You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘visitors’ category.

Hello all. Sorry to keep being a while, but I’m getting distracted into more solid things for the minute — a book, mainly. All the way it should be, as pointed out by Deborah (hello!) and Val (howdy!). 

However, if you’ll bear with me I’ll keep coming by here, just less often.

Things to say:

1) thank god for family. My favourite aunt Lois just visited last week, and she was a breath of welcome and fresh air. M thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. And really, any feeling of being special is good for M at the moment…

2) two people have now sent me Justin Webb’s Mail on Sunday article from this week, so I thought I’d pass it on. It’s very, very good. We knew about his son’s diagnosis somehow days after E was diagnosed, so I do feel we are going through this together. Somehow. But any visit to any diabetes forum will reveal that hundreds of parents are going through this together, daily…

3) You don’t get used to it. The oh-so-common perception of type 1 is that somehow a routine evolves, and ya just give ’em shots, and gee, everything falls into place.

I can’t count the number of times well-meaning people have said to me: you’ll all get used to it. Well, I’ve got news for everyone: you never get used to it. You just stop bothering to talk about it. Diabetes is a chronic disease the parameters of which change minute by minute by hour by hour and daily, particularly in growing children.  

There are ways of coping, and ways of knowing how to make things better, sometimes. Steps to take. But each step is a decision, arrived at by another decision. Which may or may not be based on precedent. Several times a day.

All those type 1 diabetics who, again, I have heard so much about (from people, please note, who do not have diabetes in the family): so and so just got on with it, did it all without batting an eyelid, etc…okay, you can BET that ‘so and so’ arrived at that casualness one of two ways: either through well-disguised, obsessive involvement with his or her blood sugar levels, carb consumption, and treatment, OR through bad blood sugar control. Because YOU CAN’T SEE IF A DIABETIC HAS GOT IT A LITTLE BIT WRONG. No one can. So for every diabetic who seems to be doing well, and who you cite as an example, there is every chance that actually he or she isn’t doing so well, and isn’t actually doing much to extend or preserve his or her life and quality of life.

Of course there are a great many who are doing everything in their power to keep good control, and succeeding, and I wish for that success with E and celebrate other successes daily. But my point is — unless you are there, you really don’t know, and can’t tell.

So there. 

Just a bit fed up.

Not that everyone doesn’t mean well. As I said. 


Have a guest blogger today: my (oldest) friend Valerie Gregg, now in Lilburn, Georgia, USA. Welcome! She’s seeing things I can’t from here of course, right in the middle of it. Here’s a peek:


Back to present curses, like the state of the American government.

I co-sponsored a bake sale for Barack Obama this weekend with a good friend that is also a reader and writer.  Our local county is very Republican and we were harassed and an angry man stopped his car and ripped up one of our Obama signs into a million pieces and tore off in his car. Several other white men drove up to our sale and burned rubber out, presumably in anger?!  I felt very threatened and afraid. But we had so many baked goods that local Obama supporters had entrusted us to sell to raise money for his campaign, that we felt we had to persevere. So we went to the Unitarian Church on Sunday (a bastion of pagan liberalism), I told our story and cried, and people bought everything and threw 20 dollar bills at us.

Gotta go. Someone just yelled “Mommy!”


Thank you, Valerie. Iron-willed or what?! And a mother. Somehow stands to reason.

Visited today — as is the way of things — by the gas man. Didn’t say much (him), even when I had to close a series of doors behind him so the cats (still young) didn’t escape. We went to the meter, which happens to be by the front door. Whereupon he discovered three pieces of post, picked them up and held them out to me, taking the utmost — utmost — care that our fingers did not touch when handing them over.

Did not know what to make of this (me). Either very good or very odd. Am reminded of the time — M was small — when I was visited by a Mori poll man who made comments about how he used to do a survey that involved holding up pictures of bras. And how he got to the point where he could tell what kind of bra someone was wearing. My complaint led to £50 of Marks and Spencers vouchers. I’ve never known what to make of that either.


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


All material is copyrighted. Please request permission to use via Contact.

Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.