34. The Happily Ever After…

When people tell you how quickly your wedding day whooshes by, you never believe them. But before I knew it, the DJ was playing the last song and I was running from a conversation by the toilets to squeeze in one last dance with my husband before the lights came up and the night came to an end.

It was a spectacular whirlwind of a day, and if I’m honest I’m still piecing bits of it together. Trying to work out where pockets of time went and why I didn’t get to spend as much of it celebrating with my husband as I’d of liked. At first I blamed diabetes: it took a while for me to get into range with the excitement of the day, then there were the drinks and the fact that I had to bolus with correction doses at times (when the canapés arrive and your handset is nowhere in sight, you’re fine going for that ‘after bolus’ right?). But, in the end, my T1D really didn’t take up much time at all. A few people did tell me to get off my phone when I was checking my BGs or bolusing – it was fun seeing their surprise when they realised it was part of my diabetes management.

Something I will never forget from the day, is hearing my Mum’s speech, where she spoke about my diabetes and all the wonderful gifts it’s brought into my life. Looking around the room and seeing friends I’ve made through the diabetes community as she said all of this meant so much to me. I can’t deny that I was also a little shocked to discover my Mum reads my blog…

Our wedding day was so much of what we wanted it to be: people were chatting, laughing, dancing and celebrating. The atmosphere was filled with love and happiness and I hope everyone who came, took a little of that home with them. But the day was so much more than that for Matt and I: not just the day we became Man and Wife, but the day we got to show all of our friends and family how happy we make each other, how committed we are to each other and how unequivocally in love we are. The road to the wedding hasn’t always been the easiest, but Matt and I have gotten over the bumps together, stronger, more appreciative of each other and definitely more in love… and I didn’t think I could love him more than I already do.

 

 

I’ll finish with an excerpt from my speech;

“Matt, thank you for handling my heart like it’s the FA cup. I promise to cherish yours like it’s a good cup of tea”

 

Nx

 

DISCALAIMER: THIS IS A SERIES OF BLOGS I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT KALEIDO. IN THE INTEREST OF BEING OPEN AND TRANSPARENT I WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL THAT I’M EXCITED TO HAVE BECOME A KALEIDOER. THIS MEANS I AM FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET TO TRIAL THE KALEIDO INSULIN PUMP. WHEN THEY ANNOUNCED THEIR UK RELEASE WAS IMMINENT, KALEIDO ASKED FOR KALEIDOERS AND HAVING BEEN KEEPING A CLOSE (AND VERY INTERESTED) EYE ON THEM FOR SOME TIME, I GOT IN TOUCH. I FEEL REALLY LUCKY THAT THEY’RE ALSO LETTING ME USE THEIR PLATFORM TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES OF LIVING WITH T1D WHILST PREPARING FOR MY WEDDING DAY. THESE BLOGS WILL BE SHARED ON MY OWN SITE ALSO.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DM ME.

All images copyright Author

 

33. Preparing For The Wedding

Well here we are, the wedding is so close now the excitement around us is palpable. I’m not sure I’ve allowed the excitement to set in yet, there’s still so much left to do that I almost forget how much I’ve prepared.

There have been so many things to consider over the last 2 years of planning that actually factoring in things to make my diabetes management easier on the day has fallen into general wedding category rather than being something set apart. I like thinking of it like that I suppose, my T1D is part of me after all so treating it the same way I have my dress or my hair makes sense.

The first thing I arranged was how to literally manage my T1D on the day and from a technology point of view, my Kaleido pump has been my saviour. I can’t imagine an easier way for me to ensure insulin delivery and manage varying basal needs in a wedding dress. In the run-up to the big day though, I’ve found myself being very aware of which sites I use, sometimes I bruise or the residue from the hook and loop patches takes a while to wash away so any visible sites have been off-limits. I’ve also wanted to avoid my legs, my planned wedding day sites to avoid causing lypos or anything else that could impact insulin absorption. I’ve also timed my set changes to make sure I’m wearing my turquoise pump on the day…something blue is tradition, right?

When it came to planning the menu for the day, I thought about ways we could make sure I was able to guesstimate as closely as possible for all the delicious food we were selecting, I think at one point I googled pocket scales thinking that would be the way forward, then I realised we could work more closely with the chef. We had a few meetings and conversations with the event team and then I asked if the chef could come along to our final details meeting, the same chef that when we had our menu tasting earlier in the year, had sent each of my courses up with a message telling me how much the carbohydrate count of each course weighed, enabling me to work out my insulin requirements. It felt emotional to meet him in person, I think anyone with T1D gets quite used to the terrifying need to guesstimate for meals we haven’t prepared ourselves. So it’ll come as no surprise that I literally cried when he said it wouldn’t be a problem to work out the carb content for each dish. I’ve reviewed the carbs and they all look in order and I’m so pleased I asked the question.

We’ve also thought about hypo management, not just for me, we have some incredible friends from the Diabetes community joining us, so behind the bar will be 150ml cans of coke for those moments the dancing gets the better of our BGs.

My final prep has been to have a good chat with my diabetes team about ways to manage my BGs on our wedding day. I usually set myself quite a tight target range so their first piece of advice was to relax this a bit, so I’ve changed this across all of my devices. The next piece of advice was to have someone keep an eye out for any signs I might be high or low, someone who knows me and the signs and can help me with this task without feeling like I’m being babied. And lastly, as my team sent me off with best wishes for a forever of happiness, they reminded me to just enjoy the day… and send pictures!

Nx

 

DISCALAIMER:: THIS IS A SERIES OF BLOGS I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT KALEIDO. IN THE INTEREST OF BEING OPEN AND TRANSPARENT I WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL THAT I’M EXCITED TO HAVE BECOME A KALEIDOER. THIS MEANS I AM FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET TO TRIAL THE KALEIDO INSULIN PUMP. WHEN THEY ANNOUNCED THEIR UK RELEASE WAS IMMINENT, KALEIDO ASKED FOR KALEIDOERS AND HAVING BEEN KEEPING A CLOSE (AND VERY INTERESTED) EYE ON THEM FOR SOME TIME, I GOT IN TOUCH. I FEEL REALLY LUCKY THAT THEY’RE ALSO LETTING ME USE THEIR PLATFORM TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES OF LIVING WITH T1D WHILST PREPARING FOR MY WEDDING DAY. THESE BLOGS WILL BE SHARED ON MY OWN SITE ALSO.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DM ME.

All images copyright Author and Ettington Park Hotel

30. My Fiancé and her T1D

When I first met Niki I had no idea she had Diabetes, not that it mattered to me of course, but it wasn’t long before I found out when we went for a coffee at the café and she took insulin for it. Some of my family members have Type 2 Diabetes and I’m ashamed to say that I never really took the time to find out more, all of that changed the minute Niki whipped out her insulin pen within an hour of meeting her. I have a greater understanding of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, I now understand what it takes to manage this condition on a day-to-day basis and the many thought processes involved. I understand that there are many dangers and I watch my fiancée keep herself alive every day, that’s not scary anymore, it’s the reality for her and she does it so well.

 

Aside from being the worlds foremost expert in Niki’s T1D she also has the most amazing human qualities which she readily extends to strangers. One of my favourite examples of this is when Niki took infusion sets to a complete stranger one evening because they’d travelled to Oxfordshire and had forgotten their spares. Niki didn’t hesitate to do this for someone she’d never met before and this is typical of the caring and nurturing person she is. She’s the most caring person I know and this also shows in the social media family she’s part of. There’s masses of support to be found there and Niki is very prominent in making sure people can find that. The friendships that have been made there are many, and I’m so glad I get to count these people as friends too now. (Not to mention my relief that they all approve of me).

 

 

After just 5 weeks of being with Niki, we travelled to London to get her first insulin pump. It was a stressful day for me, I knew the hopes and fears she had for this method of managing her T1D and I didn’t want her to be disappointed. All those concerns disappeared upon seeing the tears of joy roll down her cheeks as she officially began pumping insulin, I knew in that moment the relief she must have felt at having the ability to calculate her boluses more accurately and the freedom she hoped the various functions would give her. Sadly, that first pump hasn’t always made life easy for Niki and my heart has broken watching her struggle and breakdown because of it. There are always other considerations in addition to the standard daily thought processes Niki has, where to place the cannula, how to dress to accommodate it, what to wear to be able to access it. The Kaleido has already eliminated some of the pump related clothing issues for Niki; she suddenly owns dresses…without pockets!! I’m seeing her begin to feel more confident and comfortable in her own skin, especially around her Diabetes Management and it’s so good to see that again.

 

I see the Kaleido has the chance to give Niki the freedom to choose how she lives her life, because even though she is absolutely amazing at everything she does, especially keeping herself alive everyday, this will go a long way to helping her actually live it.

 

Written By Matt – Fiancé to Niki & Dadda to Moomin

 

DISCLAIMER:
This is a series of blogs I will be writing about Kaleido. In the interest of being open and transparent I wanted to share with you all that I’m excited to have become a Kaleidoer. This means I am fortunate enough to get to trial the Kaleido Insulin Pump. When they announced their UK release was imminent, Kaleido asked for Kaleidoers and having been keeping a close (and very interested) eye on them for some time, I got in touch. I feel really lucky that they’re also letting me use their platform to share my experiences of living with T1D whilst preparing for my wedding day. These blogs will be shared on my own site also.
If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me.

All images copyright Author and Kaleido

29. Why Kaleido

When I realised I would have to go wedding dress shopping, amongst the obvious anxieties and body image issues was the worry of what I would do with my pump in a wedding dress? Did I go wedding dress shopping with the need to be able to access my pump being a box to tick? Or did I, on this one occasion vow not to dress for my pump as I feel I need to do every other day? I chose the latter and I cannot tell you what a difference it made when I found my dress. However, I then had to try and come up with a solution to managing my Diabetes on my wedding day.

For me, I want to be able to pump. I don’t know how the emotion and excitement (or the copious amounts of dancing and delicious food and wine) of the day will affect my blood glucose levels, and the functionality of an insulin pump for me allows the flexibility I feel I need to manage that a little more discreetly than usual. My actual pump though doesn’t allow me the freedom I need to do that in my wedding dress. It would mean I am tethered to what feels like a breezeblock on the day I want to listen to my heart and not my pancreas. I would also somehow need to be able to access my pump to bolus, adjust basals etc. So whilst there are a myriad of solutions for some, like wearing it in a pouch on your legs or having a special pocket sewn into your dress, none of those were a solution for me. I was at a loss and really struggling, would this mean I have to inject on my wedding day, perhaps making my Diabetes more visible than I want it to be to others and me on such a special day?

So I began looking at other pumps the way most brides-to-be look at wedding shoes. There were a few that looked like they had potential, but once I laid eyes on the Kaleido I felt like I’d found the perfect wedding day accessory. Not only is the Kaleido pump beautiful to look at, (the colour choices are incredible), the functionality and size were winners for me, the pump itself is small and unobtrusive. With the added bonus (which felt like finding out the wedding shoes are in the sale), of the ability to fully control the pump remotely and with an equally good-looking handset that bears little resemblance to a medical device. You can choose whether to wear the Kaleido as a patch, pocket or bra (the ladies will understand) pump. Kaleido is made by people who understand what it’s like to live with T1D, and from the first moment I had contact with them, I felt like I was dealing with humans who are invested in people with Diabetes having the freedom to put Life, and the big events within it, at the forefront.

When my wedding day comes, I want to be Niki, The Bride. I’ve a sneaky suspicion Kaleido will play a very special part in making that wish come true.

Nx

 

You can follow my Wedding/Kaleido journey here

The Kaleido website is really informative (and easy to navigate) with a variety of blogs, videos, and other resources to help you find out more about these lovely people bringing colour and choice into the world of Diabetes Tech. 


DISCLAIMER:
This is the first in a series of blogs I will be writing about Kaleido. In the interest of being open and transparent I wanted to share with you all that I’m excited to have become a Kaleidoer. This means I am fortunate enough to get to trial the Kaleido Insulin Pump. When they announced their UK release was imminent, Kaleido asked for Kaleidoers and having been keeping a close (and very interested) eye on them for some time, I got in touch. I feel really lucky that they’re also letting me use their platform to share my experiences of living with T1D whilst preparing for my wedding day. These blogs will be shared on my own site also. 
If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me. 

All images copyright Author and Kaleido

27. Happy 18th T1D….

It feels somewhat surreal to be sitting here, on the precipice of parenting a 1-year-old and reliving the memories of events and emotions leading up to my daughters birth (which I promise to write about at some point), and realising that on my 17th Diaversary I was being induced. I wasn’t being induced because my little Moomin was overdue, or because of complications with my pregnancy, but because I live with T1D and a baby born around the 38th week of pregnancy tends to have better outcomes. I remember sitting in the dazzling May Bank Holiday sunshine, in the unusually quiet grounds of the hospital having a picnic, knowing that the process of my baby’s arrival had begun. I remember thinking how serendipitous it was that this much dreamed about moment (becoming a Mumma, definitely not labour), was happening 17 years to the day that Diabetes came into my life; serendipitous because without my T1D I would not have met my incredible Fiance/MoominPapa.

Living with Type one diabetes is not easy, it’s full time and no two days are the same. The last 18 years have certainly been a literal rollercoaster, it gets you emotionally, mentally, physically…..there is not a part of your life that isn’t affected by it or which it affects. I admit I’m weary. At 18 most parents are letting go a little to give their children a smidgen more independence; I feel sometimes that my Diabetes is regressing and needs more attention. A little like an older sibling may react when a new baby comes into its life. It is petulant, defiant and it’s demanding so much of my time and thought processes that I feel Mumma guilt when I have to treat a hypo or correct a hyper and Moomin is speed crawling towards me calling “MumMA, MumMa”. But I know this exhaustion is temporary, there are always better times ahead and just as a new parent has moments of wondering how they can go on amongst the exhaustion of suddenly existing solely for this little life that has come into the world, so do those living with a long term condition. It’s not just OK to have moments like this, periods of time where you just coast along in the hope that you’ll catch your breath and be able to forge ahead with the level of gusto and enthusiasm you had before. Nope, it’s not just OK, it’s normal, it’s expected, it helps you survive and more importantly, it’s human.

Throughout the years I’ve never really marked diaversaries, possibly because of my initial misdiagnosis and the resulting lack of understanding of the impact this condition would have on my life. Sitting here now, reflecting on the impact it’s had on my life over the last 18 years, I actually can’t help but focus on the friendships, the opportunities, the support and the strength it’s given me. This one will be spent doing last minute preparations for Moomin’s first birthday but considering the part, Diabetes has played in her arrival….perhaps that’s the most appropriate way of saying Happy Diaversary?! (Plus we still have some leftover cake from her Naming Ceremony/Birthday party at the weekend so I’m not really breaking any rules by not doing anything specific right?).

There’s so much I’ve learned on this 18-year journey, and I’m certain there’s much more still to absorb, for now, I’ll leave you with this;

The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

 

Until next time…

Nx

 

Images are copyright of the Author and courtesy of Google Images.