Monday, 23 April 2007

Love, hate...

Just because I don't like to leave loose ends lying about:
  • I stuck my new processor into my new motherboard. I stuck all the little plugs into their little sockets. I put them back in again, the right way *ahem*. And then I pressed the power button... and it did work, but darnit, the hard drive didn't like it. Long story short: everything was backed up, the hard drive was formatted, and voila - here I am, with a fresh new (in parts) computer, going FASSSSST and behaving beautifully. I love it :)
  • Sparky may not be OK. The poor lad. We find out tomorrow if he's going to make it. I hate that :(

I have learnt (2):

No one understands diabetes like a diabetic.
Not the doctors, not the family, not the friends, only the diabetics.

Doctors give me all sorts of advice - mostly revolving around 'why do you test so often, why do you/don't you eat that, don't let your a1c get any lower/higher, always wear shoes' but they have no idea. It's all text-book to them.

Family & friends care, but they have no idea what I'm going through. I think they're all worried that I'm going to die in my sleep one night - death by chocolate, or death by insulin - and they probably all think I'm a naughty girl for having some pudding at family dinners, but there's no way they understand - except perhaps my father, who is also an insulin dependent diabetic.

This is why I love the online world. This is why diabetes blogs make me feel at home. And this is why I'm thankful for my friend who is also an insulin dependant diabetic. I could be SO alone if it wasn't for him and the online forums/blogs.

Could a non-diabetic even try to understand what it's like to feel low? To go all shaky and not feel quite right for half an hour or so? Could they begin to understand what it's like to feel high, to have that dry mouth, grumpiness, and worst of all, the frustration of having to wait so long for the BG to drop again? (Why can't they make a faster insulin?!). Could they ever get what it feels like to have to carry a shit-load of stuff around even just for a quick walk? To lack the spontaneity in not being able to eat anything anytime, or go anywhere any time, and having to test before driving, worrying about going low during sex, etc?

Some days I feel very alone in this diabetic life. Other days I actually forget I'm diabetic for a while... but it's never long until something reminds me.

If it gets me down, all I have to do is come online. So many wonderful blogs and forum posts to read, where just about everything said I can nod my head and say 'yep, been there, done that, printing the T-shirt as we speak...'.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

I TAKE IT ALL BACK!!!

Well, life works in odd ways, huh?

Only hours after posting that message, having decided I really couldn't have a cat in the house, I have been offered two of my favourite beautiful babies - and accepted!

I will soon have a gorgeous natured multi-coloured 'Minx' (minx-a-millions) and big grey Bub (Tubby Bubby) in my care. I love those girls! I know there'll be a bit of fuss when they realise they're leaving the other two behind, but in time I'm sure they'll be ok. The main aim here is for Bub to lose weight. That gal is rather large for a cat... but it's hard to put one cat on a diet when you have three others in the house. So, in walks me... maybe bub and I can lose a few kilos together ;)

YAY this house will no longer be cat-free!

Here kitty

I love cats. Adore them. I am surrounded by them everywhere I go, though we no longer have one ourselves since my wee lad died last year. We see Fluffy (name changed to protect the innocent...) who lives a couple of houses down the road and stops in almost daily for a visit. My Aunt has 4 cats, S has 4 cats, J has Sparky the adorable ball of fluff, Dad has his black & white Butler, My sister has her little black beauty, and the list goes on. I love each and every one of them and I wish I could have 17 of my own!

I'm scared to get another one though. I'm too much of a softie, and it feels like everything is reminding me why NOT to get a cat at the moment.

Last Sunday we discovered one of S's cats had an inch long gash in her front underarm area, a little gash at her back legs (where on earth did she get these from?!), and lots of little puncture wounds, probably from a cat fight. Rushed to the vet quick-smart. Poor baby had to stay in overnight, and returned home with an Elizabethan collar to stop her picking at her stitches. Seems she also picked up a cold at some stage, the last thing she needs while she's already feeling sore & sad.

She's looking brighter, but still sniffling, still a bit sore, and still not eating as much as usual. Wont be long though, and the vet's bill will be the only thing to remind us all of what she's been through (and the horrible scar, no doubt).

Yesterday I get a call from J, his adorable Sparky-puss has been hit by a car. Another beautiful babe rushed off to the vet for an overnight stay. More after hours vets bills, another worried family as their little lad goes through recovery time.

I feel all of this ... the worry, the pain of knowing your baby is hurt, wanting to wrap them in cotton wool and snuggle them all day every day. I feel too much of other peoples' (and animals) pain, I know that but I can't seem to stop doing it.

At this point, I think we should put off having our own cats. I couldn't handle anything that might happen to them.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Bullet points, because life isn't always a story.

For some reason I'm full of writers block issues at the moment, so I'll stick to bullet points to get some thoughts on 'paper' tonight.

  • I'm house-sitting. I'm at my friend's house - J, with the coffee mentioned earlier- while he's away on a business thingymajig. I have his house, his car, and his adorable cat to look after. I'm certainly appreciating the use of the car (ohhh and it does love to go fast, I gotta be so careful!). Loving the cat, he's so affectionate and just totally adorable. There's no food and no clean towels, but I have to remember this the house of a young single man. 'nuff said ;)
  • I think I've discovered that a jab in the arm is the way to get the BG down fast. I really HATE being high - things like the chinese effect pee me off no end. So if this arm-jabbing trick is the key to getting back to normal with some speed, I'll be happy. I'll test the theory out - very very carefully - and report back :)
  • Cadbury's Macadamia chocolate is pretty good!
  • IMVU is actually getting more addictive, so long as I have people I know to chat to and new things to see/do. I'm sure it's just another one of my phases...
  • I've paid for my replacement computer parts. I should be totally back up & running in a matter of days. YAY :) I do have a loan computer at home, and at the moment I have J's computer to play with, so it hasn't been so hard to go without (funny that)'. Same for cars actually, I handed over my car a few weeks ago but have only actually had about 3 days without wheels, thanks to loan vehicles. This wont last... but it's nice for now. The longer it lasts the better, since my cash is busy fixing my computer! Certainly a time to appreciate friends... I've been well looked after :)
There is no doubt more to say - I actually keep my blog in mind every day now. When something happens my first thought is 'ohh - must write about that!' but I haven't yet kicked my butt into gear and bought a note book or something so that I can recall these tid-bits for later. Note to self, keep more notes to self, but on paper. Atta gal.

Does anyone know how I can make my bullet points double spaced? Just not right having them all bunched up like that.

And while I'm at it, how the heck can change the font of a post after it's published? That old 'I have learnt' post has been attacked many times to try and make it the same as the other posts, but each and every time it goes back to how it was. Pfft. Never mind! Got it!

That's all folks... Good night (urr, good morning, it's 2am *blush* I'll be sleeping in tomorrow!),
M.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Fun with technology

I've recently come across a whole new world of chat at IMVU.com - 3D chat. Pick an avatar - no not a dorky pic, a 3D version of a real person. Albeit a perfectly shaped skinny gal/guy with great looks - but hey, it's fun. Then you go chat with other perfectly shaped bodies, mostly wearing flirty clothing and saying crazy things (and mostly teenagers) and hey presto - play time!

I've found this works better if you invite your own friends in to chat - thus avoiding horny 16 year old foreign boys who can barely speak English but still manage to get across something about jumping into bed with you.

I've had fun playing around on IMVU with friends, beating each other up, burping, dancing and watching two male (and very straight) friends passionately kiss online and giggle about it. Sounds like a typical night out drinking, doesn't it? But without the alcohol and no insulin or taxi fare required ;)

That's cool technology, though useless if it came to saving lives / saving the world.

Helpful technology would be something like the CGMS I so desperately want to get my hands on. I'm in the process of finding out if they're available in New Zealand, and where & how much. I really think these things are the key to good control. As it is I test my blood sugar 5 - 12 times a day (12 would be extreme...) but with the CGMS I'd have hundreds of readings at my fingertips without having quite so many little dots on my fingers for tests. I'd have warning for lows and highs. I'd probably have my best hba1c to date. *sigh* A gal can dream.

The bummer about technology, from where I sit at this point in time, is that it aint cheap. I know that because my computer managed to kill itself a couple of days ago. Motherboard: FRIED. Processor: FRIED. DOH! Thankfully, the ram and hard drive and other bits are ok. I'd rather lose the expensive stuff than lose the personal stuff - like the photos I never quite got around to backing up, etc. It's just a tad expensive when I already need to save for a car, and have to pay for firewood. Pfft. These things always come at once, don't they?

My good friend has donated his old computer to me short term, while I sort my finances and get my computer back up & running. So I still get to be blog-surfing, chatting, and blog writing as I chose :) Ahhhh where would I be without my mates? (offline, that's where!! Thanks 'S'!)

On a completely unrelated note, it's my sister's birthday today. Happy birthday little sis!

I LOVE MY HOT WATER BOTTLE!

We've been lucky with the weather 'til now. Summer came late and then hung around to keep an eye on us - or maybe just to tease us with its warmth and then run away and let autumn come with a BANG. My thermometer read 5Âșc earlier this evening. YIKES. I lit the fire for the first time, with some leftover wood from last year, and spent most of the evening cuddling my hot water bottle. Very soon I will snuggle up into a warm bed thanks to my electric blanket. I'm lucky I have these things, I really can't stand the cold!

Quite a change from when I was a young lass. I hated summer. I didn't want to wear any light clothing - in fact most of the time I wore jeans with two T-shirts. Yes two. NO chance of anything being see-through or showing shape with two barriers between young teenage males and my skin.

Things have changed. Geez - I even wear a dress once or twice a year - though admittedly the only time I've worn one this year it was a fancy bridesmaid's dress (OMG people have PICTURES of me in a dress... shocking!). I live for singlets - without a care for how I look in them. I'm comfortable and that's what matters.

Comfort comes before worrying about what other people think / see? Cool. There's something to be said for being over 30 - it seems to be a time for growing up and worrying less. A little at a time... I guess I'll be all grown up and stress free when I'm dead!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

I have learnt:

When I was a wee kidlet I always kept a diary. On boring days, or maybe days when I had nothing to complain about, I'd write lists. 'What I got for Christmas' or 'reasons why life sucks' or 'reasons why life is cool' or 'things I like about Daniel' *cough* etc.

No diary anymore (I suppose this blog counts now though) but I still write endless lists! And here's the beginning of my first blog list:

I HAVE LEARNT: That coffee really IS bad for me.
I discovered green tea a while back, and loved it so much I just completely forgot about coffee. Suddenly I was hooked on green tea and hadn't had a coffee for days.

Enter friend, 'J', who loves his coffee and makes a bloody good cuppa. Visiting him means having at least one coffee - and loving it. Uhmm not so much this time. I actually got the coffee buzz. I was hyperactive. My mind was all over the place. I couldn't get my head around things and I felt so weird - I kept checking my blood sugar, it felt like a really strange low. Yikes, no more coffee for me! (I've since had at least one a fortnight - seems I'm not that good at keeping promises to myself - yes yes, I'll give up smoking and lose 10kg too, promise! )

So now that I actually go through most days with clearer thoughts, a calmed heart and a good old cup (or 5) of green tea... Coffee has made it to my bad books.

Evil coffee, go to your room!

Is it strange?

I've always wanted to be an author. All those years ago I bought my first computer so that I could get serious about writing. I made the mistake of getting the internet, and have barely been seen since...

Somewhere between online games, online auctions, online chats and various other online habits, my desire to write was forgotten. Well, sometimes things go full circle... here, I am: writing*!

And yet I haven't shared it with anyone yet. Not a soul knows about my blog and I've been doing it for a few days now. Perhaps it's good this way... I do like my privacy after all. I wonder if I'd feel able to write if I knew people were reading. It's easier to think that my blog is hidden away silently among thousands of others, with no-one any wiser about what I'm doing.

Ah, it can be my big secret for now. Maybe some I'll share it, but at the moment it's my toy and I aint sharing ;)

*so it's not a novel... shuddup. It's practice :P

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Later that same day...

OK! Today was destined to SUCK wasn't it! I think last night's low set me up for a roller coaster ride. Hours after I posted I was still sitting a little high. But then we went Out. That's it - Murphy knows when to catch me. Wait until I'm driving. Wait til I'm driving my father's Ute, nonetheless. The one that isn't stocked up with munchies like my own glove box would be. Wait until I KNOW I have to be high, because all that insulin from this morning is definitely out of my system, and I've eaten, and I feel high. But I arrive at my parents bach and within a few minutes of sitting down I feel my fingers tingling. Ah, thinks I, wonder if this is an unusual symptom of high blood sugars!? Then I look at my hands, and I know I'm not looking at them properly because my eyes wont stay focused on one area. I touch my hands and I can't feel them. Hmm.
Time to test. And what do you know... 2.6. Thanks to my mother's Apricot Jam and a Caramel Cutie (2nd only to creme eggs for easter treats. yum) I find my way back to the 5s. Then realise I only have one test strip left. And I still feel funny. Have I shot higher, or dipped back down?
Yes folks, today was a hair-ripping, foot-stomping, frustrating sort of Diabetes day.
Here's to a fresh start in the morning!

It doesn't always make sense...

Diabetes is a fiddly thing. I keep wanting to be 'on top of it' but I don't think it will ever actually happen.

This morning for example - I started with my usual routine. I test when I get up. I know I have dawn phenomenon so I have one unit of insulin to battle the impending BG rise. Normally that keeps me around the same number as when I get up. If I'm anywhere over 6, I have a little extra to battle DP *and* drop me down a little before I start breakfast.

This morning I woke at 7.3. In my mind that's too high to start with, as I'll be way out of target range once I eat. OK... Grab insulin. 2u in the system. Mental note to keep an eye on my BG this morning in case I fall faster than expected. Think of something low carb to munch for breakfast later. Go have a cup of tea in the sun. No worries.

Nearly an hour later, when I should have at least started dropping a little, I test again: 7.7 - huh? I've gone UP - only a tiny bit, but why? Pffft. Well I'm starving, so I have another 1.5u and grab just 2 bits of thinly sliced luncheon meat and stick an apple in my handbag for later. Lantus time, done.

An hour after that - shite, really should test again, I've gone and stacked my insulin doses without carbs to speak of, I must be dropping like a stone by now! Grab tester... wait, wait, wait... 8.5 WTF? There's no way that Luncheon could have sent my numbers climbing, it was tiny and it's not exactly full of carb. And so far I've had 3.5u of Novorapid to cover almost nothing (Might not sound like much to you, but 3.5u covers a decent meal for me). Dammit, I want my apple! So one more unit of NR goes into my thigh as I quietly grumble about the unfairness of diabetes.

WHY can't it be more predictable? D would be easier to handle if it was just the endless maths, endless jabs, endless testing. But it has to be different depending on what way you hold your tongue when you test, or which side you slept on last nite? BAH!

I can only blame my low last night, I guess. I munched chocolate before bed - oh c'mon it's Easter - and I jabbed carefully for it because I can't stand overnight hypos (only had 3 previously, and they scare me). But at 3:33am I wake up to use the loo and find myself wobbling along the hallway. I climb back into bed, knowing I should test, but just wanting to stretch out and snore my morning away. All I can think of is the alarm clock reading 3:33am. Is it a sign? What does it mean? What if I turn it upside down? It'd say EE:E! Or I could hold it sideways, and it'd say M:MM! Realising that I'm having STUPID thoughts, I reach for my tester. The waiting game, as I try not to fall asleep ... 2.8 - eek. I munch some smarties (eww - they're horrible once you discover M&Ms!) and chew my way through a pineapple lump. The urge to sleep takes over and I wander into noddy land with lolly bits stuck in my teeth.

Maybe I didn't eat enough last night... maybe I stayed low and my liver kicked the glucose into my system? Maybe I overdid it and am still suffering now, 8 hours later? Maybe some alien several light years away pressed the wrong button and accidentally dropped icing sugar into my veins? Who knows?! Either way, it's now 11am and I still haven't had my breakfast and I'm starting to get grumpy, as I always do if I'm over 8 for any length of time. Blergh.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

AH, some news to share!

Something I'm heavily interested in is the low carb debate, particularly for diabetics.
This one isn't specific to diabetes, just weight loss. Still, positive news...
Low carb vs low fat diet study

My Endocrinologist is doing a similar study - one I'd love to take part in but he's concentrating on type 2 diabetes - fair enough, they're more likely to be the ones that need to lose weight, and the ones that would benefit from it the most. Also easier to use people who aren't on insulin - we'll stuff up results if we get low and have to eat extra. I await the results with impatient interest - tho I suspect he'll find the same as the study posted above. It really does seem like low carb is the way to go - both for weight control AND blood sugar control.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

It's all so new

SO I've taken the plunge, I've started a blog. Always wanted to, but also like to hide and having a blog for all to see is NOT hiding!

I'm predicting this will be a place for my thoughts, especially about Diabetes. Perhaps less of the personal stuff... we'll see. If I get really bored I'll post about what the ants on my path are doing, or moan about the price of petrol. If I'm having a good day, I may share some joy, and if I'm having a crappy day - watch out!

Better go figure out what this looks like then... and what on earth I do next.