Friday, 7 August 2009


Am officially morbidly obese. Why do people make judgements based on how you look and assume that you eat too much food?
Having survived beyond the 40th year of my life - GP notes stated I should now be 6ft under!
Well to all folks out there - I eat a normal amount of food, which is well balanced nutritionally - but due to medical conditions and a strange lot of symptons - it would seem that I not destined to be thin.
The GP has referred me to the diabetic clinic who also does endocrinology which is where I and she think I have problems. If this turns out to be the case - then I will have a long long haul ahead in order to get a better life quality. It is not a cure, but I understand more putting the disease into some kind of remission. This disease is called Cushings' syndrome. I will tell you more as I learn more. If this blog helps one other person it will have done some good.
Have just had some of the results back re the diabetes clinic. They are interesting results, especially the cholesterol result which is below the magic 5 and this achieved by eating mostly unprocessed food cooked from scratch and using butter no less! Also I hardly ever take the statin tablets as I like grapefruit too much and it now seems that peppermints also affect them. It would also appear that these tablets may cause muscle loss and severe leg cramps. Of which I have suffered both. I try to eat as much food as I can that contains magnesium as this is the mineral that keeps cramps at bay. Walnuts are a good source.
Had fun doing the first stage of the test for Cushing's - Had to collect all my waste water for 3 days and pop it in a very large sample bottle! As you can imagine my size did not help.
Hope they have enough as I do not want to go through that again.
New bit:
According to the Diabetic clinic Consultant, I do not seem to have Cushings Disease. But I do have several hormonal problems she tells me.
I started injecting the drug Byetta twice per day in November 2009. This has to be done a maximum of one hour before I eat something and the 2 injections have to be a min 6 hours apart.
Me weight had dropped to well below my start weight by April this year and was 158.1 kg's.
People are now starting to notice the loss and my GP even jokes about getting a lamp post in her room, so that I will be able to hide behind it! LOL! That's just under the 25 stone mark.
At my heaviest I was 197.4 kg's or 31.02 stones. So people there is hope for all of us morbidly obese bods.
People always judge a large person, by how they look and they never ever bother to find out the why behind our health problems.
I used to suffer severe IBS attacks and it got so bad that I ended up in my local A & E admissions unit until I could get a ward bed as I needed 5 units of blood having lost so much one night that I was unable to stand up from the toilet. Very low blood pressure. The new drug seems to prevent most of the major attacks that I used to have and because I now get the nutrition from my food as it now goes through at a reasonably slow pace, and I still eat healthy 90% of the time, the weight is dropping at around 1lb or so a week. It seems to be staying off too. I do not get any way near as hungry as I used to. So I eat less overall. Anyway I go to the clinic again on the 20th July. So will update this bit of the blog then.
Update: Have now completed a whole year on injecting Byetta (exanatide). My weight seems to have plateaued or as the nurse said decrease input with same activity or increase output with same input or increase activity and decrease input. Am trying to do the last option. My diabetic consultant now thinks I should opt in for bariatric surgery (gastric band or balloon). I have cut out all sugar from drinks and take in water now. The water is used for flushing toxins out. I have a big suspicion that if everyone stopped eating sugar or sweets then there would be far less toxin in everyones body and some would be almost cured of their problems. Of course the Sugar industry does not want us to do this do they? Have you ever smelled the processing smell when sugar is being obtained from the beets? It stinks and if you go by the factory at Bury St Edmunds, it should be enough to make you think - do I need to put that into my body? Certainly makes me think.
Further update: Weight now at 154kg and that just after Christmas hee hee hee. In old money that is 24.20 stone (Decimal) So in stones/lbs oz is 24 stones and just over 3lb 2 oz. Modern scales are such a giggle for accuracy.
I am now trying to eat meals that are higher in protein with a vastly reduced carb content. The idea being to lower my carb intake and thus engage the fat conversion back to stored carbs and thus burn up fat. Tech term is Ketosis. Which if it works, will mean that my consultant will not insist on bariatric surgery. Hopefully will get back exercising again once I get over this chesty cough bug that I caught from several generous bus customers. It would seem that quite a few diets are catching onto this high protein to low carb ratio. Problem I find is that I do not like their ready meals or their price for that matter and I would far rather make and cook my own food from scratch. Often far cheaper. May even be far healthier. I will never ever go to weight watchers or slimming world as I am intelligent enough to work out a diet without their little books. Waste of money. And yes I do allow a treat now and again, usually fruit. I am not doing it for the weight, but more to lower the sugar levels in my blood. The weight loss is a good side effect or bonus.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

If driver's had brains - they's be dangerous...

Not too sure how you start these things off but here goes...My job involves driving buses, which is still fairly unusual for a female in the area where I live. I have been at it for 11 years and have seen many strange things during this time on the road. So let me tell you some of them....I used to drive double and single Decker's in Cambridge for many of these incidents and yes they are true...I was in a park and ride bus in Jesus lane Cambridge with just the one female passenger on board. We were waiting in the traffic queue 3 vehicles back from Four lamps roundabout when one of my bus driving colleagues decided to do the usual helpful let a bus out manoeuvre to the vehicles immediately in front of my bus. One of these vehicles was a Cycle and the other an old A reg Sierra - so the car moves forward but the bike does not. Not too sure why. As the bike is in front of the car, the inevitable happens and the car runs into the chap on the bike and gets his car all tangled with the chaps bike, but instead of getting out to free the bike and his car and swopping details, he slams his car into reverse and yep you guessed it - hit my bus. 2 accidents in under a minute and the guy is getting really upset now as he is going on holiday in the morning. Which I found out after getting his details and telling the cyclist mine as I witnessed his accident. The bike had a buckled rear wheel and the car a buckled wing. My bus a cracked number plate.... My female passenger was laughing so hard she was having trouble with a stitch in her side. Saw same female passenger a few weeks later and she asked me if there had been any comeback but never heard from either again...
Again in Jesus lane Cambridge going the other way this time - I had quite a few passengers on the bus and had stopped in traffic as I was waiting for a traffic warden (as they were called back then) to tell a car driver who had taken a wrong turn how to get back to where he needed to be. My bus was slightly pulled over to the right as I was waiting to see if I could get past, but oncoming traffic was too heavy to do so. So I sat waiting minding me own business.. Suddenly a male car driver bangs several times on my window and shouts abuse at me and demands that I move my bus out of his way. I said I could not as there was not enough room to do this. He shouts back yes there is - steer bus to left and I can get my car past you with no problem. Now as most of you know a bus that is 40ft in length cannot just move sideways to left it can only turn from rear wheels and does not bend in middle. Pointing this out to male driver, I got told I knew not what I was talking about being a "mere" female and that he being "male" knew better than I. So I move bus to left and back end then swings over to the right and is still blocking the road due to oncoming traffic and the long overhang at rear. Male car driver smirks gets in his car and instead of taking it slow and carefully, he drives fast and takes out his wing mirror and dents all of his near side wing. Only damage to bus is paint transfer. Now can you guess why he failed to stop and exchange details... all my passengers were laughing too... Never heard another word about that one either...
The next odd incident was very surreal - if you are old enough to remember the episode of Fawlty Towers where Basil beats his car with a birch twig/branch, then you will like this...I was driving the 502 Park and Ride route out to Clifton Road via town and the Grafton Centre one morning during the rush hour. As usual was stuck in traffic this time on Park side in Cambridge. The Volvo car in front of me noticed a car being driven by a female attempting to pull out after dropping her child off at the school gates - No way was he going to let her out, so he scoots forward preventing her from driving out. SO her car is stuck and is almost hit by his. Meanwhile I am relaying this to one or two passengers on the bus near front. Suddenly she gets out of her car with her brolly in her hand and starts hitting the mans Volvo with it. She hits the bonnet/windscreen side window wing mirror and I daresay she'd have hit the male driver too had he got out. So as I am telling my passengers about this, they come up to front of bus too look at it as well. All of a sudden she notices that she has an audience and comes running to my cab window. Can I please take these details down as she wants to report the stupid man for nearly hitting her car - so I say yes, at which point she goes off to get some paper and a pen and while doing so, the lights change and we all drive away, except her of course as she is hunting for a pen and paper....All my passengers were laughing as they made their way off the bus and thought that it was a great way to start the work day...
Here is another tale:
Late one night at Cambridge Rail station I stopped in bus stop to pick up the last passengers for the Citi 1 route to Arbury as it was then. A Man who is under the influence of drink climbs aboard the bus and leans towards my cab, which has a screen in place, and wryly states - "You're a woman!" So I look down at myself as if to notice this for first time and said "So I am. You're very observant Sir!" He then whispers that as a woman I must have fantasies and would I kindly tell him some. Me being naughty says in over loud voice - "Of course I will tell you my fantasies"! Whole bus goes so quiet, that if a pin had dropped, you'd of heard it. So I tell him that I fantasize about having a crane swooping down pick up the cars parked in the way of my bus at station roundabout, crush them and toss them away like a crumpled ball of paper; A wooden pole that can spring out and knock all those pesky cyclists off their bikes (jousting); a machine gun that has bullets that stun the numpty pedestrians into being aware of their surroundings; A big broom that sweeps cars parked on Jesus Lane corner out of the way; Destination boards that speak to numpty passengers who ask stupid questions, get right answer which is wrong answer, then ask correctly worded question to get right answer. e.g. Is this Cowley road? Bus in town on Emmanuel street, so you say no, it's Emmanuel street and passenger goes to front of bus looks up and comes back again and asks Is the bus going to Cowley Road? And you say Yes. Then most will laugh as they realise that had they spoken right question to begin with that they would have had right answer straight off. Those are just some of what I recall saying. So the chap tells me he was looking forward to hearing naughty stuff and all I gave him were fantasies relating to bus driving and were clean. He said: Wait till I tell the wife, she will say that I got what I deserved! So he then goes to sit down. Everyone else who had also wanted to hear about them was laughing too! Made that last bus journey a good one for once.

One night I was on the same service in a 40ft MAN single Decker bus. They are a joy to drive as they have lovely light steering and good brakes. I got as far as the corner of Jesus Lane where Halfords car store used to be located. Somebody had parked an old F reg Carlton on the left hand side, so that I was literally stuck as my turning room was compromised by the overhang on the building which is a listed building to the right. Had I continued forward, the bus would have damaged the building. The taxis behind me refused to back up so that I could back up and get out of the way, the cops did not want to help and one bloke was threatening to hit me with his stick and calling me typical female. I said why don't you get off the bus then and get in one of the empty taxis then mate and they will take you home. No he said - get this bus round corner now or else. Another chap heard me getting threatened and he and his mates asked what was wrong, so I relayed the problem. HE and several young lads got off the bus and literally bounced the Carlton 6 feet down road, get back on bus and I tried again. Still too tight. So this gets repeated another 4 times, each time I get a bit nearer to getting bus round the bend without hitting anything. Meanwhile my boss is sitting listening to all that is happening as my phone is open so that he can listen in and hear everything. Eventually there is a great big cheer for me, as I finally clear the bend and the lads get my untold thanks. Boss thought it was hilarious that a bunch of lads could bounce a car some 20 feet down the road in order for me to get them to their end destination. I would have loved to have been standing on the corner when the car driver returned to find his car had moved 20 feet down road, was still locked and in one piece! Priceless! LOL!
Another late night story, involves me running out of fuel on the A14 as I was trying to get to the depot to go home at the end of my shift. I had just done the last number 3 bus to am estate near to Fen Ditton and so I went down the on ramp of the A14 as fast as I could go to get the bus speed up. Just as I got to the bottom with a good speed, the bus starts to rev down and die on me, so I use the natural momentum to coast up the other ramp which leads to Milton Road. I get to within 20 yards of the top and have to put on the Hazard Warning lights. Now I cannot leave my bus because even at this time of night the road is unlit and I am not supposed to abandon it. I am unable to ring anyone to tell them what has happened as there was no inspector on duty at that time. So there I am stuck, when all of a sudden a cop car sees me from the other side of the duel carriageway. The blue lights come on and eventually the car pulls up at the rear of the bus. So I think great I can get a message to the yard now, to come out with some fuel so I can get the bus back to the yard. No all this traffic cop wants to do is write out a ticket for illegal parking on the off ramp of the A14. Do I not realise just how dangerous this is?
So I tell him the bus ran out of fuel, so that is why I have been sitting here for 2 hours and that as there is no one whom I can get in touch with at the yard, looks like I will be stuck here all night. Can I not walk to depot and alert someone? No I have a significant amount of company money on me and there are some strange people around in this area at night. Can he not go to my depot and tell the chaps fuelling the buses that I am stuck here needing fuel, which they can bring to put in the bus and get me back to the yard and off the carriageway. Eventually he says - do you think you will be any safer here than if I drive you there, so that you can deposit your takings and alert them yourself. I said it will be quicker if you go and they come out as I have to cash in which can take a long time sometimes. They will get the bus fuelled and going in less time and it will then be off this ramp sooner rather than later! The really annoying thing was that 3 other buses had driven by me, but not one of them stopped to find out if I was in trouble. The man who topped up the diesel, bled it through and we got the bus going again and back to the yard. I was the last bus in. The Police wrote a report out and suggested that this should never be allowed to happen again, especially since I was a female driver with lots of money on her person. Shortly after that, Inspectors had to work until the last bus reported in and signed off. They found out why these buses always ran out of fuel, the fuel feeder pipes were too short to go to bottom of fuel tanks, so bus still had enough diesel, but pipe being too short technically ran out. Engineering had to modify some 20 buses with a longer fuel feed pipe.
Here is a question that we often got asked - How long is the bus behind you? 40 feet Sir/Madam! It is same as this one! Said in a dry matter of fact tone. However if you want to know how long the wait for the next bus is - officially a max of 15 mins etc. That is if God sees fit to clear the traffic out of the way and all the lights are favourable... Customer, you're good, like it - was usual response. It often surprises customers that we drivers have a sense of humour.
My next tale - concerns the proud owner of a brand new S reg BMW convertible. Twas a lovely car, you could see he had just picked it up too!
It is one of those times when there was lots of buses all timed to leave at the same time and so a bus jam ensued. Inspectors were doing a good job freeing up each bus so that the road would get clear, for other vehicles to drive down it safely. However, the BMW driver ignored the inspectors instructions to stop for a minute or two and just as I am pulling out and getting clear of the bus in front (needed nearly 2/3rds of bus length) he comes forward right into my path. So I cannot go anywhere. So I said out of my window, "Congratulations Sir! You have just passed an IQ test, IN STUPIDITY!" Best one liner I ever came up with. The Inspector ran up to his car and asked him why he had ignored his stop signal and jammed up the whole road by his actions. The Man said Who do you think you are? to the Inspector and the Inspector shouted out, I am the bloke who is controlling bus traffic and trying my best to keep damage to car drivers vehicles down to the barest minimum. You're lucky this driver could stop, or your nice new car would be in the body shop! Now do you know who I am? I am authorised to stop vehicles in order to sort this chaotic situation out. Move your vehicle back out of the way and let this driver get her bus out. As soon as she has gone, you can be on your way. Should you not comply, I can get a Police officer to come and sort it all out. Driver shot backwards, looking white as a sheet and I got the bus out and on my way. Many a time we had a laugh about that one. Best of all, the passengers thought it was really funny too!
I reset the Tachograph clock on Sunday from BST - GMT. Got in same bus yesterday and after inserting disc noticed that it had been put back another hour. So had to take out the disc alter the time and re insert it in.
Can anyone tell me why NO-ONE uses their indicators now? I followed a driver from Mildenhall to my village all the way home last week and during 6 changes of direction he used it on the last junction to tell me he was turning left. The rest of the time - it was pure guess work on my part. But then - he was probably on his phone, so could not use that hand to signal...
Why do all car or van drivers seem to think that they have a pressing need to overtake my bus, then slow down to a slower speed than I was going? Or turn left or right just after. Numpties the lot of them!
Also why do they overtake my bus, then not bother overtaking the lorry that was holding everyone up and doing 40mph, which by the way is his/her permitted national speed limit on single carriageway roads.
Once again last night - numpty car driver gets in wrong lane to undertake my bus on a roundabout! Then slows down to 40mph! Why? Ended up overtaking them as an opportunity presented itself right away.

Adjust your side mirrors to a better visibilty view. They should be set to look at the rear wheels if possible as well as a bit of the road. That way you can see whether your vehicle will hit a kerb/verge etc as you turn it. Especially van drivers as the rear view mirror often no good due to a high load in the rear! You will be amazed once you do this small thing as being able to see properly when you need to move a vehicle is ESSENTIAL!!!!Labels: buses, Cambridge, driving