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My course on DAFNE has now finished and I and the seven other students have now been thrown out into the world to handle our diabetes on our own.

(We'd been doing just that for a combined total of 150 years before we started the course... but with less knowledge.)

The challenge now is to accurately remember the principles laid down in the course and not come up with some hybrid scheme of our own that's half DAFNE and half something else.

After six days of managing my insulin to DAFNE standards, I obtained an 'average' blood glucose reading. It was 9.5 mmol/l.

Historically my averages have ranged from 6.9 up to about 8.5. (A person with diabetes is almost always within the range of about 4 to 8 depending upon when they have eaten. My "averages" meant that I was outside this range about half the time.)

So: on the one hand it looks like things have gotten a lot worse. I've never had an average that bad. On the other hand, I'm deliberately targeting a slightly higher range over the next 6-8 weeks. Over the years I've become so accustomed to having low blood sugars (less than 3.5) that I don't reliably feel any symptoms when I go low. If I can go for 6-8 weeks with almost no hypos then I will regain symptoms (which is useful). During the week of the course I didn't go low once: which is something of a record for me. In the day and a half since it finished, I've dropped low: so I'm going to have to be careful about my levels.

One thing I'll say about the course: You get the impression that you could learn the basic principles in about an hour. But it takes a lot longer to internalise them. For that reason, a week of learning seems much more necessary than I initially expected.

I reckon there's an argument in favour of perhaps splitting the course. For example, three days of training, followed by a gap of a week or two whilst you try the principles out, followed by two days at the end. On the other hand, we're all getting back together in about six weeks for an afternoon to review how we are gone, so maybe that will meet the need to try it for yourself to work out what you know and what you don't know.

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Back row: Bryan, Sophia, Karen, Enid, Isobelle, Meghan, Monica, me
Front row: Pauline and Joy (our instructors)

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Anthony Holmes September 1st, 2007 06:43:26 PM

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