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Tomorrow Never Comes…

1 Aug

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The letter has arrived to remind me my annual review is in September.

So the voice in my head (or at least one of them) tells me “sort a few things out” before I go and get my bloods taken…..

It’s a natural thought, (this is where everyone tells me they never think this and I’m a bigger freak than we already knew), and I always tell myself, when I see that yearly reminder, that today is the new start that kicks of a few minor changes to live a bit healthier etc.

Reality is that I do.

I make the small changes.

I go to the appointment.

I always come out motivated.

I make a few more changes.

Then, life takes over.

It takes my focus

So each day I tell myself that “I’ll sort that tomorrow…”

 

I actually really enjoy going to clinic appointments.

I lead the conversation and don’t leave until I’ve covered everything on my agenda.

I go annually, which we agreed was what I needed sveral years ago.

However, this time I may ask to go every 6 months.

Why?

Annually gives me 365 “I’ll sort that tomorrow(s)” and that’s too many now I’m 25 years into this Diabetes stuff.

And as my dad always told me: “Tomorrow never comes”.

 

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.

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D is not just for Diabetes………

28 Jul

Today I bought a book.

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No big deal, right?

Well, no.

The thing is, I have not read a book since I left school in 1985.

I do own books. Gardening books, books on DIY, and of course, the obligatory books on diabetes.

I have started reading them but never finished a single one.

Why?

I’m not very good at reading.

It takes me a long time to get through a single page, let alone a whole book.

Words tend to move about on the page and my brain often sees words that aren’t there which totally changes the meaning of what I’m reading, or it makes no sense. So, I have to go back and read it all again.

At school I did everything to avoid reading out loud in class.

Reading ahead is a challenge because my brain takes a while to process the words.

That makes me slow, and stumble over what I’m reading out loud and there is no flow.

I used to think it made me sound stupid, when I’m not.

 

Dyslexia was never mentioned at school and it was never diagnosed.

Back then I think there was a level of stigma attached.

Oh, now that sounds familiar.

 

As an adult I did not bother to have it diagnosed and to this day it still hasn’t been.

Why not?

I don’t see the point now.

I have gotten to where I am today (wherever the hell that actually is) by finding workarounds and methods to deal with it.

Also, I am stubborn.

I do things alone.

I see accepting help as a personal failure.

Yes. D is also for Dickhead……….

 

Why am I telling you this?

D is also for Determination.

I’m not one to give up.

Time to tackle my other D

Time to defeat this one in order to carry on dealing with the other.

 

I have Diabetes.

It’s a condition I have to self-manage.

I need to be educated about it in order to manage it as effectively as I can.

I need to be able to get the best out of the technology that I am privileged to have.

Everything I need to know is out there, but it is all stuff I need to be able to read and understand, without it taking me too long or losing interest.

 

With my 25thDiaversary skipping its way towards me, and ongoing diabetes-related foot complications a fact of life (more in my next post), I owe it to myself to read and learn more.

The other reason is that I currently have way too much time on my hands.

Time to think.

A thinking Grumps is a very dangerous thing.

 

So, I am going to try and read a whole book.

Get into the habit.

Train my brain to find and to hone those workarounds and methods.

Find a way to focus and keep that focus.

 

The book I bought has a real interest to me since I have always loved Billy’s work and his observations on life. So lets see if I get to the end of it………………..

Grumps.

It’s About Time…….

13 Jul

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There is one thing that every PWD, regardless of the type of diabetes that they have, where they come from in the world, or anything else for that matter, has in common. Their diagnosis…….

Most of us probably remember the day we were diagnosed – I certainly do – but if not the exact date, I’m sure we remember how we physically felt and know that we had at least one, if not all, of “the 4 Ts”.

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Sunday 14thJuly 2019 sees the launch of National Diabetes Week in Australia, and Diabetes Australia is building on their past years’ campaign to raise awareness of the signs of undiagnosed diabetes and reduce the number of people that are diagnosed with either type1 or type2 diabetes too late. The earlier the diagnosis the better the outcomes.

The 4 Ts are not always easy to spot at the start, it depends on how fast the onset is. Even with T1D, my diagnosis was fairly slow, so it was people that didn’t see me that often who first noticed the weight loss, not those that I lived with, and because I was not trying to lose weight I just ignored them (and because I ignore most of the population of this planet).

The onset of T2D can be much slower and subtle, and in fact people can live with the condition for an average of 7 years before they are diagnosed. You may wonder how you can be that unwell for that long without realising or doing anything about it, but I can associate with how that could happen.

Looking back on my diagnosis I’m pretty sure that I had an onset that took at least 4-5 months. That’s based on when that first person asked me if I’d lost some weight to the day I finally took myself off to the doctors and, well, the rest is poorly documented history….

In that time, I don’t remember feeling that unwell. Tired yes and at diagnosis I was exhausted. However, it wasn’t until I started on insulin that and felt better that I realised exactly how crap I’d been feeling. The slow daily progression must have just felt like my new norm and my brain took that as the baseline of how I felt. With those changes being so subtle (ironic as subtle really isn’t me, is it?) I didn’t really register that I was feeling less and less well. So, I will never judge anyone for “not acting fast enough and looking after themselves” so please don’t do that either.

People noticed the signs of my undiagnosed diabetes.

They flagged them to me without knowing what they were.

When I realised what they were, I didn’t act as I didn’t know how serious this was.

As a result, I got a hell of a lot more unwell than I needed to.

It could have been avoided if I’d know the facts.

So please help raise awareness outside of our own diabetes community and stop others being diagnosed later than they could be.

https://www.itsabouttime.org.au

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps

 

Disclaimer:

Diabetes Australia has not funded my trip to Australia or paid me in any way. They have just been kind enough to let me work with them and support this campaign.

 

Slightly Smouldering……

4 Jul

I’m not a massive fan of emotion.

I try to avoid having or showing any.

Possible not healthy in the long run but it’s how I do things.

It’s how I deal with shit.

So, in almost 25 years in having T1D live with me I have never had burn out.

Well. If I have, I’ve never admitted it to myself………

This has been an “interesting one”.

Shift in career path.

Illness and death in the family.

Second foot ulcer.

Son diagnosed with T1D.

And Fuck! We are only 6 months in……

I have done what I always do.

Tackle it head on.

Genuinely, at no point have I felt that it’s too much.

I’m not feeling the same about my diabetes though.

Suddenly 25 years feels like a long time.

It’s never felt that way before though.

Maybe I’m just tired after an “interesting” 6 months.

Maybe an additional T1D in the house has widened my perspective.

Maybe I turned 50 and am just being reflective.

I’m not sure yet, but something has to change.

I’m not burnt out, but I am sitting here smouldering……

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My feeble attempt at a soldering look……

Live Long and Bolus.

Grumps.

Advent of Insulin

5 Dec

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It’s that time of year again…….

Bloody Christmas…..

When I was a boy (about 100 years ago), I used to have an advent calendar.

Nothing fancy.

Just a cardboard one.

Some kind of festive picture inside.

Snow – I bloody hate snow….

Carol Singers – I bloody hate singing….

Christmas Pudding – Now you’re talking!

It had 24 doors on it.

We seem to have added one these days for some reason.

I guess things change, don’t they?

The calendars have changed too.

Some now have chocolate in them.

I’ve even seen ones with whiskey in them.

Ones with beauty products in them.

A gift for every day in the build-up to the day of gifts it seems.

I have to admit, I was tempted to treat myself to the whiskey one.

Really tempted!!

Well, Lets face it, no amount of beauty products will fix this face.

I was so tempted that I went online,

Found the one I wanted,

Added it to my basket,

Hovered over “Check Out” ready to click.

After all, what would be better than a whiskey advent calendar….

Then I realised.

An Insulin one!

What if I could send an insulin advent calendar to a child with T1D that has no access to insulin?

Of course they don’t exist.

So, I did the next best thing.

I deleted my basket items.

I went to https://lfacinternational.org

I donated £25 to Life for a Child.

£1 for every day of advent.

I can’t send an insulin advent calendar, but I can make it an #AdventOfInsulin

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps

The Beginning of, the Beginning….

25 Nov

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Today I was asked the question that I have been asked more times that I can remember over the last 13 months.

“How is your foot?”

For the first time, I answered.

“It’s fixed”

It’s been fixed for over a month now, but its not been something I was comfortable in saying out loud. I guess it’s because through all of the issues and treatment with my foot, there has always been an element of guess work. Often the appearance on the surface of the foot gave us an educated guess of what lie beneath.

Also, I guess that I didn’t want to temp fate. Not that I believe in fate but given the slightly elongated journey to getting a fixed foot, I wanted a period of stability and for it to all look ok and CRP markers to stay down before I could admit to myself that my foot is actually fixed.

So, I have discovered a slight chink in my resilience, which is not easy to admit…

I can take any shit that is thrown at me on the chin, tackle it head on and not bat an eyelid.

  • Ulcer
  • Bone Infection
  • Self-administered IV antibiotics
  • Long distance travel with all of the above
  • 32 weeks out of the 54 of treatment were on some form of antibiotics

All of the above did not phase me. However, tell me that everything is ok, and I can’t get my head round it.

Weird?

Well, I never claimed to be normal, did I?

Anyway…..

That’s it right?

Grumps is fixed?…

Well, yes.

But….

If I’m totally honest with myself (which I actively avoid being) my foot is fixed, but I am not.

Everyone kept telling me how much I have been through the last 13 months.

I still genuinely think it wasn’t as bad as I may have made it sound, and it now seems to have gone fairly quickly. I do have to admit though that whilst I was not in the greatest of shape (total underestimation) and not the fittest (again, really not), by body is properly screwed now…

The lack of exercise whilst resting my foot means I have next to zero fitness. I’ve put on some weight and my insulin resistance has gone up. My BG management has been ok but running a bit higher than I used to partly due to the above with the infection and antibiotics thrown in. Kind of a vicious circle that needs to be broken now. Especially that I have in my mind more now that I need to what I can to minimise my risk of further related conditions.

So, my foot is definitely 100% fixed, and I have my head around that now, but I am not fully recovered.

However, I will be!!!

The resilience that saw me through the bit of a foot issue will see me through to recovery.

I am not planning to train for a marathon, I have a foot infection, not a lobotomy….

I’m not planning some epic sporting event. I’m way too lazy.

I am planning to make a few changes to ensure that I am #FitBy50 (you can credit @anniecoops for that one).

But first…….Pizza!

Live Long and Bolus

Grumps.

If I weren’t so lucky by Matt Butler

7 Feb

It is pretty simple……..

If my insulin was not provided for by the National Health Service from the second I was diagnosed, I would be in a lot of bother. I may even be dead. I certainly wouldn’t be married to the woman I am now.

I remember my day of diagnosis well: the nurse called me in to a small room and told me that the blood tests I’d had done did indeed confirm that I have Type 1 diabetes and I would have to inject insulin every day. As crappy as I felt (apparently I wasn’t far from being hospitalised), there was the small matter of being told to stick a needle into myself. See, at the time I could not stand needles. I still cannot watch the television if an injection is being depicted. The abject fear on my face was probably plain to see. I can’t imagine what the look on my face would have been like if the nurse had have added that every injection I did would cost me. Because when I was diagnosed I was in a pretty poorly paid job, as I was only just embarking on my journalism career. So if insulin hadn’t have been provided to me (literally there in that room, mixed 25-75 short and long-term, in a burgundy-coloured pen with a fresh shiny needle of 6 millimetres in length), I would have been faced with a pretty tough choice. Either take out crippling health insurance, pay for my insulin via unsustainable loans, or buy an air ticket home to my parents on the other side of the planet and ask them extremely nicely to fund my new needle habit. Or of course I could have just not taken it. And then died. None of the choices above would have been attractive. In fact looking at the alternatives to having insulin provided to me makes me wonder what I would have done. As well as the new world of regular blood-glucose tests, carbohydrate counting and the need for a supply of jelly babies to be kept close at hand, I’d have had to either uproot my life, take out a second job or be plunged even further into debt. Or I could have keeled over drowning in ketones.

Of course there are people in the world who do not benefit from a comprehensive state healthcare system – but still cannot afford the insulin they need to stay alive. We will ignore the accusations that pharmaceutical companies contribute to an artificially inflated insulin market, but just acknowledge the fact that insulin does cost a lot of money. And it is not as if people with diabetes have any alternative.

Spare a rose. Save a child

https://lifeforachildusa.org/