Looking forward to Easter
I’m really looking forward to Easter this year. Not only is there the long break from work, the wondrous supply of chocolate eggs and a city break to look forward to, I am also looking forward to the last week of a year-long clinical trial.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad I participated in the chance to try out a new type of basal insulin. I’m glad I’ve helped to understand the affects of this insulin and I think it is better than the Lantas that I normally use: the release profile of Lantas is not completely flat for 24 hours resulting in me feeling sleepy by the end of the day. I think I will miss the new basal insulin.
However, I will not miss the regular hospital visits (at least once per month) to report on blood glucose readings and insulin doses, get new supplies and every three months have a fasting blood tests. I will not miss the phone calls between the hospital visits to report blood glucose readings and insulin doses.
Very quick after being diagnosed with diabetes, my consultant decided I knew what I was doing and only needed to see a specialist once per year. Since then, early each year (January or February), I would take a trip to the local hospital to see a different registrar. Every year, I would get the feeling I knew more about diabetes than the “specialist”.
Whilst on this trial, I saw more of the diabetes healthcare specialists in one year than I have ever seen before. Unfortunately, it has proven to me the only way you can really know diabetes, is to live it all day ever day.
The healthcare professionals I met during the trial have provided advice on how to balance my blood glucose levels. However, they do not live my life: they do not go to the gym on a whim followed by a social post-work, post-gym drink or two or three and then get home too late for dinner one day and then the next day go straight from work to the climbing centre and then the next day work more than ten stressful hours trying to complete a sudden short term deadline and then spend the weekend walking and then the next week leaving work on time and have five quiet nights at home followed by a domestic weekend of cleaning, gardening and watching movies.
You get the idea: I don’t like to have a predictable life and I don’t live any more predictably because I have diabetes. So when I have a blood glucose reading of 3.2 or 12.3, I am not surprised (although I try to avoid it as much as possible). But when the nurse on the trial questions why these wayward readings every time, I start to wonder whether the nurse does not understand my life or whether she does not understand diabetes (or perhaps she just needs to make sure she reports it correctly for the trial). I guess you can never truly understand diabetes unless you live with it every day and you never understand someone else life because you can never entirely live their life.
Once Easter is over, my time on the trial will be over. I will miss the new insulin butI will not miss having to explain why it is not easy to manage diabetes.