Tag Archives: Type 1 Diabetes

World Diabetes Day

It’s world diabetes day, when we hope people will take note of diabetes and try and learn a little about it.

Back at the turn of the 20th century doctors knew that there was diabetes, but they had not worked out there were more than one kind. The starvation diet was used as a cure all – and it certainly did help lots of very over weight diabetics at the time. Children and thin adults tended to just die.

The starvation diet consisted of black coffee and whiskey or boulon and then vegetables were gradually introduced until the patient was sent home on 2000 calories a day (not starvation obviously).

Although insulin began to be used in the early 1920s which helped prevent quite so many people dying. It wasn’t until 1935 that the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes was discovered by Sir Harold Percival, who published his findings in The Lancet in 1936. Type 1 was thought to be mainly in children and youngsters and was nick named “juvenile diabetes”.

These days 10% of diabetics are type 1 and must use insulin to regulate their body sugars and stay alive. The other 90% have type 2, which sometimes gets so difficult to manage that the person will become insulin dependant.

St Anthony of Padua who died of his diabetes is a patron saint for Diabetics. I have read that  st. Josemaria Escriva is another saint for diabetics.

There’s a lot of difficulties for people with type 1, trying to stay on top of their insulin and glucose and keep those nasty keytones at bay. Spare a thought and a prayer for all diabetics today.

Saints Anthony and Josemaria ora pro nobis



Fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases; where do they come from?

While many doctors and researchers say that fibro has been around since Job talked of his aching sinews and that diabetes went undiagnosed even as St Anthony of Padua died of it (probably type 2) and that ancient medics like Galen talked of sweet tasting urine (not a modern way of diagnosing thank heaven!) it seems that in modern times these illnesses have reached huge proportions.  Why is this?

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Nordisk has pulled out of Greece. Hope it doesn’t do that to the UK!

Say a prayer for the diabetics of Greece facing what must be a pretty frightening prospect that Nordisk is pulling out of their health system.

If our own broke country follows Greece and our NHS finds it can’t be bothered to sack people with clipboards and stop so much unnecessary stuff (like abortions) then we might face the same problem. I would be very very scared if Josh couldn’t access his insulin. (He would be scared too.)

I pray that when the cuts come to our NHS it will be where cuts are needed and not to life saving drugs like insulin.

UPDATE Josh tells me Nordisk made a 21% profit last year globally. He learned this off his diabetes forum. Now if they are that financially healthly it seems to me they could try something better than they are offering Greek diabetics right now. Perhaps they could say children and those who are still unstable could keep Novo Rapid and Glargene while the others change over to the older cheaper insulins and the freebie they are offering.

I can see they are trying to offer something to Greece and truly the Greek government and their fiscal irresponsibility are to blame; same as here in the UK; bit the Govt wont suffer over this-people with diabetes will.

Thyroid tests

It was Thyroid Awreness Month last month.

Iona is in the process of having tests for her thyroid function. She has had a couple of blood tests for TSH and on Thursday we went to the hospital for her to have an ultrasound scan of her thyroid. The Children’s is a good hospital (although I do get a bit fed up of the amount of time I seem to spend there!) They were very thourough. At the end of the scan instead of the usual blank faced “The doctor will let you know,” approach we have all come to know and hate, they were up front about what the scan had shown. She has some blood flow problems around the thyroid and some lumps and bumps on it. The radiographer asked another radiographer to double check because he said he was used to smaller children’s thyoids and wondered if he was accurate in what he’d seen.

Anyway, they will send the results to the paediatrician and he will look at them alongside the blood results and hopefully we’ll get some info on what happens next soon.

My guess is Iona will be referred to an adult services endochronologist- at least I hope so as she should have further follow up.

Thyroid problems are more common in families with autoimmune disease and type 1 diabetes is closely associated with thyroid diseases.

We’ll see how ti goes.

World Diabetes Awareness Day

P1010029 It’s World Diabetes Day today. aboutworlddiabetesdaylogo

Here is Josh with his t-shirt, blood glucose monitor reading a surprisingly healthy 7.2!

He has his NovoRapid pen full of lovely insulin.

There is a lot of misunderstanding around diabetes. So I thought I would answer some questions and try and correct some of those misunderstandings.

Josh has Type 1 Diabetes otherwise known as Juvenile or childhood diabetes.  You do not need to be a child to be diagnosed however, Type 1 can start up any time before the age of 35 and in rare cases even later. It is an auto-immune disease and is NOT at all linked with what the person ate.

Type 1 is controlled by injecting insulin and counting carb intake. However in the early months, even up to a year, getting blood sugars under control can be extremely difficult. Josh has been diagnosed 7 months (5th May09) and has nowhere near got regular healthy blood sugars. We are still messing around trying to work out just how much insulin fits his carb intake. It seems to vary by the day.

The symptoms are thirst, weeing a lot, hunger, dry mouth, tiredness, and for a lot of pre-diagnosed type 1 people there is depression and anxiety.

It is apparently more common to be diagnosed in the Winter and Spring.

Once diagnosed the amount of insulin required will vary from patient to patient and in Josh’s case from injection to injection.

He tests his blood glucose about 4 to 8 times a day or more if required depending on activities. From the glucose levels he can work out how many units of Novo Rapid the short acting insulin to inject. He decides this based on food intake and activity-and at the moment this is a hit’n’miss game.

At night he injects a long acting insulin Glargine to get him through to breakfast. He has pens for this which come ready loaded and he dials up the units he requires.

He has to carry glucose tablets and a bottle of sugar loaded Fanta around at all times.

There is no real understanding yet on what triggers type 1 but there is a view there may be a virus and it does have a genetic factor. I have read that siblings of someone with t1d have a 1 in 10 chance of being diagnosed.

The Story of Josh…so far


Josh likes using heavy duty tools so he had great fun with the chain saw and now we have lots of lovely chunks of wood for the winter. His dad never got a look in 🙂

We went off to the hospital together yesterday to meet with the dietician. Normally Josh goes off on his own for appts but this one was all about carb counting so I went along too as I need to have some understanding of it as I cook most of the meals here.

His sugars have been climbing recently so we were wondering if the small window of pancreatic activity was coming to an end. We were told when he was first starting insulin that often the pancreas kicks back in and those poor old tired beta cells make one last effort to make insulin themselves before finally giving up the ghost. This can lead to a lot of hypos as Josh soon discovered. Now his sugars are climbing he finds spending some solid time with a chain saw helps bring them down again. Chain saw therapy. Umm.

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Family Life. Diabetes, rain, the moon and a nice cup of tea.

Yesterday Josh went off to a conference, entering the sub-culture of diabetes. He met a couple of fellow Type 1s there but most people had type 2 apparently. It was an interesting day for him where he met with other type 1 diabetics and learned about the post code lottery for NHS provision. My type 2 people couldn’t get the strips they needed for blood testing and other people couldn’t get clinic appointments when things went wrong. Josh is fortunate in that after a few hiccups (mainly with a dopey pharmacist) he is getting all his equipment and seeing clinic staff as and when he needs to.

He wants to get involved in some of the research into type 1 which is still proving to be a bit of a mystery as to its cause.


Yesterday the biggies took the littlies out to the park for an hour. They grabbed the moment when the sun appeared from behind the clouds and set off. By the time they reached the park they needed to take shelter under the slide. After adventures in wetness and going to buy gingerbread men from the local shop they headed home just in time for a full out thunder storm. So what does a mum do when six soggy people arrive on her doorstep?

Strip the little ones and get them towel dried -wrap them in dressing gowns and make a huge jug of hot chocolate and a cuppa for Josh. (or Duppadee as Heleyna calls it). Now, that’s better.

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What to do with an empty insulin pen?

Did you make that perfect birthday cake and forget the candles? Did you have a power cut and need a light? Worry not! Josh is at hand with his empy Novo Rapid and Solo Star pens. Novo20FlexPenOnce they are empty he wonders what to do with them. (This is Josh remember-the man who built a boat thing about of empty Guiness cans and called it The Black Arthur before launching it into a huge puddle during a massive downpour).

Josh takes out the glass inner tube and fills them with various things; one had rum, but that didn’t work. He tried olive oil, but for some reason that didn’t work either and finally vodka.

And there is a lamp-candle thing ready for any celebration!

Home ed Noos cam June 09 006

He gets through a lot of these pens. If I buy a bottle of vodka and a roll of string (for the wicks) we could have light in all circumstances.


Obama is wrong (again) on Stem Cell Research

Not long after gaining the Whitehouse President Obama decided to overturn his predecessors ban on embryonic stem cell funding and went ahead to fund it. I can’t imagine why he chose to do this when the economy is creaking at the seams.

Therese picks out the following quote from Obama talking at Notre Dame which shows to me the President is ignorant of what disabled people really think and want and has the nerve to pit emotionalism against a science he patently doesn’t understand.

Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.”

Lori Janeski puts it very well.  Like my own son she is not awaiting a cure from the mass slaughter of human embyros but from the much more realisitic hope of the work being done with adult and umbilical research.

Adult stem cell research is moving along at a fast pace. There really is hope that beta cells or even a whole working pancreas could be made for transplant in the future.

But money that could be used to push this forward is being side tracked and wasted on embyronic research that has NO value and is ethically appalling.

Obama has openly said he would happily have his own grandchild aborted. He is not a man who comes across has understanding the value of each person no matter what. No one in their right mind would sacrifice the life of one child on some blind hope they could help another. It’s not good ethics, not good science and not good sense. Why can’t Obama actually LOOK at the evidence and put all that funding into adult stem cell research where it can do some good?

Type 1 Diabetes: Josh update

april09 054

Josh is in the early stage of trying to get on top of his diabetes. The Diabetic clinic have been very good, phoning regularly and checking up on him. They did say they would see him in 6weeks but as his glucose remains in the 20s they will see him next week.

American numbers are quite different. I reckon the 20s for us is in the high300s for American numbers. I am sure Therese knows all this far better than I do.

Josh has been told to rest and when he does that keeps his ketones under the magic 0.6 but he has to move around too and then they start climbing up towards 2 again. I think he just needs to put on some weight to help with this.

He is feeling much better and it is lovely to see him more awake and more energetic.

Getting to grips with the complicated prescription is proving a challenge for us and the pharmacy. There is so much stuff to have. So far there has been a lack of Xceed strips, no SoloStar pen available and he gave him the wrong size needles somehow.

The clinic have changed Josh’s doses so he is on 18 units SoloStar and 8 then 6 and 6 of NovoRapid. We are assuming that will have to change again as Josh’s glucose levels remain high.

Therese is doing some excellent posts on Type 1 Diabetes.

Part One

Part Two autoimmune

Part Three Treatment

Part Four-Pump Treatment. Josh isn’t doing this, but may do in the future.

I’ve also found mooching through THIS BOOK very useful and thought provoking. The information about cows milk in particular caught my attention. I was intolerant of cows milk as a child and have always tried to keep the children’s milk drinking very moderate. It is interesting that they think even breastfeeding doesn’t necessarily protect against type 1.

I was also glad to see in this book that there is encouragement for self assessment of insulin need. Josh is really keen to do this already, so I hope the clinic will support him in learning enough to do so.

Ronan wants to understand what is happening to Josh and I think Grandma Sandy’s site looks great for this.

Therese, if you or anyone else has sites, books or other such things you think will be of use, please do say so.

Josh has type 1 diabetes

august-08-032First I would just like to say thank you for all the prayers. Yesterday was a tough day but it went well.

Josh hasn’t been feeling good for a few weeks now and he has lost more weight than is good for anyone (and he has never been even remotely overweight). He had all the classical diabetic symptoms but like a man he refused to go to the doctors.

So I bought the dipsticks. The results were alarming -so much so that even Josh agreed he would go to the docs. I managed to get an emergency appointment at the GP yesterday morning and he was excellent. He diagnosed Type 1 diabetes (as we had suspected) and after a firm phone call to the hospital we were told to turn up for assessment and he would probably be admitted. We spent the afternoon at the hospital and Josh was extra fortunate in that the diabetic nurses were available and we were sent to the clinic where he had his training and first insulin injections, both of which he self administered. His glucose was over 30 so the check simply said ‘High’- though it did fluctuate between 26/27.8 to High.

He has had all fingers pricked and lots of blood taken. His ketones were very high but dripped to 4.7 and are now 1.5 which is much better. The high ketones explained the 2 stones of weight he has lost over the last few weeks. His blood acids were okay thank God.

Josh was allowed to come home-but to his relief. He has been back this morning and since being home we have been really impressed as the clinic staff have phoned him three times already and will continue to do so until his insulin dose is decided on and his glucose and ketones are within normal range.

He came home last night with a bag load of kit. Two insulin pens (two different types), reflocheck, needles, strips, pouches, booklets…there’s a lot to take in at first. He is handling it well. He is so thin he can only inject the top of his legs at the moment, but we are hoping he will soon put back some weight and be able to use other sites soon.

I have to say he already looks better. Not so grey and he is more awake and even managed to sleep most of the night last night (no more up and down to the loo). He is still thirsty, but not as badly and he can swallow now without difficulty.

In case you’re interested. He takes Glargine 16 units (from the rather snazzily named SOLOSTAR pen) and then NovoRapid 6units three times a day just before meals. That’s changed from 4 units yesterday and may change again.

It’s good to see him looking better. Keep him in your prayers and thank you everyone. Thanks especially Antonia for your information.

I also have to thank the home ed family who come here on Tuesdays. When they arrived we had just returned from the GP and were to head off to hospital. J was unfazed and took over the home edding for the afternoon while her husband did the hospital run for us dropping us off and picking us up early evening.

We got home just in time to baby sit for another home ed family, LOL. It was a busy day!

Alistair had carer’s leave today so he did the clinic trip with Josh this morning.

RONAN’s Hospt Appoitment.

A few weeks ago Ronan told me he would see out of his blind eye. It was just peripheral but we let the hospital know. He had only just been discharged! Fortunately we didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of re-referral and got todays appointment through quite quickly.

They tested his eyes and he does have some vision. He can’t read anything with his blind eye and can really only make out large shapes and movement but can identify shapes (hand, face etc). It doesn’t seem this is enough to make it worth operating though she will check with the consultant and phone us. If he wants to see Ronan another appointment will be sent. If not, then discharge again. I’m not really holding out hope although I think it was worth it anyway.