The Not-So-Serious Stuff.

When I first started writing here on my blog, I remember seeing lots of the more serious stuff from the diabetes orgs. That diabetes is the leading cause of this, and puts you at a greater risk of that. I can still remember seeing all of those messages, and wondering where all of the positive stuff was. In a small way, I just wanted to show a different side to diabetes. A more positive side.

I can remember wanting to write about things like Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, graduating from uni and blowing out the candles on my birthday cake. I wanted to churn out those positive messages about people with diabetes being superheroes, able to do absolutely anything that they set out to do. Because after all, why shouldn’t we?

At the time, living with diabetes was hard. I had no peer support. I didn’t feel confident navigating this condition around my life. I didn’t even know what the hell I was doing. This crazy journey has also taught me for a second time that living with diabetes is hard.

It’s hard playing pancreas. It’s hard finding the mental space and physical energy to manage this condition. It’s hard to give myself encouragement when I’m so invested in the numbers and only have myself and my long term health at stake. It’s hard not to be consumed over how well placed I am to continue to be able to afford my diabetes care into the future.

Diabetes is serious. As I’ve began to take my condition more seriously, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of getting all of those annual screenings. I want to be aware of those things that diabetes might put me at risk of developing. I want to engage in some of those more difficult conversations. In 2019 people are still dying from missed diagnoses and the exorbitant cost of insulin abroad.

Diabetes tools and tech have also come a long way in the short time that I’ve lived with it. I remember my diabetes educator requesting a special USB cable and software from Abbott just so that I’d be able to see my BGLs on a computer screen back in 2010. Today those readings send wirelessly to the mySugr app on my iPhone for instant review. Then there’s things like NovoPens, insulin pumps, Libres, CGMs, faster insulin and closed loop. Phew!

So, I guess the point of this long winded post is that the world of diabetes through my eyes has become this great big complex, serious and even political thing over the past few years. While that’s never going to go away, I guess I’d like to be reminded of some of some of that not-so-serious stuff more often as well.

Like this poster that I was reminded of earlier this week, a few days too late after National Diabetes Week. And the frame above it sitting proudly on my wall, both bringing a smile to my face when I think of them.


  1. Patricia Keating

    Hi Frank, I enjoy reading your posts. Yes Diabetes is a serious and sometimes overwhelming disease. I have to watch myself every few hours for Hypo’s. I’m now also taking Victoza injections every morning as well as the Pump. Helps the Gastroparesis, BGL’S and appetite. Not on PBS as yet, cost per month $1020.00 per pen. Endocrinologist giving me pen for free at the moment. It’s a trial drug, doing wonders for me, thank god. 🥴🤣

  2. Tony Sangster

    Hi Frank, How to make diabetes a fun subject is a big challenge. Is it through achievement as your well desrved certificate above shows, or reaching a milestone, being involved in community or personal activities? Or making it through year after year? The challenge is about what do postivity and fun mean anyway?. They are subjective and sadly sometimes defined as having to do better than someone else – a competition against others rather than for oneself. Although i have to quality what i see as.healthy vs not healthy – yes my subjectivity, but we all have a right to an opinion, so here goes: forums, sites about some diabetes diets ( for TIDs in particular) etc contain an optimism which to me is subtly threatening the Eat what you like and just dose with insulin accordingly’ as though this will free up or at least loosen the shackles that our condition might impose on us. After 52 years on insulin you get to try out most every diabetic diet under the sun. The eat what you like mantra dies not work for me and apparently not for others as well – not if you wish to avoid the potential of diabetes complications later and hypos sooner. And recent studies show ( in USA) the latest that despite more uptake of use of cgms and less so for pumps over the past 4 to 5 years, that TIDs as a group are increasing in obesity rates faster than the general population and not having a lowered range of HBAICs in average or range, in fact figures are higher) Some doctors are blaming the food industry, others the ‘eat what you want and dose for it with insulin’ ? Manally ? Via loop. So when is advertised positivity a possible scam? Yes there are discoverable, published and proven for TIDs ways including for children ( Pediatrics May , 2018, Lennerz and Ludwig) to avoid the potential tragedy mentioned above but it will not necessarily fit with the blantant and subtle messgaes put forward by the food industry over the last 50 years in particular. But if you think the food industry gives a damn about what damage is caused by their breakfast cereals and other processed foods as we all have been influenced by media and i allege falsified science, to us TIDs, particularly children, you are mistaken – they are only beholden to their own profit , their shareholders and a particular ideology of last century. I suggest that By denying the pull if what you want and being better attuned to what food you body needs to match the action if insulin better You can have peace of joy and achievement and lifting/easing of the shackles not only of diabetes but the malign influences surrounding it – that is positive , but you need not agree with my view if best control in 50 + years and that to me is a personal goal that many, many can reach.

Leave a Reply