Basal Iq -it’s here and yay of yayness


plerTandem t slim have basal Iq on offer. It has arrived. The great wonderful benefit of the algorithym is that it has very simple rules and is robust in it’s ability to prevent lows suspend insulin and recommence as soon as the trend picks up.

One of the biggest conundrums with insulin is not enough results in high sugars and too much even just a little too much results in lows and no two days are ever the same for diabetics.

This new offering offers a solution.

And if you know what lows feel like and do to your functioning you will recognise the benefit. For longterm health this is a huge benefit. All the new trials confirm that TIR – time in range is what saves : eyes, limbs, kidneys, hearts and brains.

Thanks to ethitech for bringing this to market.

Yay yay yay for patients.

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Basal IQ – I can’t wait :) it’s sooo exciting


T slim will be coming to market with a product called basal IQ which is to say “smart basal insulin” that is delivered in acute “communication” with a sensor of glucose readings to as to keep sugars “in range” tightly with no lows, hypos or highs/spikes.

Anyone who has actually felt the feeling of a sugar of 2 mmol/l or 15 mmol/l will know how “kak” it feels. Add to this how bad it is for your brain and organs at large and the era of this kind of wonderful advent becomes like Christmas in July !

It’s revolutionary, it’s brain saving. It’s limb saving. It’s heart saving.

I can almost not contain my excitement at the delight of this arriving.

Watch this space #tslim #dexcomG6 #happinessatsugarcontrol

Clever basal insulin is the way forward.

 

 

670G medtronic – a lesson for all diabetic practioners in a very good way :):)


The new 670G medtronic pump is truely a wonderful amazing device.

What suprised me more than anything else is what an absolute pearl of a lesson it is in terms of how insulins work and the daily awful grind and variability of being a type 1.

Honestly congratulations to this development team, you have come up with a genius product. Genius!

It expertly and simply solves for so many of the dilemmas type 1’s face daily. And in a safe and perfect way.

Truely a product that answers so many of the questions that we have up to now not solved.

Thank you thank you thank you.

THe MARD was my biggest happiness on the sensor – 8.7- wow-Yay!

So many reasons that in my opinion as many type1 patients should get onto this technology in terms of cost saving in the long run for med aid schemes and longevity with quality for patients both old and young.

I nominate it for product of the year.

Problems it solves for :

1.) daily variability (automatic adjustments according to blood glucose)

2.) hypoglycemia – on a downward trend of sugar readings it keeps decreasing insulin as to prevent a low and then eventually suspending insulin so as to prevent the low from happnening, as soon as the sugar trends up it resumes insulin and keeps adjusting

3.) high sugars – on an upward trend it increases insulin (up to a preset SAFE) level with alarms and alerts so as to prevent the high sugar

4.) variability immediately improves as does TIME IN RANGE

5.) multiple layered safety catches in case of problems

 

A tigress and her cubs …zoo wonderfulness


We were priveledged to go to the johannesburg zoo last week and walk around. Man we were treated to royalty.

The tigress and her “bred in captivity” cubs were on show and it was spectacular beyond belief. I have never seen a tigress before and the degree of royalty, beauty, bestiality and just sheer grandiosity blew my mind completely.

How anyone could ever harm such a creature is the reason we are so screwed up. It’s beyond me completely.

The cubs kept biting her on the bottom and she kept swotting them with her half a human size paw. And then on occasion wrestling them into submission. The lesson for me was the tranquility with which she “mothered”. Unperturbed, calm, serene, firm and yet gentle.

I was in awe and it made me think about life in a way that I had not prior to this experience.

Nature is like an unwinding perfect spiral ever increasing in grandiosity and simple splendour with an innate perfection built into it and then we come along -the human race and stuff it up like 150%.

Sometimes one needs to just take a walk on the “wild side” at the zoo πŸ™‚ and think beyond our own pathetic existence and circumstance.

Monday from the heart of a mom :)


Yet another Monday. For moms it’s a little toughie a Monday. The similar same routine starts all over again. Please get dressed, please eat your cereal, please wash your face. Please brush your hair or allow me to do it without the mammoth effort of actually shooting a mammoth with a bow and arrow.

If you are lucky enough to actually make it to the car with all the “shit” kids need for one day all in one piece you breathe a very deep long sigh of relief. The first of the week of many.

Is it this hard ? Ask a mom today?

The week is bound to be filled with at least 3 activities a day on average – that’s just the curricular school ones. In between running a small business which happens to be a GP one (so there are a few extra challenges daily there too), making sure everyone eats everyday, attending all the ” one should really be there” activities at the various schools, complying with stuff like UIF, VAT and other 3 letter word stuff that actually also take up time, effort, brain power and most of all MONEY. One is expected to make money, enough to pay all the folk who work for you too as well as all those government funds.

Come around 4 pm I am physically mentally and spiritually tapped and tanked. It is at this precarious mentally fragile point in the day that my night job begins.

A round of homework, attempting to feed children healthy food. Navigating until the moment of literally falling into bed in a collapsed state of near coma. ONly to wake up on tuesday and repeat.

Don’t get me wrong I love my girls and would not swop them for the world. However I FEEL collectively we have lost the plot a little in this life thing. I honestly feel it could be another way. The rushing the pushing the striving the activities the money chasing.

LIfe could be should be slower, lingering and enjoying moments. Not feeling like you are literally living on the N1, at that pace that the GP number plates drive, constantly driving right up your bumper aggressively pushing.

We only get one and we only get one “childhood” period with our children.

We need to learn to desire with all our heart to linger. To chill. To enjoy. To communicate without words in a space that is spiritually serene.

Or have I lost it properly now ? I think not.

 

Continous monitoring and it’s influence on control – a huge wonderful impact


If I could pick only one thing for all my type1s and type 2 s on insulin to have in their armamentarium of goodies it would be access to continous monitoring for sooo many reasons.

1.) they learn from it and figure out which foods spike them

2.) they learn what drops them and how quickly and how to rectify this, ie how long the rescue takes to kick in so to speak

3.) they are able to see that if they inject insulin correctly at the correct time that it actually controls the sugar

4.) they can see what a “missed” dose does to the sugar

and I could honestly go on to 100 things …

REcently prices have literally plumetted on these devices making them more and more accessible.

THe next question to ask is : ? accuracy.

It is imperative that the device have the lowest MARD possible.

All this means is that the reading you see on the device is actually a TRUE reading.

Sluce. Kapish. Simple

Accurate is everyting .

So pick up something in your armementarium today for YOUR control πŸ™‚

Accuracy data from ADA 2019 hot off the press praising CGMs’s at large πŸ™‚

The data backs up the average clinician’s gut feel that seeing is the answer.

dexcom

An African feast …an amarula sunset


The sun sets golden

The harvested grass bales fill

the amber air with hues

of hazy hazelnut

dust

it’s amber coloured temperature

too

you can drink the amarula in

you can spiral tranquil lose yourself

within

The ivory carved moon rises east

An african feast …

Basmati rice is NOT a carb ???? …. what is a carb?


A few times a week I harp on about carbs and carb portions to patients. And as many I get them saying to me I don’t eat carbs doctor I only eat basmati rice πŸ™‚

WEll now hey! So the level of understanding of what a carb actually is : carbohydrate.

noun :Β any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water (2:1) and typically can be broken down.
At the end of the day anything that once broken down by stomache acid and enzymes becomes a glucose molecule. It’s quite a vast food group. And it includes more than bread πŸ™‚
Vegetables too have carbs in them. The only thing that does not essentially is a protein : fish, red meat, chicken, ostrich meat, crocodile meat etc.
And some veg has almost no carb value to it. For example green beans and kale :). Something like a carrot or peas have carbs too πŸ™‚
If you are diabetic anything from : ice-cream to basmati rice that breaks down to a glucose, sucrose, fructose molecule of sorts is a carb.
That’s why we count carbs. To match the “perfect” amount of insulin and timing to the amount of “carb” ingested.
πŸ™‚

My favourite tool is : myfatsecret which is south african based and essentially a key tool in carb counting.

It’s not that you CAN not eat CARBS it is that you need to match the insulin to the carb. Ie you should be injecting an amount of insulin to “mop up” the carbohydrate value.

Carbs, carbs, carbs

“Soul”it ude …https://www.solitude.org.za


This last weekend I had the joy and priveledge of going to a creative retreat at solitude in the dargle near Howick. What a soul re-juvenation πŸ™‚

One’s own journey is a precious thing, one’s own creative journey in my opinion even more precious, like precious on steroids πŸ™‚

What I discovered on my very excited to share return was that one’s personal journey is not as relevatory to others as it was to one’s self.

Lesson learnt πŸ™‚

For me it was cathartic, connecting to myself, releasing in a high release way as well as calming, coo-ing almost in the best way possible, rocking in a hammock kind of gentleness, presence and preciousness.

We did all sorts of “arty” things not for creation sake but more for the journey sake and connecting to one’s inner child. The wisdom that was downloaded to each of us was profound, gentle and powerful. Sometimes the simple in life is the key. And happiness is an elusive gift just within our reach.

solitude

 

“Low class” -what does that mean?In 2019???


To my great shock I was accused of being “low class” yesterday. What does that mean buddy?

As far as I am aware it must hark back to the good old colonial british empire days? Like lady “downton abbey” and co looking down their royal blue blood noses at the “help”?

Yes I sound bitter. I am bitter. And I am reeling from a label that jerked the body inside the clothes.

Is this referring to a financial status? a way of behaving – like some bubblegum blowing teenager with a cockney accent? Even that in my opinion is a horrific “classification” of another PERSON.

Is is referring to a “bad” blood line with not enough “royalty” in it ? Or is it simply a person born badly by lineage who also has mannerisms (like farting) that do not FIT into “high” class society?

I am sorry, are we not in 2019? Did I miss a beat? Have women not got the vote largely in the world and even almost allowed to drive in saudia arabia?

Comments like that are what is wrong with society at large. Rather than celebrating “diversity” and “hybrid vigour” one chooses to spit and from such high ground and cause divisiveness.

Low-class : adjective : of low inferior standard, quality or a social class, cambridge dictionary adds -and the least money.

Pity you can’t take ” money” to the grave one day and that true love and joy do remain. The “richness” of being free to treat even a poor person with love and dignity is in my opinion high class. The attitude that one human is better than another is low class and sad really.

Funny how the world is upside for some. Luckily not for all.

Diversity is great and humans have greatness within them. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

simpsons

Even the Simpsons seem confused πŸ™‚

Diabetes and what we CAN do…


1.) Eat healthily and cut portions in half, we all eat to much, yes that includes YOU

2.) exercise at least 3 x a week – you will benefit mentally and physically and here is a money back guarantee – if you do this and you do not benefit email me and i will pay you – drleethegp@gmail.com (must include concrete proof of exercise 30min 3x a week)3.) Cut out simple carbs – gone done and dusted (like most of the game of thrones characters -assassinate them)

4.) have your sugar checked every now and then

5.) Don’t assume that overweight people have diabetes and vice verse and don’t criticise you never know people’s situation.

No sign of the log curve relenting, so think on this : if you continue as you currently are you are at risk, eat better, exercise and test your sugars randomly throughout your life and YOU have a chance of defying the log curve, else don’t say I didn’t warn you πŸ™‚

 

The battles we face daily …diabetes and the funders :) yeeha!


So we all know we are currently experiencing an epidemic that is about to “tidal wave” africa in terms of diabetes. And we know that world wide despite logarythmic increases over at least the last 10 years there is no stopping the tide. We love food and no exercise too much.

So we also know that the more this happens the less health wealth and happiness for society and the more sick folk get the more it costs the medical aids – so then with tears in my eyes and a brain between my ears why is it that we have a daily fight with funders to do what is right for patients and saves them hugely downstream costs ?????

To me it’s a no-brainer. I dont know.

I have been accused of being a dilly woman and yes I am a woman doctor – that does not bode well to start in the patriachy. And yes my dress sense is a bit quirky. And yes my mouth she speaks way too easily for the patriachy once again. BUT, really all I want is the best for my patients short term, long term, longevity with quality wise which adds up to a societal knock on downstream. So whilst quirky all I am actually fighting for is the greater good ????

The funders and generally brushed with a giant sweep of a brush at large seem to slowly be waking up to the multiple facts staring them down like a gun barrel as this is a very large challenge to them to. How does one solve these dilemmas as still stay top 5 profitable in south africa ??;) πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ ah em …

Just saying, there are better ways to tackle this tsunami…

I met an amazing academic yet pracitical medical advisor the other day, and my suggestion is that other medical aids follow suite – yes have your acturial scientists who make you the top JSE company when a med aid is supposed to be a med aid not a top achiever, but combine it with some sense so that you can stay there cos right now your tactic aint going to work for you on the long game.

 

Philosophy on a wednesday …


It’s wednesday, the middle of the week. This week it feels like it could be friday already in terms of the meters of steps taken and strides and tides and rolling blackout brain (personally).

I think you know what I mean, we all have those weeks where the challenges mount and seem insurmountable.

Life, what is it? Β we are born, we live and poof we die.

I sure do hope that it might make sense in the ether up there one day because down here in the hum drum mill it is a fascinating concept to contemplate meaning.

Emotion is a given to human “ness” and yet to some it is almost a negligible blip on the radar. The spectrum as such of emotion is large. Some humans have it in chunks (like me) and some have just the babiest dose of it. And yet it seems to inch it’s way into the puzzle that is life and sometimes do more harm than good.

For someone (like me) who wears their veritable heart on their sleeve this life can be intensely hard. Overwhelming. Can lead to a sense of drowning.

It also is one of those things that you can’t really control the button on (like volume which you can control). It just bears it’s own innate pulse onto one. The highs and lows rumble tumble and exhaust. Each day churning up some new emotions and some old. Each day like crashing sets of waves pummel.

For some the line is still, static, blip “less”.

Figuring each other out in this life is a conundrum.

Blip

chip on shoulder with a grip

emotion, sea ocean, full

ongoing tides that one can’t always ride

or hide

from

spirals and pulses

round and linear

grip and go, wing and toe

longing for a still breeze, a flat dam, a peace, a knowing and less churning/burning

but without emotion where would we be?

ballet emotion.jpg

The highs the lows the heels the toes.:)

 

Diabetes and you and me …


When you overload a cart the horses take strain. Much the same with the human body. Each cell requires a few things : amino acids, glucose molecules, and a whole host of other complicated yet simple molecules.

Each cell in the body essentially respirates, breathes in so to speak glucose and oxygen and breathes out ATP and CO2 in order to function, much like the lungs and the opposite of what trees do.

Simple yet complex.

If you overload the system with glucose molecules they will simply be stored as fat for a rainy day and also overwhelm and flood the system with stickiness.

That is what diabetes is in the type 2 sense of the word, flooding the system and causing a sticky mess.

Type 1 however is an initial lack of the key that takes the glucose into the cell and forcing the cell to respirate anaerobically which leads to death without the rescue molecule insulin.

Starving in a sea of plenty is type 1.

Drowning in a sticky mess is type 2.

The ebb and flow of the cell works in harmony if the correct diet is maintained and goes horribly out of whack with an overload or under-dose of glucose molecule flow to the cell.

 

Type 2 Diabetes – what is that?


testsugar

Are you fatigued and have blurry vision ? Have Β you had your sugars checked.

You may be one of the many people who are living with an undiagnosed illness that is causing a train wreck in your blood vessels at large from head to toe.

It’s easy, simple and could be life saving.

One finger prick could save your life. The truth of the matter is that at least 1/3 of patients have had diabetes for 10 years BEFORE it is diagnosed. Have yourself tested today.

Semantics and sperm and Gigantics


Words, wordsmiths, gaslights and gobsmacking delights.

Semantics rhymes with pedantics and that’s pretty much how I feel about that.

Sperm : the yin and the yang can not exist without each other, so the sperm be a very critical element in the recipe for a child. The world can only go on with the birth of babies, it’s imperative to survival.

The truth of life though, what is that, the crux of the matter. That’s the giant question. Some folk ignore this their entire life and press on with the daily grind.

mmmm ….

Words, gnirps, Esio Trot and epis glott…

little folk and big folk – who is so bespoke…

“hybrid” Closing the loop …how divine :)


If you have an intact pancreas you already have a closed loop. That is to say you eat food and your pancreas automatically releases the perfect amount of insulin to “match” the carbohydrate you have just eaten so that the glucose molecule can travel easily into the cell, all cells require glucose for metabolism.

However if you are reading this and you are a type 1 diabetic you do not have B cells that are functioning and this is great news for you – a closed loop. It is in essence : an artificial intelligent pancreas.

It is here and for that we rejoice. It is not the full monty but at this stage each step is a win and this is a big big win. The algorithms get more and more accurate and detailed as time and data increase.

From march 2019 the alogrythms to close the loop will be available to all and anyone in the world.

For more info : 0832898351 Romae for a booking

It’s here and that is awesome. It’s hybrid and it’s not at its full potential as yet however it it more than we have had up to now and for that we rejoice.

February the month of love …more than just the heart even at the start


Is it love that makes the world go around. I watch tv programmes and movies that make me think that a huge deep motivator of many decisions, actions and directions lives take has a lot to do with LOVE, the big love, the small love, the emotionally wrecked love. But love.

Emotion? The real deal deep stuff love ? What is that even ???

It appears to me across colour, context, race, culture the absolute unspoken language is one innately known. Deep within. Written in expressions. Felt without touch.

Profound.

The effect of love gone wrong on health is as profound.

Both physically as well as psychologically.

Love can be a tonic if it is pure and love can be poison if it is gone awry.

Health is your wealth and determines your quality of life and so love is a thing that needs deep introspection and worth spending time determining who it’s recipient be. All spiritual writings muse on this.

Let February 2019 be a month of health and wellness regarding the big LOVE.

A simple poem about love

love, weave, dove, leave

longstay, home way, keen to know the longtime love way

peace, joy, pure heart ploy

woven into our souls a golden thread that doesn’t tread but only weaves gently

and peacefully and tenderly

can you twine it with another

shoo the trust that that requires

should it break the two both break

what a risk that makes

shakes, aches.

But oh! the joy of a twine that shines and finds growth mutually …

The Diabetic Educator …for a friday read :):)


What does an educator do? Diabetes is a multisystem disease affecting most organs in the body. Managing diabetes holistically in a team means each member focuses on their area of expertise.

For the educator this is explaining how insulins work, how the different oral meds work, what sugars should and could be at different times of the day, dangers of hypos and highs, how to inject, how to test etc in the newly diagnosed.

One very important aspect is setting goals around targets like A1c as well as variability, post meal values etc as well as any other goals regarding diabetes like exercise, staving off burn out and depression and a whole host of possible goals.

The educator in many respects is a co-ordinator or conductor of the processes and aids very much with direction and the trajectory of the diabetic path.

This critical role actually can make the difference in getting to target as well as staying at target which translates to less health expenditure downstream as well as healthier functioning patients with quality of life.

Educators are core to diabetes management top of the range.

Diabetes and CDE and Discovery 2019


This year from around next week, the various options excluding keycare of discovery will join the CDE family. Why this is exciting is that CDE has always provided comprehensive holistic care to diabetic patients and by managing a disease like this in a team approach it is simply put better managed.

What that means “downstream” so to speak is less cost to med aid, better health to patient. Greater longevity with more quality.

We are super excited at this development and though teething problems will certainly occur the benefits will outweigh the initial stumbles.

THe swtich over for diabetics on discovery is automatic you don’t have to do anything. Ok so top 2 plans nil to do, other plans register on health ID it seems with your GP/doctor. πŸ™‚

Multi-disciplinary team approach to all diseases is a good way forward.

cde logo

 

Today is a new day…


Chronic illness like diabetes especially type 1 diabetes where your life depends on testing your sugars and injecting insulin can become fatiguing to say the least. The drain and strain of this burden gets you down no matter how positive the patient and the family.

But what can be done?

I have a few tips for diabetes and other chronic disease burnout :

1.) Every day is a new day, forget the past, forgive yourself for the mistakes, highs lows etc and begin afresh almost like today is the first day

2.) Give yourself a mental break, have a week off mentally of driving strict control

3.) “allow” yourself to cheat now and again making sure you do it safely-ie inject to cover the carbs accurately

4.) See a psychologist or a life coach or similar profession regularly through state or privately – you owe it to yourself.

5.) Take anti-depressants where indicated, don’t feel guilt about it, if it has been prescribed to you for burnout, depression take them.

6.) Get together with other type1’s or people with a similar diagnosis both for sharing the good tips and debriefing about the bad stuff, no-one can commiserate like someone going through the same thing.

 

FEel free to add your tips πŸ™‚ Today is a new day! Indeed

Discovery and CDE


So this year all Discovery patients(excluding keycare) with diabetes will be covered on the CDE programme. This is super exciting.

What is CDE ?

Cardiovascular Diabetes and education – the brain child of Dr LArry Distiller which has been running for many years across south africa out of Houghton Johannesburg. It is a programme by which diabetes is managed holistically and by a team of professionals each focusing on an area of speciality : feet, eyes, diet, exercise, medication etc.

What makes it great for control of diabetes and general wellness is that all members talk the same language in terms of diabetes management and work towards a goal of control individualised for each patient.

For any queries phone : Romae 0832898351 or email drleesecretary@gmail.com or drleethegp@gmail.comCDE logo.png

The CDE programme runs according to international and national guidelines to give the best outcomes longterm, that means looking to have less heart attacks, less amputations, less renal failure and dialysis, less hospital admissions for diabetes due to better control and the programme achieves it year after year.

Reasons our country is great …


1.) app of the year and its success story – well done MTN

2.) Jordan Peterson’s book – 12 rules for living and the impact it could have on us if we applied it πŸ™‚

3.) a world widely connected and the availability of gems to all

4.) Gareth Cliff and his vision and content and joy bringing en masse

feel free to add to my list

End of year madness … or is it gladness?


Another year 2018 has come and gone in the literal blink of an eye. I find myself looking back aghast at 8 years gone by in a jack flash. So much joy and so much agony. A kaleidoscope really. A train smash storm born delight. So much and yet so little.

Life is a lesson if nothing else. And I guess right now I am just terrified that I have too little time left here, now, deep in the poison garden to borrow some words from one of my favourite poems ever ever.

To recap 2018, it started with a transkei soul filler in January at Zithulele and interestingly in november topped off with a similar soul collide. I do love it when souls collide, slip and slide and joy errupts.

February the month of love seemed full of long hard days of work and figuring out pain.

March and easter arrived too soon, a lovely camping trip with friends in the cobham berg marked the kind of first quarter’s end and did a lot to boost the love tank.

April, well a month of decisions and immense pain one I shall sooner forget.

May, my birthday month had some snippets of great support by friends and reflection.

June and July the winter of the year, also just seem to full of work. But a wonderful wonderful time in the snowy mountains learning to ski, putting a hole in a sump and finding treasures in Barkley East of all places as well as the most exquisite mountains – the guardians in Elliot of even more strange and wonderful and undiscovered unrecognised places.

August was yesterday more great work. September the air filled with spores and pollen, we sneezed and bloomed. October too.

November and here we are December!

Shoo, looking back I am excited to look forward. Right now it’s hard to lift my foot even 10 cm and I feel that a good hibernate sleep of 2 weeks would not be enough. But I vow to be back in Jan2019 rejuvenated, joyous and full of brimming life for the little bit of time (hopefully at least 50 years) that I have left :):)

At this time o’ joy – I shall be joyous

2020 vision – what is your response? South africa …


There is a goal to eradicate blindness by cataract by the year 2020. Perfect vision is 20/20 or 6/6. A world health organisation WHO initiative from 1999 that aims to address multiple issues around vision and avoidable blindness it has taken off beautifully in some parts of the world and yet is sadly lacking in others.

Interesting to me the case of the eastern cape government, happy to jump on the band wagon of an NGO like Grace Vision and “claim” it’s successes but not even vaguely interested in helping fund a very worthy and well run cause.

I used to work in the government sector for 8 years. There is every single excuse not to work thought up by the staff nursing and other -like not enough staff (they require 4 nurses in order to operate), out of stock of something, too hot, too cold etc etc. Possibly some vaguely plausible but almost always overcomeable with will.

I find it sad that as humans when we are part of a big machine like government sector the vast majority of us default to the lowest energy setting.

Challenge to government health sector – partner with the NGO’s financially and see the gain/win and delight of YOUR people – the people of south africa.

WEll done mediclinic!

A chicken in the clinic …


I spent last week doing cataract surgery MCSIS at Zithulele hospital and more specifically Grace Vision (NGO). This is an amazing NGO doing phenomenal work in a very rural and poor community. They have managed since inception to alleviate blindness in their immediate vicinity.

THis means that according to the world 2020 vision target they have already done in by 2018 !!

That is simply amazing and unheard of in this part of the world – the eastern cape.

But then Zithulele at large is not your average place either.

Run by inspirted staff at large it’s a place of many miracles daily. Zithulele is a government hospital just off the road to coffee bay, transkei, which has managed things that few such institutions have been able to through sheer hard work and lots of prayer and mindful action.

IMG_4204.jpegIMG_4152.jpegIMG_4146.jpeg

Tell the truth or at least don’t lie …


We are all spiritual beings and have intrinsic innate plumb lines.

We all also have unbearable ignorance in us. There is actually much to navigate in this life. And choices present themselves and when they do the choices potentially direct or re-direct the rest of our lives.

So really we actually do have some control over the path.

I guess what I am trying to say is that life is as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it and within us lies a lot of intrinsic value as well as rubbish and we somehow have to sift out the rubbish and learn to trust the truth the internal plumbline that longs to direct our hearts and souls in a direction of fulfilment.

And to this end, we can really only be true to self if we are willing to be honest.

We celebrated world diabetes day this past wednesday and Diabetes in essence, especially type 1 offers and real deal opportunity for a whole family to get honest about a lot. A curse in essence which sometimes turns into a blessing in relation to facing challenges and rising in a dignified way above them.

In daily confronting a disease like diabetes that challenges you to eat healthily and responsibly, inject correctly, pre-empt highs and lows and at the same time fight the chronic disease fatigue.

The irony is if you manage your diabetes well you outlive the rest of the population due to preventing things like heart disease etc. I wish it were so simple with our psyche. Diabetes is a special challenge to the psyche and so many patients battle this daily and win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear can be overcome by humour, there is indeed no other way…


Of two choices you can be certain – to choose love or to choose fear. What do you choose?

One of the best ways to combat fear is humour – Pieter-Dirk Uys said this in an interview with Gareth Cliff on Cliff central …http://cliffcentral.com/ – an awesome place to find cool pod casts.

Another thing that struck me is how as humans when there is a big internal fear of big feelings like for example homosexuality or being abused etc, that we someone turn our focus to self-loathing. That shadow self, the “unacceptability” thereof then turns into a great fear and we operate frozen out of contempt for this. This is not healthy.

Another thing I learnt yesterday is that depression is fear turned inward, internalised.

Not a good thing.

And yet there is freedom, there is joy, there is dancing.

IN humour, in letting go, in acceptance of self. In naming the emotion and confronting the fear in a gentle accepting way. Sitting in the mud with it. Alongside it.

We are complex individuals who crave, long for and desire connection. Empathy is the key to that connection. Without empathy connection is nearly impossible. Empathy.

 

 

 

 

Mental health …the big taboo


Tell someone you have breast cancer at the very least they have sympathy for you. Tell someone you have broken your arm they will say I am so sorry. However let it be : depression, or drug addiction or any mental dis”order” shoo but the judgement, the “look” and the opposite of support.

Like a sausage, by and large every time.

Even amongst colleagues. Even amongst loved ones.

Why? Why such stigma, such judgement, such vile poison?

Are we afraid? Is it fear? Is it selfish?

I don’t know, I only know the reaction is sad.

We are all physical, emotional and spiritual beings who battle multiple fronts on any given day. We all have spots in all of these areas. And yet in the strangest way we are all connected. And deeply so. Believe it or not. Your choice. But the truth is we are.

Think on this today. Perhaps you have such a person in your life. It would mean the world to them to even just be accepted by you.

Halloween …


What is halloween?

It is a festival that started more than 2000 years ago, this is before Christ. They were pagans in what we know as England today – celts.

It is a festival marking the end of the harvest season and has a long history.

I was trying to figure out why it is so offensive to the christian religion but even after researching I am confused.

If we really think back to 2000 years ago, and that is hard to comprehend. Life as we know it was very very different. They were as we call it pagans but really they were just trying to survive and using the sun, wind and stars to get them through the year.

As with all of these traditions like father Christmas and the easter bunny – do children really know the significance of the holidays we celebrate?

What does halloween mean for children – sweets, pumpkins, trick or treating, dress up. They certainly don’t channel anything.

I actually find it quite interesting that as humans in 2018 we still have followed a lot of customs from more than 2000 years ago, fairly “religiously”.

My personal feeling is that it is what you model daily, preach without words that has the biggest impact.

Also perhaps I am cooked in the head but “broad minded ness” in my book includes exposure to things rather than hiding them under a mushroom however this is just my personal opinion.

 

Scraps of affirmation…


Peter and John went to pray one day, they met an old man on the way ay ay, silver and gold have I none said he, but such as I have give I unto thee. Rise up and walk.

Yesterday I was privileged to listen to a sermon on this very encounter. The man in the story did not have faith for healing. He had faith for what he had encountered for many years -scraps. Scraps of money, time, affirmation, food.

And yet that day he was healed. Leaping and jumping and praising God.

So much of many of our lives are lived much like this. Hoping for scraps. And really that is not what we were destined for.

There is so much more.

We have a mindset sometimes that we lock into for years and years. And then all of a sudden sometimes the light breaks in. And we can see.

And there is a time of feasting.

Being lame is innate to my name, Claudius – the lame one. Wounded healer.

What an absolute joy and jump to be able to gift healing in the physical sense. And sometimes even the emotional.

But true healing is a much deeper process that requires divinity.

And the amazing thing is that it IS available. And also one does not have to be ok with scraps, now put that in your peace pipe and take a long hard inhale.

Claudius was a very interesting fellow, conquered Britannia – the UK basically. To sojourn from Rome to Britannia in those days was quite a sojourn.

 

The aqueduct of sylvius…


Oh my word the brain is just so absolutely fascinating and phenomenal.

I had to explain the brain’s mop up operations to a patient today and was suddenly struck by wonder …

This extremely intricate system “cycles” cerebrospinal fluid 3-4 x a day. I had never really thought about this before. One learns neuroanatomy in second year and it is really just all part of a web of knowledge about the body that has never been debated philosophically before (by myself I mean).

“The windings of the brain (which I first learnt of Franciscus Sylvius, a great anatomist) if you diligently examine the matter you shall find to descend a good depth and that the brain doth gape on each side, over and above that same middle division made by the Sickle, with a winding clift, which begins in the forepart, about the roots of the Eyes, whence according to the bones of the temples, it goes back above the root of the spinal marrow, and divides the upper part of the brain from the lower part.” -written by Caspar/Thomas Batholinus from a book F Sylvius neuroanatomical work.

How beautifully described. I am in awe just of the description. And that is how they communicated in those days 1500’s – with care and deliberation.

Much similar to the brain’s care and deliberation of itself.

A slow wash 4 times a day : fluid formed by choroid plexus within the lateral ventricles which then feeds through the system into the third ventricle via the aqueduct to the 4th then via 3 small foramina into the subarachnoid space and spinal column.

The brain bathing itself, soothing itself, slowly like a water feature – tranquil and clean and clear.

We have much to learn about self care from this amazing washing lesson by the brain. WE are generally our own worst enemy. Learn from your brain and cleanse, dream, bath today.

The aqueduct πŸ™‚ one of my favourite parts of anatomy.

 

 

Roaring 20s party …


So we are throwing a fund raiser towards the cause of Shap Shap cinemas – can be found on Facebook … doing a wonderfully good job in terms of a lot of community education at large.

We are going to dance, party and just have a lot of fun. WE have DJ Queen G who is phenomenal playing, food from Copperfields which is delectable, a cash bar. And all of the money raised goes straight to Shap Shap.

I heard about these amazing individuals/NGO listening to Gareth Cliff during his interview with them last year.

Please support us, this is a tangible way to turn our SA around – just do it man, pay for a ticket. Dress up is optional and I guess so is dancing but will be encouraged πŸ™‚

Life is short, times are tough, have fun and support change.

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Diabetes type 1 is no one’s fault, don’t be ignorant


Daily I hear very interesting “lies” about diabetes. I heard a classic last week. Someone’s mom who had had a stroke was told her mom has the kind of diabetes that CAN NOT be controlled. God’s truth!!!

Another common lie is that this is a disease “you do to yourself” i.e. you behave/eat in a certain way and your “punishment” is diabetes. Well I am afraid that is NOT TRUE.

Especially in type 1 diabetes. This scourge has been with us for a long time. However up until the 1920’s there was no “cure” or “treatment” so to speak i.e. you generally died from it. And the consequence being the “genes” or genetic inheritance died with that. Since the 1920 s we have had insulin and now one can live very “normally” yes ~I said normally with type 1 diabetes. Yes it involves checking sugars and injecting insulin but other than that you can eat mostly what you would like to and get on with life as you would like to.

So to the diabetes that can not be cured I say : Lord have mercy. There is so much lack of knowledge especially in public sector about diabetes. That added to the corruption. Ie meters, strips, insulin being sold on the black market meant for the poorest of the poor free as part of a the dismal service being provided is a scourge.

Any form of diabetes can be treated and controlled. Is it easy ? No but is it do-able even for the poorest of the poor. YES!!!

There is so much corruption in this country and it always affects the poor more. Let’s at grass roots level tackle this with the power of words, peace, and the truth. Join us to contribute to both awareness and funds for shap shap doing this very task daily excellently : roarin 20s party 27 oct 2018 …see Facebook drleethegp and shap shap

Love, what is that?


Life, love, chemicals, spiritual being ? What are we?

We meet, we relate, we may even marry. We miraculously and seamlessly produce children who are part of both of us. They are quite a lot of work to bring up. Moms generally bear the brunt of this “work”. But is it work? Is it not also love, life, chemical, spiritual interaction?

We fight, we break up, we subject the parts of us to separation.

In this crazy process is there not a better way?

Communication of sorts, sharing of sorts ?LIfe, chemicals, spiritual interaction, I am sorry please forgive me, I love you. The breaking down of barriers?

Just too sad to even contemplate why not? Why it’s not possible ? Love life chemistry, spiritual connection? Perhaps if it never existed it can not be resurrected? Is that a fair way of analysis or is there a deeper thought? Love is certainly a conundrum and perhaps it is just way simpler and we make it way complicated.

The power of words


My daughter of 5 and I listened to a sermon on sunday about essentially the power of words and the impact they can have on relationship reconciliation.

It is indeed profound to me at how she just got it : “I love you mommy” , ” I am sorry, please forgive me”. So easy for a 5 year old to snap and seemingly so impossible for older folk to get this simple simple concept.

The power of the spoken word is immense. As the preacher said God said of His own son : “this is my son whom I love”. If the God of the universe and of creations feels the need to speak such an obvious statement and was able to speak the universe into being how much more should we not speak out loud affirmation and love to our loved ones.

The sermon has literally come up at least 10 x since sunday in her little head and in such a positive way.

Words are tools- power tools. Most days I really underestimate them.

Three hands or four


This morning I had a hospital patient in the little part of the world I live in called howick and then had to get kids to school. I had decided that I definitely was doing pilates this am not matter what and I did. Unfortunately I had no petrol in my car (well almost none). Made it to pilates. Left early to put petrol in and go and buy the food for my 5 year olds heritage day celebration. The shop I was hoping to buy fish pops from for mauritius – the country my little one chose, was closed. NO problem went next door to the trusty spar and got chicken pops instead -I am sure they eat these in mauritius too?

pilatesmoveAt the check out I had too much to carry so I said to the lovely teller – don’t you sometimes wish you had 3 hands – she said “even four, even four”.

I agree even four.

 

See here : above this pilates pic personifies the average mom, no none of us bar Julia Musgrave can do that but we try πŸ™‚

Type 1 managed at home from the start


Outside of a patient arriving in a DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) one can actually manage them at home from the offset. Yes this may well be a bit controversial, however, in my opinion subjecting a whole family to hospital admission of 10 days at the start of such a huge ordeal is controversial too.

There are many arguments for both sets of management.

My personal feeling is that a hospital is a very traumatic place to be. To subject an entire family to 10 days in an institution with bad food and light far away from home is akin to a concentration camp.

Trauma is also about how it is managed and the calmer, better slept “managed” parents and children do better I believe.

Type 1 diabetes is an absolute lack of insulin. There need to be multiple mind shifts that occur and this requires calmness and astuteness. It is very easy to manage in this day and age what with excellent new insulins as well as cheaper CGM availability.

We currently have an epidemic of type 1 diagnoses. If I learnt anything from Larry Distiller (guru and endocrinologist) it was step back, take a deep breath and apply the knowledge you have calmly. This is the dictum I follow with great success.

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Venus and Mars and the stars beyond thars,…


So I feel that I should have a little say about the whole Serena debacle which is far from Serene to say the least.

There is unfairness for sure.

There is discrimination for sure.

Osaka is both gracious and amazing to have beaten Serena.

Trevor Noah hits it on the button – watch his clip on this.

Google it on YOU tube …:) go on I dare you

 

Open source diabetes technology


All I am going to say is watch the Carte blanche clip : 9-9-18 on Diabetes type1 from last night, you can literally google it on you tube and go!!! Jaco Cronje and co as well as shout out to Dave Segal, my guru πŸ™‚

OPEN SOURCE CLOSING THE LOOP Β for the benefit of all at a lower cost

Life as a mom/woman/werker


So I often say to my kids “mommy has at least 700 jobs to do every day”. And I often feel that perhaps that’s underestimating it. I also wish for, long for 3 or 4 hands rather than 2. It would honestly solve problems like : multiple trips to and from the car, packages as well as carrying kids etc, etc etc.

Just saying.

The average mom/woman/werker regardless of stay at home of frikken run off your feet business person wakes early, starts the day with a pretty limitless list of tasks which get interrupted on average about 1000X that specific morning. Attempts during this first mini-war of the day to shower and dress. Sometimes this process gets hijacked and one finds oneself naked in the kitchen consoling an inconsolable child about something that may actually be causing world war three in their mind but actually just can’t find it’s pink jersey.

The journey to the car is often interrupted by a request to poo and we are already 10 minutes late. And trust me this process in a young un is not a quick one.

Drop off is sometimes fraught with yet another battle of sorts from tears to tantrums and all shades of different coloured moods in-between. yes them young uns are humans with moods and lots of them.

On arrival at work one really needs a tequila but generally that does not happen. Unless your secretary spots a look of absolute failure in your eyes and merrily produces one – joking – I wish!!

Then the day begins, most feel much like a whirlwind. In my world every day is different and I end up literally donating my spleen and kidneys to most patients in terms of empathy and attempting to listen in an in-depth way a healing way.

Well then 3 pm hurtles around and usually signifies children who are either hypo-glycemic or grumpy or tired or all 3. It’s a special time of day as most mums will know which generally lasts until bed time and the routine of that is sometimes a breeze and just when you think you are bloody mom of the year a week arrives where they turn into the spawn of satan and literally behave like aliens born of people you don’t know from adam.

And on the note of adam. Well God had a special sense of humour when he created him.

How anyone gets through the average day without a glass of wine totally totals me. And I was a “tea totaller” before I had children. Despite being wise (i.e. older).

Spare a thought, if you are a women on your way to motherhood, prepare yourself -though nothing really can, just saying, sorry.

If you happen to be a caring adam then spare 2 thoughts perhaps buy some flowers and have a conversation along the lines of I love you, I appreciate you you are amazing :), just saying.

From the heart …art


The heart is a fragile thing in most, and yet a hard nasty thing in some. The arts and art is a thing like beauty – in the eye of the beholder and the eye is the window to the soul.

The soul – now there’s a concept. What is that?

What are we? Chemicals, chemical reactions on millions of different levels? Hard physical hardware ? A mixture? What makes one man soft and one man hard? Or woman. Let’s not go all porn here we are talking the insides right, the chemicals.

One day when you die does your soul live? And how do we know that for sure this side of death?

Musings on a wednesday …

Suicide, yes I said suicide


A subject we all seem to shy away from. And yet I am guessing it has been around for a long time and seems in my observance to be on the increase. Certainly amongst the medical field.

The root word is from latin sui – self and cidiim – killing, not even really a fair description.suicide

What bugs me more is the judgement. The condemnation, never mind of some. I feel that to a large degree is it because we are not connected any more and that the lack of true “support” across the board reigns. It seems we are all islands.

And yet it could be different. We could “support” people at large more and actually “be” there for people at large.

We have become shallower in our dealings with humans. Human to human is a connection we don’t seem to have anymore. And it is sad.

Suicide is a comment on our society and it is sad.

Not long ago I thought it was dentists that had the highest rate of all professions, medical doctors seem to have taken the lead and how very very sad this is. The healing profession seems unable to heal itself and yet is it as simple as that? What lurks beneath the murky surface of this awful predicament that has surfaced. Ego ? Burn-out? The eternal yearning to be the best? Denigration ? Putting people down? Army style? Again and again? Relentless hours? Death witnessed firsthand uncountable times and the expectation that you walk out the room and have a cuppa????

Many things.

Surely we can find the roots, and deal with them? Academia at large are seemingly unaccountable – should that not change?

Lives being lost as we speak – fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers.

Sad, sad. Is there something YOU can do today? Or will you choose to remain silent and impotent.

Silent heart attack


What is a silent heart attack. An acute myocardial infarct where the patient feels no pain whatsoever. Diabetics are very prone to this. Particularly poorly controlled diabetics. If the average sugar is consistently above 10 mmol/l then the nerves to the various organs actually stop working. Which means in essence you don’t feel pain like you should.

The problem with not feeling the pain is that you don’t realise what is happening. So generally the patient presents later. Sometimes with confusion (acute), sometimes with electrolyte disturbances or unfortunately death.

Control of sugar is key.

A1c – three month average of the glucose must be performed in diabetics at least every 6 months and attended to if too high.

Controlled sugars prevent heart attacks. Controlled blood pressure prevents them too πŸ˜‰

Tit bits and chunks of useful diabetes info


I was privileged to attend the Lilly summit 2018 in Durban this weekend with top notch speakers who literally infused my brain with a lovely soup of new information and better ways to help diabetics.

I posted most of the pearls on my face book feed – Claudine LEe/drleethegp.

There are few things more tantalising to a diabetes nerd that a day full of information soup, its like gourmet food for the brain and has the capacity to transform patients lives.

Thanks so Lilly for a lovely and well organised event. So wonderful too, to have Kenyan and Namibian continent there too.

 

Sticky mess 2


So when the sugar goes above 10 mmol/l (different values and way of measuring in the US and UK), the blood vessels : arteries and veins in the : eyes, heart, kidneys and feet and also EVERYWHERE (yes that includes the reproductive organs) SHUT – the sticky mess shuts them and so the cells can not get oxygen and they “starve” and can die.

That is when you have episodes like : stroke, heart attack or a black foot requiring amputation.

Or when you go blind, need dialysis or need to have a heart bypass/stent.

So what is the answer ? More meds, better meds ?? Maybe BUT mostly, more exercise, better eating habits, more exercise etc, consulting the team you know about re your diabetes : dietician, podiatrist, biokineticist, doctor, etc at least once a year.

If you keep the sticky mess away, did you know you live longer and better quality of life than your non-diabetic counterpart?

Diabetes college …


Should we open up a college to teach folk about diabetes. The diabetes man. Yeah.

A touch of sugar, my doctor says I have a little bit of sugar.

So much of confusion out there. Yes diabetes is here in a big way. Yes it’s logarithmically growing. Yes is perfectly preventable (type2). Yes there are massively big differences between being insulin dependant (type 1) and insulin deficient (varying degrees) type 2.

So yes maybe we need diabetes night school or even day school to tutor folk.

Yes you can not stuff endless amounts of carbs in your mouth. Yes that includes beer. It’s a carb. Yes it is.

Whiskey and water is better but in the quantity of one drink.

Yes fruit is full of carbs – sugar. Yes it is. No it is not great for diabetics. Does that mean you can’t eat fruit at all? No but the quantity and the type count.

Can a dietician help you ? Yes very much so.

Will exercise help ? Indeed, at least one hour though and a few times a week.

Do you have to run ? No, walking is actually better exercise.

Bottom line when your sugar goes above 10 in the blood stream things stick together. A Sticky mess.

Kana Uchema …


Karen Zoid and Yvonne Chaka Chaka have recently done this song, written in Venda Shona , what a beautiful language ….what beautiful words.

I had never even heard it spoken until the day I downloaded the song, I actually had to google it. And I have lived here in south africa since I was born. We have such huge talent in the beautiful land.karenyvonne

Karen is amazing at showcasing that. An amazing singer, human.

(Verse 1)
Iwe Neni
Ngatingova neyi nyika
Ndochido changu
Kugona uchinyemwerera

(Verse 2)
Ganda rako raka svibirira
Vhudzi rako raka fanana nerangu
Hukama hunoti batanidza
Newe makore akawanda

(Chorus)
Kana uchema
Ndinonzwa mwoyo wangu kurwadziwa x2

(Verse 3)
Mai nemwana
Varere wakafa musango
Apo mumwe murume aripa dambudziko
Muzita rehondo

(Ad-libs)
Taridza rudo rushoma
When you cry
When you cry
Don’t you cry brother
Don’t you cry sister

I feel it
I feel the cry

Karen Mashed this with the lyrics of linger into it – truly inspired. We are able to do so much more in this country. Love Karen, Love the queen of africa, go ladies and all talented people of south africa.

Taridza rudo rushoma …

When you cry I am here for you brother, sister.

Watched Karen and her band live on thursday evening with my girls and it was just as spine chilling as she always is. THanks for your sunshine in my day.

 

Back in the office


After the most special trip to the eastern cape we returned full of love joy and hope and I am back in the office : 0832898351 πŸ™‚

Some amazing spots : The henry barkley bnb in Barkley East, the alpine swift in Rhodes and the Guardians lodge in Elliot – special amazing, reasonable, divine !!! Time out is really awesome.

Diabetes is not a myth -so why do we pretend it is???


So funny to me how there is still a lack of acknowledgment as well as a bit of head in the sand when it comes to this massive diabetes epidemic. WE seem to think we are all fairies in a fairy tale and bad things will never happen to us despite our bad behaviour.

We are currently in a pickle. A sticky soup mess of diabetes by the gazillions and yet you see no REAL action. Why?

Confusing really.

Especially problematic to have this many children “suffering” mostly silently from undiagnosed disease.

So much knowledge available and yet so little interest even.

Until the day it hits you or your family. In terms of type 2 especially in children there is so much we can do as well as reverse this if found early. So why are we not going out and actively diagnosing it?

Unfortunately in type 1 in children through no fault of their own, their bodies have attacked their pancreas and essentially killed the pancreas. And without insulin they would die.

More awareness, less scaremongering, less head in the sand, more action. More at least attempt to slow the log curve of growth. Why don’t we at least try to slow the log.

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Cold hard pressed


Cold hard pressed grief

pure?

cold hard pain

is it possible to reign in the heinous pain

distilled as it were

but so so unsure so so in a furore

of the core of my being

under seeing

by all in a tumble fall

my gut so full of gall

and why oh why have I hauled my bag so far

from a long way ago

its come with me

the glimmer the glimpse of letting at least the bag go

oh what joy

can so much heaviness and lightness be here now?

oh this hole if fills my soul

i long right now to fly right out of here

out of the hole

out of my soul

written 28 oct 2017 18:16