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  1. Yep, February 1st 2016 was the day I became diabetic. (Actually I was pretty obviously diabetic a couple of years before that but didn't know). How do I feel about this minor milestone? I don't know really. Have I beaten diabetes? No, of course not. I've had spectacular success in reversing the original high of 104, with a combination of lowish carb, highish fat and a goodly lot of walking and recumbent cycling.
    The slightly worrisome news is that in recent weeks, I'm scoring high 6's and far too many 7's - which I'm putting down to resuming bendroflumethiazide after some high BP results. My biggest concern I suppose, is that everything I've done so far on this sugarless journey, has worked. Not now though. I dropped the couple of pounds I'd gained over Christmas, and I'm back to a skinny 12 stones. So it's not a weight thing.
    I'm optimistic I can do it again and keep doing it. I'm a lot better off than many members on here so I can't grumble. Thanks for reading this far!
  2. I'm not normally one for moody introspection, but sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I gleefully came off Bendroflumethiazide last year after being on it for years. My blood pressure was quite good and for once the GP agreed.
    But since Christmas my BP started to climb and after a few weeks at the 166/113 mark, had a chat and restarted the dreaded Bendro. BP soon reduced and that should have been that, but I've noticed a worrying upward trend in my blood sugar. Unheard of highs and regular two-hour-post-meal numbers of 7.5. I'm eating as normal, exercising well but bloody 7's after bacon and avocado? What's that all about?
    So heart attack if I do without bendros, or diabetes if I continue. There's has to be some alternative.
  3. I haven't mentioned my holiday for a couple of weeks. That's because I was on it. Honest, I tried to check in on you guys but a combination of dodgy wifi, mountains, having to drive a bit more than 2000 miles* and a grandson meant I've been out of touch for a while. This was a trip I've wanted to do for a while and taking my own car meant extra big presents for DD and and the little horror. (We were in the thick of the Catalan independence brouhaha but were never in danger and I only had access to Catalan news channels which made following developments hard).
    Now back in my quiet dark little village with the heating on I've got 30 or more restaurant reviews to write and a ton of photos and videos to sort through.
    Oh, and the despite the indulgence, the copious extra exercise kept my sugar in check for the most part. I'd recommend these holidays.
    And I'll stop going on on about it.

    *Bourges, Begur, Barcelona, Bilbao, Burgos, Biarritz.
  4. On a whim, I ditched my Amitryptylines while on holiday in July, after having taken them for around twenty years. They always did a great job of damping down my first signs of awakening at 4 am, allowing me to doze on, and on, like an internal snooze button. This supposedly "rested" me, having been originally prescribed them for Chronic Fatigue, years ago.
    But I've never been completely happy with the zombie effects and associated brain-fog. So I opted to drop them.

    Since July, I've discovered... sunrises! I've been mackerel-bashing on the beach at sparrow-fart, toad-watching by my pond with a morning cuppa and generally been full of the joys of ...er... autumn.
    Admittedly I'm getting less sleep now, and what I do get is patchy, and I can power-nap at any point in the day. But I smile quite a lot now - even before coffee time - and I'm enjoying this new world of mornings.
  5. I made a Chicken Pilau last night and it moved me to write this blog. There's not a lot of difference which term you use, I've even heard Pilaff, Pelau and Plaw. I learned this recipe from an old Trinidadian and she burnt sugar in a pan in which to brown chicken pieces before adding the onions, garlic, peppers and stock with coconut milk. Rice is thrown in last and cooked till just done.
    This is soul food for me and always has been. The thing is, I'm now diabetic and low-carbing and I can't really do rice. (I'm pretending the sugar doesn't exist once it's burnt). I always start with good intentions but always fill my plate a second time. The consequences of such recklessness?

    FBG today was 6.9, rising to 7.2 after 30 minutes on the exercise bike. Post breakfast, lunch etc all tests returned numbers starting with a 6...

    I'm philosophical enough to view this as Not All Bad. It shows that what I do from day to day, works. An excursion off track leads to an instant slap on the wrist. So I've been told. Would I do it again? Hell yeah.
  6. I'd not not been home long from a trip abroad during which I'd experienced a few twinges in my lower back, when sciatic pain down my left leg worsened to the point that I couldn't stand. The only respite was lying completely flat. (This was ten days before Christmas when I was due to cook for the family on the one day we could all be in the same place at the same time. Bit of a tricky phone call that was). And that was how Christmas and New Year was - completely flat. Probably the least energetic Hootenanny I've had in years. I've actually had three previous "slipped discs" - two of which ended up with surgery and this one seems unnecessarily drawn out and inconvenient. Life went on hold in early December, including my diabetes and I can't wait to resume. And deliver the family Christmas presents!
    Of course all this isn't meant to solicit sympathy, (although the range of emoticons is just below......) this is meant as an explanation/apology for being largely absent for the past weeks.
  7. Its quite an uncomfortable feeling to be detached from your life support system, being forced to rely on long forgotten caveman instincts for your basic needs. Then after three days, just when you think you are coping, pure luck hands you a life-line. Or should that be a life online.
    We flew to Barcelona this week cases bulging with more presents than clothes, to see an excited grandson, then decamped with his parents to the medieval village of Begur, up the Costa Brava coast. Their little cottage is autumn-damp and chilly but the log fire takes the edge off. Not having internet was always going to be a nerve-jangler, but several coastal yomps and multiple stops in multiple bars dimmed the separation-anxiety from my iphone. Then I walked into Tot Hora (Catalan for Open All Hours) and found wi-fi.
    Blessed connectivity. I've missed you all!
  8. I had a bit of a skinful last night round at the neighbours. A gentle San Mig to start then a couple of tumblers of red wine, with dinner. Then it went a bit wrong. I kept hearing myself refusing the port but it kept being refilled. (Neighbour is Type 2 but the NHS version so anything goes). We shared a half bottle and then the whisky came out. By 1.30 the bottle was 7/8th's gone and we called it a night.
    This is well over my normal consumption (duh!), and I was dreading my post breakfast reading. I'm averaging 6.1 these days so a 4.7 was a bit of a surprise.
    Having read the thread on reactions to alcohol, I'm guessing an absentee liver dump was the cause, so I won't be celebrating my first 4. Not that I could.
  9. You heard it here first. I've just come through a difficult couple of weeks where my normal cheerful optimism took a bit of a knock. I started plotting BS levels on graphs each month since March and have seen a slow but definite downward progression from the 10.8's through an average of 8.2, 7.2 and down to 6.1 last month. I was looking forward to my 6mth return visit to the DN so I could say "what do you think to my results, eh?"
    I posted something recently hoping to blame the warm weather on my upturn from a lovely string of 5's, but the weather cooled and my sugars reached 7. I was still low-carbing, exercising, and I couldn't see where I was going wrong.
    As of yesterday, in an attempt to kickstart the process I did a 16:8 fast, then the same today. 6.0, 5.8, 5.7, 5.3. Did it work in two days or did I just come through a bad patch?
    No-one can cross their fingers harder than me that I'm back on the right path.
    Quitting? - Oh, yes. This diabetes thing is going to require my full attention, so I've made a decision to leave the kitchen, after many years in the business. Don't know what I'll do with my time but I'm open to suggestions!
  10. This week I sneaked off to a quiet Cornish fishing port in search of sunshine and good times. One night I found myself stuck in front of a juicy chargrilled sirloin steak. It came with fat chips and a watercress garnish. What's a chap to do? Bite of steak. Stab some watercress. Then... um...just the tiniest morsel of chip. More steak - rare almost blue - gosh this charring is good! Bit of watercress. Then... um...straighten that chip out. Repeat for 15 minutes. I actually managed to leave not quite half the chips and as prophylactic against the carb content, I carefully finished a bottle of Rioja.
    Next morning I was 5.7 (my 14 day average). Very pleased with that. I'm calling my diet LCSLOW. Low carb and shed loads of wine. You heard it here first.
  11. I went to a wedding last weekend and at times felt quite left out. The venue was wall to wall with tasty sweet forbidden treats, which sadly I'm no longer allowed to get my lips round.

    But that’s enough about the bridesmaids.

    The caterers served school dinner roast lamb with creamy dauphinoise potatoes, a smallish chunk which I thought was acceptable, carb-wise. The butternut squash soup was a bit carby too, but it was the chocolate cheesecake that suckered me in and I’d eaten half before remembering my diabetes…

    Pre-dinner snacks were a minefield; pre-, during and post-dinner drinks too. Then there were the toasts. Not the bread sort, but equally damaging. It was all too much temptation.

    Like many others have found, there is a point when you have to say “ a little of what you fancy…”

    Now where are those bridesmaids?





    (nomoredonuts - currently in the doghouse)
  12. One of the few good things that came out of my education session was a chat with the DN, where I mentioned my struggles with Metformin. I have documented on these pages, in nauseating detail, my all-nighters on the midnight throne. I take two 500mg, one with brekkie, one with dinner. I've tried with food, after food, standing on one leg holding my nose, everything. Just when I think that two days of normality means I'm finally adjusting to it, I have the familiar warnings, then a sprint to my smallest room, pausing only to gather up my phone, crossword, pen, snack etc

    DN said "you don't have to put up with that. See the doc and get him to change you to Slow Release". I went along and my GP has taken me off the Metformin, for a couple of weeks while we exclude other nasties like liver problems, and seems reluctant to try the SR tablets. BUT, and here's the interesting bit, (at last, you say), my glucose levels are not behaving as expected!
    You'd think that in the absence of the wonder drug they would climb and climb. I was ready for this and was pleasantly surprised to record three 7's, four 6's, then an 8.3 (oops), but then 6.5, 6.5. My average BG for the month is on 7. So what is going on? Do I stay off the Met? Is my diet and exercise doing the business? I appeal to you learned folk for your wisdom.
  13. Let me go back a couple of weeks. I finally went to my Diabetes Education in late April having been diagnosed in late January. No surprises there and I sat on my hands and tried not to interrupt while the standard NHSisms were trotted out. I amused myself by trying to work out who in the small group were closet rebels like me. Tony definitely.
    The healthy eating visual aid on the floor looked like an interesting variation on the Twister mat (spin the spinner - right-foot on mash potato). It was dated 2009, so probably correct and current. Worse were the photocopied handouts which were several generations removed from their original 2006 great-great-great grandparents. Is it any wonder that this antiquated system has brainwashed generations? And I include my family and friends in that category. I really really wanted to explain LCHF but I was scared that the fixed robotic faces of my companions (not Tony) might swivel in unison in my direction and my body would never be found.
    And the bit about blood-testing! It was surreal, just like Headmistress addressing a group of six-year-olds - "I hope none of you are testing your sugar. Are you?" *Scans the group for for signs of averted gazes. "Because you wouldn't know what to do with the reading. Would you?" Aaaaaagh!
    At the tea-break, hot refreshments were offered and made out of sight next door; fortunately no sugar was offered and no biscuits. I suppose that was the only good thing. Did I learn anything? Not really, unless you count that I now know the size of the problem I'm facing. I am fighting diabetes, my misguided Healthcare Professional, and the dinosaur that is the system. But I can do this, you'll see, because you're all on my side.
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