Sunday, 6 February 2011


Went out for breakfast this morning at Costa, and forgot to take my drugs as the dogs were playing up... Had a nice choccy muffin and when we got back discovered my grumpiness was probably due to 16.2 blood sugar. So took the drugs, walked the dogs around the fields and had a carb free lunch... Felt crap cos blood was down to 3.4... So toast and coffee and now i feel almost normal. This disease just does not allow you a day off...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Another 24 hours


Day 14.

Finishes normally, around 8.30 go upstairs for a read in bed as i have a good book and the kids want to watch something crap on the telly. Eyes won't stay open and i fall asleep. Wife comes up at 10 and i wake with a start, in a cold sweat and anxious. Sleep has gone away, and after 5 minutes of grumpiness i waddle downstairs to leave the family to sleep. The dogs are glad to be out of the kitchen 5 minutes after being put to bed, and together we snuggle up in the lounge with a dying fire to watch the start of the Ashes test.

Somewhere after about 10 overs, with England in a dream position that makes me wonder if i am still asleep, I need the toilet. And every hour on the hour for the next 6 or 7 I make that trip. I dont think the tofu was cooked right through, and i will not describe to you the effect. i drink litres of water but still feel parched, and know that solid food is a way off.

So around 7 the family rise and find me curled in a ball on the sofa muttering incoherently about run outs and catches. They dont care. They all need to be off and out, although the coating of snow means they go out and come back quite quickly. Eldest gets to work, younger stays off school.

The stomach starts to settle, and having decided I am too ill to have my injection or tablets, i stupidly decide i am now well enough to have some toast. i test my blood, and its 13.7. Not that much higher than normal reading, so toast it is. And a small bowl of muesli, because i am so hungry, and what harm can it do, its no added sugar and wholemeal...

It's about 11 and i think i should check my blood again. I am grouchy and have a headache and still trying to read the signs. The needle clicks, the strip draws up the blood, and the egg timer changes to numbers.


That is very high. That is frighteningly high. Should i go to hospital? I don't know. I dont have insulin, so the only option is metformin. The wife demands a recount. So i try a finger on the other hand. 22.7. Ok, so maybe i'm not dying. But i remember being told that fingers on different hands can be wildly different, so i try the original finger again. 26.7.

It's going up. I am dying. Ok, metformin. Supposed to have 4 of these a day, they haven't made much difference over the last 6 years, so lets inject the byetta and then have all 4 now. And some gliclazide. I need to get the numbers down. But i cant take these things on an empty stomach. So the injection goes in, the tablets get down, and i pace around the snowy garden for 20 minutes. Time for some oatcakes, somehow i come up with the logic that the insulin needs to be released by eating stuff, and then the drugs can do their work....

I am panicing and nervous, and leave it 2 hours before checking again. I am tearful and stressed, I am not in control and i am frightened.


It worked.

So now its about 4 o'clock and having felt so much better when it was down at 3pm i think i should check again. 5.0.

Er, that's too low. Is it officially a hypo? Am i dying again? Is it a metformin overdose? OMG, i killed myself with my drugs.

Eat! Eat! But something that is low Gi, low Gl but will get my sugars slowly up again. I cant remember now what i had, but an hour later it was back at 11.

And i felt better. I know i felt more in control and better because we had to go out driving and i let the wife take the keys. Normally my chauvinism manifests in chaufferism, but tonight i know its not wise.

So what did i learn? Illness makes your sugars go up. Don't panic and make stupid huge corrections - everything needs to be in moderation.

And the most important lesson i think was that i saw the drugs work. i saw the reading of 26, i took the drugs, ate a little good food, and it collapsed down to 5.

For the first time I actually saw that the drugs can work. And hope is not something i have had much of recently.

An awful day, but a day i saw hope.


After a hard summer of anxiety and concern, I came round to believing that insulin was the answer. My last Hba1c had been 10.6 which was down from the first one of 16 about 5 years ago, but it wasn't ever going to get down low enough. The needles had scared me, and i had put it off too long. So i strode into the surgery, hands outstretched.

"Give me the insulin."


I wasn't expecting that.

"No, you are right, i have come to understand that. Let's do it. Give me the insulin."

"We have been thinking..."

This was confusing. This was upsetting. This was not what I was expecting. 6 months of worrying - after 6 years my blood levels had never been below 10 and i had never experienced anything remotely resembling a hypo. And now i was resigned to injecting myself with this mysterious, frightening, life changing, no returning drug that was going to send me hurtling towards hypos. It was serious. I was serious. I was ready to take control.

"..that you would be ideal for Byetta."

"For who?"

"Byetta. It's a fairly new drug which we think you should try for 6 months before insulin."

"But... What?...Do you know what i have put myself through mentally to be ready to accept the insulin? To finally, finally get the importance of taking control, taking back ownership of my body..."

"We think you should try it."

And so it continued. Two nurses, a heap of medical training and experience behind them, were telling me I should try it. I was the ideal candidate. Basically, I was fat, forty and not taking it seriously. And then they abused my scientific mind.

"You will lose weight."


"Yes. You won't need to do any exercise or change your diet. You will just lose weight."

"Really?" This seemed to go against everything I had ever known. How?

"It makes you nauseous. It gives you diarrhoea and vomiting, and you simply dont want to eat."

That is not a line that is going to win any plaudits in the advertising industry. But the idea of a drug that makes you thin with no effort from you. That can't be true?

So we argued back and forth, and in the end the idea that it was a 6 month trial and then we could start insulin, made me think why not try it. The pen wouldn't arrive for a couple of days, so I went home to look on the web. Some of the forums were very blunt. It did make you ill. 90% of users said they felt appalling for a month, and then settled into a life of feeling just rubbish. But they all lost weight. Some only a few pounds, some claimed fantastical figures of 60 pounds. It did seem the fatter you started, the more you lost. I tip the scales about 17 and a half stone (112 kgs in Euros) so I could probably lose a couple of stone (12 kgs) without worrying about the onset of winter. So I have to try this stuff...

Day One

Unwrapping the plastic lid from the needle and screwing it on to the pen creates all the feelings of apprehension and fear that I was expecting, just on a much larger scale. You screw the little plastic tool onto the end of the pen, pull the cover off and slide off the needle case. And there it sits, 8mms of cold thin steel that you have to push into your stomach. You twist the end of the pen to prime it, pinch up a layer of blubber (anywhere around your belly button she said, and let's be honest that is a sizable target for me) and start to move the pen closer.

You expect the pain. You expect the coldness. You expect the sharp feeling shooting up your nerves and colliding in your brain. But there is nothing. It slides in effortlessly and without any feeling at all. The top of the pen pushes against your stomach and you realise you are pushing too hard. You relax a little. Press the end. Hold it. Still nothing. No feeling. Pull it out. Slowly, expecting the blood to pour out, the muscle to spasm, the nerves to wake up... but nothing. Didnt feel anything.

And then the brain switches to the drug. It's inside you. Is it working yet? Is that nausea? Am i going to hypo right now? No, nothing is happening. Maybe it takes more than 10 seconds. I sit down. The dog jumps onto the sofa, I leap up, worried that it might catch the wound and my guts will spill out. I check. No, everything is holding together.

Am i over-reacting? Probably, but then it was less than a minute ago when i stabbed myself for the first time. The wife needs to go out to pick up one of the boys. "Don't leave me."

"I have to pick him up..."

"Ok..." What if i die? How will i get to hospital? Who will call the ambulance? What's for dinner?

In hindsight, yes it was a lot easier than i expected. And maybe i was just a little over sensitive and over anxious. The actual injection was painless. And what about the drug? What was it doing?

No nausea. No vomiting. Dinner was taken, I deliberately ate small - not my style and went to bed hungry, but expecting to be woken up in the night with the cold, icy hand of death throwing me to the bathroom.

I slept well.

Hello Again

Its been a long while ...

I signed up with the NHS to do a blog on diabetes, but having made a couple of posts on there i found out that they were getting about 3 page views a day - people i had invited to read it! So if the NHS get no new readers, then I may as well use my own blog.

So forget the travelling of yesterday... now its Diabetes time :)


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

oh dear Tiger

Sitting in terminal 5 next to a giant screen showing Accenture adverts with Tiger Woods.
"The road to high performance is not always paved."
"Its what you do next that counts."

Friday, 20 November 2009

Its November...

Its difficult to believe that its been nearly 3 months since i last wrote anything on here. I guess the big difference is i'm not travelling anymore and everything has got a lot easier. There are no long dull nights trapped in a hotel in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but witter away on here...
So no more Sabre, how does that feel. A relief really. I joined Sabre last year as i needed to get out of XL and it was the best offer on the table. And the job started well, the travel was interesting, the work was challenging, the learning was fun, and whatever the problems professionally, the customers in Bodo, Melbourne and Stockholm were great. It was a fantastic team too, i learnt so much from them and really enjoyed getting through some of the problems we faced. But then management changed, and we became Americanised. It was the right decision for head office to make - it was crazy having a small little swedish pocket ignoring what the rest of the world was doing. So Rocade became Air Centre and the magic was gone... The choices were Kenya or Saudi for a very long time, and the prospect of being bogged down in FT for the next year was not a pleasing one. So time to change, and what was out there... well nothing really, so for the second time in a year, in the middle of the worst recession the world has ever seen, i quit my job with nothing lined up.
The plan for a long time was to take over another company, develop their software, turn it into a freelance IT centre, and take over the world. 5 months later that all fell apart, and we were back where we were.
My old boss had promised some work when things fell into place, and this came to pass. And now those few weeks have turned into a few months, and things are going well. We will be installing the Operations / Commercial / Crew system, and judging by initial contact with the chosen supplier its going to be our project and we are going to run it the way we want. Looking forward to getting stuck into it and making things happen. Next week off to Stockholm for the first time in 6 months so will get to catch up with whoever is left at Rocade, and the week after to Athens. Would imagine from then until May 1st will be busy busy busy.
Have also started my degree course with the Open University, a bit of a shock to the system but proving manageable so far.
And money arrived from Italy. Blimey.
Will try and write about those things separately later.
Need to get back into the swing of this, although the serious stuff has left me disinterested recently. Still shout at the telly, but feel more detached from politics and the rest of the world than ever before.
Thats the first one down, lets try and do some more of this...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Random Thoughts

Mrs Dno has taken the kids to Turkey for a week and I am missing the lot of them. Have done enough travelling over the last year to be quite happy being away from home on my own, but its weird being alone in the big old house. There is a strange quiteness and calmness that isnt right. Miss my wifelet, and although the dogs are doing their best to keep me company it just isnt the same...
Bingo sneezed a few times, so I took him to the vet to make sure it wasnt the first sign of the lungworm. The vet poked him, prodded him, and listened to his chest. "Probably not" he said. But then he said Algie only had a throat infection... So i had to give him £58 for the very vague diagnosis and a few antibiotics. And yet vets still struggle to make money. How?
Renato Pagliari died. Save Your Love. Just one cornetto. Best mate of Big Ron Atkinson. Another legend passes...
One benefit of being unemployed is the opportunity to transfer your cd collection onto mp3. The idea is to do that, and then ebay the lot of them. So far I think i have done about 500, so about 800 left. If anyone wants to help...
And what has listening to the first 3 songs of 500 cds taught me? Fleetwood Mac really were a very good band. The Beatles really were that good (and if anyone wants to buy me the upcoming remastered boxset please feel free). My wife has some appalling cds that will not be recorded - Hearsay, Leann Rimes, Status Quo, Chris Rea... oh dear! Enrique Iglesias? All Saints? SHANIA TWAIN??? Its not easy loving Mrs Dno, especially when she has a CD in her hand...
Lindt 90% chocolate and ice cold Coke Zero. Its the new cheese and wine...
How does Radio2 get away with being so rubbish? Sarah Kennedy could be replaced by a drunken baboon, Terry Wogan is just not funny, interesting, relevant or even alive sometimes. Ken Bruce will die if he doesnt play an Abba song every 2 hours - and he must have the largest collection of 70s male singer songwriters in his phone book - Andrew Gold, Boz Scaggs, Al Stewart, Al Jarreau... Steve Wright - dont start me. Even Chris Evans is annoying. And then Radcliffe and Maconie are the best thing on the radio - how can Radio2 be so good between 8 and 10 pm and then so terrible every other minute?
The Wire. Watching it for the 3rd time from beginning to end, and i get excited Tuesday morning when i have a new episode. Its perfect. The best thing ever on TV by a country mile.
Talking of the country. Want to combine fox hunting with 3 day eventing. The boys obviously love a good blood sport, so if the only way the country folk can ride horses over fields with their dogs is to kill something at the end of it, then why not introduce that to Olympia? Dressage, Show Jumping and then seal clubbing. I think the Puissance would be great if the last 3 riders in it had to jump over the wall while firing a crossbow at suspended kittens...
Why do people say to me I dont "understand how the Countryside works." I do. It doesnt. Its like the town but everything is further away and shuts earlier, and everyone seems to bear a grudge against everyone else. Its brilliant to be out in the middle of nowhere and have fields and trees all around, but that is because people everywhere are rubbish and i would rather look at trees. And i think people like the fact that i am safe, far away in the middle of nowhere...
Oh, and the country has more fox poo.
Which brings me to Bingo's death toll this week. In the last 7 days one rabbit, one moorhen, one pheasant and we found a rabbit's head on the lawn. Bless.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

BINGO update

The little fella has been here a month now, and he is a most wonderful little personality. As the photos show, butter wouldnt melt in his pretty little hinged mouth. However yesterday a little baby bunny did more than melt, and once we got him to drop it I had to carry the poor little thing into a field and leave him for the foxes.
And one of my shoes has just appeared on the other side of the lawn minus the tongue...
And he eats cat poo.
And he has no idea what his own name is.
But we love him, and once he stops nibbling at your hand, he is soooo adorable!

Sunday, 9 August 2009


So tomorrow is my first official day of unemployment...
I have left Sabre of my own free will to pursue other interests. It would be mad of me to sit here and slag off my previous employer - to be honest I think they were doing the right things to standardise their business and provide a consistent product across the world - it just wasnt what I want or need at this point.
So why does one leave a perfectly well paying job when they dont have one to go to?
The obvious answer in the middle of the "worst recession since 932" is that i must have gone a little bit mad. Its the second time in a year i have handed in my notice without a job to go to, and like last year i dont think i am mad. I cant imagine Sabre possible going the same way as XL, but of course the company will be just a little bit wounded by my departure. For about 3 minutes...
So what are the options? The favoured option is still buying a software company and developing the company and the software to change the world... That is trundling along but could take another year at this speed. Lets put that on the shelf marked "Burners, Back...".
There is always the Irish connection. And who knows, maybe even an extended spell oop North?
And then there is freelance. And I am quite enjoying typing up proposals and playing with Visio and Powerpoint and making ever more elaborate presentations. Have made some good contacts with a few airlines and I am now at the frustrating stage a lot of my colleagues in the consultancy word must know well - "We love the idea of working with you, just that the guy who can sign this off is in Vladivostok for 8 months..."
So one sits, one waits, and one sends emails and phones people. The internet makes it a lot easier than it must have been years ago, but doesnt help at all when it comes to getting a signature.
So if anyone knows any businees that needs someone to tell them what they are doing wrong, suggest a different way of doing it wrong using spreadsheets and flow charts, and then look on bemused as the company decide to change nothing, then i am your man.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Allingham and Patch, heroes

Just a quick note to add my condolences. The news that Henry Allingham and Harry Patch have both passed away in the last week or so is the closure of an incredible piece of history. The oldest man in the world, and the only other British survivor of the trenches of World War One. Peaceful men who wore their sorrow so well, and both worked in memory and honour of their lost friends. Courage I can only imagine, the world has lost two very important men.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Altogether now... B I N G O, Bingo was his name-o

It was never the plan to get another dog so soon after Algie, but i rang the rescue centre to tell them the bad news, they said they had a Terrier puppy, he was reserved but the guy never turned up, we did...
And Bingo joined the gang. A lot of Jack Russell, Staffie head, maybe some Beagle in the legs and God knows what else...
Monty has declared total ambivalence, Jenna has attacked him on sight, Squiffy only noticed when he went near the food bowl... And the wife has gone gooey and was found earlier curled up on the dog's sofa with him on her shoulders.
Time for me to build that big kennel down the garden for Me and Monty i think. And i know which of us will be missed first...


Until you have spent an entire week staring out of the window at a herd of cows, trying to work out which one has the most white, or the shortest legs, or is the leader...
I'm just saying - its fun!