Scottish Parliament debates insulin pumps

Words, words, words
Words, words, words

The thrill-seekers amongst us will be delighted to be informed that the provision of insulin pumps in Scotland was debated in the Scottish Parliament last week, in a motion introduced by David Stewart MSP (I never knew he got into politics after Eurythmics split up…)

The Parliament’s full report can be found here:

For those who can’t be bothered to read it all, in summary it says:

  • Pumps are good
  • Scotland is at the bottom of the league table of western health care systems’ delivery of insulin pumps (Yay! Go us!)
  • Scottish health boards don’t spend any money on pumps
  • Ross Finnie MSP is Type One (Hurrah! We’re represented!)
  • Although initially expensive, pumps work out cheaper in the end due to fewer complications
  • It’s silly that NICE demands you have bad control before you’re eligible for a pump
  • Did we say pumps are good?

For those that can’t even be bothered to read my summary, I’ve also illustrated this post at the top right with a word cloud made up of the content of the debate!

That pumps are being debated in Parliament is definitely a Good Thing and David Stewart should be congratulated for keeping diabetes and pumps on the agenda, as their provision in Scotland is shamefully low. However, whether we will see any great changes in the coming year or two remains to be seen. As always, I remain cynical but it’s nice to see diabetes isn’t being forgotten.

Ask Fabio Calabria – professional cyclist

Avid readers of your soaraway Shoot Up forum will recall that we got in touch with Team Type 1 and put some questions about cycling and diabetes to Fabio Calabria – a massively talented professional cyclist and top athlete. He’s won the King of the Mountains Classification in the De Bortoli Tour and the New Zealand Road Championships in addition to a whole range of high-profile competitions.

Anyway, Fabio has been insanely busy racing all round the world but found the time to answer some of our questions on video and here they are, along with some fab bike-porn and Tony from The Sopranos!

Shoot Up meet up – Edinburgh

Beer, beer, we want more beer
Beer, beer, we want more beer

Like some sort of hellish nightmare come true, we’re having another soaraway Shoot Up meet up in sunny Edinburgh. So why not abandon everything you’ve currently got planed for Saturday 6th August and come along to Au Bar on Shandwick Place for 7pm onwards?

As always , all are welcome – diabetics, non diabetics, partners, friends, stalkers, etc. For anyone that we haven’t met before, @Katie & I stand an insulin pen in the middle of the pub table. It’s the diabetic equivalent of the red carnation or the folded copy of The Times!

There’s an event set up over on our Facebook page, which you can use to RSVP. Or you can just turn up without telling me, like everyone always does, so I have no idea whether two or twelve people will be turning up. That’s all part of the fun! Apparently.

Anyway, see you all there and if you have any questions then just drop me an email at

Happy birthday to Shoot Up, happy birthday to us!

Dimly through the mists of time and clouds of alcohol-induced memory loss I can cast my mind back and just recall that heady day back in 2009 when I published the first article on your soaraway Shoot Up. Uhm, urr, it was on 1st April. Yes, that’s right, Shoot Up is two years old today. So happy birthday us!

I started Shoot Up on 1st April 2009 after becoming jealous of the success of my wife’s blog over at If she could do it, so could I! So I started off by reviewing blood glucose meters, as at the time no one seemed to give them much thought. My first review of the Wavesense Jazz seemed to go down quite well (sadly the original comments on the post were lost during the Great Database Meltdown of 2010) and so I carried on, moving on to spouting ill-informed and poorly researched rubbish about diabetes.

A chance encounter in the comments section of someone else’s blog led to me meeting my now esteemed co-writer Alison. Alison had toyed with the idea of blogging but didn’t really have technical interest to set one up and I liked the idea of having someone with considerably more experience of diabetes than me writing on the blog. This combination of geekery and experience was a serendipitous one and one that has continued to flourish.

We then encouraged guest bloggers and have been lucky enough to have some brilliant different perspectives from people like Katie, Simon, Annette, Stephen, Samantha, Mark, Shelley, Tom, Sam & Terry, which has added a great deal of value to the blog and given you all a break from our rubbish.

But, of course, the greatest contribution has been from you – our dear readers – without your comments, humour, encouragement and interest (even from you lurkers who read and never comment!) we both would have packed up and given up long ago. Writing nearly 300 articles about type one diabetes ain’t easy but with your help we’ve done it and will, hopefully, continue to do so.

So what have we achieved over the last two years? I hope we’ve been at least slightly entertaining; I hope we’ve approached diabetes in a positive light; I hope we’ve raised a little bit of awareness about living with diabetes (nothing gives me greater pleasure than non-diabetics reading the blog); I hope we’ve encouraged people to question their health care providers.

But one thing I do know for certain is that we’ve definitely created a positive and happy little community on our wee corner of the web and that’s certainly something worth celebrating!

Comatose and rotting toes – the lighter side of insulin dependency