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D blog week 2015 banner


It’s Diabetes Blog Week! Thanks to Karen from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes for coming up with and coordinating this exciting annual event. It’s a great chance to discover other diabetes bloggers from around the world. Here’s my fourth entry for the week!

Welcome to Diabetogenic Live! Here is my first ever (and possibly/probably last ever) vlog. I’m talking about the changes I’d like see in the Land of Diabetes (which is nowhere near as much fund as the Land of Goodies or the Land of Birthdays or the Land of Do-As-You-Please).

A few words of warning before we start:

  1. I speak really fast.
  2. And I wave my hands around a lot.
  3. I speak really fast.

D blog week 2015 banner

It’s Diabetes Blog Week! Thanks to Karen from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes for coming up with and coordinating this exciting annual event. It’s a great chance to discover other diabetes bloggers from around the world. Here’s my third entry for the week!

Last week, as I skimmed through the topics for this year’s #DBlogWeek and saw Wednesday’s prompt, I gasped. It was an involuntary, sharp, sudden intake of breath and, somehow, it felt painful. I knew what I would write about. I knew I needed to write about this. It’s not only about diabetes, but then, it is, because everything when it comes to my health and my body is intrinsically linked to diabetes.

You see, it is time to let go. It is time to somehow acknowledge that I need to say good bye. It is time to release the pain and the hurt and the ache that, although it will to a degree always remain, is suffocating me in many ways. I need to unfurl it from the tight, protected ball that is so deeply placed inside of me and liberate myself from the hold it has.

Even though it is time to say goodbye to the pain, to the loss and the grief, I don’t want to. It’s not that I am bidding goodbye to the baby that, every day, I think about, or to forget about the loss.  But it is time to farewell the dream. 

It has been time for a while now, but I have held on stubbornly, resolutely, fiercely because I feel so sad and like I failed this little person before they could come into the world. By not letting go, I’ve somehow kept them alive and safe – at least in my heart and my mind. By feeling the pain, I have found a connection that was lost. 

And I’ve wanted to hold on to the dream of what could have been, and to spend daydream-y chunks of time each day imagining and wondering of little faces with long eyelashes and tiny heads of hair and miniature fingers wrapped around mine and the deep, even breathing of a sleeping baby. Because the baby was mine – was made from me, of me – and I didn’t get to actually see his face, brush the hair from her eyes, feel his fingers gently squeeze mine, hear and count her beautiful breaths.

I’ve held on for reasons that are confused and confusing and selfish and tied up with my very being. It makes me question everything I know of myself. Is this giving up? Is letting go giving up? Is it dishonouring the memory of my son or daughter? Have I stopped caring? Am I admitting defeat? Or acknowledging my shattered, damaged, broken body has won?

I don’t know and I will work through that over the next few months – with the some professional help.

But it is time. So. I say good bye. And it is time to start to forgive myself.

D blog week 2015 banner

It’s Diabetes Blog Week! Thanks to Karen from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes for coming up with and coordinating this exciting annual event. It’s a great chance to discover other diabetes bloggers from around the world. Here’s my second entry for the week!

I am an open book. I am an over sharer. I have no filter. I frequently blurt out things that people really don’t need to know. ‘I’m just going to have a pee’, I might exclaim, getting up from the table and rushing to the bathroom when really, a simple, ‘Excuse me for a moment,’ would have sufficed. I find ice-breaker exercises at work meetings excruciatingly difficult because I can rarely think of one thing that no one knows about me or something interesting about me that I haven’t shared.

I wish I could say that I only share stories that paint me in a positive light, where I am all elegance and class, and look like I have it all together. But apart from being a complete and utter lie (seriously, the word ‘klutz’ was invented for me), it would give a really false sense of what diabetes is about. So you get the embarrassing and hopeless and ridiculous. You get the stupid and the nonsensical and the repeated mistakes. All of it. I am sorry.

But, having said that, there are things that I do not write about on my blog, or even speak about with others. There actually are parts of living with diabetes that are difficult to write about because I don’t like how they makes me sound.

There are days that diabetes feels overwhelming. Of course I write about that. (Oh, don’t I write about that?!) But what you probably won’t see me write about – and what I rarely talk about – is that sometimes I think that I have been dealt a really lousy hand when it comes to my health.

I don’t compare conditions – you will never hear me say that I have it worse than you, or, conversely, that we should just get over ourselves because it’s only diabetes and it could be worse. (By the way, don’t ever, ever, ever say to someone with diabetes – or anything else for that matter – ‘It could be worse’. Seriously. Just don’t.)

But you know what? There are days – usually after a bout of nasty, recurring lows; or vulgar, unforgiving highs; or this freaking burnout that seems to have moved in permanently – that I do really want to say ‘Enough! It’s not my turn anymore’.

And the reason I don’t share this is because apart from making me sound pathetic, I can’t allow myself to get into the sort of funk where I just feel sorry for myself. It’s too easy to start to believe it; it’s too easy to start to think that I really do have it tough, that it really is unfair.

The truth is, it’s not unfair. It’s just life. We all have crosses to bear, health issues to manage, shitty things that happen. And I don’t want to be the person who focuses on the crap when there is, somewhere in there, some sort of silver lining – often in the shape of a jar of Nutella.

every jar of nutella


D blog week 2015 banner


It’s Diabetes Blog Week! Thanks to Karen from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes for coming up with and coordinating this exciting annual event. It’s a great chance to discover other diabetes bloggers from around the world. Here’s my first entry for the week!

I honestly believe it when I say that diabetes hasn’t stopped me from doing anything. I was diagnosed at 24 years at a really busy time where I was making plans, dreaming of my future and beginning to really think about who I wanted to be in this world.

And those plans I was making all happened. And the dreams came true. And I found my place in the world.

There are, however, some things of which I am particularly proud. The red velvet cake I made for Mother’s Day afternoon tea yesterday should probably get a mention. My book and boot collection make me proud as punch! I can recite pretty much the whole of Marx Bros’ A Night at the Opera. I can whip pretty much anyone at air hockey. But these things were never in question. I was always going to manage to achieve them. Diabetes or not.

But diabetes did make me wonder about some of the things I wanted to achieve. The dream of becoming a mum felt, for some time, as though it were slipping away. With diabetes mixed up in other serious health issues, getting pregnant – and staying that way – was something I thought would never happen . But that dream too came true in the form of a chubby-cheeked little baby girl who I am so privileged and lucky to call my daughter.

Diabetes doesn’t factor into the planning and shaping of my dreams and hopes. I wonder if it just makes me more desperate and determined to achieve. Is it despite or because of diabetes that we make plans – some large, some small – and then go all out to reach them?

because i'm crazy enough

I get the power of self talk and I also like to be positive. My diabetes has allowed that to a degree. It has played out in a way that hasn’t stopped me. Saying ‘I can’ has always ended up in ‘I did’ because, as well as being determined, the diabetes barriers have been minimal.

But that may not always be the case. I hope that if –when? – diabetes does throw up more challenges and makes things more difficult, I never stop dreaming and planning and hoping. I hope I never stop saying ‘I can do this’ – or even more so, ‘I did this’.


Diabetes is really not a topic of conversation much for me when outside of work. And outside of this blog. I know – hard to believe. But when I am around friends or with my family, there may be a passing comment, but it rarely dominates discussion.

Having said that, we had our neighbours over for dinner last weekend and the ‘Pumpless in Vienna’ story got an airing – and not by me! It was interesting to hear it told from the perspective of one of the main characters in the story.

And then yesterday, while I was in Geelong, I had lunch with my team mate Kim (this is Kim!) and not once in our hour long chat did we speak about diabetes. Not once. In fact, it wasn’t until I got up to leave and mentioned to the waitress that I would love to continue to sit by the fire, but had to rush off to give a talk, and she asked me what the talk was about, did the word ‘diabetes’ come up.

‘Oh. Is it about type 1 or type 2 diabetes?’ she asked. Kim and I looked at each other with surprise – and a little delight. ‘Well, in this case both. But usually we work with people with type 1 diabetes,’ I said. ‘Our waitress over there has type 1 diabetes,’ she continued. It’s possible that Kim and I squealed at that point. ‘I’m so annoyed that I need to leave now – I’d love to chat with her. But Kim here isn’t going anywhere!’ And out I walked. I hope they had a chance to catch up!

I love a good diabetes in the wild story!

Other things occupying my small mind this week.

Cards to send when you don’t know what to say

I love these! They have been all over my social media feeds. They are such a wonderful idea. Emily McDowell has created empathy cards for people with serious health conditions.

I love the one that says ‘I’m really sorry I haven’t been in touch. I didn’t know what to say’ because often that is the case. We don’t know what to say. But if we have a friend going through a tough time, it’s not about us or our awkwardness. This card shows that even though you feel clumsy with words, you are thinking of your friend.

This is my favourite – and probably most relevant to diabetes. Please don’t tell me about you grandmother who lost her limbs because of lemons. Okay?

Life gives you lemons

Numbers mean nothing on their own

I had a very cool Twitter exchange with the super clever Dr Rick Kausman after I tweeted a link to this terrific piece he wrote for The Conversation this week. Numbers (in this article’s case weight) only ever tell part of the story – and often not the most important part!

Quick! Time’s running out for MILES 2

Diabetes MILES 2 is about to close. Do it. Do it now! (Read about it. Read about it here!)

There is a place for Dr Google in our healthcare teams.

While seeking medical advice exclusively from Dr Google isn’t the best idea, there is no denying that the internet and social media are indeed a significant source of information that really can benefit people living with health conditions. I hear blogs are a good source of information and support. Apparently. So I’ve heard.

Have a read of this great piece from MD Joyce Lee. I think she gets it right when she says this:

Healthcare, wake up. It’s not the 1990s anymore. 
Social media, google, and the internet ARE medical therapy.

Dr House was wrong 

What do you know about Lupus? Dr House seems to believe that ‘It’s never lupus’, but actually, sometimes it is. I’ve grown up with an understanding of this autoimmune condition. My gorgeous mum has been living with it kicking its arse for more than 30 years.

Here’s some information to brush up your basic lupus knowledge. And considering that May is Lupus Awareness Month, now is a good time to get some facts!


Sorry - couldn't help myself.

Sorry – couldn’t help myself.

Taking a diabetes break

Well kind of. There are some lucky teens taking an artificial pancreas for a spin in the real world as part of a study being run out of Yale. Read all about it!

There will be no sleep

Next week is Diabetes Blog week. It’s gonna be huge!

Happy Mother’s day, Mum!

My Mum is brilliant. She really is. And when she sent me this text message bagging the paleo diet, she hit new levels of brilliance.

mum pete evans

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. If I can be half the mother you are, I’ll be doing well. Love you. x

It feels like a Ray Charles kind of day.


It’s the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, with thanks to the lovely Karen Graffeo from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. Today it’s diabetes in pictures. Come back tomorrow for the last instalment, and in the meantime, check out #DBlogWeek and follow along!

It’s Saturday and this morning, I had to work for a short while at a diabetes event. And when I was done, there was only one way to celebrate the real start of the weekend. With these:



A new cafe has opened up in my ‘hood serving amazingly good coffee and this fabulous dish. Yes – the doughcakes are delicious. They’re fluffy and light and filled with strawberry jam, which  oozes out onto the serving board in a most pleasing way. But the most exciting thing? The bacon ice cream. Yes. Bacon. Ice. Cream.

Has there ever been a better nod to the DOC than this very dish? The only way it could be better if it was served up by unicorns.

So yes. I can eat that, and thanks to that nifty little pump thing, insulin takes care of all the carbs.

There seems to be a little bit of a theme to my Saturday Snaps for Diabetes Blog Week. Last time this was the prompt, I wrote (and snapped) about cupcakes. Apparently, when it comes to pictures of diabetes, it’s all about the food for me!



It’s the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, with thanks to the lovely Karen Graffeo from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. Today we’re talking about some of the sneaky things we do to make life with diabetes a little easier. Come back tomorrow for the next instalment, and in the meantime, check out #DBlogWeek and follow along!

Oh diabetes, you are a hard task master! There is much to do, so anything I can that makes life that little bit easier is a blessing!

Some of my ideas are just plain stupid, some of them actually make my life with diabetes run a little smoother. Others, I guess, are just habit now. So here is how I manage some of my day-to-day diabetes tasks.

  • Insulin prescriptions are kept in the fridge next to my actual insulin supply. This way, I always know where the next prescription is, can easily check if it’s in date, making it easier when it’s time to fill a new prescription.
  • When I open the second to last bottle of insulin, I call my pharmacy and put in an insulin order. I used to do this when I opened the last bottle, but that kinda didn’t work so well for me when I dropped the bottle. And then stepped on it. In a pair of boots. Smashed to smithereens insulin bottle (and insulin) not useful at lowering BGLs.
  • Spent pump lines are brilliant for tying up roses!
  • Ugly, (but effective) bandages work as a pump holder/holster under sexy dresses (and don’t roll down my leg).
  • I keep a box of Golden Circle pineapple juice by my bedside. Easier to drink when it’s at room temperature and great for middle of the night hypos when the thought of eating anything is just beyond me.
  • But for when I am happy to eat something, I make sure that the jelly bean jar on the bedside is always full. I hate having to get out of bed to get food to treat a hypo!
  • Thanks to diabetes, my handbags are huge! So to make finding my meter easier, it’s always housed in a bright purse.
  • An in another nod to the huge handbag, I have my diabetes contingency purse that takes care of pretty much any diabetes emergency: pump out of insulin? No problem! Open vial of insulin at the ready. Ripped our pump line on door? Stupid, but doesn’t matter! I have a spare line. Cartridge in pump jammed? Never happened, but if it did, not a problem. Spare one in purse. Pump completely died and not wanting to work ever again? Shitty, but manageable with syringe and insulin.
  • As I walk out of the consulting room for my endo (or other HCP) appointment, I head straight to the receptionist to not only settle the bill, but also make the follow up appointment (or the next couple) and the date is entered straight into my calendar, with a one week out alarm to remind me. That way, no need to call to make an appointment – something that always gets put off!
  • Pathology tests that are needed for medical appointments are scheduled in my iPhone calendar for two weeks before the appointment. No point in showing up to discuss results if the tests haven’t been done!
  • I have made sure I have never-ending referrals for my endo and ophthalmologist. Just ask your GP and if they won’t do it, find a GP who will!

I’m sure that there are lots of other things and I’ll add them as I think of them. I am really excited about today’s prompt for #DBlogWeek because it’s hearing tips, tricks and life hacks from other people with diabetes that make MY life with diabetes easier. Can’t wait to learn lots of new things.

The ultimate in Friday office dancing – Nancy Sinatra and ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’.


It’s the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, with thanks to the lovely Karen Graffeo from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. Today we’re writing about mantras that help us get through the tough diabetes days. Come back tomorrow for the next instalment, and in the meantime, check out #DBlogWeek and follow along!

Those days that diabetes and I are on the same page, playing by the same rules, singing from the same hymn book are dreamy. They are the days that my CGM graph is a pretty, straight line with numbers that don’t move much and everything diabetes-related behaves. I love those days. I live for those days!

Unfortunately, there are the other days (and let’s admit it – there are many of them) when diabetes and I are not only on different pages, but we’re reading completely different books. We’re playing by rules from different games altogether and singing different tunes in different keys from different performers. I hate those days.

Those are the days that giving in, giving up and admitting defeat seems like a good idea.

But that is not an option. Because there is tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that. And in each of those days, diabetes will be there.

As clichéd as it sounds; as Pollyanna-ish it makes me feel, I tell myself there is always tomorrow.

Each day I get to wipe the slate clean and start again. And that next day? That day may be one of the days when everything plays nice. That’s what I believe in. That’s what I hope for.

The very hope of tomorrow.


It’s the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, with thanks to the lovely Karen Graffeo from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. Today’s we’re writing about the emotional side of diabetes. Come back tomorrow for the next instalment, and in the meantime, check out #DBlogWeek and follow along!

There is a dark place in my mind that is locked most of the time. Usually, I manage to keep it closed away and it remains hidden.

And when I am feeling strong and robust and life is moving along at its usual pace without too many problems, I am not tempted to go to the dark place, to open the door and examine what’s hidden.

But when I am feeling vulnerable – for whatever reason – and my defences are down, I peek. Stupidly, I go in, treading carefully, cautiously looking around. To the dark place.

The dark place is the fear that lives inside of me about diabetes. It’s the fear of today, of tomorrow. And of the unknown. It scares me and it scars me. It makes me feel fragile; breakable. And highlights how broken I am.

In the dark, I feel the relentless-ness and the never-ending-ness and the overwhelming-ness of diabetes that I usually simply expect – and accept. Suddenly, the day-to-day and more-than-manageable tasks that I need to do seem impossible, daunting, too big to contemplate.

The dark place is quiet, the only sound is my amplified heartbeat.

I’ve learnt to breathe slowly, see the dark place for what it is, allow myself time to visit, accept what is there and then close the door. I come back and face the light and life and the people I love. I go to work, I see my friends, I bake, I drink coffee, I listen to music. I look like I am living my life – and I am. But when I’ve visited the dark place, I am scared and look over my shoulder. I feel oppressed and fatigued. It takes me a while to fully come back – sometimes only a day or two, sometimes longer.

This is my emotional side of diabetes. This is the dark place. This is the exhaustion of diabetes.




It’s the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, with thanks to the lovely Karen Graffeo from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. Today’s prompt is to write a poem. Come back tomorrow for the next instalment, and in the meantime, check out #DBlogWeek and follow along!

I found today’s prompt a little difficult. Poetry is not my strong suit. I thought of perhaps writing a comical limerick, but The Grumpy Pumper beat me to it – even his post title is poetic! (Also, I was having trouble getting past a first line of ‘There was a girl from Nantucket….’)

Anyway, I thought perhaps I’d try a Haiku because I’ve always found the format so beautiful and magical. The economy of being able to convey something evocative and gorgeous in seventeen syllables is a remarkable skill, one that, unfortunately, I don’t possess.

Diabetes lives

My body, my bones, my mind.

Always. Forever.

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