Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Lament of the Lonely Lancet

One of the forum’s members related the unusual tale of trying to inject her small daughter, but no insulin was being delivered. She changed the insulin – no luck, changed the pen, no luck – then realised it was because the needle had no hole! Clearly a lancet who had been frightened by the folk tales of other lancets who told him that lancets rarely get changed – not at all like the official ‘single-use’ line he had been taught – and perhaps that’s how he ended up in a needle box…

Congratulations lancets all! You’ve all achieved a pass,
And now it’s time for you to leave the Lancing Duties class!
So follow me, you’ll be assigned to boxes at the gate –
Just keep in line and you’ll be fine, don’t push, not long to wait!

‘I’m scared, I’m not sure I should go, for though I passed the course,
And though I’d only do it once – could I draw blood by force?’
‘Just once? You’re joking! You’ll find out it’s six times every day,
And every day for several weeks before you’re thrown away!’

‘Are you sure? How awful! I think I may hang back
And lurk here in the shadows – they won’t miss one in a pack…
I’ll mingle with the needles, for surely they’re used less
And don’t conclude their useful life a blunt and bloodied mess!’

‘Oh my! I’ve been selected after months within this box,
In the darkness of this drawer with the underpants and socks!
It’s up to me to do my best and pierce this person’s skin
And deliver up a dialled dose of clean fresh insulin!’

Oh no! But wait! But it’s too late, I didn’t think this through!
I have no hole! It can’t get out! Whatever shall I do?
If only I’d stuck to my task, I’d surely have succeeded –
A lancet’s not a needle, for a needle’s hole is needed!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Astounding Discoveries

Research is very important in the field of diabetes, and there are some very important and practical discoveries being made all the time that help to make my life easier and safer – and maybe one day I’ll be rid of this disease completely thanks to the wonderful work done by the world’s scientists. However, every now and then I come across reports of research that, to me, seems totally worthless, and I wonder how on earth they get funding for it! A recent example was the ‘discovery’ that people with Type 2 diabetes got better blood sugar readings when they replaced a breakfast muffin with a scoop of mixed nuts. No sh*t Sherlock! Blood sugar levels are raised primarily by the carbohydrate we consume. Muffins contain carbohydrate, nuts contain relatively few carbohydrates, ergo muffins are more likely to raise your blood sugar levels! What is the point of testing such obvious theories when the real puzzles about diabetes need vital money?

I’m pleased to announce without further ado
Our findings, which I’m sure will all astound you!
For fifteen long years at considerable expense
We’ve tested our theories, now they seem to make sense!

We discovered diabetics, when their levels are high,
Feel grumpy and thirsty, and we think we know why!
It’s because it’s not normal to be in that state –
So keep levels normal if you don’t want that fate!

And in one of our tests we discovered that bread
Increased the blood glucose, so eat bacon instead!
An historic observation, I am sure you’ll agree,
And all thanks to the money allocated to me!

And thirty nine subjects who consumed only jam
For a week and a day, then replaced it with ham,
Found their levels would rise when they ate something sweet,
But their levels were fine if they ate only meat!

And our insulin study is a fantastic success!
We gave some subjects lots and some others much less –
If we gave them too much, they collapsed on the floor,
But giving them too little showed that they needed more!

So we hope you are pleased that you funded our tests,
Such groundbreaking results – I can see you’re impressed!
And all this achieved – as cheap as it sounds –
For the paltry little sum of two million pounds!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

What a cure – the Water Cure!

Yet another ‘miracle cure’ for diabetes, this time consisting of drinking plain old water. The catch with this one though, is the quantity you have to consume – half your body weight in ounces per day! Now, I’m not sure that that means if you weigh 200 pounds you drink 100 ounces, or that you drink 100 pounds in one ounce gulps. Given the nature of these miracle cures, let’s assume the latter…in which case I have only one thing to say – hyponatremia!

Who’s next please? Come up here, and stand on the scales
For the guaranteed cure that, to date, never fails!
Most doctors dismiss this, as daft as that sounds –
Ah! I see you weigh in at just four hundred pounds!

That’s 180 kilos (sounds much less, don’t you think?)
So that’s just 90 litres a day you must drink!
If you start in the morning and imbibe all day long,
You’ll be cured in a fortnight – what on earth could go wrong?

I’ll admit there’s a chance that you may get confused,
And your brain cells might swell – but it’s not like they’re used!
For most people who come here and believe in this cure
Wouldn’t notice if they left with a few billion fewer!

And you may lose your appetite and become very sick,
And the headaches and convulsions may come on very quick,
And you may feel quite dizzy, or become comatose –
But it’s over a week since we’ve had one of those!