Looking forward – by Vanessa

Hey everyone! Hope you are all well and are handling your diabetes ok (even though this cold weather is making me want to comfort eat!). I am attending my first Peer Support service learning session in Birmingham next weekend and I am really looking forward to it, meeting new people and learning a lot more about the scheme itself.

Like I said in my last blog, this scheme is a brilliant opportunity to help support those newly diagnosed patients or people who are curious about their condition, providing extra support and comfort. I myself have never really interacted with another diabetic; therefore if you do have diabetes, the scheme is brilliant to use and to also take part, in as you will be in the company of other diabetics, or the parents of those people with diabetes. I certainly have a lot of questions to ask when I get to Birmingham next Saturday, concerning blood sugar levels, diet, lifestyle etc, just so I can see what it is like for others who live with the condition.

I believe this type of support is very important for people living with diabetes, as having another person to talk to with the condition is a great way to boost self-esteem and encourage better control. I recently met a girl at the university where I study, and found out that she too had diabetes, and I was intrigued! I had so many questions to ask, and by the end of the day I felt that my diabetes control was to be my number 1 priority. I guess in a way it provides a person with more encouragement, and that’s exactly what the Peer Support Scheme aims to do. I hope by taking part in this scheme I am able to help other diabetics succeed in successful control, even if it is a brief conversation over the phone or by email.

Personally, I would like to speak to any diabetics that participate in a lot of sport. This is because I love sport and I am a frequent runner, and I love an evening in the gym. This is because I like to watch my weight. The only problem is that I find it hard to balance my insulin and meal before I participate in sport.

I think it may be because I am having too much insulin, but basically when I am running, my blood sugar can drop, leading to me having to eat something fast acting and slow acting (usually a Mars Bar or Flapjack). However to me this is defeating the object, and all the calories I have burnt are eaten again when my blood sugar drops! Therefore my goal for this month is to manage my blood sugar levels effectively before and during exercise.

The Peer Support Scheme has now been launched, so I recommend that those with any queries or questions to get in contact with one of our volunteers. All the details are on the Diabetes UK website, and I hope everyone has a great month.

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Hi Vanessa,
I really enjoyed reading this post as I feel as though I can identify with you a lot. I love exercise and do a lot of dancing, figure skating and walking. I always used to struggle with keeping my blood sugars stable during and after exercise until I attended the DAFNE course, run by my diabetes clinic where I was taught how to manage my diabetes whilst exercising.
I now give myself an insulin to carb portion ratio of 0.5:1 rather than my normal 1.5:1 ratio at the meal before I exercise and have found that this works a treat for me! I no longer feel rubbish about having to scoff more carbs and calories down my neck after exercising because I’m hypo. My bg levels now stay stable the majority of the time.
I hope you enjoy the Peer Support meetings and find a way of being able to do as much sport as you like with no lows :) x

Thanks Helen thats great, I shall have a look to see if I can get any tips.

Hope the above post is useful x

Hey Vanessa,

The Peer Support Service sounds like a great idea- well done for getting involved.
You mention your concerns about managing your diabetes whilst exercising. As always, Diabetes UK provides some useful advice. I also recommend having a look at RunSweet.com which is dedicated to diabetes and sport.