And…here we go. Diabetes. Taken over

This is the second article in a series about my journey into the world of diabetes type 2. 

Taken Over

We’ve got two parts to our brains.  The logical, and the emotional.  Right now, this second, last week, and probably tomorrow, it’s the emotional part that’s taken over. I’m just so dazed, and angry, and sad.  I think these are some of the signs of grieving.  I find it just stupid that I should be grieving.  But I am. Fuck.

Anger at myself. Wait 10 minutes and it’ll be feeling completely sorry for myself, which also increases my anger at myself and so on and so on. Basically, I am angry at everything – the snow storm and the idiot weatherman, the grocery, the food industry, the medical industry, the sugar industry, my incredibly supportive friends, my sweet boyfriend, the way my family taught me to eat, the way the government told me to eat, they way I taught my son to eat, the super skinny dude in front of me in line who is buying a carrot cake and coffee ice cream (I’d like to ram his face into the conveyor belt a couple of times), and my cat (for no particular reason).  There are tears and angry little fits that seem to come and go of their own volition.

I went to the market today for more than just a few things.  I had a list.  By the time I  made it from one side of the market to the other, I was in tears. It was fucking overwhelming.  What the hell do I eat? Is this okay? What about that? Peas should be good.. and yet they have added sugar. 45 minutes in the cereal aisle, looking for something – anything – I could eat.   Cereal has been breakfast, and many times, dinner for me. I always chose the “healthy” ones.. Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Rice Chex.  They aren’t going to work for me any more.  And neither, it seems, is anything else.   What the hell do I do without cereal? I’ve eaten it my whole entire life. I walked out with some pork chops, some vegetables, some tangerines.  I think telling anyone that I sat in the car and cried my eyes out over the loss of Shredded Wheat and Grape soda is even more pathetic than the act itself.

I have no clue what I should be eating.   The nurse at the doctor’s office called me and we talked about the food.  She seems helpful.  Is having “whole grains” a good thing, I ask her, (secretly thought I should have continued the question with “and what exactly are whole grains?”) She says “yes”.  “You should look at the American Diabetes Association web site, and make better food choices”, she says. “Have small potatoes, oatmeal, fruits, carrots and other good vegetables”, she says.  “Eat in moderation”, she says.  “Probably best to remove things from the kitchen you shouldn’t have”, she says. “Eat little meals”, she says.   “Make healthy choices”, she says.  Um…okay.  Thanks?

I’ve really started cleaning out my kitchen cabinets, albeit slowly.  I keep digging deeper into the rather shallow cabinets, and finding more and more things I should not eat.  I pile them for Christine or the food pantry. I think I’m not quite ready to let go.  I keep thinking (pretending) that the drugs I’m taking will make me “all better”, and I’ll be able to have that can of corn or use the all-purpose flour, or eat the breaded chicken I have in the freezer.  The metformin brings the blood sugar down, but it doesn’t cure the diabetes. Logically, I know  I won’t be using that flour again.  I won’t be eating the breaded chicken. Or using the bread crumbs.  Or eating the cereal I purchased a few months ago in bulk.  Or the rice, or the potatoes…… but in the back of my mind, my emotional self just keeps saying this will go away because I don’t want to be diabetic. (btw, logical brain says get the fuck over it, already – this feeling sorry for my self is getting really old).

I physically am feeling better because my blood sugar isn’t in the 300-400’s anymore, but still “green around the gills” sick to my stomach and nauseous all the time from the metformin.  There have been times at work when it was all I could do not to vomit in the garbage can next to my desk. Waking up at 4:00 in the morning because I was retching. Driving home from work the whole 1.3 miles was a marathon ride, due to the fact that I couldn’t hold it in for one more single second.  Thank gods for plastic bags.  Trying the metformin before or during or after I eat doesn’t help. I just feel sick. It’s weeks now and I’m still nauseous.

My blood sugar is better, though. 160’s, 140’s, 150’s.  I’m not even really sure what the goal post here is.  Every article I read gives me a different answer. morral I talk to the doctor and he says it’s not down enough, maybe we should increase the medication.  I REALLY do not want to.  I can hardly move without wanting to vomit, increasing the dosage can only lead to bad, nasty and messy situations (as referenced above with the car “incident”). I’ll be walking around with a puke bag.  I wonder if a person gets used to the smell.  Would a fancy Coach bag be too noticeable?

Logic: How do I fix this? Can I? I know what I was doing didn’t work, but what I am doing now isn’t working either. I don’t want to go day to day feeling like this.  Food is a huge part of life. My boyfriend and I plan meals and cook together. My friends and I have parties – whats the main thing? Food and booze.  And damn. There goes having booze?

I should not be feeling sorry for myself.  Deal with it, and get on with it.  I’m not dying. I don’t have some inoperable tumor.  The world isn’t ending. It’s just diabetes.  And the CDC says I’m only one of 29.1 million Americans that have diabetes type 2, along with another 86 million that are pre-diabetic.1  So, really, I need to deal with this.

Pesky emotion: Well, I’mma go sit on my pity pot and have a good cry.  Or throw something. Or yell at the empty house.   I’m not ready to be logical.  Not just yet. Maybe in 10 minutes.  Or next week.  But for right now, I am just going to cry about my shredded wheat.

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And…here we go. Diabetes

This particular article is the first in a series about my journey into the world of diabetes type 2. 

And…here we go.  

I’ve been diagnosed as being diabetic.  My reaction?  Well, fuck me.  Sadness. Anger.  A lot of tears and feeling sorry for myself.  I really, really need to pull up my big girl panties and get on with it, but that pesky anger and self pity come raging back at me.

I suppose this should not come as a great surprise to me. I had gestational diabetes 21+ years ago. Diabetes runs in my family and I was told I had a very large possibility of becoming diabetic as I got older. But..I thought “older” meant in my 80’s.. not my 40’s. And I thought I was doing things the right way, most of the time at least. I didn’t gorge out on sugary things, I drank diet soda most of the time (not always), I ate all the low fat things available (not always). Lean Cuisine and I had a relationship. I ate whole grains, whole wheat bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, low fat peanut butter, vegetables, the margarine I was told to eat, the fucking skim or low fat milk, the low fat ice cream, fat free whipped cream, I ate my servings of grains like I was supposed to. I followed the USDA food pyramid – you remember this one:

1992 USDA Food Pyramid

1992 USDA Food Pyramid 6-11 Servings of breads, rice and pastas, 3-5 Servings of vegetables, 2-4 Servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-3 servings of meats, beans, and nuts, And sparingly use fats, oils and sweets.

Of course, I ate Chinese food a couple of times a month, and pizza, and couldn’t resist a slice of cheesecake (I live in New York – these things are practically staple foods). When I went out to eat, I had the burger and fries. But when I didn’t, I had no fat, broiled or braised chicken breasts,  and a salad with low fat dressing or an oven baked low fat pork roast with fresh baby potatoes with some low fat sour cream. I had tuna sandwiches, with low fat mayo. Once in a while I’d eat a really messy fatty bacon, chicken, mushroom sandwich.. but on a day to day, I thought I was doing the right things.

And yet, here I am with a morning blood sugar of 192 at week 2 of this, and on this drug called Metformin that makes me want to puke all the time.  Oh, and the blood pressure is high, and so is my cholesterol.  WTF?!?

What did I do wrong?

Well I don’t think I did anything wrong. I did what I was taught to do, to be healthy, and eat right. Low fat, low cholesterol, low red meat, etc.  The grocery store is full of helpful products. The food industry has made it so easy with all the low fat items they’ve created. I should be perfectly fine. And yet I’m not.

I went through the foods I have kitchen. There is high fructose corn syrup in about 75% of everything I have and so many things have sugar or honey or syrup:   Bread crumbs.  Ketchup.  Sweet pickles.  Canned Peas(!!!!), Low fat ice cream.  Bread. Tortillas.  Cranberry juice. English muffins.  Orange juice. Nyquil. Wheat thins. Ritz.  Yogurt.  Applesauce.  This isn’t including the things I knew had sugar like a cake mix or brownie mix, or the mint chocolates.

Turns out, when you take the fat out of products, it gets replaced with sugars. I only ever read the box to find out how much fat and calories were in the product (not even really looking at serving size). I never looked at the ingredients. And if I did, it was very rarely. I trusted the fact that this low-fat thing I was buying at the market was good for me. Low fat cookies? Yay. Low fat yogurt? Yay. Low fat cheese? Yay, but with reservations (because it sucked badly). Low fat Triskets and Wheat Thins. Whole grains.

Healthy, right?

Well, apparently not. I thought I could handle this. Yet here I am, with a kitchen full of things I cannot eat, because the finger stick says my blood sugar is too high, even with taking metformin, and I am hungry.

And getting very, very angry.

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Mr. Nimoy.

We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human”

11034905_10152741579318581_4108737621560475571_n

 

 

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Sugar is in everything

Sugar is in everything.. even things you don’t think about.  And it’s a hell of a lot more than you think it is.

Take a look at this video — it’s long – about 28 minutes or so.  But this shows you how much sugar is in even the things we thought were good for us.

4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon.

 

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Moved Servers..

I just moved servers..and have lots of work to do.  Links, images, etc.  Sorry!!!

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Keep The Ducks Safe!!

Keep The Ducks Safe!

stoned-duck

KEEP ‘EM SAFE, I SAY!

(yes, this has been amusing me for hours)

 

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My Tin Man, with update

The Child Unit in The Wiz, playing the Tin Man at Uni.  I’m so proud.  I’ve not been allowed to see the production until ‘they got it right’, and so I’ll be going next week.  I really cannot wait.

4-5-2014 – We drove up to see the show yesterday and wow!! He sang 2 solos and danced, and acted and was absolutely fan-freaking-tastic.  Costume was great, makeup was great and his voice — he sang his songs so well, and with such emotion that I really felt sad for the Tin Man.  I’m a proud mama for sure.

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The Great Debate

I listen to The Thinking Atheist as often as possible, and tonight, on my drive home, I listened to the latest episode.  This episode was all about whether or not Bill Nye (The Science Guy), should debate Ken Ham, (The Creationist Museum).

bill-nye-ken-ham-debate

I must say, I was surprised at some of the opinions. All the guests who were on tonight are very much admired by me.  I’ve watched, listened and read all of them.  But.. I think some of them are misguided.  Their responses were slightly varied, but (with few exceptions), along the lines of “He shouldn’t do it”, “..creationism shouldn’t be debated since it’s already been debunked”, and “He isn’t a debater”

Yeah, he isn’t a debater.  Yeah, we are all a little nervous — can Bill Nye win this debate against Ken Ham? Can he pull it off and not fall into some trap that Ken Ham will lay? Can he not facepalm himself to death with the nonsense Ham touts? How can you debate somebody who makes stuff up? (Dinosaurs being ridden by man, anyone??). I hope Bill Nye can get past Ken Ham’s one liners, and pseudo-science.  Ken Ham’s prepositional apologetic faith based “science” is sheer bullshit (and I’m $ure Ken Ham know$ it’$ bull$shit).

Can Bill Nye Win?  What if he loses? I think there will be two winners here — The creationists will think Ken Ham won.  Everyone else with a brain that works properly will think Bill Nye won.

But I don’t think that matters.  What matters is this being seen AFTER the debate.  Bill Nyes arguments will be seen by some 20 year old at 3am one Tuesday night, and it will change his life – maybe he will be the next Brian Cox.  It’ll be seen by some 36-year-old guy who has begun to question his religion – maybe he’ll be the next Seth Andrews.  It will be seen by a woman who has 3 kids, and by listening to Bill Nyes responses to what she thought she knew to be true, she will change what she teaches her children. Those children will grow up seeing the fucking awesomeness that is real, honest to goodness, peer reviewed, tried and tested science.   This has happened before to people.  Just substitute Bill Nye’s name for Chistopher Hitchens.

Why should we debate creationists??

  • 46% of the American population believe in creation — that man was put on this earth in the form he is today, less than 10,000 years ago.

Let that sink in for a sec.

46%.  Forty six per-fucking-cent. WTF, people?!?  

  • Towns and cities across the states are having to fight creationists to keep science IN schools.  Texas Board of Education as just the latest example.
  • States across the country are putting up bills into their legislature that would have creationism taught in schools alongside biology.
  • There are 14 states, right this second, that are allowing schools to teach creationism in the classroom.
  • We have Senators and Congressmen who are young earth creationists and have voices and votes that can, and will, push creationism even further into schools, discarding all evidence to the contrary.

This must change.

We need to show the creationists the truth of reality, of our world, of our history, of the amazing beauty that evolution is, and pulling the wool away from their eyes.

I agree very much with David Silverman (of American Atheists). I think creationists need to be brought down with a big smack of reality. I don’t think the objections to this debate are valid. Freethinkers have been debating the religious for years, and have brought about change. Debating a creationist, who has absolutely no proof to his claim (no peer review, no testing) is necessary and needed by our entire society.

I wish that Ken Ham had accepted the Houston Atheists challenge of a debate with PZ and Matt Dillahunty, (more seasoned debaters). But I will cheer behind Bill Nye. I’m sure he can pull it off.

I have to wonder, though, if all the naysayers (who think Bill Nye will fail), offered any help to prepare him, instead of just saying he shouldn’t be doing it.  Or are they just going to sit back and watch, hoping they were right, as he falls flat on his ass?

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Happy New Year!

Recuperating after New Years

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It is always now

When I got back from Nebraska at the end of May, 2012, I couldn’t wrap my head around my emotion.  Between going back to Nebraska, seeing my parents had really sold the house and moved away to .. somewhere I don’t know where, exactly.. visiting certain places that really fucked my head up, and then coming home to my son graduating and lashing his tongue so harshly at everyone around him for the next year, it took a lot out of me.  I harnessed the stability and strength of my friends around me as much as I possibly could.  But it took me more than a year to get my head back in the game.

One afternoon in June of 2013, I came across the 2012 Global Atheist Convention posts on YouTube.  It was fantastic.  Great speakers, great talks, great panels. A lot of talk about Christopher Hitchens – his life, his outspokenness, his love of books, of people, of words.  A lot of people spoke about him.. Dawkins, Krauss among others.

And then Sam Harris came to speak.  And blew my mind.  And put it back together again in a way it hadn’t been in years.  He said he wanted to speak about death.  And he did.  He really did.  But, what he really talked about was life, and living, and the moment we have this very second.

I know I watched that video at least 5 times in a row.  I know that his words brought a solace to me that I had not felt before.  I know it changed me.  It brought a wave of calm over me that I needed.  And lit a bit of a fire under me at the same time.

the past is a memory
it’s a thought
arising in the present
the future is merely anticipated, it is another thought
arising now
what we truly have
is this moment
and this
and this

And this.

Thank you, Mr. Harris.

I’m not sure who cut this version of the video, but it’s my favorite.

It is always now.

I actually want to talk today about death.  Now most of us do our best to not to think about death, but there’s always part of our minds that knows this can’t go on forever. Part of us always knows that we’re just a doctor’s visit away or a phone call away from being starkly reminded with the fact of our own mortality or of those closest to us.

Now I’m sure many of you in this room have experienced this in some form. You must know how uncanny it is to suddenly be thrown out of the normal course of your life and just be given the full time job of not dying or caring for someone who is.

but the one thing people tend to realize at moments like this is that they wasted a lot of time when life was normal and it’s not just what they, it’s not just what they did with their time, it’s not just that they spent too much time working or compulsively checking email, it’s that they cared about the wrong things.

They regret what they cared about. Their attention was bound up in petty concerns year after year.

When life was normal and this is a paradox of course because we all know this epiphany is coming. I mean, don’t you know this is coming? don’t you know there’s going to come a day when you’ll be sick or someone close to you will die and you’ll look back at the kinds of things that captured your attention and you’ll think, “what, what was I doing?”

You know this, and yet if you’re like most people, you’ll spend most of your time in life tacitly presuming you’ll live forever it’s like watching a bad movie for the fourth time or bickering with your spouse.

I mean this, these things only makes sense in light of eternity there better be a heaven if we’re  gonna waste our time like that there are ways to really live in the present moment what what’s the alternative?

It is always now however much you feel you may need to plan for the future to anticipate it, to mitigate the risks, the reality of your life is now.

This may sound trite but it’s the truth.

it’s not quite true as a matter of physics, in fact there is no now that encompasses the entire universe you can’t talk about an event being simultaneously occurring here and one at the same moment occurring in Andromeda. the truth is, now is not even well-defined as a matter of neurology because we know that inputs to the brain come at different moments and that consciousness is built upon layers of inputs whose timing to have to be different. Our conscious awareness of the present moment is in some relevant sense already a memory but as a matter of conscious experience the reality of your life is always now.

And I think this is a liberating truth about the nature of the human mind. In fact I think there’s probably nothing more important to understand about your mind than that if you want to be happy.

The past is a memory.

It’s a thought.

Arising in the present.

The future is merely anticipated, it is another thought.

Arising now.

What we truly have.

Is this moment.

And this.

And this.

And we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth, repudiating it, fleeing it, overlooking it, and the horror is that we succeed.

We’ve managed to never really connect with the present moment and find fulfillment there because we are continually hoping to become happy in the future and the future never arrives.

Even when we think we’re in the present moment we’re, we’re in very subtle ways, always looking over its shoulder anticipating what’s coming next.

We’re always solving a problem and it’s possible to simply drop your problem if only for a moment and enjoy whatever is true of your life in the present.

This is not a matter of new information or more information, it requires a change in attitude.

It requires a change in the attentiveness you pay to your experience in the present moment.

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