I have Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. Trying to manage this disease feels like a full time occupation, and it can be exceptionally difficult to try to keep my blood sugar levels stable enough to function properly sometimes. Simple things like making sure insulin dosage matches my food intake, how much to reduce insulin to compensate for the physical exertion of exercise or even the mental exertion of writing/lecturing etc., can become difficult calculations and when they go wrong, can have some significant effects. Too much insulin and I get hypoglycemic symptoms which can be anything from mild dizziness and confusion, to loss of consciousness and even seizures. Too little insulin and blood sugars rise, causing lethargy, unquenchable thirst (coupled with the constant need to run to the toilet), splitting headaches, and ultimately damage to internal organs and other parts of the body. I feel constantly as if I am performing a tightrope act and that any false steps have life-threatening consequences. All in all, it is not a great deal of fun to have a condition that can make you feel pretty rough a lot of the time. I should make it clear that I am very aware that many people are far worse off than I am and, in the grand scheme of things, I’m lucky that my condition is relatively easy to treat. I am not complaining – just setting the scene for the musical information that follows.