Archive for the diabetes Category

Episode 120. In which I am a terrible blogger.

Posted in diabetes, Henry, home, inanimate objects, people, Uncategorized, weather on September 8, 2011 by diabetses

Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. It’s been about nine months since my last blog post. A lot has happened in that time.

Let me just cut you off at the pass here and reassure you that babies do not feature in those 9 months. At all. Complete lack of babies. No babies here.

So let me try and bring you up to date, month by month. I apologise if I forget anything, but do keep in mind, I’m not a very good person.

December 2010. *stares at screen for ten minutes* Well this is a good start. What the hell did I do in December? Oh, I know what I did. I went to bed on Christmas Eve happy, and woke up on Christmas Day with a big ugly burn on my arm. I slept on my hot water bottle, you see. Which burned my arm so I had a big blister. Mister had to go out and borrow a bandage from the first aid kit at the pub. This led to my new years resolution, on which more will follow.

January 2011. I started a new blog, called Clumsy Diabetic. Basically I am cataloguing all my self-inflicted injuries, and counting my new scars. If I get five new scars this year, I will, get a tattoo. *spoiler alert: I have more than five new scars already.*

February 2011. I got a manicure. I know this is lame. But I did. Mister went away for a week and while he was gone I just pottered around, as one does, and then I went out and got a manicure. I went to Lanes Health and Beauty, and had a nice relaxing half an hour. It was pretty.

March 2011. We moved house! From a flat, into a house, actually. With a garden. I know! It’s lovely.

April 2011. I don’t remember what happened then. Presumably we unpacked and got settled into the new house, the new commute and all that.

May 2011. May kind of sucked, and kind of didn’t, but I mostly want to cry when I think about it.  Our awesome cat, Henry, loved by everyone who met him, the cat most like a person that I will ever meet, I am sure, got sick very quickly and died. It was devastating, I was broken, and it hurt. It still hurts. I feel like I let him down, like it’s my fault, like if only I could hold him it would all be ok again. But he’s gone, and it’s shit. After a while, because the house felt so empty, we went to the RSPCA to start the process of adopting another cat, and happened to fall in love with two, a brother and sister, who we somehow managed to adopt really quickly. We named them Margot and Jerry, collectively known as The Leadbetters.

June 2011. I had my birthday! Happy birthday, me, you’re 32 now. I had a lovely, lovely day in the Northern Lights Scandinavian bar in Brighton, where they gave me a free shot of some liqueur that smelled very strongly of Fisherman’s Friend. It took me all afternoon to drink it, including watering it down as much as possible, and I still handed the glass back with more in the dregs than there would have been had it been, say strawberry cheesecake flavoured liqueur.

July 2011. Well, July was good. In July I was unemployed for a week, after my contract ended at my job, then I got another job, at the same place, and was employed again. Permanent contract this time, which is reassuring. And then, at the end of the month, I met Caitlin Moran. I went to an event for her book, which is brilliant in case you didn’t know already, and waited afterwards to get her to sign my copy. Which she did, very graciously. And she recognised my name from Twitter. And I totally spazzed out, because I love her work and her book and her sense of humour, and even just my name taking up a micron of her brainspace is amazing.

August 2011. August was my man’s 40th birthday month. I got him presents he had asked for, and we had a kind of dinner party, where I cooked a bunch of tapas type stuff that turned out quite nicely. Later in the month my mum visited, which was brilliant, and I made her a roast dinner, all by myself. And even later in the month, I got a Touchpad. It was a late birthday present from mister, he really is far too good for me. 🙂

September 2011. And here we are. So far, the rest of the year is planned out as a bunch of brilliant things. In a couple of weeks my sister comes to stay for a week. In early October I have to go to a conference in London which means I get to spend an evening with my best friend. And then at the end of October she is coming to stay for a weekend. In November my best friend from high school might be down here from scotland for a conference, and I will get to hang out with her, which would be cool beyond words. And then at Christmas, mister and I are going to Scotland. The flights are booked and everything, we’ll be up there for nine days in total. Mister has never been to my hometown, and I’m hoping to show him a proper white Christmas (one of the ones where you couldn’t leave the house even if you wanted to) and I can’t wait to show him where I grew up.

However, I will try to blog more.


I promise to try.

Diabetic moment of the day

So far ok, I think. Oh, I left the house without my insulin kit this morning and only realised when I was at the bus stop so I had to come all the way home for it. I am a twat. This isn’t news.


Episode 118. In which I play a blinder.

Posted in diabetes, general health on September 6, 2010 by diabetses

I had my annual diabetic hospital check-up today, which I always dread. I have to have blood taken a couple of weeks in advance so that when I show up they’ve got all their ammunition at the ready, and I always think they’re going to tell me I’m doing it wrong. Diabetes, I mean.

A few months ago I had an eye test, another annual thing, for diabetic retinopathy. If you’re diabetic then sooner or later your eyes are going to start to go, I think it’s something to do with the blood vessels in your retina weakening, you get little haemorrhages and over a period of time new blood vessels form and scar tissue builds up and your eyesight starts to deteriorate.  Anyway, it starts showing up after you’ve had diabetes for 4 or 5 years apparently, so when I had my last appointment and they saw a couple of little haemorrhages I freaked out, until it was explained to me that it’s not something that’s avoidable. Although you can make it worse by not keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control and smoking and things, you can’t really stop it happening at all. It seems that there’s not much to worry about, though, if it’s noticed early and you do all you can to lessen it.

That is to say, there’s not much to worry about as long as the effects, when they start to show, aren’t in this one specific area of your retina.

So guess where I went and got my stupid little haemorrhages.

After my checkup I got a letter I didn’t really understand, something about the hospital, and something about early signs of retinopathy.  The guy that took the retina pictures had showed them to me as soon as they uploaded to his laptop, so I knew this, and thought “well that’s shitty” but thought nothing more of it.

When I went to my check-up today (everything’s great, thanks for asking) the doctor asked how the eye appointment had gone. After a little to-ing and fro-ing it turned out that I’ve been referred to the Eye Hospital. For some reason the hospital keeps using my old address – they have our new address but it’s as if they got a load of labels printed up before we moved and they want to use them all up. The Eye Hospital has been sending me letters and I’ve been missing appointments, and I never even knew there was anything for me to be worrying about.

Luckily the Eye Hospital is two doors down from the Diabetes Clinic so I popped in and asked when I was expected, so I now know I’m to turn up at the end of the month for whatever happens next.

I’ve done a little research and it seems that some of these effects can be fixed by laser treatment, which feels weird. I’ve got almost perfect vision so it’s never crossed my mind that I’d ever get laser eye treatment, and the idea freaks me out. All the way out.

And there we go. I didn’t do anything to bring this on, I didn’t even get the usual lecture on how I’d need to plan in advance when (ahem) I want to get pregnant because everything’s so under control already. It seems to be sheer bad luck that the teeny tiny little symptoms happened to turn up right in the bit of my eye that decides whether or not I can see things at all.

I hope that when I start seriously losing my sight, if that should happen before I’m at an age to be expecting it anyway, I’m able to handle it like I handled the diabetes diagnosis in the first place. I’d hate to ruin it all by turning into a whiny scared little twat.

So that was my day.


Diabetic moment of the day

Have you been paying attention? Seriously though, that was it, my diabetic moment was more like a diabetic hour and a half.  Sooner or later it’ll turn into the diabetic rest of my life. But hey, I’m awesome at this diabetes lark.


Episode 106. In which I forget what I was going to say.

Posted in diabetes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by diabetses

Sorry.  All I can remember is my diabetic moment of the day.

Diabetic moment of the day

I’ve been taking insulin at breakfast time again, I didn’t for a long time but more recently (since the cold really) I’ve been back on it.  It’s been going fine, back to normal, and even when my blood sugars came down again from the cold I still needed a bit of the good stuff with breakfast.

Today, however, mid-morning a massive hypo hit me hard.  It came out of nowhere, first I knew of it I got the shakes so badly I had to open my emergency bag of jelly babies with scissors.  I couldn’t make my hands open the packet.  It was pretty scary.  My sugars, when I got all the kit together, were at 2.7.  I’ve seen lower.  But not very often.


Episode 93. In which I sleep a lot.

Posted in diabetes, general health with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by diabetses

OK, I failed to blog again yesterday, but cheer up, this means you get two episodes today.  Although this first one’s crap.  Catch-up blogs are always crap.  Sorry.

I slept yesterday.  In the afternoon, I had a nap.  A three-hour nap.  Now, I’ve had whole nights where I got less sleep than that, and since I don’t tend to nap anyway, that was a pretty huge sleep.  I’m putting it down to the cold, which is being a bit weird.  I’m feeling absolutely fine some of the time (well, coldy but fine in myself), and then I’ll suddenly feel like I’ve inhaled some kind of nerve gas.  There was a worry yesterday that I had become allergic to Becks.  But don’t worry, I drank the rest of the bottle and I’m fine now.

Anyway, I’m always behind on my sleep so I’m not complaining, but me sleeping for long periods of time during the day is unusual.

Not like when I was at university.  When I was at university, I once took seven naps in one day.  That was quite a hungover day, that was.  Oh yes.

Diabetic moment of the day

I just can’t get my sugars straight.  I’ve heard that when you’re ill your sugars can go a bit haywire but I’ve not experienced it before.  I’ve been ill since I got the diabetes, worse than I am now by far, but my sugars never went so mental.  Every time I check my blood right now it’s a couple of points higher than it should be, but when I take insulin it’s throwing it back too low and I’m getting hypos.  It’s very frustrating.  But I’m trying.

Episode 87. In which I get a bit maudlin.

Posted in diabetes, general health, people, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2009 by diabetses

This week I’ve watched a few programmes in which couples have been split up by one of them dying.  In one case this was a very old couple, who did that TV drama thing of showing just how they’re still as much in love as they were in the twenties by kissing each other on the mouth  Of course you only do that after the age of fifty if you’re with your soulmate, or at least that’s what TV would have you believe.

The old lady had an operation, and had signed a DNR so that no steps could be taken to keep her alive if she wasn’t capable of staying alive on her own.  The old man seemed cool with this at the time.  Then, of course, she goes in for the operation, starts fading, and the old man demands that she be hooked up to every machine under the sun, because he’s not ready to lose her.  It was all quite a cliche.

Until the very end, when the old lady was gone, and with the music swelling they showed the old man being escorted to the door by the surgeon, who shook his hand and saw him on his way.  The old man tottered off on his own.  Presumably to eat whatever his ever-loving wife had left in the fridge for him to eat that night, and begin his new life as a widower in a big empty house all on his own.

This, of course, is a very sad thought, but for some reason it really got to me this time.  I got it into my head what would happen if I died, and how My Man would handle it.  Or if he died, how I would handle it.

I don’t mean to be gooey, I don’t want to make assumptions about his capacity to survive without me or anything, but I just thought, that looks like the worst thing in the world.  I wouldn’t know where to put myself, what to do with myself, I wouldn’t know where to look or when to breathe, I think some time would pass before I was able to function to any degree, I certainly couldn’t get in a car and drive, or get on a bus and navigate my way home, I probably wouldn’t get as far as calling a cab.

Sometimes my imagination gets the better of me, I’m not a fantasist or anything, I don’t just make shit up.  But sometimes I get a bit overly empathetic with things I see.  I’m sure this is what acting is all about and this is the reaction the programme-makers hope for.  But I saw this old man (who I recognised but I don’t know from where) and I thought, people go through that every day, hundreds of people every day, maybe thousands, all over the world, and they’re not all old, they haven’t all lived a life together, not everyone dies in a hospital and not everyone gets to hold hands with the ones they love as they slip away.  I thought, one day, if I’m lucky (by which I mean lucky enough to have someone with me to the end) then I will be on one side or the other of that situation.  I will either die and leave someone behind, or I will lose someone and be left alone.

And let’s be honest, thanks to my fucked up pancreas my chances of making it to average life expectancy isn’t that great.  That said, my paternal great granny lived to be 103 and my maternal grandad lived to 93, so my genetic life expectancy might be higher than average and I might be alright.  And I’ve no plans to fuck up my treatment to the point of multiple amputations.

Anyway, I don’t care if it happens to hundreds of people every day.  That doesn’t make it any less awful, and I have to slow my brain down a bit to even think about it now, should the situation arise I might just shut down altogether.  Maybe it’s something that you start to get your head around as you get older, maybe it becomes more bearable as you learn more about life in general.

I’m not thirty yet, it’s natural for me to think of death as something inevitable but far away.  Maybe when I’m sixty it’ll be inevitable and more conceivable somehow.  I suppose thinking of death as a young ‘un it seems unfair, but then it would, I haven’t lived my life yet.  Maybe when I’ve done what I need to do, lived a life I feel happy with, reached as many of my goals as I have it in me to reach, death will seem, not less unfair, but less…

Maybe less premature.

I know life is short, I know death is inevitable, I have no illusions about immortality.  But perhaps having to be aware of it at this age is what’s unfair.  Surely it’s the sort of thing that the young shouldn’t have to worry about.  In an ideal world everyone would live until they had achieved and experienced everything that was in their power, they wanted to.  When I’ve achieved and experienced and all that stuff, the “but I never got a chance to…” factor will be vastly reduced.

I have had it shoved down my throat how I’m x times more likely to get heart disease than non-diabetics, I’m y times more likely to go blind.  However, these are all complications that come about because of elevated blood sugar levels over extended periods of time, so I’m going with the argument that as long as I stay on top of things, keep my sugars where they should be, I’ll be fine.

What worries me is that my diabetes type is unknown (seriously, I am officially semi-diagnosed) and therefore nobody can vouch for what is going to happen to me five years down the line, never mind thirty years later.

And that is what I mean by maudlin.


Diabetic moment of the day

I’m alright today.  I want cheesecake, but of course a) I’m not allowed it and b) there’s none in the house.  That is for the best.

Episode 63. In which I cut a long story short.

Posted in diabetes, food, general health with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2009 by diabetses

So I went home and took a bath.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I was given a box of chocolates as thanks for something I did.  It was such a lovely thought that I bit my tongue and accepted them gracefully and with thanks, and next time I wake up with the shakes I’m self-medicating with champagne truffles and seville orange liqueur.

Episode 60. In which I fail.

Posted in diabetes, Internet, TV with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2009 by diabetses

Last night, our Virgin Media service died.  There was no warning, it happened while I was in the kitchen making macaroni cheese.  I usually write this blog while I’m eating and/or after I’ve eaten, so that meant that last night, it didn’t get written.  I was really going for a post a day and I’m a bit disappointed that I missed one, but I’m hoping that this extra, explanatory post will make up for it.  Or at least excuse me somewhat.  I suppose I could’ve written a proper subject-driven post in Word, and pasted it up here, but that wouldn’t have explained my failure or made it alright, and also, I’m running low on subject matter.  So just sorry.

Also, Virgin Media, sort yourselves out.  Not only did we have no internet, but we couldn’t even access our V+ box.  What’s the point of saving stuff off telly to watch later, if you can only watch it when the stupid number of channels you pay for are working and therefore tempting you away?

I could’ve been watching Supernatural.  Instead I went to bed at 10pm.

Diabetic moment of the day

Yesterday’s diabetic moment was the culmination of events.  I had three pieces of toast for breakfast and forgot to take my insulin (busy busy), then had a cheese sandwich and a packet of crisps for lunch, and took 4 units of insulin (by rights I should’ve had 4 with breakfast and another 4 with lunch).  Instead, come 3.30pm my blood sugar hit 3.2 and I had to eat my emergency jelly babies.

Diabetes is all about walking a very fine line, but the reason people live with it is because it is predictable.  You eat this, you inject that, your blood sugar goes here, unless you’re ill enough to mess with your sugars, or reacting wrongly to the insulin.  I’m all unpredictable and stupid, and it’s very frustrating.  Because while high blood sugar will lose me my feet in twenty years time, low blood sugar will send me into a coma here and now.  Damnit.

One of these days I am going to write a post about diabetes, nothing but diabetes.  It will be very boring if you already know about diabetes, but it will include all the tests I’ve had and their results, and what those results mean, and it will hopefully give you a rough idea of just how messed up my pancreas is.  Or isn’t.  Whatever.

Watch this space.  Or else, when you see “Episode XX.  In which I explain diabetes,” just move on.  Nothing to see here.