I’m not too sure what the right word is, but I’m feeling somewhat out of sync right now.

This has felt like the longest semester of uni ever. Which isn’t logical, given that not a great deal has changed for me as a fully online student (except for being ignored even more than we were prior to campus shutdowns…).

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the better part of April powering through assignments, because I’m not the kind of person who does well at doing a little bit at a time. More logically, it’s probably due to how much has changed in the world around me over such a short space of time.

I used to religiously do set changes twice a week – at 9am on Sunday mornings and at 4pm on Wednesday afternoons. Nowadays, I find myself consciously putting them off until I remember right before bed. Or, the next morning.

My blood sugars feel like a bit of disorganised chaos. Overall, they’re just doing lots of unexpected things that are requiring a lot more input from me than normal. Prime example being a typical rise at around bedtime, a correction and then a high alert at around 3am when it’s risen beyond my high threshold again. I can’t be bothered basal testing and ‘resetting’ right now. Even though I really want to.

My Dexcom sensor is fraying at the edges. I know I need to tape it down, but I don’t want to spare a moment to cut a patch from my Opsite Flexfix roll. Instead, I’m resorting to keeping my left arm away from the shower hose so that my sensor stays dry until I finally decide to tape it down.

I can’t say that I miss Summer. But I do miss the early mornings and light streaming in from behind the blinds at 6am. It’s incredibly hard to wake up in the dark. I do miss being able to sit outside in front of my laptop working through assignments in the evenings. Last night, I had to concede that I could no longer see my textbook properly by 5.30. Weekdays feel incredibly short.

I haven’t been great at organising my meals of late, either. It’s been leftovers to the rescue this week, including homemade scrolls for morning tea and pizza from Marco’s for lunch on Tuesday. While I’d happily eat scrolls and pizza for the rest of my life, I am feeling a bit of guilt for not having anything more nutritious during the day.

I also don’t think I can take one more patronising ad from privileged people who have no idea what we are going through, telling me that we’ll get through this.

The brighter news is that my assignments have been submitted for the semester, my weekends are much free-er and upping my basal rates by 20% have largely kept the blood sugars at bay. Superstore is keeping me pretty entertained right now (after years of working in retail, where has this show been all of my life?) The weather forecast for the weekend is looking pretty good, too.

While my day to day hasn’t been greatly impacted by Coronavirus, I think the rapid changes over the past weeks while continuing to push through with life, are definitely catching up with me in other ways.

So I guess, in a nutshell, this best describes how I’m coping right now.


One of the things that I feel most passionate about when it comes to diabetes is language. Perhaps second only to peer support. I quite often find myself thinking about the deeper impact of things that I see shared on social media, things said in presentations, things written in articles and how that might make other people feel.

Language Matters. Language has the power to influence the way we think, feel and behave. Language has the power to become reality. (So much so, that Diabetes Australia wrote a whole position statement on it…)

I have to admit that one of the things that doesn’t quite sit right with me lately is the suggestion that it is of the utmost importance that people with diabetes be controlling their blood sugar right now. Or something to that effect.

The way that reads to me, is that it’s only going to be the people with poorly controlled blood sugar who will be at greater risk of Coronavirus. In exactly the same vein as the suggestion from a few weeks ago that ‘only those with pre-existing conditions will be at risk.’ We don’t throw people under the bus in the diabetes community. If you ask me, that’s a really poor way to motivate someone to take care of themselves.

I can’t help but think about how some people in our community might be feeling about these messages. Let’s say, for example, someone who is newly diagnosed and is not seeing the 5.5 that’s on the box of their blood glucose meter very often. Or in the case of my life in the past week, the story of my extremely stubborn blood sugars that are resistant to the same amount of insulin that was sufficient last week. I must admit that even I’m feeling a bit invalidated by this messaging.

I have absolutely no problem with anyone who might feel inclined to use this time to provide additional focus towards their diabetes, if they see fit. (Although I would love to know where you are finding this spare time, because I certainly haven’t found any…) I have absolutely no problem with encouraging good hygiene, good health behaviours and preparedness. Go and have a look at Diabetes Australia’s socials.

But diabetes is a tough gig. When you live with diabetes, every day is diabetes day. Every week is diabetes week. Every month is diabetes month. I refuse to believe even for a second that people with diabetes aren’t trying. I can honestly say that I don’t know a single PWD who isn’t doing their best, under extremely trying circumstances.

I’m not going to suggest that it’s not important to manage blood glucose, but a number isn’t the only marker of people’s efforts in their diabetes management.

People with diabetes deserve a medal just for continuing to show up each and every day during an extremely challenging time.

Flu Shot

This morning, I got my flu shot.

Flu shots haven’t traditionally been something that I’ve made the effort to get done. I don’t tend to catch colds all that often. I usually look after myself by regularly washing my hands, which is something I have been doing well before the government began telling us to. Did I mention that I’m slack when it comes to scheduling an appointment when I could be putting up my feet?

However this time last year, I’d only just started my degree. I knew that the last thing I wanted was to catch a cold or worse while I was anxiously studying for my first exams in several years. So, I figured I’d get it done.

Then of course, comes this year. If there ever was a year to get a flu shot, this would probably be it. No, there’s no vaccine against Coronavirus, but there is a vaccine that will help to make it less complicated. And it’s free to people with diabetes.

I asked my GP how he was going amongst all of this, and he equally seemed to be doing it tough right now. With patients reluctant to visit practices, he’s been inundated with phone calls requesting prescriptions and free advice over the phone. He’s also been offering free bulk billing to thank his patients for their support – even though I would have been happy to pay his very small out of pocket fee.

He also noticed the extremely shabby Dexcom on my arm, and couldn’t believe how big it was compared to FreeStyle Libre. He also couldn’t believe that pumps and CGMs don’t talk to each other yet. If only…

Anticipating some spectacular insulin resistance, I put a temp rate of 150% on as soon as I took a seat in the waiting room. Then, I drove down to the beach and walked it down along the coast in this spectacular weather we’ve been having this week. I added another 50% to my lunchtime insulin dose, and surprisingly my graph is looking as spectacular as the weather outside today.

Third Time Lucky?

Yesterday was A DAY.

I had plenty of revision to do, but I couldn’t take my eyes away from my rising Dexcom graph. My blood was boiling. I felt anxious, and somewhat helpless. I couldn’t concentrate, despite my best intentions.

I’d only just replaced a cartridge of spoiled insulin the evening prior, after battling high blood sugars all weekend. Not to mention the insulin resistance that’s been brought on by the cooler weather. So I was still feeling more than a little paranoid, but also assumed that I was more than likely overreacting.

I gave a correction, but I still couldn’t take my eyes away from that graph. Do I set a temp basal rate? How long should I wait until correcting more? Has this insulin cartridge gone bad as well? Could that whole packet of insulin cartridges be bad? Maybe I should have waited until my insulin was at room temp before filling my cartridge last night?

Then, the rational side of my brain started waging an internal war against the irrational.

You’re being stupid. You woke up a bit higher than usual this morning, and that is what normally happens when that is the case. You’re seriously going to throw out a second cartridge of insulin!? That’s so wasteful.

Lunch panned out okay, but only thanks to the wave of active insulin and temp rates I’d used to bring down my breakfast. But after an up arrow following my afternoon coffee and cookie, I knew that my paranoia wasn’t for no good reason.

I opened a brand new box, and pulled out a fresh cartridge, hoping against all hope that this would be my third time lucky.

Things are playing out much nicer today. I’m still playing around with temp rates, but overall I feel that my body is responding properly to insulin again. I now have a box of insulin cartridges in my fridge, from which I’ve drawn two bad vials, that I’m feeling pretty dubious of. I probably won’t throw them out, but I don’t foresee that I’ll be game enough to use them again in the near future.

I hate days like these. Days that are unpredictable, days that take away my valuable time and days that have me doubting myself. I’m not used to having days like these. I like predictable. I like knowing what to expect when it comes to my diabetes.

I know that when I’m paranoid, there’s probably a damn good reason for it.