Friday, March 30, 2007

Weird patterns: the sequel

After the week of bouncing between -50 and 200+ I followed Matt's advice and got up every couple of hours throughout the night to see what was happening to the old blood glucose. I'd expected that it was dropping and then bouncing back high but that wasn't the case. It stayed around 200 the whole time. I definitely didn't want to fiddle with the basal rates now.
Then on the fourth night I tested my blood before bed and it registered 132. I decided I'd had enough mid-sleep finger pricking to last a while and I was just going to forget about it. Number on awakening? 106! And it's been fine ever since.
I don't know what was going on for those 7-10 days, maybe I was stressed, maybe I'd exercised harder than usual, maybe... who knows? It's one of the more difficult aspects of diabetes that there are no absolutes, no norms and often no answers. We struggle for perfection but sometimes we have to settle for just muddling through.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Weird patterns

Number of times in the past week my blood sugar before bed has been below 65 = 7
Number of times in the past week my blood sugar before breakfast has been above 200 = 6
Number of times in the past week I have corrected my insulin dose before dinner = 5
Number of days my blood sugar has been in range during the day, other than before bed and before breakfast = 7.
Number of times in the past week I have used a four letter expletive upon looking at the numbers on my meter = 13
I can't figure out what is going on here but I'm getting mighty sick of it. Bad, bad diabetes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Diabetes and Cancer

Great, just great. As if we women don't have enough to deal with there is this gem on the BBC news about the link between raised blood sugar and cancer in women. It used to be thought that diabetes actually protected you from cancer. This was oh, about a hundred years ago, and the reason was that without insulin most diabetics died before they got a chance to grow any cancer cells. With better care, insulin, testing strips etc people with diabetes are living to old age and, of course, are developing cancer and other diseases that "normal" folks get.
I'm not entirely buying this study. There seem to be a lot of unanswered questions: Why women and not men for instance? And statistically the age range they tested, 40-60 years, is when you would expect to see an increase in both blood sugar and cancers anyway. After all Type II diabetes used to be known in England as the type you got with your old age pensioner bus pass.
But it's true that you can use sugar to grow some funky stuff. You should see what it does to yeast. So why not cancer cells?
The article concluded with this:
"If someone is white and over 40, or over 25 from a black or South Asian background, and has either a family history of Type 2 diabetes or is overweight, they should consider asking their doctor for the simple blood test to determine whether or not they have diabetes."
I'd actually go further. Last month there was an article about the rise in Type I diabetes in children. Maybe it's time everyone is routinely offered a free screening whenever they see their doctor.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Absolutely nothing to do with diabetes

I'm sulking ever so slightly because I missed out on a trip to Brussels in January, although the man got to go and I'm going to miss out again next week; the man will once again be eating stoemp met worstjes (mashed potatoes and carrots with sausages, the best comfort food) and drinking Orval (a Trappist ale, aka unsweetened nectar) while I hold down things at this end. This sucks.
I'm often asked what I miss about Belgium and I can go on for days about it, but in the interests of brevity I'll just say: the food, the drink, the culture, the surrealism. Sometimes even the weather. For those requiring a little more depth in their answers I suggest they check out An A to Z of Belgium written by an Englishman with an obvious love for the eccentricities of the small country at the heart of Europe.
The one national trait he didn't portray is a love of collecting. All Belgians collect something, the weirder the better. I used to attend language classes (check out the above link for the entry on Language Classes - it's true, very true) with a classical pianist who had the largest collection of flat irons in Belgium, possibly in Europe. Then of course there's Jan Bucquoy's Underwear Museum, though I think it is now closed.
But here is my absolute favourite. Don't mock, the man loves his penguins.

This is why I miss home.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The other side of good

I haven't posted much recently because I've been busy and also because things have been going well - exercise is pretty much back on schedule, I've lost the lbs I put on flying around last month (does this happen to anyone else? I eat the same, I exercise the same but I put on 5-7 lbs just getting on a plane and it takes me a week to shed them again) and a couple more besides, and the health stuff has been non-eventful.
Then Thursday I came down with a real migraine. I've only had a couple in my life, mostly I just get flashing lights in the corners of my eyes and it passes after an hour or so. But this was the full-on headache, flashing lights, sensitivity to noise, throwing up, nothing-helps migraine. I retired to a darkened room and slept most of the day and night but Friday I had to get my fingerprints taken for the green card at 8:00 in a deserted mall an hour's drive away. Luckily, the man was also required to be there and could drive because there was no way I could. I couldn't even see the road let alone negotiate it. But the fluorescent lights, the government officer barking instructions and the whole biometric thing - I was on my own there. I did wonder what the penalty was for chucking up in federal government offices. Immediate deportation, perhaps?
Anyway my fingerprints only match those of known criminals 50-59% so I was allowed to leave with a stamp on my papers but my photo, oh f%$k, I look like this but with a better shirt. They make you take out your earrings and glasses and push your hair behind your ears. Then they make you approve the photo. Apparently you can have as many shots as you like until you are happy with the result. But they won't let a sick person ask their man to approve the photo. (I suppose it was kind of "Hang on, I'll just as my pimp if this one's ok").
Let's hope I never get accused of a crime, 'cos one look at that mug shot and I'd convict me straight away. Guilty.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pretty Much a Perfect Saturday

Saturdays are usually crammed trying to fit in the chores we don't get around to during the week - picking up dry-cleaning, food shopping and pet food shopping, plus cleaning the house etc. Not exactly exciting. Otherwise someone has to finish some work related project that didn't get done by Friday pm or has a deadline of Monday am. Boring for the person who doesn't have to work, tiring for the one who does.
Occasionally, though, the stars align and we have the day to ourselves and yesterday we celebrated by taking off for the city (Manhattan). We made reservations for brunch at Artisanal, and that has to be the steal in NYC: $25 for a mimosa and two of the best fine dining courses around. Of course we upgraded with six tiny cheesy gougeres and the man had dessert, but we would have been satisfied sticking with the menu.

Then we cabbed it uptown to see Liev Schreiber in Talk Radio. This was probably the best play I've seen in twelve months and Liev Schreiber is so easy to watch. It would have been perfect if it weren't for the two selfish arses who neglected to turn their cell phones off and the lady from Long Island who apparently supplied the pumps to the Blue Man Group and sat behind us popping gum throughout the performance. Gross and selfish.
Still, we recovered our tempers with cocktails at a bar before heading home, and I can't wait to go back to Artisanal and try the flights of wine and cheese.
Mmm, cheese and Liev, what better way could there be to spend a Saturday.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sometimes I wonder why I marrried him

Out to dinner with friends (It's amazing how many of my posts start out with that phrase. We don't spend all our time socialising, I promise you) we reach the dessert course, apple crisp a la mode, share. The husband takes a spoonful of the ice cream and starts a violent sneezing fit. Turns out he has an allergy to dairy products but loves gelato so he risked it. Apparently he does this all the time.... He leaves the table to sneeze it all out and after a while I suggest to my man he go check on our friend. His wife brushes this aside, "He'll be fine, and if he's not he's well insured". This is obviously a joke but then my man tops it with "Jane just has to inject me with insulin".
Not funny. Is he really worried that after all these years I am going to kill him off for the life insurance? Doesn't he know that I'd be the prime suspect as I stand to inherit and an autopsy would show he'd died from an overdose of insulin. Does he really think I would waste a life-saving drug that way?
If I was going to bump him off it would be because he had made me really mad and I could see in the heat of the moment I might hit him over the head with a Le Creuset pan, but give him a shot? No. What if I got the dose wrong?
I think subconciously he has a hard time dealing with diabetes, much harder than I do, but he'd never admit it.