Monday, 29 October 2012

The day today

Apologies I've been AWOL for a while.  I'm hopefully returning with some sense of regularity but you never know do you?

My last post was about the anger and stupidity you experience at football, and on reflection, you tend to experience that in all other aspects of life as well.  Hopefully this post will try and be a bit more positive instead.

You may remember from a while back how I'd embarked on an attempt to shift the weight I'd managed to insulate myself over summer.  I'm pleased to report that it's going remarkably well and I've lost nearly 21lbs so far.  I'm down to 194.4lbs (against a target of 187lbs by December 14th) so I'm confident I'll get there with time to spare.  As I'd sworn off takeaway of any description until Christmas (much to my wife's dismay), I've relented slightly and agreed to shell out for a pizza if I can get to 185lbs.  Fingers crossed!

A few other things have been happening in the world which I'll mention whilst resisting the urge to pass comment or judgement.

Racism has reared its ugly head in the world of football, almost to the point where the media would have you believe people are using racial slurs as flippantly as Mark, Jeremy and Super Hans trying to section each other.  Now I'm fairly sure this isn't the case but I suppose enough "high profile"incidents could convince you otherwise.  Whilst all of civilised society is rightly disgusted by such behaviour, a few professional footballers decided that throwing their teddy (or t-shirts) out of the pram was the best way to tackle such behaviour.  And not by getting off their arses and doing something.  Messrs Anton and Rio Ferdinand are now being referred to, somewhat ominously, as the Ferdinand Family, suggesting they're actually part of an underground football mafia.  Regardless, the quicker people become educated and stop being racist the better, I'm sure we all agree.

The United States will elect their next President next Tuesday with Hurricane Sandy affecting some key states in the East.  Without wishing to reveal too much about my political leanings, I continue to be surprised that this race is pretty much a dead heat between a man who wants to expand healthcare coverage for millions of people, and someone who thinks windows on aeroplanes should open.

Whilst Hallowe'en is upon us this week, I've firmly got my sights set on Christmas now.  I appreciate and understand it's far too early to talk about it, but I've not had a holiday since May and the prospect of a fortnight off is enough to make me giddier than most kids.  I shall endeavour not to harp on about it too much until December as I'm personally of the belief that Christmas talk starting before late November is a form of insanity.

From a blog perspective, we're getting to the time of year where I run down my Top 20 tracks of 2012 so expect to see a blog or two about music before the end of the year.  I'll also be writing my Review of 2012 and my 2013 preview which I'm sure you're all dying to read.  And on a personal note, I'm now writing a monthly blog for DiabetesUK so if you're interested you can follow that on here or by visiting their website (

I think this has been a bit of a random stream of consciousness but hopefully I'll be back into the swing of it now.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Take care


Then and now

This blog first appeared on on October 25th 2012

I'm Andy, I'm 31 and I've had type 1 diabetes for 11 years.

I remember the day I got diagnosed, I got a call from the campus GP asking me to come in urgently - I was at the start of my post-grad year at university.  I'd had a few "symptoms" for a couple of weeks and having done a bit of internet research, I had an inkling what she was going to tell me, but I'd assumed I was wrong.

When she told me I had type 1 diabetes and had to go to the hospital, I remember saying something about having a free afternoon in a couple of days time.  She said "No, no. You don't understand, you have to go now".

At the hospital, I remember two things vividly.  The first was the sheer amount of information I had to try and make sense of in a few hours.  There's so much to learn, remember and understand it feels impossible to manage at the beginning. The second was the first time I injected myself with the needle.  I don't like needles and to this day I have to look away every time I have a blood test, but I quickly had to acclimatise to injecting myself.

I started out on two injections a day with a mix of short and long acting insulin.  Looking back, the Innovo pen was a bit unwieldy but it looked gadgety enough to help me along my journey.  Fortunately I've long since graduated to five injections a day using a significantly less cumbersome device.

The Innovo Pen from 2001

My first hypo was the following Saturday morning when I was at work.  I'd been told what the warning symptoms were likely to be and what to do, but I still gave the on call nurse a ring to make sure I was doing the right thing.  There are a lot of other things that you perhaps don't immediately associate with the lifestyle of a diabetic - checking your blood glucose, annual eye screenings, dietician appointments, foot specialists but your life adapts to fit around these things over time.

Some of them get easier and to a degree, some of them don't.  Whenever I have a hypo, I still get the same feelings of confusion and anger as I did back then, and the eye drops still sting as much as they first did, but I accept that it's just part of my life now.

Eleven years on and things are definitely easier and more settled now.  The theory and understanding is ingrained, the carb counting and insulin maths is automatic and testing my blood a few times a day is now the norm.  I still have good days and bad days and occasionally get caught out with a high blood glucose level that I'm not expecting but managing it is now second nature.  I also understand what's expected of me by my family and my doctors as well as what I expect of myself.

I try not to let being diabetic define who am I or restrict what I do because there's so much more to me than diabetes. Whilst it might be an important part of my life, it isn't my entire life.  Hopefully I'll get to share more of my experiences with you in the coming months.