I’d been meaning to read the book right after my exam last week, but in the end I made other plans.

After a tough start of the week with a lot of work (I had a presentation Wednesday which required a lot of preparation, among other things), I decided to read the book yesterday. It’s great – I was quickly reminded while reading this that some of the City Watch books in my mind really are among the most enjoyable of Pratchett’s books. A few quotes:

“They walked like men who had all day. They did have all day. They had chosen this particular street because it was busy and wide and you didn’t get too many trolls and dwarfs in this part of town. The reasoning was faultless: in lots of areas, right now, dwarfs or trolls were wandering around in groups or, alternatively, staying still in groups in case any of those wandering bastards tried any trouble in this neighbourhood. There had been little flare-ups for weeks. In these areas, Nobby and Fred considered, there wasn’t too much peace, so it was a waste of effort to keep what little was left of it, right? You wouldn’t try keeping sheep in places where all the sheep got eaten by wolves, right? It stood to reason. It would look silly. Whereas in big streets like Broadway there was lots of peace which, obviously, needed keeping. Common sense told them this was true.” [Nobby and Fred are ‘(Discworld) policemen’]

“‘The painting talked to him?’
Sir Reynolds made a face. ‘We believe that’s what he meant. We don’t really know. He did not have any friends. He was convinced that if he went to sleep at night he would turn into a chicken. He’d leave little notes for himself saying, “You are not a chicken”, although sometimes he thought he was lying. […]
He also hwrote his journal on random pieces of paper, you know, and never gave any indication as to the date or hwhere he hwas staying, in case the chicken found him. And he used very guarded language, because he didn’t want the chicken to find out.’
‘Sorry, I thought you said he thought he was the chick—‘ Colon began.
‘hWho can fathom the thought processes of the sadleah disturbed, sergeant?’ said Sir Reynold wearily. […] his handwriting was what might have been achieved by a spider on a trampoline during an earthquake.”

“‘He said the government hushed it up.’
‘Yeah, but your mate Dave always says the government hushes things up, Nobby,’ said Fred.
‘Well, they do.’
‘Except he always gets to hear about ’em, and he never gets hushed up,’ said Fred.
‘I know you like to point the finger of scoff, sarge, but there’s a lot goes on that we don’t know about.’
‘Like what, exactly?’ Colon retorted. ‘Name me one thing that’s going on that you don’t know about. There – you can’t, can you?'”

“‘We could handle them, though, couldn’t we, sir?’ said Carrot. ‘With the golem officers on our side too? If it came to it?’
Of course we couldn’t, Vimes’s mind supplied, not if they mean it. What we could do is die valiantly. I’ve seen men die valiantly. There’s no future in it.”

“he was not certain, not certain at all, what he’d do if the prisoner gave him any lip or tried to be smart. Beating people up in little rooms … he knew where that led. And if you did it for a good reason, you’d do it for a bad one. You couldn’t say ‘we’re the good guys’ and do bad-guy things.”

“‘I’ve never been on a Girls’ Night Out before,’ said Cheery, as they walked, a little uncertainly, through the night-time city. ‘Was that last bit supposed to happen?’
‘What bit was that?’ said Sally.
‘The bit where the bar was set on fire.’
‘Not usually,’ said Angua.”

“‘Our rations got lost in the excitement, sir. But the dwarfs will share theirs. They aren’t unfriendly, sir. Just cautious.’
‘Share? They have dwarf bread?’
‘I’m afraid so, sir.’
‘I thought it was illegal to give that to prisoners. I think I’ll wait, thanks.'”

March 1, 2013 Posted by | Books, Terry Pratchett | Leave a comment


At this point, right now while writing this, I’m too scared to go to sleep. It is not the first time, it’ll not be the last.

What’s there to be afraid of? Well, I should start out by pointing out that I always measure blood glucose before going to sleep. And I mean always. There are no exceptions to this rule, zero. I mean none – going to sleep without knowing my blood glucose just doesn’t happen. If I’m around others I may be discreet about the matter, but it’s non-negotiable. More than 90% of my lifetime hypoglycemia-related hospitalizations have been sleep-related. In the past I’ve fallen asleep in my own bed and woken up many hours after I should have in a hospital bed more than a few times, with no memory of how I got there. The fear that I’d one day just not wake up at all became much more real after I moved away from home.

I measured a blood glucose half an hour ago, just before going to sleep. The measured value was in the same neighbourhood as the highest of the ones measured here (2.3 mmol/l). I had zero awareness anything was wrong and if I’d not had a decision rule never to go to sleep without testing, I’d probably just have gone to bed without thinking anything might be wrong. The blood glucose level is now back in the normal range, but I’m hesitant to go to sleep until it has increased a bit more than it has – especially as it’s not completely clear to me what caused this in the first place (double dosis of the slow-acting insulin two days ago?).

If I had just gone to sleep, things could have been ‘interesting’. This is a part of diabetes normal people usually don’t get to see. The fact of the matter is that I’ll sometimes be afraid simply to go to sleep because the disease may kill me in my sleep. It almost did last year.

I should perhaps point out that this episode wasn’t really anything super special. These things happen, not ‘on a regular basis’; but they do happen.

I have friends (they may be reading along) who’ve pointed out that they consider my level of risk aversion to be excessive and who’ve advised me that I’d perhaps be happier if I was more willing to take on risk in general. I think growing up with diabetes changes how you think about risk. Nights like these are probably part of the reason why I have a hard time following that advice.  The people giving advice should know this side of the equation too. Most people without the disease don’t.

March 1, 2013 Posted by | Diabetes, Personal | 2 Comments