Navigating health issues, the revival of a creative project and a lost ID

I guess the good news is I’m still taking the long-acting insulin, Basaglar. I also haven’t gained a ton of weight. I’m trying to be a good diabetic. That last bout of ketoacidosis and subsequent visit to the intensive care unit straightened out my attitude. For now.

The bad news is it’s making me break out in itchy rashes on my arms, neck and throat. I can’t see the ones on the back of my neck but I keep scratching.

I just wrote to the doctor’s assistant asking for a prescription for Lantus, another long-acting insulin which costs more and isn’t fully covered by the provincial medical plan. I’ve had it in the past. I don’t see any option than to switch, since a reaction to Basaglar isn’t good.

The pharmacist told me a rash is “very rare.” But I seem to be having unusual reactions, first to Jardiance (that put me into ketoacidosis — KDA) and now Basaglar. I hear my mother’s voice urging me to live with the discomfort. Don’t raise a fuss. Stay quiet. I am now scratching the back of my neck again. I can’t live with this. Sorry Mom.

I finally read a sheet of paper the ICU doc gave me, about KDA occurring in people taking sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGL T2) inhibitors, including Jardiance.

It explains that people like me can have normal glucose levels and still get KDA. I showed up at the ER with a glucose level of 8 mmols, prompting the triage nurse to dismiss KDA as the cause of my vomiting. Turns out, after a blood test, I had it.

The risk factors include people with diabetes who are deficient in insulin (that would be me). Another risk factor includes prolonged fasting. While I had not fasted prior to this event (it was the Jardiance that triggered the KDA), I did recall a week-long fast last year causing me to feel ill. I couldn’t describe the symptoms but they prompted me to quit the fast and eat. Now I recognize that feeling as the precursor to KDA. That’s why the first rule of fasting is “Listen to your body.” I won’t stop fasting, but I’ll be smarter about it.

As the doctor in the ICU said, my body needs insulin to stay alive. All other concerns I may have are secondary. I get it now.

I also want to try Ozempic, which is a diabetes drug. I think the cost will be covered by the province.


Now that my work stress is reduced due to my shifting teams, my mind is looking for something to ponder. It’s a great feeling, having enough room in my thoughts to seek out something pleasurable to dwell on. I want to return to a bit of fiction I wrote a few years ago, a story about a boy who sails away from home aboard a sailboat. I wrote it while I was on a 6-month RV trip in the USA, following my retirement from journalism.

The story needs further development — it’s not book-length yet. But I shared it with my neighbour Evelyn, an avid reader, and she praised me, saying it was far better than many pieces of fiction she’d read.

I still miss Evelyn. She died in November. New people are moving into her house.

This morning I printed the latest draft of Dreamseeker, and I’ll get to work on expanding/editing/developing it. It should be fun to get back to fiction.

My mom always liked my writing even though she couldn’t lavish praise. When I gave her the first draft of this to read, she shared it with a friend in the seniors’ home.

“Mrs. Galloway loved it!” she said later.

That was her way. Can’t let her children get conceited, could she?


Finally, a short bit on life coming full circle. Last week, I lost my drivers licence. I’d been packing it and a couple other cards loose in my coat pocket. (I am not a purse person). I realized on Saturday afternoon my licence was missing. I thought I’d dropped it while having coffee with a friend, and left a message with the coffee shop. Meanwhile, there was nothing else I could do. The motor vehicle office is closed on weekends. I drove as I normally do — I rarely encounter police.

We’ve had a lot of snow recently. This turned out to be a factor in how I lost my licence. This morning, I had the dogs out for a pre-dawn walk. As I pulled a bag from my pocket for the necessary poop pickup, I saw my licence emerging from the melting show on the ground. I had apparently lost it while pulling out a poop bag. Subsequent snowfalls buried it. I never would have found it until the melt.

I have already ordered a new one, which involved an interesting series of questions to verify my identity. The clerk asked when I had my last ticket from police.

“Oh, a long time ago — maybe 2010 or 2012?” I suggested. A wild guess.

The clerk beamed. “Right down the middle, 2011. And what was it for?”

“Speeding?” The most likely option.

Nope, it was disobeying a traffic sign in Victoria. I remembered I got it after making a left turn minutes after it was legal to do so. Cops a block away nabbed me and other drivers who ran past the deadline.

The new licence will arrive in a few weeks. The old one is technically void, but I’ll hang onto it.

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