Thursday, 28 June 2007

The Performa BG meter - Not to be trusted

You may have read my review of the Performa Meter from May 23rd.

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:

Difference



% difference

1.2





28.6


2.4





57.1


1.9





24.4


2





37


2.5





47.2


1.9





30.2


1.9





29.7


1.1





33.3


3.1





57.4


1.3





41.9


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 Switzerland. This dud-reading issue is apparently happening ONLY in NZ So it's suspected that the issue is actually in the strips, not the meter itself.

I wonder if some damage is done already? How many diabetics in New Zealand have gone for a drive, thinking that their reading is 5.5 (perfect!) when really it's 3.9 and dropping? Even without the more dangerous situations, we're having trouble in our jobs, our sleep, and our day to day life, because of something as simple as a BG meter - the thing that is meant to help us live a normal life!

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

Turn it OFF!

one hour no powerONE HOUR NO POWER

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!).

Tagged

Since I decided to stay away from memes for a while and only write about real stuff, this is obviously not a meme. OK?

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:
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.
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!

Saturday, 23 June 2007

On the road again

My son spent Thursday night with his Nana and Grandpa. I dropped him off, I came home and did nothing much, then I went to my friend's and did nothing much, and then I picked kiddo up again. Wow. Thrilling eh? It's not so bad having nothing to do - at least I had my parenting responsibilities taken off me for a while. Still, I reckon I should have arranged some thrilling naughtiness for the night!

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:
video

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

You KNOW you want to :)



Put The Big Red Button on your site

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Me in triplicate

I've got a couple of posts in draft here, waiting for me to finish / fine tune... but I'm having one of THOSE days. Nay, weeks. Nothing feels quite right and nothing is getting finished (not much is getting started either, to be honest...)

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
2. Mum
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:
None.

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.
3. Fun!

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
3. um...

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Time to get a pre-paid funeral plan...?

Take a look at this article, about a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has found that diabetic men are living longer these days. Hooray!

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

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Fat, frumpy, and unforgiving.

I have an issue with my weight. You're not surprised are you? I wonder if anyone is just perfectly happy with their size and shape?

I never have been - though the closest I got to it was a while after I was diagnosed with Diabetes. I was actually skinny! I didn't know it at the time, but I was losing all that weight because my body was starved and sick. As soon as I started insulin I piled a lot of it back again. I have healthier habits these days, thanks to Diabetes, but I still can't seem to get skinny again, and not for lack of trying.

I drink shit-loads of water. I make sure I get exercise - heck, even on the days I'm not doing 'specific' exercise, I still get exercise vacuuming my huge house, or doing work in the garden. I have a morning routine that includes some stretches, jogging on the spot, and a bunch of other exercises. I ride my bike or go for walks whenever I can... but it's not enough. I'd love to be a fitness fanatic, going to the gym a few times a week and cycling for miles every day! My life keeps holding me back, but I'm quite aware that it's just an excuse. I could find a way around the intricate planning bits if I had to. (And it is tricky - I have a 10 year old son at home 24/7 and we both have health considerations... buggerit...)

What gets me the most is how healthy I can be during the day, but not the evenings. I have low-carb days (most days I'm careful with the carbs anyway, barely ever going 80 - 100g carb in my meals & daytime snacks). I have fitness frenzy days, I'm always trying to be well behaved for brekkie lunch & dinner. Why do I struggle to avoid the junk in the evenings when it's so easy during the day?

Why do I have cravings for food? I know logically that food is just to keep us alive. We need it for energy, and sometimes we need certain foods for their vitamins or whatever that our body needs for certain jobs. I don't need that crap food. I don't need a second helping even if it's good healthy stuff. I don't need pudding, I don't need a snack, I don't need anything other than 3 small meals a day and some occasional snacks for blood sugar balance. Surely if I know how to lose weight, the next step is to just DO IT? I don't see why I'm battling myself!

It's like giving up smoking - HARD work! Eating can be an addiction, especially the carb laden foods most of us like so much (omg the chocolate...). but when you give up smoking, you GIVE UP smoking. I can't give up eating... the temptation is in my face all day every day.

The other day I went shopping. I need some new winter clothes - but having tried a couple of things on I knew it was not my day. I was grumpy about my weight. I didn't want to buy THAT size. I didn't like how that top showed off my swelling belly or how those trousers clung to my thighs. Nothing looked good, nothing felt good.

Depressing. I know I shouldn't care. I am still me, no matter what. But this has been a LONG struggle - a real fight to lose some kilos. It shouldn't be this hard, it shouldn't be so depressing.

I saw this you tube video a while back. It's a little release, a nice thing to watch... but the feeling doesn't last long for me. I NEED to be skinny. I've done it before and I sooo want it again! I want to wear those sexy jeans again. I want to feel light & energetic & happy.

Dammit. The battle goes on.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Stuff and Nonsense

The life of M, in bits & bobs...

I had the craziest dream the other night - I actually wrote it out in full so I wouldn't forget it, it's worthy of making into a B grade horror/comedy! It was inspired by the book I'm reading at the moment 'The Suburban Book of the Dead' by Robert Rankin. I wont go into details because I'd only leave you scratching your head and pulling funny faces - but lets just say I was shot, and the ambulance took too long so I went shopping. Nuff said.

Rankin's books are crazy, to say the least. I love that - nothing like a good bit of comedy to relax a mind and body before sleep. But to dream Rankin style is a very new thing for me! I've never dreamt Gaiman style, or Pratchett style, or morning newspaper style! My entire life is Douglas Adams style though... Oh well, maybe I'll turn this dream into a best-selling novel some day. (Knowing that Procrastination is my middle name, I highly doubt it.)

Noodle, the latest addition to the puddy-tat side of our household, is not only not homeless anymore, but has TWO homes. Our little boy isn't a little boy though - she turns out to be an old lady. She's about 15, and very sick. Though it seems she was a stray, she's now much loved - The neighbours have been looking after her too, so now she's sorta hanging around both houses. Lucky cat!

I was a little rattled to discover she's so old, so sick, and has no teeth :( We gave her some flea goop but that's the best we can do for her. It's a whole different story now that I know she's not a young'un - but at least we know she's being looked after, and is still welcome to be a part of our family too.

Minx & Bub have settled in beautifully here. They seem very happy, which makes me happy :) Minx has become even more motherly for big Bub. Every night Minx comes in early and settles on the bed / couch or somewhere close to me. When it's bed time, she follows me out to the front door to get Bub. She's not interested in going outside or getting patted, she just wants to know that Bub is coming inside. Then the two of them walk in together, side by side, and have some supper before settling on the bed. I'm loving this routine of theirs - it's so cute! One of these days I'll have to try getting a video of them so I can show off their utter cute-ness to you all :D

Has anyone noticed how many of us bloggers are proud cat owners?

I'm getting sick of having no car... and my savings aren't building up because I'm borrowing other people's vehicles and always putting in more gas than I use (as ya do, in the hope that you can borrow the wheels again!). Some days I get frustrated without a car, but one good thing is that local trips are great for walking or nipping down with the bike, so at least I'm getting more exercise and fresh air. It's so damned cold though! Winter has hit us. Brrrrr!

I've signed up on tuDiabetes.com since everyone everywhere seems to be talking about it! Looking good. If you read other Diabetes related blogs then you've probably already seen 5 or 6 plugs for it, so I wont say anymore, except that if you're diabetic, or know a diabetic, it'd be worth checking out tuDiabetes. That was my non-plug plug! And while you're at it, if you aren't a member already, you really ought to be over at DiabetesForums.com - it is, in my opinion, the best place for advice, info, chats & a general sense of being surrounded by others who understand :)

P.S Stuff & Nonsense just happens to be an old song I rather like by Split Enz - A Kiwi band from when I was just teeny tiny. You might not know of them if you're not from New Zealand, but you may know the Finn Brothers (or Crowded House - Neil Finn & Tim Finn - same brothers behind them all)

Saturday, 9 June 2007

A meme. Me me me meeeeeee

Having never done a meme, I thought I'd jump in and do the latest one... why not :D

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I SO need a hair cut!

2. How much cash do you have on you? About $60. I use cash more than cards, am I the only one left nowadays?

3. What's a word that rhymes with DOOR? Herbivore, At the door, Had their salad, wanting more. Carnivore, On the floor, Too much steak and now real sore. Teeheee.

4. Favourite planet? Earth... I live here, it's pretty, and y'know, it has air & water & other stuff that I like to have around me :D

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? My Auntie

6. What is your favourite ring tone on your phone? I only have the really simple ones. Time to upgrade my phone! I don't have a favourite, they're ALL equally horrible.

7. What shirt are you wearing? An old T-shirt.

8. Do you label yourself? Hmmm. Maybe? Sometimes...

9. Name the brand of the shoes you're currently wearing: Old black socks, actually! But my shoes, when I'm wearing them, are cheapo Slazengers.

10. Bright or Dark Room? Currently in a naturally lit room, vaguely dim because it's clouding over.

11. Why is there always a missing question? Banana!

12. What does your watch look like? It looks like a cellphone, a video, an oven, a microwave and a BG meter. I don't need a watch these days, the time is all around me!

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Loading windows onto my son's computer after a big format & change around.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say? "Wil keep u posted" From Karen who is going to let me know when she's dropping off her old computer to play with / do up / sell or stash in the garage with piles of other crap ;)

15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Many many miles away, on the other side of the world! No such thing here in New Zealand.

16. What's a word that you say a lot? "Bugger"

17. Who told you he/she loved you last? My son, and my son's friend told me that her dog loves me :D

18. Last furry thing you touched? Deefer, that same dog.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? None recreational (ever!). A couple of pills most days for my health, and heaps of insulin.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? A few, but I can't find them... These days I stick with digital.

21. Favourite age you have been so far? I don't know - maybe 32, though I'm only part way through it, it's looking like a good year.

22. Your worst enemy? Diabetes - I keep trying to beat it. So far I always win but dammit it knocks me back sometimes.

23. What is your current desktop picture? I never got around to setting a new wallpaper since I formatted about a month ago! So it's an ugly Microsoft blue.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "Yes" (when asked if the kids could take a towel into their 'spaceship').

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, what would it be? The money for sure. As nice as it would be to fly around the place, I'd rather have a CGMS, a new car, own my own house, and be able to buy plane tickets!

26. Do you like someone? I like lots of people :P (but not, y'know, like THAT, well not really...)

27. The last song you listened to? Get Back - Beatles. Kiddo & 'friendo' were listening to some old records on our stereo. Yes, I said records - cool huh?

28. What time of day were you born? Morning Tea time, I think.

29. What's your favourite number? No favourite, though I often say '17' if I have to pick a number out of the air, especially if I'm exaggerating - like "I musta formatted that darned thing about 17 times since last Tuesday!'

30. Where did you live in 1987? With my parents, in Wainuiomata (can you pronounce that?! teehee!). My littlest sister was just a toddler and I was heading for College.

31. Are you jealous of anyone? Jealousy is a wasted emotion... I dislike feeling jealous, but unfortunately I can be a jealous person. At the moment there's no one I'm particularly jealous of though :)

32. Is anyone jealous of you? I wouldn't think so.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? In bed. I was just waking up when I heard about the second plane hitting (at least, that's how I remember it. Not sure what time of day it was for us on this side of the world. It could be that it happened hours earlier and I was waking to the news)

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Can't say I've had that happen. I don't use them :) However, when the guy at the dairy steals my money I turn him upside down and shake him.

35. Do you consider yourself kind? Yep, too much so. I can be a doormat at times. I can be a bitch sometimes too, but never intentionally.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? I wouldn't want one. But I suppose, if I HAD to get one, it'd be something small and pretty around my ankle, or upper back. Or maybe on my forehead "Don't mess with me" lol. I think the idea of having 'insulin dependent diabetic' on the wrist is a good idea, at least that way there's no bracelet to lose! But I still don't think I'd do that.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? EVERY other language! I'd love to know them all.

38. Would you move for the person you loved? If I had to, but not easily. I LOVE this place and I love being close-ish to all my friends & family.

39. Are you touchy-feely? Depends on the day, the hormones, the people I'm with... but generally no.

40. What's your life motto? Do unto others...

41. Name three things you have on you at all times: My insulin, my BG meter, and a lolly or two.

42. What's your favorite town/city? Kapiti / Foxton areas. All along the west coast of lower North Island. Gorgeous beaches and friendly relaxed people. Some small town areas but all close enough to bigger towns so you don't feel shut off. Great weather :)

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? My medicines at the chemist yesterday. Both my son and I got scripts for pretty much everything at once, and it was a whole lot more money than I'm used to paying in one go!

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Last year. I Just thought, I haven't written in AGES, so I penned a letter to a friend and really enjoyed it. Surprised myself when I found I could still write tidily - also learnt that I prefer typing and I'm much faster at it! I missed the backspace key too lol

45. Can you change the oil on a car? Could do, but haven't yet. Happy to fiddle under the bonnet (hood!) and change tyres etc - though car engines aint what they used to be! I get lost in there!

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? Probably nothing since I heard that his mother died a few years back.

47. How far back do you know your ancestry? I know back to my great-great grandparents, but my cousin has researched lots and found quite a long line of family.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? I wore a badly made bridesmaid dress that I had to pin onto a corset so it would fit! (this was a dress supposedly tailored to fit me perfectly...). It was still quite gorgeous, we all were determined to make it work, and it worked out fine :)

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? NO! Yay I'm pain free at the moment!

50. Have you ever been burned by love? Yup.

51. Do you have a crush on any bloggers? Not one. But I'm still new to the blogging world and I probably just have to get to know you all better ;)

52. Where would you like to live? Here!

Monday, 4 June 2007

My portable pancreas

I do miss the days when I could travel lightly - just leave my bags behind and hit the world with nothing but the clothes on my back and a few dollars in my pocket.

These days, travelling light is only asking for trouble. The few times I have gone out without my portable pancreas (my handbag) are the same few days that Murphy's Law has reminded me of its existence. "You are diabetic," Murphy says, "and stuff WILL go wrong if you tempt fate!"

Murphy's first reminder was a scooter ride around the block with my son. We stopped off to visit a friend in her new house, where I ended up raiding her biscuit tin. No tester to find out just how much I needed to eat, and if I hadn't have stopped at her house, I wouldn't have had munchies to get me out of the low either. Lesson Learnt, right then & there, and I swore I'd never risk going out with my stuff again.

I'm only human, so of course I've left things behind since then - twice now I've gone out fully packed but with no test strips. There was also the empty insulin pen incident. The missing Lancet and the oops-I-forgot-to-top-up-my-lollies incident. As hard as I try, I know some days I'll stuff up. Fixing the problem is usually easy, and I hope it continues to go that way!

Since the news of Doug Burns' public hypo & resulting troubles, some people have commented that he should have been more prepared. Although it's true that he should have had something on hand, we ALL should, and it could happen to any one of us, couldn't it? I'm so well prepared I wont go for a walk around the block without my bag, but I'm no superhuman - I could forget to pack the munchies; my bag could get stolen; I could decide that I want more freedom, test before I leave, and go without it for a change. Diabetes likes to kick us in the teeth once in a while and we can't always be on top of it. (Same goes for Doug and the rest of you!).

I don't like being tied down to my bag. I miss the freedom of going for a walk / drive / bike ride without having to lug stuff around. But I wouldn't be without it!

I'm considering getting a back-pack to keep my collection of bits in. I was asked the other day why I didn't carry a smaller bag with me - yeh right! I wish it was an option... but instead I'll be getting a bigger one. Call me the bag lady if you like, but me and my portable pancreas are inseparable.
My portable pancreas, and some of the bits it contains.
Add a wallet, water bottle, my sons asthma inhaler & pills, my sunglasses, cellphone, etc... oh and take away the cat's tail, I don't take that with me...)

Friday, 1 June 2007

How's your brain today?

It's my personal opinion that we need a certain amount of smarts to cope with Diabetes successfully. It's not an easy thing to control - there's number crunching every day. Every meal becomes an equation of carbs vs insulin vs current BG level vs exercise vs medications vs which side of bed you got out of and how the pancreas gremlins are feeling on that particular day.

It's nothing like what most people think - if it was just about avoiding sugar this would be so easy!

So, how does your brain rate? Has diabetes sent your IQ rocketing? Do you feel smarter, punk?

Take the test (aww go on, I dare ya): Intelligence test

Scott J, I feel this one is particularly important for you, OK? Let me know how you do... Even better, post your results on your blog, 'coz I'm counting the days since you last posted and I'm going through withdrawal :p

Noodles & bicycles


Noodle, after a good feed & lots of combing

Noodle has been hanging around the house full time for a few days now, eating everything he sees and fast becoming a very loving & gentle wee boy. He still looks a bit sickly - he's SO small and his hair is so dry & wiry. We feed him daily and comb him, and he's starting to look better. He's booked in for a trip to the vet on Wednesday so he can have a good check up and we can attack the fleas & worms that may be present.

Noodle is our wee boy now. Even if he did have a home (which I doubt) it wasn't a good one - that was one unhappy & unhealthy cat. Not for long though :)

So now my post a while back about not having another cat seems even more silly - we're a three cat family - and given the chance, I'd keep taking on more!

=^..^= meow!

In other news...

Earlier this year I bought myself a bike as a birthday present. I've used it a few times but not as much as I intended. That's all changing... I did a 5.5km ride the other day, and it was great! Yesterday I probably only rode about 1km, my butt hurt too much to ride any longer. That was quite enough anyway, I was low when I got home and I couldn't feel my legs - even though I'd munched & sipped coke before I left. Cycling is obviously quite good for dealing to blood sugars, so I'll have to come up with a plan to handle it.

Perhaps I'll only cycle after meals, and have less /no insulin to even it out. I am glad I thought ahead on this though, and attached a small bag to my bike to carry lollies & my cell phone. I haven't needed the phone (so far) but I have gone through 5 or 6 lollies.

Which brings me to my next point... The whole idea of riding my bike is to lose a little weight. I've put on quite a few kilos since starting insulin over a year ago, and all attempts to lose it again have so far failed, apart from just a few kg that fell off before my sisters wedding purely from the fear of knowing I was going to wear a dress in front of hundreds of people!

I'm learning (again) just how hard it can be for an insulin dependent diabetic to lose weight. I resent everything I have to eat/drink if I'm low. I resent my insulin for encouraging the weight gain in the first place, and I resent my own attitude over the last year - originally my fear of lows which kept me eating when I didn't need to, then my attempt at routine eating while I was on protaphane, and my lack of exercise, again due to fears of going low.

Well, I'm past all that now. I can do this :)

My first move is to drop my Lantus - Lately it's been a bit too much. That perfect day I posted a few days ago was only the beginning... I've had more like it, but mostly with lows. I've dropped one unit from my morning Lantus so far (I split mine evenly into two 12 hourly doses - it's SO good that way!). I'll wait a couple of days to make sure it's settled, then I'll probably need to drop another unit or two to allow for the extra exercise I'm doing. We'll see...

I'd still rather be low than high, just not this often, especially when I want to avoid the junk food! I need to find a better balance and make losing weight a bigger priority.

Onwards and upwards, to good health and nicer clothes!