You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘#DBlogWeek’ category.


It’s the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, with thanks to the lovely Karen Graffeo from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. The first topic for the week asks us about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Here’s what I have to say! Come back tomorrow for the next instalment, and in the meantime, check out #DBlogWeek and follow along!

I am not in any way foolish enough to believe that what I write on this here little blog or the work I do as a diabetes consumer (patient) advocate has the ability to change the world.

But I am confident enough to believe that my messaging is strong and that I generally stay on topic.

There are many things that I feel passionate about when it comes to being a diabetes advocate, but nothing more so than who is in charge of driving the diabetes bus. And that is the person with diabetes.

There is so much written about patient-centred care. Google it and you’ll come up with a…well a google of links. But despite much of it talking the talk, I’m not sure that it really walks the walk. The idea of patient-centred care is often at odds with policies and procedures of healthcare settings making it difficult for the person with diabetes (or other medical condition) to really be in the driver’s seat.

For the person with diabetes to be truly in control (and I’m not talking control in the sense of their BGLs, I mean in the sense of decision making) everyone needs to really subscribe to the model where the patient is smack bang in the middle of the picture, directing traffic, and making the ultimate decisions.

This doesn’t mean that it is done in isolation. No. It’s the exact opposite really.

It means that with support from HCPs, from diabetes organisations, from peer groups and from the health system, the person with diabetes is armed with all the information needed, given the right guidance, shown all the choices. And then, with all of this, they make a decision as to what they believe is the best thing for them. Nothing is withheld, everything is discussed, all options are in the table and considered.

I have too often had the options taken away from me. While I am pretty good at standing up for myself, it is exhausting at times to have to fight for my care to be the way I want it to be. And it’s frequently when we are at our most vulnerable that we have to fight the hardest. Hospital admissions (planned or emergency), times of extreme diabetes burnout or when we’re struggling to stay on track are the times that we often need to stand up for ourselves…even if we don’t have the energy, the inclination or the desire to.

When push comes to shove if I am charged with dealing with this condition 8,736 hours a year, then I AM driving this bus. The role of the support team around me is to give me suggestions and options about how to navigate, but then let me decide if I’ll turn left or right. And come along for the ride – even if they don’t necessarily agree with the road I’ve chosen.

Today, I’ve also written a post at the Diabetes Australia – Vic blog about another cause close to my heart – The Diabetes Stigma Project. Have a read!

Blog week #4

It’s Diabetes Blog Week thanks to Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. This week, over 150 diabetes bloggers from all over the world are taking part and sharing stories about their lives with diabetes. This is the second year I’ve participated and I can’t wait to read what everyone else is up to. So, here we go with Friday‘s topic……

I’m afraid that I have no desire to swap type 1 diabetes for another chronic health condition. I’m not interested in starting all over again and becoming an expert in something I had no real desire to learn about in the first place. ‘At least it’s not cancer,’ I’ve had people tell me in an excellent example of apple/orange comparison. I’m sorry, but I don’t like the idea that one condition is a consolation prize. Diabetes certainly may be a manageable condition but, unless a transplant is involved, there is no opportunity for remission. It’s also a condition that doesn’t understand the concept of taking a break or letting up on the care required to look after it as best I can.

For me, the silver lining in this whole diabetes palaver has always been the people I’ve met.

The DOC has been an amazing source of support– there is never a time of day when I can’t log onto something and find another PWD up and ready to shout out a word of encouragement. There have been many times a middle-of-the-night low has been accompanied by someone from the other side of the world chatting away and then checking in on me. Feeling alone when you join the DOC family is impossible.

One recurring theme in the DOC is annoyance aimed at people who don’t get what we’re going through and those who say stupid things. I see this again and again and it is one of the reasons that I am a lot more careful about what I say to people I know, or meet for the first time who are living with a different medical condition to mine. I have no idea what someone living with a condition like Parkinson’s or cystic fibrosis goes through, so it would be ignorant of me to think I could understand and start offering advice on how they could better manage. I like to think that I am far more sensitive to the sensibilities of living with a chronic health condition and while I will never say ‘I know what you’re going through’, I can appreciate the frustration of having to consider your health at times when you would rather just be enjoying a cupcake.

I do wonder if my approach to other people with health conditions is because of my personal experiences or just plain common sense and good manners. The things people say are sometimes insensitive, thoughtless and plain stupid. But you know, you can’t cure stupid; which is certainly one chronic condition that I wouldn’t trade diabetes for.

Follow Diabetes Blog Week on Twitter by searching the #DBlogWeek tag.

Blog week #4

It’s Diabetes Blog Week thanks to Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. This week, over 150 diabetes bloggers from all over the world are taking part and sharing stories about their lives with diabetes. This is the second year I’ve participated and I can’t wait to read what everyone else is up to. So, here we go with Thursday‘s topic……

It’s very easy when we’re talking about our accomplishments with diabetes to think only of the ‘big stuff’. Yesterday, I wrote about the day my daughter was born and when it comes to diabetes achievements, that day and the nine months leading up to it get a huge tick.

But I think that for me the greatest achievement has been learning to live side-by-side with this condition. It took me a while to understand where diabetes fit into my life and it wasn’t until after I’d actually accepted that I needed to grieve for the life that was that I realised that I could live, live well and be happy despite diabetes.

I am really pleased that I can honestly say that diabetes hasn’t stopped me from doing anything. I have never used it as an excuse (okay – those times I pushed in line at a cupcake shop don’t count, right?) and I have never felt that I should be pitied for having diabetes. It’s part of my lot in life and as crap as it can be at times, it’s become part of the fabric of my life.

I never thought that I’d be able to see diabetes as ‘just there’ rather than a big, scary thing that needed to be controlled. Perhaps it was when I gave up the need to micro-manage every aspect of living with a chronic health condition that I worked out how to co-exist with it. This absolutely doesn’t mean that I don’t hate it at times and wish it wasn’t there – of course I do. Accepting that it’s here forever was tough and made me angry for a while. And of course, I get frustrated and pissed off when it rears its stupid head when I just don’t have time for it, but that’s the nature of diabetes.

I can’t change the fact that my beta cells took a permanent holiday without me. I can’t change the fact that for the rest of my life I will be living with diabetes. I can’t change what’s around the corner – even though I can do what I can do try to minimise risks. I can’t change that there are no guarantees.

But I have accepted that it’s here. And I feel pretty proud of the life I am living because of and despite diabetes.

Follow Diabetes Blog Week on Twitter by searching the #DBlogWeek tag.

Blog week #4

It’s Diabetes Blog Week thanks to Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. This week, over 150 diabetes bloggers from all over the world are taking part and sharing stories about their lives with diabetes. This is the second year I’ve participated and I can’t wait to read what everyone else is up to. So, here we go with Wednesday‘s topic……

They may be few and far between, but there have been days where I feel that I have conquered diabetes and none more so than the day my daughter was born. Even though it was eight-and-a-half years ago, I can still remember every detail of her delivery and first day in my arms so clearly.

Even though the day was all about meeting her, diabetes was prominent. It was because of diabetes that she was delivered at just under 38 weeks. It was because of diabetes that I decided to have a caesarean delivery. It was because of diabetes that the operating theatre was full of medics including a paediatrician. It was because of diabetes that the moment she was lifted from my body and briefly held up for me to see, she was whisked off to have her heal pricked to check her BGL. It was because of diabetes that she was later taken to the Special Care Nursery because her BGLs had dropped.

But despite diabetes – despite all the things I’d been warned about and the things I read – I had a beautiful healthy baby girl. She is my greatest achievement and these memories are my most precious. Despite diabetes, I was up by the afternoon visiting her in the nursery and breastfeeding her as I muddled my way through my own low blood sugars.

I wonder if I will ever forget the details of the day. The way Aaron and I looked at each and gasped when we heard her voice for the first sound; the way I tore away at her swaddling so I could feel her skin against mine when I first held her in the minutes after she was delivered; the way her hands opened and closed around my finger; the way that Aaron looked as he held her when I was wheeled back into my room after recovery. Everything seemed right – our much wanted baby was with us and she was healthy.

I don’t think of this day as a ‘diabetes day’. It’s the day of my daughter’s birth. But as with all my days, diabetes is there. This particular day makes me so proud because of the way I was able to manage my diabetes; deal with it in a way that worked and then get on with the important things. The most important thing ever – meeting my daughter.

Follow Diabetes Blog Week on Twitter by searching the #DBlogWeek tag.

It’s Diabetes Blog Week and this is my Tuesday post which was first published at the Diabetes Australia – Vic blog.

Blog week #4

It’s Diabetes Blog Week thanks to the very clever Karen Graffeo at Bitter~Sweet Diabetes. This week, over 130 diabetes bloggers from all over the world are taking part and sharing stories about their lives with diabetes. This is the second year I’ve participated and I can’t wait to read what everyone else is up to. I’m in for a lot of very late nights! So, here we go with the topic of Monday……

Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?

I have frequently commented on how lucky I am to have a health care team that consists of some pretty amazing people. My endo actually does read my blog and recommends it to not only other people with diabetes, but also to endos-in-training. I completely understand how unusual this is, but it makes me realise just how fortunate I am to have a HCP who has some insight into my real-life with diabetes. Or at least, the things I’m prepared to share!

So, because of that, I’m going to concentrate on the second part of today’s topic – the things we don’t want them to see.

And the truth is, there’s nothing I don’t want them to see. I could say that I’d prefer they didn’t know about the days where my meter doesn’t see the light of day as it languishes around the bottom of my bag; or the days where my CGM graph looks like a mountain range; then there are the days where I know I should do a line change, but can’t be bothered and just deal with the higher BGLs and the angrier and redder cannula site; oh, and the culinary delightful days where my total nutritional intake consists of three coffees, a jam doughnut and a piece of toast with Nutella.

But I believe that this may be called life. And it’s important that they know these days are kind of typical! I am not perfect in any aspect of my life, so why should I pretend to be when it comes to my diabetes? And why should my HCPs be presented with only the stuff I do ‘right’?

I want my HCPs to see real-life with diabetes; which is basically real life. With diabetes sprinkled on top! We all have so much more going on. Diabetes? Of course it’s a part of me, but it needs to fit in with the rest of my life. And for me, that’s one of the most difficult things about life with diabetes. How do I manage to do the things I’d like to do to feel healthy, strong and well but keep things in perspective?

Actually, perhaps that’s one of things I’d like HCPs to see and know – I’m trying. Each and every day I’m trying. And that is more than enough!

Follow Diabetes Blog Week on Twitter by searching the #DBlogWeek tag.

Follow Diabetogenic on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Read about Renza

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.



%d bloggers like this: