Sorry for the absence. James has been at home most of the evenings this week as he has been on a course about diabetes, and I’ve ditched you for the chance to have dinner with my husband. I know I said I’d blog about Essex, and I’m sure you’re all hanging off your seats ready to don a nappy and pee yourselves in excitement about that blog, but you shall just have to wait.
James was diagnosed with diabetes at 8. Before I knew him, I knew very little about diabetes. I knew of diabetes – vaguely recalled having studied it in GCSE Biology in between rounds of making a fake cigarette out of paper filled with talcum powder which I ended up swallowing (the talc, not the paper) and fashioning pants out of paper for the skeleton that hung at the front of the lab. I absolutely did not understand its severity. I did not realise the ritual of it, day-in-day-out testing one’s blood sugar, thinking about what one eats, dosing insulin, trying to strike the delicate balance between the two that will keep you ticking over nicely. Nor did I realise the potential implications – the soaring sugars that threaten vital organs, eyesight, fingers and toes; or the plummeting blood sugars that will send family running for Lucozade or calling 999 in the middle of the night. Diabetes is crap. And having loved someone with it for neigh on 10 years, it is frightening.
James handles his diabetes with a grace that confounds me. He just deals with it. Wherever he goes, so too goes a bottle of Lucozade, a stock of insulin and his test kit. He never complains and never uses it as an excuse. He never feels sorry for himself. I don’t know other diabetes sufferers well enough to know whether this is a place you get to with this disease – because it’s chronic – and so you reach a place of calm. I just know I am amazed by his ability to handle it, because if it were me I would feel bloody sorry for myself.
Anyway – this week he has been on a brilliant course, the DAPHNE course, which is a revolutionary new programme to manage diabetes. It seems to have been great. He has changed the way he uses insulin, he counts carbs with scientific precision, he interrogates all manners of lifestyle factors and better understands how they will affect his blood sugar.
This also coincides with him having completed the Birmingham Half Marathon. With a stinking cold. In 2 hours 5 mins. I am very proud and I hope I don’t sound like a patronising arse in saying that.
And so you find me, whimpering quietly in the corner. I feel rather like someone of git-ish proportions has injected concrete into my calves and ankles and then punched me in the back. I am covered in Tiger Balm. Yesterday, I went running. I have not done any serious cardio for over three years, so it’s no surprise I’m hurting. I managed three miles, which is three more than anticipated, but I now cannot currently get off the sofa without emitting a high pitched squeak.
My reason is twofold. Firstly because I am basically just an excitable puppy. OH HELLO HELLO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS LOOKS LIKE FUN! PLEASE MAY I PLAY TOO OH IT DOES LOOK LIKE FUN OH PLEASE OH PLEEEEEEEASE OH DO SAY I CAN PLAY! I have dashed myself off and gone running-shopping. I am all-the-gear-no-idea. I have purchased shoes, trousers, a light reflecting jacket for the winter and a headband to keep my ears warm because that of course is WHAT IS IMPORTANT here.
Secondly because if my knees do not betray me, which they have done roughly each year since my late teens, demanding bouts of acupuncture to correct (which is a funny thing – chatting to your acupuncturist and looking down to find your knees have been turned into pincushions without your being aware of any needles being tapped into them), then I am hoping to run next year’s Half Marathon myself. If I get there, I’ll run for Diabetes UK. Because I’d like to help generate some funding and because I feel like this gives me a way to support my quiet, calm, unassuming kickass Husband beyond sometimes nudging him to check his blood sugar.
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