The Sugar-Blood Diaries: Blood Is Thicker Than Treacle

This is the first in a new series of blog entries which will, I hope, be a reasonably entertaining and brutally honest look at my day to day life, “coping” with diabetes.

Notice the quotation marks? That’s because i’m not entirely sure that I am coping. Not in a “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO HARD!” kind of way, you understand. More like a “I kind of suck at being an adult, is ice cream good for breakfast?” sort of thing.

So, if you’d like a laugh at my expense and perhaps some useful information about diabetes and life and all that balls, then read on dear…reader. That doesn’t scan well, bad start. ONWARDS!

Saturday the 9th of April, in the year of someone else’s lord, 2016. That’s the day that I found out I was diabetic.

On the Friday night, I discovered a small lump on my inner thigh. I actually noticed when I sat on the toilet and felt a sharp pain. Obviously, my first thought was “FUCK! SCORPION!”, but after inspecting my trousers and finding no venomous arachnids within, I realised I had an abscess.

The next morning, I shot down to the Minor Injuries unit at the local hospital. I’d expected to leave with a course of antibiotics and a feeling of slight embarassment at having to hold my gentlemen’s sexual paraphernalia to one side while I was checked over by a nurse. I got both of those things, but they came with a side order of shitty news.

The nurse checked by blood sugar levels, which as an adult, should sit somewhere between 4 to 6 millimols. If you’re picturing a “Milly Mole” as an adorable mole girl in a flower print dress, you’re  not alone. My blood sugar was sitting happily at 18.5 delightful Farthing Wood characters. I’m amazed that the testing machine didn’t ask for some pancakes to go with the syrup.

We Have A Bleeder

Blood was taken, advice was given, appointments were made and I went home to start scratching sugar from my diet. As a long time Coke addict (beverage, not nose candy), it wasn’t an easy switch but I swapped out the sugary drinks for fizzy water, reduced portion sizes, changed eating habits, etc. This all came with a healthy dose of pissing and moaning about never eating cake again.

Wednesday came and I received a call from the doctor, who told me to head to accident and emergency as soon as I could…

Dear reader, I will cheerfully admit to you that, at that point, I emptied my metaphorical bowels with considerable force. A thousand questions raced through my mind. Why did I need to be seen so urgently? Was my blood caramelizing? Was I slowly turning into a delicious doughnut? Would there be adequate parking?!

If I had known that the doctor was working in A&E at the time and as it was quiet, thought that just the easiest and quickest way to see me, I could have saved myself a pair of jeans.

My levels were tested again and now sat at 21.6 adorable wee molefolk. I was weighed too and in a world first, i’m actually going to share my weight with the wide world. 22 stone. To give you some perspective, that’s roughly how much crap an elephant can put out in a day. I’m a giant elephant shit of a human being.

A week on and i’ve been ever so good. I’ve been trying to get more exercise, despite having chosen my feet from a lineup of lower limb misshapes. I set up reminders on my phone and take my meds. My diet has improved hugely.

At last count, i’ve lost roughly 5lbs and my blood sugar is down to 10.2. I plan to celebrate by snorting six pounds of icing sugar.


I went to the toilet today. That’s not blogworthy, I use that toilet all the time. It’s a downstairs toilet, which is useful for someone who’s feet were designed by M.C.Escher. It’s got a sliding door and we’ve put a little reed diffuser thing in there and we’ve got nice, soft toilet paper which offends me terribly.

It’s not that i’d rather have rough paper. The stuff at school when my Host Body was young was akin to scraping one’s bum region with a handful of gravel, broken glass and thistles, which was not an enjoyable experience. No, the softness of the paper doesn’t bother me.


As I sat on the toilet, pondering the mysteries of the infinite, my eye happened upon the packaging for this delightfully gentle-on-the-rectum shitrag of ours. Beneath the name Cushelle (other brands are available) was a Koala. A fluffy, cuddly Koala.

Why? Why the bloody hell do I want to be reminded of Koala’s when i’m cleaning my patoot? Are Koala’s particularly fastidious in their hygienic approaches? Are they especially absorbent? Why does everything need a sodding mascot these days? Am I supposed to wipe my ass with marsupials? No. No, I guess not. The mascot irked me, but i’d have forgotten it after six or seven hours of red-faced screaming into the void, i’d wager. No, it wasn’t the mascot that tipped me over the edge. It was Linda.

Just to the side of the stupid, grinning Koala was a large banner with an endorsement from Linda, 62, Kent. “Best toilet roll I have used”, said Linda, apparently. Linda’s a fan of Cushelle, folks. Holds it in high regard, so she does.

Now, i’ve written a fair few reviews for Sticktwiddlers over the years. I’m forever rewriting my own personal top five film list. What i’m trying to say is, i’m used to objectively comparing one particular item to another similar item. That being said, i’ve never given that much thought to which toilet roll best cleansed my beshitted bottom. I’ve occasionally thought “Bugger me, that drew blood” or “We’ll get that one again, it matches the curtains” but these are fleeting considerations. I’ve never given enough of a damn to write in to sodding Good Housekeeping with a detailed description of my excretion escapades. Can you imagine?

v3kzo (1)

“Dear Good Housekeepers,

Today has been a wonderful day as I have finally, after years of searching, found the toilet roll which I feel that I deserve.

Every shit I have taken up to this point has been an arduous event, as I have dragged with me my sample books of various tissues and toilet rolls, my scoring charts, my video recording equipment. Diligent in my task, I recorded every movement and subsequent wiping, working my way through countless brands of toilet roll, kitchen roll, tissue, sanitary wipe and on one notable occasion following a misclick during online shopping, a copy of Katie Price’s autobiography. That was even harder on the arse than it was on the eyes, surprisingly.

All of my research has led to one, inescapable conclusion. Cushelle is the finest arsewipe on the market. Soft, strong and blissfully free of poorly ghost-written celebrity waffle. Marvellous stuff.

Cushelle are free to use my name in any capacity they see fit, in return for a lifetime supply of their delightful bum cleaner.

Al, 31, Scotland”

You wouldn’t, would you?

Mind you, i’ve wiped my own personal anus with Cushelle and it is most satisfactory. It completely failed to tear me open, spilling my innards into the toilet bowl, which is certainly a win in my book.

So, Cushelle people. if you’d like another endorsement for your product i’ve got a few possibilities for you.

“Cleaned the shit off my arse a treat”

“Delightfully soft, like rubbing your bum with a kitten”

“Best used when not dripping with chilli sauce”

“It’s a papery substance for wiping your bum”

“Bugger the three seashells!”

That last one might require some legal work.

Feeling The Benefit

What follows is a brutally honest blog post. I’m not only about to bare my soul, but also flash my hairy man bosom and wobble my buttocks at you. Metaphorically speaking. It took a lot of umming and ahhing before I decided to finally write this, so i’d be ever so appreciative if you’d take the time to read it. Thursday 9th July, 2012 – 7:30pm approx I just tried to have a shower. Note the use of the word “tried”, which in this case, must be followed by “and failed”. Let me back up a little and explain this properly. Be warned, this will not be a short post. Best grab a coffee.


For those who don’t know, I suffer from osteoarthritis. In my case, this is a condition born of another ailment, talipes equinovarius. That’s “clubfoot”, to you normies. When I was born, my feet were turned upward and inward. I had a series of operations as a child but they were unable to fully correct my feet. The last of my childhood surgeries took place when I was 10, the surgeons removed a V wedge from the bones of my foot and stapled the two sections of bone together to pull my foot into shape. At some point between my discharge as an outpatient, aged 17 and the night when the proverbial hit the fan, back in 2010 or thereabouts, the staples snapped and to cut a long story short, I spent months, if not years, merrily wandering about with a micro fracture in my foot. I’ve since had an op to fuse the bones in my foot, which hasn’t helped, so my two options at this point are find a way to live with pain, or have the thing lopped off. Unsurprisingly, i’m still mulling this over.


So why am I telling you all of this? For pity? No. I don’t want your pity and frankly, obstinate swine that I am, i’m liable to tell you exactly where you can shove it if it’s offered. I just want you to understand, so that you can appreciate the realities of my day to day life. An average day for me starts out like that of many parents. I awake to the sound of children arguing and shuffle about the house preparing for the day ahead. More often than not, my wife will already have left the house. My eight year old daughter and six year old son fetch their own school clothes, make their breakfast and prepare their bags for the day. They do this partly because my wife and I  are proudly raising two independent, intelligent children. They also do this partly because they know Daddy can’t do it without wincing and occasionally muttering words that they’re not allowed to repeat. I take the children to school, riding my mobility scooter for what would be a five to ten minute walk for anyone else. Then I head home and rest up, ready to pick them up late in the day.


Sometimes, during the period between drop off and pick up, i’ll have lunch. Sometimes I won’t, it depends how much pain i’m in. Collection time arrives and I climb aboard the scooter once more, grab the kids and we head home. If i’m lucky, my wife is working a morning and she’ll cook the evening meal. If not, it’s down to me. Quick and easy meals, in the oven or microwave and leave them alone, then jammies and off to bed for the kiddies and I can sit down and that’s me for the rest of the day.

Notice I didn’t mention toilet breaks? That’s because stairs are an absolute nightmare. So I have two large bottles beside my chair. I don’t think I need explain any further. When I need to do something that, shall we say, won’t fit in the bottle, I often-have to climb the stairs on my hands and knees. Not always, sometimes I can pull myself up using the extra handrail I had fitted, but often enough that stairs have become a thing of dread.


That affects sleeping too, of course. I can’t always get upstairs to go to bed so I end up sleeping on the couch. Not the best night’s sleep at the best of times, plus I suffer from sleep apnoea so I’ve got the choice of either finding someone to relocate my entire breathing mask setup or run the risk of snoring myself to death. Literally.

So, that’s my X-Factor back story. Thing is, it wouldn’t even get me to boot camp. There are so many people who have it so much worse that I can’t complain, really. Well, I shouldn’t complain. I do, obviously, we all complain sometimes, but realistically I know that despite feet that look like rejected Twiglets and the whole Snore Of Doom fiasco, i’m lucky. I have a wonderful wife, amazing kids, a loving family and after battling with those bastards at the DWP for two years, our welfare system provides me with enough money to get by.

Ah yes, benefits. I’m one of those god-awful scrounging bastards that you hear about on Facebook. You know, the one’s that various pages post about. “HARD WORKING FAMILIES ARE PAYING FOR PRICKS LIKE AL VIMH” and the like. I’ve got it real easy, me.


“Must be nice to sit around playing Xbox all day?” people ask. They don’t stop to think that i’m playing the Xbox because I can’t get off the damn couch.

“That’s tax payers money you’re living off of, you know.” they cry. It is, but I never complained about my taxes going into the benefit system when I was working.

Oh, did I not mention that? I got my first job after school when I was 17 and worked right up until shortly before my feet crapped out on me completely. It never occurred to me to piss and moan about people claiming benefits because I understand the reality of things. There aren’t always enough jobs, there are people who simply cannot work, these people have a right to a roof over their heads, food on the table, warm beds, safety and security, just the same as the “HARD WORKING FAMILIES” that Facebook is so keen to remind me of.

You work really hard and you resent me for being at home all day without having to deal with Geoff fucking up the Hoskin’s account or a delivery of 20,000 printer cartridges instead of the 200 you ordered. Fair enough, but I envy your ability to get out and about in the world, to walk without wincing at every step, to shower in the morning without having to have someone to help you stand up.


Oh right, I was going to tell you about the shower thing. I tried to take a shower tonight. Normally I wait until my wife is home and god bless her she helps me in and out of the shower and she actually helps to wash me, because otherwise i’m liable to fall as I move about in the shower. I tried on my own. I fell. I had to call my eight year old daughter to bring me a towel so I could get my feet down on something with a bit of traction. That’s not a situation that any father ever wants to be in and as I write this, the words are blurring through a film of tears. Tell me again how I’ve got it so fucking easy. There are those who are swinging the lead, so to speak, people who are claiming benefits which they don’t need and to which they are not entitled. So find them out, stop their benefits, punish where appropriate, that’s fine. Don’t make the benefits system impossible to access for those who genuinely need it. That’s the biggest dick move since Godzilla windmilled his way across Japan.


I don’t want your pity. To hell with pity. I don’t expect you to suddenly experience a complete change of heart and mind. I just want you to consider the fact that your pissing and moaning about people on benefits might be unfair to the thousands of people out there just like me and the many thousands who are ten times worse.

Why the hell can’t we all just get along, hey?

Sickness And Silliness

"5 o' clock somewhere" Wall Clock
The Al Vimh “5 o’ clock somewhere” Wall Clock

5:00 AM. I awake to the sound of a crying child, staggering across the landing. Child Unit 2 is awake and feeling a little sorry for himself, hurrying to the toilet to, how can I put it delicately? Puke his tiny guts up. Having spoken to god on the great white telephone and after a cuddle and clean-up, the boy seems absolutely hunkydory-doodledandy-fit-as-a-butcher’-dog. Back to sleep.

7:30 AM. I awake to the sound of a wailing alarm clock and after performing the normal morning routine, wash stuff, brush things, cover bits with clothes and fall down the stairs, I find Child Units 1 and 2 perched on the sofa, watching Doctor Who. They devour a hearty breakfast of porridge-like substance and cheerily ready themselves for school. Marital Unit and I decide that Child Unit 2 is hale and hearty and perfectly capable of attending school. Nevertheless, we agree that it would be best to notify the school of his night time eructations, just in case any further pukey problems arise.

After throwing the Child Units from a moving vehicle in the general vicinity of the Education Pod, I shot home to make a few phone calls and hurl cuss-words at telesales callers. Around ten o’ clock, I realised that i’d forgotten to let the school know about the late night Exorcist episode from the boy and gave them a quick call. “He’s fine…probably something he ate…happy as larry this morning…yeah i’ll come and collect him”. Balls.

As it turns out, if a child is sick during the night, you’re supposed to keep him home from school for 24 to 48 hours. OK, fair dinkum, sure, why not? I went straight up to collect him and now he’s happily feckin’ about on Banjo-Kazooie and occasionally issuing a smug grin for getting out of a day’s learnin’, good for him. I don’t blame the boy, I don’t blame the school, I don’t blame anyone necessarily, but I am a bit flummoxed.

Y’see, we recently had a letter from the school authorities, explaining that there was a new sheriff in tow…sorry, i’ve been watching a lot of John Wayne films. The letter explained that there was a new attendance policy in place and parents of students who missed too many sessions (two sessions to a day) would be fined. The letter spoke of unauthorised absence, which would basically refer to any sick day where you didn’t get a doctor’s note and the like.

I’m sure this is all good, right? I mean, obviously we need to make sure kids don’t miss too much school. There’s just a couple of wee problems with it…

First up, there’s the fact that Child Unit 1 has asthma and Child Unit 2 has tonsils that look like an allergy prone elephant’s bee-stung testes, so the slightest hint of a cough, cold or bug and the pair of them sound like Darth Vader choking on a peanut. If one of them has been awake all night coughing their lungs out, chances are i’ll deem it necessary to keep them off school. I could send them in, but they’ll fall asleep face down in their watery gruel and they’ll be far too tired to operate a loom, so i’m not sure what good the school thinks they’ll be?

Also, there’s a note in the letter about “exceptional circumstances”, which is entirely fair. One report that I read mentioned allowing children absence to tie in with a family member’s leave from the armed forces and quite rightly so, that’s the kind of exception that I fully endorse. But there was also mention of “parents in good standing” or words to that effect and that didn’t sit quite right with me. Who is a parent in good standing? If I pay for the school to have gold plated toilets, can I take the kids to Butlins for a week in term time? If I punch a teaching assistant, do they have to go in on Saturdays?

The worst part is that the school actually hands out certificates for perfect or near-perfect attendance, which makes those unfortunate enough to be born without Wolverine’s healing ability feel bad when the incredibly immune children (or those who are tied to a school chair home hell, high water or haemophilus influenzae) are rewarded for their attendance record. The poor buggers who did nothing wrong, save not managing to fight off one of the hundreds of bugs, viruses and government created nano-plagues (i’m on to you, Cameron) which are floating around the school yard on a day to day basis, are left feeling as though they have somehow done wrong, with no real idea what it is they’re supposed to have done.

If my children are sufficiently unwell, they stay home from school. I’m not saying they’re hauled out for every sniffle, but I won’t send them in with fluids coming from every orifice and a temperature which can melt tooth enamel. If that means they miss out on a bit of blue paper and a handshake from the head, so be it. Sooner that than puking in the pencil pots.

The village school is fantastic, don’t think i’m knocking it. The problem is, as has long been the problem with our education system, that somebody seems to be employed solely to come up with bullshit. The Office Of Bullshit. Bullshit Production Team. They’re out there! Five or six of them, crowded into a dingy basement room, bitter and twisted wee bastards who’ve not seen daylight in sixty years.

BULLSHITTER 1: “What can we do to screw with them today?”

BULLSHITTER 2: “Well, i’ve been working on a little something. How about making a really big deal out of attendance. Schools will send letters home, come up with bullshit…”

ALL: “BULLSHIT!” *salute*

BULLSHITTER 2: “…little reward schemes, anything to make sure bums are in seats, given the fear of god we’ll put into them.”

BULLSHITTER 3: “Hmm, yes. Yes it has potential, but might I suggest one small change?”

BULLSHITTER 1: “Proceed.”

BULLSHITTER 3: “We make it policy for children who have been sick within the last 48 hours to remain home so as not to contaminate other children. It doesn’t matter if it’s something they ate or they’ve made themselves gag, they stay home. That way, even parents who are trying their damnedest won’t be able to achieve perfect attendance!”


*much orgasmic writhing*

That’s exactly how it happened. Weird, troll people coming up with crap in a basement. I may be a tad sleep deprived. Anyway, that’s the problem. It’s all bullshit.



Five Stages Of Phone Loss

Everybody is different, special, unique, which is something to be celebrated. But it’s nice to know that, no matter what, there are some things that make us all the same. Like losing stuff. I’ve lost my phone.

It’s infuriating. Not the actual loss, so much, but the crap that comes with it. Like stupid bloody questions.

“Have you looked everywhere?” No. I haven’t the time to look literally everywhere, this is a big old planet and we’ve not even plumbed the depths of the deepest oceans. Besides which, if I had looked everywhere I would have SODDING FOUND IT!

“Where did you lose it?” What a sodding question! You don’t know what the word “lose” means, do you?

We’ve all lost a phone at some point, i’ve no doubt. Most of the time, we find it again after a brief initial panic. We do that thing, where we have someone else call the phone and then wander about the house, listening for our ring tone.

“It’s ringing! Can you hear it!” NO, BECAUSE YOU’RE BLOODY SHOUTING YOU HALFWIT!

But then it turns up. Huzzah!
Mine hasn’t turned up.
I’m OK with this now, believe it or not. I’ve said my goodbyes.  I’ve been through the five stages of phone loss.
You know about the five stages, right?


ME: “Have you seen my phone?”

MARITAL UNIT: “You’ve lost it, haven’t you?”

ME: “No. I had it a minute ago, but now I can’t find it.”

MARITAL UNIT: “So, it’s lost?”

ME: “No, no, no. It’s just…misplaced”

MARITAL UNIT: “Lost then.”

ME: “Not at all. It’s here somewhere, but I don’t know where.”


ME: “…you’re lost.”


ME: “You’ve hidden it, haven’t you!”

MARITAL UNIT: “No. Why the hell would I do that?”


MARITAL UNIT: “Calm down…”


MARITAL UNIT: “Are you having some sort of episode?”

ME: “…you’re an episode.”


ME: “Okay phone. You don’t like me and I don’t like you, but if you come out from wherever the hell you are, i’ll buy you a new Micro SD card. 16gb. Would you like that? Would you like a 16gb Micro SD card?”

MARITAL UNIT: “Are…are you trying to make a deal with your lost phone?”

ME: “I do what I must. I need my phone!”

MARITAL UNIT: “I could help you look for it, if you want?”

ME: “Thanks love. Tell you what, if you find it i’ll buy you a new Micro SD card”

MARITAL UNIT: “…what?”


ME: “I’ll never find it.”

MARITAL UNIT: “I’m sure it will turn up.”

ME: “No, it’s gone forever. I’ll never use a phone again. No-one will text me or call me for the rest of my life.”

MARITAL UNIT: “That’s a bit mu-”

ME: “They won’t, I tell you! I shall live a lonely, phoneless life! No more for me the hedonistic delight of the text. The giddy thrill of hearing the beepity beeps! The heart-pounding excitement of wondering who it is! The dizzying lows of realising it’s another PPI scam! WOE! WOE UNTO THE MOBILE-LESS!”

MARITAL UNIT: “Have you looked everywhere?”


MARITAL UNIT: “I’ll fetch the sedative”


ME: “Fuck it. I’ll buy a new phone.”

So folks, any recommendations?