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Monday, 29 February 2016


I collect Diabetics. Accidentally. Not in a creepy, Ed Gein sort of way. I just happen to find them, everywhere.

In Italy, I found 2. Or 2 found me my pump. You can't really miss my pump, especially if you know what a pump is. King sticks out a little.

I met the first Type 1 diabetic in Venice. My husband and I were on a bit of a search for good gnocchi. Google recommended 'Osteria Al Milion', so off we went.

Just need a miniature quaffle...
It was a very warm, inviting little restaurant, and the quidditch-hoop inspired candle holders gave me a good vibe. We were seated and given the free bread basket that you seem to get whenever you sit down for a meal in Italy. I noticed that the lady who attended to us was eyeballing my pump. I didn't pay much attention, figuring she was probably wondering what sort of ancient MP3 player I had attached to my hip. A different waitress took our order. As I ordered, I noticed the same lady still eyeballing King from across the room. As soon as the waitress left our table, she hurried over.

"I have one too". Proudly, she lifted her shirt to show me her pump. "But mine is old". A beautiful and well kept white MiniMed Veo sat clipped over the lip of her trousers. If hers was old, she must have taken the best care of it. King is less than 6 months old and he looks like he's been in a few cat fights in that time.

I smiled in acknowledgment and she took the encouragement, coming over to stand next to us. "Your only the second person I have seen with diabetes. I saw another pump once, in the market." She paused. "It's hard".

I agreed with her, and we had a bit of a chat about the joys of diabetes. By now, the restaurant was filling up a bit. She excused herself as our food arrived. Before she left to attend to other patron she turned back with a warm smile, and gave me the carb counts to my gnocchi, the panna cotta I had ordered for desert and the bread I had eaten.

Pannacotta...carb count: Delicious so it doesn't matter.

A week or so later found my husband and I in Sorrento (where the weather was remarkably warm). From Sorrento, we took a day trip out to Pompeii, which was only a half hour train ride by the Circumvesuviana line. Pompeii was quite warm, and for the first time since arriving in Europe, I was walking around blissfully sans jumper, T-shirt only. My T-shirt of choice just so happened to be my Type 1 Diabetes memes, "Type One Dia-Bad-Ass" Tee.

It was as my husband and I were trudging our weary way back out of Pompeii that I found my second diabetic in Italy. I was just hitting hypo (after a 3 hour walk around Pompeii in the sun) and focusing on placing one foot in front of the other when I heard "Are you diabetic?". My head swivelled towards the direction the magic word had come from. "I saw your T-shirt". An American girl had outstretched her hand towards me, holding in it, yet another glorious Medtronic pump.

"Yep!" My face split into a shaky-hypo grin.

My husband shook his head as the American Girl and I started up a conversation. "Seriously? You have a superpower. Stand together, I'm taking a photo".

We obeyed, and he clicked a photo, while her friend (or boyfriend, I don't know) did the same.

I didn't find out her name, but I do have a picture of her. And I know she's from California, and that she's excited for the 640G, which they don't have in America yet, but her UK friends have told her all about it. I also know that she's awesome by default.

I'm in England now, and just waiting for London to give up the diabetic goods!

Friday, 12 February 2016

Brisbane Airport Take 2

I don't know how this is going to turn out.

I'm snuggled up in my hotel room in South Korea right now, tapping this out on a portable keyboard the size of my hand, and fighting with blogger about how to login from a tablet. Blogger is definitely winning this fight, and has forced me on to a very basic app with little functionality. But I'm trying anyway, just so Blogger knows that it hasn't broken my spirit yet.

So my honeymoon Fiiinally rolled around. Only 9 months after my wedding (That sounds like a long time. I could have had a baby in that time if Id wanted to!) We're off to Europe for a month, with a stopover in Korea tonight.

My insulin is back in the Fridge (*fingers crossed it lasts because the Fridge to Go was pretty much room temperature when we got to the hotel), and my BGLs behaved quite nicely on the plane, stayingf between 4 - 10.

I did get randomly seletced to do a full body scan at Brisbane International. My immediate thought was panic. Followed by panic. Then I remembered the handy little airport security card Medtronic give you, which yes, I had bought with me.

So random security guy (who looked very familiar,) who picked me out for this is trying to tell me the full body scanners are fine to go through with a pump because people with pace makers go through.  I wasn't having any of it and thrust my little palm sized airport security instructions under his nose. Unfortunately for me, the instructions do say that the pump is removable (which contradicted my doctors note). So my options were limited. I had to do the scan.

I made it really obvious that Iwas feeling very anxious about taking my pump off and just handing it over to a random I had never met before. They must train them better at International, because he actually listened. He explained the process step by step, and answered all my questions (unlike the last security douchebag I came across in domestic.

The deal was that he would walk my pump around the scanner, in my sight at all times. Then he stood at the other side of the scanner as I got in. As Igot scanned, he held the pump up in the air, hands towards me, at my sight level. Door opened, I got my pump back. Then he walked me over to the dexplosives/drug swab dude, explaining exactly why they were swabbing the pump, which was basically because it hadnt been through any screening points.

Whilst I wasn't entirely happy at having to take my pump off and hand it over, I was very thankful to the security guy for realising how anxious I was about this and taking the time to explain what was happening and why, and doing what he could to help a situation that I wasn't comfortable with.So kudos to him.

Only 2 more airports to go through, and hopefully I won't get selected for 'random screening'.

Monday, 1 February 2016


My husband and I have started walking more. I mean, I wouldn't really call it walking. I would call this hiking painfully. Basically if the hike looks like it a unique form of agonsing torture caused by severe leg cramps and burning lungs then that's what we're walking.

I have suspicions my husband likes doing this so much as a couples activity because I can't breathe heavily and talk at the same time.

On Sunday we decided that doing death by Tabletop might be a good idea, as we were staying in Toowoomba for my bestie's housewarming.

Tabletop as seen from Picnic Point

Hugh, my bestie & I set off for Tabletop. The trip there was a whole lot of me and my anxiety freaking out about taking my little tiny Micra out on a dirt road to the wilderness*, and my bestie explaining as calmly as you can to someone with irrational phobias that her sisters little Swift did the trip 3 times a week.

We did eventually make it. All of my car tyres didn't spontaneously and simultaneously puncture on the gravel and go flat, so that was a plus.

Tabletop isn't a far walk. It's less than 2km return. It is a bit of a scramble though. You start up a steep little camel hump, get about 5 meters of reprieve, before the path is no longer a path. It becomes a jumble of quite large rocks that you need hands and knees (and in my case, bum) to scramble over. At one point I knocked my cannula, which was in my leg, heavily into a rock as I pulled myself up.

At the end of the camel's hump & the start of actual Tabletop, my BGL was quite comfortably on 13. I was happy with that; having purposefully not given at insulin at breakfast in order to exercise.

We continued the scramble, climbing up a steep path of shale. Rocks that slid underneath your feet as you climbed. This was probably the most exhausting part of the climb up, and probably the only spot we paused to catch our breath.

Looking up at the last climb
Finally, the last part of the hike up was basically a rock wall. I stopped here, not because I didn't have the fitness to go up (it was probably less than 20m to the top), but because I have a massive fear of heights (lots of my anxieties were challenged on Sunday). It was basically a rock face on the edge of a cliff. I'm also prone to fainting when I get really nervous. I made the call that passing out on a near-vertical climb was probably not in my best interests.

A flatter area of shale

My husband and best friend climbed up while I did more BG checks. BG was still good.

We started our climb back down, slowly over the shale, as it slipped even more when you head downhill. Then scrambling back over the camel's hump. About halfway back over the rocks, I spotted a shiny little familiar object in a small gap between the rocks.

A test strip. One that I could identify had come from a Verio meter. Somehow, as my legs ached from pushing up over and over again, I found it comforting to know that one of my kind had been here before me.

With renewed vigor (and feeling spurred on by being able to see the speck that was my car below) I finished the walk. BGL was 10.2.

I would have called it a success. Except for one minor detail. Remember that bump to my cannula earlier? Neither did I. Until an hour later when my pump was alarming 'No Delivery, blocked insulin flow'. A BGL of 23.3 (a 13 point rise in an hour) makes you feel pretty sick.

There's nothing like being physically exhausted with a high BG.

Thanks D, I really owe you one.

*Where the supposed wilderness is probably less than 5km from Toowoomba itself. We definitely could have walked back to civilisation in less than 2 hours. But try telling that to anxious me. Anxious me doesn't listen to reason very well. After all, I think Mt. Coot-tha is in the wilderness, and I managed an amazing panic attack the other day when my husband got us lost in Daisy Hill Reserve (I actually laid down on the dirt path and proclaimed I didn't want to die, and only felt relieved when we came across a sign pointing back to the car park).


Reason Why I'm Hypo: After correcting that 23.3, I spent between 6 - 8pm hypo with BGLs between 2 - 3. I can't say if it was due to the exercise or the ridiculous heat wave Brisbane has going on right now.