Skip to content

New at the diabetes challenge

Only Type 1 diabetic since 2009 and hating it of late… really hating it! Got two little girls (aged 3 and 4) to care for as a single parent, and the stress of my life right now has me not controlling my diabetes, often hitting 28+ and then crashing down below 3.3.

BS was already only 5.9 at bedtime and then, was so tired and ill with sinusitis last Friday I accidentally injected 20 units Novorapid instead of Levemir!!! Freaked out completely! Ate over 200g carbs and STILL went low.

Any advice would be appreciated.


– Collet Dunne

What to read next
Join South Africans with Diabetes on Facebook

Join our diabetes community


  1. It gets better, Collet – I promise! I think all diabetics have moments of feeling like it’s completely out of our control, but you can get a grip on it again.
    Two things I found helped me – the first was keeping a diabetic journal and record…ing everything I ate, how many carbs I thought it was and how much insulin I took, then what my BS reading was. That helps to get a picture of where you’re miscalculating.
    The other, funnily enough, is meditation. Just 15 mins a day guided meditation helps me get my head on straight again. And if that feels like too much time, then just a few deep breaths before bed to clear your head.
    Also don’t be too strict with yourself – I think 5.9 before bed is good! Maybe just a small piece of fruit to make sure you don’t go low in the night.
    If you have any specific questions, email them to and we’ll ask the community. And have you signed up for our free diabetes lifestyle magazine? It’ll be packed full of helpful tips.

  2. PD PD


    This really is a pickle! My advice is to take it up with our doctor (and a Specialist, NOT a GP!) to see where things are going wrong. You, your doctor and dietitian need to form a personal bond, so that they can understand your personal needs as a diabetic.

    I am now 25 and I have been a diabetic since I was 11. These things happen! Just don’t let it get you down. You are stronger than this condition, that I promise you. I do suggest that you get some help immediately though, you do not need to feel this yucky all the time ( I know the feeling, it is awful)

    If you ever have trouble like injecting too much, wrong type etc, just give Diabetes SA a call, they have a 24 hour helpline: 0860 372 4636 for emergencies exactly like this!

    Stay strong and fighting the good fight! You will be fine.

  3. Candice Candice

    Hi Collet

    I’ve been a diabetic since the age of 6 and I’m now 22. There’s honestly no fixed and perfect BS reading. Each person varies. For me, having a reading of 4 makes me feel shaky and unstable, whereas this could be the norm for other diabetics.

    As far as food goes. Don’t dose yourself with too much sugar, it’s only going to cause your sugar level to spike and drop again, which is why you hit a low after so many carbs. Try eating something that will sustain your sugar level, like LOW GI foods, seed loafs or even a bran muffin (which has wheat and some sugar). I also found that eating peanut butter and banana’s raises your sugar and keeps it constant. So maybe peanut butter on whole wheat bread is a good solution.

    Don’t freak out, people make mistakes like injecting too much or the wrong insulin type all the time. Although you are a single parent, you need to find time for yourself. Running keeps my sugar levels under control, for some it may even be yoga or at home exercise. You need to take care of yourself if you want to be healthy enough to take care of your kids.

    All the best!

  4. Collet Dunne Collet Dunne

    I tried the 24hr hotline number supplied in one of the comments above (0860 372 4636) but it is not a valid number. Any ideas on a valid number?

    • How strange! Have you tried the other hotlines? Will see if I can find an updated number…

    • Got it! Thanks a lot again for heilpng me out!

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.