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Humble Wednesday

What I love so much about being a journalist is that you never know what the day will bring. For someone who gets very restless and very bored very easily, journalism really is the perfect career (the verbal diarrhoea and general nosiness help too). Today I went to see the victim of a rather horrific attack. He was putting out a personal appeal because they haven’t yet caught the people responsible. I don’t want to relay the details in case the case changes and I have to edit it for legal reasons (look, see my post grad DID teach me stuff!) but you can read about it here and, in the event that I have to take that one down, here.

Last year was when I got my real wakeup call about my diabetes. This may seem like a completely random change of subject, but go with it. I knew my control hadn’t been as good as it could have been for a year or two. But I was at uni, enjoying myself, and figured I was generally healthy. I’ll misbehave for a little while then sort it out afterwards. Live for the now blah blah blah. I came out of my undergrad in 2008, and started my post grad in 2009. This is when I really found myself; I knew what I was about, what I wanted to do. The post grad was a completely different ballgame to the undergrad – I was commuting from home, I was in sessions everyday from 9-5. No four hours a week, no rocking up in joggers with last night’s obscenities still scrawled on my arm in permanent marker – this was hardcore, I’m here to learn, grow and become a journalist.

Around June time I was sent for my annual retinopathy check. This is something that most Type 1s have after a few years of living with diabetes. All I knew was they put drops in your eyes, they took a few photos and sent you on your way with annoyingly blurred vision for a few hours. I went, I dropped, I staggered away.

A few weeks later possibly the most ominous letter I’ve ever received landed on the doormat. There were “abnormalities” in my pictures and I appeared to have “background retinopathy”. There was a referral to the hospital. Cue huge, scared panic: “I’m going bliiiiiiind and it’s all my own faaaault,” I wailed to Mrs G.

Diabetic Retinopathy described in a very basic, unscientific manner is where the blood vessels in your eyes start leaking because of frequently high blood sugars. The result is little cloudy spots in your vision, that eventually, if you don’t sort your life out (I’ve used that phrase before and I’m not afraid to use it again) will result in blindness. For a more detailed, accurate and professional version of the above, click here.

Don’t worry, I’m going to cut this short as I’m in danger of reaching aforementioned verbal diarrhoea levels. I got very scared, was told I’d need laser surgery, then told I didn’t need it as long as I kept up the improvements I’d made to my health in the last year and kept my blood sugars down. In that time the craziest of thoughts went through my head – I’d lose my sight, my independence, the career that hadn’t even started yet. Mrs G would have to be my carer; all completely over-dramatic and slightly irrational fears. But all of this could still happen if I’m not careful.

Back to August 2010 and today’s interview… Easily done, this time travel business. This man has been permanently blinded in one eye. He’d been going about his own business in his own home, and now he’s forever disabled. He was even gracious about it, and told me “good and bad things happen to everybody”. What a gent. I sure as hell wouldn’t be so understanding. You wake up, go to work and oh wait, you’re eyesight’s been taken away. No choice in the matter.

What I’m rather laboriously trying to get at is that this only proves to me further (rather self-indulgently, I admit) that I DO have a choice in the matter, at this present moment. Why on earth should I be allowed to treat my body badly and then let the NHS deal with the consequences? I have enough information at my disposal to keep my eyes exactly how they are for decades and decades. But it doesn’t take much for things to start going wrong, as proved by a few too many VKs and a few too few correct insulin doses at uni. I don’t have the RIGHT to allow this to happen to me when people go through so much everyday through no fault of their own. I’m in danger of harping on (*gasp* surely not) but this is more a little pep talk for me. This is why this blog is necessary. For the people that can’t help what happens to them.

Low Carbing Day 3…

Breakfast BS 4.4, Novorapid 2

Mid-Morning BS 5.6

Lunch BS 9.3, Novorapid 4

Dinner BS 8.4, Novorapid 4

Bed Lantus 25

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2 comments on “Humble Wednesday

  1. Hi, great blog. Discovered via Diabetes UK’s “tweet” (it took me a while to think of “tweet”, I first thought it was “twit”, and then I really wanted it to be twit). Anywaaaaay, it’s a really great read and I will certainly be reading. You have an excellent style which is suited to me (young diabetic graduate).

    I was diagnosed last year, firstly as type 2, now the hospital specialists tell me it’s type 1 (my body still produces a little insulin, that’s where the origin of the confusion lays). So i’ve been on insulin for a few months and have just last week started onto 4 injections a day (up from 2, wow twice as much apprehension about whether the spot I choose to inject into is going to be painful or not). So, to read your stuff is not only interesting and funny (I would have given up otherwise, humour is a necessity for me to read ANYTHING) but informative too.

    Just an aside, I read in one of your blogs that you went to interview an unfortunate guy in Pocklington, that’s where I got married! (Honestly, I am young: 25). Are you in York then? Or nearby? I might start landmark checking your entries! 🙂

    Sorry for the long post, your long posts are far more readable! Chris

    PS I “followed” you on Twitter, I am “Bartmanblues7” (don’t ask).

  2. Hahaha! Have you thought about blogging yourself… that was genius! I lived in York for a bit, then moved to Hull for work. A few Yorkshire diabetics are coming out of the woodwork, it’s great! Hope you keep reading x

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