Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Glycoraptors and sugar sloths

I had an awful hypo the other day. Mostly, when my blood sugar is falling it’s a slow, gradual sensation, and my symptoms of dizziness, shaking, and heart a-thumping increase over a period of minutes. When this happens I can usually just treat with a couple of jelly babies and a biscuit, and I’m fine. On this occasion however, it all started happening within seconds – I was guzzling down jelly babies to no effect and felt as though I was sliding down out of control. I decided I shouldn’t be on my own, so went next door to my neighbour’s and she made me some sweet tea which finally seemed to do the trick.

It was scary, and without any real explanation – and thankfully a rare occurrence! But it did get me thinking about possible causes…

If you’ve got diabetes then there’s one thing you should know,
That one of two things happens if you feel yourself go low:
Number one is gradual, like surfing on molasses,
It creeps down slow in tiny steps, inexorably as time passes.

The other plummets like a stone – not dropped, but thrown with force,
And speeding ever deeper down, you cannot change its course…
Or so it seems, when remedies that once worked seem to fail,
With planning and with luck, you will, and live to tell the tale.

‘How can this be?’, I hear you say, ‘How can there be two sorts?’
This question too had troubled me, in my dreams and waking thoughts,
Until I met a wise old man who knew about them both,
‘It’s because of Glycoraptors, and the lazy Sugar Sloths.’

‘Now, rarely does a Glycoraptor get inside your blood,
But given all the sugar there, he’d live there if he could!
He’s not like other dinosaurs, those massive frightening beasts –
He’s tiny, and there’s nothing more he likes than sugar feasts.’

‘So, if you spot a toadstool whilst you’re walking through the wood,
Be careful not to pick your nose, for it is understood
They jump from toadstools up your snout and burrow their way in,
And make you shake and shiver as they crawl beneath your skin!’

‘And once inside your bloodstream, with voracious appetites,
They’ll gobble up the glucose till there’s nothing left in sight!
You’ve got to fill their bellies up, and then their hunger fades –
But quickly, and the best thing is some lemon lucozade!’

‘And Sugar Sloths?’, I then enquired, ‘Why, you should always keep
Some Jelly Babies in your bag – it sends them straight to sleep!’
So now you know, if you go low, the reason for the fall –
If it’s fast, it’s Glycoraptors, if it’s slow, a sloth that’s small!’

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Disgusted nurse gets just desserts

More escapades in the life of the nurse who found the idea of people with diabetes injecting in restaurants abhorrent. Imagine if, one evening, she was in a restaurant that just happened to be filled with insulin-dependent diabetics…imagine her horror…!

The scene: Luigi’s restaurant in downtown Birkenhead,
Full of hungry diners all waiting to be fed,
And there, amongst their number, a very special guest,
The nurse who failed her 101 would face another test…

The customers chatted pleasantly, as wine was passed around,
Our nurse was unaware of how her evening would be crowned…
A secret nod, a knowing wink, would all ensure the plan
Co-ordinated smoothly by each woman and each man.

Spaghetti carbonara and lasagne were brought in,
And all at once was silence – you could have heard a pin!
The nurse’s ears pricked up to hear a host of tiny clicks
As a hundred insulin users prepared to take their fix…!

Airshot after airshot was squirted in the air,
Like tiny dancing fountains from each and every chair!
And then the men exposed the flesh that lay beneath their shirts,
The ladies smiled as they pulled down the waistband of their skirts!

The nurse just stared in horror as the needles all went in,
And pierced the fatty layers that lay beneath the skin!
Well, then she just exploded, it was more than she could stand!
And now she’s pushing daisies up in Nighty-night Nurse Land!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Nurse Unbalanced

Diabetes UK took the rather unwise (in my opinion) editorial decision to allow further space in their ‘Balance’ magazine for the nurse who had previously ranted against people with diabetes injecting in restaurants. In this latest letter she reached a new level of apoplexy, insulting, deriding and attacking those who had responded to her original tirade of vitriolic nonsense. I think the thing that hurt most people that I have spoken to was that DUK should choose to perpetuate her views in a publication whose intent should surely be to provide support and backing for people with diabetes. Moreover, the fact that the letter writer was a nurse (thankfully now retired), might have suggested a greater tolerance and more caring attitude.

This is what I expect in the next issue of Balance from ‘the Nurse’ who will no doubt by then be afforded her own regular column in which she can freely castigate those self-centred junkie diabetics…

You can’t be human if you think
Injecting where I eat and drink
Is something that you can’t avoid,
You’re junkies and you’re paranoid!

And don’t tell me to look away,
I’m nosy and I’ll have my say!
You might as well just slit your throat,
Or hang a sacrificial goat!

Would you display your toilet parts?
Or fill the room with noisy farts?
Or flick your bogies round the room?
You diabetics make me fume!

Of all these things that trouble me –
All anti-social you’ll agree,
But diabetics shooting up
Wins the ‘Nurse Disgusted’ Cup!

So thank you Balance for this page,
Where I can vent my frequent rage,
I’m sure your readers all agree
They’re all disgusting, just like me!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Little Harry Hypo

Having diabetes isn’t fun, and it can be particularly hard for children who just want to blend in with their peers. Even harder, then, for the parents who have to worry about keeping their children safe from ‘hypos’ – when the blood sugar levels fall too low and need rapid treatment with something sweet to raise them again, or risk possible diabetic coma. The best way to reduce that parental stress is to be confident in the little one’s ability to keep his levels ‘within range’, neither too low or too high, and the best way for that to happen is for him to learn about food and how it affects him, and how to give an appropriate dose of insulin for the meal he is about to eat.

Here in the UK there is an education programme called ‘DAFNE’ (Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating) that teaches insulin-dependent diabetics what they need to do to achieve good blood sugar control…

Little Harry Hypo

Little Harry Hypo had a horrid, horrid hat –
His mother made him wear it if he went to chase the cat!
And also, playing cricket, if it was his turn to bat,
I imagine you’d have sympathy if you lived your life like that!

The hat said ‘Diabetic’ in letters large and red,
And when he wore it in the street he wished that he was dead!
‘It’s so that all the people know’, his loving mother said,
‘That if you conk out on the floor, then what you should be fed!’

Now Harry thought that there must be a better way to live –
He felt that he was normal – so much he had to give!
‘I won’t let this stand in my way, I’ll be more positive!’
And so to ditch the hat became the boy’s main objective…

A lovely nurse called Dafne was his saviour in his plight,
She made him study all his food in order that he might
Learn how each food affects him, get his insulin just right,
And now his basal’s sorted no more hypos in the night!

Now Harry doesn’t wear a hat, but just a golden tag,
He’s always sure to carry jelly babies in his bag,
He never thought he’d spend a day his mother didn’t nag –
But now the hat shines shoes and stuff – it’s just another rag!