Talking Sugar Surfing with Dr Stephen Ponder

What a week

duktweetIt’s been an amazing week of privileged invites and questions of ‘why me?’. Firstly, along with Amy I had the opportunity to be part of Dr Partha Kar’s session on transition at the National Paediatric Diabetes Team Meeting in Birmingham and yesterday I had the huge privilege of interviewing Dr Stephen Ponder on behalf of Diabetes UK. When Ruth, my Diabetes UK National Peer Support Manager, asked me if I’d be interested in being part of this I initially thought of refusing, surely there’s other peer supporters more suited but after a while I realised how suitable my experiences and knowledge were. So with nervous ‘Yes’ I signed up.

Meeting the team

Almost immediately my worrying mind was put to rest as I found out I’d be doing this with Diabetes UK National Care Advisor Chris Headland who’s a driving force behind the very successful #Type1Uncut team/videos.

Thinking of some questions…or rather sub-contracting the job

I’ve known about Dr Ponder’s Sugar Surfing for some time and have seen many posts on the Facebook page. Yet when faced with getting some questions together for the interview I felt I knew precious little so I turned to a friend from the Diabetes Online Community, Carolyn, who’s son has attended Dr Ponder’s Texas Lions Camp. Carolyn’s suggestions were great and with a few alterations formed the basis of much of the chat with Dr Ponder.

Obviously too excited

With the interview due to start at 11am I arrived a little earlier…about 2 hours early, I guess I was quite keen. Meeting Chris for the first time was like greeting an old friend, then all the Diabetes UK team and finally Dr Ponder. We chatted for a while about what we intended to do and what would happen next and afterwards just to make sure Dr Ponder was happy. He was.

Dr Ponder and me

A chat amongst friends

“Interview” seems like such a formal word, everyone seemed so relaxed I’d say it just felt like a chat between friends, with two friends captivated by every word their more worldly-wise friend said.
As Diabetes UK are going to release information and hopefully video footage with the next weeks I won’t go into detail about the questions we asked nor the answers Dr Ponder gave, just watch this space for more information.
Part way through the chat Carolyn tweeted to Diabetes UK and I made Dr P laugh when I asked D:UK to reply with a firm ‘No, we’re keeping him’.
Before I knew it two hours had flown by and it was sadly time for our chat to end, although Dr P and I kept chatting for a while longer.

Dr Ponder

I think I’m a pretty good judge of character, I can spot an idiot mile off, self-centered people last minutes before I discount them, people with ulterior motives can’t hide it for long. On the other hand the good folk out there just leap up in front of my eyes.
I could be wrong about this but I’m willing to stake my neighbour’s house – not mine just in case I’m wrong – on the fact that you’re unlikely to meet a nicer chap than Dr Ponder.
He seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make other peoples’ lives better and now with Sugar Surfing he appears to be branching out worldwide.
Of course none of this should be any surprise to me as Carolyn has been saying this for ages and I judge that she’s a pretty good judge of character too.

Sugar Surfing

(For some actual information about what Sugar Surfing is check out these slides.)
As Dr Ponder explained how Sugar Surfing came about I found myself nodding with every word and it soon became clear that this was something we’ve been waiting for. Yes, we’ve been doing things like pre-bolusing, super-bolusing, microdosing, microcarbing occasionally for a while but all by trial and error – mainly error. Amy has previously under her own steam bolused for dinner and waited until at the lower end of her range before eating.
Chatting about the lag of CGM, the lag of insulin, the working time of insulin, watching the CGM curves to bottom or top out I realised we were a family that could probably jump straight in to try Sugar Surfing for real.
Here with the Sugar Surfing book in my hand we had a training guide that no-one had offered us before.

It’s time to start reading that book but not before tomorrow when I have the pleasure of attending the JDRF Discovery Day in London and listening to Dr Ponder for a few more hours, something I’m really looking forward too.

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