A Little More Here, A Little Less There

I have a little update today because I have been taking a bit of a break from madly posting on the blog or social media when it comes to diabetes, for a few reasons. One is that I have been incredibly unwell since coming back from ADEA/ADS at the end of August. This started with a severe flare of my gastroparesis and restriction of my diet to manage this, followed by 2 viruses, followed by an eye injury, followed by that injury not really healing properly and now flaring with recurrent small erosions and a trip back to the specialist, followed by the worst night ever with my diabetes in 38 years on Thursday last week, and consequent exhaustion – all of this in just 7 weeks….. As well as this I am giving my all, 110% to diabetes with my PhD. I am spending much of my days immersed in my research, working hard to try and make pregnancy a better and easier journey for women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. And as well as this, I am running my sustainable homewares business, and the most important of all – caring for my family.

This all adds up to a hell of a lot.

Sometimes when you own health is not great, you need to be a little more inward than outwards. Thursday night was a very scary experience for me, after 2 insulin pump site changes in an hour due to persistent high BGL’s, followed by a massive fast crashing of my levels, which did not respond to usual glucose and required lots and lots of glucose, and some bread. This of course resulted in a spike at 1am, that was 22mmol and rising…and then I got up to manage this on the sofa. After a bolus, an hour later I was again crashing into a low…and was filling up on glucose…..I was terrified and alone in the night and exhausted. By 4am I staggered into bed. By 5am I was again rising to about 17 mmol. I became terrified about dropping and so took only small boluses. During the day I got down to about 11 mmol at one stage but then started to rise and by lunch was 22mmol and still rising…I ended up in tears, walking around the backyard trying to help drop my levels as boluses were not helping…in the end I called my Endo who suggested increasing the basal rate for a while and by the afternoon I was down to 14 mmol…but that was as far as it would go. I was dripping in small boluses but it was not helping so after a suggestion by Mum in the evening, changed out the insulin in my pump. I went to bed on 12 mmol and woke in the night to a lovely 7mmol and seemingly my nightmare was over. It has really knocked me about, my body as well as my mind and confidence. And I am left questioning the CGM as for me, fast arrows just freak me out and may not be the best match.

I have been giving myself to the diabetes online community, indeed being one of the pioneers of this, and the first in Australia to be online providing free counselling and creating community for people with diabetes, since 2001. It was an amazing journey with many ups and downs, and I do not regret a minute of it, even the very hard parts. There are many many people now across the world supporting each other in the diabetes online community, and it is very wonderful. For me, the time of spending 110% of my life giving free advice and support are over, with my research being the thing I can offer to the diabetes world. I have also rebuilt a little community here with the blog, and the Facebook page and groups. I love connecting with you all, but at times, I may be a tad quieter than usual on social media and the blog. This does not mean I have forgotten you, or stopped caring – it just means I need to be a little more here, and a little less there. It is so lovely to see you all connected and supporting each other, as the online diabetes community is about far more than one person, together we are stronger.

Helen xx



  1. Rick Phillips on October 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I just got back form a vacation myself. I hope a break is or was well worth it. I know mine was.

    • Helen-Edwards on October 26, 2017 at 9:51 am

      great to hear Rick – not really a break in as much as a break from pushing myself to blog or do diabetes social media. I am full time on my PhD and also running my business – but it is mentally a break

  2. Helen (@heltweet) on October 23, 2017 at 11:04 am

    You are such a Giver, Helen. It’s Time to Give to yourself & let others find alternatives. Your amazing body of work in Diabetes over decades is here on the website for free access to all, and remains the single most insightful resource on the Interweb. Time to ‘switch off’ from putting others first & ‘switch on’ to a space where your needs and wants are the highest priority.

    • Helen-Edwards on October 26, 2017 at 9:51 am

      thank you – you are a big part of it all

  3. Linda Veurman on November 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Helen, I hope you are feeling a little more relaxed now that you are taking some time out to take of yourself and your family. I enjoy reading your FB posts and blogs, especially your introduction to the Dexcom G5 which helped me immensely. I had a similar frightening experience like you mentioned above with a very bad low after correcting a high glucose level, one night while home alone. It was after that I discovered your FB page and learnt about your Dexcom trial, and have since purchased that CGM. I now feel safer having the Dexcom alert me when my glucose level is dropping, and am slowly learning not to panic when it alarms.
    Anyway, I want to thank you and let you know how much I appreciate your work and dedication towards helping other Diabetics like myself.
    Regards from

    • Helen-Edwards on December 6, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      thanks so much Linda for sharing your experiences, it is amazing how we are all different and the most important thing is the ability to make our own decisions -best of luck with the Dexcom!