Stubborn old fool

You had your chance, you ran away.
You had a second lifeline, you ran even further away.
The world was screaming at you to stop,
Stop all your horrible, disgusting habits.
To stop the downward spiral that would lead to the end.
You never listened, you stubborn old fool.
You refused to be who you should have been-
Caring, loving, a role model to us all.
Instead, you threw this away and chose another life.
A life filled with an unavoidable loneliness.
You hurt us all.
You were a lonely old fool, who refused to be saved.
That was your choice, and your choice, alone.

A thank you

A thank you for being who you are,
My lover, my best friend, and my companion.
A thank you for sticking with me when times are tough.
For being my rock when I’ve felt like crumbling down into pieces.
A thank you for making me smile, laugh and cry tears of happiness
When all I can think is how bad things are.
A thank you for reminding me that life is what it is
There’s no easy way out.
A thank you for reminding me that with my best friend beside me,
We can fight the world. As one.

Diabetes UK: The Big Event

This should have been written at the start of the week, but it’s been near impossible for me to stay awake long enough to even turn my laptop on. My anaemia has come back, this time with a vengeance. My haemoglobin is 10 (should be 35) and my ferritin is 2(should be 20), so I’ve been feeling pretty lousy. After breaking down in tears at work on Tuesday, I decided to listen to my body (for once) and as a result, I’ve spent the rest of the week in bed. I’ve slept a LOT. I feel like I’ve been making up for all the nights I’ve spent tossing and turning, and generally been missing out on decent sleep. I’ve yet to feel a difference, though. Boo.

Well, that’s the moaning and grumbling out of the way. Now, to the best day I’ve had in months; the Diabetes UK Big Event. The day was set in the Novotel Hotel in Hammersmith, which obviously meant Paul and I had to arrive early, grab a Starbucks and walk around the streets of London, while the city was still asleep.

I think this was a really good day for me. Aside from all the useful information I took away with me, I met some amazing people. It was so nice to be in the majority, in a room full of people, for a change. Everyone at the event, either lives with diabetes, or knows someone with the condition. This was very comforting for me, as so often I’ve felt alone, in my world of coping with diabetes. Meeting people, face to face, and hearing their experiences, made me realise that I am not alone. In fact, 3.8million people in the UK have diabetes. This number is growing every day. With this figure, I am definitely not alone.

The day itself consisted of a variety of topics and workshops, covering all aspects of diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. Paul and I attended 4 very useful workshops:

Type 1 Diabetes: what care to expect

This has armed me with the knowledge that I can now go back to my diabetes centre and GP, to make sure I’m getting all the checks that I need, as a person living with diabetes. I do generally get all the checks, such as HBA1C, retinal screening, blood pressure, cholesterol. However, there were 2 aspects that I realised I’m not being checked out for – feet and annual review.

A few people, since the event, have told me that the annual review is carried out by my GP. In that case, I’ve never had an annual review. The thing that puts me off going to the GP, is that I feel like I’m always down the surgery, with something wrong. I’m either there for my stomach pains, or migraines etc. I don’t want to go there if I’m not ill. I know this sounds silly, but I would be happy to go, if an appointment had been made for me. But I cannot stand the doctors a my surgery. I hate the way they think the have a monopoly of my health. They refuse to listen to me. I know when something’s not right, whether or not you can spot anything!

I think I remember having my feet checked, once, probably when I was first diagnosed. In the back of my mind, I remember a nurse tickling my foot with a feather. Is that the whole check?! I certainly don’t remember anything else…

Anyway, the discussion on Saturday reassured me that I have the power, as a patient, to obtain the information I want. For example, in the past, my doctor has told me that I’m anaemic, and that I should take iron tablets. This time round, I asked for me levels. Thus, I know just how low my haemoglobin and ferritin are, and how much I need to push them up…

Introduction to Pump therapy

For a long time, I’ve really like the thought of the insulin pump. My cousin is on it, a sister of a woman at work has it, and I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about it. Even my Diabetes Consultant claims there have only been improvements to those on the pump. My big reason for wanting the pump, is my hypo unawareness. It scares me, not knowing when I’m ‘low’. I’m not silly, I do test before I drive, before I exercise, or go out. I like to know where I’m at with my diabetes!

The only negative about the pump, is the indication that people are more likely to get DKA. This is as a result of being disconnected from the pump for a period of time, forgetting to refill insulin cartridges, things like that. For me though, I am so desperate to having hypos, especially hypos I can’t feel…

Everything about this workshop, made me feel ‘yes I want an insulin pump’. I have so much going wrong with my body, that if I could get just one thing under control, my quality of life would hopefully be improved, even just a little! The mention of Continuous Glucose Monitors was also interesting, as if I were to have one, I could spot patterns when I’m getting my lows, for example. At the moment, my bg levels feel completely unpredictable, so this would help me out. Shame they’re so expensive, though!

Research into Diabetes

I’m slightly ashamed to say I’ve never really looked into the history and development of treatment for diabetes. It’s something I will look into and cover in a future blog post. What I did learn in this presentation however, was eye opening. Did you know, insulin was discovered in 1922?

Did you also know, that the first insulin pump looked a bit like the below?

insulin pump

Neither did I…I thought it was one of the speakers, having a joke! This guy seriously looks like he’s part of the Ghostbusters’ crew!

Coping with emotional issues

I’ve been struggling a lot, lately, with my state of mind. Recurring anxiety that kicks in without any notice. One minute I’m bursting with happiness, the next I’m wanting to hibernate, in a corner on my own. I won’t lie, diabetes really does get me down, sometimes.

This workshop helped, in the sense that it gave a few suggestions as to coping with these difficult periods. They’re good ideas, so I’ll share them with you…

1) Right before going to sleep at night, think of 3 good things that have happened today. No matter how big or small, think of it, and think of it for 8 seconds. Things like, a nice cup of tea, finding a car park space, someone holding the door open. I like this theory, as I am the first person to admit that I go to bed, going over everything bad that has happened today.

2) Take up a hobby that makes you lose track of time. You may mock me, but this is exactly why I love knitting! I say I’ll knit for just half an hour, but when I check, its been an hour and a half! With the nights drawing in, I’m going to get back on track with my knitting. My sister Emma has asked me to teach her to knit. We’ll see how that goes…

All in all, Saturday was the best day I’ve had in a long time. It’s given me a new found confidence to deal with my diabetes, something I’ve been lacking for the past 2 years. Oh, and I’ve also made some lovely friends!

duk event

EDIT: I should just mention how keen my dad is to attend the Big Event, so I will certainly be attending next year. Hurrah!

Feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders

Today has been a really horrible/tough/exhuasting day, from all perspectives. Work was hideous, due to certain people being complete arrogant pigs, and my own failings to do with work.

I’m not sure why, but I never sleep well on a Sunday night. I think I must get a certain level of anxiety of going back to work, after the weekend. I wish I could get over that, but it’s something I’ve struggled with for years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better. I can deal with that, I suppose.

What tipped me over the edge today, was my proposed ‘yeast free, dairy free diet’. My thoughts on this have changed so fast over the past over the past couple of days, I feel like my head is going to explode. Saturday, I think I was on a high. I couldn’t wait to get rid of everything in my body that was potentially putting me in this agony. Yesterday, I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the food I was going to be cutting out. Today, everything hit me like a ton of bricks, and I fell. Metaphorically, of course.

I’ve been so lost in my thoughts today, that the world has whirled past me. As a result, I have felt like I’m the only one on this planet. The realisation that yes, if I get rid of the ‘intolerable food’, I could be on the way to recovery. However, at the same time, I beg to find someone who could do this easily. It’s bad enough, stressing over what I’m eating, and calculating the number of units of insulin I’ll have to give myself. Having to think about every little bit of food, whether it contains yeast, is a whole different ball game.

Take dinner, for example. My sister cooked a lovely concoction of chicken, noodles, herbs, cucumber, chilli, dressing, lemon & lime rind and juice. Scaled down to my dietary needs, I had plain chicken, noodles, cucumber and a bit of coriander. This was a lovely dinner, but what everyone else had, smelled absolutely gorgeous! The point is, why do I have to do this to myself, if it isn’t necessarily going to prove anything? I shouldn’t. I should feel like what I’m doing, is for a good reason. It shouldn’t stress me out. It should make me feel like I’m the only one in the world who lives like this. Give me a break, I had 2 eggs for breakfast; one step at a time, please!

Of course, it would be more manageable to do the yeast free & dairy free diet, if I had the support of a professional. I won’t get that help unless I’m diagnosed by a healthcare professional. So, as I was diagnosed by a homeopathy doctor, I don’t have that support from the NHS. Thus, I am alone in this.

To try to make things easier, I’m taking one step at a time. I’m starting with two weeks dairy free. No milk, cheese or yogurt. This is going to be tough, as I absolutely love all of these. However, if after 2 weeks, I still have trouble with my stomach, I know it isn’t the dairy that’s causing this amount of pain. And bam! I can bring dairy back into my diet. After that, I’ll cut out bread for two weeks, pasta for 2 weeks, and so on. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pinpoint what my body doesn’t like.

To me, this seems so much more sensible, than cutting everything out simultaneously. I don’t see how I’d be able to work out what causes the trouble, if I stop everything altogether. One thing at a time, lets me eliminate more specifically. I think this makes sense, but I’m in danger of over-thinking this topic now, I’ve drawn myself to tears over it. 

I know certain people don’t/won’t agree with my strategy, but at the end of the day, it’s me who’s suffering the consequences, not them. Sure, my family and boyfriend are there for me, and I love them  to bits. But they’re not the ones with the health issue. They could eat a lovely ham and cheese sandwich in luscious brown bread, without being ill afterwards.

I’m doing this for me, for my body, my health, mentality and humanity. I’ve waited nearly three years to feel like myself. Who knows how much longer it could be. As long as I get there in the end. I’m looking forward to be going out and having fun, rather than declining invitations, because I’m ill.

 

 

Hello, Breakthrough!

For the past two and a half years, I have had stomach pains, near enough every day. I’ve previously thought it was down to certain things – bread, milk, soya. However, yesterday I had an intolerance test, which threw a spanner in the works. It seems I have a BIG problem with yeast. It’s this intolerance that is making other intolerances flare up. It seems my body is also largely intolerant to dairy. Sad times. So, I’ve been eating gluten-free bread for the past two years, which contains yeast. So much for that! As a result, things are set to change in the next few months…

YEAST FREE. DAIRY FREE. No more bread or pitta, no more spaghetti bolognaise, no more cheese or milk. No more, a lot of things. Life isn’t so bad, however, as I am allowed soya (surprise!), so there are a lot of alternatives. As of tomorrow, I will be having salads for lunch, and having a lot of dinners, cooked from scratch. There is something even more shocking, though..

I consumed a whole egg for breakfast, today! For years, I have loathed the sight, the taste and the smell of egg. However, I realised yesterday, that I don’t really have any other way to get the nutrients that I need. So, this morning, Daddy Douglas showed me how to produce a soft-boiled egg, and this was my breakfast. I didn’t even know what cutlery to use to eat it! It’s funny. I do remember one time, probably when I was about 4 or 5, having egg and soldiers at my Nanny Jane’s house. I remember really enjoying it then, so I’m not sure what happened after that.

 photo (2)

I can’t say I enjoyed the egg, but it was bearable.

I thought it best to go food shopping with mum today. I had so many pieces of paper flying around, with different recipes, a list of foods I could have, and a list of foods I reacted badly to in the intolerance test. Things would have been a lot easier if I had been wearing my glasses..the number of times I went over to ladies I thought were my mum, about to ask if I should get this and that! Embarrassing! I think we did well, after 2 hours shuffling down every aisle of Tesco, we did come back with a week’s supply of food that I can eat.

Today being the last day of eating what I wanted, I had one last dinner of my choice. Spaghetti bolognaise. Those who know me, know that I get a ‘food baby’ very easily, but can’t stop myself from eating, even if I am bloated. I attacked my dinner with a particular determination, this evening. I’ll be the first to say I did very well! It took half an hour, but every strand of spaghetti was gone from my plate! It was nice knowing you, spaghetti dinners!

I’m going to try so hard with the whole yeast free and dairy free diet. I’m really looking forward to the times ahead, when I don’t feel like I’m always ill, and having energy! If it means I have to be a fussy eater for a few months, I’d say it’s definitely going to be worth it.

photo (1)

Spaghetti bolognaise- my favourite dinner. Farewell, for a few months at least!

I’m only ‘down’ when I’m not happy

Today has been really tough. I try so hard to carry on with my everyday life, even if my sugars are high, or my stomach is giving me trouble. Most of the time, I do manage to put on a brave face and carry on. Today though, my health has beaten me. All week, I’ve been feeling incredibly drained. I have an idea that I’m anaemic again, but I don’t want to go to the doctors, it’s too stressful, and last time I was on tablets for anaemia, I ended up with gastritis.

I felt like such a wimp, telling work I had to go home. My body was telling me it needed to sleep and recover. I managed to make so many mistakes in the space of 2 hours, that if I’d stayed in work all day, I dread to think what disasterous things I could have done.

Of course, having diabetes means that one’s immune systems goes down the plughole. I accept this. But I really don’t see why, when I have something wrong with me, my pancreas has to remind me that I’m also diabetic, and it needs attention. Its 9p.m. and my blood sugar is 15.4. This is ultimately making me feel a whole lot worse.

I wish I could describe exactly how I’m feeling at the moment. I wouldn’t say I’m tired, but my whole body feels like it’s just shut down. Any movement today has required a whole lot more effort than it should. Every bone in my body feels like its had a ton of lead implanted. And I just want to sleep. I feel like I could sleep for days on end. I wish I could.

As I’ve said, I hate going to the doctors. Because of the trouble I’ve had with being forgotten about, in regards to having an endoscopy, I refuse to see a doctor without someone there with me. A trip to the doctors is guaranteed to make my blood sugars rise. I don’t need that at the moment. Nevertheless, I will make an appointment if I feel like this tomorrow.

I don’t know if it’s connected, but since I’ve had diabetes, I don’t think I’ve had that much sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, and then it takes an hour to get back to sleep, if I manage to get back to sleep at all. I am looking forward to getting some decent sleep, for more than one night in a row. That certainly won’t be happening tonight, as I’m going to have to check my blood at 11.30.

Dreaming of a good night sleep….

All aboard the d-rollercoaster!

Overall, I’d say I have good control of my diabetes. Out of 106 tests, only 12 have been in double figures. I am happy with this, as the double figures have been as a result of illness. Something that is out of my control. What continues to pester me, is the low’s. The low sugar levels creep on me, when I least expect them. I wish I changed in some way.

Take my dad, for example; a placid man by nature. However, when his sugar levels are dropping, we often tease him, saying he changes into the Incredible Hulk. Sometimes a little grumpy, but once dad’s got some food in him, he’s back to being the lovely man that we know and love.

hulk

On the other hand, I don’t feel any different, when my levels are low. Sometimes, I feel low, but after testing, I’m a perfect 5.5. Where is the logic in this?!  Since I did the DAFNE course, I have had 6 hypos, according to ‘DAFNE Principles’. I think I have felt one of those hypos. The scariest moment was when I dropped to 2.7. I dropped to this whilst watching TV with Paul, one Friday evening. I think I commented a couple of posts ago. I only tested because I was about to do my background insulin. I dread to think what it would have dropped to if I hadn’t have tested at that point!

I am trying to give myself less opportunities to have hypos. I am certainly eating more carbs, these days. (Good job I’m going zumba more often!) I am also giving myself less insulin on occasions. For example, if my bg levels are at the lower end of the scale, I won’t use a 1:1 ratio. Instead, if I’m eating 6cp’s, I may only give myself 4 or 5 units of insulin. My strategy doesn’t seem to be working , though *insert sad face*.

This is definitely something I need to get sorted. DAFNE principles are all about us being able to live normal lives. At the moment, my diabetes is NOT letting me to do that. I have a DAFNE follow up meeting 16th September, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some advice from one of the DSN’s, then.

On a brighter note, I’m meeting the Lovely Lizzie tomorrow (she writes a great blog, read it here), for a coffee (tea, water, orange juice, whatever we fancy!) and a chat. That poor girl is going to be sick of me soon, I reckon!