Monday, 16 September 2013


Autumn is a time of change.

We tend to become more aware of a season change when autumn arrives, perhaps more aware than we are at other time of the year. The nights get darker, the weather harsher. Trees lose their leaves and people start moaning that summer came and went way too quick (at least we had a bit of a summer this year). We all seem to go on a bit of a downer until mid November when the Christmas hype kicks in and we all start feeling a little jovial again. This is a long way off.

Anyway this post isn't about autumn, it's about change in general.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts I've been struggling with my diabetes a little bit in the last few weeks/months. However in the last week or so I've been feeling a lot better. My bg levels have been a lot more stable and my general attitude towards this 'condition' has changed dramatically. I've always taken my diabetes seriously but I've always considered it as something that I'm in complete control of. I didn't change my diet too much at first, nor did I cut down the amount I drank or the amount of meals (or lack of) that I eat in a day. Eating one substantial meal a day is not very wise, even if you aren't hungry, especially if your life is slowly becoming revolved around work.

This is the time of year where my parents decide that we're going to start living healthier in the run up to the inevitable gluttony of the Christmas Period. This is all well and good until you have one shit day at work and the 'no drinking during the week' rule goes straight out the window and a takeaway is ordered from speed dial. What has pleased me over the last couple of weeks is how much healthier I feel (I'm the only one at the moment keeping up the healthy lifestyle thing). Don't get me wrong I'm still only eating 2 half decent meals a day and my exercise routine has slowed down a bit recently (mainly due to work) so I'm no health freak whatsoever.

I feel that I've now realised that diabetes is something I have to work with constantly rather than work at constantly. What to avoid, what I can afford to do with myself (weekend benders have taken a massive backseat), and how far I can push myself in terms of stress and generally taking the piss out of my body are part of a giant learning curve. Losing 9lb in just under a fortnight is not clever, especially as I'm slim enough as it is, and it does take it's toll.

Putting a strain on the remainder of my organs that work properly is not something I intend to carry on doing.Going out for a brisk walk after a long day at work without checking my bg is one of many mistakes I make often. There's not a time where after a walk (followed by shakes and a general hollow feeling) that I don't think 'Next time I'll take some lucozade and my meter'. But it never happens, always thinking 'It'll be fine'. Well one day it won't be fine and I'll fuck up big time and it'll be my fault, no one elses. It's only taken me 11 months to realise this but diabetes isn't the nicest 'condition' to have in the world (not that any conditions are particularly nice) and that it is misunderstood far too often.


Saturday, 31 August 2013

Patrick Bateman

You may remember that a few weeks ago I was feeling rather creative and was planning on creating some kind of art print...well I didn't. What I did, pretty spare of the moment, was buy a new canvas and some new oil paints. All of my old art material/ equipment was pretty much in fine working order but I decided it'd be best to start from a fresh. Now baring in mind that I hadn't done any proper artwork for a good 5 years, (I studied architecture at uni but I wouldn't consider a lot of it art, not in the same sense anyway) I decided that I'd try and get back in to by doing something relatively simple.

The original image.

Considering that my original idea was to create a kind of spray paint print (which I still intend to do but probably now with a different picture) I thought creating a canvas of the simple photoshop picture I created would be a good opportunity to see if I still had at least some ability left with a paintbrush. All of this decision making was done within about 30 seconds. I was out to the shops and back within about half an hour and got setting up my old easel, which was the only old thing I didn't think needed replacing.

I set up the easel right below the skylight in my bedroom and after an ice cold beer was cracked open (naturally) I sat down, music screaming, and began.

The Setup

First Break.

Second Break.


All in all I think it turned out alright, not perfect but alright.It took about 9hrs in total to do so and I thought it was time well spent. I think my next one will be of another iconic character, perhaps this fella:

Daniel Plainview...


Monday, 26 August 2013

Honeymoon Is Over.

My posts are becoming a lot more sporadic I'm afraid. Never sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. I used to plan posts and then write them when I had the time but now seem to only write when I'm really in the mood.

My first, and only, two Hba1c tests went really well (or so they say) and I'd been keeping a relatively good check on my blood sugar levels. Hypo's were quite rare and my bg never really exceeded the mid 8's most of the time...until about 3 weeks ago. My consultant did warn me that I was still in a 'honeymoon period' (wherein my pancreas still produces small amounts of insulin) and that it would probably come to an end before I reach the end of my first year which, for the record, is in 53 days.

As I mentioned, I had been managing my blood sugar levels pretty good until about 3 weeks ago. Since then my levels have been all over the place. Hypo's don't generally bother me because they're easy to rectify, but when I wake up in the night shaking because of one it does start to grate on me a bit, especially since this has happened a few times in a short space of time. In fact, if I'm honest, it worries me.

Having a pancreas that doesn't really do it's job is frustrating. I've never really been too upset or annoyed at the fact that I have diabetes. Which of course winds up  my parents whom it bothers greatly, particularly my mum, who often asks (usually whilst I'm injecting) :
'Does it not get to you?'
'No, not really'. I always reply, as if almost scripted.

In all honesty it never has bothered me and I could almost argue that it's not 'hit me' yet. Until recently I've never thought of it as a hindrance or as something that affects my life too much. It has, of course, changed a lot about my life, some good, some bad. I eat far healthier than I did before (though do not be mistaken, my diet is still not as healthy as it could be) and I do a lot more exercise than I used to but I have realised recently that I do not look after myself as well as I should. I drink far more than I should, (being almost proud that you've not had a drink 'during the week' isn't good is it?), I don't get enough sleep, and I often only have one proper meal a day (which I know is somewhat pathetic, as I keep being told). I'm well aware that I sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself but I'm not, mainly because it's all something that I can change... and I fully intend to do so.

Anyway, that'll do for now. I apologise for the slightly depressing undertone of this one.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Finally, A Flare of Creativity!

Prints, well, kind of...

Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but what it gives me in experience it lacks in creativity and, considering my background, I should be far more creative than I am at the moment (or have been in the last 9 months or so). I can't remember the last time I put pencil to paper with any proper direction of ideas and if I do find enough spare time to do anything it seems to be spent on something seemingly more important. You know things aren't good when even your mum asks: 'When are you going to start drawing again...'

The majority of pictures on my bedroom wall are my own, in various different styles, and are usually pictures that I've done when I've been feeling pretty creative. I thought I could do with some more but a bit different and a bit quicker to create (pencil drawings can take too long sometimes and I don't have as  much patience as I used to!)

A couple of months ago I got bored, very bored. I decided to see if I could use Photoshop to create some images. I couldn't. So I thought I'd try creating some stark black and white pictures out of various photos and pictures I had on my laptop. Some of them looked shite, some of them looked pretty good. I'm pretty sure that everyone has done this at some point, it really is very easy, and very satisfying when you're finished, though it is a game of perseverance. Here's my first one:

Patrick Bateman. 

The first one was from a DVD case I have, and of a very interesting character. 

They really are too easy to do. Anyway my idea is to print them up on the giant plotter we have at work, take them home, make a stencil out of them and spray paint or brush paint them onto different size canvas, then throw them up on my wall. You see these things all the time in various shops and I'm probably way behind with the times as I usually am but who cares? Why buy them when you can do it yourself and have any image you want, in any colour or style? 

At least I'll be doing something creative, even if for my own well being.


Sunday, 30 June 2013

Good Music...Ill Health

Another bit of a ramble.

Anyone who enjoys music will always remember and associate music with events in their life, people, relationships, good times, bad times etc.
Even the most uplifting of songs can pull you down when it’s associated with a painful time. This of course works the other way; there are heart-breaking songs that you can listen to without feeling anything.

The list goes on.

I tend to listen to a large amount of music including most genres but, like a lot of people, I am very mood orientated in terms of what I listen to and when. For instance I could be constantly listening to a few different bands for weeks, then go off them and skip past them for months or even years before I feel like listening to them again.  A couple of examples include Sam’s Town by The Killers; an album that I’ll always love yet I don’t think I’ve listened to a single song off for over two years, and Black Holes & Revelations by Muse; an album (their last great album might I add) from around the same period but again I haven’t listened to for a long time. (New York State of Mind I’ve already gone into in another post).

 I can’t listen to the same music all of the time, which is probably why I struggle choosing favourites. I think the same probably applies to other forms of media, including blogging…

Anyway, moving on.


Anyone who lives (not suffers!) with diabetes may have a similar story to tell, so I’ll make it quick.
It was getting colder, it was darkening, getting out of bed in a morning was gradually getting more difficult, and winter was approaching. (Oh and the whiskey was making a regular appearance). I’d started to feel like I wasn't getting enough sleep. I’d manage to get through the day alright but then stay wide awake all night with an unquenchable thirst. I’d finish bottles of Lucozade in no time and was drinking water in crazy amounts, often followed by many visits to the toilet. I was generally feeling overly-tired, and thought that more energy drinks and sugary foods would help though it was actually making it worse. After a couple of weeks I found myself leaving food and not being as hungry as I usually was, whilst still drinking ridiculously and feeling ever more tired. My parents came back from a break away and worryingly stated that I’d lost weight and I ‘looked like I’d been on drugs’. My boss at work also commented that I ‘looked like shit’ (they’re all really sensitive you know) so I was sent home early. Another few days passed before I decided to go to the hospital and get myself checked out. Everything after that I've probably already mentioned.

Anyway the point of this little tale is the music. Whilst all this was happening, a couple of well awaited new albums were released. The 2nd Law by Muse, and Battle Born by The Killers (I mentioned these two bands earlier to point out how I hadn't listened to them in a fair while).

What should have been a good few weeks of over enjoying and analysing of two great bands’ latest efforts ended up being a fortnight full of fatigue and a great struggle for concentration. The reason I wrote this is because I recently decided to listen to some of the most recent albums of some of the artists I like. When these two appeared I had a genuine overwhelming feeling of melancholy (my favourite mood of course…) and a strange nostalgia. How they mix is beyond me. They are both good albums, it’s just that they will always remind me of an ill time and an ill person. So in the end I don’t think I really enjoy listening to them both, though not through a lack of trying!

In case you aren't familiar with songs from the albums, here’s a few links to some of the more interesting songs:

 This 'Animals' by Muse.
 (This one really does make me feel somewhat awful)

'Panic Station' also by Muse.
(Pretty upbeat song, not too bad, track 3 on their last few albums always seems to stand out)

 'The Way it Was' by The Killers
A bit nostalgic this one for some reason.

I'm sorry if this seems like a bit of a plug for music but I don't care, it's what matters to me. Maybe my next post will have a bit more of coherent theme!


Monday, 24 June 2013

Hey Man, I'm holding a fucking beverage here!

It's been a while, quite a while in fact.

I feel I have to get something written down, maybe the first glimmer of creativity this month!

I've been so busy enjoying myself and thinking of things to do that I've not had the time to actually put pen to paper, or fingers to keys if you want to be a smart arse.

I say enjoying myself but what I actually mean is that I've just been really busy, both at work and out of work. I'm not quite sure whether I like my social life at the moment, especially after recent events and certain things coming to light, not all of which is bad might I add.

I rarely have high expectations when I leave the house on a night out. Pin-balling between pubs and the occasional club in a tired, run down town doesn't really do it for me anymore. Maybe I've reached the age where nightclubs are for the younger, reckless types and a quiet drink in a wine bar is for older, more settled  folk. Maybe I'm just in a bad mood or I'm a grumpy git, who knows?

The weekend...

At the weekend I went to visit my old uni flatmates in Nottingham. I hadn't seen them for at least six months and it was well overdue for us to catch up. We met up and found ourselves in the local very quickly. The local pub of my university life hadn't changed in character, but everyone seemed just a little bit different, like the place was missing something. The regulars in this particular public house are not young folk like ourselves; they're mostly above 50, have very colourful pasts and carry a beer gut. This is a fact that I always happened to love about the place. 

Anyway, it turned out that it was missing something; a couple of the old regulars, 'the old guard' as one drunkard chose to describe them, had moved on (one had died, the other had just had enough of the place). Aside from this sad difference in the place (and the fact that the closing hours were earlier for some reason) I was genuinely glad to be there spending time with old friends, having a few beers and a few laughs, whilst enjoying a rare weekend away from a sleepy village and a comatose town.

Between the 3 of us we'd had a completely different 6 months in terms of what we'd been up to and I think we enjoyed each-others company for the most part. I couldn't wait to get down there and see what was happening and what had changed, but after 2 nights in that city I honestly couldn't wait to get back home and back to my own little world. 

One thing caught me off guard when I finally got home after a somewhat rushed, albeit drowsy drive north: apart from us 3 catching up, nothing major had changed. Everyone in the pub was the same, had the same drinks, clothes, attitudes, sense of humour, nothing had ultimately changed. This, although twas what I had originally hoped on the way down, unsettled me. 

I'm well aware of how it reads: someone writing about a pub like it's of huge importance, but it's one of the few places I actually enjoyed being and it really puts things into perspective, whether in a good way or not...


Thursday, 16 May 2013

HbA1c 2

Well, it's been a while.

I've been that busy with work and a so called social life that I've neglected this little corner of the internet for some time. I've been attempting to write a few new posts for a long time now but I haven't managed to get any of them finished, and seeing as any mood changes directly lead to any typing done, most of them get scrapped or left until I'm in the mood. Anyway, I digress...

Any of you who may have read my very early posts will have read one about a HbA1c test result. This result is, I think, quite important to diabetics, though probably more important to some than others. My first one went relatively well considering that it was my first test at 'how I'd been managing it' since I was diagnosed only 2 months prior.

I got the letter a few weeks ago reminding me of my next appointment. I was by no means pleased at this reminder, not at all. I've been somewhat stressed over the last month or so and haven't been looking after myself as well as I should (even the running has taken a hit) and with Christmas, and all the care free binging that it brings, having been and gone, a second test and result wasn't exactly something to look forward to.

But I went in anyway, attempted to play it cool (something I'm not famous for) and sat patiently (impatiently) for my consultant to get all the niceties out of the way and just give me a number, any number. I didn't have my blood sugar diary with me (having not filled it in since early January I thought it might be a little embarrassing) so my meter was checked instead. I was hoping that she wouldn't notice that there aren't any bg checks before 1pm (I don't eat breakfast and I usually feel fine) and that I probably don't monitor myself as much as I should.

Anyway she eventually gave me my result.


Now considering that my last result was 59, I thought that I'd either done quite well, or that I'd completely messed it up. My consultant told me that it was a great result, albeit still in the honeymoon period. The number converts to a percentage of 5.7% which is, considering my recent recklessness, pretty surprising and pleasing (to a certain degree).

My next appointment is sometime in November, so we'll see how things go from here. I'm back in the mood now for typing, so watch out for a more regular stream of posts!


Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Few New Posts...

A short one this one. 

I had an idea recently of something relatively creative and, I think, quite interesting.

The idea is a blog post about each emotion, and how each emotion affects my own life. You know, love, hate, fear, angst, sadness etc.

I'm sure it's been done before but I'm going to do it anyway, sporadically of course, so not every single post but just whenever I feel like it. I thought I'd let you know in advance so that you don't think I'm going mad.

I might as well do it alphabetically, so we'll start with some point.

Oh and Happy Easter!


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Manchester International Festival

Bit of a long plug this one.

Many of you will have never heard of the Manchester International Festival, especially if you're not from the north. The festival is relatively new, running only since 2007 for a couple of weeks biennially, usually in June or July. The festival is by no means a music festival (there's too many of them around!) but a kind of arts/cultural festival with various theatre productions, operas, art installations, and one off musical performances. Part of the appeal is that most of these productions are brand new and debut at the festival with a lot of them not continuing anywhere else after the festival has ended.

Before the festival became what it is today Manchester commissioned 3 different projects to showcase that Manchester is significant culturally as a city (seeing as it is often overlooked as the 2nd city of the country to the very exciting and important city of Birmingham). Sarcasm doesn't come across well in the written word.

These commissions included performances by virtual band Gorillaz (i.e. Damon Albarn), Ennio Morricone (composer of very famous film scores such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and an art installation by Steve Mcqueen (artist, not the actor) in response the invasion of Iraq.

The 2007 festival was relatively low key, featuring only a handful of commissions. Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett returned, as well as a new production of the Pianist.


The 2009 festival, however, is where it really came into it's own. That year saw the debut performance of Rufus Wainwright's opera Prima Donna, a co-production by Damon Albarn and Adam Curtis named It Felt Like A Kiss, performances by Lou Reed, and a unique installation by Zaha Hadid architects, which personally took my fancy. In total there were 20 commissions over the festival period.

One Setup


This festival I personally visited a couple of times. One thing I haven't mentioned is that during all of these productions Manchester, or certain areas of it, is teeming with life. There are various bands on in bars, pubs, clubs as well as parades and exhibitions. If you're in Manchester but aren't visiting anything in particular there's still a certain mardi gras spirit about the place. This festival saw the return (yet again) of Damon Albarn (right) with his new opera Dr. Dee, performances by Bjorn, Snoop Dogg (yes really), Victoria Wood, Sinead O'Connor and even Willem  Dafoe (yes even Hollywood comes to Manchester!) among others. 


This year's lineup includes Kenneth Branagh (right) portraying Macbeth in a broken down church (sounds good, no?), a unique production by Massive Attack, a reappearance by Willem Dafoe, the xx, and Goldfrapp and more to be announced. If you're interested then visit the official website for a full lineup of events. I urge you all to have a pop over and take a look!


P.S. I would have written a full review of Dr. Dee but it'd be a post in itself!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Social Media...

A bit different this one.

I never used to be a fan of social media. I used to think it was for people who had very little else to do with their time and/or didn't really have a life. Don't get me wrong, it used to have it's uses even when I disliked it. The quick sharing of work between groups at uni, the faster and cheaper alternative than phoning or texting anyone to organize a meet up etc.

But then I got a job.

I value my time off a lot more than I've ever done. Weekends seem to come and go quicker than weeknights, free time (after chores like eating and cleaning) are out of the way there's little time to do anything worthwhile. It's not as bad now as the nights are lighter and there seems to be more time in the evening to actually do things but during winter it seems that there isn't much more to do than sit in and watch films, TV or mess around on the old laptop. Yes I know there's the 'live today like it's your last' and 'make the most of the time you've got' crap but that's easier said than done, as I'm sure we all know. Since I've had a job I've found it more difficult to catch up with friends, family etc due to the lack of free time, so social media actually comes in handy. Anyway I digress.

To the point. 

I was determined for this blog to be about a lot more things than diabetes, but seeing as I've had a serious lack of creativity of late and social media was in my mind, I may as well give it a mention.

I am still very new to Diabetes. Although I've had it for a few months it's not long in the grand scheme of things considering that it's a life sentence. Without social media I'd be pretty stuck in all honesty. The nurses and consultants are good (most of the time) and they help me with certain things but none of them actually have the experience of diabetes. The amount of people on social media (mainly twitter in fact) who are helpful and happy to give advice is actually quite shocking, especially to someone who, if I'm honest, has a tendency to ignore what other people think and has a wayward opinion on things. It's great that there's people out there, whether around my age or above/below, that are willing to help others in a similar situation.

I've learnt far more practical things from people on social media than I think I ever will from white coats. There's discussions, arguments, blogs, docs, all sorts really and it's all for a common cause. If only there was as much awareness and help for other conditions as there is for Diabetes.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

You Can't Rely On Anything!

I made a huge mistake one night, at least I think I did.

I'm used to having hypo's. They're not that frequent anymore but when they do happen it doesn't bother me as much as it used to when I was first diagnosed about 4 months or so ago. This, however, was before I woke up in the night with quite a severe one.

My blood sugar reading before bed was 8.8, which is actually quite high for me at that time on a weeknight. I had my normal Lantus (long acting insulin) dose of 16 and went to bed without supper (which I never eat). The only other thing worth mentioning was that I'd started a new pen, with the previous one running empty the night before. So, just an average night, nothing different, nothing out of the ordinary...

I woke up feeling extremely restless and, after around 10 mins, I decided to get out of bed and see what the problem was. Soon after sitting up I knew that I was having a hypo. All of the symptoms were there; the hand shakes, fingers tingling, an almost light-headed feeling (it's quite hard to describe) and above all, mild panic.

I toppled out of bed to reach my blood monitor, making quite a thud as I scrambled across my room. I gave myself the quickest blood sugar test possible.

 It came back at 1.8.

I have no idea how far away this is from a seizure or a full pass out but it didn't feel so far away. I know many T1 Diabetics will have had readings below that (I think) but it scared the s**t out of me!
I had a tablet, some Lucozade and whatever snacks I could find in my room, after around 5 mins I felt fine again like nothing had happened.

At my next regular checkup at the hospital I asked what could have caused the very sudden drop in blood glucose. I explained everything that happened and what I'd eaten throughout the day and what I'd been doing leading up to going to bed. At first they suggested that I might have injected myself with the wrong pen, which, if true, would've been quite comical. That wasn't the case as my other pen (the fast acting insulin) wasn't even in the same room for the very purpose of not accidentally injecting the wrong one.

They then suggested that the pen that I used may have been faulty. I'd heard that pen's have been know on occasion to be faulty, but only that they don't inject enough insulin, so more of a mechanical fault than a chemical fault. They also suggested that I may have injected myself straight into muscle rather then fat, which even if true wouldn't really have caused such a dramatic decrease.

So, no questions answered and no apparent reason for almost passing out, which is worrying. That particular pen found itself hurtling towards an open coal fire the next night. There was no way, faulty or not, that I was going to risk it again with that one. Imagine if my bg before injecting had been my normal 6 or 7, I may have had a seizure before waking up, causing all sorts of problems, especially in the morning when I wouldn't have turned up for work!

The lesson learnt here is that you cannot take things for granted, especially the things that you rely on to keep your health!


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A Bit of Much Needed Exercise...

Now I'm not really one to go on about exercise and how fit and healthy I am. This is mainly because I'm not really fit, I'm certainly not healthy, and I don't agree with the government that everyone should exercise for a certain amount of time every week. People who seem to love making sure that you know how fit they are really get my irish up. Anyway before I go off on a tangent...

I used to go running fairly regularly, usually around 2 or 3 times a week depending on how busy I was. Then the excuses became more frequent and I'd only end up out maybe once every fortnight. Then I became ill and any form of exercise dropped way down the priority list. After a month or so of mild recuperation Christmas came, followed by work and before I knew it February was here and I hadn't been out for about 4 months.

One main reason other than the above was that I'd been slightly afraid of what would happen if I went out and hadn't managed my sugar levels properly. I've had hypo's just carrying things around with very little exertion so a run of a few miles seemed far more daunting than it should be. The main risk being that where I live there aren't many people around so If I did have a severe hypo (and also ran out of energy supplements) then I wouldn't have enough energy to walk the distance home and, very worst case scenario, pass out and wouldn't likely be found for some time.

This, of course, was me over-thinking the whole situation as usual. I decided to look at some diabetic forums online to see if I could find a starting point and any advice. Turns out, as I guessed, that everyone does it in their own way and that it's more trial and error than anything else. Who'd have thought?

In the end I went out with a small rucksack, took my phone with me, plus my blood monitor (so I could check it half way through) and a bottle of Lucozade. I was still quite worried as I didn't want a hypo so far from anyone and I wasn't sure how much energy my body actually uses when running.

                                The running ground...

The run went well but needless to say I was shattered when I got home, more than I thought I would be. Then the expected, somewhat overdue, hypo hit me. It wasn't a particularly bad one (my bg was 2.9) but the fact that I was physically exhausted certainly didn't help matters. It took me the rest of the day to recover. I was coughing, occasionally shaking (not actually sure why) and my chest felt like it was going to explode.

Why bother? You might ask. Why would bother going for a run if I knew I'd come back feeling quite ill?

Well it's pretty simple. It feels great to be out in the open air, actually feeling your body working (feel the burn!). There's also the feeling of being completely alone with your thoughts, giving you time to sort things out in your head, all whilst you're very slowly becoming slightly healthier. Well, hopefully anyway.


Monday, 11 February 2013

This Must Be the Place...

By now you've probably realised that I don't do short posts, or particularly optimistic ones, but you're in for a treat today!

Have you ever had that feeling of being really settled in a place? Or where you feel perfectly at ease with your surroundings and the people around you?

No neither have I.

However, the possibility of having that feeling at some point pleases me. And actually makes me feel ever so slightly optimistic about the future. I'd even go so far as to say that it makes me feel happy. There are people  out there that live a life of optimism and (seemingly) constant happiness, unable to see the cloud on the horizon. I don't envy these people, I love them. These people live life knowing that tomorrow is another day and that things can always be worse. They are grateful for what they have, no matter how much or little, and carry around with them a somewhat cheery disposition. These people are the reason this mixed up little island stays afloat!

Anyway back to my original point. At some point we must all feel as though we truly belong somewhere, some of us will already be in that place whereas some of us are waiting (or hoping) for it to appear. This might not be a physical place, it could simply just be time spent with another person. I suppose everyone is different. I don't often feel this optimistic so I thought I'd better write it down!

I'm done.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 Pt.1


Insulin therapy they call it, them folk at the hospital. How they can use the word therapy I don't know, because it certainly isn't what I would consider therapy.

I may have already mentioned this in earlier posts but the worst part of having diabetes is that it's incredibly inconvenient more than anything else. The biggest inconvenience is having to inject myself just before every proper meal that I have. The needles I use are only 5mm long and so aren't very intimidating to look at. I don't use a syringe, (I won't go into detail about the different between needles and syringes) but I use what looks like a pen, which is pre-filled with Insulin that I attach a new needle to everytime I inject. I suppose I could use the same needle more than once as there's only me that uses it and it's the same 'drug' that goes through it, but at the moment I'm trying to be a good patient and do exactly as I'm told. This will no doubt change.

I use two types of pens. One pen I use before every meal and carry with me, like my blood monitor, 24/7. It's more important to me than my phone, my house keys, even my wallet. If I were to go out without it, which I haven't yet, I would have to avoid eating or drinking most things until I got back. It is very fast acting so I can take it around 10 mins before a meal (though I usually inject when the meal is in front of me) and it'll do it's job and counteract whatever I'm about to eat.

                                          4 times a day...



The pen has a dial on it so that I can adjust my dosage depending on a) the size of the meal and b) the amount of carbohydrates and sugar in the meal; this is the tricky part.

 When you buy food it will usually tell you what it contains in terms of ingredients, carbs, and protein etc. This is good for me when calculating what dosage to have because I know pretty much exactly what is in the meal. Like anything, after trial and error I have a good idea of how much to take with meals that I've had more than once. However, when eating out it's a whole different game. Even if it's a meal that I have often at home it will contain different ingredients (which 99% of menu's won't list) and different portions. This really is a guessing game that I'll get better at through time. You can understand a diabetics problem here?

I use a different pen just before I go to bed, or at around 12-1am if I'm out and still awake. This is a slow acting pen which, I have no idea how, keeps my blood relatively level throughout the day.

 If I have too high a dosage then I'll have a hypo (serious, and possible risk of passing out) or if I don't have enough then my blood will be high (not immediately serious, but if consistently high over months/years leads to complications like foot amputation or heart disease, and after a couple of days of being very high, can lead to a coma).

If you can imagine having to jab yourself with a needle before every meal, without fail, then you're on the same page. (I imagine that statement could come across as me feeling sorry for myself, but I don't, it's just the easiest way of describing how inconvenient it is.)

I inject myself in different places around the stomach at meal times, and with a different pen and type of insulin in my thighs just before bed. The injections don't generally hurt, in fact a lot of the time I don't feel them at all. However there are odd times when it is very painful and I usually pull the needle out and try again in a different area. Injecting twice rather than once is a lot more difficult for some reason and I always struggle with it. It sounds like quite an effort and something that must be hard to get used to but the truth is, like they told me in hospital, I have no choice but to get used to it. There's no way around it, I have to inject myself 4 times a day for the rest of my life in order to, without sounding overly dramatic and serious, stay alive.

There are other complications of course, which will probably follow at some point. I realise that this post is quite clinical/to the point but I'm afraid it's the only way I could get it out!

At the end of the day Diabetes is a pain in the f***ing ass!


Saturday, 26 January 2013


Something a little different here. I quick review of a song that I've recently re-discovered. I need to get it off my chest more than anything!


Album Filler?

I'm sure that a lot of us have listened to albums time and time again, waiting for the good 7 or 8 songs of a 14 track album to come on, with the songs in between just seemingly being there as filler songs. I'm also quite sure that one day, for one reason or another, one of those 'filler' songs will all of a sudden stand out on the album and it'll become, in your opinion, a hidden gem. A song that isn't really mainstream, will never be a single, and will, like you thought earlier, have just been listened to as part of the album and not really a song in it's own right.

These songs tend to stand out when you are in a particular mood. The sound of the song, not always the lyrics, seem to fit perfectly with the way you are feeling. I'm talking about all sorts of songs here; happy feel good songs, sad songs, reflective songs, destructive songs, euphoric songs. Whatever it is that you are feeling at the time.

I'm 99% sure that you've all had a similar feeling/song at some point.

For me this song hit me out of the blue, it really did. I often listen to albums throughout, mostly albums that I've neglected and/or forgotten that I have. I listened to 'Think Tank' by Blur completely without any stops/starts/pauses for the first time in years. It couldn't have been a more different listen to when I originally listened to it around 9 or 10 years ago.. It was Great.

There were a couple of songs that stood out to me as I listened. But I'll mention just the one for now.

 'Caravan' being one on the reflective personal hit list. The caravan in the song can refer to many things, depending on the person. In my understanding it refers to the distancing of the wagon (caravan) that we're all a part of.



And for those of you who prefer a more stripped down version of the song, which in some ways is a lot better, there's this one:






'And when it comes, you'll feel the weight of it, the weight of it...'

I mean the 'caravan' that is referred to in the song can relate to anything that we are generally part of and maybe trying to escape from, and after the initial escape, feel the comeback or 'weight' coming down. Whether it be alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

I believe that Albarn wrote the song about Graham Coxon who,  after a long period of strained relations in the band, was finally forced to leave. The 'weight' that the song refers to could relate to a commitment by a person, and the weight of it will be the pressure of trying to keep that commitment. In the way it was written it could be clearly linked to Coxon's alcoholism and the commitment of trying to recover. And so the caravan is also a metaphor for whatever he was lost from. The band? His friends? Society in general?

It's a very subtle song and easily missed when listening to album for the first time. Like the rest of the album, the song has electric undertones and quite simple guitar work (Coxon was the guitarist before he left, leaving Albarn to fill the gap with simpler guitar melodies and more involvement of other instruments).

So to wrap it up I think that it's fair to say that this sing is a great song, albeit rarely heard of.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Suits Me Just Fine

How are we all moving on from the fact that the world didn't end last year? I was convinced! Though if you look around the town I live near you 'd think it had ended about 30 years ago.

Anyway, this is going to be an interesting year if nothing else.

I already feel a bit lost this year, which is probably why it's taken me nigh on three weeks to do anything remotely creative. Apart from work I'm not really sure what to do with myself. I'm spending far too much time on the internet just passing time away during the week. Then before you know it's sunday night again (I would mention the weekend in more depth but I simply can't remember it, other than that it's two nights spent in various pubs in which bad decisions are made more often than not) and it's back to work monday morning. Which suits me just fine.

I only realised recently that I'm a very mood orientated person (mood swings are apparently just one of quite a few side effects of diabetes). I've always been quite grumpy, but now I seem to swing between 'care free' happy to 'I don't give a shit' down. Which isn't the same thing, believe me.

I'm currently in a job that was originally only supposed to last for just over a year, to cover a year out from uni. I'm enjoying it more than I thought and considering how my last year at uni went, I'm a hell of a lot happier. I have no idea whether I want to go back to uni or whether I'd be able to stay on in my job if I chose not to go back, which is looking quite likely (I've already mentioned how I didn't quite suit uni earlier) and so a lot of things are up in the air at the moment. Which is why this year is going to be interesting. I could either carry on being happy in my job, be half assed in my next degree at uni (which would be a waste of two years might I add) or I could be out of a job and uni by October.

Very inspiring new year post I'm sure...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Drink or Two...

It's my last day at work tomorrow for a couple of weeks, apparently due to some holiday that people keep going on about...

I can't wait! I've not taken a day off since I started this job, well, apart from when I was off ill for a week ( from dizziness to overheating and being extremely tired several times a day doesn't qualify as a holiday! ) and I'm actually looking forward to some lazy days that will probably be full of Christmas films and various alcoholic beverages.

I actually finish at a self given time around dinner ( that's 12pm to proper folk ) so that I can go home and get ready to spend the rest of the day in the great city that is Manchester. It's the first of two probably large drinking sessions with people from work.

The 'Lads'

The first, which is tomorrow, will be with all the lads from work, and by lads I actually mean almost middle aged men ( I'm the youngest male employee by at least 10yrs ). The train journey isn't a particularly long or eventful one normally. But this one is quite an odd one. I'm not catching the train alone, oh no, but with 2 out of the 3 directors of the company. This is no reason for me to be worried as they're quite hands on directors, and by that I mean that they're in and out talking to everyone on a regular basis, rather than the type of directors who are rarely seen but only ever heard of. I find that trains are generally quite quiet as it is, let alone a trainee attempting to make conversation with his highest superiors. It's just a strange situation to be in, and one that will not likely happen again. We'll then meet the rest of the 'lads' at a bar in Manchester and spend the rest of the day fuelled with drink and banter.


The Rest

After friday is officially declared a day of recovery, saturday brings the official office Christmas party. This not only includes us 'lads' again but also all of the girls who work for the company and is to be held in a very upmarket hall. Which, after no more than 20 seconds of thinking, works out at something daft like 12 girls to 1 guy. From that alone it's obvious that this party will be the polar opposite of the 'lads' day in Manchester, and everyone will be relatively well behaved, especially as wives and partners will be tagging along.

I'm looking forward to both days, the large difference in attitude, dress code and etiquette being a major factor...

No doubt there will be a post of findings and, knowing me, regrets soon to follow.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Nottingham State of Mind...

I hadn't intended to post anything today but seeing as I'm in a particular mood I might as well. I'm quite a melancholic person at the best of times, but today has been a strange one.

I left university a few months ago to take a year out, and seeing as I had a job lined up ( lucky I know ) I had no wish to be at uni any longer than I had to. Alot of people I know really didn't want to leave. To be honest I think my time at uni was misspent. I very quickly got tired of nightclubs and most of the bars in the city and so spent most of my free time in the local pub. This free time naturally got less and less as the years progressed and I had more work to.

Around this time last year was that time when, as a student, my funds were dwindling and I had a deadline or two in the coming week before the Christmas break. Normally near a deadline me and one of my flatmates would usually be sat in the 'living room' getting the work done at a steady pace until the sound of birds could be heard outside.

 For one reason or another one night I stayed in my room to do work ( probably because my drawing board was particularly difficult to use on my lap ) and decided that I was going to get the best part of it done that night. As it was nearing Christmas, the nights seemed to merge into one. This was made worse due to the fact that I hadn't left my room all day ( as was often the case when a deadline was being counted down in hours rather than days ). I'd often spend alot of time staring out of the window at the rooftops and streets below, mostly due to a lack of concentration.

The Song.

It'd reached that time of night when you could hear other people going out into town which I acknowledged as being around 10:30pm. I kept my head down and carried on drawing. I had my media player on shuffle, which was rare at best, and a song came on at an early hour that I'd only heard a handful of times, usually in the local, and never really thought much of it. But for some reason it caught me as I was having a bit of a gander at what was happeing outside. Which, at 3am, was absolutely nothing. The lyrics stood out and I vaguely related to them.


I'll Get to the Point.

The song is about the pride of returning to a hometown or city. But I heard it a bit different. I was hearing the lyrics as a longing for going back. This is what initially threw me, I'd never missed home before and I knew that I'd be home pretty soon. But even sooner than that was of course the deadline that, after about 3 more listens and an hour of contemplation, I didn't get done that night.
Ultimately, I have to be in a strange mood to listen to that song. It reminds me of my longing to get home, but then getting back home and nothing being the same as it was before. Why I was in this mood today is a mystery, maybe because I'm a year older and I've had a lot on my mind, or maybe because I've spent the day nurturing a severe hangover. Either way, I hope tomorrow is a lot simpler than today!
Give it a listen and see what you think.

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Before I get started this is by no means going to be a diabetes awareness Blog, but from time to time the subject will be quite prominent, and today was a good diabetic day, if ever there was one!

HbA1c is another name for Glycated Haemoglobin, which is a type if haemoglobin that is measured to find the average concentration of plasma glucose over a period of time. In this case it was 8 weeks after my first diagnosis, but it's usually done every 3 months.

I'll skip all of the scientific stuff and basically say that the measurement is used to indicate the average blood glucose levels and how well they've been managed since the last check up. Seeing as this was my first check up and the first test since I was in hospital I didn't think they were expecting much, and I had no idea what to expect at all.

After various introductions and niceties she hit me with a number.


Now this meant about as much to me as reality TV. I didn't know what the hell it meant. I remember thinking 'It's above 50, so is that above average or below?  Am I slowly killing myself through neglect, or am I a master of change?'

It turns out that the number is kind of converted into a simple percentage, which turned out to be 7.5%. This also meant nothing to me.

The Doctor said that it was an 'excellent' start and that I should keep it up. Being quite the pessimist I decided that she was being patronising and so didn't believe her ( even though she was quite lovely ).

She went on to say that non-diabetics would  normally have a reading between 4.9% and 5.9% and that a good diabetic would have a reading of 6.5%. That extra 1% that I have increases my chances of a hypo which, in all honesty, I've been having a few of recently.

But on the whole is was a good 8 week effort, considering the drastic diet change and the masses of injections. No doubt the Christmas food and drink will alter my levels for at least a month anyway!


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12.12.12. Oh, And A New Blog...

Well here we go, my first ever blog...

I've been itching to start a blog for quite a while and never really found the time until now. And seeing as today is a 'unique' date (12.12.12) I thought it would be a good time to start.

My name is Loui, I'm just about to turn 22 and I'm from a sleepy little village up north ( no I weren't born here and I'm not inbred, though by looking at a few other folk around you could understand the questioning ) which is generally quite quiet and trouble free.

I've been told many times, usually by docs, that I should write down my thoughts in order to better get through the day, whether it be post it notes, a diary or even draft text messages ( odd suggestion I know ) so I thought that a blog might help. It does. 

I've fairly recently been diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic, which is inconvenient to say the least and has changed my life considerably which will unfortunately only get worse as time goes on. This is probably the main event that has encouraged me to start writing things down.

This blog will most likely be a series of thoughts and ramblings about things that cross my mind, things that have amused me, my life experiences and finally, ideas about various things creative .

I look forward to more blogging in the very near future!