Hi guys - I'm back from DAFNE.
As excited as I was before the course, I am so much more excited now.
The course is intensive but so impressive - but you need to trust the method. It will take me a few days to let everything sink in before I can post all details, but I've a wee overview below.
The most important thing that you will learn in DAFNE is what your long-acting inslulin should really be. Mine was constantly being increased at appointments - most recently up to 50 units Levemir per day (20:30 ratio). I am now on 24 units of Lantus once a day. And you'd think that by dropping my long-acting by over half that I'd need to increase my novorapid at meals but it has been at most the same. What I realised (as did nearly everyone on the course) is that I was eating to keep my Levemir from constantly reducing my sugar levels. Now I can really eat as much or as little as I want - no foods banned, no eating at certain times - I can not eat if I want. Once your background (long acting) insulin is sorted you can do anything.
Second most important was carb counting. As previous posters have said, 10g carb is usally 1 unit insulin. In DAFNE every 10g carb (total carb not total sugars on labels) is one CP (carbohydrate portion). Everyone starts on a 1 CP:1 unit Novorapid or other quick acting insulin). I'm pretty much good on 1:1 - others are on 1.5 or 2 or even 0.5 to 1 - its very individual and all about looking for patterns (yes - diaries really are essential) and noticing what time fo day you need more insulin. Carb free meals (steak and salad/veg etc) mean no insuline needed - woohoo!!!!
All week you keep looking at your own and the group's sugar levels and suggesting changes on that. A couple of 3am blood sugar tests too (if you check your sugars at 3am and then again at 8am and they are pretty much the same - plus or minus 1.5, then your background insulin is spot on as it is not "dragging you down" overnight - if it drops too much you need less - if it goes up, you need more and so on.
Dealing with and preventing hypos and hypers are discussed as is the subject of alcohol as most people hospitalised with hypos are as a result of alcohol. Healthy eating is discussed but only briefly as it is more a course on showing you how to live a "normal" life and so you make your own decisions on what types you eat.
That's it for now. It's an amazing course so I advise you all to harass your GPs or specialists to get you referred.
P.S. Young and older on course - length of time with diabetes varied from 3 to 36 years and everyone learnt a huge amount so no excuses for anyone!!