Well, that’s March over.. For another year..
Not particularly one of my favourite months because the weather’s usually pretty shitty and I’m not so good with the cold.
It is however Carters Birthday Month, also my Mum’s Birthday Month (the day before Carter’s Birthday), Carters Diabetic 12 month Anniversary (D’Versary/Diaversary) and this year; Mothers-day too! It was a busy month. Plus, Greg decided to grow a monstrous infection on his back where he had a sac of fluid around a prolapsed disc and had to have surgery. We all got a super throat-virus that knocked us down one by one like domino’s. AND, it was officially my first Month back at University and into the last lap of my Nursing Degree. I return after having to hold my place on the course this time last year when Carter was severely ill.
Yes indeed, it’s been one of them months. Aside all the lovely and the happy, there’s been a fair bit of shitty to boot. We take it as it come because THIS IS HOW WE LIVE NOW!
This week especially has been full of the fun life has to offer:
I had to get my new Nursing Uniform out ready for my first shift on my new unit. My old uniform is 2 sizes too big now and since I’ve been off, the Uni introduced new uniforms so I was lucky and got a couple of new dresses for free. I am missing my trousers and tunic which I have to buy, but for now, the dresses with tights will do. I also had to go back to my old placement and collect my shoes that I’d left in their locker room this time 12 months ago. The NHS only allow a certain type of shoe; Black, Leather, Flat. They recommend Clarks Unloops, Ward Walkers, Silents and Sketchers Go Walks are others. All carrying hefty price tags too I may add. I would be happy in a pair of Dr Martens shoes (they’re leather and black and flat after all) but not on the list – Boo! Luckily my old shoes were still there and I am not £65 down as initially expected. I do prefer my £10 Primark ones though (as in the photo), they are a rip-off of the Sketchers ‘go walks’ – NHS Authorised shoe but a fraction of the price AND with the wear our shoes get up and down them wards (and how hot they get – I have to be honest here and admit to suffering from sweaty-feet – I have no idea where I get it from, as a child it was painful, as an adult it’s not as bad – you can buy things to help lol) it’s nice to have a change when you have a fair few shifts on the bounce.
I also had a major meltdown earlier in the week that my uniform wouldn’t fit, that I couldn’t go because it wouldn’t fit (part wishful thinking, part stress, anxiety PTSD).. Completely irrational but I just had to dig out my uniform to try. Luckily I found some calm in the fact that it fitted and my shoes were comfy and I still have a few days left before I have to leave the boys and the house and head off out for 15hours at a time..
I do look slimmer and feel comfort too. This time last year I was in a dress 2 sizes bigger and it was tight. I am rather proud of my achievements AND I haven’t even dieted. We just completely changed our lifestyle – for Carter. It’s the carbs – carbs are sugar. Keto is definitely the way to live, that weight you can’t shift – shifts! I promise.. I’m far from thin and I’m not fit but I am healthier and lighter and that is good for my heart, my wellbeing and my soul..
Greg’s back is doing a lot better. Remember the yucky, manky, painful, pussy photo’s I’ve been posting. Well.. I cleaned it out for him today. It’s the first weekend the District Nurse hasn’t had to come because they no longer need to ‘pack’ the wound. So, I was able to clean and re-dress the site. It’s also the first time I’ve seen it since last week and I am impressed; it’s healing really well and much less painful. In fact. Today, he did some DIY, so I know it’s definitely much less painful! YAY! Operation Happy-New-Bedroom can recommence 🙂
Lilly continues to be doting Queen Momma Cat to her beautiful little Kittens (all 6 of them), they are adorable and starting to open their eyes. We sex ID’d them too; 4 boys and 2 girls – CUTE!
Morgan won’t leave them alone, updating his YouTube videos daily with his videos and what not. We relocated them to downstairs earlier in the week just to give Lilly a change of scenery and a break from him constantly crashing out on the floor next to her – you could almost see the ‘will you leave me alone’ in her eyes – and she adores her Morgan!
I reintroduced fried sprouts and cabbage into our Morning Breakfast rotation. We haven’t had it for a few weeks. The boys prefer pancakes and my Cyril (cereal), but it’s just too nice to not have in my life. There’s something about shredded sprouts, cabbage and onion fried up in lard with salt and pepper, sometimes with some smoky bacon too – it’s just all part of the Healthy and Happy, and my belly appreciates that!
The Boys are LOVING Pancakes at the minute though, with syrup or bacon or chocolate syrup/sauce (sugar free of course), they don’t mind.
I make them simply. I’m sure there’s a recipe somewhere with an original author I should give credit to but I haven’t looked, just sorta muddled through producing my own and here it is:
2 oz full fat cream cheese (philly)
2 Large eggs
1 Tbsp Granulated Erythritol (or Swerve)
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Mix until not lumpy, pour into a hot pan with oil (either olive or coconut) and fry – flip once if you can manage it without turning to mush – YUM!
I have started trying to make mine a bit more fun, into moulds and smaller, more perfect circles. Sometimes I manage it and I rock Breakfast, other times, they mush and Breakfast becomes Carnage – Yummy Carnage though – and no complaints yet!
See my pancake-people man people? (That’s what we call them). Well… He had a friend, he’s beside him – Carnage 🙂 Yummy though!
I started crocheting myself some new fingerless gloves this week too. I have a lot of time during the nights when I’m awake. I had some leftover variegated DK from a scarf I made myself earlier in the winter to match my red puffa jacket. Gloves seem like the perfect way to use the yarn up and it will match – yay! Perfect for all the early mornings and late nights to come now that I’m back at the hospital regularly.
I really enjoy crocheting. I find it not only very therapeutic but I also like the sense of achievement I get and the happiness from producing something nice for myself, AND that I was actually able to do it. I also like the colours that I can use and just general niceness of being able to actually do something that my Mum and my Nannan did before me. It’s no longer seen as an old fashioned notion, a lot of people are taking it up these days – it’s definitely back on trend – how rock and roll am I??!!!
But, my studies have started back up, I have a 4000 word assignment on Developing Capabilities for Effective Collaborative Practice that won’t write itself. So, I left my crochet wrist warmers half complete (I’ll try and get them finished tonight) and set about planning my assignment and researching what evidence I want to include. It’s not the most interesting assignment I will ever write, but it’s light enough to tiptoe my way back into a mentally and physically demanding, exhausting experience that is Nurse training in the modern world. And it’s heavily focused on reflecting and self development which I have found useful to define my current status, map my progress and plan my future development. It’s not so bad. It’s at a stage now where I was able to shelf it last night and have today off with the Boys. We watched TV, played and baked. Tomorrow I have to start typing up my first draft, I want to get it sent off to my tutor mid-week for some feedback and then hopefully have it finalised and submitted for marking by the weekend. It isn’t actually due yet, the deadline is closer to the end of the month, BUT.. I have to plan that far ahead now, be that step ahead of the game, because of Carters Diabetes and how unpredictable that makes our lives. No longer can I leave things until the last minute, because, if this last year has taught me anything, it’s that things can change in a second and if I plan to write something up the night before and Carter is ill?.. There’s no way on earth I’m meeting that deadline = Game Over.
Much coffee required! Actually Tea. I’m a Cuppa-T kinda gal. Speaking of coffee though, I mastered (and I mean MASTERED) Bulletproof coffee this week too (I’m on a roll). I’ve been reading about the benefits on a Keto Diet of drinking Bulletproof Coffee and know it would have a positive impact on Carters blood sugars. Morgan also drinks a lot of coffee (I only ever buy decaf), and because I don’t drink it much I’m not fussed either way, so, I wanted to give it a go for them.
Here’s how I make it (and they loved it). They are either impressed with me or humouring me lately – they seem to like most things I make, it’s nice but it’s unsettling, I’m used to a bit of feet being dug in, but lately – nothing.. I’m not used to it LOL!!. The truth will come out in a few weeks when they either decide they don’t like coffee anymore or are still drinking it – they do that. They don’t tell me outright if they dislike something, they claim it’s fab and then a few weeks later they decide they’ve miraculously ‘gone-off it’ I appreciate their sensitivity to my feelings but I’d rather them just be honest and tell me straight so I don’t go wasting money on ingredients that’ll just get thrown away because they were never going to bother with it anyway. (take note when you read this Morgan!)…
My Bulletproof Coffee:
1 heaped spoon of coffee – decaf (I’m currently using Americano or Nespresso but I usually buy whatever’s on offer).
1 heaped spoon of butter (raw grassfed or Kerrygold – whatever you can get).
1 heaped spoon of coconut oil
Rest boiling water
whisk up in the blender/bullet/whatever you’ve got.
Top with squirty cream of clotted extra thick double cream. Serve in a Jam Jar with a straw – winner! The glass Jar and straw are essentials in this house. Everything tastes nicer from an old Jam Jar you know?.. I have no explanation but the boys seem to think so – come visit – you’ll see exactly what I’m on about! They wolfed it down, I did enjoy mine too to be fair. It was really tasty and creamy. No blood sugar spike for Carter and no sweetener required (possibly because of the coconut oil?) – winner!
Whilst I remember about the boys changing their minds about what they like and don’t like and therefore food going to waste I bought a joint of Gammon earlier in the week. It was on offer – the exact same price as a pack of bacon. I chucked it in the slow cooker overnight and just let it cook itself. The next morning I shredded it, it literally fell apart – it was delicious. The boys devoured it with a fried egg on top. I left the rest on the side for lunch / dinner and cold cuts – I told them they could pick at it, it’s just meat – get whatever – whenever you want. And.. They left it – I had to chuck it out. I was so frustrated.
I HATE throwing meat out, I find it unethical. I’m not massive on my principles or in anyway against eating meat – I love meat and it’s a big part of our diet. BUT I think it’s cruel and unethical to waste it. It’s just wrong – so they got told off 🙂 hence my speil about wasting food and being honest about liking/enjoying food so I don’t go stocking up on things they don’t want/like but just don’t want to tell me.. Kids!!
The Gammon was delicious though, I enjoyed mine. I didn’t add any water or seasoning or anything. It’s the first time I’ve ever cooked it like that. I expected it to be more like boiled ham and I’d fry it the next morning but it was more pulled pork!. From the pack into the pot – straight onto the plate – totally delicious! They did enjoy it and asked for it today but I’d already thrown it, next time I’ll stick it in the fridge to save..
This week I also realised that my hair looks shocking! Shocking as in unkempt, uncared for, it’s scraggly, falling out (still! Unsure what to do about that, feel like I’m in denial). I have terrible roots – grey-white roots – kill me now!! I’ve not had my hair done by my friend/hairdresser since before Christmas. Pauper student me needs to accept that’s a luxury I can’t afford right now. But, I’ve been doing it myself. I NEED to go get a box and stick it on before my 1st shift or they’ll definitely be nicknaming me stripe! or Roots! Or WORSE?! I’m aiming for this colour, not sure what I’ll get but this is the plan..
GORGEOUS! Wish me Luck!!
Carter’s blood sugars have been brilliant this week too – that helps! It helps everything – a lot! I find it a bit unbelievable and insane that my life and happiness and in fact my judgement on myself as a mother is depicted by set of numbers on a machine, but those numbers mean so much more! Insane that this is our life now! Anyway, Carter maintains an average BM of 4.78mmol (4.8) which is pretty good considering he runs a lot higher in school than at home. I’m struggling with that and it’s becoming more evident with each day. I would like to ask school to start correcting but (because they’re legally obliged to adhere to his nurse-written policy), they won’t correct as low as I want them to. So, we’re plodding on and I’m keeping it at the forefront of my mind – hoping a solution will jump out and wave at me soon! I live in hope and I will keep searching – for him!
We’ve nailed his over night basal though, It’s nice and smooth. He can sleep soundly and I can rest, he stays in range and steady. It’s a nice feeling. I know it won’t last BUT for now, it’s good. It’s important (as per my Overnight Basal Testing Blog post) they are in a safe-lower range as they sleep because they are asleep a long time. Night time blood sugars have huge impact on overall Blood Sugars that have direct impact on the HbA1c, which ultimately guides how well Diabetes is being managed. Ergo; it suggests how well you’re well-being and prognosis is. It’s all relevant – IT ALL MATTERS!
Dr Bernstein recommends normal blood sugars, it’s is not safe nor ethical to let your child run higher just because it’s easier and you are tired, or because they want to eat the buns. It’s just not good, for their short or long-term health. Complications set in hard and fast and Normal Blood sugars help keep them at bay!
It is also important to be honest with your child, they are Diabetic, they are different, hiding that, being ashamed or shading it away is dangerous. Embrace the difference, be proud of it – it’s an important survival tactic. Be aware of the disease, it’s scary but you can help make it less scary by adopting Dr Bernstein’s methods or just speaking about things openly and facing them as a family – together.. I understand it isn’t for everyone (Bernsteins Methods) but I’d rather Carter be able to drive, see and father children in his adulthood than loose his vision, feet and die young; slowly and painfully because he couldn’t break his sugar addiction and I wanted him to ‘fit-in’ by eating buns – it is an addiction! Where is the logic? Not in my world – not ever!
He’s rocking Diabetes right now! He works so hard and he’s so strong and brave, I am so proud of him! And his knowledge levels, for his age – WOW! Whattaguy!
So, busy week. End of the Month. Start of a whole new one. April should bring lighter mornings for that much needed ‘get up and out of bed motivation’ we all need (or is that just me? I definitely need that!!)!! Should bring later evenings for playing-out after school, more Sunshine, plans for the summer, Bank Holidays, Tulips, Daffy’s and all the pretty spring flowers to match. I don’t mind April. Don’t mind April at all..
The dreaded E’word falls in April this year though – that should be fun.. And I’m back at the Hospital for my long shifts AND I have Greg’s Birthday to sort out.. No rest for the wicked then!!!
FINALLY, I am really grateful, blessed, proud, honoured and humbled that today marks the 1st week anniversary of Carters Dex fundraising page being live and it’s sitting at £270 worth of donations from our social media circles. Please PLEASE continue to share our story; Carters Story! Someone somewhere will want to help him (us), they just don’t know it yet. It is a great cause, he deserves some help. The NHS should be helping, they help enough people and just because my boy does EVERYTHING he can to keep good control shouldn’t mean he doesn’t deserve the Dexcom funding. It shouldn’t be just for the kids that eat cake and chips. It’s unethical!
SO, Please help if you can and PLEASE share for us – for him! #CartersDex #thankyou
So, I’ll leave you with this slide from the Legend that is Dr Bernstein; if you take 1 thing away from this post (please don’t let it be my grey roots – or smelly feet), let it be this:
Buy the BOOK too! You’ll be so glad you did. Dr Bernstein saved my boys life! Changed all of our lives and handed us our future back – we’ve never even met him! #legend
Welcome Spring, pick some flowers, close your eyes and look up at the warm spring sunshine. Open the windows, hang out the washing and shave your legs 🙂