Who’d have thought that bread would be the biggest single sin I could suffer since becoming diabetic.
I went to the GP yesterday because the pain in my thumb wasn’t going away. It was a normal cycle of stuff for me, started about 4 weeks ago, perhaps 5. A slight pain in my left hand, I get it every now and again, either hand. I use computers too much, it’s no surprise. Usually it’s in the wrist, but this time it was nearer my thumb. Anyway I used the compression bandage we have for a few days, but it didn’t really help. In fact, it seemed to make it hurt more (which I can understand now, knowing where the injury is). So I took it off, and left it for a week or so. That’s my initial – it’ll get better and go away on it’s own – cycle. 99% of the ailments I get do that.
But this one didn’t. So, I spent a couple of days looking around on the web. It’s worth saying that I’d chatted to Grete and we’d both concluded it was Tendonitis. I’d taken some Ibuprofen and it helped a little. Anyway, I did some searching and some checking, but couldn’t find anything specific. I found a couple of pages which had recommendations on bindings for thumb injuries. What was bugging me most was that the pain wasn’t always in the same place, wasn’t consistent, and didn’t seem in proportion to the amount of force I was exerting on the thumb.
We looked for hand/wrist supports with a thumb covering but couldn’t see any, so a few more days had passed. Eventually we found some binding tape in Tesco, like the stuff fabric plasters are made from but in a long reel. I bound my thumb, and then strapped around my hand down to the wrist. My thumb was still free to move, but bending motion was restricted and it was held straight ‘at rest’. More importantly, it reminded me that I had a sore thumb so I didn’t use it without thinking.
It was an instant relief. No random pain, still some pain trying to tie laces or buttons and stuff, but a lot better. Prolonged typing made it ache, and certain grasping actions were out of the question, but it was a great improvement. So, now to keep it bound during the day, free overnight, and let it rest until it goes away.
Which it didn’t.
If anything it was worse in the mornings, and unbound was very painful. So after a total of about five weeks I went to the GP. I didn’t feel bad it had been so long, I think it’s important to try and make yourself healthy, not just rely on someone else all the time for any old ache or pain that comes up. I described the pain, I could be pretty specific since I knew exactly where it hurt, doing what and what didn’t hurt. Tendonitis he concluded after a few moments (although, he’s an NHS doctor, so he actually said ‘it’s probably tendonitis and probably not anything else’, heaven forbid he get it wrong and someone suit him).
We then had what for me is a first. We reviewed all my medication. I’ve never had ‘medication’ before while suffering something else. Being diabetic means checking everything I’m on, making sure they aren’t the cause and making sure anything he prescribed wouldn’t react. It was ok, he was pleased at my sugar control (not my regular GP) and seemed happy I knew not only the names of my drugs but why I take them and what they do. I do wonder how many people just take what their given without understanding it.
Anyway, 3 x 50mg anti-inflammatories a day, on top of the 3 x 500mg metformin, 1 x 20mg simvstatin and 1 x aspirin. Yay, I feel more and more like a jar of pills.
Took one anti-inflammatory yesterday, and 2 so far today and …. it feels better. Using the thumb can still hurt, but it doesn’t hurt if I just rest it at an odd angle or catch the knuckle anywhere. Many people may have gone to their GP earlier, but I really feel that we owe it to ourselves and to the NHS to at least attempt to resolve these issues on our own first. I’m not saying we should have life threatening ilnesses quietly, or that we should ignore obviously serious issues (lumps, for example), but for aches and sore fingers, I don’t think we should expect the GP to be the first port of call, they’re already too busy.
it just feels like it. Almost as soon as I started bringing my blood sugar under control I started suffering uncomfortable symptoms, usually between lunch and evening meal. As the evening meal got closer, I would feel more and more uncomfortable, and checking various lists of symptoms they most closely matched hypoglycaemia (hypo) which was a bit worrying. However, I do test my blood (obviously) and it was never low enough to be classified as hypo nor low enough to be dangerous.
We surmised that my body basically wasn’t used to having ‘normal’ blood sugar or long periods between meals. It was also possibly even related to the idea of having food. For example, sometimes if I knew it was going to be a while before I ate (going to the cinema or shopping) the symptoms wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad until after that activity. It was almost as if my body was acting hypo to get my attention.
Anyway, I had a regular diabetic checkup a month or so back, blood sugar average still really good (I may have blogged it?), and I spoke to the nurse about a few things. She confirmed that in some people who’ve had high blood sugar untreated for a while, they can suffer feelings of hypoglycaemia while having normal blood sugar levels. At the time it was good to hear.
Doesn’t make me feel any better when I find I’m shaking while trying to cook something or I end up being dozy and not remembering things people have said to me. I’m going to try and increase the distance between my breakfast and my lunch, at the moment they’re far too close together through habit. That will in turn reduce the time between lunch and my evening meal hopefully reducing the feelings I get. We’ll see how that works out.
Since it’s been a few weeks since my checkup I’m also entering the ‘I’m not doing well’ stage where I decide I’m eating the wrong stuff and my blood sugar average is going to be terrible. Even though I do spot checks and my sugar is usually pretty well within the right range and what I’d expect I still start to doubt myself and second guess and worry. The annoying thing is that it doesn’t really change what I eat, or if it does it can have a negative effect (stuff it, I’m having some biscuits my average is already shot). But I guess I just have to recognise the problem and stay on top of it. Grete’s great as always.
I have moments where I look back and wonder how it’s not worse than it is. I can recall some days in 2004 where I might get to work, have a 500ml bottle of coke with breakfast, have another can of coke in the run up to lunch. Have some lunch, not actually too bad, but with some kind of sweetened drink either more coke or a non-fruit fruit juice. Perhaps share a couple of packets of chewy sweets with the rest of the team, or eat half a packet of wine gums during the afternoon. Of course that would be washed down with another can of coke. Those moments help me realise that staying on track isn’t actually going to be that hard. I don’t drink regular coke any more, I haven’t had a sugar-based sweet since I was diagnosed, and I avoid any fruit drinks other than actual bona fide fruit without anything added.
Which means the big culprits are bread and erm, bread mostly. I’ve virtually given up white bread, instead sticking to Tesco’s Finest Rustic Multi-grain, which is tasty and doesn’t usually appear to impact my sugar badly.
My two most deadly nemesisses (hah and it’s a real word) are Pizza and Bacon Sandwiches. I mean come on, you can’t have bacon sandwiches in multi-grain bread. It’s got to be white.
Considering it’s been 6 or 7 months since I last blogged anything, I can’t believe anyone is still reading this (in fact, I can’t believe anyone was ever reading this) so I wonder why I’m still writing it. I’m still Diabetic, I know it never goes away, but everyone has to have a dream. Had good news earlier in the year, my 3 month average blood sugar test was excellent. The bad news is that every day between 3 month checks just leaves me worrying about it and the further I get from the last check the more I worry.
Perhaps that’s good, if I stop worrying I guess I’ll stop trying to manage it, although I don’t think I’m any good at managing it anyway. I have good days and weeks and bad days and weeks. Working from home is bad, it ruins the routine, working from the office is good, the routine helps and I manage to get out every lunch for a 20 minute walk which can’t be hurting. Some days I think I’ve been good and it’s bad, some days I think I’ve been bad and it’s good, and some days I try not to think about how bad I’ve been.
I just wish I didn’t spend most of every day scared of the consequences of being diabetic, worried about every ‘symptom’ I currently have. But then it’s always been my nature to worry.
One of the reasons I’ve started blogging again is I finally migrated to Google’s new blogging feature and that includes labels, something I’d wanted to have on my review page for a while. I thought I’d bring the review site up-to-date and that led to blogging something here first.
House news, thanks to my amazing wife, we finally got someone to come and look at the ‘damp’ in the dining room. It’s not damp, and much to our embarassment, the guy pointed to a hole in the wall between the door frame and the brickwork. Every time it rained, water had been running in, and rotting the wood, floorboard, etc. So we filled the hole and we’re letting the woodwork dry out, and we’ll full that with woodfiller soon. We’ve finally made a move on the front door as well, double glazing folk have been, we’ve had the phone wire moved, and they’re coming to replace the door next week. Hopefully it’ll look ok, I have no faith in double glazing companies, but fingers crossed it’ll be good enough.
Here’s the bit where I make a vague promise (but I’m not sure who to?) to update this more often.
I’m trying to stick to being good about the diabetes, I really am. But it’s getting frustrating. So I had four slices of toast at the weekend and my blood sugar was over nine mg/l two hours later. Ok, I get that bread is bad. Today I thought I’d try harder, was pretty high after breakfast but under 9, wasn’t too bad after lunch, was pretty good when I got home. Felt like I was making progress. Had tea, went for a walk, out of the house for nearly an hour. Got around to checking it again at 10:40pm, and it’s over 8 mg/l 🙁 Four hours after I ate, and it’s well above what it should be even two hours after I ate. I don’t get it, and not getting it makes it very frustrating. Also, I’m feeling really hungry and basically with my blood sugar that high I shouldn’t really eat anything to give it a chance to drop before I go to bed.
Anyway, the walk was nice, we wandered along the canal (pictured left) which is about 800 metres from where we live. It looks nice most of the time, plenty of wildlife which I think is good considering it’s right next to a main road and a school. We were passed by a narrow-boat while we were feeding the wildlife (pictured belowI think). The swans, ducks and other stuff seems pretty well trained to come to people and beg for bread. The big swan you see actually swam up and started hissing until we fed it, so someone’s trained it to beg I guess. Still, at least they’re not struggling to survive against the toxins in the water like they may have been a few years ago.
It was a relaxing walk I thought, and I’d hoped it would go some way to helping with blood sugar. Perhaps we walked too soon after we’d eaten? Ah well, just have to see how tomorrow goes I guess. My fingers are sore from all the testing I did today, and I’ll just have to do the same tomorrow.
The BBQ last week was cool, just 3 of us (me, Grete and a friend), but it was still relaxing. We sat out until about 11pm – just amazing weather. We ate too much and we burned the ribs and the wings, all traditional BBQ activity.
The only thing that was missing was me dropping a charred-on-the-outside but raw-on-the-inside chicken leg on the floor and then fobbing it off on the person you don’t like. Since there wasn’t anyone there we didn’t like and since we didn’t have any chicken legs, we couldn’t do that bit.
Otherwise, 100% traditional UK BBQ without the rain 🙂
Back, scan done, found a vendor selling Turkey Salad Sandwiches (I think the Turkey meat drops in Jaggedpine) and Cold Flasks of Water which was a bonus. Vendor diving rocks.
(Yeh, EQ in-jokes, sorry)
So, I’m having a liver scan today because when I first got diagnosed with diabetes they also noticed slight liver anomolies in my blood sample (slight as in 5% or less, not sure how you give them a percentage but there you go).
Anyway, they’ve cleared slightly but the GP still wants a scan.
Sooooo the reason for the post – fasting since 10am for the 4pm test.
No food or drink.
During the hottest period the UK has seen since like EVER.
Gah and all I can do is think about food and water.
You are thirsty.
You are hungry.
You are out of food and drink.
My blood sugar average for the three months before this one was 6.3ish. That is, in the words of my GP, “Bloody Brilliant”. It’s basically a non-diabetic blood sugar average, so the drugs and changes to my diet have finally come together (without neededing to change the dose).
Now I just need to work out which of the changes are the effective ones and keep at it to keep the sugar down, which hopefully mitigates / slows the effects of diabetes over time.
I know, I know, I suck. Entire months pass before I get around to writing new blog entries. And then when I do, they’re mostly apologising for not writing blog entries. Other people seem to write exciting things or funny things, or deep-thinking things, and I just spend my time apologising for not getting around to writing any boring stuff about my life that none of you are interested in reading anyway 🙂
We painted some of the small bedroom over the last couple of weeks. Sanded some woodwork, painted the window sill and the radiator. We’ve bought the paint for the ceiling and walls, so they’re next on the list. Once that’s done hopefully we’ll be able to move some stuff into the room semi-permanently (exactly what is still open for debate) to free up space in the big room, and allow us to do something with that. Feels good to be doing something with the house, after such a long time.
Nearly finished paying of the loan, omg that’s such good news. 7 years we’ve been paying that back, and only 1 or 2 payments left to go. I’ve got high hopes for the extra spare cash but I suspect it’ll be going on bills for a while yet, but fingers crossed it should make things a little easier.
My diabetes is still there and still meaning lots of of changes to what and how I eat, still not under control enough to keep the doctor happy but blood sugar average has been down for the last 3 tests (8 months) so as far as I’m concerned, that’s the right direction. Had my eye test last week, and it’s clean, no eye damage which was a huge relief.
We’re thinking about considering thinking about possibly going to Maelstrom this year, but time scales are already tight, and cash is even tighter. We’ll see.