High Sugar – the 48-hour rule

My wife was just away for the weekend, so I cooked for myself. I cooked meetballs and pasta and, because of the number of meatballs in the packet, the concoction lasted both the days my wife was away. Funny, on both days, my sugar was up at 16, which is far higher than I’d like. Needless to say, I was quite careful with what I ate, and I never normally notice a particular peak with a portion of pasta, so possibly the jar of ragu also had sugar in it?

Anyway, last night I just had chicken kievs (I love garlic!), with nothing else, and this morning my sugar was back down at 12. Provided I don’t go crazy today, it’ll be single figures tomorrow. It’s funny how it seems to take 48 hours for everything to settle back down after a spike.

Slippers

Yay, my latest experiment arrived today.

For the last few years I have really felt the cold, so have bought lovely warm sheepskin slippers. The only problem is, the absence of movement in my bad foot means that my left slipper can just slide off my foot, often in the most inconvenient of places. The middle of the garden is a good one, surrounded by chicken poo!

Anyway, at the weekend, I noticed that my current sheepskin slippers were very falling apart, so this time I bought some of those (lined) Crocs. I’m hoping that

  1. the lining will keep my foot warm enough, and
  2. the strap at the back of the croc will keep it on my foot.

My wife has also pointed out that a rubber shoe might also be better, as regards treading stuff in from the garden, than a slipper.

Question Time

This one would have been an easy one for me. Left or right, it doesn’t matter. I have two key questions when this crops up:
  1. Is someone criticising an argument, or a person? I don’t have a problem when somebody finds things wrong with a particular argument that’s being presented, but when they tell me what I should think of their opponent, then I turn off. In much the same vein,
  2. Is someone arguing the merits of their own argument, or the consequences of their opponent’s? Are they telling you how good their argument is, or how bad their opponent’s is?

So just these two rules set me well on the way towards how much of what I hear is allowed to sink in. In poor old Corbyn’s defence, I heard a lot of this from the Conservatives during the last election (and since), which was one reason I turned away from them.

The debate last night, by the way, just turned into a party-political squabble, with the Labour guy saying the Tories were awful, and vice versa. You get that, you turn off. I gave up watching after 5 minutes. Very disappointing again. It has been quite poor of late.

Consistency

I’m sure I must have railled about this before.

I watch Question Time, although somewhat less closely than I used to. A couple of weeks ago there was a guy on who I found very boorish. I don’t think this was a politician, but he seemed to be espousing left-wing politics, to the point where he was talking over other people and therefore inhibiting the debate. My personal feeling is that you let your opponent speak, and people will quite easily judge for themselves whether they make sense or not. Anyway, with this guy, I couldn’t help feeling that his views were probably not particularly consistent, and that it would be interesting to ask this chap about equality, for example, since he certainly was not prepared to give other people an equal chance to air their views.

A week or so before that, I happened to get myself into an argument on the internet. It was on the page of a left-wing group (something called DIEM25) that I happened to follow. The reason I followed them is because I am quite sympathetic to their views. Anyway, they happened to be talking about one or other of their internal elections, and how they would apply positive discrimination to ensure an equal split between men and women. I don’t believe in positive discrimination so I posted along the lines, “Gee, I’d hate to be one of the people who lost out because of this rule.” The next thing, my race and gender had both been brought into the discussion – rather than discredit my argument, this politico had decided they would try to discredit me. Now I do think there are reasonable arguments for positive discrimination, but this guy chose not to go near them. So I highlighted what he was doing, and left the group. Whilst I had an amount of sympathy for them before, I certainly had less for them now.

Similarly, some time ago I used to follow a left-wing singer called Billy Bragg. He was pro-European, and posted quite vocally to this effect. I pointed out that regardless of his view on this particular issue, there were many honourable left-wing politicians such as Tony Benn who’d been quite anti-EU, so even if you disagreed with them, it would be wrong just to class them as neanderthals and to dismiss them. Michael Foot was another example. I seem to remember that I was called all sorts of idiot for pointing this out – an inconvenient truth. (Not by the guy himself – I very much doubt he pays any attention to his comments – but by people who followed him.

And so I do very much understand people’s concerns about groups such as Momentum. I can listen to someone like Jeremy Corbyn, and his views come across as extremely well-structured, he himself is very well-spoken and articulate, but the shadowy groups in his wings are somewhat more sinister. I’m not sure these people actually understand what their views mean or where they come from, let along appreciate that other people may not share their overall view or are at all clear on where agreement/disagreement lies.

Faux Pas

Hahaha, sometimes I think my choice of words could be better.

I’ve blogged previously about my involvement with a peer support group, and I’ve just started a group on Facebook so we can all keep in touch between meetings. Because the group only meets fortnightly I think in terms of “on-weeks” and “off-weeks”.

Anyway, because this Facebook group now contains people who don’t come along to the Playhouse every single time, I posted this morning that there was no meeting tomorrow because we were in an off-week.

I got an amusing reply from someone to say that they were having one too 😊

Limits

A friend of mine is the chairperson of a small charity. The last time I saw her was a few months before my stroke, when we had a good catch-up over a long lunch. I remember her saying that as a result of her being involved in this charity she’d been to a couple of the queen’s garden parties. I also remember (or think I remember) that we both claimed to be republicans, so I didn’t see the appeal. She said it was to raise awareness of her charity. Fair enough for her, but that wouldn’t cut any ice with me.

It did make me think, since I myself have had a stroke, and I myself am now involved in charity work, whether this changes anything. It doesn’t, for me. Plus, I’m fortunate enough that if I was ever asked to do anything I didn’t want to do, I could pass the buck to someone else and the charity would still have its awareness raised.

I’m also in two minds about a blog I’ve started following, about a woman with early-onset dementia. She’s just written a book and is currently, it seems, working very hard at promoting it. TV shows here and there, apparently.

Well, many of us could relate to some life-changing event, including me. So, I wonder whether I could write a book? I mean, at the end of the day, it’d just be a book about me. For most of us, I suppose that is our favourite subject! I’ve written over a hundred blog posts in about the last year, it doesn’t worry me one bit that I am probably the only person to read them – as much as anything it is for my own rationale – but whether a book would be of interest to anyone else is a different matter.

I suppose you’d have to take a publisher’s word that you had a “story”. And certainly writing the book would not be a problem – there’s plenty of material. Or the presumed financial windfall that it means. But this woman (in her blog) is writing about a seemingly endless round of publicity, which turns me right off. But at the same time, of course, she is very successfully raising awareness. You’d kind of feel obliged to seize that particular opportunity. And presumably that would be quite a difficult task to delegate?

But certainly from my personal perspective, I’m not particularly interested in reading about the time when she met such-and-such a superstar actor on such-and-such a TV show. I’m sure that these are all nice people, but…..

There’s lots of “buts” in this post – I did say I was in two minds!

Check Up

Had quite an unproductive meeting with the nurse at my local surgery on Friday.

Obviously we’re only six weeks or so from the end of the financial year, doctors’ surgeries are turning their attention to all the incentives they can earn by making sure that so-and-so is checked for such-and-such. You’d like to think that these appointments are driven by people’s health needs, but actually they’re driven by money. But that’s a moan for another day…..

So, on the plus side, I am on a tablet which can have a side-effect of raising potassium levels, but the level of potassium in my blood was normal. Also, when I had my stroke, the hospital put me on a statin. I kind of get the impression that they do that to everyone. So I was pleased that my cholesterol was very low. I take several pills per day as I’d always like to be on fewer. So I will think about that, but might stop taking it.

The main subject, though, was my HBA1C, which was 70 (that number will mean something to anyone who’s diabetic; for those who aren’t, a value in the low-40s is considered healthy. I think the units here are mmol/mol if memory serves). I am already taking insulin so the nurse suggested that I go and visit the team at the hospital with a view to getting better control. I don’t mind that – after all there might well be another insulin which will work better for me, or at least they might be able to suggest some improved testing method. Plus I have the time to go up there at the moment. But of course, at the same time, the nurse’s instinct to push me on to someone more specialised meant that the meeting with her was effectively wasting my time. I lost interest at that point. I did want to talk about the possibility of trying one of the newer drugs to hopefully reduce my dependence on insulin, but clearly this woman was not the right person to talk to.

So it all turned into a humdrum meeting. At the end, the nurse said that they normally did these checks annually, but that possibly, in my case, they should be doing them every six months? My own feeling is that if the result is just to be “you need to see someone else”, then there seems little point in seeing her at all. I mean, nothing against this nurse, she was just abiding by the rules of her job, and I’d far sooner be pushed to someone else rather than be given the wrong information, but at the same time there was very little value in the meeting for me.

Natural Remedies

I’m afraid I chuckle when I hear people talk about natural remedies. I do think it is a vast overestimation that medicine knows everything, but…

I share the very popular belief that many of the drugs we get from the pharmacy started off as natural remedies, so people took them and improved on them and trialled them under testable conditions. I don’t think the process is infallible, but contrast that with the “natural remedy” process, which has no benchmarks whatever.