Category Archives: dancing with obstacles

Technology and covid


By now we are untangling data in regards to what has swept through the UK as regards covid and what we are seeing is a big great worry around diabetes and covid in that poorly controlled, “multi-morbid” -my own term- lots of co-morbidities : obesity, metabolic syndrome, age, dementia, etc is a red flag to the covid bull.

How can we move forward? By engaging technology. Knowledge is power and more so with diabetes and for me key even before covid was CGM. Accurate, on time, real time data that changes lives : quality and quantity and saves both lives and medical aids/governments money.

Slush.

We have a lot of technology available but up to now it has been an uphill battle to get funders/governments to help roll it out.

Personally I don’t think there is a better time to rethink this situation than now. It’s about longterm outcomes and cost expenditure and getting a large group of the population – before the covid pandemic was the diabetes pandemic (the log graphs a lot of us have whined on about for ages -read back on this blog). Now it appears the two have merged. I hope I am not all doom and gloom but honestly there are many folk saying this is really the beginning?

Control of sugars is key in many regards but as regards covid it is super key.

We are connected, diverse and wonderful


Hi, shoo, we stand/sit here today in this world each individually and yet all of us humans breathing oxygen into our lungs and expelling carbon dioxide out. Lungs : the zone where corona causes the worst of it’s devastation (most organs are affected though in the severe cases).

But here we are and I am reminded of a poem I love :

Muddy

And so to be children,

Growing younger into our humanity

Born between thorn and nail,

We must live now, here

Eyes wide amid the hurting;

Daring to find a love

Deep in the poison garden,

Learning our steps in the barefoot way

Dancing muddy into eternity

Patrick Hobbs

We are all muddy, we are all muddled. And yet, here we are, breathing. I agree with Gareth Cliff, what now? We must live now, here : figure this out gently, kindly and be a piece in the puzzle that engages on all it’s sides and reaches out to find that unique way to “engage”.

Let’s each individually figure out the way we “connect” with each other far and wide.

“Diversity of thought is the most valuable thing”-Gareth Cliff today.

Open your mind, like your lungs open every time you take a breath.

#goingforward #livenowpoison garden

 

Deluge of deluded, devoid of common senses ness, happy crazy credentials


Where are we people ? As Suzelle – south africa’s brilliant voice on so many fronts might say. Where are we?

I kind of feel like I might be living in a pseudo universe right now. Not really sure what to make of reality and non-reality, and generally, it probably feels like that for many folk. This is a trying time whether you stand with Trump and guns in Michigan or Bolsonaro in Brazil eating his self-righteous sweet treats or Cyril in South africa walking the finest line between REALLY being there for HIS people both health wise and financially wise. Oh my lord where are we people? What is real and what is not.

There’s much I do not know. But let me tell you what I do know : the inflammatory cascade is a process that can happen triggered by multiple things including corona virus (there are other things that doctors learn long and hard about) and yes you all seem to be cleverly discovering this thing (out of context mind you) and propounding philosophy like there’s no tomorrow -which right now is a thing no-one is guaranteed of. Ventilators are not the only answer so to speak I agree, ICU care involves quite a lot more than just ventilating. And please help us God when the average man on the street “discovers” then next “medical revelation” and tries to “help” as a spouting fountain of knowledge, it will come, I doubt it not.

Suzelle generally sticks to DIY and expands it in a way that helps humanity almost always a value add.

People at large, let’s value add right now. What do YOU do? Do that and value add. Please, because YOU can people. Because you CAN.

#Suzelle #commonsense #whatcanyoudosuzelle

 

Corona, covid, go away …


If I had a wish from a genie, I would use it right now.

But I don’t. And for some reason collectively we are resisting what seems to be a truth that we are all battling to reconcile. This thing is here. It’s a terrible virus that has mutated from animal to human and it threatens US at large.

This is not an US and THEM situation it is only an US situation. Humans. Us.

Um, gulp, shit!!!

Against a corona viridae.

And yet, we CAN beat it. We really can. Ask Italy. Who have LOST soooo much.

However, we do need strategies. Now in South Africa we are blessed I believe to have had the experience of the HIV epidemic and the really hard lessons that it taught us. And we are now applying to a new pandemic.

Also we need honesty. More than ever. Not fear-mongering. Honesty and less gas-lighting.

We need community at a time when physically we are distanced. Yet spiritually we have a huge opportunity. For unity. For US. For humanity.

And actually to realise how connected each and everyone of us are. The truth.

Not US and them. Just US. And unless we collectively realise that, I fear worse.

As we hold our breath right now in south africa and some of the countries that have managed miraculously to flatten a curve FOR NOW, we need to realise this is a battle that is going to take a while. Many months, possibly years. And in order to continue to keep a flattish curve we need strategies. On many other fronts : hunger, fear, we need somehow very realistically to take hands, with all of those who are less fortunate.

So back to my genie, actually I may need 3 wishes at least, but failing genies and wishes, what can each one of US actually do? For humanity, for the future? There is sooo much YOU can do, so why not DO it, Like nike said, just DO it. Be part of the solution.genie

Loved the aladin movie (pic above) in it’s magic moments, we need more magic moments and the humblest of humanity are capable.

Abuse at this time -a way out


It is a great burden and a sadness that at this time during lockdown the “opportunity” for abuse in many ways is just too easy for the picking on the side of the abuser. To this end the “abused” in many many cases has very little access to “sanctuary”.

I was reading a great article last night and it resonated in so many ways in terms of making each one of us, individually and collectively at this point in time a little bit more “bullet proof” and “protected” in the midst of very little “protection”.

The “just” of it being 1.) recognise the “feelings” of : helplessness, anxiety, depression as SIGNALS that are screaming to us to do something. Not what society up to now has expounded that you are : weak, pathetic, not strong enough, rather that that feeling is a signal to YOU, precious one, that actually You can STAND up and even lying down YOU have a voice, a right, an access to bridging the gap between poor mental health and strong mental health.

2.) when one feels that one does not have “agency” ie things are all lost and nothing can get better, hopelessness in a sense, it is a very hard and terrifying place to be.

3.) That is why recognising the “vulnerability” for what it is is so vital and not giving that power. But stopping that vast chasm of no agency feeling in its tracks – and only the INDIVIDUAL in their MIND can do that.

4.) REcongnise that even in this time there are THINGS you can do, starting small. REaching out perhaps now is even a little easier as long as you have internet or a way to phone or even reach out to a neighbour. Take small positive steps.

5.) The resources for those who have access to them are literally endless on the internet.

6.) For those that don’t : start by getting “out of your mind” flick the switch by running around a chair or your house, reading a poem, literally thinking out of your normal box and grasping onto a positive thought, image or smell even.

7.) AVailbable too : most doctors are doing telephonic consults at this time as are psychologists and other health practioners, churches have pastors available on the other end of a phone, if needed the police are available and I would say if your situation requires it keep pressing on that button until you are indeed helped. The security “saints” independant security companies are very present right now and have been both kind and amazing during this time.

Libre flash monitoring – “freeing” you up to live life (technology permitting )


What is flash monitoring ? Well it’s a button you wear on your upper arm (under normal sleeves) and use your phone (many compatible android and iphones) to swipe across the button and voila- a sugar reading. It then records on a graph on your phone.

We have come a long way since 1922 when without insulin type 1 patients essentially died. Crass but the truth sadly. And here we are in 2019 and we do not even have to rely on finger pricks. Yay! Progress and science and so much of happiness all around.

Flash monitoring does have a lag, and that is quite individual. Safe to say the “real time” sugar is ahead ie the flash is behind real time but the trend remains the same – I hope that makes sense. The beauty is being able to see where you have come from and are headed towards. So, if you are heading down you can snack or watch and wait depending on the circumstances : ie food, exercise, illness and same for heading up. And you can flash in 5 minutes to see.

So I very much advise against knee-jerk reaction to the blood sugar on flash monitoring but rather watching and waiting and “learning” from experiences of exercise and cake eating etc. As for adjustments in insulin doses and timing of insulin and what does what. For example stress affects certain people in one way and others in another and the beauty of the flash is that you get to learn what your body does and adjust to that.

In the UK this device is now relatively largely widespread and with great great results of way better control, time in range and very importantly better quality of life for type 1 patients. It is being funded by the NHS at large thanks to the Diabetes warrior doctors who have literally “gone to war” to get this funded.

In south africa we battle “the funders” to do what actually benefits them downstream but happy to say that I do feel that progress is being made in this arena too. Our “war” also slowly slowly being won for the betterment of both funder and patients.

Flash monitoring – glucose readings regularly not requiring finger sticks/pricks – accurate, timeous and life changing – allowing patients to live full lives rather than survive.

#abbottlibreflash a multitasking device that adds value at every level

NHI and what is to come…because it IS coming!


The NHI will certainly be coming whether or not it is yet another train smash as we have experienced with every state run institution or not. Will it be a better south africa ? That remains to be seen.

What is unequivocal is that it is coming and it WILL be implemented. Does that make me want to run away. Yes, yes and yes. Am I going to ? No, no and no. I have personal reasons for staying but I do believe that we also need better health care for the majority and NHI may well aid in a small way to some kind of “fairness” when in the past there has been gaping holes of “unfairness”.

I would like to start a new movement of positivity and seeing the opportunities in south africa.

Face it, there is no perfect place in the world. People are the problem. And they are everywhere. However there are also unique wonderful people who are everywhere.

Also in this place we call home with wide aching gaps there are opportunities for both financial prosperity as well as kindness prosperity – which is all we go to the grave with.

So will NHI be a challenge. Yes it will. Does it mean the end of health care for the wealthy or relatively wealthy (bear in mind there are folk who survive out here each month on R1000 a month). No, I hope not. Is there opportunity to assess this situation and find a new way regarding the epic challenges that face us like diabetes, hypertension and the complications thereof ? Yes. I believe necessity is the mother of invention and as health care practioners it is yet another to re-evaluate and use our God given brains to come up with a palatable solution.

Kindness is one of the few things we take with us. And death is a certain guarantee.

So let’s start there and move outward as the ripples on the sea when a stone skips over the surface. South african’s are adaptable at large and we are able to see and do the positive, come with me.

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