Diabetes equipment, diabetes kit,  Abbott FreeStyle Libre, diabetic, Accu-Chek Insight insulin pump



Rebecca Weddell is

nearly 42 and 'turned

30' in diabetes years

in May of this year.

Weddell's career is

creative one, as a glass artist. She says,

"What I do is incredibly niche. My target

customers are jewellery makers, so I sell

my work online to people who make

jewellery to wear or sell either directly

or under contract to shops. I make my

own jewellery too and have pieces on

display in my gorgeous workshop, but to

be honest my ideal work day is to sit at

a mesmerising torch flame and turn out

unique artisan beads one after another."

Glass beadmaking used to be

Weddell's hobby, then it became her day

job. But she says, 'When I turned my

hobby into a business I effectively lost

the hobby, so I then I joined a gym! Back

then, I would think twice about going

out depending on what my blood sugar

reading was, but since going on an insulin

pump I feel so much more in control. I

have always considered that my diabetes

is in fact that biggest and most important

part of my life; it's a full-time job in itself.

I am fortunate, being self-employed, that

I can take time out for hypos or pumpcartridge changes, or take the afternoon

off or work 20 hours a day if I want to. I

find my working life and my diabetes life

much easier to deal with now I'm selfemployed."

Weddell was diagnosed in 1986 at

age 11 after her mother noticed she had


suddenly lost weight. She remembers,

"I started to look very thin and ill and I

was awfully thirsty all the time. Mum took

me to the doctors and I ended up at the

Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in

Brighton. I went on to two injections a

day. I remember mixing the two insulins

together in one syringe, which I quite

liked doing."

At the beginning she didn't have a

blood test meter but she says, "When I

did get a blood test meter it used to take

about three minutes to do the test and it

needed a big blob of blood. It was always

kept at home, it never came out with me.

We had a chart blu-tacked to the door

where we diligently filled in my results but

we didn't understand how to use this

primitive data. How things have changed.

A while after that I went onto multiple daily

injections (MDI), using Novopens."

In terms of her overall control, she

remembers, "I always erred on the side

of low, not high, with the guidelines i.e.

between 4 to 7mmols, and no more than

9mmols two hours after eating. Trying to

stick within such tight deadlines frequently

left me with a lot of low blood sugars.

I discovered that if I tested one hour

after eating it would be a lot higher than

9mmols, so I often I put more insulin in to

address that. It was literally an 'overdose'

as I'd have a hypo later in the afternoon.

I suppose I just didn't understand all the

advice properly. If you test two or three

hours after eating, not one hour, you'd be

more likely to be in range."

Things moved on; Weddell attended

her local area's DAFNE equivalent course

(called SADIE) about 10 years ago.

Then a year ago, in October 2015 she

started on an insulin pump, "I went on

the Accu-Chek Insight and it's amazing,"

she says. "I know people can wear

pumps on waistbands, in pockets, or

suspended from items of clothing on the

outside. Some pumps need to always be

accessible, but mine can be out of the

way all of the time (not that I'm ashamed

of it). It can be completely tucked away all

the time and not needing to be fished out

and fiddled with every time I need to do

something on it! The remote does all of

that for me, so I can completely forget that

I'm wearing it. It uses pre-filled cartridges

so whenever I run out of insulin it's a very,

very straightforward procedure involving

just a cartridge and an infusion set, no

vials or reservoirs or syringes. Plus, the

handset is quite attractive in its own right.

I love a good gadget!"

More manageable

"I found pumping insulin such a change

to using separate basal and bolus insulin

pens; it's a whole new way of life. In that

respect, I am pretty certain that whichever

pump I had ended up with, I would be

equally delighted with, simply because

the pump is representative of my new

diabetes lifestyle and has finally, after

continued over


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