Pump It Up

Hopefully you’ve all recovered from knowing that little bit too much about my personal life and are ready for something a bit more public.

Since then I’ve had the usual ups and downs, but nothing serious. The stresses of job interviews have made me realise that adrenaline makes my bloodsugar jump around both high and low, and the only way to deal with it is to eat because at least with a high bloodsugar my brain and mouth can function. However, it also makes my mouth go dry and causes my concentration to wane. I found myself looking up at the clock or out of the window with dry-mouth trying to explain to a Finance Director why I wanted to work for him. I can’t believe he (they) didn’t put me through.

More water please

I’m watching the final round of The Open at Royal Troon, with Stenson eating a sandwich before teeing off and I’m thinking, “I’d have a cheeky 2 units for that”. He’s probably thinking, “if I was diabetic, I’d have a cheeky 2 units for this.” Or probably not. There was a golfer on tour, an American Scott Verplank, who is a type1 diabetic and uses an insulin pump, where he can check his bloodsugar level on a machine on his belt. He can also press a button which provides insulin if he needs it, via a needle which is attached to your stomach using a tube. This has to be replaced every 2-3 days.

I’ve considered trying a pump but am put off by the “permanence” of it. As in, it’s always there and you can’t get away from it. I like the moments when diabetes just isn’t there. I mean, it’s there, but I forget for a bit and can get on with my life. By all accounts Verplank is full of praises for the pump, but it doesn’t seem like it helped him play any better (and yet he somehow made $24m in career earnings?!).  If golf was my profession I’d also want away with injections and the ability to check and react quickly to changes in my bloodsugar, especially in stressful situations which (I can only imagine) are plentiful on the PGA Tour. Somehow the pressures of a Club monthly medal don’t quite justify having a needle permanently inside me.

The pumps you can get at the moment are quite big and heavy. It seems like new versions are being brought out all the time, most likely due to the huge increase in people with type2 diabetes, obesity is becoming an industry in itself. The technology is improving rapidly too, becoming a lot more digital and user-friendly. You can get smaller smart-looking pumps now where you can load your data easily onto your phone/PC . Perhaps in a few years I’ll reconsider a pump, because there is certainly a lot to be said for not having to inject yourself 4 times a day.

The future of pumps is exciting, moving away from physical devices and on to wireless “patch” pumps where you can control the doses via a SmartPhone app. How accessible they will be to the average Joe with diabetes remains to be seen. This stuff ain’t cheap.


Just lastly on Verplank. He admirably has a Foundation which provides financial support to the families of young people with T1 diabetes. It makes me realise how lucky I am in the UK to have the NHS. A box of 50 blood test strips costs the NHS something like £15 each! It must be so expensive for Americans with T1 diabetes to pay for all the necessary treatment. What a drain on the NHS I am! Sorry n all…


So many things have changed in the world since my last post. Along with some extremely harrowing and scary events in Nice and Istanbul, the people of (North) Britain have voted to leave the European Union.  As a result we have a new Prime Minister, Theresa May, who some of you may not know is a type1 diabetic! What is perhaps more surprising is that she was only diagnosed in 2013 (aged 56), when most type1s are diagnosed before the age of 40.

She is determined to not let diabetes affect the ability to do her job, a sentiment which I have echoed many times in this blog. One could argue her job comes with more pressures and stress, but the principles are still the same. I bet she’s never tried to write an Index Match formula in Excel with a bloodsugar of 1.7 … because let me tell you, it’s #N/A city. Let us all hope she doesn’t make any big decisions while her bloodsugar is low, or watch out Defence budget. Conversely, if the country does go to shit, she can always blame the diabetes.

Short and sweet from me this time.

This newly-engaged Hummingbird asks you to stay safe, keep in touch, share these words, and check your bloodsugar.



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