Saturday, August 30, 2008

give it to me~

to scott at scott's blog: 
i love this!

this is my retro-inspired response to the FDA in general.

i would love to believe that they are out for the good of us all, and yes, they do conduct studies that save some lives.  however, do they really follow their own rules?  

give us the real thing.  have some mercy for strugglin' organs. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

collaboration is key~

i think most of you who've read my blog know that i chose to study cultural anthropology and peace studies as my undergrad, with the plan of attending medical school after.   i recently met someone---an older gentleman with a PhD in english---who felt that the new line of thinking in anthropology (which is often termed 'collaborative') is quite arrogant in its thinking that the field should have a goal.  he actually said, "i'm not sure we should assume that every culture or people have a goal."

what can i say?  
i think some people like to pretend they are living under rocks.   was he just being plain insulting to the 'rest of' the world? was he just assuming that because a particular group does something differently than what he would define as a 'goal' it is therefore not a goal?
my point here is to comment on how vitally important it is to collaborate in anthropology, as collaboration is key to life!
when we feel that there is a problem that needs to be solved, we go out to find a solution, no? no one likes to merely be 'told what to do.'  i can tell you from community health work in africa that people want you to work with them.  no one likes to be viewed as some little person in great distress that is being saved, eh?  i don't care if you're dying of AIDS, you want to be treated with dignity and respect, with your major issues viewed as target areas of the greatest need.  help me help you, right?
i'm talking about this because diabetes (both type 1 and 2) are a prime example of how important collaborative healthcare is.  providers must work with each patient as a different individual with a different diabetes than the next person.  

because in reality, not everyone can or wants to be a member of Team Type 1.  

and so, yes, i think everyone 'has a goal.'  we all live for something, even if it's you filling your emotional void with donuts or cocaine.  
ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, and gender (!) differences all play a role in how people feel, think, act, react, respond, and live with their disease processes.  
from a medico-cultural anthropology standpoint, this could get overly intellectual and academic.  but let's just try being human: 
accept others and try to understand their worldview perspective and life situation.  work with that person for who they are.  you get a lot further in helping them to define their own idea of wellness if you try to start from a sense of collaborative and holistic health.  then all the straightforward 'this is what your disease is and this is what you must absolutely do to stay alive' stuff will easily follow.    

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


don't we look nice next to each other?  
the perfect geeky couple!  going on 4 years, i hope so!
(check out the button-up buttoned up!)  

no, really.  he's truly the most lovely man you'll ever meet.  he was incredible during my whole type 1 diagnosis fiascooooooo, but is also just, how do you say...'perfect' in every language? 

look at that face!  how can you not love it?!

yes, he's a bald white guy.  but i'm middle-eastern, so our kids'll balance out just fine. 

doggy yoga~

i thought you'd like to meet the great little lily in my life.  
yes, she prefers to fold herself in half when she sleeps.
since we were on the topic of yoga, i thought it was a perfect time to introduce my nutty dog. 

yogic breathing~

my new yoga teacher is going to be super!
she has spent the last 10 years teaching yoga to nearly 8,000 people!  she says her goal is to share it with as many people as possible.  we'll each be designing a routine for our own health and wellness.  i can't even tell you how exciting this is!
but get this:
my favorite part about her is that she spends the fall and spring teaching people yoga in town, but then in the summer goes to places like haiti and does natural therapeutics and yoga with orphans and people living with hiv/aids.  what a soul! 

by the way, haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.  i have thought that it would be the next place i would like to do community health work in,  so maybe it is fate that i am studying under my new yoga teacher?

(for more on the struggles of haiti and hiv/aids in the west, read one of my heros, paul farmer: anthropologist, doctor, philosopher, realist, and advocate for our most marginalized.) 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

autumn begins soon and oh do you like my hat?

i am so ready for school tomorrow even though i think i kinda look like a porcupine.  

just kidding, i'm not wearing this hat


make it real~

while at work this weekend, i had the pleasure of working on a lovely young lady with down's syndrome.  she had come to see me (for massage therapy) because she'd just been in the special olympics and due to winning her many awards, was "sore all over!"
when i asked her what her other hobbies were, she said "boys." 
i said, "oh ya? you gotta a boyfriend?"
"yes, his name is joe jonas."

well, well, well.

now, not to sound perverted, i have to admit that i too, find little joe jonas to be the hottest of the hot jonas brothers.   nick, the one with type 1 is great too.  however, due to his diagnosis, i just want to squeeze his sweet cheeks and tell him his song, "a little bit longer" made this newly diagnosed 27 year old cry.  thank you, nick.  maybe someday you'll serenade all of us ladies with type 1 with your song and let us ruffle your curls. 

the beautiful gal i worked on had a just-as-sweet-mum.  her mother told me something lovely: 
"if reincarnation is real, then she's perfection reincarnated."
i couldn't agree more.  all this gal did was smile, talk about life, say how great the massage was, and giggle at my cheesy jokes.  
i need more super-sweet-joe-jonas-loving-totally-in-the-moment-keepin'-it-real-patients in my work space.  heck, we need more people like that in life.
it was a bittersweet reminder that even when life hands you lemons, you gotta make lemonade.    er, just don't forget to take your insulin upon drinking it..

Friday, August 22, 2008


a fellow type 1 blogger wanted to clarify the difference between cellular death and the possibility of regeneration.   i think this is important because the naturopathic physician i am seeing along side my allopathic practitioners does not in any way believe that beta cellular-regeneration is impossible. 
however, the beta cells produced by the pancreas in the past and present in a person with type 1 are attacked and destroyed by the immune-system's t-cells, never allowing those particular insulin-producing cells to come back---just like brain cells.  
the key of course to all of this is understanding that there is nothing wrong (per say) with a type 1's pancreas!
the problem is the immune-system.  it is essentially hyper-activated (the definition of autoimmunity) and attacking a specific organ/system within the body.  For example, with MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of the spinal cord/nervous system leaving nerve fibers exposed and destructed, leading to degenerative function associated with MS sufferers.  
i believe that immunologists like dr. denise faustman are the key to our cure.  let's hope they can get to the bottom of this very destructive mode the immune-system gets in so that we can all live more wholly.
there are excellent books on autoimmunity out there, such as The Autoimmune Epidemic and Living Well with Autoimmune Disease. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

sitting with skye~

today, i sat with my naturopath's new baby, Skye.  
what a basket of pure love.

he 'came' to our follow-up appointment.  while at first it was hard to be reminded of how natural medicine's goal at this point with me is to prevent complications:
"beta cells are like brain cells birdy, once they're gone, they never come back",
sitting with Skye made me realize that i do have a lot to look forward to in life.
he pulled my hair.  
he tried to suck on my shirt.
he proved that bouncing is truly a newfound joy in his life.

so i rode the wave of the pleasure of his day; reminded that i too, have always loved meeting new people, never losing that light in my eye listening to another's story.  

today, baby Skye sat with me and listened to mine. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

dear sunflower market~

i've never posted twice in one day, but here goes: 

just got back from sunflower market.  just bought from their bulk section.  got dark chocolate covered almonds.  mmmm, right? 
i'm reading the label on the bulk box:  "14 grams fiber, 2 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams sugar."


i ask the bulk-foods guys,  "hey uh, you sure this is right?  i mean, it's kinda important that i know the info's correct..."  my voice trails off, embarassed.
i know what they're thinking, "what's a skinny girl like you worrying about carbs for?!" 

no, i let it go.  i figure hey, i'm still learning, i was only diagnosed in march.  almonds are pretty high in fiber, but i didn't know that high...

then i get home and start thinking, you know that uh, analytical gal in me can't help it.


sure enough, i do some basic carbohydrate research online, and the truth is a real bummer for a gal craving some dark chocolate almonds: 
3 grams fiber, 22 grams carbohydrate, 17 grams sugar.

that's more like it. 

my heart, is seriously breaking.

should i tell them? 

oh but you must know~

jerusalem artichokes are absolutely lovely.
i love their earthy knobbiness.  and they do taste like an artichoke heart.  but harder.
a 'harder heart', eh? 
perhaps a metaphor for people we all know.
a native-american tuber. 
i like that word...tuber.
just boil a bit longer than a potato, put some butter and garlic on them and voila! 
you have earthy-knobby-tuber-goodness for your chilled autumn tummy.
if we eat seasonally, we feel more in tune with ourselves and everyone else.
i really believe that.   

jerusalem artichokes (aka, 'sunchokes') are excellent for diabetics b/c although starchy, they burn through your system much more slowly than a potato and have inulin (NOT insulin) that breaks down into fructose instead of glucose in your body.  this allows for better metabolizing of the veggie overall.  plus, i can tell you from experience, you don't need a lot of insulin to eat them!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

so i am thinking i need to re-evaluate my blog as type 1 can only be so interesting and i've got so much to say~

i think that explains it.  
more later, but to start: 
i enjoy chicken tikka so much because i am middle-eastern? 
no, because chicken tikka is just damn good.
also, i call my dog, lily, many nick-names.  one being chicken.
now lately she's  'chicken tikka'  after her ticks.  
yes, my friends, my dog had a bad case of the ticks after our hikes this summer.  
so one night, i looked at her as i craved chicken tikka and decided to call her the same. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

no more refined sugar~

i am so done with refined sugar and flour.  it's just not worth what it does to my blood sugar! seriously, i can never seem to take the correct amount of insulin whenever i eat something with white flour or sugar.  
oh ya, did i tell you how i started using erythritol?  it's a sugar alcohol.  you can buy it at whole foods.  a bit pricey, but so worth it because you barely need any (it comes in packs to bring out with you, or in bulk for a pretty penny [$12!] for cooking.)  but here's the beauty of it that makes it worth it: 
it does not have a disgusting aftertaste.

ohmygod!  i think i wrote about my delicious treats i'd made, but ew! stevia sucks bad.  the treats are great, but you will find that stevia is not so fun. ugh! the aftertaste!  so i found erythritol and it's much, much better.  
it literally has no effect whatsoever on blood sugar, and you don't have to eat completely bland, bitter, boring food. 


Thursday, August 7, 2008

littlebird becomes a star~

alright, i need to hop on cloud 9 again.

i got my results from my first 'real' HgA1c.  i say 'real' because the last one included the first month of diagnosis, and that was still good (7.8 down from like 15.)

5.6!  can you believe it?!  5.6.  

for those of you not-so-medical, the normal range for a person with diabetes is less than 7%.  for all of you with beautifully functioning pancreases (would the plural actually be pancreai?  i'm over-thinking my highschool latin here)  the normal range is 5-6%.  hey people-with- normal-pancreai,  i'm just like you!  ;)

yes, i started jumping up and down like a maniac when i got the results.  i'm actually really glad that i was not at my doctor's office, because i probably would've kissed him.  and ew, my endo is not so hot.

this means a lot for me: it means my body is adjusted, it means i'm doing more than ok, it means i can make healthy babies (!)  it means i'm no longer a sugar-whacked mess.  

my internist (the one i have a 'hug attraction' to) wrote me a little note calling me his little star again. 
sigh.  i love it when he calls me that.  :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

the bipolarity of disease~

today, i am loving life.
it's funny what a disease does to you.  it takes something away, while simultaneously giving you every reason in the world to live in the moment, enjoy everything you taste, touch, smell, see, and hear.  
despite all of the glitches and problems and issues, i feel blessed to be here.  unlike most, i am deeply aware that one day, this beautiful life really will end. 
i know this because my life is injected into me everyday.  
and i'm grateful.  frustrated, confused, lacking a family support system, but so grateful to the people who have become my family. 
el futura es ahora.

(the future is now.)

we can live!