before my diagnosis and let her have as many drinks as she wanted and then did the inevitable blood test using my meter.

Her blood glucose was HI, that reading means her glucose was too high for the machine to read, which meant it was over 33

We went back to hospital and the diagnosis was confirmed.

My beautiful princess was diagnosed type 1 diabetic aged two and a half years on the 22nd of the September 26th 2015

Symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes are:
feeling very thirsty
urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
feeling very tired
unexplained weight loss

The story so far…

November 22 2016 will be my 25 year diabetes anniversary (diaversary) I’ve spent the last twenty something years in denial
Early 1991 I was a normal 10 year old, healthy, and carefree, my little life was perfect
Then, for no apparent reason I began to need to pee constantly, I was always thirsty, so thirsty that I didn’t care at all when I was banned from drinking juice and told to drink water.
I remember simultaneously sitting on the toilet and drinking from the tap of the bathroom sink not able to work out which was a priority.
My stepmum was a nurse so took a urine sample to the hospital to dipstick test, when there was no glucose in there, I was accused of attention seeking and was banned from drinking after 6 p.m.
In November 1991, following a call from the school about my frequent urination and being caught drinking from the tap, another urine sample was taken, this time to the GP who said there was massive  glucose present.
As we walked out of the GP, Dad told me I was diabetic I asked if that was why I was so thirsty, when he said yes I was overjoyed, not at being sick, but  because it was something and not just in my head.
My memory of the hospital today is still clear, I  remember people rushing around me, pricking my finger, talking about me but not to me.
I was given an injection of insulin and told to sleep, which was  impossible with the hourly glucose testing
By the morning I still didn’t really know why I was in hospital or why I was having my blood tested hourly.
Then Salli came, she was the paediatric diabetic nurse, she explained as well as she could what was happening, I gave my first injection and by lunchtime I was starving, having been nil by mouth to that point.
The following your morning the doctors induced a hypo, so i knew the feeling to watch out for and we were done, as soon as my parents were happy, they could take me home.
Adjusting to diabetic life was pretty easy, my parents made me food, I ate it. If I wanted something I couldn’t have, I accepted it, I don’t remember ever being bothered by the injections and I loved the attention I got when I had to test my sugar in school.
And then came secondary school, I was given more freedom with my food and I started to rebel, I became quiet and massively self-conscious, I just wanted to fit in and be like the other girls and this meant eating whatever they ate – chocolate, cakes, crisps –  you name it.

I worked out a way to manipulate my glucose meter into giving me the results I wanted so that nobody would realise how much junk I was eating during the day.
I was put into foster care at age 13, I had no idea how to manage my diabetes, and neither did any of my foster parents, so my diabetes was ignored.
As i reached my late teens, things got worse, I was introduced to alcohol and nights out, I still wanted to be just like everybody else and I ate and drank what I wanted, when i wanted. I never skipped an injection, but I was on set doses twice a day and it just wasn’t enough to cover the carbohydrate I was consuming,
Eventually testing my sugar levels wasn’t an option I didn’t want to be the oddball of the group so I made up my numbers before each clinic appointment.
A voice in my head told me I was slowly killing myself but I ignored it, not even the horror stories of feet amputation, dialysis and blindness put me off, I was in denial, I just wanted to be normal
Every clinic appointment I shut down, nodding in the right places, but in actual fact I was totally overwhelmed by this unfair life sentence that was hanging over me. As i reached 20, I was invited to clinics and courses but I didn’t see the point, besides, I was too busy. Life always got in the way.
I was admitted to hospital when I was in my early 20’s diagnosed with DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) I didn’t know what it was, or why it happened, instead I had numerous Doctors sternly telling me to have better control. I’d love to say I listened, but I didn’t know how to manage my diabetes and I didn’t know who or where or how to ask for help
So I carried on, it had been mentioned upon diagnosis in my presence, that whilst things were better than they were, diabetics still wouldn’t live as long as non diabetics, so with that in the very back of my mind. My mantra was ‘you only live once, may as well enjoy it while I can’
In my late 20’s I began carb counting and went on to multiple daily injections, the purpose was to improve my control,but all it did was give me the mental freedom to be even more damaging.
I never knew how much I was injecting, when I felt thirsty (symptom of high glucose) or I ate, I would dial up some insulin on my pen and inject it, if i still felt my sugar was high an hour later, I would give some more. If I felt like my sugar was low, I would eat a bar of chocolate until i felt my sugar was high and then the cycle began again
When I turned 30, I moved to Africa, I took a year’s supply of everything with me and off I went,
Age 32 my husband and I began trying for a baby, I had 9 miscarriages, each time I blamed the African food, or water  or too much walking, not once did I think it was diabetes, I was so distanced from the disease.
I knew my sugar was really up and down as I had been testing regularly during the pregnancies, but hadn’t been doing anything with the information
The next pregnancy was going to be my last attempt, and I researched pregnancy and diabetes and was horrified to find out how high sugar can affect the growing baby.
Still self managing the diabetes due to the absolute lack of diabetes care in a developing country I started trying, with all of my heart to reduce my sugars, not for my benefit, I still didn’t matter, but for the baby.
My overuse of insulin caused some significant low blood glucose and I had my first ever seizure, I don’t remember any of it, but my husband dealt with it as best he could and I thankfully survived
The pregnancy was very hard and I had numerous near misses with both the baby and my own life that ended up with me on nearly 6 months bed rest.
She was born in 2013 by C section, and was perfect.
Except for her heart, she was born with a murmur, which was diagnosed as pulmonary valve stenosis.
Regardless of people’s kinds reassurances, I knew that despite my best effort, I had caused that with my poor control.
I began falling off the wagon with testing because I was so tired and overwhelmed at being a new Mum in a 3rd world country, and by the time I returned to the UK I wasn’t testing at all, I was also forgetting to inject. My Hba1c (a measure of good control) was through the roof.
The absolute turning point for me was September 21 2015, when my beautiful little girl was diagnosed type one diabetic aged just 2 years old, suddenly everything I had been told clicked into place
I had to start taking care of myself because she would be learning from me.
My life changed immeasurably, I had to show her that diabetes is not the life sentence I grew up believing it was.
But the reality of amputated feet, blindness and kidney failure is no longer something I can ignore.
Every action I now take as  parent affects the chances of these things happening to my daughter in the future.
I began exercising, watching my food and religiously testing my sugars and my last Hba1c was in the ‘normal’ range.
I started running in January 2016 and in October 2016 my children watched me run the Cardiff half marathon.
I wish I could say that all of those years I spent abusing my body hasn’t affected me, but it has.
I have some issues with my eyes and I have lost some feeling in my feet,but it’s not painful yet, and hopefully with good control I can stop it spreading, I’m just thankful that for the time being, it’s the only complication i‘ve suffered.
I’m finally at peace with myself, at a place in my head where I no longer feel burdened by my condition. I’ve learned to embrace it instead of hiding it away. I spent all of those years wasted in denial and rebellion, but i’ve finally come to realise, you only live once, make it a long healthy one