Poll results – how should the NHS save money?

Eager Shoot Up readers queue up to vote in this month's poll
Eager Shoot Up readers queue up to vote in this month's poll

It’s that time of the month again, chaps and chapesses – poll results time. Last month I asked how we diabetics should help wrench the government out of decades of poverty and despond by saving money for the NHS.

The results were both disturbing and startling, with 52% of my readers voting for the option “Summarily execute all Type Twos”. You maniacs! I know that 1) there is an endless battle between the priorities of warning people they might have Type Two and providing equipment & resources for Types Ones; and 2) your soaraway Shoot Up is dominated by Type Ones; but this is a step too far not-so-gentle readers! You should all be ashamed of yourselves. Type Twos have feelings too. Apparently.

Anyway, moving swiftly on – the slightly more sane option of managing diet and exercise more effectively came out next, which seems more than fair as it helps both Type Ones and Twos (see, we can all work together in harmony!)

Of most interest was that “reduce blood glucose testing” scored a grand total of no votes. This is because it’s a stupid idea – but, ironically, it’s the option that’s most commonly used by health authorities to reduce costs. I often read of diabetics having problems being prescribed enough strips to test often and effectively – which just goes to show that some health authorities really are run by drooling imbeciles who don’t know their Islets of Langerhans from their somatostatin delta cells. Bah!

However, this month’s poll strikes a more positive note; who’s your diabetes-related idol? You can pick one of the pancreatic luminaries from the poll over to the right. Get voting!

  • FG Banting
  • HG Wells
  • JJR Macleod
  • SG Redgrave
  • NJ Jonas
  • All of the above
  • None of the above

Those results in full:

  • How should diabetics help the NHS save money?
  • Summarily execute all T2s. (52%, 53 Votes)
  • Manage diet/exercise more effectively (27%, 28 Votes)
  • Multiple uses of needles and lancets (11%, 11 Votes)
  • Reduce research funding (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Return to bottled insulin and hypodermics (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Reduce Hb1Ac testing (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Reduce blood glucose testing (0%, 0 Votes)

Introducing Eva

Is everyone still out there? We’ve been cocooned in the wonderful world of our tiny baby for the last fortnight, but now it’s time to come out into the big wide world and say hello.


Baby Eva was born on 24 April and cleverly disproved the myth that all diabetics have massive babies by being a perfectly normal 6lb, 14oz.

She’s perfect, completely untouched by the pancreatic challenges she’s been exposed to over the last 9 months. Our only concern is the development of her little fingers – she has us wrapped that tightly around them I don’t know how they’ll have space to grow.

The c-section was actually a really pleasant experience which I’ll write up soon, and the drugs have helped manage the pain since. We’ve been incredibly well looked after by Geoff and my parents so I’ve not done much beyond feeding and cuddling for the last couple of weeks and it’s been a real pleasure. The dairy farm is now running at full production and I’m just starting to get to grips with how breastfeeding impacts blood sugars. Eva_2

So there we have it, the successful conclusion of a diabetic pregnancy. Probably the hardest and at times the most stressful thing I’ve ever done, but also the most worthwhile and rewarding. Diabetes and pregnancy is daunting, but with dedication and hard work it is doable, so if you’re thinking about it don’t be put off by the horror stories, you can do it.

For now, we’re retreating back into our cocoon and enjoying being ridiculously happy, just the three of us.


Should diabetics be special?

This lot probably wouldn't please your typical diabetic.
This lot probably wouldn’t please your typical diabetic.

For the purposes of ego inflation, I like to think I am special. Most people are in some way. But is it a good thing to be seen as special just because of my broken pancreas?

Having experienced the thrill, excitement and reassurance of attending events for kids with diabetes, both as a pancreatically challenged child and now as a slightly over emotional adult  I have a blinkered view of these events. I love them. But has my overwhelming enthusiasm blinded me to the risks of these events?

Neville raved about the East of England Paediatric Diabetes Games the other week. He’s a very sensible dog and I agreed with every word he wrote. But over on Facebook, one of our readers didn’t. We like it when people do that, it does us good to be knocked off our internet based soapbox every now and again.

She made an interesting point. By holding special games for diabetic kids, are we sending a message to the world that they’re different? That they can’t compete on an equal footing with the pancreatically privileged? Are we doing these kids a disservice by making them out to be special? Poor Jimmy needs 4 injections a day to stay alive and if we don’t count his breakfast carbs correctly he’ll keel over halfway through the 800m or may even attack you with his javelin. Best for all concerned that we let the diabetics play together. And don’t ever pick one for your school sports team, they’re a liability. I mean, look at Sir Steve Redgrave and Gary Mabbutt, what did they ever achieve?

None of this had ever crossed my mind. To me these events are a massive learning and confidence building opportunity, wrapped up in a thick layer of fun. For kids and parents wary of walking the insulin/exercise tightrope it’s a chance to experiment in a safe environment, to swap tips and to be inspired by what others in your situation can do.

But the press always cover these events by talking in a slightly patronising manner about how brave these children are. Normally with an over-dressed reporter standing in the rain looking frankly amazed that such sick children can even make it out of bed in a morning, never mind run round a track. Doesn’t that undo all the campaigning we do protesting that diabetics can do anything because we will master that delinquent pancreas rather than be controlled and defined by it?

This is where we get into the territory of how hard it is to please a diabetic . We want you to know that diabetes is serious, we need you to dip into your pockets and fill the bottomless research and support coffers. But we also need you to know that we can do pretty much anything we set our minds to. And we really need diabetic kids to think that so that they’ll grow up confident and ready to take over the world.

So, you’ll be surprised to hear that I still come out massively in favour of “special” events. I can see the risk of making it look like diabetics can’t compete on a level playing field, which I hadn’t even considered before. But I think it’s a risk worth taking. Because the benefits of these events are so significant for the people involved.

What do you think?

It’s our week!

logo_diabetesIt’s National Diabetes Week here in the UK, a time of joy and celebration for all of us with non working pancreases.

In their 75th anniversary year Diabetes UK are using this week to drive home the message “Act early. Improve lives”. While there’s often a bit of tension between the Type 1 and Type 2 communities when it comes to press coverage, hopefully we can all support the concept of acting early. Whether that’s in terms of preventing complications for Type 1′s or early diagnosis for Type 2′s.

Fingers crossed for lots of high profile press coverage of diabetes over this week, and toes crossed that most of it is on message, based on fact rather than prejudice and clear in terms of difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Comatose and rotting toes – the lighter side of insulin dependency