Thursday, 9 January 2014

Inevitable Or Just A Worry?

Happy New Year everyone. Hope you had a good one and if you were watching the BGs (or you should have been) they behaved whilst you didn’t!

For me it was the annual body shutdown where the work tension of the previous weeks finally leads my body to say when I stop for the holidays that it’s time to shut down and just make me feel crappy. Hey ho. Apart from the seasonal bugs a good Christmas was had by all and the kids were suitably excited.

From a diabetes point of view I struggled a little. After ten days running a temporary basal of 125% and still having constant BGs of over 10 I decided to deal more ruthlessly and go hard-core. A new basal profile was created that ramped it up a little more and this seemed to do the trick. As my body has got rid of the sniffles the new basal is being tweaked downwards and I’m getting closer to where I’m normally at. So in summary; D getting in the way but not enough to spoil a good time of year.

Today’s rambling stream of words relates to something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot recently and two things that happened today scare me a little even though individually they were nothing special. By a miracle of some higher being I’ve managed to sustain all limbs, eyesight and internal organs to a level of working quite well although the pancreas is still on it’s permanent vacation. As I said I’ve been considering this topic a lot lately and can probably put it down to a midlife crisis and realisation of my own mortality. As a side-note my son this week called me the most embarrassing and uncool Dad he knows. I’m still removing that dagger from my heart as I was fairly certain I was pretty funky, but probably me thinking that proves I’m not! I’m also aware I’m very lucky my body is still working pretty well. The improved control over the last three years has helped I think but increased communication in the fantastic DOC also highlights that bad stuff can happen. So what happened today to make me all morbid?

Firstly I was filling in a paper form at work. This wound me up for a start as I prefer everything computer based and my handwriting is questionable but as I was completing it I was a little conscious that I was struggling to see some of the words clearly. For a while now I’ve been struggling in low light situations to read very small print and even though the eye Doc (in November) told me to just get some glasses as I’m getting on a bit it brings immediate thoughts of retinopathy and the removal of driving abilities etc, etc. The fact I had the photo taken so recently should reassure me but the nagging worry is still there that the years have finally taken their toll on my optics.

The second event was when I was coming out of the supermarket after buying some, now eaten, rather lovely Italian plum tomato & mascarpone soup. The tip of my right forefinger suddenly felt very cold, tingly and slightly numb. Immediate thoughts turned to peripheral neuropathy, loss of feeling and impending amputation. After driving home and warming the finger up, feeling returned pretty quickly. It’s been fine since but it’s another of those things that just adds to the background stress of what we deal with on a day to day basis. Mrs Bee suggested I get checked in to the GP but me being me I’ll probably hang on until it happens again or I’m next at the hospital in a few weeks.

There are plenty of examples of wonderful type oners with long lives and no complications so it's not inevitable but that doesn't mean I won't worry about it a lot - whilst still being the uncoolest Dad in the playground. Ouch again! Maybe I can talk about these points at the hospital at the end of the month but as always that depends on how the appointment goes. Wonder if I’ll see a Barney?

I know both of the things above are minor and I speak to plenty in the Twittersphere who sadly are in greater pain or discomfort but to me it’s a very major worry about what’s coming up. The early decades of being warned I’ll die young and without working organs have had an effect. I know without the never-ending support and love of my wife and all my family my head would be in a much darker place and so to them I say thank you very much. The complications may come but if and when they do I just need to get my head down and deal with it. There’s no guarantees in life apart from the inevitable but I don’t plan on getting to that point for many decades yet!

Finally two totally unrelated points:

1: During a meeting today at work when we were talking about hobbies and development a wonderful colleague of mine said that as it’s a new year he wanted to try some new things. Things such as yoga and amateur dramatics. A few puzzled looks and the obvious question of “Why?” was asked. The answer was perfect and summed up how life should be viewed, “Well, I’ve never tried either and I might be really good at them but if I never try, then I’ll never know.” I found that quite profound and the perfect way to look at life. Why stop yourself from doing something you’ve never done before? You might be a world leader in that field. Genius!

2: Five days ago a person I’ve 'met' on Twitter called Jenny celebrated her 50th anniversary of having type 1 diabetes. When I passed on my congrats and awe her reply was simple “When D days are bad I don't over stress. Perfection isn't life & tomorrow is another day!”. Another gem and a fine piece of advice for all of us.

Thanks for reading and if you’ve got this far reward yourself with a pat on the back.

Please come back soon.



  1. *Google translate: check!* LOL

    First: Reading the 'About me' section and your left side bar I see more similarities than I already knew we have. I am also born in 1975. I was also diagnosed T1 in 1979. We use the same pump, insulin ànd meter!

    And so, I recognize lots of what you write in this blogpost. Like I said this morning @ Twitter.

    The minor issues made you worry about not so minor complications that could occur after almost 35y of T1. COULD. And that uncertainty is the hardest thing of having this disease for so long. Plus the fairy-tales told years back in the eighties. (like: you will not develop complications once you've had diabetes for >20y) Unfortunately I developed retinopathy after 22 years. As far as I know the first signs of retinopathy are unnoticed. And once you notice you're in real trouble. Maybe you're just need reading glasses bcs of your age? What did I just say? Ouch! You probably thought you'd never need them because you'd never reach that stage in life because of the diabetes. I had that when I got pregnant. This would never happen to me and now it does. HELP!! That was really confusing. I only started preparing for our daughter to be born just weeks before she arrived. At 36+ weeks! Whhaaaa. All beautiful and healthy. Not even a big size sugar baby. Only 2740 grams. Was this really happening? And for you (I assume you're not pregnant!) it seems to me it could be like: is this really happening? Am I really getting in this stage of life I might need reading glasses? But on the other hand I'd be scared as hell too it might be retinopathy. I can almost feel it.

    And on the uncool Dad topic: Parents are never cool according to an 8 year old. My daughter turns 7 in a few weeks and thinks I'm 'sweet' but never cool. It's normal. Maybe in 15 years or so when we allow them to drive our car? Ha ha.

    I hope my story helps you a bit. I think we are a product of where we come from. Also for our Diabetic life. The things we were told back in the days. The way they used to scare us as our Hba1C was high again. In the days they ignored all the things that made that happen, only what we did or didn't do. Like all teenagers do. Like it was always our mistake. And of course it was sometimes but not always.

    Feel free to contact me if you feel like talking.


  2. Thank you for replying Frederike. And yes, you're right about not worrying about old age because it was always irrelevant.

    And maybe my coolness is gone forever now. Hey ho, now I can fully embarrass them without trying to maintain my self-respect :)

  3. Hey Dave... I'm only commenting on parental 'coolness' not D. The first I am an expert on, the 2nd I'm most definitely not an expert on other's D and aspire to be an expert on my D, but fall short! I'll will say that anyone who keeps on top of their condition in the way I know you do is INSPIRATIONAL :) It's hard work, most of the time, largely a thankless task, and sooooo relentless. I'm in a phase of 'long term condition fatigue' so not the best person to be commenting - and I was only diagnosed 5 yrs ago! You guys with long, long, long term diagnosis keep us newbies going (no pressure then!).
    On the parental coolness front .... I live with 3 teenagers, boys at that. So all I can say is ENJOY the young years when it comes to parental self-esteem. It later seems to come to TOTAL ridicule, dismissal and rejection. No coolness. Nothing of worth to say. And kids who won't even walk along the street with you for fear of embarrassment! Of course, they gotta be like that, to fly away and leave their beloved parents, but they ain't going to admit it are they?!
    So, to sum up I reckon- fear and angst is unfortunately part of the D territory. I hope your D team appreciate and address that (betting they don't ... still focusing on the numbers). And - daggers to the heart are part of parental territory and the best advice I can give is - don't worry about it and definitely don't take it personally!!

  4. Thanks Hazel. You're not so reassuring words on future parental joys are almost welcomed.

    And you're right managing could be relentless but we've got to balance it a little with; it could be worse. Just glad to be around now and not 150 years ago and when the only complication would be becoming an immediate (Python reference warning) ex-Dave.

    Hey ho. Onwards and upwards!