Diabetic survey request

If you’re diabetic www.diabetes.co.uk are asking people to complete this short survey http://bit.ly/YEuzeP

They say Have you taken our Diabetes.co.uk survey yet at http://bit.ly/YEuzeP  ? This is your chance to have YOUR say on better treatments and preventing diabetes issues! Plus we’re giving away 10,000 diabetes wristbands to some of our lucky entrants!


Best wishes

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The big D

Diabetes, most people have heard of it – some don’t know what it is. I for example used to know nothing about it, and in my head only assumed that people who had the condition ‘died’ earlier than those without it. And I guess that might have been the case in years gone past, but things in diet, health advice and medication have come on in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years or so. Insulin treatment has advanced and other medication is ever getting better. Additionally food has grown in variety too, we have also got the knowledge that low fat and high fibre is good.

Having lived with diabetes for 16 years now, it is still  disease that confuses me and sometimes worries me. When I was first diagnosed I was told the usual things like: If you don’t control your diabetes it can cause a multitude of health problems (Strokes, heart attacks, blindness, amputation etc). You will need you eyes tested every year. You will find you take longer to heal from cuts and ‘normal health problems’ etc. I have to confess I didn’t believe half of it, especially the longer time in healing, and the possibility of infections. I now know that to be true. As you may have read over the past year I have had trouble with my ‘stump’ (my amputation was through trauma not diabetes) in the form of sores on it. One healed after many months, only for another to open and begin bleeding, that healed after some months and I got a sore on my stump knee, and while that continues I noticed some blood in my liner last night. So I can now see that slower healing is very true in the form of the disease. Additionally people with diabetes generally have a lower immune system, leaving them vulnerable to ‘cold and flus and the like’. This I have found is another true statement from the professionals. So in hindsight, perhaps the highly trained professionals who offer all their years of training through advice – actually do know what they are saying, and me the mere mortal knows very little. My point being that we all need (whatever health problems we might have) need to listen and take on board that advice.

So do I consider ‘my’ diabetes to be a curse? In ways yes, I can’t simply go to the fridge and pick up a bar of chocolate like I once did. I am unable to buy cheap travel insurance for holidays as it now needs to be specialised. Life insurance is a no no so I have had to buy ‘over 50’ plans which I’m not greatly enamoured by. In other ways, it does make you think about what you put into your body and how you treat it, in fact there is hardly anything that I don’t questions about fat and carbs etc, before it goes into my system. So overall while its not the curse I once thought, it also isn’t a pleasure to have either.

Food is an essential of life, but being brought up in an era of ‘hardship’ in the 60’s/70’s I was ‘trained’ if you like to like foods that aren’t good for you. Don’t get me wrong my mum cooked from scratch most of the time, but her food was coked in full fat, and her chips were deep fat fried and she added nigh on half a tub of salt into the lard. Her roasts (while being extremely tasty) were cooked in the traditional way of the fat from the animal. But that was the way things are, and life has changed, food has become healthier, and the choice has become far wider too which is a good thing of course. But I still yearn for those tastes of ‘Mum’s cooking’. As a diabetic a low fat, low sugar, high fibre diet is the advised. But that is no different to the one advised to the rest of the population (with exception through medical alerts). I used to smoke (which I gave up when in hospital for months), so when I gave that up the only pleasure in my life was food. Altering that was going to be difficult, I knew what I liked and I liked what I knew. But I opened my mind to try ‘things’ that were different, and I found actually it’s not so bad. For example today we have beetroot and goats cheese roasts with saute potatoes. OK the beetroot roasts are pre-packed, but the fact is that before being diabetic I would probably have been extremely reluctant to try anything like this.

I’ve always said (and firmly believe too) that no matter how big your burden is, no matter what you are going through at the minute –  there is always someone worse off than you. And how many times have I began to think sorry for myself only to see starving children with bloated tummies on my screen, with words saying unless you donate this child might die. You know the sort of ‘guilt trip’ charity advert that I’m sure we’re all familiar with. And then TV programmes show other people who have young children with the very strong possibility of dying young, and who will go blind and deaf before they die – see Diabetes is really put into the right place when you look at it like that. But on the same token, I am not silly enough to dismiss the disease as trivial – because again I have seen what complications of it can do.

Upon closing I can confirm that the beetroot and goats cheese roast was edible, I didn’t realise that goats cheese was quite so ‘strong’ in flavour. But we all ate them and all agreed that we wouldn’t order them if we went to a restaurant.

Stay safe

Dave signature

Happy Easter!

happy easterHappy Easter everyone! When you think of Easter what are your first thoughts? Chocolate? Time off from work? Jesus dying on the cross? I have to confess that the latter had escaped my mind on Friday, and as I lay in bed last night I suddenly realised that I hadn’t ‘spared a thought’ to the real Easter meaning. 
Of course I did get a few Easter eggs, but the joy of having a little grand daughter live with you, is that we can share eggs, so neither of us eat too much in one go! But why is chocolate so tasty? I think as I have got older (and possibly due to knowing I shouldn’t eat too much), chocolate has got a nicer taste. That goes for Cadbury’s, the Nestle ones have changed over time and their chocolate now taste really awful to me. 
In just a weeks time my late father will have been dead for 17 years, and yet I remember the day very clearly. It was my first real experience of death. Until then the closest relative to die was my Granddad who lived in London and to whom I had no real attachment. But one thing I have gleaned over the years since my Dad’s death (and my accident) is that family are the most important thing, and you should value them each and every day. That said there will always be ups and downs in any close relationship, but at the end as long as you know you love and are loved it’s good. My wife was a massive support to me during my Annus horribilis (1996), and without her I am sure I would not be here today. And even the internet holds many surprises! Two WordPress friends have been especially supportive to me over the months I have been on here. Kelli and Pam have offered supportive words in a few tough times I have had. Thank – you all
Now let’s talk about food, and why not? Last night as I tucked into my Chinese take away, I watched FBI files about the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombings. I had heard about it but not known much about it really, probably due to the year being an unfriendly one for us. It was truly amazing to watch how the FBI forensically dissected the remains of bombs and could tell so much from the residue left. I am pleased that even though it took them many years they finally caught him. As for today’s dinner we have a roast turkey sitting in the oven as I speak, cooking gently. It’ll soon be time to put the roast potatoes in… I am most looking forward to the dinner. Is it roast for you today? Here is a picture of the Easter cake my daughter made that has kept Cadbury’s in business for the year (truly she has put more chocolate in, around and in the cake than Cadbury’s could supply), in a word a diabetic nightmare.  🙂
Naomi's Chocolate-chocolate-chocolate- and more chocolate cake
Happy Easter everyone!
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It’s been about six or seven weeks since my last post, and time has slipped by at a tremendous rate. So what has been happening since my last post…

I’ve had several diabetic hospital appointments to start with, good news is that my hb1ac has come down slightly and my day time blood sugars seem to be doing pretty well too. On the downside my morning blood sugars remain high, and the nerve pain down my arm has returned. This is my own silly fault possibly, because I ran out of medication for two weeks (I don’t know how), and in this time the tingling down my arm started. I have now begun to take the medication again so fingers crossed the tingling will stop. Additionally, with regards to my stump – it has started bleeding again and I have a major sore on my knee. I really do need to get to the hospital, but getting there is difficult as I need help when going out.

On a bright side Mim and I had a nice short break away in Birmingham for four nights. On our first day the winds blew and the snow fell and it was freezing cold. So cold in fact that after a short venture out to explore a bit we stayed in the hotel! We has a trip to the theatre and cinema. We saw the phantom of the opera (theatre) and side effects at the cinema. Both were enjoyed. Luckily the weather warmed slightly and we were able to venture out (albeit it with many ‘tea stops’) and explore the local area. We stayed in the Premier Inn hotel in Waterloo road, and being a cheap hotel was surprised by the cleanliness, food standard, and staff friendliness. Well worth the money in my opinion.

And our youngest grand-daughter Lily-May has stared pre-school. She’s only two, and pretty shy at the moment, I am hoping and praying she soon makes friends..

Oh yes we also had a trip with all three grand children to a wildlife park which was also a fantastic day out, and we had a really good day weather wise too. The grand children loved the train ride (about ten minutes) and the animals, but most of all they seemed to like playing on the ‘padded park’ inside the cafe area most.


Bull ring shopping mall Birmingham


Victoria square (?) Birmingham


Canal Birmingham

Take care

Dave signature

It’s been a while…

Since I last made a post on here; actually my last post was two weeks or so ago on the 5th November! So as I have found a bit of time, I thought I’d make a post to update everyone on what is happening!

Health is something that you never should take for granted, that I am now 100% sure – take care of your health, go for check ups as and when needed. I say this because Miss A* (aged 24) is currently under-going tests for a condition that is usually associated with more mature ladies, a disease that if not caught early can prove fatal, I talk of cervical cancer. She has all the symptoms but our GP surgery refuses to do the smear because she is too young, and  says she needs to go to hospital for one! She is seeing the doctor this afternoon on an urgent appointment as she may need an urgent hospital referral.

Add to this our family has been split by a recent argument, by someone in our past. I am unable to go into detail, but it is a big things that if mends at all will take a very long time. Additionally our own parents are weakening and growing more frail, so as you can see the last few weeks have been something of a nightmare (and continue to be).

I must admit I have been pretty down over this time, my brain telling me I have to be strong for my daughter whilst my body seems to be growing weak and tired. I will of course maintain my out-going persona for the family, but inside I too am struggling



*Miss A will become known once the tests are over, she is a very close relative



While at Cambridge last weekend, we saw a black lady with the skin condition Vitiligo. A condition I share. I was amazed that she had just decided to let things go as they are, and even I had to double take, despite seeing the problem on a daily basis. But for me as a white person the condition is only visible on my hands and part of my face, this is obviously due to those parts being given more sun than the rest of my body.

So what is Vitiligo? Well it is when the body attacks itself and the pigmentation of the skin ceases, and patches of white form where colour once was. Have a search on-line, there are hundreds of pictures to look at. It is obviously a condition that is greatly more obviously in black and Asian people, as their skins are darker

Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, and often associated with other autoimmune problems such as thyroid and diabetes (I guess I’m just lucky lol)… But for me it is not a particularly bothersome, although I sometimes am self conscious. There is no cure for the condition, except for a short course of steroid cream when small patches become first obvious. There is cosmetics available which cover the areas.

The conditions isn’t sore or painful, so you may ignore a white patch on your skin (as I did), after all the UK is hardly known for great weather. So when I first see the patches I ignored them and didn’t bother seeing a doctor, because they didn’t cause any pain or anything. But upon a routine visit to the doctor, I did mention them as they were getting bigger, and then my diagnosis was given.

As a Vitiligo sufferer you need to take precautions in the hot weather, as the pigmentation of a normal skin is missing, and you are far more easily burnt than other without the condition. Slap on plenty of sun cream to prevent burning and further serious problems.

I recall reading some years back that Michael Jackson had a skin condition that was turning him from black to white, I laughed and thought he cannot expect us to believe that. Fast forward to a few years back and I was diagnosed with exactly the same condition – who is laughing now? But for me it really isn’t such a big problem, and no one has ever mentioned it to me, but for people with dark skin it must be quite difficult.

Have a nice day

p.s This is the book on Amazon that the dietician recommended on Monday which I have coming, a great buy if you are diabetic or carb counting: http://bit.ly/S3wXYT

My hospital visit…

Monday saw me visit the hospital and despite the extremely packed waiting room, and people complaining they had been waiting for hours, I was seen pretty much on time. My doctor said along the lines of “Well done on what you have done so far, but we still have work to do”. I sat thinking to myself “What exactly have I done?” He then made a suggestion that I split my night-time insulin in half, and took half in the morning while keeping half at night. I was also told to keep monitoring  my blood sugars, but more prior to meals as this is more helpful to them. So as the doctor said his goodbyes, he told me to go and see a DSN (Diabetic Specialist Nurse).

She was in fact the very nurse that had seen me through my diagnosis some 15 years or so ago. After chatting she said she would ring next week, to which I replied I would be away. “Have you got a letter” She asked? “No, I just use my repeat prescription form”, she promptly left the room and come rushing back with a letter (which would have cost about £20 at the doctors). Then as she sat down she asked “Do you have the dosage cards for emergencies”? Again I replied “No”. Up she got off did trot, and once again came back with two shiny new credit cards sized cards showing my insulin – I just had to write on them. Once again she said “Oh I know, I should have got you one of the insulin care – line cards” So up she got again and off did trot”. By the time she came back I was feeling shattered, from just watching her”.  “What do you do when you have a hypo”? was the next question. I replied “I have two jelly babies” “Why two?” “Because that is what the previous dietician had told me” “Oh OK”. After that we had a chat and she told me to go in the waiting room again, to wait for the Dietician!

The Dietician called me within 5 minutes, and again we wandered off the same room I had been in with the DSN. Again we had a chat and she informed me to buy a book which I did when I got home, about carb counting. Prior to the meeting I was sure it would be a nightmare, but she made it sound oh so simple. She reinforced what the doctor had said. She then informed me that she would ring me on Friday to discuss my readings and see if anything needed altering.

And that was about it…


Dentist again and topless Duchess

Another trip to one of my most dreaded places this morning, in just half and hour or so I will going to the dentist! I must admit the fear that I once had has luckily subsided, and my nerves seem to have calmed slightly. My main problem with today’s visit is that I have got to pay £48! Yes after causing me grief for ages they have the nerve to charge as well! Still I shouldn’t grumble they did make me better after my dreadful abscess!

Also this morning here in the UK the headlines are full of Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) Prince Williams wife, being photographed topless while on holiday in France with her husband. A French publication has felt it OK to publish pictures of her topless. I think the press should leave them alone, they are a young couple still in early days of marriage and let’s face it plenty of women go topless these days – just most don’t end up on the news headlines. The poor girl must be devastated, what will the Queen think is probably among her thoughts. Has she let her down? No Kate, fear not the British public are behind you, and this moronic publication should apologise and be fined heavily.  I mean had she been doing something illegal then yes pry and tell, but the poor girl was enjoying  holiday with her husband in private! I guess the Queen might borrow Queen Victoria’s words: “We are not amused”, but she’ll get over it because she is actually a very modern Queen!

The countdown to our holiday has begun, just eight more sleeps to go…

Take care