Monday, September 28, 2009

akbar, our big reminder~

meet akbar.
no, that's not his little brother lying next to him.
they're both newborns. ya, you read that right: newborns.
his name translates as The Great in arabic, apparently.
frankly, what happened to akbar is not so great.
in fact, it's every type 1's worst nightmare regarding pregnancy, and every type 1's reminder to keep their sugar in tight control.
unfortunately for akbar's mama, she developed gestational diabetes and didn't really have a choice in the matter. her BG was probably pretty out of control when she became pregnant and a gestational diabetic. akbar has macrosomia; which causes babies born to mothers with major hyperglycemic averages to be, ah-hem, larger than average.
what's the diff, you ask?
please click here if you don't know what gestational diabetes is. women with pre-existing type 1 diabetes with tight control do not develop gestational diabetes when they are pregnant. gestational is a whole other beast.
so how did akbar get so damn huge?
this was no 'freak accident'--- the way the media is trying to spin it; turning it into a sensationalist's dream joke.
more than likely, his mama did not have access to or understand her daily needs for insulin (because the oral meds used to maintain pancreatic efficiency are not safe for pregnancy) during her pregnancy, thus giving her daily high blood glucose. this in turn, causes growth hormone issues centered on insulin---i've even read that it causes the baby's pancreas to spill insulin too early on to cover mom's high plasma glucose. the result: ONE HUGE BABY.
this sucks. akbar's only issue for now is his macrosomia. however, he is now at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as early as age 15! this just makes me sad.

i want to make it clear that i am not making a judgement on akbar's mom. i'm putting this info out there because while he made the news for being "Akbar the Great" it infuriates me that health media is not using this as yet one more opportunity to discuss the serious risks that uncontrolled blood sugars pose in utero, let alone as a way to prevent women from entering their pregnancies obese---thus placing themselves at a huge risk for even developing gestational diabetes.
this kid's gonna have some major issues. this is not "great" and we shouldn't be making fun of him or his mom.

Monday, September 21, 2009

pumpin' it~

i forgot to tell you all:
i'm going to get a pump!
i know, i know. i was soooooooo anti-pump. then again, give me a break. i've only had type 1 since 2008. things take a while to get used to! i have to say though, i think it was good that i really "learned" this disease by way of having to go through all the drawing-up/self-injecting/often spaced out into small multiple injections for certain [*ah-hem*] annoying foods. i really do understand more than i think i would have had i rushed into getting the pump too soon after diagnosis. it seems about a year or so later is a good time-frame to start shoppin'. as i said in that earlier post, it wasn't about vanity. it was deeper than that. as my type 1 friend alayna said, "it's ok in the end. but it's certainly weird to get used to wearing your pancreas on your britches!" ha!
so early this year i obsessively kept mulling over the pros and cons and really just kept getting stuck emotionally in the whole OHMYGODICAN'THAVESOMETHINGATTACHEDTOME issue.
i can't tell you that anything particularly huge came over me, but i can say that this is just my nature. i'm a very gradual girl. i like to read, research, talk to people, think through it myself. look at lots of pictures, LOL. i hate being pushed into things. i'm definitely a think-for-yourself kind of person. god, and i am sooooooo insulin-sensitive. this one-shot-deal that lantus offers is not exercise friendly at all. it is getting really, really old.
it also helped to start researching pregnancy and type 1 heavily and realizing there was no way in hell i was gonna be able to have the control i currently have with injections during a pregnancy with injections. trust me. after reading all of the literature and research, it's crazy to try and manage type 1 with MDIs when we have pump technology with such minute, accurate dosing and wave patterns. i was like, what the hell was i caught up on?!

so i'm 98% positive i'm getting the animas ping. it seems to fit me the best and its little nuances are what are 'selling' me on it. although, i must say, it's been a tough pull between medtronic and animas. they both really seem to be great companies from what i keep hearing from 'pumpers'.

*i'd love to hear from you all about your pumps, how they changed your life, and what you like and don't like.

so i just wanted to put it out there that i'm super excited about it. i really am! it makes me so hopeful for my [possible] future as a healthy type 1 mama.
and guess what? because i'm a loud, silly, unabashedly au naturale type 1 gal:
i'm gonna get the green one.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

a hard lesson~

so i've been essentially going through what is known as "preconception counseling" so my honey and i can be in the best health possible before we uh, try to conceive. so i got my bloodwork done like a good girl which included about 15 tubes, a urinalysis, an ear swab and a fingernail sample. ok, i lied about the last two. but that's what it seemed like they were gonna do next. i was like, why don't you just do a body catheter and take whatever you want! haha.
so it all came back great.
except my LDL (bad) cholesterol was like a normal human being's.
*sorry, diabetic friends. i couldn't resist. but you know the drill:
we have to be FREAKIN' AMAZING! we're diabetic! we're not normal! nothing about us is normal!
(by the way, this was all intensely discussed with grave concern (ie, you might have to go on a statin drug to get it down , WTF?!) in spite of the fact that my HDL (good) cholesterol was 'abnormally' high and my total cholesterol number was below average, i.e., meaning: MY HDL WAS A COMPENSATOR.
ya. i exercise and eat right (this is how you increase your HDL.) but no i don't scrape EVERY LITTLE SPECK of butter off my bread at the irish pub we like. would you like me to throw the foam off my cappuccino into the garbage, too, doc?
i must say, for such an elegantly chained molecule you see up there, that little guy can start some serious fights!
the American Diabetes Association loves us so much they expect us to keep our LDL cholesterol at or below the 'average' person's : 100 (god forbid mine was 115.) ok, i understand. we're special. we have a higher risk for heart disease. but we're also human and capable of maintaining our health. um, hello, i do that every day. and my A1c's 5.8%! so when you look at someone's lab results, you've gotta look at the person overall before trucking out the Big Pharma reps to pour pills down our throat. especially the wrong person's throat. that fat guy sitting next to me on the bus is at a way higher risk for heart disease than i am (not to mention type 2 diabetes...) i don't care what you say. i'm not gonna have cardiovascular problems just because i have type 1 diabetes. so how 'bout this to mess with your little med-school mind:
i could end up with heart disease if i choose not to take care of my diabetes.
i really hate how they never even try to talk nutrition or health, even with a super-health nut like me. it could go something like this:
emily, can you think of anything you might be eating too much of in the saturated fat group that might've increased your LDL?
my response could've then involved something like,
why yes, despite my tremendous intake of monounsaturated fat, i do enjoy coconut oil, if i do say so myself.
so then i could've admitted the only thing i could think of that might have increased the LDL: my slight addiction to coconut oil the last few months; which i did not know was such a bad saturated fat. i used it in my baking, especially. ok, i was going pretty overboard.
so we could've discussed eliminating it and checking back before pregnancy to see if any changes occurred. instead of always hailing some drug i'd have to go off of anyway (because it's not safe for pregnancy) as the savior to my fifteen-points-to-a-nondiabetic-status-freak-out-session.
so here's the dealio, folks:
all are monounsaturated fats, excellent for cooking, what i usually use anyway...and try not to bake with coconut oil like i obsessively did. now i'm using safflower and canola for baking because olive oil is a bit too...let's call it too peppy for baking.

note: you should know by now i'm not a doctor and you are absolutely stupid if your own bad cholesterol is dangerously high and you refuse to do anything about it through diet-change, drugs, or both.

so hello, i'm cutting out my beloved coconut oil, alright?! it's not like i have a reserved booth at mcdonald's.
however, i stand by the fact that coconut oil makes a very nice base for all natural sunscreen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

kelly has it DOWN~

i love kelly kunik's type 1 blog.
pleasepleaseplease read this post by her. it is perfectly lovely and true in every way possible.
even though your pancreas is... misadventurous, know that you're doing your best, you matter, and there are many who love and understand what you deal with everyday in the DOC!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


i've been really 'off the map' this summer.
i'll just state the facts:
i felt drained.
so lately i'd been really contemplating my emotional state with this disease and also many other futuristically-inclined fertility and children and type 1 diabetes and natural birth.
(ya, don't freak out. you must know by now i'm a healthnut, right?)
so i first started thinking about balance. (i'll get into what i'm learning about birth options/advocacy in other posts.) for now though, i felt like i lacked some of that good balance-stuff.
yesterday i saw an acupuncturist for the first time in a long while and while i found her to be a person unaware of what exactly type 1 is (autoimmune, here we go again) i think all of the meridian points she chose to address really did some good. my sugars are usually in good balance with a good A1c, but we all know that test is just a little bit problematic (standard deviation, anyone?)
but i've barely needed any insulin today. the only reason i think it's related to my appointment yesterday is that i usually need to start increasing my doses a bit as i head towards ovulation, and i'm not. it went down. weird. you can laugh if you want, but i think there's a direct correlation.
i actually saw her for stress and to just 'open' myself as we begin to try to start our family---in the next year. preparation. paranoia. preventive medicine. call it what you like, i just want to be the healthiest i can be when we go down that road.
i've always had a soft spot for chinese medicine ever since i took my first course in massage therapy school. it helped that it was taught by a super-genius-amazing-integrative DOM (doctor of oriental medicine.) she really had a way of explaining things from both the western and eastern perspectives. i still feel the memory of how that class blew me away, even with how much i've learned on my own since taking it. and it's still a profession i consider, even while being completely dependent upon western medicine---which i love and appreciate (thank you, frederick banting!) ah, the reality behind true integrative healthcare; what wonders it works! i'd love to be that person to people someday.
but for now, for the first time, i'm taking care of me. it's even hard for me to say those words. i feel selfish just saying them. but i know that i can't really help others if i'm not in a good place myself, and right now in my life i'm trying to address some of those deep desires (like children) and family (of my own, with no 'conditional love', like the family i was raised in) and making good, whole foods for those i love.
i guess what i'm trying to get at is, if you can do just some small, holistically focused health care for yourself, try it. get a massage--even if only once a month (i've plenty of clients who can only afford it this often) or a good belly-breathing session, or seeing an acupuncturist. it really makes you zone-in, instead of out, so that you can be introspective and slow down and balance out. your thoughts become clearer, and i promise it will even have wholesome physiological effects.