Sunday 6th was a big day for me, as it saw me finally get my backside back on the water after a year out of action. And what a session! Gusty, lumpy 17-30kt conditions, with a 7m and a large dose of apprehension… but a HUUUUUGE grin for the full two hours. I was still smiling when exhaustion caught me and I got rinsed in the beach dump after the first 30 min session!
Don't think my board was quite so happy though, as at some point on my final run she decided to call it quits and split clean across. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't holding any speed or ground on the last run and it was only on walking back up the beach I noticed the damage. So, alas, my beloved Protoy – the last model true to McCulloch's original design – is no more . That said, she saw me through three heavy seasons and was ex-demo when I got her; a good innings by anyone's reckoning.
I'm also stoked to declare that my new Predator surfdry suit from the evil geniuses at OceanRodeo was superb. I stayed warm, dry and free of pump-snags all afternoon. I'll be writing a full review on the suit after a couple more session, but early signs are very positive. I need to be careful not get too hyperbolic on this, but I really think they've come up with something pretty amazing for cold water use and for anyone who has to deal with medical gear but doesn't want the bulk & drag of a conventional drysuit.
But just being back on the water, what a feeling. Even coming in every 30 mins to check BG didn't seem to take the shine off although, the night of hypos that followed wasn't quite so fun. I guess it's going to take a while to get this dialed, but perseverance is definitely the watch word from now on.
Finally, I'm on the way back!
Had quite a result on the Diabetes Insight front this week, with a 7 day CGM trial starting yesterday. Was stabbed with a MedTronic sensor by a lovely Scottish lass (which hurt like a SOB!) and will get the data download in two weeks. Looking forward to seeing what goes on during the night, particularly whether I really am having non-waking hypos that are causing waking highs.
Watch this space…
That's it then; I started on the OmniPod yesterday afternoon. No going back now. At least, not if don't want hunting down and killing by an NHS death squad for pissing the local Trust's money away! It was a promising start yesterday, and a bit of tweaking last night gave a waking BG of 7.2 this morning. Score!
Bit less promising this evening though when I ran into my local pharmacy to get test strips for the PDM and a few groceries. A bit dazed as I knew my BG was dropping but figured I'd wait to get back to the car and test, correcting before driving home if needed. So I'm standing at the till scanning groceries (self-service) and I hear this electronic whistling sound. Thinking it was one of the tills wigging out (which they often do) I ignored it. I finally got back to the car and realised the noise was still there, and was in fact coming from my left arm! Hmm, that'd be an unhappy pod then. 1st lesson of the day: don't leave your PDM in the car. You can't silence a screaming pod without it! Can only imagine what other folks thought about the spaced looking guy wondering around doing a fire alarm impression.
So, low BG (3.2), more than a bit 'wobbly' and with a screaming plastic limpet stuck to my arm. A new experience and one not likely to make my favourites list. A glug of lucozade and a cereal bar later, and I'm fit to drive. Freaking out all the way home about how much insulin I'll need to correct… why the pod failed… did I cause it to fail? Get home, change pod, no problem. Do a correction bolus, easy. BG stops climbing, sweet! Bend down to stash insulin/spare pod etc in the man(ly) bag, and… "rrrrrrrrip!". Off comes the fresh pod on the arm of the sofa. Holy f&^£!*[ crap! You've got to be kidding me!
What doesn't kill us though…… right?
Last night I managed to screw up in truly spectacular style! I'm claiming diminished responsibility on this one though, as I'd had a pretty rough day and bugger all sleep the night before. So, last night 19:15 and it was time for the Lantus shot. Nothing unusual in that; inject 27 units of Lantus, no problem. I'm putting the pen back in the case and realise there's already a Lantus pen in there. That's odd, unless…. "OH SH!$!!!" Yep, I'd just taken 27 units of Apidra. Not good, especially considering how inconsistently (if at all) the Apidra seems to work for me lately.
What followed was a string of screaming hypos and carb loading sessions until about 02:30 this morning when I managed to stay above 7mmol for long enough to get to bed. But surprise, I got woken by a pounding head, whistling ears and shouting kidneys at 05:30 with a high of 24.5mmol. Eight more units of Apidra, two pints of water and back to bed. Then I dozed until 10:00 when I was still 14.5. Today I feel like I've been hit by the Type 1 Truck.
I won't be doing that again any time soon!
Having been due to start on the today (1st Dec), I got a call late on Tuesday to say the equipment hadn't arrived at East Surrey Hospital (Redhill) and that we'd have to re-schedule. Can't say I was that impressed as I'd spent the previous week psyching myself up in preparation. Not the nurse's fault but rather the supplier's for not delivering on time; I really would've thought they'd hit the mark, especially given how new the OmniPod system is to the UK. NOT a great first impression!
Disappointment aside, I'm now due to start on Weds 15th. Lets hope Ypsomed get their butts in gear in deliver the kit on time.
Meant to post this sooner. Other than the [now] regular BG craziness I've experienced over the last 18 months, my body's discovered a new way to screw with my head. This new game is to give me hypo symptoms for a few hours even though my BG is in range (5.0-7.5 mmol). A few hours of this and I'm nicely paranoid, testing every 30-45 mins to check. Then, just when I'm getting used to it, my BG goes off the deep end! By the time I realise something's wrong I'm around 2 – 2.5 and on the verge of flaking out. Fun, huh?
Had a great example of this on Monday: my ever angelic best mate took me birthday shopping in Kingston (London) for a treat. Great day, if a bit up/down on the BG, then started feeling lousy. Cue the testing… BG fine… paranoia subsiding, and… bam! Halfway down the shopping mall escalator I start to feel really bad. Stop to test at the bottom and ta da, 2.5mmol!
I hope the pump improves things as this is bloody exhausting. Not much fun for those around me either.
Got a great birthday present this week; a pump start date! As of next Wednesday (1st Dec) I'll no longer be injecting but pumping instead. Kind of exciting asking my GP to add 10ml Apidra vials to my repeat prescription. Now I've just got to remember to halve my basal dose on Tuesday evening.
All that said, I'll admit to feeling a bit freaked by the prospect. A three day trial with a saline filled pump is one thing, but actually relying on it to keep me alive is another. Then there's the 'what if it makes no difference' thoughts, and all the other crazy stuff your head does when approaching the unknown. As my best friend said though, "one thing at a time, deal with it as you go". Smart woman!
Just had the best news in a while: my funding for an insulin pump has finally been agreed! That means I get to start on the OmniPod just as soon as we can get the rep, my specialist nurse and me together at the same time. Bring it on!
Today I faced the challenge of trimming the seals on my new Predator surf-dry suit so they didn't cut off the circulation to my hands, feet and head! Ocean Rodeo's instructions on this are pretty straight forward but they do require a willing assistant. Well I found one, and it didn't demand coffee or conversation in return: a cereal bag clip. Yep, it's that simple. Those big plastic clips for keeping cereal or other bags closed are perfect for keeping the seals stretched, straight and still so you can trim them down. They even offer a straight edge to cut against, avoiding nicks or burrs that can develop into splits. You still have to take your time with the neck-seal, but it makes the ankles and wrists a damn site easier. Cheap and simple, score!
PS. Remember to trim no more than 3mm at a time. Take too much off and you'll get a leaky seal, defeating the point of a drysuit. If you do trim too much off by mistake you'll have to replace the entire seal.
Just took delivery of my new Ocean Rodeo 'Predator' surf-dry suit. Pretty excited about this as not only will it keep my butt warm on those ass-clenchingly cold winter paddles, but it should also make life easier with a pump on board. Anyone who's tried getting a 5/4 steamer on over a pump will likely be familiar with the challenges involved. The beauty of the Predator is that you start with a fairly baggy dry-core, then add a thin neoprene skin over the top. That means you're not dragging tight sleeves or body sections over infusion sets/pods and ripping them out!
First impressions are good, with all the bits being good quality and well thought out. Not having a pump yet it's hard say exactly how much better this is, but I'm pretty confident it'll be a damn site easier than the alternative rubber-wrapped scenario. I'll post more when I've taken it on the water and add to that when I finally get a pump.