Friday, 23 November 2012

Back seats

So, as you can probably guess, diabetes and I are once again strangers. I've decided to let it take a back seat in my life again. As you wonderfully astute readers will have observed, I am a student nurse. This means I spend a bit of my time on placement. Well, a fair bit of my time. Diabetes often takes a back seat when I'm working, unless I am hypo or in urgent need of a set change. My job comes first and I love it. I often experiment with temporary basal rates. Usually what seems to work is a a temporary basal of approximately fifty five percent. When I eat I tend to have a large meal and give a slow bolus over an hour and a half or so. That does work in the short term. In the long term however, it means that I delay a hypo until later in the shift or for when I get home. I'm currently working out how much I can reasonably reduce the bolus so I can get the correct balance simply because diabetes is a life of compromise.
Like I said, I do love my job and frankly I relish every day, well most days that is. On this placement which is a private surgical ward I am less busy than I am within the NHS which I have now fallen even deeper in love with I still get on my feet and make things to do because I cannot abide being idle and sitting on my arse end. Therefore I make work for myself. I can also take my time doing things which I might not necessarily have had in the NHS. That said, please, please send me back to the NHS.
So diabetes has taken a back seat. Yes I am struggling a little bit with it at the moment thanks to being back on shift work and season related changes but it's nothing too dramatic. I'll stand by for a bollocking from my consultant but hey, she's a decent old bird so she will understand. I think I might also see the shrink that is attached to my team as well, I think it's about time because I am getting more than a little tired and apathetic towards my diabetes. I suppose that this is just an occupational hazard at the end of the day. I reckon all diabetics go through ups and downs in relation to their mental health. Statistics would have me believe that diabetics have a raised chance of acquiring depression, one in four diabetics also have depression if memory serves. Ah well. Let's see how this goes.
Interestingly, I have yet to meet my new DSN, despite being under this team for about a year. I know, I'm a terrible slacker but I think I'd best get on with it sooner or later. I suppose I'd better get my arse in gear and actually touch base with this lady.
Before my wonderful dementia (I hasten to add I am self diagnosing therefore to be taken with a pinch of salt, well bucket of salt) one of my modules at university takes you through the journey and experiences of a patient. It takes into account the anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and the current evidence based treatments for it. The next module I believe may well cover diabetes so I have offered my services to the leader of the current module to do the patient based part of it as we have had some wonderful people with the conditions being lectured upon come to share their experiences. Most notable was an HIV positive woman who was wonderful. We all loved her and felt humbled by her. Maybe I'll be able to do the same. Who knows.

Until the next time dear proletariat!

Up date!

So my module leader got back to me and my email. He said they'd be greatful for my experiences. I'm more than happy to share. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012


As it's now November the nation's minds begin to turn towards those who gave their lives in service of their country. Many British servicemen have made the ultimate sacrifice for my country over the years. Please bear with me, I do have a point. 
In nineteen seventeen Frederick Banting graduated from his medical school in Toronto. As many will know, the First World War was raging at this time. Banting was immediately called up to serve his country, Canada, who made a massive contribution as part of the Commonwealth Forces.
As a young medical officer Banting saw and dealt with the horrific realities of war. Something that my generation will not have to deal with on a similar scale. For heroic actions despite being wounded himself Captain Frederick Banting was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery. Here's the citation which gives the details of his heroism:

Military Cross - Deed of Action
Captain Frederick Grant Banting
13th Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps.
Near Haynecourt on September 28th, 1918, when the medical officer of the 46th Canadian Battalion was wounded, he immediately proceeded forward through intense shell fire to reach the battalion. Several of his men were wounded and he, neglecting his own safety, stopped to attend to them. While doing this he was wounded himself and was sent out notwithstanding his plea to be left at the front. His energy and pluck were of a very high order.
Canada Gazette, Vol. 53, Part I, 1919: July-September. Supplement, p. 13
Now to many people who live with type one diabetes such as myself, Frederick Banting is a hero for his life saving discoveries. Please remember that there is always another side to a person. Here is Banting's relatively unknown heroism.
 Lest we forget.



In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.
 John McCrae 1872 - 1918