The great diabetes conspiracy

I have a theory. I think we pancreatically challenged types are all taking part in a great conspiracy. I think diabetes is actually pretty easy to live with and we’re just pretending it’s a pain in a feeble attempt to gain attention and sympathy.

Following years of dedicated experimentation and meticulous observation I believe that I have this diabetes thing sussed. It’s simple. I need to make a few minor adjustments to my life and my control will be perfect. I just need to eradicate:

Variations in temperature
Any concept of having a life

Once those troublesome variables are eliminated and you spend all day, every day in the same climate controlled room, eating the same miniscule amounts of carbs and taking part in no activity lest it impact your control, the diabetes should be a dream. I shudder to think of all the money we’ve wasted searching for a cure, when the solution has been out there all along.

Of course, madness would probably not be far around the corner and quality of life may be somewhat compromised, but we all have to make sacrifices. While I remove my tongue from my cheek, are there any more miracle cures out there?

Diabetes Consultation

As I mentioned in an earlier post I went along to the Scottish Diabetes Action Plan Consultation organised by Diabetes UK yesterday evening and it was all quite interesting. The meeting was intended to give the Scottish Government feedback on what us pancreatically-challenged ruffians want out of our health service and so, in my view (for what it’s worth) it’s quite important.

The first thing that struck me was the light buffet that was kindly laid on for us. Being a meeting exclusively made up of diabetics it, of course, consisted of ultra high-carb pasta and potato-salad. To rub in this paradoxical smorgasbord all the more, I noticed there were some Diabetes UK “Watch what you Eat” leaflets dotted about, advocating a low GI diet. My sides almost split with the irony of it all, but the soup was nice.

The second thing that struck me was that, not for the first time, I was the one token person-who-wasn’t-retired in attendance. Sorry to point it out – if any of the attendees are reading this – but I have to say I did bring the average age crashing down somewhat. But even saying that, at a positively ancient 32, I’m still not exactly representative of the “juvenile” diabetes community.

I’m pretty sure the east of Scotland has diabetics under the age of thirty and I’m also pretty sure that the lack of young people this is not wildly unusual at these things. So why is this?

To be honest I’ve no idea. Having a say is vitally important in any aspect of life – for example, I think that people who can’t be bothered to vote in elections are contemptible idiots who have no right to complain about any service they receive from government or indeed any action that government takes in their name. It’s the same with healthcare – you have no right to bitch about poor healthcare or lack of NHS funding for pumps or new technologies if you don’t take part in feeding into consultations like these.

After doing all this, you still might not get what you want but, by God, you then have every right to make a nuisance of yourself and bitch, bitch, bitch. And, tell you what, I love bitching!

The strange things people ask

People come to ShootUp from many places. Tim and I harangue most poor souls that we meet into visiting the site at least once. Some people find us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. And lots of people come to us via the magic of an internet search engine. While most people search for the routine stuff of living with diabetes, insulin pumps, CGM, diabetes blogs etc others get to us via more unusual searches. I thought it would only be polite to answer a few of our most recent queries:

• Why would you shoot up insulin? Generally to avoid dying, that’s the main benefit to me.
• How does diabetic coma affect my driving? I would imagine it makes it very hard to see where you’re going, operate the car or change channel on the radio.
• Robinsons juice bottle dimensions. I like to use a Robinson’s juice bottle as a makeshift sharps container, but I’ve never been diligent enough to measure it. Sorry.
• Diabetes pimping questions. I’m impressed that you’re doing research into your chosen career path. If you’re looking to start working as a pimp for the pancreatically challenged, you do need to know the key questions you’ll be expected to answer in that line of work.
• Pigs butchered insulin. How dare they. Do they not realise what a precious resource insulin is?
• Pictures of arms that have been injected. Ok, I don’t want to judge, everyone has their own thing, but really, the interweb is full of a huge variety of images. I can’t believe that’s the thing you want to see more than any other?
• Why do men still expect you to swing from the lampshades? Ah, that old question. It’s a never ending mystery.
• Monopoly by Medtronic. Cool, this must be their new board game, hot on the heels of Buckeroo by Bayer and Suduko by Sanofi.
• Lake Geneva drownings. Don’t tell me those puppy drowners have been at it again?
• What can I shoot up to get high? No, you’ve misunderstood. Eat sugar to get high, shoot up insulin to get low.

Hopefully that’s cleared up a few of the most important questions facing the pancreatically challenged population at this time. Sometimes we’re so helpful, I think we should be a public service.

Big (baby sized) news

Obligatory photo of our 13 week old fetus that looks suspiciously like all other 13 week old fetuses (except ours is the cutest, obviously)

We have some amazing news. Geoff and I are thrilled, delighted and overjoyed to announce that we’re expecting a baby. Oh yes, ShootUp is getting an offshoot, I’m pregnant!

Due to a particularly ineffective set of polycystic ovaries who seem to have used my pancreas as their role model when it comes to how to be an unhelpful body organ, it’s taken us 6  years to get this far. The upside of that is that following plenty of fertility drugs, IVF and early miscarriages I am now quite expert on diabetes and infertility!

Diabetes has of course been closely involved, but for today, it is being shoved in a corner where it belongs, out of the limelight. Suffice to say, it has been given a stern talking to, kept on a very short leash and I have a baby pleasing HbA1c of 5.7%.

For now though, lets forget about all the diabetes and infertility palaver and celebrate. I’m 3 months pregnant and the incessant nausea, vomiting and exhaustion of the past few months seems to be coming to an end. Please join us in being completely and utterly over the moon.

Comatose and rotting toes – the lighter side of insulin dependency