One Year After Diagnosis

One year ago today, it was confirmed that I had Type One Diabetes.

The time between then and now has passed far faster than normal, which is a pleasing silver lining.  I’m sure I have learnt a lot in that time; certainly – considering the other traumatic events of 2010 – I have learnt more about myself than any other year.  But at the same time, I don’t feel I have progressed enough.  I don’t feel I have as much control over it as I should.  I know Diabetics don’t get a total grip over their condition in a year, and considering the serious distractions that come with a loved one’s serious illness being more than an ample distraction, I still feel I should have done more.  But it still feels like only a few months ago that it was confirmed.  In contrast, the day of diagnosis itself was a very long one.

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As it happens

“It feels funny.”
That’s what the little girl said on television.
The half-smile on her face was the perfect example of a child hoping she had given a pleasing answer for a question that’s hard for many adults to answer. That little girl made you well up so much it was like those first days on insulin; differently coloured shapes moving at a no-longer-determinable distance, a a film of watery tears primed like athletes under starter’s orders.
Remember her.  Never forget her.  Repeat it over and over to make sure it sticks.  When self-pity takes over, remember this little girl. Whenever the desire to punish yourself with a torrent of woes gets too great, remember you did not have to face this when you were nine years old.  Remember that you are a grown man, terrified of something a child yet to reach puberty has to face in a world where everything is full of energy, activity and sugar.

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Dear 2010

Dear 2010,

I feel it is only right to send you this letter, we’ve not met face to face, and this will be the last time I have any interaction with you.  I think you will understand that I am very comfortable with this fact, as – to say the least – we have not got along.

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Sick As In Sick

So my dad is pretty awesome.
As in unwell.
Sorry, still being childish from the last blog post.
After making such good progress, this last month has seen far more bad days for him than good.
A few weeks back he was walking without stick or zimmer, I’d get up and he’d have brought the milk in from outside, done the dishes, he’d be alert and upbeat.
But for the last fortnight he’s been sluggish, dazed, unable to walk steadily without his stick and frighteningly similar to how he was in hospital.
We called the doctor out and it looks like he’s picked up an infection. The chemo is leaving his already fragile immune system a mess, despite how low a dosage he’s on. She’s put him on a course of antibiotics, so here’s hoping they get him back on track.

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Hypos And Heroes

So a new hypo symptom seems to have manifested itself.

Of the many things that happen when my blood sugar is too low, the most common is that I get the shakes.  I can also start sweating – this is a particular bastard of a symptom as it can manifest in the less problematic opening of pores in a small circle at the point where the hair starts on my forehead, or it can open seemingly every single pore on my body and put the tap to full. It’s gross and will often strike when I am furthest from a bathroom or anti-perspirant. Thanks pancreas, thanks a lot.

But recently I’ve been getting the tingling tongue symptom.  Read more of this post

Reasons Not To Be An Idiot

So I’m pretty pissed off with my behaviour today.

We took dad back to hospital today to get checked out.  Most days he wakes up groggy and suffers from tremors (the shakes), but the last two days they have been much worse and he was concerned.  He was fine. I, however, am not…

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There’s No Charge In My Battery

Whoops!

So the LIVE BLOG FROM GLASTONBURY didn’t really work out, which is a shame, but I have a rubbish Blackberry battery to blame.  I took a spare, carefully charged, and put it in the lockups. When I swapped my first when the meter ran red … nothing.

Most frustrating.

However, it was – to put it mildly – one of the best four days of my life.  I’m going to do extensive blogging about each day, with gratuitous photos of varying poor quality, but I’ve been hampered by some bad times that have made my life decidedly emo, so first off I’ll talk about how the diabetes maintenance went.

It didn’t go well, hehe.

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Glastobetes

So I made it.
This post and any that follow will be a bit unformatted due to using the phone app to post.

After another visit to see my father in hospital, I felt more confident about still going to glastonbury. I’m still worried something will happen while I’m here, but he was sufficiently improved enough that I could go without worrying sick.

Getting here was easy. Too easy… No queues. At all. Where’s the catch? Well maybe that were quite far out, but its nice to be distanced from the carnage.
Getting up at half four is a bit crazy, but a worthwhile tactic.

No bands yet, but we had a long wander and the place is amazing. Its huge. With a capital HUGE. Guarantee that eveb exploring each day, therell be stuff I missed.
Exciting!

Diabetes-wise. Hmm. Not that good so far. Hypos all over the place, not helped by random meals. At least the foods better here than most festivals.
We’ll see how it goes. Must save phone battery.
Must
Must
Sleep!

“You’re coping so well”

So I just had a hell of a freakout.

Today had gone so well – more on that in the next blog I’ll post in the morning… well, later.
ahem.
Today had gone so well. Read more of this post

Fríooooo

Following on from my post about Glastonbury, I’ve got a little more confident.

Talks with Diabetes nurses and hours spent searching forums have only strengthened what I already thought, and filled in the odd blank for me, too.

Today I had this pop through the letterbox *

The idea is to keep insulin chilled, and in the case of Glasto, I can keep it from getting too warm as I carry it around with me.
It’s a pretty funky idea. You dip the inner pocket in cold water for 5-10 minutes, towel it dry, leave it another 10 minutes and the gel has absorbed all the water, and it keeps it cold inside.  Put your insulin pen inside and then all of it inside the outer pocket and I can carry it next to me and get sweaty in the moshpit without the insulin degrading.  I hope.

I also wanted a medical bracelet.  I have an ID card in my wallet, but that’s not visible enough.  If I get a bad hypo, there’s a chance I’ll automatically be deemed just another drunk to be ignored.  More so at Reading than Glasto, mind, as I’ll probable be the only one there – punter and steward alike – not inebriated.  My nurse put me onto a good site, but bloody hell it’s expensive, and all a bit classy for me to use at a festival.  The non-jewellery styled bracelets – the leather ones – looked really flimsy, I wanted something velcro and comfortable.  Then I spotted what I needed…

Yes, this is the ‘Fun & Fab Kids Medical ID’ available in such styles as Football, Outer Space and Butterflies.  Thankfully, There’s also a ‘Sports Blue’, so that’s what I’ve gone for.  Hope it doesn’t look too silly, as though the cheapest thing on the site, it still cost an arm and a leg after VAT and p&p!

I definitely appear to be requiring less insulin of late.  Though I do wish there wasn’t that teeny voice at the back of my head saying “Maybe my pancreas is trying to work properly again?” what a dream.  Whatever, I HAD CHEEZCAKE and didn’t die.  A weight-watchers thing, but after so long with nothing sweeter than sultanas it was a toffeetastic treat.

* But not before I had become one of ‘those’ customers.  I ordered it on Friday but had no email confirmation.  So I rang today, unsure of whether it had gone through.  the guy asked me what day I ordered it on and I drew a complete blank. Friday? He took some details but clearly could only search by order number or date. So he asked me to ring back in ten minutes so he could sift through the few hundred orders.
Five minutes later, it popped through the letterbox.
D’oh!