Category Archives: Claudine Lee

Diabetes and the holidays …


So I have blogged about this before, but they are upon us now.

What should you be doing/not doing or doing differently during the holidays.

We all know that glucose control is one way in the week and quite a different way on the weekend and holidays. This is partly because we are human and life is well just not always easy and letting your hair down usually goes with a bit of alcohol (if you are old enough) and a bit of cheating (dare I say it).

So all things considered, where does this leave you with your diabetes?

Consider it. Be mindful of it. Carb count it. Accurately.

With the holidays come a little bit of time – that we don’t usually have. Choose to exercise – must be something you love. Be creative. Horse ride or bike ride or dance!

Factor the exercise in. IF you are not sure how to do this, consult someone. Even if you are on holiday – trust me most of us (health care folk) are at work : dieticians, GP’s, nurse educators etc.

Don’t just go ape on yourself. It’s so much harder to get back the lost ground.

Enjoy yourself but be fair about it. Restraint is required.

Give yourself a Christmas present of being present more often. This will carry through to the new year and be a wonderful asset.

Top sites that I feel are invaluable : http://www.fatsecret.co.za – south african ,excellent for carb counting and so much more!, pinterest has awesome pictograms of diabetes.

Feel free to share your best app, resource with me.

Merry Christmas.

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Diabetes Ball


Innate hilton is hosting a diabetes winter ball : 26 August 2017. All welcome (i.e. you don’t have to be diabetic). It will be at La Rose Des Vents in Hilton. http://www.larosedesvents.co.za

We are hosting it in aid of one child not on medical aid who is type 1 as well as to raise awareness regarding both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Tickets will be on sale shortly.

Please contact Sarah : 0845450848 if you would like to sponsor or buy tickets.

We will kick off the evening at sunset with Tanya Nicholson and St John Haw and canapés and drinks. Followed by a mediterranean dinner and dancing.

Diabetes still on the rise


Whilst the world (rightly so) is horrified at the current state of zuma/zupta/corruption in south africa to the absolutely insane attacks in the UK but ALSO the ongoing terrible and unacceptable carnage in syria, iraq, afghanistan (this list is way longer and way worse than most of what the “west” has seen).

I would like to bring all of your attention to something that is “silently” killing way more people. Diabetes. Don’t believe me – look at the horrendous stats. They do speak for themselves. In both the west as well as the east as well as the poorest of the poor.

Diabetes is a scurge that is on the surge. And with no even small little sign of stopping.

What is type 2 ? A disease of wealth but also of abnormal eating. There is no reason to get type 2 diabetes unless you have actually “abused” your body OR if you have had cancer or a tumour of your pancreas.

It is a disease of too much sugar into the body. Too many simple carbs stuffed into a single body and the pancreas says ok well enough is enough and all of a sudden once you have lost 50% of them pancreas cells you find yourself diabetic.

Type 1 however is a different story. This is a case of severely unfair dishing out of disease. Mostly children and young adults who out of the blue have total pancreas failure. And become dependant (i.e. you die without it) on insulin.

Type 1 is NOT avoidable by anything you do or do not do.

Type 1’s rely on insulin, without it they die.

Diabetes is killing and causing loss of quality of life for many many people.

Educate yourself and be aware of what you say. Prevent yourself from getting type 2 and help others understand the difference.

Pump for me or not for me?


Report back : We had a marvellous discussion about pumps on wednesday evening. Highly enjoyable and informative, even our pump patient learnt something.

JOIn us today : On wednesday night 530 pm in Hilton Pietermaritzburg we will be holding an informal hour discussion about pumps -insulin pump therapy. What is pump therapy ? Who “qualifies”? What is the benefit. Is it for everyone who injects insulin?

Feel free to join us for free for an hour to explore the “pump market” in south africa and get first hand feedback from “pump” patients 😉

Surgery as a patient


The hardest 2 things I have ever had to do is deliver 2 babies. Yes I did do it naturally and perhaps at the age of 37 and 39 I should have listened to the wise advice of so many colleagues and had 2 planned caesars. I wanted the very best for the two angels that I had waited so many years for and I believed going through the birth canal was that. What I did not realise is what it would take out of and from me.

Delivering a child naturally comes with a lot of waiting (patience has never been my forte). It then involves an “older” body “co-operating” with the birth process. If that had all happened “naturally” I guess it may have been different. My body needed help and in the second birth it needed an ocean of a medication called oxytocin (syntocinon). This very large dose into my system helped my 39 year old uterus contract in order to deliver one 3.5 kg baby.

I will keep you in a bit of suspense, like a bit of a thriller novel.

I have just (last friday) had surgery – 4 years after my precious second child’s birth. It was an operation to effectively remove my uterus. This organ that has caused a fair amount of poor quality of life. The surgeon was extremely happy with his operation (they usually are) and presented me with a photo of the wretched organ and great news that it had gone swimmingly.

Wind back 4 years. I had just delivered a baby at around 3 am in the morning. The team were tired. God knows they had had me in chunks. No nursing staff are ever delighted to “nurse” a lady doctor – goes against many grains. I was lying in a lot of blood and had already started to bleed. I was in a fair amount of pain considering I had already delivered a child. The pain escalated, the nausea escalated, the bleeding escalated. I called for help so to speak and was told to shut up and sleep (in my own blood) they had really had enough of me for one night. I tried again. I phoned a friend – no one was up at 4 am. I tried my husband – his phone was off – he was trying to sleep after a hell of a night. I phoned the neighbour and asked him to wake my husband and come to the hospital.

AT one point I left my body and watched mayhem from above.

I woke up – well “arrived” back in my body about 2 days later having been taken to theatre, resuscitated, transfused etc. They never did figure out what was causing my pain 4 years ago. I started on a long journey of recovery mentally, physically and emotionally.

The surgeon showed me (this last saturday)

what happened – my uterus had ruptured and well lets just say the human body is an amazing thing.

I do certainly wish that it had been discovered 4 years ago for a few reasons. The very first and most important being my marriage which suffered greatly for the rupture. The second being the suffering that could so easily have been avoided. I can actually deal with a fair amount (though I do believe my pain threshold is useless), but my wish would be for another women to not have to go through the journey I have travelled. The third being the faith I have lost in my own “kind”. Never did I think it possible to be treated the way I was that night or on 3 occasions where all I really wanted was an apology from the midwife and all staff closed rank and called me something close to a lunatic and just bloody well get over this and move on.

Well I can now. Move on.

I can also say that a hysterectomy is a relative walk in the park. Almost a non-event. Yes I had pain post-op and yes I required the strong stuff. But 2 days later I was not on anything for pain and today I feel like I could run a marathon (I won’t for all those urging me to rest).

Life is an interesting journey and some of the suffering actually helps create focus and for that I am grateful. The most awesome part is just beginning – a journey with Dave and my two girls.

Diabetes cure?


There are various teams around the world – dedicated scientists and enthusiastic people working on all aspects of diabetes – trying to find prevention, cure, treatments – better, onwards and upwards. The diabetic scientific community at large strive for better quality of life.

There are also many snake juice paddlers as there are fake news folk. Do not be duped or sucked into some scam.

It’s a pity that in the light of such a huge and devastating epidemic there would be folk peddling snake juice and basically lying to a vulnerable subset of people. But that is life and ours the task to engage the brain and always question.

New treatments, closed loop technology and cures are on the horizon and I salute the many people working around the clock to accomplish that. Please the internet if FULL of rubbish – surf wisely.

The power of the double x ;)


Do not under-estimate the power of a woman. Once activated she can be radio-active. A ball of fire. A genuine force of nature. WE are not half x and half y – we are double x or double X!

Made from Adam’s rib, created to be a help-meet. Created to bare both boys and girls. Created to create.

Women across the world have a kindred spirit – gentle, kind, strong ,powerful. We tend to “attack” problems or hiccups in a very different way to our XY counterparts. Empathy is like breathing for us. Life and it’s ebb and flow very much part of each day’s struggle to nurture our children and loved ones. A privilege we cherish yet sometimes hard to keep on keeping on.

Take Ingrid Jonker – a women whose heart literally bled for south africa. She struggled so intricately  with herself and her father’s rejection that it forced her to walk into the sea, yet the poetry she wrote was pure gold that flowed out of that tortured and tormented soul -deep so deep, squeezed and percolated through her fragile life. She leaves us with a legacy of touching tales that shake your core and leave you in awe.

Thuli Madonsela – a tribute to justice and dogged yet gentle pursuit of the truth without being rude, disdaining or plain. A strong tall tree yet softly spoken authority. A real rare gem leader. Astounding ability to hold her own self back and gently speak to a situation. She radiates, emanates peace and truth, it seeps through her pores and is heard.

There are so many examples of women through the ages. Steel women, whose hearts are so fragile and gentle they are broken by the weight of a feather, yet stand despite the brokenness. Beat despite the lack of a song to accompany the beat. Sometimes beat to the sole beat of a single drum. But pick up that pace they do.

XX a gift to us. We got double the staying power, double the gentle breeze.