Sunday, April 23, 2006

What a week!

This week I haven't had time to up-date my blog or to read other blogs. Tuesday I had a meeting with the guy whom I though was my employer to be. The meeting went well, and we both expected that I could start up on May 1. However, it turned out that the agreement on jobs with wage subsidy should be approved not only by the employer and the employment exhange agency, but also by the head of department and the trade union representative. The head of department was pleased with the agreement, but the trade union representative was not. He would not support this kind of underpayment of highly qualified young workers as he said. If I could be employed as a research assistant on regular terms and conditions, he would support it, but he would generally - because apparently it was the policy of the faculty - not accept jobs with wage subsidy unless the applicant had been unemployed for a long time due to missing qualifications. I can see the situation from his point of view, but I don't think that he quite understands how it works in the scientific community. There is just not an unlimited amount of money to be spend on hiring new people, and when there are money for hiring then the leaders will usually look around in their own group of students or research assistants before taking in one from the outside. I know of at least a hand full of people who would not be in a Ph.D-position in the groups where they are not, if it had not been for the wage subsidy offer. One of my supervisors from my Master's, Ole, was quite baffled about the attitude of the trade union representative too. Although the trade union representative's position on the issue meant that Ole would then have me as a candidate for two part-time positions as research assistant that two of his collaborators would want to pay for, he still felt an urgent need to react upon it - and I think that he will do just that very strongly! The conclusion for me now is that I am still unemployed, although Ole may be able to hire me again if his collaborators agree to it. Thus, I still have to look out for new possible jobs while finishing the paper that I need to write for us to publish some important results from my Master thesis, and the poster that I am to present on a big conference in Prague in the beginning of May. To make situation even more comical complete, I have actually been assigned a Young Investigator Award for the abstract behind my poster, which I will collect at the conference in Prague! How can you be about to publish something, be awarded with a Young Investigator Award and still have such difficulties in getting a permanent job and preferably a Ph.D-position?

This week I also had an appointment with on of the diabetes nurses out on the hospital to evaluate my first two weeks of pumping. The appointment was mainly focused on approving the changes I had made myself in the basal rates and the settings of the bolus wizard. I guess I must be a pain in the ass to some doctors and nurses because I tend to react when I am not satisfied with the regimen, and I hardly ever consult with the team until afterwards, but I am almost always correct in the changes that I make, so I can't help it. This time the nurse asked me if I had calculated the new carb-to-insulin ratio and insulin sensitivity that I had entered into the pump after being very unsuccessful in using the original settings that the nurses had calculated when I started on the pump. I had not, because do not know how they usually do that, but when she sat down to do the math, it turned out that my perceptions about these numbers were pretty darn close to her results - actually the variations were confined to decimal points! I am still not completely satisfied with pump therapy, but it is not fair to conclude anything based on only 2 weeks, so I will continue trying to get a grip on it. I am to do a series of evening-to-lunch fasts before my next appointment in 1½ weeks, something that I find quite hard partly because I cannot go back to sleep immediately after having been awake to measure at 3 AM and thus will be cranky if I have to get up early the next morning, but also because I am usually very active on a daily basis so I am hungry. I am half way through the 4 of these fasts that I need to do, but I certainly look forward to get them over with. Next Friday I also have an appointment with the dietician - actually the first appointment that I have had with a dietician since diagnosis, so maybe it is about time. I hope that she can help me with this new thing of counting carbs - carb counting is not mandatory in the general Danish way of diabetes treatment, only for those 0.5 % of the Danish diabetics who are in pump therapy it should be. We will see how it goes. I will try to post a bit more frequently in the week to come, but I dare not to make any promises about that ;-)

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