I was brought up in England and always thought that late October and November were a natural time for reflection. It was the brief period before the world took the short dark step into winter with its short days and biting cold. Here in Australia, my home for decades now, we have an elemental pause before confronting the harsh southern summer: perhaps just as natural a time for reflection. Especially if you have type 1 diabetes.
Reflection is a self-centred activity, so I hope you'll indulge me. As ardent readers will know, earlier this year I did some dreadful damage to my neck and spent several months in a hard neck brace. Towards the end of that period it had become normal: it was the way I lived. I didn't like it, but I coped with all possible (limited) activities. I looked forward to it being removed, but didn't have a good idea of what to expect. When it finally came off, and I had a chance to stretch and strengthen the atrophied muscles, my sense of freedom and life itself returned with a vital flourish. It was fun - normal movement was a great pleasure. Getting back on my bike was the most awesome thing.
It seems we can live with restrictions and let them become the standard. Sometimes when I read of steps forward in type 1 treatment I wonder what it might be like. I know that if people ask me how it feels, does it hurt, to prick my fingers and inject so frequently, I give answers as honestly as I can and I know they're stilted and awkward. I tell people I feel pain the same as anyone, but I don't process it the same way. I tell people it's just normal for me. But this year a device became available in Australia that I knew would mean better type 1 management. It was the Libre and I'd read comments from the UK where it was released earlier. It sounded good and I decided to give it a go, knowing I'd be paying more for looking after myself, but thinking I'd maybe use it half the time.
And here was the lifting of the weight. I'd been pricking my fingers 10 times a day for so long I thought it was just life, that it was okay. But then with this new technology I found I didn't have to do it at all. Not ever. And it was brilliant. A horrible thing has gone. And now I use the Libre patches back to back without a break because it's so much better.
Which makes me think. I've had type 1 for an awful long time. Since I was three. But what if one day they did find a cure? And all the stuff we deal with 24 hours a day, every day of every year, is just gone? Can you imagine?
What binds us together now is our common challenge. We take on type 1 diabetes and want to be healthy by being active. If we could all just throw diabetes away, would we still have a connection? We would. For quite some time we would be a united group of the happiest people in the world.
Until then we need to persevere. Exercise - the next best thing to a cure.
Event Dates: 30th Oct and 27th Nov 2016
This very weekend the October HypoActive Fun Run/Walk/Ride is happening at Albert Park. We are expecting a grand spring turnout for this fantastic event, so don't miss out. As always, you can choose however far and fast you want to run, walk or ride and are welcome to join the group for after-exercise food and drinks and a good old chat about hypos and lollies. Check out the webpage for al the details for meeting.
Next month's social get-together is the usual run/walk/ride, but also our extra-special HypoActive BBQ brunch. Fling yourself around Kevin Bartlett Reserve and then gorge yourself on gourmet diabetic food at Kevin Bartlett Reserve in Burnley. Actually, you don't have to do the flinging, you're very welcome to bring your family and friends just to the brunch to share the year's experience and talk of what's to come.
Christmas 2015: the very best of exercise, food and company
Event Date: 12 Nov 2016
Few are more dedicated to the HypoActive cause that committee secretary Kym Davern and her bold new idea to broaden the group's finances is a novel and very exciting one - mini-golf. I remember playing this game avidly as a much younger type 1 and freely admit that it's been far too long since I had a go. There are some very generous prizes that have been donated especially for the event and there promises to be a sizzling great meal afterwards.
The event is on a Saturday, starting at 1.00 pm at Adventure Golf at Yarra Bend Golf Course in Fairfield. Kym's put up an event page here where you can confirm or get more info. So why not indulge yourself - this could be your big spring treat - and lend a hand to HypoActive at the same time.
Mini-golf: it's a bit like having type 1 diabetes - tiny adjustments, major catastrophes
You can find out more and book a spot here. This promises to be the funnest type 1 event ever.
Event Date: 31 Mar - 2 Apr 2017
Organisation of next year's HA Murray to Moyne epic cycling relay event is already in full swing. This year's captain, Leanne Full, has already set some mighty balls rolling towards a full and competent team of type 1 cyclists taking on the 520 km, 24-hour challenge across western Victoria at the start of April. Things have changed, however, for Leanne and she can no longer fulfill the heavy demands of captaincy. She did a brilliant job this year and all 2016 type 1 cyclists will remember her efforts with both affection and awe. Many thanks for a job brilliantly done.
This is not a sad declaration though. We have had two HypoActive stalwarts step into the breach to take on and share the role. Laura Rostron has been actively involved with HypoActive since Year Zero. She has both crewed and ridden the M2M over the years as well as having done a huge, long-term and brilliant job with our MS Mega Swim team. Maria Baranj has been with the M2M team for a few years now: it has been a pleasure to watch her cycling skills transform and magnify. She has shown a dedication to the event that has motivated even old type 1 hands and has also done invaluable work assisting in organisation of the event for the last two years.
With the event in such experienced and devoted hands I think we're in for the Murray to Moyne of a lifetime. There will certainly be plenty more news to follow.
Event Date: 15th Nov 2016, 6 pm - 9 pm, light refreshments from 5.30 pm
Western Health have put on a highly qualified Tuesday evening to take a close and educated look at how likely it is we are all to shortly become a group of celebratory citizens rather than fastidious type 1's. They have three speakers: Dr John Wentworth, Dr Kavita Kumareswaran and Ms Kathy Howe RN-CDE.They'll be looking at immunology, transplantation and the artificial pancreas. It's all on at the Sunshine Hospital in St Albans and although it's free they'd love you to book so that the tea doesn't run out. For more please contact the Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre on (03) 8345 093 or email Lorraine Smith.
I thought this item was especially relevant to HypoActive members and readers as what these guys are after is a photo of a type 1 living life to the fullest. If I were to think of all the people I know who might fit into that full-living category I'm sure every one of them would be an active HypoActive, so surely with a bit of thought that brilliance could be captured in a snap for DV.
The prize is not just the Libre monitoring device, but patches to last you for a year. That's an awful lot of help with your type 1 management and worth over $2,500. You've got to be a DV member, 18 or older and it's open until the end of November. For all the details of what you've got to do to get the chance of this great prize, check out the DV website here.
Danielle Harrison has been active with events and the committee of HypoActive for years. Her work on AcT1vate helped create the magic of those unique events. Her behind the scenes labour on the committee has been tireless and invaluable. She's even ridden herself nearly into the ground on the HypoActive Murray to Moyne and is a regular at John Thompson's amazing monthly Fun Runs/Walks/Rides.
But more than just voluntary work, Danielle's professional life is also devoted to helping people with diabetes. She's now celebrating nearly six years practising in diabetes education in Cranbourne and here's Danielle's message to all type 1's out there. I reckon you'd do well to pay her a visit.
2 Woodbine Road, Cranbourne VIC 3977. Appointments: (03) 5996 9000 Fax: (03) 5996 9569 (referrals). Mob: 0407 927 634
“Motivation is what gets you started, Habit is what keeps you going!”
With that in mind if your diabetes management has gotten a bit off track lately then why not book an appointment to help you get “back on track” for 2016. So come in and see me to Kickstart that Motivation and form those Healthy Habits.
Get a Free upgrade on your blood glucose meter or ask about the Free Smart glucose meters that can assist your insulin management if you are doing Multiple Daily Injections and Carbohydrate Counting.
Danielle is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Registered Nurse and has completed a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and a Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition.
Danielle is also a Certified Insulin Pump Trainer with all three Insulin Pump companies to assist in putting patients on Insulin Pump Therapy or upgrading their current Insulin Pump. Continuous glucose monitoring is also available for loan. (Please ask about additional fees for these services)
Appointments are available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9 am - 5 pm and Thursday evenings 12.30 pm - 8 pm. Home visits available (fee applies). Patients referred by their GP under GPMP/TCA (Care Plan) Allied Health Referral are Bulk Billed (referral must be brought along).
Find out more here and get in touch.
That's all for now.
All the best,