Why I Would Be An Awful Diabetic.

A lot has happened since my last posting; we have played and won two games with extremely one-sided score lines; I have been racking up loyalty points with Helsinki’s public healthcare institutions; I have been to the Olympics; my family got a little bigger; and I’ve started getting both skinny and fat at the same time. Let’s see if I can squeeze all of that into one manageable bite sized blog posting.

I’ll start with the two football games, which enabled us to close out the regular season with a 9-1 record and number one seeding for the playoffs. The first was our 27 hour jaunt to Oulu to play the Northern Lights. Last season this was a nightmare due to the painful experience of being in a normal seated carriage on the train for the return journey. This season, Peetja was good enough to provide us all with private cabins so we were able to grab some sleep on the way home. Everyone was pleased to be returning home with a 3-49 victory.

I wish that I could tell you more about the second game, but unfortunately I missed it. I’ll come to that later, but it will suffice to say at this point that we secured first place in the league with a comfortable 0-70 victory over Turku Trojans. Even more encouragingly, we welcomed back a handful of players that have missed much of the season through injury. Unfortunately this does not include me.

While I continue to miss out on my own sporting endeavours, I am sure that many of you will have noticed that there was a small sporting tournament taking place in London over the past couple of weeks. It may surprise many of you to know that I was due to be at the Games myself this summer. Despite my natural talent for synchronised swimming, however, I was not due to be competing. Instead, I was chosen to be one of the thousands of volunteers or ‘Gamesmakers’ who have been so heavily praised over the past few weeks for ensuring the success of the Games. At the start of the season, I forfeited my position as I didn’t want to miss any games with the Wolverines, despite Peetja kindly giving me the time off. Naturally I am more than a little saddened at how things have turned out.

Last week, Coach Randi gave me the time off to visit London so that I may at least be able to see the Games as a spectator. I am pretty passionate about the Olympics, having fallen in love with the spectacle at Barcelona in 1992 and subsequently gone on to study them in my Master’s degree.

Before I even arrived in London, there was good news to be had as my Sister gave birth to baby Emilia on the 7th August. She’s pretty small and, like all babies, she looks like an Alien.

Alien Baby

Being in London for the Games was fantastic. Although I was unable to get tickets to any events, I did go to Hyde Park for the marathon swimming and was amongst the crowds of spectators lining the banks of the serpentine, cheering Keri-Anne Payne on to her fourth place finish. I have to say that pretty much everything that the UK has achieved at the Olympics is astounding, both in hosting and performing so well. It remains to be seen whether we can build on it and how we go about doing so.

Now comes the rant I am afraid. I realise that this is happening a lot recently, but Finnish healthcare is just driving me crazy at the moment. Upon my return to Helsinki, I went for my monthly check-up on my ankle and was promptly told that I have developed Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in my calf. I am extremely glad that they found it, so the hospital gets some points for that one.

The DVT means that for the next three months I will be taking medicine (it’s actually rat poison – true story!), and I also have to give myself daily injections until told not to. The nurse who explained all of this to me is by far the nicest bloke I have met in all my dealings with Helsinki’s public services…. More points awarded for that one.

I also need to have blood tests every couple of days to ensure that my medication is at the right level, so as instructed, I toddled off to the Kontula health station for my tests on Wednesday morning. Apparently my instructions had been wrong as I was promptly turned away and sent to the Myllypuro health station instead. No problem.

Having finally arrived in front of a nurse with a needle, it appeared that there was no record of me on her computer and so I waited for an hour while she phoned around to find out who I was and why I was there. Patience starting to bend a little….. She took the blood and sent me packing with instructions to call Kontula for my results later.

I am a boy who generally does what I’m told so my 3pm phone call to the Health Station should have come as no surprise to the receptionist. What I was greeted with was yet another person who could find no record of me existing and eventually came to the conclusion that as I am not Finnish, I am not entitled to Finnish healthcare and so should fly home to get treatment. The poor girl took an ear bashing. Then she fobbed me off another phone number to call for Kivikko Health Station. Anything to get rid of me and make me someone else’s problem.

Rather than call, I simply went to Kivikko, determined to get myself in front of someone and not move until I had my results (I was not able to take my medication until I had them – it’s dangerous stuff apparently). My plan worked, and the lovely lady at Kivikko spent time finding my records. I then proceeded to inform her that I would be going to her for everything. She is now my personal link to Finnish Healthcare. Although I may have scared her.

I realise that it could all be so much worse. However, I think it is not too much to ask that somewhere along the way someone just stop, realise that they are dealing with a human being and act accordingly, instead of just deciding that I am not their problem and passing me off to some other uncaring idiot.

Rant over. Cue various comments about how ‘at least it’s not the NHS’. Phooey.


Shaking like a leaf. One that shakes a lot.

The disturbing part about all of this is the injecting. I am not a fan of needles, so having to give myself jabs every day is a pretty rubbish experience. It’s even worse when Mike is taking photos and Alex is laughing his head off. Gits.

To finish on something a bit more fun… This photo has been causing quite a stir on facebook… It’s the smouldering eyes isn’t it. Modelling career, here I come.

FIT. Photo courtesy of Riku Flink.