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  1. Christmas with the Diabetes Fairy.

    Friday, 25 December 2009

    Happy Christmas one and all!

    Well I promised you a post today, and though I'm cutting it rather close to the wire, here we go.

    So last night, I went to midnight communion, as I usually do of a Christmas Eve. Skimming over the ice, insanely squeaky clarinet playing, and the fact there was a rather frighteningly drunk man walking the same path home as me, I decided to test as I arrived at the service. 4.5. Hmm. Fair enough, but if that doesn't alter, I might need to have a snack before I go to bed.  Now when it comes to actually taking communion, I remember that the church I go to when I'm at my parents' place serves grape juice rather than wine for communion. Ah. All the times I've taken communion since being diagnosed, I've either been served wine, or I've been free to take the tiniest sip of juice from a comunial cup. So I start wondering whether this would be a problem. I decide that it shouldn't since the amount you get served in the individual glasses is smaller than a shot glass, so it couldn't affect me too much, surely?

    Well, I'm 5.3 before I go to bed, so all's well that ends well, right? Well, I wake up this morning with a fairly strong headache, and test at 8.8 in one hand, and 7.6 in the other. Huh?! So I have some breakfast, and go back down to church again. After the service, I'm starting to feel a bit grotty. I figured I was probably on the edge of hypo. Nope! 10.3. An hour later, when I'm doing my proper post meal test, I come in at 4.3. AN HOUR LATER! What the heck is going on by this point?

    But this is where it starts to get really interesting. I'm 4.6 before we have Christmas dinner. I don't go crazy, but I'm not stingy either. Turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, stuffing, sausage. Have a bit of ice cream and a very tiny bit of Christmas pudding after. Two glasses of light sparkling (very sweet) wine. Post meal I come in at 5.9. Having told myself I can be a bit more relaxed today, I have a handful of savoury nibbles, and pick at yoghurt coated ginger (something I discovered I loved after being diagnosed. Then shortly after discovered the sugar content of it.). Come about 8pm, and I think I should probably have something else to eat, or I'll hypo later in the evening. But thinking about the ginger and what have you, I think it's still going to be a high score. Numberwang says....5.8.
    Post meal numberwang says 4.5!

    What is going on?! On a normal day, I wouldn't eat like this! I wouldn't pick at ginger. I wouldn't drink the sweet wine. I wouldn't have stuffing, potatoes and parsnips at the same meal. It's rather like the diabetes fairy, who normally is such a curse, decided to turn the usual game on its head. Thus I have had two of my mum's chocolates, and a small glass of port. I daren't see how far I can test this out though.

    In other news, I have many, many pairs of socks. This is a very good thing. Note that I do not say that I have enough socks. One can never have enough socks. They are also all fabulous. I did take a picture of my feet in one pair to show you, but sadly this computer does not like to upload things. But believe me, they are rather wonderful.

    I hope you are all having a great time, with good levels.

    Again, Merry Christmas to you! xx

  2. Emerging from under a rock

    Thursday, 24 December 2009

    Well, after my huge accomplishment of managing to complete NaBloPoMo, I suppose I rather seemed to fall off the face of the earth for December. But hey, it's been busy. Most evenings I've been tied up doing something, or I've just been shattered. So I'm afraid this rather took a back seat for a bit.

    But how are you? Seriously, if you're still reading even after I disappeared for practically a whole month, I'd like to know! 

    For my part, like I say, I've been busy. December is a bit mad for everyone, but it's been a manic few weeks. I started off with York Come Dancing. Oh yes.  I've been talking about this one for a while, but it finally came. And then promptly went. Ben and I had a slightly stressful but wonderful time doing demonstration Cha-Cha-Cha and Jive. Proof?

    There we are! (Photo credit - It's a crop of a shot by Matt Cornock / York Dancesport). Yes, my lines could be a lot better, but I was still quite pleased with the whole thing. Pretty much in retrospect, because the end of the Jive went a bit wrong for various reasons, and I was a touch gutted on the night. But that's life, huh?  More recently, I've had a bash at Viennesse Waltz, finally got a handle on the regular Waltz (if only I could remember the routine! When I can remember it, I can do it!) and Samba. I'm still rather looking forward to Paso and Foxtrot. ^_^
    You know how in the past, I've complained about my sieve brain, and lack of organisation? Well, I've managed a doozy as of late. I lost my BG diary. Yeah, not great. I knew it was somewhere inside my bedroom, but where it was I had absolutely no idea. I thought maybe it had been a week, perhaps a fortnight tops since I had last written up my scores. Well, I found it the other evening. In a bag under my bed. Great, right? Turns out I hadn't actually written in my scores since the 9/10th November. Well done me. That was a fun evening of transcribing over a month's worth of data from my meter, I can tell you. Obviously it's nobody's fault but my own. Hopefully it'll teach me not to do that again, at any rate!

    This next statement is obviously and exaggeration, but not far off one. It seems like everyone in the country has snow at the moment. At home in York, we've got it. I got back to my parents' place in Cheshire last night, and they also have it, as did everywhere I travelled through on the train. So it's cold. Particularly in York, where we didn't have a LOT of fresh snow after the initial big fall, but it's still there and not melting away. I don't know whether it's just weird timing, or if it has something to do with the temperature, but injecting has been a lot more painful than normal. Anyone else find it hurts more when it's colder?

    I'm hoping to be an extremely good girl and post a quick one tomorrow. Make up for missing most of December by posting on Christmas Day. Seems a weird trade-off, but it works for me!

  3. The finishing line!

    Monday, 30 November 2009

    So I did it! 30 posts in 30 days means that I managed to complete NaBloPoMo. It was actually quite an interesting experience to try and find something to write about every day. Some days were definitely more interesting than others.

    My medic alert bracelet broke on Saturday. Middle of rehearsal. Suddenly it just snapped off my wrist. Beads everywhere.

    So I've not been wearing it since. What I find really strange is that I was really resistant to getting one in the first place, yet having gone a few days without, I feel naked for not having it on. I don't know whether it's just that I got used to wearing another piece of jewellery, and not having it feels weird (I know I still get confused as to where my ring which broke is), or if it was giving me a sense of security. Peace of mind knowing that if something did happen to me, whoever found me would know my name, date of birth, that I had diabetes, and who I wanted them to call.

    I'm not sure now whether to order a new one, try to fix this one, email the people I bought it from (as it was pointed out to me that breaking within six months isn't exactly great), or hoping that someone does in fact grant my wish for a new bracelet bit on Livejournal's holiday_wishes community. I've still got the ID in my purse, but is that enough?

  4. My heart belongs to German desserts

    Sunday, 29 November 2009

    There are too many nice things in the shops at the moment. It's quite irritating in a lot of ways. Threshers was going out of business, so I bought a rather nice bottle of port. I'm still in rather a 'trial and error' phase with alcohol and what it does to me. It all seems to be ok so far.

    The deli where I go and get my lunch most days has a huge basket of nice things, all out for Christmas. Liebkuchen (yes Sam, I like them too!), stollen and Pfeffernusse. I've yet to see any Spritzgeb├Ąck, but man, I want some of them so badly.

    Damn Christmas food. Why are you all so sweet?

    But at least I get to assemble my Advent tree tomorrow. And get my Saint Nicholas gifts ready for Saturday.


  5. Getting near the end now

    Saturday, 28 November 2009

    Practice was interesting today. Half the couples for the demo were missing, and we had to add extra choreography on.

    I've been swinging on levels again though. I'm just spending too much time around the 8's, or bordering on hypo. I'm fed up of it.

    In terms of an interesting read, I recommend this article. It hits very close to home.

  6. Waiting for the hammer to fall

    Friday, 27 November 2009

    I feel like I'm waiting a lot of the time. Waiting for my insulin sensitivity to decrease. Waiting to need bigger boluses. Waiting to need the Lantus back again. Just waiting. It's like being on a very weird time bomb. I can't see the timer, or the fuse, so I don't have even the vaguest clue when it's going to go off. The only thing I know is that it will. And I worry. I worry what it's going to be like when the amounts of insulin I need aren't so tiny. I wander all over the place as it is...

    I gave in to some temptation today. I bought some pralines from Hotel Chocolat. I had three of them. I gave myself an extra unit of NR. I thought that would stop me going really high. But it brought me down to the edge of hypo before dinner. But by the time dinner was actually ready, I was up to 5. I had a relatively low carb dinner, but still ended up at 8.1 two hours later.

    What's it going to be like when I'm out of honeymoon?

    I really, really don't know. I guess I'll just wait and see.

  7. Damn you digestive biscuits. In the past few days, you have taken me from 2.8 mmol/l to 11.2 mmol/l (although that was with some glucotabs. I would just treat a hypo with digestives. That would be dumb) and from 4.6 to 11.4. I do love you, but you're not even my favourite biscuit. That second time around, I just wanted a biscuit. These days, you
    tend to be the only ones I have in the house, being as two of you make up the ideal amount of long acting carb needed post-hypo. Or so I thought. 

    It's times like that, when you just fancy a biscuit, or don't fancy drinking some silly isotonic sports drink whilst exercising, that I can see the attraction of a pump. Being able to bolus tiny amounts, and adjust your basal rate to 200% or 0% would be rather useful. 

    I know a lot of people who are either on pumps, are waiting for them, or are trying to get on them. One of the first things I remember someone saying to me after my D-day was 'If you get offered an insulin pump, you want to take one.'. But do I want one? No, not really. I know I'm still new into this, and my mind might change on the matter, but for me personally, I don't think it's something I would want. 

    As I said, I can see the pros. But I just wouldn't want to be permanently tethered to a piece of equipment 24/7. I have my other reasons, but right now, that's a big one.

    Maybe down the line, who knows?

  8. The pros and cons of a UK Thanksgiving.

    Wednesday, 25 November 2009

    It's another mainly non-diabetes related one, but I'm currently engaged in a rather bizarre conversation over why we should theoretically adopt Thanksgiving in England. At the moment, arguments for the positive include:

    1: An extra bank holiday in Autumn.
    2: A celebration of God's bounty.
    3: Food which though not common over here, is at least interesting sounding.
    4: (I am now adding this one on) The chance for more sweet potato.
    5: Further build up to Christmas, thus stalling early Christmas madness.
    6: Getting another friends and family meeting chance. Any awkwardness is brushed over earlier, so making Christmas easier.

    These seem all rather good reasons. My initial qualm with this was mainly:


    This is not meant as any offence to Americans that I know. I socialise with you, thus you clearly don't embody the things about America which rub my the wrong way (I know it's pathetic, but the spelling issue is still high up on the list!), but rather that England doesn't try to further model itself as America mark two, since as a nation (in the sense we know England and the USA today) we were here first! 

    But I am being somewhat swayed by the pro arguments. I don't get enough sweet potato, and Christmas does start too early.

    So, if there are any Americans out there reading, do explain the Thanksgiving dinner - who knows, we might give it a try! How do you guys deal with what sounds like a distinctly carb-heavy meal?

    And on a completely unrelated note, this is awesome:

  9. Another late one

    Tuesday, 24 November 2009

    I hate coming in late. It means I eat late. I can't get enough done, and I don't have enough time to think of truly interesting things to say to you.

    Some marginally interesting things from today:

    1: It's third time lucky for the waltz. I get it now!
    2: I learned that dalmatians are apparently related to fire stations in the USA. Who knew? Other than most of America, I'm guessing?
    3: Beans on toast is currently a winning lunchtime option - it's also apparently catching on at work.
    4: I just shouldn't be allowed into Lush. Ever.

  10. A brief interlude of nothing to say!

    Monday, 23 November 2009

    It's cold again. Hate to be a broken record guys, but I absolutely cannot get warm. It's due to get colder as well, I'm told. Fabulous.

    Anyway, more positively, I can see from having a poke around my stats that there are few new people reading this, due to my request on holiday_wishes on livejournal. Hi if you're one of them!

    I was going to talk about pumps today, but I just haven't got the mental energy to tackle that today! Hopefully I can ge ton to that by the end of the week, though. It definitely won't be tomorrow - tomorrow we have beginner's waltz and improver's rumba. Yey!

    Since I don't have anything amazingly interesting to say today, I suggest taking a walk over to Sam's blog, Talking Blood Glucose as she's been talking about some really interesting stuff lately, and it's well worth the read. Plus, she's fab too! :D

    See you tomorrow x

  11. Bread ^_^

    Sunday, 22 November 2009

    Mmmm......I can smell bread. Don't worry, I'm not going (any more) mad (than usual). I can smell bread because, well, there's bread cooking.

    I recently invested in a bread maker. Now I had a lot of people telling me that this was an outstandingly dumb idea. Bread makers tend to top the charts, along with ice cream and popcorn makers, of things people buy and never use. But I wanted to take the plunge.

    I love bread, you see. I can't imagine my life without it. It would make me very sad. I was so glad that it turned out I wasn't blessed with the joys of dealing with coeliac disease as well.

    The really good thing about using a bread maker is that I can control exactly what goes into the loaves that I'm making, and I can pick and choose what seeds I put in. This is great. And after a few sad looking little lumps that didn't really qualify as bread, we seem to have got the knack down, and come out with something that's really quite nice.  Warm bread and butter - heaven, I tell you. Thankfully, I got told by David (one of the two dieticians I seem to have acquired) that the way to work out the carb value of bread when you don't have a packet to work with, is to weigh the bread you're going to eat, and then divide that in half. This will give you a reasonably good estimate of the carbs. Plus, it's easy to remember, which is always helpful!

    So, as long as you're committed to making it part of your routine, don't let anyone put you off a bread maker. They make nice bread, they're not THAT expensive any more, and you get the gorgeous fresh bread smell. What's not to love?

  12. Off on another trip

    Saturday, 21 November 2009

    Today has felt like a very long day. After dancing from 12-4, I'm rather tired. I've also been forgetting to test today. Which has been nice in one way, because I haven't been fretting over numbers all day, except for one point during rehearsal, when I didn't really feel right. I then discovered I was at 7.6 though. Again, can someone explain that to me please? However, the accompanying side effect of not testing is that, yes, you guessed it - I feel guilty for not having done it! Then I realise I haven't transferred results from meter to diary for a good few days/a week. Oh and here comes the guilt trip...


  13. INI gets let loose!

    Friday, 20 November 2009

    I forgot to mention that I'm being featured at the moment in the latest edition of the Patients For A Moment blog carnival.

    It's being hosted by the fabulous Jenni Prokopy, who is the founder of the amazing site Chronic Babe (Ladies, if you're not already a member, join the forum and tell them I sent you!) and a generally fabulous person!

    You can find the blog carnival here. I highly recommend going and having a read of some of these posts. There are lots of great ones there by some amazing patient bloggers.

    Oh, and I get called inspirational there too. How about that? That's a first!

    Tomorrow is dance practice again. My feet seem to have made something of a recovery since last Saturday. Let's hope this keeps up!

    Happy Friday xx

  14. The Big Switch On

    Thursday, 19 November 2009

    I started off today being a bit miserable and grumpy. Overslept, but still tired. I had forgotten that we had a room hire in at work today, for a company who were running auditions for a showcase. Which meant people were coming in and out of the door all day. Our front door is a code-entry only door, with a 'ring bell for attention' sign. People do not read the sign. They bash the door, then bash the fire exit, and when I DO put the door on the latch so people don't need the code, they decide then is a good time to actually notice the bell. It is a constant source of frustration. So people were at the door all day which meant my getting up and down, up and down. Which, when you're trying to get your own work done is annoying.

    So I get to mid afternoon, and I'm feeling like I've been run over by a steamroller. I'm totally exhausted, and sensing myself flag. I was 4.8 mmol/l two hours post lunch, so I figure that it is entirely possible that I've gone hypo. I feel like I'm hypo. I test, and prepare myself for a low score.

    8.6 mmol/l

    What? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Why am I feeling so rubbish, and yet I'm actually higher than I would like to be? That's just as frustrating as the door issue. I'm just trying to get comfortable in listening to my own body and its signs that something's not right. And then when I think I'm half way there, I realise that I'm right back where I started from?  It's deflating, upsetting, and leaves me feeling a bit defeated. I need a hug rather badly.

    Come the end of the day, and I start walking home. It's Thursday night, and late night shopping appears to have started. It's cold, I'm cold and rather miserable. As I'm heading down one of the main shopping streets, I can hear some weird music. I can't tell what it is, and I have my Ipod on, so it's a bit muffled anyway. But I make my way into one of squares, which happens to be where the York's big Christmas tree is.

    Turns out that I've wandered in to the turn on of York's (admittedly extremely naff) Christmas lights. The music is a brass band playing Christmas carols. (Eee, I do love a good brass band).  So I stood for a minute, took a quick snapshot of the tree with my camera phone (difficult due to the fact I was apparently standing in everybody's way, and it was unbelievably windy), and listened to a couple of carols. And then I actually thought about the lyrics.

    God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
    May nothing you dismay.
    For Jesus Christ, our saviour
    Was born on Christmas day.

    Huh. How about that? Now, I haven't really talked about my faith on here, but I am a Christian, for the record. And I take a lot of comfort in faith. I find that God constantly provides moments that make me stop still and take of stock of everything. The other morning, I was desperate to speak to someone to sort something out. 'Please, Lord', I asked, 'please make him just appear from round the corner, so I can clear this up.'. And he did. So, I actually wasn't in the least bit surprised that when I was feeling down and unhappy with how I'm dealing with things, for me to hear 'rest happily, you don't need to worry - God is looking after you.' How great is that?

    I walked the rest of the way home feeling rather more content. I was thinking about how despite everything that has happened in the last six months, I'm still here. I'm still standing. I've thought 'I cannot do this' sometimes. But whether I think I can or not, I still have to. And that's a reality. I've been safe, even through some sketchy times, I've been provided for. I've managed. And that's good.

    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)

    And that's a fact. I just need to remember it more.

  15. 10 elephants

    Wednesday, 18 November 2009

    I've had some really painful injections lately. I don't know
    whether my technique is getting sloppy, if it's to do with my cycle, or it's just one of those things. I usually inject into my stomach, just because I find it to be the most convenient place for most situations. Yet at the moment, I'm picking bad angles, or my hand shakes, so on and so on.

    So I get told 'think of elephants'. Why? Apparently it's just distracting. And that's true. When people can't think of the thing they're trying to remember, I often to not think about orange penguins. Yet, what is really strange is that when I was taught how to count seconds, I was taught to count elephants, much in the same way that it seems many Americans are taught to count in Mississippi-s. So when I hold in my needle for my ten seconds, I'm counting ten elephants. Lucky really, that they're so distracting, I suppose!

  16. For a woman who claims to not care about shoes, I do seem to post about them a hell of a lot! But here's a little story. Once upon a time (yesterday), it was raining, and muddy and just a bit miserable. I wore my wellies...

    (I'm actually amazed that I found this picture online, since that is actually my exact pair of wellies!)

    These suddenly decided that hey didn't like me, and gave me a horrible blister on the back of my heel, to go along with the way the SHOES cut up my feet. I was sad:

    Then I realised the wonder that is Compeed Blister Plasters:

    And the blisters were protected and started to heal. I decided to ignore the 'consult your doctor if diabetic before use', because I really doubt he'd be too impressed if I called up about that. And despite the fact these plasters are unbelievably expensive, they make the totally nasty pain feel better. Which is good, and makes me happy.

    And they (me, my plasters, and both my feet) lived happily ever after. The end!

  17. You know how there are some things that people say which completely get your goat? Well today, I am going to be getting on my virtual soap-box (as pictured neatly to your left. Apparently I wear slightly muddied Doc Martins...not that far from the truth some of the time). And what has got me riled up? Well, that would be the following statement:

    Diabetes isn't a disease!

    Yes, you heard me. But, annoying, frustrating and downright irritating as that statement would be from someone who perhaps doesn't know much about diabetes, or was ignorant or misinformed, what really gets me is when this comes from the mouths (or fingers) of people who actually have diabetes!

    OK, I can understand that some people might have a problem with saying they have a 'disease'. It does not, however, mean you are 'diseased'. You're not unclean, infectious, or anything like that. I mean, I get it. I was looking for a picture to go with this post, and googled 'disease', and hit the images tab. I wish I hadn't. There were a few images I saw there that will forever remain burned in my memory. But hey, most of the things I saw aren't the fault of the people in the pictures. It's just unfortunate. Just like the fact that the term 'disease' has negative associations for most people.

    I know it's not the be all and end all of all sources, but this is actually a pretty good description, so let's see what Wikipedia has to say about disease:

    A disease or medical condition is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions, associated with specific symptoms and signs.It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases.

    So let's break that down, shall we? Impairs bodily functions? I'd say that's a check. Associated with specific symptoms and signs? Again, check. OK, diabetes isn't infectious, but 'caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases'? Check, check and check again! So we're definitely dealing with a disease here, people. Yet, Wikipedia does go on to say....

    In many cases, the terms disease, disorder, morbidity and illness are used interchangeably.  In some situations, specific terms are considered preferable.

    Which, to my understanding means that you can call it whatever you like, really, but it doesn't matter if you call a spade a shovel, a digging implement, or even Arnold, it's still a spade at the end of the day.

    I have a disease. And I'm OK with that. Don't tell me that what I have isn't a disease, because it is, even if you don't want to call it that...

    And that would be me taking off my slightly muddy DMs for the day.

  18. Additional idiocy

    Sunday, 15 November 2009

    Further to forgetting my test kit earlier this week, I also left my Novorapid at work on Friday. I'm getting complacent. This can't be good.

  19. Happy World Diabetes Day ladies and gentlemen!

    I wondered what to write about today, it being the awareness day. I also wish I'd started this earlier in the evening, but that's my fault.  But what springs to mind right now, is where we've come from, and where we're going. My knowledge of diabetes past,which sounds rather like the Ghost of Christmas past, and I suppose isn't that far off, is rather shaky.  But from what I know, before the discovery of insulin therapy, a diagnosis of diabetes was tantamount to a death sentence. Having been through DKA, and knowing that it's rather unpleasant, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. And that's not even having experienced DKA as far as it can go, since mine was caught before it could turn really nasty. Then there was a long time before there was access to blood testing. Boiling syringes, and all these other things that I know of only anecdotally, so I shan't pretend to be able to comment on. All I know is that I'm glad that I'm living here in the present.

    Here in the present, I'm one of millions having to deal with this disease daily. Every day, we test, we calculate, we adjust, we inject, we treat. We battle against popular myths and misconceptions which are perpetuated by shoddy journalism and ignorance. Ignorance breeds ignorance, and we have to do what we can to try and battle that. To try and make sure that everyone who handles diabetes day in and day out have the tools at their disposal to keep complications at bay, and to help live life as best they can. Which a lot of the time is great. Because as well as all the things we do day in and day out, we also live every day. We laugh, we smile, we love, and we hope. We hope for better days when we have ones that aren't so great. We hope for improvements. We hope for better public understanding. We hope for less ignorance and prejudice. And most of all, we hope for a cure. I am fairly confident that I can speak for the masses here when I say that, more than anything, we hope for a cure.

    We're here in a time of insulin, of portable testing kits, of pumps. But we're also in a time where diabetes supplies still aren't available for hundreds of thousands of people. Whether it's a type 2 diabetic who can't get test strips from their GP, and are told they don't need to test, or someone desperate for access to a pump to try and get a better handle on their control. Or worse, people in developing countries who die simply because they have no access to insulin, or cannot afford it if it is available.  That last part makes me cry. It also makes me so thankful for what I have, and what we all have. And it also makes me hope and pray even harder for a cure. If not for myself, for all those who are a hell of a lot worse of than I am.

    Let's never stop hoping, guys. Who knows what the future will bring?

  20. Before we say goodnight...

    Friday, 13 November 2009

    Friday the 13th. I'm not a particularly superstitious sort, so I've never been one of those people who hides away from it. I think that whole concept is a bit dumb, personally, but I guess everyone has their foibles. Thus, I don't imagine anything particularly dreadful or concerning to happen on a Friday the 13th more than any other day. However, I had an interesting moment, when I tested before my dinner tonight, and found that I'd gone down to 3.1 mmol/l without even noticing. I'm rather afraid of hypo-unawareness. I seem to have about a 50/50 chance of noticing one or not seeing it coming.  With this in mind, does anyone have any tips for how to prevent losing hypo-awareness?

    Other highlights of the day included:

    Trying to sort out the SHOES so that they don't kill me at practice tomorrow by sticking various bits of foam padding inside. This involved me being drawn on with a biro to see which bits of the shoe needed the most attention.

    Being in the mood for an 'argument' (read 'lively discussion') with the baker's stall on the farmers' market about products labelled as 'suitable for diabetics' that I'd seen in the past. Obviously, wanting to know why they considered them suitable, and to point out that just because it has slightly lower sugars, doesn't make it automatically suitable. However, there was no example of this on this occasion, I also ended up getting a sample of their chocolate brownie, and then buying three different ones to take in to the office. These things were incredible, for no other reason that I've seen roof tiles that were smaller. But that's one interesting marketing tactic. I was a good girl though, and only had a little bit.

    Right, I'm off to bed. I nearly actually went off to bed without posting, which would have completely blown my NaBloPoMo agenda. Thankfully I saved myself, but now I am tired, and have about four hours of dance practice tomorrow, which includes learning new choreography for the YCD dance display, so it's off to bed I trot.

    Goodnight xx

  21. And there's another one!

    Thursday, 12 November 2009

    I found a reference to diabetes in Psych! Totally awesome. *fistbumps any Psych fans out there* That does mean my blog regarding diabetes in Scrubs may have to get expanded to include other TV shows I can find. Coming soon to.....this blog, I guess.

  22. Duh.....

    Wednesday, 11 November 2009

    Today, for the first time in six months, I left my testing kit somewhere where I was not. Thankfully it got brought home to me. Once in six months isn't a bad ratio, but it's still too forgetful with something so important.

    In other news, I've just finished watching the last ever episode of The West Wing. That can't be the end, it's too good. I am sad *sniff*

  23. So this morning I had my baffling appointment with the Health Care Assistant. I came in and sat down.

    'Now, Rebecca, why exactly are you here?' 

    'To be honest, I have absolutely no idea.'

    'Doesn't the hospital do all your care?'

    'Yep, as far as I know.'

    'So who told you that you had to do it here as well?'

    'One of the women on reception.'

    'Oh, I am going to have to go and shout at someone later!'

    Basically, it was a completely pointless appointment in one sense. I didn't need to do it. However, I did get told how impressed she was with my improved HbA1c - down from 12 at diagnosis to 6 at last check. Had my foot check done, and then we moved on to my prescription review.

    Rid of the stupid test strips that aren't for my meter? Check
    Increase the number of boxes of strips I get in one go from two to four? Check
    Ketone urine testing strips on repeat? Check

    So whilst it wasn't useful in a lot of respects, I still got a lot out of it!

  24. She's as cold as ice...

    Monday, 9 November 2009

    I'm cold. And I'm fed up of saying that! Yes, it is cold, and yes, I am aware it is November. However, let's do a current inventory of things I am wearing (above and beyond the sensible):

    T-shirt is long sleeved. I have slipper boots on. Thick, hooded cardigan. Beanie hat. Long, fingerless gloves, and a fleece blanket. 

    Now, I do love all my knitted and similar type items. I have collected a vast array of slippers, gloves, hats and scarves. Some of them are things I have bought. Some were presents. Some I 'acquired' (such as my current beanie, which used to belong to my friend Nick when we were at university, but eventually he got fed up with me 'borrowing' it all the time, and just let me have it). Now, there are several reasons for this. The first one being that I like these sorts of things, and people seem to be aware that giving me them makes me happy. This still remains true. The second reason is that I lose things. Not intentionally, and I'm always really torn up when it happens, but I do. For the record, my MIA umbrella returned home safely! Yey! However, my main reason for having so many different varieties of 'keep-you-warm' things, is because I get cold. I always have. However, every time I lose any weight, I get a lot colder than normal that autumn/winter, whilst I adjust to losing a bit more of my 'insulation'. Yet, regardless of how big or small I've been, I've always had really, really cold hands and feet. It doesn't matter where I am, or how wrapped up they are, they're always cold. Bad circulation has always been my explanation for this. But still, it sucks.

    I hate being cold!

  25. Explosive fun :D

    Sunday, 8 November 2009

    So yesterday was a busy day. Being as it was a Saturday, that meant it was off to the university for dancing. We started off with jive, which I was thrilled to do, as I can actually DO it. To be fair, I did do modern jive classes for a few months, but that was now about three years ago, so I wasn't sure a) how much I would remember, and b) how modern jive moves would translate to Latin American moves. Turns out quite well! Well, an hour into doing really well, we then moved on to improver's Quickstep. Well, that was laughable! I adore the Quickstep, but it's really, really hard! Also, Ben and I have put our names forward to dance either Cha-Cha-Cha or Jive in the group demonstration display in York Come Dancing, which is York Uni's charity version of Strictly Come Dancing. Apparently, it can get up to 1,000 people watching it, so that's not scary yet thrilling at all!

    Anyway, I posted a picture of my poor abused feet yesterday. Yeah, they're still in a fairly battered and shredded state. I need them to get better before I put them all through it again on Tuesday night for beginner's Tango and improver's Jive. I know that I've got to be careful about how I treat my feet now, so I've taken the plasters off to try and let poorly bits breathe. This does however mean my feet are FREEZING. I have naff circulation in my hands and feet anyway, but since they're bare and it's really cold (barely scraping 15 degrees in here!) it does make it worse. Anyone out there have any good tips for how to speed up healing that would be safe for me to do? Answers on a postcard!

    So, since I've been talking about how cold it is, here's a nice picture of a bonfire! Mmmm, toasty. So, after dancing, making a flight of fury around the centre of York to buy fireworks and plasters, I made it home to try and speed-bake a two layer chocolate chunk/marble cake (there is no official name for it, I just make it up as I go along) for my friend Tom's birthday. Sadly I didn't get chance to take pictures, because it was slightly too rushed an affair, but I'm told it was good. It's the first proper cake I've made since being diagnosed, and I did it with sugar, since attempts with Splenda have had somewhat varied success, and it wasn't for me anyway.

    Made it to work, in time to welcome our new company for 2010, play some silly games, and then pile in cars to drive out to Pocklington to burn and explode things. Hooray for fireworks :D Sadly, I'd forgotten my hat, so spent a fair amount of time trying to keep my ears warm by rubbing them with my amazing 'muppet fur' gloves. It was all great fun, bar a slightly alarming moment when I got a sparkler stuck in the gloves. Thankfully not the end that was burning.

    All in all, a great night! Seriously though, if you've got tips on sorting my feet out (or if you just want to say hi - I know you're out there reading!) please do comment.

  26. And the shoes bite back....

    Saturday, 7 November 2009

    It's a busy day. There's much to say and no time to say it. However, I give you the pain of the day. The SHOES of joy did, as predicted give 2 hours of crippling pain:


    Three plasters and there's still blisters and cuts to be covered. Ouch....

  27. The wall....

    Friday, 6 November 2009

    Today is my wall. I have very little to say, especially not diabetes-related today. However, I am currently engaged in making a storage bag for the shoes. They will be making their first outing tomorrow, to learn beginner's Jive and improver's Quickstep. Tomorrow I will also be baking a cake for my friend's birthday. Cake and handicrafts - I'm a veritable hive of domesticity (who also seems to have lost her lovely collapsible umbrella, boo.) 

    So in lack of anything immensely constructive to say, I give you a brief list of things I have observed/wondered today instead.

    1: V For Vendetta is a completely amazing film
    2: There is a great satisfaction to be had in making a thing for yourself instead of just buying it
    3: I am really looking forward to fireworks and fun tomorrow night

    4:  What the hell is Powerade anyway? I'm trying my dietician's advice that Isotonic sports drinks might be a better choice than cereal bars for maintaining BS when exercising, but what IS it?
    5: What the hell are isotonic sports drinks meant to be whilst we're at it?
    6: I'm getting sad and frustrated about my MIA umbrella. I miss it.
    7: My bread came out nice again.
    8: The fact I can't get a HCA appointment, eye exam and hair cut all in the same morning is rather annoying. Hmph.

    Hopefully I'll have something more exciting to say tomorrow. And possibly pictures of the bag and cake :D

  28. You know, I completely forgot it was Bonfire Night tonight until I was walking home and saw the fireworks going off. Fecking freezing on the walk home it was too.

    I'm getting a touch bummed out by all the early Christmas stuff though. I popped into Boots on my way home, and they were playing 'Wonderful Christmastime'. It made me sad. As did the Tesco's advert wishing me Merry Christmas last night. And the fact that the little trees on loads of the shops already have their lights on. Now, please don't think that I hate Christmas. I love Christmas, I really do. But why can people not at least wait until after Bonfire Night to start with Christmas? Ideally mid/late November would be better, but I know there's no way they would wait that long.I just like to keep Christmas to December (sometimes spilling over to the last week in November, since I like to give gifts on the 6th December to celebrate St Nicholas' Day, like my parents did for me when I was younger. But oh, can we not wait a bit? Please?

    Oh, and for anyone who was interested, end of day score last night was 5.4 mmol/l. Which wasn't too bad

  29. Flip flop

    Wednesday, 4 November 2009

    Today's been a bit of a strange day. I've had highs, I've had lows. My word, numbers have been all over the place. Woke up on 8.2 which was a bit of a bummer to start off with. My waking scores have been getting higher. I don't think it's dawn phenomenon, but I can't quite figure out why all the same. Moved on to a slightly more sensible, but a strange dip of 4.6 two hours later. I'd been trying slightly less cereal for breakfast, but apparently took it too far. 

    Then before I went to get my lunch, I made an errand regarding shoes (I will get on to that, complete with picture, in a bit). But I clearly spent too long in the shop, because as soon as I left, I was feeling a bit worse for wear. So I headed straight to get food, but by the time I'd got back to my desk, I was really sweaty and shaky, despite the fact it was flipping freezing out there. I tested, expecting a really low score, but discovered it was only 3.9. Still a hypo, but only just. But I chewed away on my glucose tabs, because I was feeling rough as a dog by this point. Waited five minutes or so, found myself at 5.1, so ate my lunch. I'm totally exhausted by now, and remained so for most of the afternoon.

    Two hours later, and we've made it to 8.1. Huh. Now a further two hours along, and I'm feeling a bit rubbish again, so I tested again (by the end of the day, I had got through a LOT of strips - many more than I normally do in a day), and I was 11.2. What?! Where is this coming from?

    Now, after work, I had headed over to a friend's place, as we were having a 'sofa party' to...well, christen her two new sofas (and very nice they were too). There was food to be had, but I was planning to go home and have some proper dinner, so I had a bit just to keep my levels up, but didn't cover it with any NR.  Checked where I was at, and found myself at 4.8. Weird, but score! Hour and a half later, we're at 10.2. A bit later and it's 13.1. By now, I'm fairly sure that I'm not going to actually have any proper dinner when I get back to my flat, but I'm anxious. I'm not sure whether to leave it, or to take a unit of NR and try and correct. I tell A what's going on, and he 'convinces' me to eat a small plate of his leftover Thai red curry with a 2 unit bolus. For the record 'convincing' me involved threatening me with leaving on Maid In Manhattan, which had just come on the tv, and also his trump card threat, which I will reveal another time. But I can't stand that film, so I did eat it. My test before eating had shown me coming down to 11.6. We'll see what happens in a couple of hours. Before that, I've at least got new (to me) episodes of Psych that I can be watching to fill the time. 

    But now, the exciting (for me, at least) bit. I mentioned the other day that I was looking at buying a pair of shoes for doing my dance classes. And I bought them! Aren't they pretty?!

    Looooooove them. I'm not much of a girly-girl, for the record. I hate shoe shopping, and do not get excited about shoes EVER. But these are so feminine and pretty and though I'm probably going to be cursing them to high heaven on Saturday afternoon when I've been dancing in them for two hours, I just think they're gorgeous. To the point where I'm going to probably go and buy fabric to make a shoe bag for them tomorrow. It must be love, surely?

  30. I get no kick from champagne :D

    Tuesday, 3 November 2009

    So, I was planning today to write about how the marvellous and wonderful TV show Scrubs (one of my all time favourites) talks about diabetes. This was inspired by a conversation about show on Diabetes Support about the same thing. However, this was going to require me watching a couple of specific episodes - oh, what a dreadful trial - and unfortunately for some of this evening, I had other plans.

    Now, it's a slightly strange thing that, because I work in theatre, on occasion, I and the lovely people I work with, get invites to various things. The strangest of these had to be when we got asked to go to a branch of Frankie & Benny's for a free three course meal. We thought at the very least there would be some sort of questionnaire for us to fill out, but we came in, ate and left without them asking us for a single thing. It was very cool. Slightly more understandable is that sometimes we get to go to press nights for shows at other theatres, or get free tickets from time to time. But the other week we got asked to go to a launch of a local restaurant's autumn menu. There was promise of champagne and canapes, as well as a wine and cocktail tasting.

    Well one thing was for sure. There was a lot of available alcohol. 

    Proof in point would be the picture to your right, straight from my phone's camera. (I'm still in love with the new-to-me phone with a camera!) I will stress, however, that not all of that was drunk by me. And that not all the glasses made it on to that shot! I left the office a bit high, coming in at about 9mmol/l (162 mg/dl, I believe), since I'd given in to temptation, and had a small piece of the cake that had been floating about (not literally, obviously) earlier in the afternoon. I figured that since I'd probably be having at least one drink, I was surely better to be on the slightly higher side. And yes, there were canapes. I managed to get my hands on a rather nice smoked chicken....thing. But just the one. Yes, there were also oysters, but I'm sorry, there is NO way I'm going there, not matter how sophisticated it's meant to be. But there was freely available champagne (and not the cheap stuff, either), as well as seemingly endless shot-glasses full of samples of two of their cocktails. Both were very nice. Now, I'm generally not much of a drinker, but that was a lot of fun. Especially because we were the most casually dressed by a good way, yet we were drinking champagne and the mayor was knocking about. But as I pointed out, if you go to something like that dressed down, people might think that because you're not actually trying, you're the most note-worthy people in the room. Totally not true, but fun to think, at least!

    Got home to find that my high numbers all day were now down in the threes. Annoying. But tomorrow's another day.

  31. Now, first things first. The big news is.....*drumroll*......

    I managed to get the chocolate out of the bed sheet!

    Hoorah! Now I've got to tackle the mattress. That will probably be harder, but I'm sure that will all come out ok as well. 

    So this morning, I had an appointment with the dietician. Back in September, I did a morning's carb counting workshop. I really wanted to use the skills, and work out my insulin-carb ratio, and what have you. What I didn't realise was that because I'm still on such tiny doses, and my sensitivity is so high, they wouldn't be able to come up with a ratio for me. Which was a bit frustrating. However, all the information was useful, and when I start increasing my doses, and we CAN work out a insulin-carb ration, then I'll have all the appropriate knowledge in place. 

    But this appointment in the morning was a bit of a waste of both my time and his. Truth be told, I like both the dieticians the hospital has at clinic, and I don't mind going and seeing them, because they're both lovely, but I didn't want to be using an appointment that could have been going to someone else. Yet, like a good girl, I had at least TRIED to keep the food diary as requested, and had my BG diaries up to date. Yet, we never really looked at either.  However, I did find out that isotonic sports drinks are a better choice for me to take to my dance classes than cereal bars. So it wasn't all a waste of time. 

    I also ended up walking over to my GP's today. Mostly on another errand, but I knew that I was due a 'prescription review' sometime after the 4th November, so I would go and talk to the receptionist, and find out if this was something I could do over the phone, or whether I needed an appointment. Turns out I do.

    Now, it seems I have a strange relationship with the receptionists. If I call up, it's like I'm poking a wasps' nest with a stick. They can be really quite vicious. However, they always seem to remember me from my D-day, and are absolutely charming if I go and see them in person. Strange. Anyhow, I asked how to do this, and they were very keen for me to have a '6 month review'. I told them that I'd had two reviews, and HbA1c's done at the hospital, but apparently 'no, you need to have it done here as well'. OK, if you say so, I suppose. So that's two appointments, with a bunch of tests by the sounds of it, that I've already had done. Seems strange, but at least it sounds like I'll get a foot check done during that. 

    But all I really wanted was to sort my prescription review out! 

    Also, I don't know what's going on with my bread-maker tonight. Instead of what normally comes out, looking through the viewing window, I appear to have a misformed, hardly risen lump of dough. Disappointing would be any understatement. Annoying is accurate but not quite covering either.

    (As a side note, I hope this font size is better, Northerner? I don't know why that last post went QUITE that small to be honest!)

  32. Happy Half Birthday

    Sunday, 1 November 2009

    So, it's been a while. I don't know why I seemed to fall off the blogging wagon (as it were), but I've a plan to counteract this, to the point where those of you who follow this will probably be yelling at me to shut up.

    NaBloPoMo. It's hard (but fun) to say, and I imagine it will be exactly the same to do. It's a blog post a day for each day of November. It comes, as I understand it, from the same school of thought as NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month). Now, I was hoping to take part in NaNoWriMo this year, but for the life of me, I haven't been able to come up with anything that seems worth writing, or that isn't a complete hash of already existing novels. So, with the aim of doing Script Frenzy in April, I thought I would give this a try. Plus, as  Northerner pointed out, I have been neglecting this, so here's the remedy.

    So it's update time, since I've been absent for most of October.

    Now, a while ago, I talked about how I've always wanted to dance. And I promised that I was going to start doing some ballroom dance classes. For once, I've had some follow through. I signed up as a member of York Dancesport, and thus far, I have done two days of lessons, and a practice session yesterday. As of yesterday, I've covered beginners' and improver's Cha-Cha-Cha, beginners' Waltz (which was great fun, but a complete disaster!), and beginners' and improver's Quickstep. And the verdict? It's totally amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone, because it's just so much fun. I've been dancing with a lovely guy called Ben, who's also a total novice, just like me, so that's great. I'm already looking into buying my first pair of dance shoes (I'll not get started into what a minefield that is. I'll save that for another day!). Roll on next Saturday, where we'll be tackling improver's Quickstep and beginners' Jive. As I've said before, I've done Jive in the past, so here's hoping it might be my dance! Watch this space!

    In other news, I went to go and get my seasonal flu jab yesterday. I've been offered it for years now, because as well as having diabetes, I also have asthma. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to bother me as much as it used to when I was younger. I rarely ever need to get out my inhaler, but trust me, when I do, I'm extremely thankful that it's there. Yet, because I've always seemed to have a pretty solid immune system, I've never bothered with the flu jab. Of course, the irony that in the past I've had a stonkingly good immune system, yet now have an auto-immune disease is not lost on me. But having heard that flu, which I'm told is never fun, also can throw your BS control completely out of whack, I decided that I'd actually go and get it this year.  

    Over at Diabetes Support, there's been a fairly extensive discussion over not only the seasonal flu vaccine, but also the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, and whether or not to get it. I hadn't really made up my mind on the issue, but I was leaning more towards the getting it side of things. I personally get completely befuddled over the whole 'anti-vaxx' school of thought,  but even I had a moment of doubt when it comes to getting a vaccine that hadn't been trialled on a huge wave of people (as best I understand the issue - I'm more than willing to be corrected!). But when I was at my surgery, they asked if I wanted it as well, because they could do them both there and then. So I said yes. This was, I'll be honest, mostly a laziness on my part, in that I didn't really want to have to go back a second time, when I could get them both done in one go.  For those interested, the needles are really tiny, and if you look the other way, it's a small, sharp scratch, and then it's done. The worst that can apparently happen, is that your arm feels a bit achy for a while. And that is true, because my left arm is a bit achy, but apart from that, everything else seems fine.

    The one thing I wasn't particularly impressed with about the whole thing was that I hadn't actually received a letter about the seasonal flu vaccine - I happened to see it on the top of one of my prescription slips. I gave the surgery a ring to make sure that it was still on, and to ask whether I should have received a letter. The receptionist was exceedingly snotty, and told me 'It's been advertised in the surgery, and we haven't sent out letters for the last two years'. Well, that's all very well and good, but I've only been registered with them for six months, and since the majority of my diabetes care is done via the hospital, and I order prescriptions over the phone, and use a collection service, how on earth am I meant to know that?!  So, I ask about the H1N1. Apparently she didn't know anything, couldn't tell me anything. I asked whether I would get a letter about this, or was this something I wouldn't get a letter about either? 'Well, you'll have to wait and see what your letter says, won't you?' *facepalm* Oy vey.

    Anyway, I'm up at the hospital tomorrow morning anyway, to go and see one of my dieticians. I say one of them, I seem to have acquired two, which is a bit strange. As is the whole reasoning behind this appointment, but I'll save that for tomorrow.

    So, to shed some light on the title of this entry. Today is the first of November, which means, as of today, I have been living and dealing with diabetes for a whole six months. Which is strange, when I think about it. It's like so many things in life, which can seem like an instant and an eternity depending on what details you decide to focus on. Six months is a milestone, but it's also a complete nothing, when I think about how long I'm going to potentially be handling this for, and how long other people I know have been living with it for. It's pause for thought, at any rate.

    What am I doing to celebrate? Well, I'm currently trying to wash chocolate off a bedsheet (it really IS chocolate, I promise. My friend Nick came to see me last weekend, and as a joke, I put a wrapped Lindor chocolate ball on his pillow, which he forgot about, and went to sleep on), and there is no prospect of cake, unless I decide to make some. Which I could. I'm good at that, which some of you will know. But I probably still won't....although now I'm thinking about it. Hmm.....


  33. Enough is enough (is enough, is enough)

    Tuesday, 6 October 2009

    It's 21:00. I'm stewarding a show at work. I'm having my second hypo of the day. I have had enough.

    ENOUGH, I tell you.

    I'm just having one of those days, but I have had enough of this stupid disease and the way it plays with my mind and my emotions. I have had enough of chewing on glucose tabs, and getting close to tears when my GP's repeat prescription service messes up my test strips AGAIN. I have had enough of not being able to fathom out WHY I can't think straight, and why I'm completely drained of energy.

    And the thing is, that I think you can empathise, you can be completely supportive, and I am SO thankful that so many people in my life are, that I can't even begin to express it properly. But if you've not experienced this, you still can't fully appreciate it.

    I may often think otherwise, but I am a reasonably intelligent and capable person. I hate that this can render me totally unable to function, and carry out my job properly. I have had it with this stupid disease.

    Hopefully tomorrow will be better.