Me, I’m a young 72, my doctor might tell you different, happily married for over 40 years, 3 children, one of each. A great granddad, don’t think I’ll get to great great. In my younger days I was by virtue of the armed forces, my Dad in the RAF, myself later on in the Army, a bit of a traveller. Covered most of western Europe from Norway to the Mediterranean, including Turkey, Cyprus, Malta and Libya. I did get close to the Eastern States, in as much as I fell asleep on a trans European express train, which had departed from Monchengladbach, my destination being well within western Germany. Fortunately it was a west Germany border guard that woke me at the east German border, shudder to think what might of happened had I crossed over? Cost me a small fortune to get to where I wanted to be, excess fare for the distance travelled beyond my destination then what it cost to get me back.
Always had an interest in wildlife, and I am an to this day ardent naturalist in all its aspects, photographing all I observe as records, which, if accepted, are added to various record collecting institutions, and of course the inevitable websites, even had a few published in a few books. My main interest in the field is in all forms of Hemiptera, sought out by using various sampling methods, usually sweeping, or tapping, hate the word beating re the latter. I do venture out most days depending on my health and the weather, not forgetting domestic chores that need attention. However as of late I don’t go far, no more than 3 walking miles there and back. I do consider myself, with regards to my location, a very lucky person. Alluding to the latter, I live in Lincoln City, which is as good a place as any from a naturalists point of view, several lakes, woods, nature reserves, a river, countless streams, three custom parks, and in its day a wildflower meadow right at my back door. Then there’s my gardens’ the place where I became only the second person in the UK to record Zyginella pulchra, the first record was made by Dr. Alan Stewart way down in Sussex in 2001, from memory mine was in 2008. I have had a first for the UK, namely Conostethus venustus, find out more by clicking on the link, thank you.
WHERE I LIVE
Where I live now, the City of Lincoln, England, is not from where I hail, no, I am a Taffy, and that’s another story, suffice to say Lincoln is where I live now, since 1969. I left Wales at the age of 4, from then to 1969 is a period I’ll cover at a later date. I’ll leave an image of a sculpture, which I think was inappropriately titled, ‘Empowerment’. I have used the title, ‘Liberated’ for indeed that is how I felt when I first arrived in Lincoln. Click on the links for a virtual tour of the City, enjoy!
My Trials and Tribulations with Diabetes
I was an undiagnosed diabetic for a good few years before I was finally diagnosed. It all started with daily bouts of dizziness, 2 to four times a day. I took myself to see my Doctor many times, before I got a referral to see neurologist. A very nice lady, listened to all I had to say, even took notes.
The one thing she did do was to tell me what she thought might be the causes of my dizziness. She did however book me in for a brain scan, was I worried, oh yes! Did I need to be? No, for I was informed that my brain was normal. I was given another referral to see an ear specialist, on the grounds that I could be suffering with vertigo? Again, nothing conclusive was found with regard to my dizzy spells, but I was informed that I was slightly deaf in my right ear.
Some weeks passed by, my dizziness persisted, I had a change of jobs, and I eventually took myself to see my Doctor again. He explained the results of my scan and ear tests, which I was already aware of. Then after hearing what I had to say, he said something that really took me by surprise! Nothing to do with the big C, which my intuition was telling me it might be. Oh no, he asked me if I was taking drugs, the other big D, to say I was taken aback is an understatement. I gather myself, and replied with the retort of, “why don’t you test me”. His reply was, “I take that as a no then” and knowing that I smoked 40 a day, concluded with “I suggest you give up smoking”. Well without thanking him, bade him farewell, and took my leave.
Several months had gone by, and I had taken his advice and cut down my smoking to 20 a day. Now as to whether it was a placebo effect I don’t know, but what I did find was that my dizzy spells had lessened to like none for weeks. So with the help of nicotine tablets I tried to pack in smoking for good, it didn’t happen, and my dizzy spells became more severe. Even worse I was starting to have to use a hand lens to read. I was still in work and mention that I thought I was going blind to one of my colleagues. She advised me, after first asking me if I was drinking a lot, and I had replied with a yes, but only water, tea and coffee, squashes too, that I could be diabetic. Well that was a no brainer, for the very next day I got an emergency appointment to see the a doctor. Explained all again, with the addition that my sight was failing. This time, (it was a different Doctor), she did a urine sugar test, made me an appointment for a blood test and applied for an appointment with a diabetic consultant at the local hospital. She also put me on a course of tablets for type 2 diabetes.
Well it was nearly three months before I got to see the consultant. In the mean time my sight had just about returned to normal, my dizziness had stopped, but I had put on 4 stone, 25.5 kilos. The cause of the latter was two fold, firstly I had stopped smoking, which caused me to eat more. So what did I do, yep, start smoking again, stopped bingeing on food, went down to 65.5 kilos. Got to see the consultant, who diagnosed me as type 1, spent another 2 hours waiting to see a nurse, to get instructions on injecting insulin, and all the information on the does and don’ts of its use. Plus all I needed to know on taking my own blood sugar readings, and keeping a journal/diary of them. As was at the time I had an appointment to see my Doctor the next day, I reminded him that I had seen the diabetic consultant the previous day, and mention that I had been put on insulin. I should mention at this point that the internet was not yet available, I’m talking 1990, so all patient feed back was done via the Royal mail. The reason I mentioned the latter was that the doc would not of received any news from the hospital on my results. Whether that excuses his next question I wont say, for it was, “why did he put you on insulin”? Well I can remember that my blood sugar reading taken at the hospital was 20.3. so that’s the reason I gave him, his reply, a very abrupt “Okay”, and straight on to the phone. Some 4 or 5 minutes later and another okay, he then asked me to make an appointment to have a blood test and one to see the in surgery diabetic nurse for a week after the first appointment on my way out.
Well all of the latter spanned the period between 1978 up to 1990. From 1991 to the present things have slowly gone downhill, health wise. Mentally I’ve coped, for I am fully aware, (and always have been), that diabetes is nothing in comparison to what some folk suffer. As long as I remain lucid in my thinking and keep trying my best to maintain control of my diabetes I will continue to live my life as best as I can, or as much as my health allows me. At the moment my garden and its biodiversity is my life line, and although my sight is still failing, its still good enough for me to type this without glasses. Oh and I have stopped smoking for over 4 years now, and as a consequence I put weight on again but nothing like I did the first time I gave up.
Well that has covered a part of my life, of how it was spent in its earlier years is another story, an exciting, and adventurous one indeed.
A person at the following Word Press address https://lifeinperspectiveweb.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/j/comment-page-1/#comment-405 is asking me if I would use my email on military ground. I haven’t a clue what’s going on. Date of this transcription 15/01/2017.