Sunday, 31 January 2010

Hello...My name is Tom and I'm an insulin addict....

Whoops, took myself to the wrong place there I think!
Seriously though I love this wonderous stuff that I am obliged to pump into my system at regular intervals everyday. I haven't heard of a free drug dependency with none of the nasty side effects and such regular health checks...That said I do rather envy smackheads for being so damnably thin! If memory serves me, the first use of insulin to treat Diabetes Mellitus (sounds posh doesn't it!) was eighty eight years ago. Two gentlemen by the names of Banting and Best walked into a ward in a Canadian hospital and administered the first insulin to be extracted from animal pancreases to comatose children who otherwise would have been killed by that friend of us diabetics which goes by the name Diabetic Ketoacidosis or DKA for short. I guess the reason I'm writing about this is because as part of a series of lectures I've had for a Biochemistry module we were obliged to learn about ketone formation; more precisely the circumstances under which they form. In essence they are formed either in the absence of insulin or when starving due to a variety of factors. I suppose what I'm driving at is that even highly educated university lecturers with doctorates to their names are ignorant of the full truth that diabetics are obliged to live with. Now, although I didn't turn up to the aforementioned lecture I did read the notes and revise for the test that I sat on Wednesday. What the lecturer failed to acknowledge is that ketosis occurs in diabetics and it can easily morph into DKA and a trip to A&E where the medics, God forbid, may not know of it. Five years at medical school and you'd sort of expect them to be able to suss out what's playing up ("Doc, my blood pH is going down and my breath smells of pear drops, that's normal isn't it?")
Time to cut to the chase I feel. This is but one example of the ignorance that diabetics such as myself have to deal with on a day to day basis. Sometimes I correct them because I can be bothered, however, most of the time I just simply cannot be bothered to do that because I know that I may aswell be p*ssing into the wind on occaisions. I wonder how may people get like this. Ignorance might well be a never ending path for us diabetics to walk down come rain or shine but some of us get further than others. I'd like to think I'm sort of getting there, eventually that is. Then again ignorance can be compaired to knowledge which is the ever expanding horizon and learning which is the endless march towards it. All in all, I suppose that there are some who will when they stand corrected will bear that in mind. That said, there are sadly those that will remain unchanged no matter what we tell them.
Talking of those induviduals, my bloody know it all aunt starting grilling me at a family get together over the festive season. Normally I'm happy to answer questions about my diabetes but that night something about her was just rubbing my up the wrong way completely. She spotted that I'd jabbed using two different pens at different points in the evening. What I suppose she wanted to know was rather specific. That said, she didn't ask what my two pens had in them and what the difference between the contents of those pens was, all she asked was why I had two pens. Nothing else. My Mum saved me some embarassment by getting me to explain what the difference was. I recall we then went on to talk about insulin pumps and my then anger at my care team for not telling me sooner that because of my choice of pump I would have to wait until April to start on it, not as I then believed January. I think my little sister boldly tried to defend my team, lovely people though they are, they could have damn well told me. I shouldn't have had to ask for that information myself. As I recall that bloody know it all aunt backed out (very wisely in my opinion, seeing as I wasn't really in the mood to tolerate any kind of sh*t from her) of joining in the question and answer session on diabetes chaired by yours truly.

I think that's all of it out of my system for the evening...Maybe...

Rather new and exciting blood glucose monitor....

I've just gone and bought myself a rather new blood glucose monitor a few days ago. It's an Accu Check Aviva Nano. Admittedly, to the uninitiated this will sound to be a rather dull and trivial matter; it is however of something of great importance to diabetics. You see we reckon if we are lumbered with what we are we may as well have some fun along the way. Spending a few quid because I was bored has had some rather good consequences. This Nano is absolutely tiny. I thought it's predecessor the Accu Chek Aviva was small but this thing is half the size. Think the One Touch Ultra but half the length but twice the width.
I love this little thing because it has ways for me to mark out pre meal bloods, post meal bloods and other things. I can also set reminders in the form of alarms on there. It also does averages of the aforementioned blood glucose readings over seven, fourteen, thirty and ninety day periods. There's a photo somewhere in this post, the more knowledgeable of you may just clock onto the fact that I've not yet mastered this joy that is blogging! The reading in the screen of the Nano in the photo is something that at the moment I dream of!

Tomorrow I may well write a piece about the pump I'll be getting my greasy palms on in April. Who knows if I can in all honesty be arsed to write about that tomorrow. Two posts in one day is enough for any man.

Here goes...

Well, that time has come. I've started to blog about living with diabetes. I've sort of been looking for an outlet for my feelings about living with it other than the odd forum that I use and MSN conversations.

I suppose I'd best tell you all a little bit about my life thus far with diabetes so here goes. Back in the dark old days of nineteen ninety six at the age of five I was taken to the GP. I don't know what it was that my parents spotted but, Mum and Dad, it was a bloody good call. I recall peeing into a cup for the Doctor (this man was excellent. My successive GP's are nothing compaired to him.) From what I'm studying at the moment I now know what he did. I'll leave that to your fertile minds to ponder. The next thing I can remember is being in hospital with a nurse coming at me with a bloody great syringe. They got me to doa blood test aswell with, what is by my standards now, a geriatric blood glucose monitor. I have some memories of my Grandfather who was there with me and my mother having to do a blood test first. From that day onwards my life has seemingly rotated around injections of insulin and blood tests. First it started out as two injections a day. Then three. Then four. I'm at the point now of taking as many as I need bar the pre meal insulin and basal insulin. That said, jabs all end on the twelth of April this year as I get my hands on a nice and shiny insulin pump. I'll be getting hold of a brand new Medtronic Veo. For those that know what an insulin pump is I won't bother to explain. For those that don't know JFGI (Just F*cking Google It.)

I feel I need to say a little bit about myself other than the fact that I'm a type one diabetic and have been for fourteen years.

I'm a student studying for a BSc honours degree in Applied Biomedical Science degree in sunny south coast of dear old England. I suppose having diabetes has influenced my choice of degree course but there was something else that contributed to my choice! I suppose the point of this blog is to relate as many of my diabetes related experiences to those in the wider world who can be bothered to read. I love my music and have somewhat eclectic tastes. I go from good old Elgar right the way through to metal by the Swedish metallers Sabaton. Beer in my eyes is better than water but with the D you can't be too careful when substituting the good old water for the amber nectar that is served in a pint glass.

Here's hoping I remember the passwords to get into this for the next post!