15th June 2011

That date is where I am going to start my blog. Those closest to me will know what this date means but some may not. This blog isn’t about diabetes. No this blog is about my brother Tim and the worse day of my life so far!



The 15th June 2011 is embedded as the worse day of my life so far. Yet it is a day that I can remember like it was yesterday. I remember moaning about not wanting to go to this fitness class my mum wanted me to go to with my brother Will and then saying I couldn’t do it because of need to revise for an exam I had the next day. I can remember the phone ringing and the fact it was mum who answered it and later passed it to my dad. I remember him calling the person on the phone a liar but most of all I remember the words; “Tim’s committed suicide!” being said at some point but I’m not sure who said it. I don’t even think I was meant to hear it. The phone call ended and mum and dad left telling us to phone Becki and get her to come round.

Then there was the waiting…waiting for mum and dad to come back, waiting to find out whether my brother was still alive. But that sentence pretty much confirmed my thoughts…if he was alive they would have said attempted not committed. I sat for hours with my sister Becki, her husband Tom and daughter eve and my brother will waiting for mum and dad to come back home.

It surprising how slow time goes when you are waiting for something. Unfortunately my worse fears were confirmed later that evening. My brother Tim aged 18 had taken his own life.

It’s just over three years since that day I had planned to write this blog on the day of his death this year, but this year it happened to fall on Father’s Day and I couldn’t bring myself to write it.

It is hard to describe the pain you feel when you lose someone you love especially unexpectedly! But what I find even harder is explaining the circumstance. Humans are naturally judgemental, I don’t think there is one person who hasn’t once judged someone; maybe for the way the look or act or even for their beliefs, so imagine telling someone that your brother took his own life.

Don’t get me wrong some people don’t react badly at all but in others you can see the flicker in there eyes feel them wanting to ask how and why and sometimes see that they think it’s the ‘cowardly’ way out.

We will never be sure what actually made him take his life but it seems to be the thought of starting adult life and the challenges it bring caused him to be anxious and fearful. I find it hard to think Tim felt like this and didn’t express this to me or anyone else in my family, he suffered in silence until he couldn’t bare it anymore.

Unfortunately the aftermath of a suicide for those left behind isn’t an easy journey.

At first it’s like you go numb and spend the days in shock. I had my first A level exam the day after Tim’s death and I remember sitting in the exam wanting to cry but feeling unbelievably numb.

I can’t tell you what happened the first few weeks after Tim’s death all I can say is that they went by in a blur.

What I can remember is how my family coped with it. The tears, the anger, the horrific sound of crying at night, people coming in and out of the house.

But because at first the shock is so fresh the grief doesn’t fully hit!

Stages Of Grief
The Kubler-Ross model (the five stages of grief) are said to be the stages that everyone experience after the death of someone close to them no matter what the circumstance.


I can say that I went through all those stages and I could sit and talk in depth about them all and then about how I’m now at the end and have reached the acceptance part which I have!

But no matter how much you accept it, it still bloody hurts!!!

So no I’m not going to talk about all the stages and parts of my grief just one! The one I still struggle with and the one that even though I know is somewhat silly I might never get past

When someone dies due to health you can blame it on that, when someone is murdered you can blame the killer and so on! But who do you blame when someone takes their own life?

Them for doing it maybe?

Their friends and family for not knowing?

Society for the pressure put on people?

The answer is NO to all of them you can’t blame anyone.

But I, more so for the two years after his death, suffered with so much guilt. To the point I would get a recurring nightmare about family and friends telling me I had done it and it was my fault.

I felt like I should have know that he wasn’t happy!

I should have been there for him more!

I should have spent more time with him!

I should have been able to stop him!

The list goes on but I might cry if I carry on! It took me some counselling and help from family, James and friends to realise it wasn’t my fault! Tim made a choice, he was 18 so technically an adult, the method he used showed he had thought it out and I hope now he is somewhere were he is happy.

I cling on to the fact that he didn’t want to be on this earth and that if someone had stopped him he could of tried it again! I cling on to the fact it wasn’t a cry for help due to the way he did it and the time he did it! I cling on to the fact wherever he now is I feel like he is happy and free without the pressure and ups and downs of life!

But every now and then (once in a blue moon) the dream will creep into my mind and I will have to convince myself I’m not to blame!

I am not writing this blog to make anyone pity me I am writing this blog to try and explain how it feels to be left behind when someone commits suicide! I can’t comment on how my dad feels or my mum or my siblings or anyone else, they may feel different to me!

But what I can say is that Tim was one of the most incredible people that I have ever had the privilege of knowing! He was clever (achieving As and A* in the exams he did before he died), he was genuine, funny, caring and hard working!

He wasn’t just a brother to me he was a friend! I remember when he use to come round after he had played playstation for a bit with Will he would come find me (I was usually on my computer in my room or reading) and we would chat about random things for a while!

I have so many amazing and lovely memories of someone who will always be with me no matter where I go and I will cherish them forever! He will live on in all of his family and we will never stop thinking about him and loving him. Rest in peace brother!!!


Today I’ve attempted to take a picture of every diabetes thing I did! I had a major fail around lunch time as phone battery died hahaha but to make up for it I will do it tomorrow as well so maybe some sneaky snaps whilst at clinic (of me no-one else without permission)

So here’s my photo diary

So this was a high level. I’ve been struggling with them recently and have a feeling it could be linked with stress and the fact I’m not sleeping properly!


So my pump needed changing so I took it out and decided to have a bath it’s my favourite thing to do when changing a pump site. I also couldn’t sleep so thought it might relax me!

I will honestly admit this set change was one of the painful ones which doesn’t usually happen but sometimes you just get that stinging sensation and it brings tears to my eyes and I may of had a few tears!

My BM was high due to taking my pump out for my bath! But it was worth it! I corrected then weighed my food and bloused for my meal! I record my correction separate to my meal which is why I give a correction bolus then do a meal bolus! Each to their own 😉

Sometimes I hate going out as I’m limited to what I can’t drink if I’m watching my sugars; this is usually diet coke or water maybe squash! But there is not loads of drinks that are sugar free and unless they are in a bottle or the cafe etc has carb information sometimes it can be hard to carb count!

I knew as soon as I had given the bolus that my app wasn’t playing ball and that I probably hadn’t given enough insulin but I was being lazy! Hahaha!

Now this clearly shows I didn’t bolus enough! Oopsie! Naughty Meg!

I will post other readings from today and tomorrow on Friday! 🙂 but wanted to give a little day preview I might do it for more than two days maybe a week depending on how busy I am! I feel that only doing it for a day or few doesn’t give a big enough insight! So here is my first diabetes day diary 😉


Hugs and kisses
Megs 😀

There are many reasons why I have named my blog The ring Of Diabetes today and it all started with my new Nashville obsession and the amazing song The Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Then I also realised how well diabetes links to the song! Also the logo for World Diabetes Day tends to be a circle (aka ring).  So I’ve used quotes from the songs (some slightly changed) as sub headings. Anyway enjoy.

Diabetes is a burning thing

I have had type one diabetes since 2007, so for 7 years now. It the biggest blow life has given me. I vividly remember having a cannula jabbed into my hand as a lovely doctor explained to me what type one diabetes was. To this day I still remember how that doctor made me feel calm and reassured about the condition. Also I was luckily enough to have two lovely DSN (diabetes specialist nurses) when I was diagnosed (Jo and Jenny) and I will never forget how much they helped me through the first few months of my diagnosis, actually all the paediatric team at SGH (Southampton General Hospital) are all amazing and their support through the first few years of my diagnosis help me to cope with a scary and daunting condition.

I’ve met people who have the opinion that it is “Just Type One Diabetes”  and I can’t explain how much it hurts when people say that. So for anyone who has that view please don’t say it. I may sometimes hate the fact I got given the blow of type one diabetes but it has it’s positives such as my lovely DOC friends and the fact it has made me stronger. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger hey. But the fact still is I can’t run from it, if I run from it I get burnt.

Sometimes I will do my sugar level before a meal and I feel perfectly fine and have tried hard on the diabetes front all day. Then the reading comes up and its high or low. That moment is like getting burnt. You know when you touch something that’s hot and the sting makes your eyes water and hand recoil. You did expect to burn yourself and that shock is sometimes more painful that the burn itself. And to top it all of sometimes that burn you get will start to appear worse later on.

And then you fall into this burning ring of diabetes….where you sometimes just feel like your going round and round in circles!

I went down, down, down and the flames went higher

When I have a bad diabetes day it is bad in all sense of the world. It isn’t just a oh silly me that numbers a bit high. It is a oh “insert naughty word*. Sometimes it is easily resolved and sometimes it isn’t. But no matter how quickly it is resolved the feeling is still there and I have then got to deal with the fact that if someone close to me is present during one of my highs I will have probably have been nasty to them. High make me really really really uncontrollably angry and in that moment I can say things that may hurt someone even if I don’t mean it, I start arguments about the silliest of things and once I’ve worked out I’m high it is too late to take it all back.

I also have to deal with my body’s reaction to it all; the dry mouth, headache, sleepiness, sickness and generally feeling rubbish and I can’t just sit there and go to myself I’ll just have a day of from life and snuggle up in bed because the world isn’t like that. Yes I avoid stuff like drinking etc when my sugars are playing up because most of the time I generally don’t feel like I want to enjoy myself.

And it burns, burns, burns the ring of diabetes, the ring of diabetes

But the worst thing of all sometimes my bad diabetes days have NOTHING to do with what my sugars are that day. Sometimes it is just to do with the fact that I don’t want diabetes any more. Yes I try to be positive about the condition most of the times but there are times when I’m sat doing my sugar level or sorting out my pump or even just reflecting on life and I think to myself; I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this. It is so tiring. Unfortunately I don’t get the option to take a day away and this makes my bad days even harder cause I am constantly being reminded.

I don’t think my body would appreciate it if I went oh bugger this for a few hours; removed the pump and hid it with my diabetes kit out of sight and even if I attempted that my body would go “oh Meghan’s being naughty lets give her a high sugar level!” So then I would be peeing and hot and thirsty and you get the picture.

The taste of diabetes is sweet

But at least I can say throughout it all I have the support of my family, boyfriend, friends and my diabetes family (DOC). I can hold my head high and tell myself that everyday might not be perfect and I may breakdown every now and then and I may need to seek help from various people but at least I’m trying. I’m trying to deal, cope and fight my condition everyday. It is not easy and I may say my diabetes is fine when people ask but that’s my way of coping. If I say I’m fine then I must be? But recently I’ve realised sometimes I need to take a deep breath step back and say I’m not fine.

No matter what diabetes throws my way though, no matter how much it hurts or makes me cry I will fight it and I will always come out the winner even if it just for the fact that I’ve tried.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed a lovely bit of Johnny Cash (who doesn’t). I hope everyone is having a lovely week so far. So enjoy.

Also look at how incredible my 21st Birthday Cake was;

Okay so its the 3rd day of #DBlogWeek and the topic for today is What brings me down (in relation to having type one diabetes). I suppose some have been mention but this one is going to sum them all up. I’ve decided to try the headings approach (damn its going to look like an essay). So I realise this blog is going to be a bit depressing so I want to HIGHLIGHT the point that there are many benefits to having type one diabetes such as my DOC (diabetes online community) friends and the fact it has made me who I am today but this will just show you all the struggles as a type one I face on a day-to-day basis. 

Same s**t everyday

I wake up everyday and do my sugar level. I do my sugar level for every meal. I carb count every meal and give myself insulin for every meal. I do my sugar level for when I feel high….or for when I feel low. I treat for lows….I correct for highs. I do my sugar level before I go to sleep. And that is just a basic overview. But it gets tiring…diabetes it tiring…it takes up a lot of my time during the day and night and I can’t just forget about it. People seem to have the impression sometimes that I can have a “break” from diabetes and just forgot about it. But it is physically impossible. It takes up to much of my time to forget about it…and I have constant reminders wherever I look!


So everyone hates being stressed I know that and everyone gets stressed. I’m a stress head I know that but what is my biggest problem when I’m stressed…oh wait you got it…my sugar level goes high. It is just the icing on the cake really…my sugars go high and then I become more stressed about getting them down and then I become angry and an emotional wreck. It makes an already horrible situation worse.

Highs and Low

Having type one diabetes is a roller coaster in all different angles. Emotionally and sugar levels etc. But in terms of sugar levels it is another exhausting thing and takes up so much time to deal with.

For example if my sugar level is over 12 my mouth starts to go dry, I end up drinking gallons and peeing the equivalent out, my head starts to pound and I become instantly angry. It also takes so long to sort out sometimes…I correct then check half an hour later…if still high I correct again and then check again half an hour later…if still high I set change or inject or both….until it starts to go down. After than all I want to do is sleep for a couple of days.

Now if my sugar level is low (below 4) I become shaking, hot, hungry and super tired. So the whole checking and treating process starts. Normally it doesn’t take long because it goes up. I’ve had a few times where I’ve struggled to get it up though and those are the worst because when I finally get it past 4.5 half an hour later it is sky high. But yet again it is another thing which afterwards will make me extremely tired.

Both of these things can happen when I’m out with friends or family, or just at home or on holiday and the worse thing about it is it ruins anything you are doing as your moods change and it then takes up your whole time. You can ignore your bodies physiological response to a hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia episode.


My diagnosis of type one diabetes brought me closer to people and further away from others. It is a hard condition for people to understand especially with the way the media portrays it sometimes. Obviously as I have just explained diabetes can feel like it is taking over my life and takes up a lot of time and it can also change my mood and turn me into a blubbering wreck or a horrible cow. Over the years of having my condition I have learnt that you find out who will support the whole of you (both me and the diabetes) and those who won’t. When all is good with diabetes you don’t notice this that much but as soon as you lapse into diabetes burnout in some shape or form people either stay strong and invite you out for icecream (thanks Laura hahaha) or they don’t. It is something that has constantly happened over the years and it is something you get use to but maybe it is a positive thing in disguise? 

Sometimes it feels like people judge me for my diabetes rather than me. People can also make upsetting comments about my condition and sometimes they don’t mean it but it still hurts. I’ve been stared at before when doing injections, been asked if I was a fat child and been told to stop being silly it is only diabetes. Sometimes I can’t blame the people that say it because they don’t understand the condition but that doesn’t stop it from hurting and making me want to cry.

But can I quickly mention loads of people have supported me through lots of diabetes stuff and I will be forever grateful to them and also the DOC are all lovely and are friends I have made BECAUSE of my diabetes. Another thing is you find that you become friends with other people with diabetes or their families in the oddest of places…for example a certain Caribbean cruise (*cough* Donna, Kev and Chanelle *cough*) 


So when I first got diagnosed with diabetes I was a skinny minny and was for a while. It is the only last few years I have started to put on weight and I’m currently at a healthy weight just need to tone up a bit. But putting on weight and loosing weight can be a struggle when you have diabetes. Obviously the condition means that you technically shouldn’t spend all day stuffing your face with cakes which is the perfect way to put on weight. It is harder to put on weight when you are trying to eat healthily and not cram 24 cream cakes into your gob. I haven’t tried to loose weight yet but from what I have read from other blogs it can be a bit of a struggle. Don’t ask me why cause right now I can’t be bothered to look it up…but maybe when I’m not being a lazy moo I will do that hahaha. 


It is so painful sometimes having diabetes. The tips of my fingers get sore from testing my sugar levels. When I was doing injects the sites would sting and sometimes bleed. Now I’m on my pump it isn’t as bad but sometimes I hint the wrong spot when I change my set and it makes my eyes water and bottom throb. 

Vain Meg

You just can’t be self concious with type one diabetes…well obviously you can but it isn’t helpful. I love my insulin pump but it is constantly attached and sometimes makes wearing tight clothing hard cause it pops out and can make me feel really unattractive. I also used to love the fact I had quite dainty long fingers (big ego here hahaha) and my nails use to be long and lovely (short and stumpy now cause of nursing hahaha) but I hate my fingers now…I have marks on the tips from testing my sugars…bio oil has helped but sometimes I look at the marks and they make me want to cry. They are a constant reminder. 


Anyway I feel I’ve written enough about the what bring me down topic and I want to end on a high note. Since I have had diabetes my life has been turned upside down in many ways both good and bad. But if it wasn’t for my diagnosis I don’t think I would have ever considered being a nurse, similarly I would have never met such lovely diabetes teams (nurses, consultants etc) who have helped me loads throughout the years. I wouldn’t have the lovely support and friendship of the DOC community or had the chance to meet up with other with diabetes. I also don’t think I would be as strong as I am now, diabetes has helped me realise what I want in life, that I have to grab it before the chance goes and you have to live life to the fullest (it is way to short). I am also lucky cause I have such lovely family, boyfriend and friends who have supported me and been there for me and I will never ever ever be able to truly thank them for everything they have done. 

Thank you for reading. Side note it is my birthday tomorrow (21 WHOOOP) so I might be late with the next two DBlogWeek topics but will definately aim to post them all by Saturday evening at the latest. But I plan on enjoying my birthday however tomorrow is going to be calmer than Friday so I may have a sneaky chance to get on my laptop and write tomorrows. 

Nobody knows how much I cry at night

When I just can’t get my diabetes right

Everyone knows that I’m that girl

The one with that problem

The diabetic girl

You may see me struggle along

And words of wisdom out they come

You may think I’m silly and stupid

But do you check your sugars four times a day?

You with the pretty fingers

You who enjoys that cocktail night

You who sleeps soundly at night

Not worried about a drop which could be in sight

Sometimes I feel like just a normal girl

Who doesn’t have a care in the world

But do many 20 year olds scream at their loved ones

Just because there sugars are too high

Do many 20 year olds live with the burden

Of managing a condition that just won’t say goodbye

I dream of the little girl who use to smile all the time

Who ran freely and loved her life

The little girl I once was

The little girl without any labels

The little girl who didn’t cry at night


So that’s my poem for day 2 of diabetes blog week. I struggled a bit writing that and even asked people to do it for me! It’s not an A* poem but it sums up how I sometimes feel! It’s not the positive poem I was thinking of doing because I do miss the carefree little girl I once was and I wanted to get that across! Anyway hope everyone has a lovely sunny day!


This week is diabetes blog week and today is the first day! I’m typing this on my phone so apologise for typos etc and lack of pretty things (I’m a computer blogger).

Sometimes I feel (as I presume a lot of people do) that despite what I do it will not be enough to change certain things. But if we all had that opinion we would get anywhere in life and who knows what the world would be like?

Type One Diabetes changed my world the day it came bounding into my life! I can picture the scared little girl who had her life turned upside down and round and round that evening. This compares to the third year nursing student who’s passion for diabetes isn’t just because I have it! It’s complexity thrills me, the drive the people I know (with all the different types) amazes me!

Even if I just explain the condition to one person a day, or answer a question I feel that’s my way of making a change in the world! I speak as both a pwd and (fingers cross) a future nurse! One day I hope I will help diminish the ‘stigma’ that I believe there is around diabetes! Whether it is just simply by taking the times to let people into my world via blog or a friendly chat.

Maybe the change I implement will only benefit a few people or maybe hundreds down the line, but if I believe in changing the world no matter how small the change! Maybe I’ll succeed or maybe I won’t but I will try my best!!!

Thank you for reading!


For more information on #DBlogWeek please follow this link; http://www.bittersweetdiabetes.com/2014/05/diabetes-blog-week.html?m=1

Firstly I feel I should apologise for being off the radar for a bit! I’ve just been doing my dissertation and trying to organised the last few months of my last year! The days just seem to be zooming past! But that’s why I haven’t blogged in a while or posted a #100diabetesdays! But tomorrow I promise I will start it up again!

It’s strange how life has it’s ups and downs of being nice a calm one minute then crazily hectic with this and that all thrown in! Everything seems to have happened in the last few months both good and bad so now I’m hoping it will all die down hahaha.

So what’s new diabetes wise? Nothing much although I finally got my arse into gear and phoned up my team about why I had not received an appointment in the post! Apparently one wasn’t even sent hahaha but at least that’s all organised for end of this month. Now I just have to go and get the dreaded blood test before hand! I miss being able to watch children’s films whilst having them done when I was in the paeds team! Being an adult has no benefits like that lol!

Anyway I’m rambling cause I’m tired but I just wanted to let everyone know I will be back on the radar tomorrow! Hope you are all okay 🙂