MY DIABETES KIT
Martyn Ullah is
now 26. He was
2001 when he
was 11 years old.
He recalls, "The first time I had symptoms
I remember going on a visit to Thorpe
Park, a sort of adventure place near my
home in Surrey. I was drinking gallons
of water. Then, one normal school day,
I was having a shower in the morning
and collapsed. My mum took me to the
health centre and a GP gave me a blood
test. He told me then and there that I was
diabetic. I remember the blue-and-white
Accu-Chek Advantage blood test meter
he used to do the test. I was then rushed
by my mum to the hospital - she even
got a speeding ticket. Then I spent three
days in hospital at St Peter's in Chertsey.
Although released, I was back in a month
later because my pen needle had blocked
and I did not realise. So I went really high
and had to go to hospital. I was a rookie.
You learn fast!"
Ullah sees that his diabetic journey
includes some different life stages. He
says, "Looking back, I'd been given a lot
of information when I was first diagnosed,
like what I could and could not eat. I cried
myself to sleep one night when I realised I
could no longer have my favourite cereal,
which was Wheeto's.
"It sounds silly now, but I was only a
kid. I was on two injections a day at the
start. It was an insulin mix. I remember I
had to shake it before injecting it. I was
given a blood test machine at the time,
an Accu-Chek Active but I also tried
the Accu-Chek Compact. My favourite,
however, has been the Accu-Chek
A step up
Ten years after diagnosis, Ullah moved
from multiple daily injections onto an
insulin pump. "I was 21," he says, "and
going into my final year at university. When
I was back at home during holidays my
mum still checked my blood sugar on the
night - it's a hard habit to break I guess!
Initially, I had rejected the idea of going on
a pump, but now I love it. I've been on an
Accu-Chek Spirit Combo the whole time.
It comes with the Accu-Chek Expert blood
test meter. The remote control capability is
fantastic. I use the carb-calculator a lot - I
use it more now, because I've been on a
DAFNE course at Kings College Hospital.
I moved my care up there a year ago as
I needed help to get more out of pump
use as well as to better understand how
insulin itself works. The Spirit Combo is a
very usable system. Often I just pick the
pump up and do a manual bolus, as I've
worked the dose out in my head. I do this
the most if I have a FreeSytle Libre sensor
on. The trends are really handy."
Ullah's job is as a duty manager of
a leisure centre which includes a pool
where he is often on duty lifeguarding.
He says, "I've been using the Libre about