Sunday, July 24, 2011

I want OFF this damn rollercoaster! Can you help?

Next week the students come back and I will be in teaching mode again. That will be exhausting but challenging work which I'm looking forward to.

The week just gone has been absolutely frenetic, with last minute course prep (still not done, and it's Sunday!), moving the entire Art department into a newly refurbished facility, oh yeah, and 3 days of compulsory academic staff training!! It's been super nuts.

I know my diabetes control has been degrading. It's like, seriously crappy at the moment. Here's the last 7 days for you:

(Apologies for having to twist your neck to see that!)

As you can see, I'm all over the map. There are some trends, which I guess are a blessing as it may just mean the Lantus (basal) dose is screwed up:

Massive peaks and troughs = massive headaches, tiredness, grumpiness, and brain-fogginess :(

So what I'm doing about it is some intensive tracking and analysis to see if I can figure out where the hell I'm going so wrong. I've just purchased Diabetes Diary for iPhone and that's where I got the pretty graphs. Have to say that so far, I'm liking this app the best of all. And I've tried most of them!

I'd been using the Insulin Calcilator app, made by the same folks ( for nearly a year now and I credit it with a 1.5% drop in my HbA1c, so I figured their diary app was worth a shot too. I like how the two apps work together. I can take a bloodsugar test, enter the results into the Insulin Calculator, then just press a button and it transfers all the data across to the Diabetes Diary, where I can add more info and make adjustments. Cool eh? :)

I think it's really good that I'm back in intensive analysis mode, because if 10+ bloodsugar tests a day aren't giving nice smooth control there must be something else going on. And I can't find it without graphs, averages, and data to help me.

Let's be clear: I test constantly. I inject semi-religiously, and I track it all in my paper log book:

But that doesn't give the instant clarity of a graph, or the insight of weekly averages. I hope this system helps. I suspect it will. I've done this intensive analysis thingy before and it has always had positive results, even if only minor.

BTW, if you can spot any major issues for me by looking at the graphs, please let me know in the comments. All help on nutting this one out is appreciated. :)

I take Lantus twice a day (11u breakfast, 9u dinner), and bolus with Humalog. I'm incredibly sensitive to changes in insulin, and am on child-size doses of Humalog. My I:C ratio is 1:14. I eat between 90 - 180g carbs per day including emergency food like juice and stuff. I walk, weather permitting :P And I work hard and get pretty stressed out at times, which never helps. Anything else you would like to know so you can help, let me know in the comments. Cheers everyone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 7, 2011

VIDEO: IVF: Lord Winston on private fertility treatment costs

I've just watched this video from the BBC:

It's Lord Robert Winston talking about the "massive profiteering" by private fertility clinics in the UK.

I see many parallels with what is going on in the UK with the NZ system, and if what Winston says is true about the amount of "markup" the private clinics are putting on the cost of treatments coupled with the fact that the (UK) NHS often relies on the private clinics' costings (rather than doing their own costings) to set prices for public treatment, then that could also be true for NZ.

It would be VERY interesting for NZ government/politicians/tax payers-at-large to know three things:
1) How much fertility treatment costs
2) How many people are denied (timely) treatment
3) How much the NZ tax payer ends up paying to fund the treatments it DOES fund, since they are pretty much being charged private-treatment costs. (i.e. not "at cost" procedures, but rather, procedures with some form of markup for profit)
4) How many more people could be funded per year in NZ if the NZ tax payer was only charged for funded procedures at COST price, not private prices.

Gosh, it would be good to get some common sense here.

In other news, I'm studying a paper on cultural contexts of learning for my Diploma in Tertiary  Teaching. I missed the first class where the other students were asked for homework to bring in an object which represented them / their culture / part of their culture.

People brought along favourite songs, sculptures, photos, foods, tools etc. I missed that first class, so I had not brought anything. My turn came round and I scrabbled in my handbag. Of course! I pulled out my test kit and log book (yup, still use a paper one).

And so proceeded a very cool, very impromptu, and very blow-the-rest-of-them-out-of-the-water talk about type 1 diabetes, how it affects me, and how I use the test kit. I even did a demonstration! (Made sure to ask if anyone was squeamish about blood first). Everyone was a bit stunned that I could talk so passionately like that, but they asked some very interesting questions. We discussed the "Diabetes Police", the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 and how they're different diseases, how it feels to go low, whether finger-pricking hurts, how I am starting to advocate for type 1 diabetics, what I could offer as a teacher to diabetic students on campus, what insulin pumps are, and a bit about the research and clinical trials of Professor Bob Elliot of LCT Global.

It was nice.

And when the next student apologised because her object was a sweet flan, and she was assuming I couldn't have any! Not true! My Mum always said that I can eat pretty much anything, as long as I'm prepared to inject enough for it. I nearly ripped the spoon out of her hand to get a taste! haha. NEVER come between me and a dessert!