blackberry444: (Default)
It's a lovely day today, but with a f-f-f-f-freezing wind.  Even the cats are staying indoors.

Morgan lost his collar a few weeks ago, when he got himself stuck in Martin's backyard and we hadn't bothered to replace it, but recently he's been making his way round from the back alley to the street and has been meeting us when we return in the car, loudly demanding to be let in the front door.  Once, before anybody else had been out, but after the cat-door was opened, John opened the front door to go out and collect his paper, only to find Morgan on the doorstep.  I've seen him recklessly crossing the road, too, and we get a lot of impatient traffic here, since every other man in this street is now a taxi-driver.  They all used to work in Indian restaurants, but they've decided that taxi work is better with less anti-social hours.  They're all getting a bit chubby, though!

We can't allow this to continue with no visible identification, so he's had to have a new collar.  I chose it very carefully, sapphire blue stretch fabric with gold buckle and a gold identification tag, and he looks very fetching in it, but he hates it and has spent half his time since it was put on him last night scratching to show us how uncomfortable and unfair it is.  He should be pleased that I took the bell off!  I've hardened my heart, because when we finally get round to replacing the back door and the cat-door, which I aim to do this summer, he won't be able to get in unless he has a magnet on his collar.  Even our sensible Phoebe who never strays beyond the yard has to wear a collar.

We are going to have to replace the yard door as well, because it's started falling to pieces.  Quite some time ago the top of the wall over the door fell off, and although I've reminded John many times, he hasn't done anything about it.  Now the damp has penetrated the door, which is an old fashioned heavy security door made with compressed wood dust, or crumbs, or whatever you call it, and it's swollen, making it difficult to bolt, and impossible to lock.

On Thursday we had our last writing class.  There were only five of us there, but we'd clubbed together to buy G a large book token, which she was very pleased with.  These last few classes with just the core of people who've known her for years have been lovely.  She has been very relaxed and happy and the classes have been great.  We've all of us, including G  got stuff from them that we will be able to use or refine.  In fact she wrote what sounded like a finished poem on Thursday.  She said she would fiddle with it a little more but agreed that it was practically finished.  I'm so glad the last class produced that for her.  It was quite sad, but I shan't lose contact with those of the group I care to keep up with, or with G herself, because I'm determined that she shan't lose touch with us.  As I said to Charles, it may be a corny old saying, but it's perfectly true that all good things come to an end.

One of the pluses of this is that I have a completely free diary for four weeks, followed by a couple of weeks with hospital appointments and a CT meeting and then another four weeks completely free.  Well, I say free, but there's a cardiac rehab class at the gym every Friday.  I haven't been for weeks, because something has always cropped up, but I'm determined to start going again.

In fact I'm going to overhaul my lifestyle.  My diabetes has been out of control for several months, and while the people at the diabetic clinic have said not to worry and to persevere with the Byetta while adding some Amaryl, my BG has still been far from ideal.  I value my toes and my eyes, so I'm going to make a big effort to eat more healthily, less carbohydrates and more protein-but-not-meat. And more salads;  I love salads, but the two men aren't very keen except for the occasional salad niçoise. Charles quite often does what he calls a salad, but as it's usually got fried bacon, chorizo and halloumi, or other stuff unsuitable to someone who's dieting, it's not a great help.  Mind you, the salad with chicken livers and nuts he did a couple of weeks ago was excellent!

As a final salute to comfort eating we're having a luxurious fish pie tonight, although not as luxurious as I had hoped because I couldn't get any monk-fish and they probably won't have any for another fortnight.  Apparently it's been bad weather for monkfish fishing.  Never mind, I shall savour every mouthful of the mashed potato, because it will be the last I shall have. 

It does seem unfair that even though I hardly ever eat pudding, or cake, or sweets, I still can't get my blood sugars to behave themselves.  I must get myself a jar of mixed nuts from Costco for "good" snacks!

I have already decided that I will relax my diet a little on Sundays and holidays.  I don't feel ready to say goodbye to roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings or crumble just yet!

I don't really know what else I can cut out, except white rice.  That will prevent me eating a lot of the lovely Spanish dishes Charles has taught himself , or at least, only eating them occasionally.  He's going to be cross when I tell him.  On the other hand, there's nothing to prevent Charles and John having them and I could have a small spoonful with a piece of fish.  I never get to eat as much fish as I would like to because  neither of them is very keen on it.  And I shall have to give up eating Charles' wonderful chips!  It's a great shame that the fruit I love and eat lots of seems to affect my BGs worse than it does other diabetics.  I shall have to restrict myself to fruit with lots of fibre, and just have it as puddings.  I must stop having fruit juice, too.

I've also got very slack about meal-times and when I take my medication.  I've always hated early breakfast and I often don't eat it till the morning is far advanced, which means my medication is delayed because almost all of it, except the Byetta injection is meant to be taken after food.  I'm going to have to discipline myself to eating breakfast first thing, so as to take my medication at reasonable intervals. 

I haven't tried porridge again recently, but someone on theladiesloos has suggested putting half a handful, uncooked, into my breakfast yoghurt, so maybe that will help, since the latest research suggests that eating porridge helps keep blood glucose down and helps people lose weight!  Now that I've written that, I've decided that I must try different ways of making porridge till I find a way I like.  I've always loathed porridge since I was a girl when my Aunt used to make it for my cousins and me.  I could only ever be persuaded to eat by covering it with Far Too Much Golden Syrup, which is obviously not ideal for someone trying to keep down their blood sugar and their weight!  I'm going to start weighing myself every day again now that I've finally got round to replacing the batteries in my scales, because it's only too easy too slip into bad habits if I don't.

I've also resuscitated my old Excel spreadsheet, charting what I eat every day, when I take my meds, and my weight.  Maybe stopping doing that is what has led me into bad habits!  Or maybe it will help the diabetic team pinpoint what I'm doing wrong.

Ooooo!  I've just noticed that our new DECT phones have automatically updated the time!  How clever!  Apart from the boiler, my mobile phone and my watch, everything else electric or electronic seems able to adjust itself.  Not so long ago I had to adjust fourteen or fifteen different things every time the clocks changed.  Mind you, we no longer have the time set on the oven or the microwave, the TVs or any of the set-top boxes, because they're turned off at the wall when we've finished using them.   We never tape anything from the TV nowadays, for the simple reason that there's nothing we care enough about to bother with, so the VHSs aren't showing the correct time, and the DVD doesn't care.

Ooops!  It's time to go and cook dinner.  Where has the day gone?  Well, I didn't surface until it was time for The Archers, so obviously I'm not in synch with the new time, buggrit!


blackberry444: (Default)
My pretty little camera arrived yesterday, but the purple boots have been delayed.

I received the trousers and cardigan I'd ordered, but the cardigan turned out to be plum, not purple as I thought I'd ordered.  I checked the web site and there was No Purple, so I must have ordered Plum without realising.  Since the clover top I ordered has sold out, however, I've replaced it with an order for a plum top.  The trousers have had to go back because they were too tight and showed up my lumpy thighs, but I've ordered replacements.

Yesterday's cardiac rehab was cancelled which was just as well, because, although I'd decided to go anyway and tough it out, I was actually in awful pain with my knee.  I spent most of the day resting it.  Fortunately it was much better today.  I think it was caused by the extreme cold on the beach on Sunday as it has been dodgy all week.

On Tuesday I went to Caroline to do her reconciliations anyway, because I might as well be in pain at her desk as in mine and her office is much warmer than my room, so at least everything is up to date.

Today was creative writing.  I found it tougher than usual do do the short walk from where John drops me off to the Church, even though I stopped en route at Starbucks to get a Mocha.  However I've asked the caretaker where I can leave my scooter next week when we're going to the Laing and I think I will probably have to start using the scooter to get to the class as a regular thing, at least till I see the cardiologist next time, to see if he can give me more effective medication.

I've spoken to the diabetes nurse on the telephone and found out what the drug was called - Exenatide, or Byetta, and I told her that I wasn't going to make a decision until I had done some research and spoken to my own doctor.  She was not best pleased by the latter and said how much better informed the diabeticians were, to which I pointed out that I trust my GP and she is the doctor I see all the time, whereas the pople I see at the clinic are seldom the same twice running.

I did some scroogling and found that not only does it help stabilise blood glucose, but it also gradually reduces weight as well. I posted on a diabetes newgroup and got some good feedback from people who think it's been the best thing they've tried.  Karen said that she'd just heard about it from a couple of women at her clinic and they were raving about it.  I spoke to my doctor on the phone and she hasn't heard anything against it and on my asking what she would do in my circumstances, she said she would go for it.  So this afternoon I rang the diabetes nurse and left a message on her answerphone saying that although I'm still quite spooked by the idea of injecting myself I would give it a try.

If it really works and helps me lose some weight that can only be good for the knees and the ticker!

A man is coming to replace the broken window tomorrow.  The insurance company will only pay for the cheapest glass, so we shall have to pay extra for something stouter as well as the £50 excess.  Great!

blackberry444: (Default)
Well, I thought it was going to be I Day today, because I had to go to my Diabetic follow-up and I knew my blood sugar had been bad recently.  As it turned out it was my Hb1AC was 8.6, which is bad, but not as bad as I feared.

However, it turns out that since I had been ill with those medication side effects and had been unable to get any sort of exercise when that was going on, the diabetician was prepared to give me a little leeway and then we discovered that at my last appointment the diabetician (not the same one) had apparently recommended that I double up on my Glimepiride.

I have absolutely no recollection of this at all, and I don't seem to have had any of the paperwork to give to my doctor, which they normally give me, but there it is in black and white, so I've had a reprieve!  Let's just hope it will work.

I have to confess that I need to clean up my act too, because I've been letting things slide recently, since I didn't seem to be able to control my BGs whatever I did, and started eating too much carbohydrate, probably too much fruit and have eaten the occasional bar of chocolate all in one go, which I used not to do.

We've also been eating a lot of rice dishes, which I should really only have occasionally, but Charles, does cook some delicious things and it's hard not to have any or not to eat more of it than I should, since I've always loved anything made with rice.  And I've had mashed potato a few times recently, which is a real no-no for me. No more Vichyssoise!  Sob!

So it's back to being strict with myself and taking the extra tablet and hoping to stave off the dreaded Insulin for a while longer.  If the cardiac rehab helps me become fitter so that I can take more exercise, that should help with the blood sugar as well.

I felt so cheered up that I spent the glorious afternoon pottering around in the yard, which I'm glad about as the weather forecast doesn't give us much hope of any more decent weather any time soon although the sun is out again now.  It's funny how the cats love having a human being outside in the yard and come out to sit with me while I'm out there.  We have a lot of fun with Bramble, because the garden table has a hole on the centre for a sun umbrella, and you only have to wave a leaf or something over the hole and this big determined white paw thrusts out through the hole, trying to catch whatever it is.  I suppose I must be easily pleased, because it never fails to amuse me.

I hope we do get some more sun, as I have to justify buying my new sun-glasses.  I've been thinking for some time that I desperately need a pair of prescription sun-glasses, but just can't afford them, so I went on ebay on Sunday and found some carp-fishers' polarised over-glasses sun-glasses.  They arrived the next day, and they're really good.  I'm very pleased with them.  It's years since I had Polaroid sun-glasses and I'd forgotten how they appear to make everything stand out more sharply than usual.  They completely cover my ordinary glasses, so I don't look as much of a geek as I feared I would.  The only disadvantage is that their maker's name is Eyelevel, and I can't get the ghastly signature tune to the Van der Valk TV series out of my head now.

I've also bought some lovely pale-blue suede sandals, although I haven't worn those yet and I had to buy a new fan for my bedroom as the existing one just suddenly gave up the ghost.  I haven't really needed it yet, because it hasn't been very warm, but I know that if I don't have one, I shall be unable to sleep because of being too hot sometime soon.  So if the summer suddenly ceases to be, it's All My Fault!

Tomorrow is cardiac rehab in the morning and an appointment at the surgery in the afternoon.  I'm going to ask my LLD whether there's another medication I can take in place of or as well as the one I'm currently taking for my breathlessness, as this new one doesn't control it anywhere near as well as the one which gave me the horrid cough and rhinitis.

Writing about my new sunglasses suddenly reminded me about a wonderful pair of sun-glasses I once had.  They had dark-pink lenses and they really were rose-tinted spectacles!  The trouble was that wearing them made me feel insanely cheerful and upbeat, so much so that I found myself doing Daft Things and driving a little dangerously, so I put them away, thinking I would use them just occasionally, but somehow they vanished, the way really good things do and I've never seen any since.

Maybe I shall do an Internet search..........
blackberry444: (Default)
I had my annual diabetic review this morning.

It's always so boring.  You check in and then you wait.  Someone comes to take blood and weigh you and then you wait.  In this case for ages and with nothing to read but the US version of OK magazine.  Aaaaaaaaargh!

This time the very young vampire couldn't get any blood from my veins so did a finger-prick test instead.  I suggested that he take some from the vein in the back of my hand, but he said he wasn't trained for that..  This is because chemotherapy has ruined my veins.  Later the young doctor tried to get some and only managed to get a small amount, but he said it would be enough.

I had lost some weight!   Goodness knows how I managed that!

So then I waited again and eventually had my eyes tested and horrible drops put in.  Then I waited again.

I was called in to have pictures taken of the back of my eyes and the technician said that there was an area of concern which had been present before but which seems to be getting bigger, so she would get me an appointment with the eye clinic.

Then I had to wait again, in a different corridor, but not for very long. 

I was seen but yet another new diabetician who tested my feet.  I told him they were OK, but they're not allowed to take the patient's word for it.

My HbA1c was 7.7, which was an improvement from last time, but he warned me that the time is coming when I will have to use insulin.  I told him I wanted to leave that until it couldn't be avoided because not only do I not fancy injecting myself every day, I'm very nervous about working out how much insulin to take for what food;  it always sounds terribly complicated. He said that people soon get used to it, but I need not start yet, since he was going to increase my dosage of Amaryl.  There is scope for 2 more dosage increases, but after that I may have to inject.  I am not happy!

I told him what the eye technician had said and he said he thought it was his job to make any arrangements to visit the eye clinic,  (Ooops!), but he would show the pictures to Professor Marshall and see what she thought.

So I was released after 2 hours "queue and wait" with instructions to double my dose of Amaryl and a letter for my doctor.

It will be interesting to see whether the extra dose will make much difference.  The first dose made a lot of difference but lately my Fasting blood glucose level has gone up again.  I'm sure things would be much better if I could take exercise at even the snail-like rate I was doing before, but the breathlessness makes it next to impossible.  I'm seeing the cardiologist on Friday, though, so maybe I might have some sort of idea after that of what, if anything, they can do for me.

When I got home I had to tidy my desk again because those crazy cats had managed to knock half the contents of my in-tray onto the floor, along with half a block of that little squared coloured paper one uses for notes.  Then they must have danced on it all, or something!

I managed to get some rather nice-looking frozen sea bream from Lidl yesterday, so Charles and I will have one each for dinner.  John won't be in, even though it's his birthday, because it's Boys' Night Out and he couldn't possible go on a different day unless it was absolutely unavoidable.  I shall do his birthday dinner at the weekend.  I expect he'll ask for steak and kidney pudding or shepherd's pie!

I was amazed this morning.  I'd actually forgotten that it was John's birthday, but when I came out of the bathroom, who was there, already up, but Charles, anxious to give John his presents?  Never been heard of before for yearsandyears.  Hurrah!

It's always very boring buying presents for John, because there is so little he actually wants, but he was happy with the annual bottle of Jameson's from Charles and a bottle of Jim Beam, some After Eights and a bottle of cheap port from me and the cats.

Later Charles' Mental Elf came and he said that he'd told her he was getting up earlier and and was getting bored, so she promised to find him some courses.  Hurrah again!

Actually, if he'd told me he was bored, I could have found him all sorts of jobs which need doing around the house, but it will do him good to get out more.

All in all not a bad day!

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June 2009

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