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Is it very bad if I take this one chance in two weeks to post – seeing as I’m sequestered in a Starbuck’s waiting for straggling students. Straggling and bedraggled as it turns out, in the light rain.

We are in town ‘doing’ some psychogeography – a walk following an algorithm. But it’s wet, alas.

So. News in brief:

1) E again running high in the mornings. Growth. Herewith ends our 2 week stretch of unbroken nights. We must get up and test to try to ascertain at what point he is rising…

2) but not react too aggressively because from Sunday he is away in Wales for a week, no running water, no electricity. Snowdon to climb. Heart attacks to give his parents. He will set running a little high (but not too or he will feel rough and be low energy) the whole time. Hence we go easy on the night levels. For now.

3) this trip should be fine. Should be great. Everyone is prepared. My motherly concern is that he not feel too alone in having to deal and make so many hour by hour by minute judgements in the no doubt changing and out of routine environment. We shall see. Gulp.

4) term has started for me. Hence the headless chicken thing. I think I will come up for air around early November. Alas again.

5) it’s raining. I said that, didn’t I?

6) the KITTENS are spectacular. Like popcorn. Heads held quizzically. Napping in the most awkward positions (sliding down sofa arm, in someone’s crossed ankles). Photos. Will add vid when I get home.

They are now of course escape artists so are underfoot all over the house. And unbelievably lovely. What an experience. And mama Cleo has just been so happy, calling them, checking on them, grooming them. Even though they are weaning. So salutary really….

7) we went to Cornwall for a flying visit – very gorgeous. St Ives Tate, surf beach, and the Eden Project. (sorry, will imbed links at home!) Glorious weather and a special gift of a time, just before we go blinkered for three months…

— Posting on the move, tiny screen!


Things were so fraught last week that although I had a lot to say, it all slipped out of my grasp…. We boarded the internet-less boat called ‘Holiday in a Hot Place’, and I left everything dangling.

And here we remain for another week and a bit. Several days in, we are unwinding, reading a book every two days, eating lots of tomatoes and soft cheeses. Not to speak of wine tasting!

E’s numbers are so far so okay, though early on an approaching cold combined with pizza weirdness sent him into a nasty, throwing up hyper (>15 mmols) that took us hours to conquer through 200% temp basals and overriding pump corrections…. The cold itself was hardly anything by comparison. Grrr.

Other than that, all the pool play and walking has meant hours off the pump, 50% temps and still having good numbers for the most part. Mornings tend to be a little high, but this is a holiday pattern: he seems to particularly GROW over breaks! We are also having more slow-digesting food than usual – pasta, rice, lentils – so OH and I are up once again every night testing dual waves – but with life this laid back it’s hardly noticeable.

Which shows how not laid back life normally is, sigh.

I’ll sign off now until after 9th August. A bientot.

— Posting on the move, tiny screen!

Last weekend E had a chamber choir concert in a nearby village. He’d been dropped off early for rehearsal (downing a sandwich and milk before leaving), and I rolled up to hear the concert two hours later.

As soon as I arrive, he strolls over, a bit of a sheepish grin. Well it’s like this Mum. I’ve just eaten four sandwiches that I thought were equal to a piece of bread each, but then I realised that each was equal to half a piece. So… I think I need some free carb, yes? Big smile.

Oh my. The concert is starting in fewer than 5 mins. My brain goes into a kind of panic, and I can’t do my sums for the LIFE of me. Let’s see, one piece of  bread is 15 g carb, which is what he bolused for. Four times. So he bolused for 60 g of carb.

So… I literally cannot think. In the end of course he works it out (typical!), and I confirm: he should have bolused for more like 30g of carb. So he had taken TWICE as much insulin as he should have.


People are sitting down and getting ready. He has two juices on him (equalling 40 g carb), but I also have a pack of fruit pastilles. Unfortunately due to my fuzzy brain I am unsure a) how many fruit pastilles are in a pack and b) quite how much carb each is. OH WELL.

I am able to reason though that if he needs it desperately, the juice will work faster, so it should be saved for an actual hypo just in case. I therefore throw the fruit pastilles at him and tell him to eat the whole thing right away. I manage to catch both conductors and let them know what’s happened. Fortunately they are the same great teachers who took him on a choir tour to the Isle of Wight last autumn, so they know what’s what. Phew. Once I sit down I am able to calculate that if each fruit pastille is roughly 4 g each, and there are 10 or so in the pack, he should be fine. Phew.

My phone vibrates: Text me if I look low.


So the concert starts. It sounds brilliant, lots of complicated and quite thrilling choral music. I watch him like a hawk. He makes it.

He tests at the interval: 8.6mmols. Decent, but it feels low for partway through a dose AND one propped up by a whack of sugar, which will go through fast. I steal a biscuit and get it to him, thus sparking the whole entourage of 20 boys to search out more biscuits.


He has one more set to get through, and does so. Sits down with the others, tests again and texts me: 10.5 mmols.


At home, all remains even. He doesn’t eat anything else, and goes to bed on a decent number. Wakes up on 5.6mmols. Ker-ching!


Really not an experience I would choose to have. Of course. But I was so proud of him for noticing his mistake, for addressing it, and for holding it together and putting in a good performance.

The point is: he could have done it himself. He could have managed the whole thing. We were there supporting each other, and it was therefore less stressful — but he could have done it.

OH was not happy not to be there. Understandably. You want to be there through everything.

But E did it. And could have done it without either of us. Maybe a bit more slapdash, but it would have worked.

Only one thing made me throw up my hands: as we leave the concert, one of his friends calls out hey, thanks for the fruit pastilles!

I turn to E. I don’t like the blackcurrant ones, he says. Sheepishly.


Setting sail

In November 2008 my 12 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The effect of this event on me -- and on our nuclear family -- was like being thrown overboard and watching the ship leave.

'Dealing with type 1' in the family has morphed into another sort of 'dealing' -- a wholesale resituating of parenting, of family dynamics...of life.

At my son's diagnosis I could not to locate a record of what living with a type 1 child in the family is like. I could not see myself or our family anywhere. I longed for a starting point, a resource and a sense of the future. Being a writer, my instinct is to write it. This space, I hope, is a start.

Blood Sugar Ranges (UK)

<4 mmols = low or hypo, life-threatening if untreated
4-8 mmols = within target range
8-13 mmols = high but not usually dangerous
14+ mmols = very high, or hyper, life-threatening if untreated


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I am not a medical professional. Any view expressed here is my opinion, gleaned from experience, anecdote or available research.