Diabetes Christmas in July

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve been reflecting on my own diabetes quite a lot of late. Now that the dust is starting to settle on my transition to an insulin pump, I feel like there are no more corners for me to turn if I cannot make this work for me. When I made the decision to get the insulin pump earlier this year, part of my brain convinced myself that this would be the answer to getting diabetes down pat. Now that the dust has settled, I feel like I have no more excuses not to be managing my diabetes to the best of my ability.

Don’t get me wrong, I am making some promising inroads with the pump. Yet I often find myself wondering what a future with diabetes holds in store for me.

I wonder if there will ever be a cure for diabetes. Technology is amazing. I hear of incredible research breakthroughs every week. I’ve seen pictures of an artificial pancreas that could be on the market well before the end of this decade recently. I shared some incredible T1D research involving skin cells only days ago on my Facebook page here. I watch the Open Artificial Pancreas System (APS) movement driven by individuals who have hacked their insulin pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitors to communicate with each other. Yet I wonder if that cure, or that breakthrough, or that technology, will ever make its way to the average joe like me.


At work, we always joke about winning the lotto. We often play together when it jackpots, and every time it does we talk about buying suitcases and booking a trip to Las Vegas straight away. So many people my age seem to prioritise holidays, travel and leisure. Sure, I love a holiday as much as the person next to me. But I guess I’m the kind of person who leans more towards having a sense of security in life before I’m ready to jump on board a plane. Diabetes will do that to you…

I fantasise about the doctor, the dietician, the diabetes educator, chef and personal trainer that I would hire specifically for me if I won the lotto. I fantasise about paying the exorbitant costs of getting the uber cool touch screen t-slim insulin pump to Australia just for me. I fantasise about the smartphone-integrated insulin pump or glucose meter that I would pay to have manufactured specifically for me.


As I watched Andy open a Christmas in July themed OzDOC chat on Tuesday with our “grown up” diabetes Christmas wish, I didn’t have to think about my answer at all. I wonder if I will ever feel a complete sense of having this condition under control. 

Photo credit: Beta Bionics and Tandem Diabetes.

Pre-Bolussing, For the Win

I was pretty slack around actually giving my insulin doses when I was on injections. I would often find myself giving insulin after I had eaten dinner, simply because I couldn’t be bothered getting up from the table to grab my pen and work out my insulin dose. Then there was the issue of having to dose again if I’d eaten more than I’d anticipated at dinner, so I opted to be lazy and bolus once after I had eaten my dinner.

This is one of the reasons why I absolutely love having the insulin pump attached to me all the time. There really is no excuse not to be giving my insulin when I eat. Although this is not the reason I switched to an insulin pump, it does offer me a level of convenience that I simply did not have on injections.

Before the pump, my daily insulin dosing was full of lousy guesstimates, which often left me going too low or too high after meals. Last month, I wrote about how the pump had given me an added focus on my carbohydrate counting, and I’m happy to report that I am still counting my carbs diligently today.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve slipped into a really good morning routine that sees me pre-bolussing my breakfast insulin dose 15-30 minutes before I eat every day. Breakfast is probably the easiest meal to do this for, because my morning routine is almost identical each day. I usually deliver my insulin, sit and drink my coffee, go and get dressed and then come back and have my breakfast – usually a warm bowl of Oats or a slice of toast slathered with butter. Delaying the carbs until my insulin starts working usually helps to prevent my blood sugar from spiking too high after eating. I’ve been pleased with the results so far, and I’m hoping to make this a little more routine throughout the rest of the day.

Pre-bolussing also makes the prospect of higher GI foods such as whiter breads and pastries less daunting. They used to cause a lot of frustration in the aftermath, but nowadays I find that I am not so reluctant to treat myself if I wish to.

Another thing that makes me really happy these days is that I am actually using far less insulin compared to injections. This was really hard to believe when Gwen first told me on pump day, but it is so true. My insulin to carb ratio is much wider than the one I used on injections. My basal insulin provides precise coverage to match the time of the day, and my level of activity. With diligent carbohydrate counting, my insulin dosing is far more accurate. When I think about it, I am actually having far less highs and lows after meals as a direct result of my insulin dosing.

When I compare all of this to my life prior to the pump, I am working my butt off with my diabetes at the moment. I’m super proud that I am still so focussed after two and a half months on the pump, even through burnouts. I feel that I am well on track to seeing an improvement in my hba1c result at the end of the year.