Persistence

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My girlfriend Rosie was in the study when she heard a bang. She ran in and found me in the lounge, lying on the floor banging my head between the wall and the TV cabinet. She grabbed my ankles and dragged me out of the corner, to stop myself doing any more damage to my head. The next thing I remember was opening my eyes and seeing 2 paramedics by my side.

“What are you doing here?” I asked rudely.

It hadn’t dawned on me what had happened. Even when they told me, I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. Apparently I was saying to Rosie that I didn’t know who she was. It’s a scary situation and thank God she was there to help me. I hate myself for saying this, but in a way I’m glad it happened. I’m glad she saw what Diabetes can do to me. She is absolutely great with my Diabetes – so supportive, so brilliant. It was always going to happen, and deep down I just wanted to get it out of the way. Rosie knows what a “fit” is now and she knows how to deal with it, even though she was absolutely terrified. I would do anything for it not to happen again. It’s a horrible feeling to place so much responsibility on a person like that, but as Diabetics we often have little choice. I feel for people who struggle with controlling their diabetes and have many more serious hypos than me, especially those who live alone. It must be a constant battle of determination and persistence.

This post is about persistence. That last hypo happened in February this year, and was my first serious hypo in 8 years. That doesn’t mean it’s been a breezy 8 years. There have been peaks and troughs, and developments in insulin control meant I’ve also changed from 4 injections a day to 5. Every day you are required to manage your diabetes, but at the same time, I refuse to let it control me. We must always accept that we will have lows and highs, and as long as we learn from them we can always improve. Sometimes shit goes down and we haven’t got a clue why. That’s part of life too.

When I was diagnosed I had no idea how Diabetes would change my life. Honestly, it’s a pain in the arse, but it’s also made me who I am. It’s actually been the foundation of some quite funny stories, which I will drip feed to you in the hope that you keep coming back! Most of the stories are hypo-related, which shouldn’t be a topic of humour, but let’s face it, when your bloodsugar is low, you do some crazy shit. Like when I was on camp with the cubs – this could have been my first serious hypo actually – I don’t recall being aware that I was low. I went to the loo, which on camp was a bucket filled with chemicals. The next thing I know, they’re wiping pieces of sweetcorn from other cubs’ poo off my face. I’ve been told that the loo tent just fell over suddenly, as if blown over by the wind, and then people could see my legs shaking out the bottom. I’ll never live that down.

Some of you might be wondering what the persistent hummingbird is all about. Well, the hummingbird is used in the logo for Diabetes UK. The charity is the leader when it comes to research aimed at either a cure for Diabetes or groundbreaking new ways for diabetics to live as near a normal life as possible (I will share some of the latest research and technology in a later post). Rosie has a direct debit set-up which donates £10 a month to Diabetes UK … she’s a keeper! I was very pleased when Tesco announced this year their 3-year partnership with Diabetes UK. It will give the charity some very positive publicity, although it seems that Tesco’s main focus is around Type 2 Diabetes, which I understand, but have very mixed views on! This is a whole other story that I will also address in a later post.

If you believe Wikipedia, the hummingbird was chosen as the logo for Diabetes UK for its association with sugar, precision and control. I believe they must have to be fairly persistent too. You know now why I chose the word ‘persistent’. Diabetics have to be persistent. It’s a very long journey, one where you can’t relax, you can’t ignore it, you can’t have a day off, you have to deal with it head-on knowing that (rather annoyingly) the benefits are invisible. But, they are the avoidance of serious complications in later life, which I would also like to remain invisible!

From that persistent old hummingbird. Cheers.

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