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  1. Trouble afoot

    Wednesday, 3 April 2013

    Apologies for the absolutely dreadful pun there.So far this week, we've learned that the only person I think I actually amuse with my humour is myself. But here's another 'interesting' factoid about me that you might not know. I am that interesting mixture of mildly clumsy and mildly accident prone that means I end up doing myself an injury with somewhat surprising frequency.

     Over the last few years, I've cut myself with glasses, had a mirror stuck in my foot, been knocked off a table I've been standing on, been dropped in the middle of dance routines, and possibly my favourite one - been kicked whilst practising the waltz and having my toe broken.

    A lot of the things I end up doing to myself seem to happen during shows, or rehearsals for them. Yesterday, I mentioned the calls to NHS Direct I had made because of my foot. This was during the first show week of a regional tour I've just finished with Six Lips Theatre. I wish I could put my finger on what the heck I actually did do to my foot, but I can't. Best I can come up with is that I'd just turned it over whilst walking too many times. Yes, I do that a lot. No, I don't know why. Seems I just walk weirdly. But as the day went on, it hurt me more and more to put weight on my foot, and I had a searing pain leading up from my big toe. And by the time I'd finished the show that evening, I ended up blowing off cast drinks because I got offered a lift home, and that would save me the half hour walk home. Took some painkillers, iced it, and shrugged it off, thinking by the time I woke up in the morning, it would probably be a lot better.

    Of course not. I tried to walk to work, but got as far as the end of the street before I was practically crying. So I went back home, and decided to call NHS Direct for some advice. The thing I haven't mentioned is that as part of the show I was working on, I was dancing burlesque. Which means quite high heels. No, I still can't entirely fathom how I was the best candidate for that particular job, either. After waiting on hold for a while, and then waiting for them to call me back, I ended up talking with one of the nurses, who seemed torn between wanting to tell me that I had gout, despite the fact I clearly didn't, and wanting to talk about how much she loved burlesque, and why couldn't she find the DVD of the film 'Burlesque' at HMV? Which was all well and good, although slightly surreal, however I left the call with the instruction to take a small shedload of over the counter drugs, and call my GP if it wasn't better by the Sunday. To be honest, I'm not stupid, I could have worked that out myself.

    Forward to Sunday, and nope, no better. I'm starting to wonder if I have actually broken something in it. I end up getting told to go to A&E to get it x-rayed. I wasn't really keen on spending my Sunday afternoon sat in A&E, but hey, you do what you have to, don't you? I was worried that I was being a bit over-cautious, but foot care is one of those things that you get drilled in to you again and again. You get all sorts of horror stories, one of my favourites being told to me by own mother about someone standing on a plug without realising it. Great.

    So I was in an out in less than an hour. After looking at the x-ray, 'No, nothing's broken. Go home.' was the extent of the medical advice I got. No-one ever told me what was ACTUALLY wrong with it, although soft tissue damage seems to be the popular opinion when I've straw polled people. 

    It's just one of those things, that it does feel like an over reaction, but sometimes you just can't shake the horror stories and the idea of 'what if I have done something and I just can't feel it?'. It feels like you really can't win sometimes.

    Ah being responsible. It's great fun. 

  2. I started composing this in my head, and all of a sudden I had that earworm of a Maroon 5 song stuck in my head. I spent a lot of late last summer/early autumn travelling around in a van, and that song seemed to always be on the radio. Along with that awful 'Call Me Maybe' song. But it seemed vaguely appropriate. The Maroon 5 one. Not 'Call Me Maybe'. 

    Oh Diabetes, you have long been known to throw a spanner into many aspects of my life, and turn things on their head. You dealt me a new one over the last two months though - I never thought you would be so mean as to brazenly attack my phone bill.

    I don't have a landline. I don't think I know anyone of my age who does. Line rental just costs too much, and I'm not home enough to make it cost effective anyway. I have my mobile phone, and a fairly good phone package. Or so I thought. 

    I got one of those oh-so-daunting 'Field Safety' notices through from Animas recently. The sort which give the impression of 'you don't need to panic, but you might want to anyway', coupled with 'you don't need to call us, but call us'. Confusing, and somewhat worrying, especially on a Friday night, after office hours. 

    So that meant that of course I would give them a call. And as I have found out in the past, if you call after 5pm, you get transferred to America. Which I did, and got to speak with a thoroughly lovely customer service rep. I get amused that I am called ma'am when I speak to the US reps. You just don't get that over here, you really don't. Poor love must have had a hard day, I think. She was just so relieved that I wasn't yelling at her that she couldn't express how sorry she was to put me out enough. She did have to put me on hold for about twenty minutes though. Long enough for me to run a bath and read half a magazine, anyway. She had to call me back the next day, but it turned out that it's nothing to worry about for now, although I will have to have my pump exchanged at some point. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an upgrade to the Animas Vibe, but I can but hope. 

    So I have no problems with Animas' customer service. Their people are lovely and very accommodating. However, their 08000 numbers? That's not free from my mobile, despite supposedly being free phone numbers. Which is what added nearly £20 ($30) to my standard contract payments. Ouch. 

    At least everything is fine with my pump. But between that and next month's adventure with calling NHS direct, I can't take any more of this, diabetes! I may have to buy some sort of expansion on my phone package to cover your damages to my bank balance!

    Or maybe I could start reversing the charges, at any rate...


  3. Beyond a Joke

    Monday, 1 April 2013

    I'm known for liking a joke. I believe I have a pretty good sense of humour on the whole, and I'm not above playing pranks on people. I once convinced one of my university housemates that green tea was made with marijuana, for example. I clingfilmed someone's door during my fresher's week (which will be ten years ago in September, which makes me wonder what I've done with my life). I've stuffed shoes with newspaper, and even pulled the odd prank phone call in my time, leading me to convince a friend that she was now responsible for a delivery of forty pigs in Southampton from a pig farm in Alabama. So for me to resurrect blogging on the first of April might make you think that this is an April Fool's joke. I assure you it's not. 

    Over the last couple of years, I've been coming and going through blogging, tweeting and the DOC in general. And I've not been happy about this. Blogging and advocacy used to be my main, burning passion. Yet here we are in April and this is my first post of the year. I only managed three the year before. Not funny. Is it because I stopped caring? Is it because I stopped having things to say? No. Absolutely not. I have all the usual excuses, of course. I've been busy. And yes, that's true. But that's not really enough to put aside something that I used to care so much about. So with that in mind, I think it's time for a bit of honesty here.

    I've been distracted, and I took my finger off the pulse. Things move so quickly in life - you know that as well as I do. There were other people, other things, and before I knew it, a year had gone, and then another. I got into something of a tired rut with looking after myself. Diabetes care became routine, second nature, something I wasn't thinking about so much. And the truth is that that is a dangerous place to be in. You can't stop caring, or paying attention, because that's when you get into trouble. And I don't want that. None of us do.  

    I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be complacent. Not when I keep seeing blue candles appearing on Facebook. Not when the media are still getting things so wrong. Not when there's so much to fight for, and get angry about.

    Because those things are beyond a joke. There's nothing funny there. 

    Even though I might be. I'm hilarious, don't you know? 

    Well, I make myself laugh anyway. So that's one and counting.