dose to give myself although I felt I had
to work a lot of things out for myself --
things that I wasn't told that would have
made things an awful lot easier if I had
been. For example, no one told me about
correction boluses. However, I was more
or less stabilized and was able to take -
and pass -- my exams. Soon after that I
went to university at Durham."
A suitcase of meds
In the 18 years since being diagnosed
Leighton has moved around the country.
Having gained a degree, she taught
English as a foreign language, spending
a year each in China and in Spain. "For
both of those adventures, she says,
"I just went to my GP and got a years'
worth of insulin and other supplies. I'd
leave with a suitcase full of medications
and blood test strips! Then there came a
point when I decided I wanted to become
a fully qualified teacher, so I undertook a
PGCE in Cambridge. It is there that I met
my partner. In the end I only ended up
teaching for one year, discovering I didn't
really enjoy it. My partner and I decided to
start a company as we'd long been talking
about starting a business together."
It was at this stage that Leighton
started to more fully understand what
the benefits were of newer diabetes
technologies. She says, "Up to that
point I'd only ever used whatever blood
test meter the hospital gave me, but I
started to hear about continuous glucose
monitoring, yet whenever I asked about
CGM or insulin pumps, I was told that
injections were all I needed and that a
"I was very excited to move
from 'tubing' to 'no tubing'.
It's been a relief.
pump was 'not for me'. With a view to
starting a family, I was taking more interest
in my own general health and my diabetes
care. I knew that to have a safe, successful
pregnancy I had to get the best control I
could. Eventually I self-funded a Dexcom
G4 for the couple of years that lead up to
getting pregnant. In the end I did have a
normal pregnancy and delivery and found
CGM invaluably helpful in achieving that."
By now Leighton was living back in
Lincoln in the catchment area of Lincoln
County Hospital. She recalls, "The staff
OPPOSITE: Kendra at work her
insulin patch pump on her arm.
TOP: An Omnipod patch pump
has a pod and a Personal
Diabetes Manager (PDM).
ABOVE: The Omnipod system
componets (on the left).
POD DIMENTIONS: 3.9cm wide,
5.2cm long, 1.4cm high. Weighs
25g (without insulin).