Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Telegram from the Queen

Since I was diagnosed with diabetes I have been reading up on the history of the condition and its treatment, and how this has evolved over the years. Diabetes is not just an imbalance of blood sugar levels, it can have very serious consequences for many and varied parts of the body. Principally, the eyes, kidneys and nervous system can be affected, along with the possibility of limb amputation – particularly the feet. High blood sugar over an extended period of time can affect the microvascular system – the tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen and nourishment to every part of our bodies. Should these vessels become blocked then the flesh they feed can die. So, it’s important to keep the blood sugar levels as close to those of a non-diabetic person. I have some wonderful technology to help me in this daily task, but much if this is a relatively recent development. I was surprised therefore, and comforted, to read of the Joslin Medal, which is awarded to people who have survived with the condition for 50 years, and over half of those awarded so far have experienced few of the severe complications. Clearly genetics must play a part in this, and maybe luck too – some people have suffered complications even though they have worked hard at taking care of themselves. I am hoping that I will one day be eligible for the Joslin 50 year medal, and at the same time receiving my telegram from the Queen – or whoever is responsible for such things in 49 years time!
You can read about the Joslin Medalist programme here:
And the telegram from the Queen here:

That’s one year put behind me and forty nine ahead,
And I will keep one positive thought in my diabetic head –
I want the Joslin Medal and my telegram from the Queen,
And be the oldest diabetic the world has ever seen!

What wonders lie before me, that science will create?
Perhaps a cure will come in time? If so, that would be great!
For I’d forego the medal – I’d rather have my health,
And my telegram from the Queen, of course, for my centenarian self!

So if the fates are kind to me till twenty fifty eight,
Whatever monarch’s on the throne will celebrate the date,
And, come the day I breathe my last, I’ll say ‘I feel just fine!’,
And break the tape with both boots on as I cross the finish line!

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