Monday, 31 December 2007
Ahhh much better!
Happy New Year everyone!
And thanks for stopping by :) I wouldn't be who I am now if it wasn't for the bloggers and the forum posters. I'd be a rambling mess not knowing what the heck to do about being diabetic! Thanks everyone for the smiles, the stories, the advice, and the friendship. Here's to smooth sailing in the new year. Cheers! *clink*
Friday, 28 December 2007
This stuff is not normally available in New Zealand, but I found these - along with a can of Dr Pepper - in my local dairy (milk bar? Deli? Whatever you call them... it's where you go when you need ciggies, milk and a paper!)
The Dr Pepper was gross - tasted like an overdose of sugar with more sugar added, and a bit of a 'blue lolly' taste (now how's that for a taste description?). I'd expected a vaguely peppery coca cola sort of taste. I thought that was weird enough, but this sugar-on-sugar-on-sugar stuff was just... Blergh! At twice the price of our usual drinks selection, I don't think I'll bother getting that again!
But the chocolates... YUM!
Now I finally know what you're all talking about when you rave about Reeses, and Milk Duds, etc. I only wish I could have tried the Peanut Butter Cups I hear so much about.
Giving thanks to my insulin for allowing me to indulge... and to my BG meter for giving me nice enough numbers afterwards ;) And to America for producing yummy munchies - and to my Mum and Dad for creating me...
And to my Christmas stash of chocolates - kiwi made choccies, I might add - that can keep me company for the next few evenings ;)
Thursday, 27 December 2007
A few months later, we had this healthy looking girl with a wonderful shiny coat, still all bouncy and playful, still very loving, and still with cancerous looking growths but showing no sign of slowing down. The vet called her our miracle cat.
Fast forward to today... another vet visit, and now it seems she's actually YOUNGER than we thought, Never had cancer in the first place (but still something that brings on bad swelling around her tongue/throat), and.... *drum roll* she's pregnant.
OMG I'm going to be a 'Nana'!!
This was not a shock, because I saw her flirting with Mac (My son's name for this wandering male cat - he was 'MC' for Mystery Cat, then became Mac for short). I assumed that Noodle had had 'the chop'. But then I was told that female cats who've had 'the chop' aren't interested in flirting with the male sluts and rolling around in the hay.
And then I saw the bulge growing around her belly.
And growing some more.
And then I looked up cat pregnancies on the net and realised there's only a 9 week gestation.
And then I freaked out and called the vet.
But now I'm a happy girl... because now we not only get lots of babies, but we've also discovered she's quite healthy enough to have them, and isn't threatening to leave this world any time soon.
I HAVE NO IDEA what to do with kittens! I've never had a cat who was able to have babies before. I'm nervous, but also very excited. The hard part is going to be passing some of those kitties off to other people... I just know I'm going to fall in love with every one of them and not want to pass them on!
Any advice re kittens, or helping Noodle through her pregnancy (or how to keep myself sane) would be gratefully appreciated!
Woot! Kitties! How adorable!
2-3 weeks to go. Gorgeous kitty photos to come :)
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Thursday, 20 December 2007
1. Wrapping or gift bags? Wrapping paper. More fun ripping into it... or carefully peeling it off if it's something cool. To be honest, I think BOTH are a waste of money and filling up the earth with unnecessary rubbish! But I guess I have to have a balance between Christmas spirit and my urge to look after the planet - so wrapping paper it is, and lots of recycling afterwards.
2. Real or artificial tree? Oh man I soooo love real trees! We don't get them any more - my son gets asthma and I get headaches & sinus trouble. Pffft. So now we have a fake tree (which I have to admit, is SO much tidier).
3. When do you put up the tree? As late as I possibly can. Some time after the 12th, ish. We put it up earlier this year because my friend was over from Australia (around the 8th I think) but normally I'd wait.
4. When do you take the tree down? When I finally get sick of having a darker dining room - it blocks the windows. Sometime soon after New Year.
5. Do you like eggnog? I have no idea - it's not a common thing in this country (New Zealand).
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I really don't recall!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? No, and I never will. I do have a blow up Santa and two bright orange blow up reindeer though. (hehehe! Thankfully they're just small!)
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmmm I don't know... I seem to get pretty good stuff.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? I gave up sending cards. I'll still make sure I make contact with everyone - an email, a phone call, whatever - but cards suck up so much time and money and just end up in the bin. Maybe I'm a scrooge, but I haven't missed doing them - I do kinda miss getting them, though!
10. Favorite Christmas Movie? Oh no, I'm really showing my scrooge bits now - I tend to dislike Christmas movies... they have the ability to be so tacky.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Any time during the year if I see something that someone would like - otherwise, I aim for the end of November, but actually get things done somewhere around the 20th of December. Which happens to be today - and I hope I'm finished with it all because I so hate being in the malls when they're overcrowded and full of stressed people!
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mum's gluten free Christmas cake is delicious... chocolate santas, roast dinner - geez, all the Christmas fare is pretty good :)
13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear on the tree, surrounded by lots of nice little shiny decorations. (However, I happen to have coloured lights on the tree this year because our white ones were going cock-eyed). I like the coloured ones around the house. We bought three new sets this year - which takes our total up to about 12, which starts putting me in the 'crazy about Christmas lights' category, I think.
14. Favorite Christmas song? I grew up on Jim Reeve's Christmas Album - so that's the one that means it's really Christmas. However, I've heard it a few times every year for 32 years - so it has a good Christmas feeling to it, but it's also getting rather repetitive :P
This is the weirdest one, and I like it, but I wont call it my favourite!
15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? On Christmas day we sort of travel, but it's only an hour's drive to get to Mum's for Christmas Dinner. (Hey that's a long drive to us Kiwis!). We don't go on holiday around Christmas time because it's just too crowded everywhere, and the traffic jams etc are worth avoiding! Instead, because we're homeschooling, we can travel any time of the year we like. I think next year we'll be going to Auckland again, because our friend is moving up there.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? I can if I get a little help from the Interweb ;)
17. Angel on the tree top or a star? We actually have a blank spot on the top of our tree. Sad eh? We used to have an angel - made from a Ken doll (as in Barbie & Ken). The poor guy lost his legs in a bath incident years ago, and then was subjected to wearing a frilly white dress with angel wings. It's ok, his friends don't see ;)
18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Christmas morning for sure!
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The stress that Christmas seems to bring to people. Everyone's just that little bit more touchy, worried about getting shopping done or planning a holiday... where's the Christmas buzz?
20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Nope - just lights & decorations of any kind, whatever my son and I feel like doing at the time.
21. What do you leave for Santa? Whatever we think he'll want. Normally a fizzy drink (only half, because Santa wont have time for a full drink) and something my son has baked. This year it's going to be Mellow Yellow - the coolest fizzy drink around - and probably an afghan biscuit.
22. Least favorite holiday song? Let me think about this one for a while...
23. Favorite ornament? None. Just the Christmas lights - they're the best :D
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
I'm writing this from inside Adobe Contribute. Just a trial run :) Not sure why people create programs to write blogs when it's so easy to do them online, but I'm about to find out!
I'm such a geek.
Anyways, this all started because I was filling in my (scary) BG numbers for last week and found a 'contribute to blog' button in excel. It was easier to play around in my blog than to actually look at my BG results for the week, so denial won the battle today and here I am playing :D
*sigh* It's been a bouncy few weeks (shocking for me, anyway, as I normally have very tight control).
Lets hope things look much better in the next couple of weeks as I finally get the correct Lantus dose, which has eluded me ever since I gave up the Metformin aaaaaages ago.
And, at the same time, I really must concentrate on eating a bit better... uhh, except perhaps for Christmas day :D Bad diet and uncontrollable numbers do SO go hand in hand, no matter how clever you are with Diabetes.
Oh, and while I'm at it, I better start getting in some exercise. Sheesh, when did my control go belly-up? It all snuck up on me.
SO, onward & upward. I wont stress too much about my shocking range, speedily rising highs and shameful waking numbers... I'll just move on and get rid of them :D (She says, with as much positive thinking as she can muster, and an energetic smile)2007 12 10
Scary, I'm actually willing to leave this file here and let the world see it. Until I chicken out and delete it later, of course ;)
It doesn't look THAT different to my normal results... but I know a lot of effort went in to keeping those results from being MUCH worse. And look at all those numbers in the teens! ARGH!Edited to add: HAH! The file doesn't seem to be there, just some place marker. Well, just imagine some wiggly lines that go way out of the normal range at crazy times ;)
Friday, 30 November 2007
Not as low as I'd have liked, but darnit, I WILL hit the 5s, or at least a 6.0, SOON. Determination has to mean something, doesn't it?!
Here's what some of my a1c results look like over the last few years - I'm pretty happy hanging around the low 6 area, I guess. But wouldn't a 5 be like a big fat pat on the back for all the hard work I've put into this?
That's 'some' of my a1c results because I had them more often around the time I was diagnosed - Monthly to start with - but my nurse wouldn't / couldn't give me those results when I asked for them. I know there's at least one over 9 in there somewhere from when they were treating me as a type 2... but I'm actually quite happy to forget about that!
Saturday, 10 November 2007
It can be the difference between a low and a high Blood sugar reading.
It can be the difference between a happy day and a grumpy one.
And just lately, it's the difference between a horrible night's sleep and a good one!
Recently I took myself off Metformin. I'd been taking it on and off for years - from the days when I was mis-diagnosed as a type two, and then as a booster when I couldn't lose weight. I'm not sure why I stayed on it - I didn't lose an ounce, it had no effect at all - and yet the docs wanted me to stay on it. What use is that?
When I went on the Met I needed to drop my basal by one unit each injection (twice a day for that lovely smooth basal...), and I dropped the Novorapid a little too. It just makes sense that I'd need to put them up again once I stopped Met, right?
The Lantus went up, the NR was increased just a teensy weensy bit for any meal with a decent amount of carbs involved. My BGs were looking SO good. Really really beautiful numbers (Can blood sugar readings be beautiful?!). My pre-bed numbers looked gorgeous. My post meal numbers were to die for. I could eat anything and get away with it. I could even have a very small snack without injecting. Highs were rare. It was as if my pancreas has suddenly started working just a little bit...
But DUH. Think about it, M. It was overkill, that's what it was. The Lantus was too much. I was on an all day drop. To some degree this worked for me - it was nice to have the knowledge that I was always in a good BG range, and it was nice to be able to nibble something without jabbing once in a while. I could handle the odd low - it meant I could have munchies! But what about the night time?
NOT good. I was waking up around 8 - 9 mmol a few times a week. Other days I would definitely be higher than when I went to bed. I was happy assuming that this was some form of Dawn Phenomenon that I wasn't used to, something that the Metformin had worked on for me that I now had to deal with myself.
After a few weeks of this I was actually beginning to look forward to my a1c (which I took yesterday). But I was feeling so trashed. Sleep was an issue - I wanted too much of it! I felt unrested. I never remembered any dreams which is odd for me. I'd fall asleep with the lamp on and some nights I'd even left the electric blanket on. Eep. And I was getting up far too late - a day feels so wasted when you're not ready to face it until lunch time.
It turns out that one unit makes a BIG difference. In hindsight, I can see that it was too much Lantus. I was actually going low overnight, and then my liver (all praise the wonderful liver) was rescuing me. This led to an uncomfortable nights sleep, which made me even more tired the next day, which led to me being too sleepy to wake up for the next nights low, which led to more of the same.
Which in turn makes me FREAK OUT. I was going low every night. EVERY night. How low? I'll never know. I can't help but question it. What if I hadn't woken?
I'm just glad I didn't go on like that for too long.
And as stupid as it is, I'm glad I did my a1c at a time when I'm almost guaranteed to get a good result. The result will also verify my theory of these overnight lows. I can't see that my problems could be anything else when I look at the evidence. I'll know soon... the countdown for another a1c result is on. I'll report in a few days :)
It's been two days now since I dropped the Lantus. I feel SO GOOD! I slept well last night, I woke up feeling good - I actually woke up feeling like I was going low, I was 4.2 - not low yet but heading there - so the Lantus changes still need another day to kick in, but at least it was a morning low not an overnighter. I can deal to it with breakfast - perfect.
Ah, I feel Dumb for missing this for weeks - but I feel GOOD that I've got it sorted :)
We never do stop learning, do we?
Monday, 5 November 2007
I've come to realise that the less I think about diabetes, the better I do. I'm much less stressed about it when I spend less time on the forums, less time on here writing about it, and less time freaking about numbers.
That doesn't mean I'm giving up on forums or my blog - it just means I'm enjoying a bit of peace for a while :)
Things are going well - I seem to have pretty good numbers all round at the moment. I'm due for an A1c this week - well, whenever I get my A into G and take the card to the blood-drainers. I'm still hoping for a result in the 5s - and I think if I'd have gone a couple of weeks ago I may have got that, but I've been making changes the last couple of weeks that might have stuffed it up.
Ever since I heard that the last few weeks make a big impact on your a1c (I guess the most recent bits are the strongest?? or most numerous??) I've noticed that I have bigger swings and higher highs when I'm due to get tested! How typical is that.
I've been dabbling in all things spiritual - not religion as most of you would know it, but researching psychic abilities, mediumship, etc. And wow have I learnt a lot. I guess it's something a lot of you wouldn't agree with, so I wont go on :) But it's been a very educational move for me and I may have more to share at a later date.
My cats are still totally gorgeous and have me thoroughly wrapped around their cute little paws :) Little Noodle (the old 'lady' with throat cancer) is still a healthy looking kitten to look at. Even though her body is going through so much, she's the one with all the energy. The one who will eat anything, even though she has no teeth. And the one who makes a mess of the floor because anything she sees needs to be thrown around the room and chased! She's also the only cat we have who loves to be picked up and cuddled. She'll even let us walk around with her - the other two freak if you even *think* about picking them up.
I love my babies very much :)
everything). We hadn't had much rain either, so it sat there clogging everything up and making all the windows look sooo grubby. No big deal - it all clears up in the rain, but it's a shame to have a nice new car I'm proud of that looks like shit lol
Nothing else to report - life is good!
Gosh this reads more like a letter than my typical blog post... but that's what came out of my writing (typing) fingers today :)
All the best to all of you :)
x x x
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
I was playing around at DrawAHouse.com - I've drawn my house, now come join me and move into Thingy Wotsit Avenue!
Just a bit of fun... the site instructs you to draw a house, then suggests a few things to add, then tells you a little about your personality judged by your picture. Try it out and move in next door to me!
Monday, 24 September 2007
I've been egged
And there's a bunch of people complaining about it...
Click your browsers back button to get back here - you wont be able to click anything there :)
check out www.netdisaster.com and send flies, worms, flowers, scribbling babies and a bunch of other things to a site of your choice. If there's a site you don't like you can chop it up with a chainsaw or get your revenge with a gun!
Saturday, 22 September 2007
Every period screws with me - For 7 - 10 days beforehand my Lantus is nowhere near enough, I suddenly need twice the normal dose of short acting insulin with my meals and yet still need corrections afterwards. I feel tired - oh so tired. My hair looks grotty just a few hours after I've cleaned it, my pain threshold is way wonky - everything hurts. PMT sucks.
Then wham... a run of low BGs starting with one sudden drop that always catches me unaware. This time it hit overnight, and I woke from a weird dream at around 3.30 am with a BG of 2.4 (43mg/dl). That was the beginning ... since then I've been working to avoid lows almost all day every day.
At the peak of all this I went for a birthday dinner at a friend's house. I tested at 5.1 before dinner, took my injection with really conservative insulin estimates for spaghetti bolognese. I cooked it, so I know exactly what's in it. I also know there's Apple pie and cream for dessert but I decide not to inject for that yet considering my lower numbers of late.
Only about an hour after eating I'm feeling weird. I test at 2.2 (39). I get half a glass of coke, a large square of Nestle's 'heaven' chocolate, and decide to have dessert without an injection. I'm expecting a ridiculous high from this, but I just can't stand the lows any more! So I eat pudding - a good chunk of apple pie - that's gooey apple centre (vaguely carby), Pastry (heavily carby) and sugar sprinkled heavily on top (super carby). NO insulin. 30 minutes later I test again, 2.6 (48). I curse diabetes under my breath and just keep munching.
The day before, also at dinner time, I'd eaten hungrily knowing my BG was dropping a little. Dosed conservatively to avoid lows. Yet only one hour after eating my eyes were having trouble making sense of the world and I couldn't quite stay focused on the story my son was telling me. I'd dropped to 1.6 (29) and still had over an hours worth of insulin working to drop me lower. Bring on the coke, jellybeans and chocolate - say goodbye to losing any weight this week.
These two lows are bad enough, but I haven't even started telling you the full story. I'm low after breakfast, I'm low after having lunch with no insulin, I'm low when I *think* about exercising, Im nibbling all day. I'm getting this actually rather nice looking average BG reading in the 4s... but not nice in this situation.
Hormones suck. I'm never ready for this roller coaster ride - how can anyone ever be ready for it? It's not following a routine, it's not checking in with me before playing with my BGs! It's screwing up my patterns and giving me trouble - which in turn leaves me tired and sometimes moody.
All in all, that's 2 weeks out of a typical month with roller coaster BGs, and I can only try to keep up - so far no success. Sure I know I have 7 - 10 days of oddly high BGs. Then I drop and have 2 - 3 days of stupidly low BGs. That much I'm aware of - but I can't sort out a good carb to insulin ratio for either of those times because they change daily - no, hourly! I can't increase / decrease the Lantus to suit, because it takes Lantus a couple of days to show any effects from a change so I'd always be a few days behind. I have tried, but I end up with a bouncier ride. Easier to stick with my current dose of long acting and just play with the short acting insulin. Continually. You can imagine the number of test strips I go through!
I was much better off when I had no periods at all. Supposedly I'm going through early menopause, which started when I was 27 - but now I've had 6 months or so with a cycle - not regular, but nonetheless there, and no hot flushes. Perhaps it was never menopause to start with...? Or perhaps this is only a phase, my body's attempt at giving me normality before it finally takes my cycles away for good. If this is true, I'll never curse menopause again!! Diabetes is hard enough without hormones fiddling with the balance. I don't want early menopause, but I prefer it to this mess.
This is causing problems for my wish to lose one kilo before Sunday... with only one day to go, I think I'm out of luck! My week of high numbers brought on the munchies, my usual 1-2 kg weight gain from water retention (thankfully this drops off pretty fast too once it's all over), a couple of rebound lows from rage bolusing, and PMT cravings (read: home baked goodies and big blocks of chocolate disappearing without a trace!). My few days of repetitive lows have led to a lot of extra high carb munching, and a fear of exercise. This was a bad bad time to get serious about weight loss! No big deal, I'll try again once it's over.
I don't know if this is the norm for other diabetic women, or if I'm going through some weird menopausal phase, or if I'm allergic to trying to lose weight :P Whatever the case, it's been driving me nuts and I'm really glad it's nearly over!
Thursday, 13 September 2007
It was a pain, but I didn't realise it had affected me that much until I got incredibly excited about my new car! I've been buzzing since I picked it up on Tuesday afternoon.
It's SEXY! Well, it is to me. You'll understand with a little background... I've never had a 'nice' car. I've never saved up and worked for my own car. I've had old bombs that I've picked up cheap, I've had someone else's old bomb given to me (I've been SO lucky! Spoiled even.) I've had a work vehicle - just a tatty old van. And I've had a bicycle that reallllllly hurts my butt lol. But to date I've never had a car I was proud of, one that had nice things - a working stereo. Electric windows. Central Locking. Tidy body. Basic stuff to you, right? But things I've never had.
I could have had those things if I was willing to give up more of my time to working, or if I chose not to homeschool my son and spend more of my money on myself, etc. But until now, other things have always been more important. Now, I have a nice car, and I haven't had to sacrifice anything for it (except my savings!). It does help that the car was really too cheap for what it is ;)
So I'm a really happy chappy. I have, parked outside right now, one nice looking Toyota Corona - a car that gets rave reviews on the net and has a great rep for reliability - and it's MINE!
I hereby promise to do my darndest to lose one kilogram by Sunday next week. That's Sunday the 23rd of September. 1kg, 10 days.
Doable... Easy in fact, 1kg is nothing... yet I don't do it. So I'm hoping that by telling the world about it, I'll be able to stick to it!
Following that kilo, maybe a few more. But for now, just the one to get me started. Small steps. One kilo at a time.
Here I go...
Thursday, 30 August 2007
(polls now closed - for a while you can view them at the bottom of the right hand side of this page)A I mentioned in the previous post, It's a fiasco every time I call the doctor for a prescription for new meter strips.
First the phone call, which I hate every time. I deal with either the receptionist or the nurse, and I can hear both of them rolling their eyes as I once again ask for a script that allows for 8 - 12 tests a day.
Then I go in to pick up the script, which will without doubt allow for only 3 - 4 tests a day. I complain, ask for it to be re-written, and sometimes it will be, sometimes it wont. Even if I get a replacement script it will still only allow for up to 6 tests a day. I can live with 6 if I have to, but it leaves me guessing my BGs too often, and I feel SO much better (and more in control, and more free to live my life, and more free to do *anything*, etc) if I can test when I need to.
How can it be wrong to test more? Isn't it a good thing? Aren't I a good little patient for having a1cs under 7, testing at good times, keeping an eye on things and attempting to take over the roll of my pancreas?
The good news is that when I see my Endo she will write me out another script, which keeps me stocked up for when the doc wont give me enough. The bad news is that she only wants to see me once a year now because as we both know I'm controlling my own Diabetes and know what I'm doing, so one extra script a year doesn't fill up those gaps any more :(
Well this is yet another fiasco that may be coming to an end. I called the doctor to get strips a few days ago. I went in yesterday to pick up the script which yet again allowed for 3 - 4 tests a day. I left it there with the receptionist and requested an appointment. I would show the Dr the Pharmac Schedule which says a diabetic on insulin can have as many tests as they need. I would print bits out, explain my case, heck I was even willing to cry brittle diabetes if I needed too (which is bull crap... but a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do).
FINALLY the good news: The receptionist called me this morning, cancelled my appointment and said that the Dr wrote me a new script for 800 strips following a letter he got from my Endo. I don't know what she said, but I love her now :D
SO - omg I've been a little verbal on this one haven't I? So.... I was wondering how many others have trouble with this. Are you free to test as you need to? Is it a bother, or are you happily testing less? Is your doctor writing out scripts willy nilly allowing you to test as you please? Tick some boxes, and tell me all about it. Especially you NZ'ers - I wonder how common this issue is in NZ.
BTW - it seems blogger's polls don't allow for any more than a word or three per option. If you can't read what's at the end of the line, just hover over it and all will be revealed. Thanks for your votes!
Then, we were a little worried as the meter didn't seem to work as we expected.
Then we discovered that the meter read in Plasma, not whole blood. All very good, but we were a little annoyed that we weren't clearly told about it. Small print isn't enough.
Then we discovered that the supposed 10 - 15% higher readings could be as far off as 10 - 60%, which is nowhere near accurate enough for a diabetic trying to survive day to day.
Roche eventually (but very casually) mentioned that the meters might not be reading as expected, and very quietly mumbled that maybe, if we wanted to, we could use our old meters for a while, only if we weren't happy, and just until they sorted out the strip / chip issue. Although these meters were often reading dangerously outside of range many people are still using them and Roche have barely tried to discourage us. Even the health professionals are confused - one person will tell you to keep using it, it's fine... the next will freak out and insist you keep well away from it until they've sorted it.
I for one was not pleased. I'm sure Roche aren't too pleased with how this turned out either! But I no longer play a part in this fiasco! YAY! I gave in to the competitors offers. I have now swapped my Performa meter for an Optium Xceed, and I'm pretty happy with that deal - At least the Xceed has a back-light! (Overseas readers may know it as the Xtra)
I'd encourage others to either do the same, or at least keep using your Advantage meter. The Performa is a recipe for trouble! Even if you're happy with the Performa, are you happy with the way Roche have dealt with the issue? I'm certainly not.
However I'd also like to note that the issue with the Performa seems to be only on some meters (which totally kills their theory of the problem being in the calibration of the strips, doesn't it?). My tests showed a variance of up to 60%, yet my friend's comparisons show a fairly well averaged 15% with only a couple of slightly 'off' readings.
Anyway, here's to my new meter and three cheers to Medica Pacifica for a brilliant deal, and what looks like a brilliant meter. I'm yet to find out, because getting a new prescription for more strips is yet another fiasco I have to go through repeatedly with my doctor, so at this point I have a lovely new meter and NO strips. How it sucks to have a new toy that you can't play with!
I haven't been around much - life has been, well, y'know, life. It got busy... so busy that I... oh I'm fibbing, I just got addicted to other stuff :D Like tudiabetes... and Desktop Tower Defense, and Onslaught.
And then I thought about coming back and saying hello, but you know how it is when you haven't talked to an old friend for a while... where do you start? Do I have to worry about whether I've pissed you off and forgotten about it? Or do I owe you any money?
So lets start with a clean slate, eh?
I have so many things to say, so many posts in draft that need to see the world, so many stories to tell. It's all backed up in my brain and if I don't get it all out I'm going to pop.
However, first things first - I need sleep, it's 2:45am and I've had a very long day, which I shall be sure to tell you about, along with all the others, in due time.
Prepare your eyes - serious post-a-thon coming soon.
Wednesday, 1 August 2007
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
The last few days I've been reminded: IT'S NOT THAT BAD!
Today, the clincher. A forum post I read, where someone asks for advice on how to tell their children that they're dying. This person has months to live, and is leaving their babies behind.
There are no words to say how horrible that must be.
As for me, I'm a single parent with insulin dependent diabetes.
My lad has his own health problems.
I don't have a lot of money.
My life has been put in perspective.
I have me. I have my son. I have family and friends. I have adorable cats, a great house, and most of my health.
I'm getting on with life, beating the challenges, and moving on. What on earth do I have to complain about?
People take too many things for granted. I take too many things for granted. Tomorrow I'm going to have fun with my son, and relish the little things in life.
Here's to life, and all of it's weirdness. One day at a time, I'm going to make my way to the end of it. Dammit, I want to look back on my life with a smile on my face. Why waste time worrying about what's going wrong?
IT'S NOT THAT BAD!!
Monday, 23 July 2007
Saturday, 14 July 2007
But I'll leave this bit:
You know what really made my day? I discovered videojug and most importantly, tips on how to use the toilet. You'll thank me for it later, I'm sure.
I'd hate to think that some of you found the link ever-so-handy and here's me deleting it. Oh no, that'll never do.
And if you read the post before I snipped it, you'll be pleased to know I'm having lots of fun hand-washing all my clothes today, and causing no floods lol.
(btw if you want to rate your own blog, click on the above. If you want to kill the online dating advertising that it tries to take with it, just delete the line in the code (at the end) that has the mingle2 online dating stuff.)
This thingywotsit pinched from 'moments of wonderful'
Friday, 13 July 2007
Saturday, 7 July 2007
Roche have put out a press release regarding the Performa. There are small notices of gentle warning popping up across the internet. There was even an article in the papers and in the radio news, which let people know of the higher readings, and warned them to use a different meter. Good!
I wanted to choke when I read that the adjustment will be about 6 - 10% - anyone who's read my posts about the Performa can see the difference is much larger than that (and inconsistent, which is the bigger worry). But I am glad they're moving along and dealing to the problem.
Still waiting for my letter... Still waiting to see anything obvious that means ALL diabetics with the new Performa will have the knowledge. So far, there are still thousands of people unaware of the problem.
I wont go on, as my dear friend & fellow diabetic kiwi has already summed it up on his blog if you'd like to read more.
Everywhere I look I see numbers that remind me of testing blood sugars.
The other day I saw a car with the licence plate 'BGL 152' or something similar - which I can't help but read as Blood Glucose Level: 15.2
Suddenly I find myself thinking: Yikes, bit high, better reach for the insulin...
To the right you see my digital thermometer - it's been sitting on my kitchen window sill for MONTHS, but I still see BG results, not temperatures!
It's the same with the time on the microwave, the seconds left before a bomb explodes on a movie, etc etc etc. It seems that all numbers belong in the BG reading compartment of my brain now!
The temperature you see there is what it's reading right this moment. A gorgeously sunny day, but still winter, and damned cold. Brrrr. 9 degrees is the highest we'll see today. And yet out in my garden I have spring flowers starting to bloom:
Months too early, but I wont complain! Certainly helps to make winter feel better :)
For curiosity's sake (and because I like playing with blogger's new toys) I've put a poll up there ----->
I want to edit it but it wont let me because there are two votes already. Instead of deleting it and starting again, I hope you'll understand that I missed out the words 'on MDI' (tho I'm sure it's obvious). Go, tick boxes!
BTW... having just testing at 2.7, I'm surprised any of this post makes sense... *stuffs food in mouth*
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Perhaps you read the follow up RTFM a bit later, where I wondered about the high readings I was getting from the Performa.
Here's part three: Why the Performa meter needs to be PUT AWAY and forgotten about until Roche have things sorted out! (For people in New Zealand only)
The roll-out of the new Performa meters was messy from the beginning. To start with, a country accustomed to seeing whole blood BG readings was given a meter that measures blood plasma - without warning. Only those of us who read the small print, and knew what to make of it, understood that we'd be in for a different set of readings.
It took a while for anything to happen with that, but slowly more and more people got curious about their wacky readings and the word spread. We eventually had a letter sent out to us (see here) - which should have been included in all the original packaging with the meter, if you ask me, but late is better than not at all.
Then there was the realisation that there was more to it. Many people have noticed a 'sloppiness' to the readings. If they were fairly regularly around 11% higher, as they should be for the plasma readings, that would be fine - we'd just need some mental maths and some time to get used to it. But the Performa is all over the place, and generally TOO high. You can imagine how dangerous this could be for an insulin dependent diabetic who judges their insulin doses by their readings.
There's unrest in the NZ diabetic community! People are worried - and I can't blame them. It worried me, too!
I've done some side by side tests in the last few days. Keeping both meters in the same place (to keep the same temperature), using the same drop of blood to fill both strips within seconds of each other. The results scare me - especially when my Advantage says I'm low (and I FEEL low) and the Performa says I'm ok.
Let me show you...
First, what the difference SHOULD look like.
And now, the rather larger gap between the actual readings on my two meters:
And now some figures:
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Difference states the gap (in mmol) between the two meters.
% difference is how much higher the Performa reading is compared to the Advantage reading, as a percentage. (Remember it's meant to be approx 11%)
Now let me state right here that I'm not a scientist, nor a mathematician, and these comparisons were all done in a home setting by me - someone who has two meters and experience as a diabetic. Not a professional in any way.
And then let me state: Oh my gawd! I see nothing like 11% in those figures. Two of them are over 50% higher. Yikes!
Statement #3 - no it's not normal for me to have lows like that ;)
Rumour has it that they've stopped rolling out the Performa meter while they wait for experts to come out from Roche in
I wonder if some damage is done already? How many diabetics in
And what of the people who already have their Performa meters? Are they to be warned?
While we’re waiting to find out what’s going on, please - if you live in NZ and have the Performa meter, be careful. If possible, hang on to your old meter and stick with that until the problem is sorted. Buy another one if you have to – you need to be aware of your blood sugar results, and the Performa is not about to help you make good decisions in your treatment.
UPDATE: Whadaya know! FINALLY the issue is noticed. Read what the NZSSD (New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes) have to say about the Performa meter.
It’s official now… Don’t pick up that meter! Get strips for whatever other meter you have on hand.
Ooh Roche, I don’t envy you, this has been one expensive experience for you… and risky. I only hope no one has seriously overdone the insulin because of a reading from that meter.
Monday, 25 June 2007
At midday on Sunday July 1st 2007 we are asking everyone concerned about the effects of climate change to simply turn everything (non-vital) off for an hour.
Another idea for us to increase awareness, save the world (hey, small steps make all the difference), and get off our butts for a while.
Can you go one hour without power? It seems like such a small thing, but no computer, no kettle, no oven, no electric heaters, no stereo, no car, no television etc.
It's only one hour... Rediscover card games, go for a walk, play with the kids (or the neighbours dog, or the old guy round the corner, or the cats toys...) read a book or have a good chat face to face (no email! haha!).
I've been tagged by Trunkles - a list of 10 random thingymajiggies you probably didn't know about me.
1: I can wiggle my ears. Only sometimes, and only when I'm not laughing or smiling.
2: I was vegetarian for years. I still dislike the idea of eating animals, but I'll do it. There's a whole inner turmoil thing going on there.
3: I always - and I mean always - have a song going on in my head. Plus 17 other things of course... but the song really gets me. It's often a song I don't like! It's sometimes a song I don't know well enough to fill in the correct words or beats. It's always distracting :( That's one of the reasons why I don't like to have the radio on in the background when I'm doing anything - I have enough distractions going on inside my thoughts without anything extra needing to be added!
4: I write notes. Lots of them. Lists, reminders, letters to myself, stuff I want to remember... they're everywhere. My computer desk is covered in them, and I have a whiteboard - to save paper use - but barely ever use it.
5: I once worked as a waitress for an Indian Restaurant. $50 a night under the table... No training. I had no idea what the stuff on the menu was or what I should do, but I managed to fumble my way through it. I quit after my second night on the job...
6: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I suppose some day I will grow up, and then I'll decide. For now I'll enjoy just being me and doing whatever happens to grab my attention at the time!
7: I've never touched drugs. Never smoked wacky baccy or injected anything or taken anything that wasn't prescribed for my health. For years I even refused most medications and didn't take any pain meds unless I was really seriously in need. Funny now, because I'm on 6 - 8 injections a day, at least 2 pills normally 3, and the occasional vitamin. Times are changing.
8: I have a stationery fetish. I collect paper, pens, rulers, envelopes, exercise books, scissors, tape etc. My computer desk drawer is full to the brim, so is my son's, and my filing cabinet has a draw just for little pads & stickers etc, and there's still a large box we haven't unpacked full of other bits... hasn't been opened since we moved here over a year ago! When I found that I realised I'd overdone it. Since most of my writing is done on a keyboard these days, I can stop buying paper & pens now!
9: I can read and write backwards if I want to. I have entire diaries from my younger years written backwards. I used to think more creatively that way, so most of my poems & songs & stories were written backwards too. I'm not dyslexic or anything, it's just something I can do at will. A skill? Not sure about that, but still, something to fill up number 9 here, which I was having trouble doing. Oh my gawd, I still gotta come up with one more. OK...
10: I have ADD. That's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, without the visible hyperactivity. (For ADD'ers the hyperactivity is only in the brain and not obvious in the behaviour. They're often quiet people because there's so much activity going on their minds they have trouble keeping up with conversations and paying attention to people/things). I don't advertise that fact, mainly because most people don't understand it and are running on misconceptions (like the biggest one - that there's no such thing, it's all about food colouring or bad parenting or whatever. Bull crap... there's a stuff up in the brain chemicals. ADHD is VERY real, and it SUCKS.)
Numbers 3, 4, 6 and 8 are probably because of 10!
How to play:I think tagging 10 people is a little excessive - if I do that then in about half an hour this thing is already done by everyone! So I choose to not tag anyone, coz I'm a spoil sport, and because I know a lot of you have already done stuff like this, and finally because if you want it, you can pinch it!
Once you have been tagged, write a blog with 10 weird, random things, facts or habits about yourself. At the end choose 10 people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them. Leave them the comment 'You're It' and to read your blog. You can't tag the person who tagged you.
Saturday, 23 June 2007
On Thursday I drove back home in a thunderstorm - that was pretty cool! Bit scary when the rain got so heavy that I could hardly see, but still a nice drive. On Friday as I drove down to pick him again, it was BEAUTIFUL weather. Winter? Really? But after staying at Mum's for a few hours and driving back again, It was shirty again. Some days I think it's true that New Zealand can have four seasons in one day.
There are road works EVERYWHERE! It must be budget time for the road works chaps. Little orange cones all over the roads - and I mean that literally. Those things are heavy, but the wind we've had lately has been heavier, so the roads were a mess of rubbish, leaves, road cones and temporary barriers that had scattered.
I wonder if there's something about working on roads that kills the workers' brain cells? It seems just about every time I make that drive there's something silly. This time it was the speed limit signs on Centennial Highway alongside the ocean. It's been silly for a while with the temporary 80km/h speed limit signs - is it REALLY temporary when they've been there for what, 2 - 3 years now? But Thursday was sillier.
As I get close to where the road meets the ocean front, I see the sign on the left hand side of the road that warn me of an impending 70km/h area, a slower bit so that we don't run over innocent road workers and leave messy squished guys on their tidy new road. Ok. Sweet. I can handle that. Then I look to the right - directly opposite the 70 sign, there's a warning of a 30 km/h area. Hmmmmk. Not sure which speed I'm going to be slowing down to, so I keep my eyes open. A few seconds later it all becomes clear. They're nuts. There's a 50 sign. BAH! Warning, 70 coming! Oh wait, might be 30! Hahaha fooled you, you can go 50! Ahh shudduppayourface :P
On Friday, as I drive the same roads again, I watch out for the signs. Some smart bugger has changed them :) Now both signs on the left and right say there's a 50k speed change ahead! Great - and as I get to where the speed actually changes, the sign now says 70. Riiiiiiiight.
This is really just an excuse to play with bloggers beta video embedding thingyamywotsit... but here's a vid I took on the drive down. It shows road works, beautiful sunshine, a wintery wild ocean and speed limit signs, and seemed relevant to today's post:
Wasn't that EXCITING!
Also shows that I listen to a lot of old music on the radio when I'm driving :D
(It was hard for me to call that old... To me the oldies are from the 60s or 70s, but the times, they are a changin', and all those songs I grew up with are now - omg - oldies. Shocking.)
Have you pressed the big red button yet? You really mustn't. Really. It'd just be rude to press it when it tells you not to. That's why I never touched it, have no idea what it does, and wouldn't dream of putting you through the same thing :D
Thursday, 21 June 2007
So I'll take the easy road today and accept Kerri's tag to everyone for a meme:
THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1. M or Em
3. Emmie or Emmie-Lou (and no, my real name isn't Emmie!)
THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. My fingernails - everyone else wants them, they look like they've been french manicured all the time and yet I never care for my nails at all. I'm not sure I actually *like* them, but they're something other people seem to feel I should be proud of... and I am proud of the fact that I gave up biting my nails (over a decade ago!) and can actually grow any kind of nails at all.
2. My eyes - I have perfect eyesight - which is a relief as a diabetic - and people have said I have nice eyes...
3. My hair - sort of. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It's always too long, too short, too blonde, too dark... the only thing that stays the same is how fine it is, impossible to style! (oops I'm talking about the positives here aren't I!). I like that it can look different from day to day without me having to dye it (seriously, my hair colour changes with the seasons, and with different shampoos, etc!) I have wild hair and I'll probably always hate it, and love it at the same time. Tempting to have it shaved off though!
THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. My teeth. They're ugly, they stain too easily, and I feel like I have fangs. My jaw doesn't line up properly so there's never any comfortable place to rest my mouth. I get sore face muscles and sometimes it goes all around my head leading to headaches etc, simply because my jaw can't rest comfortably in any position.
2. My belly. I've always had a slightly sticky-outty belly, as a lot of women do, but since diabetes hit me I look like I'm 14 months pregnant. Perhaps a slight exaggeration?! Still, I hate it. It's the last bit of me to lose weight and the first bit to gain. Hurumph.
3. Bruises... I'm always covered in them. I bruise so easily. Doesn't help that I'm sticking needles in myself many times a day!
THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
I don't really know... I've heard mumbles about some Welsh & Irish ancestry, and definitely English. There may be a pinch of Maori somewhere on my father's side but we're not sure... There could be French, well, there could be anything.
I'm more of a here & now person. It's interesting to hear about the past but I'm more interested in where I am now and where I'm going tomorrow.
THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
1. Having a bad hypo - especially in a public place. Especially if I'm around people who wouldn't know what to do, and most especially, if I'm out at a pub or somewhere where people are drinking and may assume I've just had one too many and leave me in a corner to sleep it off. Eek.
2. Diabetes complications.
3. Bad drivers, especially those who think they drive well and blame all those near-misses on other people.
THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1. My two insulins, Lantus & Novorapid. I wouldn't be here without them!
2. My Blood sugar meter, without that I'd never know how much to eat or jab and wouldn't have a hope of fine-tuning my BGs day to day and getting good a1c results.
3. My computer - my link to the outside world, my connection to other diabetics, friends who live far away, people who understand me and people that don't care whether they understand me or not!
THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1. Big fluffy slippers
2. Big fluffy jacket
3. Two singlet tops for extra warmth :)
THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE MUSICALS:
THREE OF YOUR [current] FAVOURITE SONGS:
1. Mika - That 'Don't you like me' song (Grace Kelly??). Totally upbeat and happy and funky. Groovy :D
2. All the songs on the Maroon 5 'Songs About Jane' CD which I've wanted since it came out, but for some reason, never bought! A friend bought it for me last week and I'm loving it :)
3. It's hard to name just a song! I like lots from my Rob Thomas CD, I still love Bernard Fanning, and I'm a fan of a lot of oldies. Janis Joplin rocks my socks off when I need something loud & bluesy. Ah, I'm a music person, I love it all!
THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
1. Honesty. Honesty! HONESTY!!
2. Great conversation, and a willingness to ask questions and listen so we can avoid misunderstandings.
THREE PHYSICAL THINGS THAT YOU FIND ATTRACTIVE:
1. A big bright relaxed smile
2. I find myself attracted to men's backs, of all places...
3. Hands. I'm not sure *what* about hands, but I like hands. Small, large, tanned, scrawny... I dunno, just something about hands. Haven't figured out what the key thing is yet!
THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBIES:
1. Writing: blogging, writing emails or letters, whatever - I just love it when my thoughts work on paper (because I have trouble making them come out as I want them to when I'm talking!)
2. Net surfing. From blogs to articles to chat & forums, I love the people contact and the wide variety of ideas & opinions. Although there's less depth to people on the net - like a lack of body language and the ability to pretend you're someone different - there's also MORE depth as we don't get to judge by our usual first impressions, and sometimes people are more blunt, more honest, and easier to figure out.
3. Reading. I can get lost in a good story for hours. Especially funny/weird stuff that doesn't have a lot to do with reality.
THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
1. Go on holiday, alone, somewhere warm. Leave the parenting behind (I don't really want to leave my son behind... just the job of parenting, if you get what I mean? I need a break from responsibilities, and from worrying about his health, and trying to deal with it all while staying on top of my own health). I would love to be able to turn off my life for a while and get a break as ME, not mum, not the diabetic, not the friend or sister or daughter. A day or two (or 47) to call my own and discover what life would be like if I only had to worry about which beach to tan at!
2. Driving. I'm meant to be on my way to my mother's house right now, but my son isn't ready and I'm going mad slowly waiting.
3. Go for a run. I've been imagining myself as a fitness fanatic for the last few months! I've NEVER gone for a run though.
THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING:
1. I'd like to win the craziest patient award at the nearest psychiatric hospital. :P
2. Mad cat lady
3. Eccentric author, incorporating mad cat lady and insane person in one, while making money!
... Sorry, but I never did figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact, I never wanted to grow up!
THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
1. England. I adore those accents.
2. The world... a little bit here, a little bit there, just soak up culture, meet new people, and be free for a few months.
3. All over New Zealand. I've travelled a bit here, and I love the freedom of jumping in a van with everything and driving anywhere.
THREE KIDS NAMES YOU LIKE:
HAH! I had a hard enough time coming up with a name for my son! It took me the whole nine months and even then I wasn't entirely happy with my choice!
THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1. See my son as a grown man, hopefully with kids because I'd LOVE to be a Nana.
2. See a cure for diabetes? I'm not sure... I guess I want it, but wow, the change involved! And I bet I'd mourn for D, even though I hate it. I don't hold much hope of seeing that cure, so it's not something I think about much.
3. Figure out who I am! Live life to the fullest, and give up worrying about the little things.
THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A CHICK:
1. I love Bridget Jones' Diary and feel like I could be her.
2. I like to talk for hours about everything and anything, including the stuff no one likes to talk about.
3. I'm too critical of myself.
THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A BOY:
1. I burp with the best of them.
2. I like beer & dislike wine & cocktails.
3. I like learning about how things work. I pulled an engine apart when I was about 8... used to make all sorts of things with electronics, and I still fiddle with engines & computers etc now. (Although these days I look at a car engine and get totally lost! OMG look at all those WIRES!)
THREE CELEB CRUSHES:
This is hard... I have no crushes on any celebs, but guys I might sorta fancy if they were actually nice chaps and were an option for a date:
1. Bruce Willis
2. Peter Gabriel
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
But not diabetic women. Huh? Men are looking good - living a lot longer. Today's treatment for diabetes - with better diet knowledge, regular testing, better insulins and more carefully worked out doses, has really done something! But...
"Not only have mortality rates for women with diabetes not declined, but the difference in death rates for diabetic and non-diabetic women has actually widened over the three decades as females without diabetes started living longer."
What are women doing differently? The article suggests that doctors are less aggressive in looking after a woman's heart health. Medications may suit men better than women.
Forgive my generalisations here, but:
Another article doing the rounds at the moment is about Diabulimia - the bulimic tendencies of some people on insulin: missing insulin doses so that the body can't use glucose for energy and ends up using fat, thus the diabetic loses weight quickly and easily while eating what they want. AND of course spends a lot of time with high BGs, which brings on all those horrible complications...
Are too many women doing this, and making it worse for themselves? Maybe, but I bet it's not THAT common.
Are women less likely to take a logical mathematical approach to diabetes, which I believe is a good approach for dealing with insulin / carb / BG levels? I wouldn't be surprised - it's a fact that men & women have different brain chemistry, but I think if it comes to that sort of thinking, then women are actually the ones to have the better approach to their health, so this idea doesn't stick.
Are women too busy these days dealing with the stresses of jobs and family etc? No time to pay diabetes the attention it needs? Possibly, but aren't men busy, too? And don't men have that macho image to keep up, which for some makes it hard for them to test, inject and take pills in front of others?
Can it really be, as they stated in that article, that women's heart health just isn't treated as aggressively. Is it not taken seriously? I suspect there has to be more to it!
I've read a few studies over the last few years that suggest doctors don't spend as much time on women's health and are less likely to take them seriously. Sexism is alive & well, unfortunately, and it seems deeply ingrained.
I'm doing what I can to lead a long & healthy life. Diabetes gets in the way, naturally! But it's a fight I'm willing to battle to the end. Are my choices being taken away from me? Am I doomed anyway?
This is the kind of study I've been waiting to read for a long time! Diabetes treatments have got better over the years, I've wanted to the facts & figures to reflect that. To show that insurance companies and employers don't need to worry so much any more. And our families need not worry about us keeling over so young. This particular study is great for my male friend & father with diabetes, but doesn't look so good for me! Add this to the fact that our insulins don't have c-peptide any more (and it's suspected that we need it) and I feel a little doomed!
I thought Diabetes was meant to be a treatable disease. Something we can take control of and deal to, while living a fairly normal healthy life. Am I naive in thinking this?
Note: This study never says whether it looked at type 2s, type 1s, or both...
Other note: As I write this I'm totally distracted by the lawns man outside my window and his dog barking on the driveway... I've done a study of my own, it shows that women who have only had one cuppa since they woke up don't think or write too well with distractions :p