Smarties

A while ago, there was an advert on TV which claimed “Only Smarties have the answer”. For me, Crocs appear to be the answer. Those plastic shoes. Let me explain.

Since the stroke I’ve had no movement in my left ankle or toes, which appears to be here to stay. Immediately after the stroke, too, I always felt cold. Even now, I don’t sweat, just get like a furnace inside. I can be wearing my winter coat on a hot summer’s day, no problem.

In the context of these things, the slippers I wear has become a problem. The ones I had before the stroke, I stopped wearing because they left my feet cold. So I got myself some lovely, cosy, sheepskin ankle boots. The trouble is, with no movement in my foot, the bloomin’ thing kept falling off. This was great, for example, when I was walking across the garden, and could expect my foot to be covered in chicken poo as a result.

They lasted about six months. One day, I got so frustrated that this thing kept falling off, that I gripped it with my teeth and managed to pull it apart. I think that wasabout £60 wasted.

There then followed some more sheepskin slippers at about £50 – an expensive business. They used to drop off just the same, although this time I had a bit more restraint.

Last christmas, in the January sales, my wife suggested I try some crocs. I got some on-sale, insulated ones (whilst I no longer feel cold all the time, it was the middle of winter!), and, so far so good. I can wear them independently, and can put the strap down to on my bad foot hold them onto the foot. No more slipping off! They’re a boring colour but hey, it was a sale.

Little things.

Diabetes Statistics

I’ve been using Excel again this morning, basically I exported all the dat from my glucometers. On its own, none of it is compatible with each other. Compatibility, which working in software was always my top criterion, seems to have passed the medical industry by. There is a saving grace, however, that most of them seem to export to Microsoft Excel, with varying degrees of easiness.

Lots of huffing, lots of shouting at the screen as Excel selected unintended cells, lots of shouting at the screen just because of the way Excel produces charts, but I finally have a graph of every glucometer reading since the stroke. I should be thankful, I suppose, because the last time I used the software I got so frustrated that I punched the laptop’s screen and broke it. Two-handed, life was far easier. In those days, Excel did exactly what I wanted.

Anyway, since I finally have a graph, I thought I might share it:

I don’t have much success exporting Excel graphs – possibly another area where you’re required to be more dextrous than me? – but hopefully this is readable, at least when you blow it up. The GIF files I tried last time left me distinctly unimpressed, so this one is a PNG.

On the numbers themselves, the high ones are, of course, the ones I remember. but the graph shows that even the measures of 15+ are quite few in number. In fact, I think I calculated that my average over all dates was 12 point something. You have to be careful with that number, because I’ve also taken different doses of insulin over this time, which isn’t shown. I’m encouraged by the very recent results, though, which seem to show single-digit values, despite taking generally less insulin. I started taking a med called empagliflozin on quite recently, on 30/04/18 (just 10mg so far), and my average since then has dropped to around 10.

Hypo or not?

Yesterday, my sugar when I first got up was 7 mmol/l. For me, that’s quite low – I’ll start having a hypo if it gets down to 5½. I suppose my body is used to that higher level of sugar, so when it gets lower than usual, I start having withdrawal symptoms (i.e. hypos).

Anyway, on the face of it, this is a great value. 7 is almost normal – far better than the 15s I was measuring a few months ago. Other than thinking “that’s good”, I didn’t take any further action. I ate my breakfast as normal, took my insulin as normal, felt absolutely normal.

Yesterday was a slow day so I faffed around on the computer and watched tv all morning, and eventually had a bath around midday. At the end of my bath I normally haul myself up, stand under the shower, wash my hair and have a shave. At this point yesterday, things started going wrong, when I stood up, I felt light-headed, so rather than completing my wash, I sat down for five minutes. Also, my wife had left a pile of clothes in the bathroom which covered the bath mats, and, rather than just moving them, I made do without, which made the bathroom floor quite slippery – something which made me grouchy.

By the time I did get myself sorted, I decided I’d better eat some lunch. Fortunately there was some ready-made mince left over from nachos the night before. No tortillas unfortunately, just the topping. So I quickly reheated this, but by the time it was hot enough I was quite desperate to eat, wolfing some down without the grated cheese and sour cream which would have made it more complete – this was just mincemeat, seasoning, a pepper and an onion, which had all been cooked up together.

This all helped a bit, but I was still not 100%. I wondered if my sugar had gone low? I know what regular hypos feel like now, having had three or four, but this didn’t feel anywhere near as extreme. Although, that might explain the grumpiness, plus there weren’t really any carbs in my lunch. So I tried feeding myself one of my hypo “meds” – a packet of Skittles. And felt better for the rest of the day. Everything else was normal.

The reason for posting this is because my sugar was 7 again – even lower than yesterday by a fraction. So I think I need to reduce today’s insulin by a little.

I mean, I need to get myself stable, priority #1, but I can’t lose sight of the fact that the less insulin I take, the better.