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to study these things. We're still looking

at what is best for pumpers - keep pump

on and 'dial it down', or take it off during

exercise. Most people prefer the latter, but

the former seems to be better for keeping

blood glucose levels more even. Even the

type of sport undertaken affects control.

For example, swimming tends to push

sugars up a little. Most people swim a few

lengths then stop for a breather. It means

it's a series of short sprints. The hormonal

releases are different from, say, a long run.

We need to keep studying these factors

to help improve control."

You can see these flow diagrams

and further information here at Diapedia,

though it is mainly written for doctors.

Lessons learned

Much can also be learned just by listening

to other people's stories. Mike Hutchinson

has been on the Accu-Chek Combo for

nearly four years and says, "It's brilliant.

I love the fact that it gives your basal

insulin all the time, without you having

to think about it. You do need to know

your carbs to calculate a bolus, but I find

it incredibly easy to determine food and

doses. Although it is constantly with you,

there is an upside -- you can't accidently

leave it at home, like I've done before with

an insulin pen."

Mike has a degree in biology and

now teaches it as his main subject at an

academy school in Cheshire. "I suppose

I have a scientific mind," he says, "so

I found the pump easy to get used to."

When Mike was diagnosed with Type 1

diabetes in 1986 he was already aware of

the condition and recalls, "I did find it a bit

tough at first but felt I had to just get on

with it. Although my father had late-onset

Type 2 diabetes, he was on insulin, but

had poor control, which made me doubly

determined to look after myself."

Diabetes seems to run in the family,

as Mike's brother, niece and daughter

are all Type 1 too. A regular cyclist and

hill walker, he says, "It's amazing to be

able to just turn down the basal to 10%.

Before, when I used to play football or run

half marathons, I had to think really hard

about my insulin, reducing dosages and

having half the long acting insulin the night

before. It's absolutely no problem now. I

do a lot of hill walking and then I turn it to

20-30%, and it's all sorted. It's a massive

difference and my pump fits into every day

life like a dream."

Mike attends Liverpool Royal Hospital

and says that an awful lot about diabetes

control is actually to do with education.

He downloads data periodically, and

more regularly before a check up. He

says, "I download the data and print off

the graphs and pie charts over two to four

weeks and check how much I am in the

Green Zone. I look at highs and lows and

try to figure out what might have caused

them." He adds that, "Diabetes fits in with

my life, I don't feel different just because

I have it. The insulin keeps me alive, my

pump allows me to do what I want to do

and I live a normal, healthy life. It just fits in

my pocket. I actually 'like' it," he says, and

jokes, "I'm very attached to it!"

Running up that hill

Peter Davies has faced a few challenges in

his life, including taking on the Kilimanjaro

challenge. He says, "In October last year,

I turn 60 years of age. I was diagnosed

with Type 1 diabetes in May 1956 when

I was just two years old. My family were

living and working in Kenya at the time

and we continued to do so until 1962

when we came back to the UK. Naturally,

I have seen many, many changes and

improvements to the treatment of T1 and

the technological improvements are really

amazing - fantastic! My hiking events really

began just before my 50th birthday and I

now use it to raise some money; partly as

a way of saying thank you for my extremely

good health. I decided to walk the beautiful

South Downs Way from Winchester to

Eastbourne, a total of 105 miles. I did this

walk entirely on my own in six days and

raised over £9,000. It was great!"

Not satisfied with that, he's been back

but in slightly more exotic locations. He

says, "I have always had the desire to

climb Kilimanjaro; we used to be able to

see it from our garden in Nairobi when I

was young. I was delighted therefore when

JDRF contacted me and encouraged me

to sign up to the challenge of climbing

Kilimanjaro. I signed up and trained very

hard, sometimes with other members

of our Kili team. I have made extremely

good friendships as a result, and for most

of us, it is the first time we have really got

to know other T1D people well; it was

an unexpected and lovely benefit. In all,

there were 19 Type 1 diabetics who left

for Kili on the 16 June and we began our

ascent on the following Monday. It was

extremely hard work but it really made

one realise just how powerful team work

is. I won't bore you with too many details

but 17 of the T1D team made it to Uhuru

Peak - the highest point in Africa and

the highest freestanding mountain in the

world! We were exhausted but the sense

of achievement was really amazing, and

still is!

I was extremely fortunate to have the

use of a Dexcom G4 and the wonderful

support of John Hughes (what a nice guy!).

Cyclist Mike Hutchison

continued over


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