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Diary of a diabetic day 4 - I think I am getting better and so is my father

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 6 April 2017

Day 2 of my battle to tackle type 2 diabetes showed just exactly why there was no way I could do so without shoving my keyboard in a cupboard and changing every aspect of my life. I had to go to London to do some expert witness business for a friend. So it was all on board the 4.47 AM having done a very early morning blood test which came out at 11.7 down from 15.3 the night before. I know that post fasting measures will be lower but even so: I was told those new zappo pills would work fast!

Though I had only porridge on the train that was where the good news sort of stopped. I resisted biscuits in the meeting but by the time I walked out ( after four and a half hours) I was almost fainting and a bowl of pasta at Wedge Issue was much needed. Meeting, meeting, writing a bit for Steve Moore, some garlic bread, stress, it was all bad. I drank only water and coffee but I really felt tired and stressed and by the time I took my bloods very late that evening back in Bristol they were up at 14. The next morning they were still 13.7.

The bad news is that I discovered on Wednesday night that I was out of testing strips and have only just managed to wade through NHS bureaucracy to get some more. So I shall resume testing tonight - day 4. The good news is that two stress free days make me feel relatively confident.

Yesterday I drove up to see my father who remains in hospital and turned 79 on the first day of the new tax year. I showed him the present he will get on his return to Shipston but did so covertly, I sensed the NHS would not like bottles of ouzo being brandished about freely in Warwick Hospital. He was in cracking form and has suffered no further complications. God willing he will be at home within days. Despite having too much driving it was a semi-relaxing day for me. At least it started with me waking up when I feel like it. For the first time in 26 years there is no alarm set to ensure that I am staring at a screen by 7 AM.

While driving I listened to a most excellent programme on Radio 4 about sugar. We Brits eat an average of 30 bags a year - that is one every 12 days. It is horrifying. We eat it neat in our warm drinks, in cakes, soft drinks and puddings and in a way few of us notice in so many processed foods. Sugar consumption has soared and so too has the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The two things are linked.

In Greece I eat no processed foods at all. I, now and agai,n allow myself a pudding but not this year. And so I'd hope to be eating more or less no sugar at all. Here in Britain it is harder but I am cutting out the processed foods, puddings and alcohol so I really hope that I am well below the national average. Not that beating such a shocking score should be hard.

Today there was once again no alarm call. I have eaten very sensibly and I have taken three walks. They may be short walks but they are the sort of walks that I might well have done by car in the past. Now I consciously opted to walk even when carrying Oakley to the vets for his annual check up. My three legged cat is no longer morbidly obese. It is hard to tell beneath his masses of fur but he has lost a good amount of weight. Perhaps too much, expensive blood tests are called for.

But I digress. Let's talk about me.I know my bloods will keep getting better. I am not kidding myself. I know I have a very long way to go but I am heading the right way. And I feel it already! My father would say that this is not the sort of matter a gentleman discusses but I am less tired in the afternoon and, more noticeably, I am pissing far less often. I am now almost excited abut what news tonight's blood test will bring.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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