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.

The undignified dinner companion

You couldn't afford to eat here either
You couldn’t afford to eat here either

The husband and I went out for lunch over the weekend. We were chatting away, making plans to go and see some friends when I did something which to the eyes of a casual observer, may be classed as unacceptable dinner table behaviour. I stuck my hand down the back of my trousers, rummaged around a bit, pulled it back out, sniffed my fingers and then held my fingers to my husband’s nose for him to do the same.

All of this happened in the middle of our conversation, with barely an acknowledgement from either of us that it had happened.

It was only in the car on the way home that the lightning bolt of horror struck me. What must that have looked like to all the other poor people trying to enjoy their lunch? I fear I may owe them an explanation. This wasn’t uncouth and frankly quite disgusting behaviour in a public place, it was an exercise in medical necessity. Let me explain.

Mid conversation, my CGM alarmed to tell me I was rising quickly and was a 10. I was surprised by this as I was expecting to be around a 5. I remembered that just a couple of hours earlier I’d inserted a new infusion set into my upper right buttock. So I did what any normal diabetic would do, I checked the site. I put my hand down the back of my trousers to check that I had attached the loose end properly to the cannula. I also poked it to see if it hurt, often a sign for me that something isn’t right. Then I did my final test for any site I’m suspicious of. I ran my finger round it and then sniffed my finger to see if I could smell insulin. If I can, it’s generally an indication that something mightn’t be quite right. Unfortunately, after too many years exposed to insulin, I don’t tend to be that sensitive to the smell of it anymore, so I asked the husband if he could smell insulin on my fingers, just to double check.

As it was, the set was attached, there was no smell of insulin and I put the high down to having done nothing much all morning and probably used less energy than usual.

I appear to be able to live quite well with diabetes, but I am concerned that it makes me unwittingly behave in public in ways that, I have to admit, must look a bit strange to an innocent observer trying to enjoy their lunch. I suppose I should look on the bright side and be grateful I didn’t top it off by going hypo and embarrassing myself in the restaurant! Is it just me that’s losing my dignity to diabetes?

Day one


I’m currently sitting here in a rather nice bed and breakfast in Corbridge having completed the first day of the Roman Rumble for the wonderful Pendsey Trust. Today we have been blessed with absolutely wonderful weather, which is a bit of the disadvantage in that wearing a Roman costume in hot weather is not very pleasant. To be frank, it’s somewhat sweaty.

However, we’ve had a lot of attention (including some from an irate motorist who called us both ‘pricks’, but the less said about that the better, especially as we were in the wrong, cycling up a one way street…) and have raised even more cash en route.

We had our picture taken at the cafe we had lunch in (so they could put it on their blog) and the National Trust people at the birthplace of George Stephenson also took our picture to put on their Facebook page (both with links to our charity page).

Tomorrow is set fair and we have some decent hills to tackle. However our landlady has promised us a massive breakfast so hills won’t be a problem.

If you haven’t already, then click the Charity link at the top of the page to chuck a few dubloons at a wonderful charity. Whoop whoop!

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Comatose and rotting toes – the lighter side of insulin dependency