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  1. 200 needles in

    Thursday, 27 August 2009

    I have a box of pen needles on top of the bureau in my bedroom. Every morning I pick out three of them to put in the case of my meter, so that I have all the three I'll need for the day, in case I get delayed somewhere and I'm not at home for dinner. Yesterday there were three left in the box. That was my second box of 100 needles. It was then that it hit me that I've been through 200 needles. In honour of the 200 needles, I was hoping to come up with a list of 200 things that I've learned/realised/observed during the time I used them.

    Then I tried it. It's hard. So I managed 50 things. And here they are...

    1: I actually have to eat. It's rather important.
    2: Chocolate is not the be all and end all of everything.
    3: I really miss the ability to freely drink fruit juice.
    4: Apparently I look like a horse chomping on polos whilst eating glucose tablets (I've been told this by my friend Jenny several times)
    5: When you don't drink coffee, and don't know how to carb count, there's basically nothing at Starbucks that you can freely eat or drink other than bottled water.
    6: When you have a 30% discount card, and go and pick up things for other people in the office relatively frequently, this can really get annoying.
    7: You cannot make a mango fool with Splenda. It makes something rather like scrambled eggs instead.
    8: Suddenly having to do fasting bloods on a night that you've invited 10 people over for food is somewhat inconvenient.
    9: Then finding out that those bloods actually had to be done at the hospital rather than the GP's and needed to make it to the lab within 30 minutes, not 40 hours (meaning they had to be done again) is irritating.
    10: Discovering that the labs at the hospital caught fire the morning you go to get those bloods redone is concerning. Thankfully they were no longer on fire when I was there.
    11: The irony that Innocent Drinks finally made a banana free smoothie which I love, and had become hooked on just before I got diagnosed, which I can't really drink any more, with 29g of carbs and 26g of sugars per 250ml, is not lost on me. (In case you don't know, I cannot stand bananas, and don't tend to eat a lot of fruit and veg, so that smoothie was like sweet lime rain from heaven)
    12: Nairn's oatcakes are amazing. Both regular and ginger.
    13: If you actually have to eat breakfast in the morning, you do need to factor in getting up earlier into the equation. Otherwise you're just late all the time.
    12: The less Cadbury's Dairy Milk you eat, the less chocolately it tastes when you eat it again, the more it tastes of cocoa butter. (Also, bravo to Cadbury's for making Dairy Milk FairTrade now!)
    13: If you accidentally lock a sharps box, it takes the force of a man with a pocket knife to get back into it.
    14: Said man will then tease you about accidentally locking it for quite some time.
    15: When you test and you come up with a score of 12.4mmol (199 mg/dl), two glasses of white wine will get you back down to under 10, and pleasantly drunk and marginally more aggressive than normal whilst playing Mario Kart on the Wii.
    16: When out and about, there is nothing more frustrating than being in bar or restaurant and having only water or diet coke as your non-alcoholic options. How about another diet drink?
    17: People who say that you should get some orange juice instead make me want to bang my head against the wall, no matter how well meaning they might be.
    18: I don't think my fingertips will ever look normal again.
    19: Pins and needles now make me worry, when before it just made me think my foot was asleep.
    20: I still wonder why no matter what time of day it is, and regardless of whether or not there are any children there, the TV in the reception at clinic always plays children's TV.
    21: The guy who does my height, weight, blood pressure et cetera, at clinic clearly has a broken measuring stick because there is just no way I am as short as he says I am, because everyone I know who is shorter than me would have to be ridiculously small!
    22: There is really nothing that can explain how miserable it is when the only long lasting carbs you have access to are some very, very soft digestive biscuits, and having to eat them anyway.
    23: Despite the fact that people have so many complaints about it, I'm very proud to be part of a country that has a system like the NHS, and I really wouldn't want to be without it. I just don't understand a society that could provide health care for all and doesn't. It just seems wrong to me. Give me the NHS even with its faults any day.
    24: I'm not totally sure that my meter reads below 1.9mmol. Either that, or the lowest I seem to go whilst hypo just happens to always be 1.9
    25: I hate having to throw away an insulin pen because it's been out of the fridge more than 28 days when there's still about 100 units left in there.
    26: Frio wallets continue to fascinate me
    27: The online diabetes community is full of pretty fantastic people.
    28: I feel extremely bad about having encouraged people to by 'diabetic' chocolates in a former job at Thorntons. I blame the fact that they expected me to sell lots of things, regardless of what they were because I was their best salesperson. However, I still feel bad!
    29: Having tried a bar of 'diabetic' fudge, I can honestly say that though it doesn't taste bad, or give me any of the rumoured laxative effects, it still has some 'interesting' effects.
    30: I shall not be hurrying back for more.
    31: My meter, the Asencia Contour seems to be deeply unsexy in the world of meters. Although they have said they will be sending me a pink case for my meter. I would have preferred a colour other than pink, but beggars can't be choosers.
    32: When you pick up a box of Splenda, it does seem like it's actually completely empty. If it were it would be a very expensive box of nothing.
    33: Glucotabs taste like slightly stale Refreshers - not unpleasant but odd.
    34: I have an incorrect set of test strips on my prescription, which I sometimes get instead of the correct ones. I still have absolutely no idea how to get rid of the wrong ones, despite telling the pharmacist again and again that I would really like to know how to do this.
    35: Cinemas have absolutely rubbish snacks when you think eating popcorn is probably a bad idea.
    36: Articles in magazines, etc, that just say 'diabetes' and don't differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 really get my goat.
    37: Re-reading the Babysitter's Club book 'Stacey's Emergency' is quite comic with more knowledge. Also a flashback to being really little and enjoying the BSC series a lot.
    38: I find injecting in any place other than my stomach awkward, and particularly in my arm, a bit painful.
    39: This is weird, because after I left hospital, I really didn't want to inject in my stomach, because I found the idea strange.
    40: I'm oddly proud of the fact I managed to inject in the cinema without anyone noticing.
    41: I found the story of the demise of my friend's diabetic cat, Marmite upsetting. Not because of the fact it was heavily caused by the diabetes, but just because I love cats.
    42: Listening to my body is rather crucial.
    43: When I'm hypo, I find myself obsessing over the strangest things, which become the centre of my universe for that period of time, and then I can't always remember them five minutes afterwards.
    44: A dream that I had (actually last night) in which I forgot to take one shot of insulin, then decided to make up for it by taking two (whilst shopping for a basketball, if I remember correctly), disturbed me greatly. Mostly because it took me a minute or so to realise that I hadn't actually done it
    45: People behind the bar don't seem to ever listen to you when you say DIET coke. This actually caused a friend of mine to yell at one bartender. She then turned to me and asked me if I minded her bringing up my diabetes. I didn't, but it was a bit late then!
    46: Dead test strips get everywhere! I still can't work out how one got inside my sock.
    47: I still don't like needles. Especially if I'm not the one controlling them.
    48: A 45g 70% cocoa Divine Bar is 12g of carbs, and I can't easily eat a whole bar. Which makes it a good choice, as chocolate goes. And it's FairTrade (which is very important to me).
    49: I found myself amazed at achieving the magical 5.6 (90mg/dl) that seems to be on most boxes of glucose meters, today. Interestingly enough, not on the box of mine, which has 5.2
    50: I never appreciated how amazing my pancreas was until it stopped working properly.

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