Friday, April 20, 2012


I came on here tonight to find it all changed and now I am completely lost.  I hope everyone else is happy with the changes but I still believe that if it ain't broke then no reason to fix it.  I was quite content with the old format and now don't know where I am.  This is happening constantly these days with everything....always has to be something different.  Wish thing could remain the same and simple.  I wonder if everyone else that blogs is happy with the new format and understand what to do.


I may be 80 now but still I have daydreams.  They are of course never likely to come to fruition but nevertheless I like to use my imagination at times.  Now is the time to indulge an old lady as I explain what some of those daydreams are:

I often dream of having a nice new house or even enough money to completely renovate the house we live in as I enjoy living where we are.

I dream of one more wonderful holiday, preferably to New Zealand again, but apart from the fact that we can't afford it I know I wouldn't really enjoy and it would be hard for MOH as I just can't get around any more.

I dream that I am able to go for really long walks as we once did and even play golf with MOH which was one of my 'hope to' things before he retired.  He is not playing himself these days and I dream that one day he will say he is going to play again.  It worries me that he's not playing any more.

I also dream that I may see my son and his family again one day before I drop off the mortal coil.  It is now more than 10 years since we saw them and even though we try to put these things behind us we still have lots of regrets at his decision not to see any of us.

I always dream that all my family will have wonderful long, happy lives and always be successful.

I guess there are also other dreams that pop up occasionally but these are the main ones.  The holiday ones I enjoy when I lie in bed and can't sleep.  I then go to all those placed I have loved so much on holidays and they seem very real at times.

Thank you for letting me indulge in these fantasies.  The quote I believe is "to sleep, perchance to dream" but sometimes my dreams happen when I am wide awake.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I posted recently that I am now using an entirely different type of insulin to try and control my bad morning blood glucose readings.  The new injector is fabulous and causes no discomfort which is terrific but...........I began on 16 units before breakfast and 12 units before dinner at night.  I was told if the morning readings were still not good to gradually increase the night injection by 2 each time.  I only saw the professor two weeks ago and have already increased the evening injection from 12 to 16 and it has made little difference.  The morning readings have become quite erratic, good one morning and lousy the next and so on.

Today I got up and said to myself "Damn it, I am not doing a glucose test this morning nor for the rest of the day and perhaps not for a day or two."  I have done 42 tests over 14 days and my fingertips are nothing if not slightly tender.  I am too right handed to attempt to prick the fingers on my right hand using my left one so perhaps will have to ask MOH to do it for me.  Last night after dinner I tested and it hurt so much and I have a bruise on my finger.  I think I may have hit the bone and that is why it was so painful.  I've never done that before thank goodness.  Silly mistake.

I may be wrong in not testing for a couple of days but comes a time when you just feel enough is enough.  My readings have not been high enough to be dangerous in the short term so the poor old fingertips are having the rest I feel they well deserve as do I.....just for a couple of days.  We need the break.

MOH is off to UWA (University of WA) again today to join with other diabetics in talking to medical and dental students about diabetes and what it is like to be diabetic.  We both began doing this some years ago but I had to stop going because of the distances that need to be walked around campus at UWA.  MOH goes twice a year and thoroughly enjoys doing so and he feels, as I did when I could attend, that he is helping doctors etc., find some understanding of what it is like for diabetics.  It would seem diabetes is becoming quite an epidemic and it is good that the medical profession learns about it early in their career.  It  is only about 15-20 years ago that blood glucose was never included as part of a patient's annual check up but these days everyone is much more aware of the presence of this insidious disease.

I miss MOH when he is away for a full day but am so glad that, at 82, he is still so willing to take part in these regular annual events at UWA.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


We are now living at 518 Fitzgerald Street in North Perth where we moved to in May of 1947.  This is quite a different part of the suburb than where we were before in Auckland & Coronation Streets although would still be within walking distance if you were feeling energetic.

You may remember I had been attending City Commercial College where I sat for and obtained my Commercial Junior in 6 subjects.  Dad wouldn't let me leave before I was 15 and even then insisted I continue at the college for a while longer.  I was fortunate that in May 1947 the Principal of the College found me a very good position as a stenographer so dad agreed I could finally leave school and commence work.

This and our move from Swanbourne to North Perth all happened in the same week so I had to find out where to catch the bus to work and where to alight on the homeward trip. We were lucky that the bus stop to town was diagonally opposite the house and the one out of town was virtually opposite the house.  We could actually see the bus coming down Namur Street and be in time to run across to catch it.  Traffic back in 1947 was much lighter than it is these days when one would have to be extremely careful crossing Fitzgerald Street.

Dad had definitely decided he WAS retired and owing to a rapid rise in inflation in Australia at that time prices took a hike and mum told dad she could no longer manage on three pounds a week for groceries.  When I began work I was earning two pounds eight shilling a week ($4.80) and I paid a small amount of board to mum which I hoped her a wee bit.  I think she did suggest to dad that he perhaps find a job but no way was that man going to do that so mum decided she would try and find work.  This she did but I will not go into that here as what mum did in her life for the next 30+ years is a story in itself.

I worked with some really nice girls at the insurance assessor's office and with 3 of them I became very close friends.  (Two of those girls were my attendants at my first wedding but unfortunately they are no longer with us.)  In those days young people danced a lot and we were fortunate that many of the tennis clubs held weekly dances.  The main one we went to was the Mt Lawley tennis club but also the Alexander Park tennis club, the Kings Park tennis club and the refectory at UWA.

Wilma and June both lived in Nedlands and with public transport the only available means of getting around the suburbs, they would quite often stay over at our home when we were going to Mt Lawley or I would stay with them if we were going to dances near their homes.

We would leave our place and walk a couple of miles to the Mt Lawley hall, dance for about 3 hours and then walk the 2 miles home again.  No wonder we were fit in those days.  We also swam quite a lot and played tennis occasionally.  I also used to walk home from work nearly every afternoon if the weather was fine and that would have been at least 2 or 3 miles, mainly uphill.  I always loved to walk and one of my sorrows these days is that the arthritis I have prevents me walking even around the block.

I loved my new job, dad enjoyed his retirement and took up playing lawn bowls and also playing bridge with a few of the men from the bowling club and mum began her part-time work with the Women's Service Guild where she met many amazing women and began what eventually led to a new direction in her life.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I finished with childhood memories part 8 but am not recalling days when I was a little older and consider them as part of my youth more than my childhood.

Last time I blogged about this I was still living in Coronation Street, North Perth with mum and dad and our cat Molly.  Dad was a very successful Rawleighs dealer but I feel that perhaps the business had been waning a little and one day he came home to tell us we were moving to Swanbourne and would be running a corner shop.  This would have been in about 1945.  Mum was just a tad surprised at this change in our lifestyle but went along with it as she really didn't have a choice.  Was she happy about this decision?  I have never been sure about that but somehow think perhaps she wasn't.

We moved to 2 Servetus Street, Swanbourne into what was a nice shop which sold general merchandise as well as some fruit and vegies.  It had quite good accommodation at the back of the shop and a very nice and quite large back garden.  Mum mainly ran the shop while dad would deliver grocery orders and early on Monday, Wednesday and Friday would drive in to the West Perth markets to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.  Dad grew vegies and also kept chooks (hens) from which we got eggs and the occasional roast dinner.

You must remember this was still during WW2 so rationing was in full force and one needed coupons to buy butter, tea and sugar as well, of course, petrol and clothing or material to make clothes.  By this time I was 13 and it was my job to collect all the coupons we had received from the customers and stick them on large sheets which we in turn had to send to the rationing people in order to buy new stocks of butter, tea and sugar.  Cigarettes were also in very short supply so they had to be carefully rationed out to the customers although no coupons were required.

Icecream was almost non-existent then so mum obtained a large icecream churn in which she made the most delicious icecream which our customers thought excellent.  She had to more or less ration it out as she could only make so much at a time and of course find room to keep it in the shop freezer, but it was very popular with everyone.

I was still attending Perth College way over in Mount Lawley so this necessitated me catching a train at the Swanbourne station (quite early too) and then in Perth catching an 18 tram up Beaufort Street to the school.  I had begun to have piano lessons while living in Auckland Street which was still quite close to Coronation Street but now it meant an awful lot of travelling.  Train and tram to school in the morning and on 2 afternoons each week I had to catch an 18 tram to Bulwer Street and then a 22 tram to the corner of Charles Street and Scarborough Beach Road and then walk a mile or so the the home of the music teacher (Miss McLennan who incidentally died in 2002 at the age of 92).  After my lesson I then had to catch a bus in London Street into Perth and then a train back to Swanbourne.  I must have got home after dark during winter but there was no problems with safety being out after dark in those days so no worries about it at all.

I forgot to mention that while living in Coronation Street I had begun to learn to play the violin from a teacher at Perth College.  I mentioned I used to ride my bike to and from school so dad suggested I stay at school and practise instead of trying to bring the violin home.  Mum always said it was more because dad didn't like the sound of me practising the violin.  I think I only learned for a short while and decided it just wasn't me.  I perhaps got to play Danny Boy on the violin but that's about all I remember.

It was while at Swanbourne that I managed to persuade my folks to let me leave Perth College and go to a commercial school instead.  They finally agreed and I was enrolled at City Commercial College at 713 Hay Street in the city.  I really enjoyed shorthand and typing although not so keen on bookkeeping and accounting and decided there and then I never wanted to be a clerk.

We thoroughly enjoyed living within a couple of miles of the coast with the sea breeze cooling us down more than it ever had in North Perth or other Perth suburbs.  I think mum worked a bit harder than dad did in many ways but that was how it often was back then.  Don't get me wrong, Dad was a terrific bloke but he was born during the Victorian era and household tasks were very much defined in regard to the sex of a particular person.  Dad would do his job but mum had to do her job in the shop and also look after use and the house.  We did have a dear old lady that did our washing and ironing but otherwise it was mostly up to mum and I must admit I may not have been much help.

I began going out with my first boyfriend while living in Swanbourne (mum's idea more than mine) and he lived way over in Mount Lawley and as we now had a telephone in the shop that was how he and I kept in touch and we just went to the pictures in town occasionally.  Back in the mid-1940s young people didn't have their own cars so public transport was the only way to get around.  Gary was an apprentice at his father's sheet metal factory so was on very low wages and although a couple of years my senior I doubt he earned much more than I did as a stenographer.

I had my 15th birthday while still in Swanbourne and then in May we left the shop and moved to a rented home back in a different part of North Perth.  I really have no idea why there was another change of lifestyle but perhaps mum had had enough of shopkeeping or dad felt it was time he retired; at that time he was 62 and mum was 50.  Whatever the reason, move we did to 518 Fitzerald Street.  That, as they say, is yet another story.


Why?  Well, I'll tell you.  To many this may sound very mundane and common place but to me at age 80 it is an achievement.

Recently MOH bought me a new multi-function printer.  No problems as I have known for some time how to use a simple ink jet printer.

Now the reason for the big grin is this:  Our endocrinologist wants MOH to have a sleep apnoea test.  We rang the place concerned on Friday last and they sent an email to be completed about MOH's snoring etc., which was duly completed and returned.  That was the easy part.

Today we had a telephone call from the receptionist at CRS asking if we had a scanner and could we please scan and forward by email a copy of the referral from the doctor.  MOH immediately put the lass on to talk to me as I am the computer "expert".  I said I'd have a try to do this but otherwise would send the referral snail mail.

MOH had reason to go out to the shops this morning so while it was quiet I thought I'd have a go and see if I could work out how to use this new (to me anyway) modern technology.  I turned on the machine and all these little icons appeared on the desk top.  I checked through and found one that seemed to suggest it had to do with scanning so clicked on that one.  A window appeared and I took pot luck that I was going to click the right icon and guess what? it worked!!!

Up came an email page with the copy of the referral dead centre so all I had to do was pop in the address to where it was to be sent.  I did ask for confirmation just to make sure it all went through OK and within 5 minutes I received a reply to say yes, it had arrived.  I am grateful they let me know all was well.  Next step is for MOH to see physician and apparently spend a night in hospital to be assessed in regard to snoring, breathing etc.  That is all another story for later.

This may all seem very simple to younger folk brought up with modern technology but to an old stager like myself it is all a little frightening (even our new microwave frustrates me as it is SO complicated compared with our old Panasonic) and there is always that feeling that I just may click on the wrong place or something like that and ruin everything.

Anyway, I am still grinning to myself about this achievement and even better I feel MOH thinks I am just wonderful.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Diabetes in itself can be a big bore as well as being a somewhat insidious disease that can do things to our bodies without us knowing they are happening.  I was first diagnosed with Type 2 in June of 1996, a week before going on holidays.  Mad panic to see a diabetes educator to find out what I should and should not eat etc.  Was told the best and worst foods and drinks and so tried to do my best while away.  At that time it was just diet and exercise (I could at least go for a walk back then) and so it continued until eventually I had to begin taking tablets and I experienced the ups and downs of glucose readings over many years until 2011 when I had to begin injecting insulin.

MOH and I saw our diabetes specialist last Wednesday.   He was very pleased with MOH who now doesn't have to have a blood test or go back to see him for 3 months.  His glucose was quite good both short and long term and his blood pressure was excellent.  Lucky man.

Me?  My blood pressure was quite good (sigh of relief as I didn't want to have to begin taking Beta Blockers) but although my random glucose was good my long term (HbA1c) was not.  I had been using a slow acting insulin at bedtime each day since about mid-year 2011 but obviously it was not doing the job we had hoped it would do.  I know I need to lose some kilos but not being able to exercise to any degree or even walk very far these days it is just a case of trying to eat less while still eating sufficient to keep hypos at bay.  It becomes a somewhat Catch 22 situation at the best of times.

Things are changing again.  I now have to use a human 30/70 insulin 15-20 minutes before breakfast and dinner each day.  It apparently takes a short while to get into the system so this is the reason for the delay before eating.

I explained to the professor that I had difficulty delivering the insulin into my abdomen with the previous insulin pen because of the arthritis in my hand and this in turn was causing some pain when doing the injection.  Wonderful doctor that he is he ordered a much different type of "pen" which is quite squat with a big dial on the front (wish I was clever enough to take a photo of it and show it here as it is just so different).  To inject now I just have to use my index finger while holding the gadget with the other hand and guess what?  No pain now which is fantastic.  I am not always all that keen on 'things' that are new these days but this one is wonderful.

In one thing I am extremely fortunate.  I have never worried about having an injection, even as a child.  I know many people that absolutely hate having an injection or even a blood test.  I am not a masocist and I do feel pain as do others but needles?  No worries so how lucky am I?

It will take a while before I know how this new insulin will affect my glucose readings but if not good I can adjust the 'dose' 2 points at a time until I can back to a reasonably normal reading.  I am glad the professor thinks I am intelligent enough to be trusted to make these adjustments myself which means I don't have to keep going back to be told what to do.  I have another blood test and see him in 6 weeks so fingers crossed my HbA1c will have gone down, hopefully below 7%. That may be asking a bit much in such a short time but please let it be below 8% (it is now 8.3% which is considered to be 'poor glycaemic control'.  Makes me feel as though I have been naughty but honestly I haven't been bad at all!!

As said above. diabetes is a nuisance and I can only be so thankful that I was 64 when I was diagnosed.  My thoughts are always with the children who are often diagnosed with Type 1 when very young and one can only imagine how worrying it must be for their parents and trying and frightening for the children themselves with daily tests, injections etc.  There is hope of a cure for Type 1 which one can only hope will come in the foreseeable future.

I wrote this mainly for my own sake in trying to remain positive and not let the damned disease get the better of me.  I will keep testing.  I will do the injections as instructed.  I will try and manage what I eat as much as I possibly can and endeavour to be as active as my poor old body will let me.  I apologise if this is a very boring blog today but as said it is more for me than for anyone else so do forgive me this indulgence.