Here we go again…

Here we go again...

My blood sugar levels are bloody awful at the moment. I won’t lie, some of it is probably my fault. But I was a bit gobsmacked that my Hba1C has doubled in the last three months.  Currently it’s as bad as it was when I was first diagnosed. If I can’t get it down in the next couple of weeks I’ll have to add a glicazide tablet to the Metformin SR and Lisinopril I’m already on.  I have been very run down, but there’s more I can do. I lost 7lbs in the last fortnight, so that’s a start. I’m currently trying a new tracker app called MySugr, as the old Ontrack Diabetes app seems to be in a weird place right now.  There was an update that apparently wrecked it, and then another update.. but my version doesn’t seem to have changed at all.

Hungry Whippet cartoon

The free version of MySugr doesn’t support PDF export, and there is no HTML export at all. What there is though, is CSV export, which I can then feed into a Chart plugin. Which I’ve been playing with today.

Public humiliation is my latest tactic. If I upload these charts, people can see how badly I’m doing. Hopefully it’ll stir me into doing better.

Below is the chart I’ve created using the CSV export from MySugr with the plugin Visualizer Lite. I don’t really need all the pro elements, as none of the things I’m tracking can be measured together. My plan is to do a BS chart, a steps chart and possibly a carbs or calories chart. The world doesn’t need to see my weight progress.

Stitch is happy

So.. for context. The guidelines for diabetic blood sugar is between 4 and 7 mmol/L.  You can hover over my results to see just how much shit I’m in right now.

MySugr records a lot more than the below, but I have to edit the data manually in the CSV file. The pro version allows pdf export, but where’s the fun in that?

The Chart (ulp)

This is now a screenshot of the chart, as I found a plugin I liked a lot better.  You can read about it here.

Visualizer Chart


Makin’ Biscuits

So… I’ve been pondering making my own dog biscuits for a while. I dehydrate liver and chicken treats for Miah already, and she loves them. But when we walk I prefer to use biscuits. Let’s face it…  dehydrated chopped liver is not something you want hanging around in your pockets.

I found a nice simple recipe online, but switched out the wheat flour for oats. I’m not sure if you can buy oat flour, but as I had a load of porridge oats in the cupboard from the last batch of liver cake, I decided to mill those into a rough flour for the biscuits. And it seems to have worked.

Miah seems to approve.



Semi-live tweeting my efforts…



Run, Miah, Run

Run, Miah, Run

Image © Lorraine Fitzgerald

I love seeing photos of Miah running. A whippet in full extension is a wonderful thing to behold. I can’t honestly say that I enjoy watching her racing, as I always stand at the end of the track feeling sick; worried that she might get injured. But once the day is over and we get a chance to see any photos of the racing, there’s no denying the delight at seeing a whippet doing what it loves the most.

The last two weeks have seen Miah running in two open events – The Easter Charity Open and the NPWRA (National Pedigree Whippet Racing Association) championships; both held at her current home club at Andover. She’s really come on this year, running against some top class dogs and having to fight every inch of the way up the track. She won her heat and semi and made it to the final at the open, and came 2nd in her heat and semi to make it to the final at the champs.

I’ve been meaning to post about my feelings about whippet racing in general, but this is not the place to do that. I just wanted to put down how absurdly proud of her I am. But then I always have been. This Sunday it’s the Whippet Club Racing Association Championships, and it’ll be interesting to see how she does there. So far she has made the final almost every time, but not been placed higher than third so far.

whippet race

Image copyright Lorraine Fitzgerald

You can read more about whippet racing on the WCRA section of the Whippet Club website. I will be posting my thoughts on it sometime in the future.

Whippet sleeping

aaaaanndddd….. relax

Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside – Dermatillo!

I keep starting this post and deleting it. This time I’ll try and get to the end…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an issue with damaging my own fingers deliberately. I really don’t like the phrase “skin picking” but it’s pretty accurate. It used to be just my index fingers on both hands, but I’ve noticed as my levels of anxiety increase, the amount of damage I’m doing goes up as well.  So middle fingers are no longer safe. If I’m honest, I’ll have a go at any part of me that has a scab to the point where it’s permanently scarred, but most of the time it’s my fingers. Lewis would tell me off in bed at night; apparently the soft ‘thud thud thud’ of me removing skin from my digits isn’t particularly conducive to getting a good night’s sleep.

Scared fingers

I had no idea there was a name for it until I did some idle googling one day. So now I have a name for my pain, and that is Batman Dermatillomania . I found Xojane’s article particularly helpful for pinpointing what’s wrong (with me). I’m not sure I can accurately describe why I do it. Often, it’s not even a conscious effort. Lewis and I were meeting with a client about a year ago, and when we walked out I realised that my fingers were bloody. I’d been peeling skin off under the table without even giving it any real thought.

The NHS article on dermatillomania notes the following:

It’s typical to experience an intense urge to pick the skin, with increasing tension until they do. After picking, there is a sense of relief.

I don’t find it a relief. Quite honestly it’s right bastard painful sometimes. Yet I still do it. Even better, having arthritis in my hands seems to be giving me incredibly dry knuckles, which seem to be able to defy any and all creams I’ve bought over the years. Even my favourite – Neutrogena Deep Moisture Comfort Balm, (which saw me through years of working in restaurants)  can’t breathe life back into my knuckles. It gives me another area I can badger and peel until it bleeds. I used to wear plasters on my fingers, but then it became something of a challenge for me to see if I could lift them and pick away at my fingers without dislodging  the plaster. I don’t bother anymore.

Robot Hugs has an excellent web comic, which touches on this. The part that particularly chimes with me is about the fingerpad rubbing against the other finger. That’s a typical jumping point for me also… I rub, rub, rub and as my fingertip picks up the imperfections of the already torn other finger the compulsion takes over and I start to strip those annoying (healing) bumps away. Common sense tells me if I leave it alone, it will heal. But common sense took the first bus out of town.




The following (not very pleasant) photos were taken over the course of a few months, I thought if I took photos of how sore they were it might help prevent me doing it again. That didn’t really work…I wouldn’t say these are the worst they’ve ever been but they’re pretty close to what they look like on any given day.  If I haven’t bitten, chewed or picked them for a few weeks they just look scarred and red at the ends.  I suspect my fingerprints would look pretty odd.


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