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Lipstick and a Smile - Living with Type 1

Today we share a blog from Renza S who is simply amazing. She talks about living with diabetes T1. She writes:

The other night, I cancelled going to a party – a cousin’s kid’s 18th– at the last minute. I seriously never do this. And I absolutely hated doing it.

But I’d had a couple of hypos during the day (Fiasp is absolutely kicking my arse) and I was feeling exhausted. These hypos weren’t what I’ve become used to dealing with (i.e. Loop hypos for me generally look like an alert telling me I’m going to head low, me ignoring it, alert saying I am really about to be low – but not really low because Loop is doing its thing, me having a couple of fruit pastilles, and that’s it). These were the types of hypos that spin me around, turn me upside down and resettle me feeling completely discombobulated. It had been a while.

After the second one, I was so knocked out that I lay down for a bit and ended up getting an hour’s sleep. It was mid-afternoon and when I woke up, I felt no more refreshed.

I contemplated going to the party – I had a shower and started to put on some make up. I looked fine – no different to how I usually look. If I’d gone, no one would have known any different.

Earlier in the day, after I’d already had the first hypo, Aaron had posted a photo of me online. The next day, when I mentioned to someone that I had cancelled plans the evening before thanks to a lousy diabetes day, said ‘Oh. I saw a photo of you online in the morning and you looked great.’

They didn’t mean this in a nasty way, or that they thought I had just cancelled because I couldn’t be bothered going out. It was just a comment. And they were right – I looked exactly the way I would look any other weekend morning when I was having breakfast with family and friends

The next day I was messaging a friend with diabetes and mentioned I’d cancelled my plans at the last minute the night before. ‘Oh babe,’ she said. ‘How’s the hypo hangover?’ and then she detailed all the things that are the inevitable fallout of nasty (and nasty-ish) lows; the things I’d not mentioned to others who’d asked after me.

I told her she had nailed exactly how I was feeling. I told her what had happened, and I didn’t hold back, and I didn’t minimise it. I knew she wouldn’t worry or be unnecessarily concerned or wonder if it was anything more than what it was. I knew she would know – because those feelings are wound into the DNA of diabetes and the people living with it.

Plus, she would know just how I felt about the last-minute cancellation, and feeling that I’d let people down.

‘So, I bet you’re feeling even more crap about cancelling that about the hypos now, right?’ she said.

I laughed. ‘You know it!’ I said to her

‘Don’t you sometimes wish that when you were having a shitty diabetes day it couldn’t be covered up so easily with lipstick and a smile?’ she said, hitting me right in the guts with that comment.

Because she was so right. Lipstick and a smile. That’s every diabetes day. It’s there when I’m feeling great and all is going well; when diabetes is behaving and not impacting on me much at all. And it’s there when I’m feeling crap and diabetes is casting far too large a shadow over my existence for that day. But for most people, they couldn't tell the difference.

You can read Renza's blog posts here.

Elly talks about her new Dario

So, for the past 6 months or so, I've been using a fancy, new BGL meter: Dario. And it's honestly changed my life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

This little gadget holds everything you need for your daily blood glucose testing in a single, organised unit: a tube of test strips, the lancing device itself, and a plug-in connection for your smart phone, which takes and reads the testing strips. The app Dario uses turns your phone into a literal BGL meter - it's fantastic! 

It has also saved my recycling bin from overflowing with tiny bits of paper, covered in random numbers from throughout the day. The Dario app records all of your data to give you an average BGL over the day, week, and month, which results in an average Hba1c. It also prompts you to enter meals, insulin doses, exercise routines, and moods with each test, so you can review your results more accurately later on. 

It may be most important to note that the Dario app could save your life as a diabetic in desperate situations. When you sign up for the app, it prompts you to enter the details of an emergency contact of your choice. This is because when you are having a hypo/low (when you test your BGLs and they are lower than your 'minimum limit') Dario sends a text to your emergency contact immediately from you, letting them know that you are currently in a hypo. 

If you have a working smart phone, you're a diabetic, and ease of life means something to you, I'd definitely recommend Dario!

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