Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

This year was my second "annus horibilis" after 2002. Work was a NIGHTMARE, Mr Cat got ill and is still not improving much (today blood glucose was quite high again), there was some more private trouble that I don't want to go into and it's hopefully sorted now. "M", who it's fair to say also had a pretty bad year, wrote "I have checked with Her Majesty and we are allowed more than one annus horibilis, but no more than two in a decade." This means that the next three years will be good! Excellent!

But not all was bad this year. Some really nice things happened and this is what I want to remember about 2006: I survived the first marathon of my life. I met the mysterious "C" in London. He puts some "bling bling" into my inbox on an almost daily basis and makes me laugh. Thanks, mate! We built duffypedia together and I think it's extremely cool. I finally met "M" and "C" in person and they put me in touch with the above mentioned "M", who has become a penpal. The lovely "N" taught me how to make scones and other fascinating things about England. I saw Brittlestar play live and they rocked. Can't really say, that I saw a lot of Stephen at the Robbie Williams concert, but at least a glimps and a close up for the intro of "Make me pure".

Some good things happened to Mr Cat, too. He is now known as Feline Casanova, because he has four... yes, four... lady friends. They are all his penpals and live on the other side of The Channel, but he is in love with each one of them.

New Year's resolutions? None. But a couple of wishes: a healthy, happy Mr Cat, survival of the next London Marathon (secret wish: be faster than Uli, yeah... when hell freezes over), a holiday that is longer than a weekend, a Lilac Time concert without interference from Robbiiiiieeee.

One more thing: I have become a Unicef running ambassador and over the next days I will add information on how you can sponsor me for the London marathon 2007.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Stats of the week - week 6

No stats of the week for week 6. I did nothing at all, I have a cold. I thought, I'd run a bit over Christmas, but all Mr Cat and I did was sleep. I guess, we needed that, so let's forget about week 6 and focus on week 7.

Today I went for a slow afternoon run in the forest (10k, 65 min). And I met a couple of old friends, like the grey heron, as always too far away for my zoom:

The shepherd, his Alsatian and - of course - the sheep were back, too.

And so was Mr or Mrs Cormorant:

Striking a bit of a pose for the close-up:

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Unwrapping all his presents has left him exhausted...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Chest wax

I took this morning off to consult a different vet. She is an internist and has a good reputation when it comes to diabetes diagnosis and treatment. Her clinic is in Cologne and one trip would take about 30 minutes if it wasn't for the traffic jams on the autobahn due to construction sites. So it took us about 45 minutes to get there this morning. But it was worth it, because the vet was great. She took a lot of time and explained in detail about diabetes and how the insulin works. Then she used an ultrasonic device to check Mr Cat's vital parts. This of course meant that Mr Cat had to have a chest wax. Or, more precisely, a Brazilian bikini wax:

He is not happy. Not at all. Apparently he had no intention of going to the beach wearing a thong. Bad luck, man. Look at the bright side of it:

a) it wasn't really a wax, she used a shaver
b) your vital parts are ok apart from a cyst near the pancreas

The cyst apparently is nothing to be awfully worried about, but it needs to be monitored. So, another "wax" will be coming your way in a couple of months. Is that the sound of little paws scuttling away, I hear?

I felt slightly guilty about the unwanted loss of hair (it was after all me who helped to pin him down on the vet's desk for the shave). So to make up for the tortures suffered through, I bought some chicken hearts and some fresh fish. Since I have unpacked and cooked everything, Mr Cat has been glued to the kitchen table. He can smell the goodies and even managed to open the closed box containing the cooked hearts. I guess, this means he has been hiding thumbs from me all this time.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ray of light

Tonight Mr Cat has made me happy. He had the best preprandial blood glucose since we started hometesting: 241! This is not sensationally low, but for him it's fantastic. I give less and less insulin, he has no signs of ketone and seems to be content with his life. Maybe for Christmas I will get a 100-and-something result?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stats of the week - week 5

I know, I am repeating myself, but it was a bad week. A very bad week. All time low on Wednesday. Half a bottle of an alcoholic beverage consumed to forget about the day. Didn't work.

The stats of week 5:

Total running time: 1 hours 5 min
Total distance run: 10 k
Total steps: 74,009

When the alarm went off at 7 am this morning, I crawled out of bed to give Mr Cat his insulin and then back into bed again for another couple of hours sleep. Then I went for a run in the forest, the only excersise all week.

I ran as fast as I could, which as you can see from the stats is currently not very fast. But at least my legs and my lung hurt. I wanted to feel like running just a little faster would make me drop dead, just to feel alive. During the week, I am too numb to feel anything.

Lunch time is not a good time to run. There are masses of runner's pest, ie Nordic Walkers.

There are people on bikes, people with prams, people with dogs, just too many people. There are even people with boats:

Next week I will try to be here early again.

Ice cream? You must be joking!

Pure white and beautiful feathers, but evidence of death, I fear...

At the lake, again, some interesting water fowl...

If you stare at me, I'll stare at you...

Lots of messages, does anyone ever read them?

Further proof that I am not quite myself right now, came after the run at home. I made a late lunch using amongst other things a chili pepper. While I was cutting it, I made a mental note to wait for a couple of hours before I sticking my fingers into my eyes to take the contact lenses out. Guess what? Immediately after lunch I stuck my fingers into my eyes and tried to take my contact lenses out. Boy, did I feel alive then.

And finally, a sugarcat update: he is doing ok. The level of his blood sugar has dropped, but it stays fairly high during the whole day. I have reduced the amount of insulin, but still it doesn't drop like it should. This could mean that it is the wrong kind of insulin and he is not reacting to it. Or the dosis is still too high. Or he has some kind of infection that we haven't noticed yet. Or it's all due to him being FIV positive. Very complicated! I will try to get half a day off this week, so I can go and see a different vet. The one I am currently seeing is a very nice lady, but I fear she doesn't know enough about diabetes. I want the best for Mr Cat, so I will have to find someone who does.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stats of the week - week 4

Another bad week over. Here are the sad stats of the week (not at all what the coach prescribed, sorry Jens!):

Total running time: 2 hours
Total distance run: 15 k
Total steps: 73,598

Out of curiosity I googled "burn out syndrome" and found that I show almost all of the symptoms. Should I be worried? Does having a name for the problem help? Currently I cannot change the situation at work and neither the one at home.
Which brings me to Mr Cat. He is doing ok, enjoying the warmth of the central heating:

It's almost time to prick his ear again and insert some insulin underneath his fur coat. We are both getting better at this, but are far from enjoying the procedure.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Stats of the week - week 2 & 3

All the stress at work and the worries about Mr Cat are taking their toll on me. I have slept all day until 5 pm. I had to set the alarm for every two hours to prick Mr Cat's ear and get blood like a little vampire. But after that was done, I went to bed again. It's a mystery to me, why he still seems to like me. I stick needles into him several times a day and still a couple of minutes after I lay down I heard the tap tap of his feet and felt the *thud* of his 10kg landing on the pillow next to me.

Sleeping away the day meant no running. I just didn't feel up to it. I did run while I was away, but not as much as the coach had asked me to.

Week 2 (Nov 20th - Nov 26th)

Total running time: 2 hour 50 minutes
Total distance run: 20.7 k
Total steps: 93,962

This week was even worse, because I lost an evening of running due to the cross-Atlantic flight. And after arrival, I didn't feel like moving at all.

Week 3 (Nov 27th - Dec 3rd)

Total running time: 1 hour
Total distance run: 7.2 k
Total steps: 63,694

I hope that next week my jet lag will be gone and I can train again. I have to go to Paris again, but only for one day. The marathon is only four months and 18 days away, I really have to lose weight and get back in shape.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sugar baby update

Mr Cat's diabetes equipment takes up a lot of space in our kitchen now. And it is costing quite a bit of money. You need

  • insulin (1 box was 45 €, it contains 10 x 2,5ml, I don't know how long that will last, but should be a couple of months)
  • disposable syringes (1 box was 20 €, contains 100 syringes, we need two a day)
  • glucometer (cheap... only 5 €)
  • test strips (50 strips cost 27 €; we need two a day minimum and one every two hours maximium)
  • lancets (to prick the ear for blood testing; one box of 200 costs 20 €; we need almost as many as we need strips)

The test strips and the lancets are what makes this an expensive illness. You need many of them if you do a days profile, because the strip can only be used once and the lancet really shouldn't be used more than once for hygenic reasons.

Something else you need is... patience. This morning it took us 15 minutes to get enough blood for the glucometer. Afterwards we were both exhausted.

Toronto... Paris... Cologne

Last Sunday I entrusted Mr Cat in my dad's care and went to Frankfurt airport...

... boarded a plane and flew to Toronto...

The plan was to spend 4 days in our office there and do some training on a new software. I knew the trip would not be much fun, because it has been announced that the Toronto office will be shut down soon and the staff there is not exactly motivated and happy there right now.

Monday night we went to an Ethiopian restaurant called Eethiopian House for dinner. I had never had African food before. You don't get any cuttlery, but eat with what is called injera, Ethopian bread that also serves as the plate.

Rather unexpectedly I had to leave a day earlier than planned. I boarded another plane and flew ...

... to Paris. Charles de Gaulle easily wins the "ugliest airport in the world" competition. I will spare you the sight of it and only show you the runway in the fog...

The meeting was in the earlier afternoon, so I went to a hotel and had a shower and a nap. The office is in an area called La Defense. The is a Christmas market is open now...

In the evening another flight, but this time home to Cologne...