Stroke and heart problems are often associated with uncontrolled diabetes.
In my case, it seems that I had been an undiagnosed 'skinny type 2' diabetic for some years. How that is diagnosed, and the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how that can lead to stroke is for another post. For the purposes of this post, I'd like to post a little warning about the treatment of diabetes, and how it can negatively impact stroke care.
To control the diabetes, I was prescribed Metformin, a very effective treatment. Getting the dosage right takes some time. Lots of self testing and blood average blood sugar level tests (Hba1c), liver and kidney function tests.
I take 500 mg tablets three times a day. There is, however, a little known side effect with Metformin. B12 deficiency. It's by no means inevitable, or common, but effectively, the longer you take it, and the higher the dosage of Metformin,, (Or Metfartin, as users call it) the more likely B12 deficiency.
The problem is that B12 deficiency mimics many of the problems with uncontrolled diabetes and stroke, in particular, pain in fingers and toes (and yup, even if you have weakness, lack of feeling or paralysis through stroke, you can get pain) Lack of feeling or pins and needles in extremities, confusion, certain forms of psychosis and personality changes - for instance feeling a need for isolation or being unusually bad tempered....
I've had no extreme symptoms, but my recent blood tests have thrown up large, badly formed blood cells, so I'm being investigated for various B12 deficiency problems. I'm fairly confident that the Metformin is the culprit.
I've deliberately avoided going into depth here because of time constraints, but I'll probably expand on it later.
Thousand Year Gravy.
This'll wind up the 'Elf and Safety people.
I'm a decent cook. I love making sauces and gravies.
A tip I picked up from a chef friend, many years ago, was the Thousand Year Gravy.
Dead easy. Everyone has found a gravy recipe that works for them. Don't kick yourself or be embarrassed if you use use the instant stuff, it works (sorta) with that. Even I have a tub of that stuff tucked at the back of a cupboard (use by June 2005. hmmmm).
My gravy varies with, well, whatever I'm cooking. You ain't seen nuthin' 'till you've seen a wobbly fella cooking. Think flubbles on speed. Metaphorically speaking. Some times herbs go in, often Hendersons Relish (so good, it's going on my sidebar soon) Home made meat, fish or veg stocks, and of course, good ol' Oxo :)
Tip :- a dash of mustard, either powdered or ready-made, goes a long way with flavour.
Why a Thousand year? In my fridge, I keep a pot. At the moment it's a Bombay Bad boy snackpot container. Every time I make a gravy, a ladle-full goes in the pot, and given a good stir. The next time I make a gravy, half the contents go into the next gravy. I change the pot now and again (to be careful) or stick it in the wish dosher. But the contents of my current 'thousand year' have been going for 5 years :)
Should point out that if you only make a gravy every couple of weeks, don't do it. But, if like my mob you like a good bolognese or even a mild chilli on a very regular basis, it works and tastes wonderful, and the longer you do it, the better it is. However, make sure it's cooked through thoroughly.
The fun is in the experiment :)