Friday, January 23, 2009

much ado about nothing~

type 1 has really taught me a lot about stress.  i thought i'd developed some good stress relievers in my life, but whew! to have this strange (somewhat ridiculous) window into my bodily function...man, it'll either help or hinder, eh?  i mean, it's like, "wow!  this could really educate me!"  some of my closest friends are naturally curious about their blood sugar now that they have a full-on practitioner of blood-letting around them all the time.  but sure, we check it, i get to steam for a few minutes about their perfect 90 right after they ate a bag of m&m's, and voila! they get to see how awesome it is to have a working pancreas.
but i digress. 
no, really, it is an interesting window we type 1's have.  however, insulin resistance is no fun.  i was all upset the other day because i've been having to do my yoga in my room because, for various strange reasons that i will not get into, i cannot do it like a normal person in my own living room.  i kept nearly hitting my feet on bookshelves and the ceiling fan (no, i am not that tall, but you know how you act even when you think you might hit your foot on something.) anyway, i was all upset and telling my friend about my higher sugars and terrible crashes and my stress with this current non-living room yoga- too many people in my house (wink, wink) situation.  i  think her response really summed it up for me that day: 

"you're stressed and now you're resisting your insulin and now you're getting stressed about getting stressed and resisting your insulin even more."

great. 

but i daresay, the girl has a point.  she basically said to me, "you're stressed about getting stressed!"

i'm-a-tryin' here, people!  it is so hard, though, i won't lie.  i am as healthy as they come, my docs tell me.  i get crap all of the time for "how tight i'm trying to keep it"....but i must tell you, stress is, and always has been my enemy.  i used to go-go-go, live on adrenaline (i was a military medic) and love complex classes, books, and being outside.  believe it or not, i've actually become quite even-keeled the last few years, so thank god i've learned to manage it.  
plus, i despise drama.  just freakin' say what you're trying to say to me.  heck, even yell or spit. but, the second you expect me to read your mind or put up with moody crap, i'm over and out.  just trying to stay conversationally afloat here.
but none of this changes my initial reaction.  i still become a temporary mess.  so anywho, i guess i'm just trying to get it out there that i'm frustrated this week that all of my stress-reduction habits have not really reduced anything; i've actually only seen an increase---in my averages!  now, they're not horrible, but okay, okay. i'm a bit of a perfectionist with this beast, and get mad when it shows anything greater than a thirty day 120 average on my monitor....
shoot me now, you're thinking, eh?  
ya, littlebird's got a lot to learn.  



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

miracle pasta~

ok, not really.  when you really want that 'pasta-y' bite but maybe (like me) you can no longer really handle a good bit of pasta without your blood sugar going through the roof.... (rolling drum)

enter the shiratake noodle.
2 grams of carbohydrate (you read that right.)
blood sugar balancing (read on.)

now, when you click this link, don't freak on me and say ohmygoshyou'reintolowcarbdieting?!

nonono, but aren't we all at least into lower/slower burning carbs a little?  haha.  no, they are not an atkins-approach (ie, low carb/high protein.)  they'll go easy on the kidneys because they are pretty veggie based; unlike those stupid "jerusalem artichoke" pastas you see at whole foods markets (notice the first ingredient is...you guessed it! wheat! artichoke pasta my ass!)

anywho my friends, i think these noodles are pretty impressive.  i've used them a couple of times now, and am sharing them as a gift to my bestie type 1 gal (big shout out to lovely lady lisa!) they're also pretty cheap, easy to make on the fly, and can be used in a variety of ways: noodle dishes, desserts, salads....
they kind of remind me how tofu can be used, but...taste better to some people who may not like tofu's taste and/or texture.

when i was researching them more for my friend, i just had to post because of this simple fact: 
they're full of fiber!
wikipedia kindly informed that the fiber is glucomannan, which is "40% of the dry weight of the konjac plant."

nice. 





Monday, January 19, 2009

the real sucker punch: being diagnosed as an adult~

    i randomly found this article on about.com's site regarding adult-onset type 1 diabetes.  it's not magnificent, but it's comforting that someone out there felt it important enough to talk about the topic.  
     i was diagnosed last year (2008) on march 6th.  i'm not sure how i'll feel as my anniversary gets closer.  i tend to think that people who get diagnosed as adults do feel quite differently about it than people diagnosed as kids.  i'm not at all downplaying the emotions any of us feel having type 1, but there's a level of 'this is just the way it is' in people diagnosed as kids that i meet that isn't there as deeply in those diagnosed as adults.   hmm, perhaps a better, more honest word is....
denial.  
     yes, i think that while i jumped on it right away (ie, going from an at-the-time-of-diagnosis A1c of 15 to two months later of 7, only to then drop it below 6%) and just caring enough to understand it was not a disease to be 'played with', i still believed (and sometimes still do) that it's kind of unreal, kind of temporary ("there's a cure just around the corner!") like i'm working towards something, you know?  
    now, i still take my insulin religiously and feel that my diagnosis has, strangely enough (and you may not believe this) given me a deeper sense of joy for this life that i only thought was possible.  it gives you a sense of 'present moment, wonderful moment' (tich nat han); a sense of mortality that utterly transforms you in the best way possible---if you let it.  
but that still doesn't change the weird sensation that something is...off.  what to do with all of the memories without type 1?  super-pragmatics will just tell you to 'get over yourself, you're still you.'  but they're not getting the whole oddity of being diagnosed as an adult, are they?  it's not that i'm bitter (i just told you i feel joyful!) but it does mean you have a conciousness about the disease that is quite different from 'normal memories'---the kind lumped into the 'just another childhood memory' category---even if it's bad.  
perhaps what i am trying to say is that we do indeed have a resilience to even some of the worst experiences a life can have when we are children.  in fact, i will tell you that in my community health work in africa, i worked with some people who specialized in child-soldier counseling. their studies were currently showing that the children had the ability to 'bounce back' much better than the adult mercenaries.  controversial finding, huh?  goes against what we often believe---save the children!  at the time they were struggling with the issue of how to [possibly] suggest that some of the child-counseling funding might be transferred for more of the adult needs, as they did not transition and adjust as well; let alone get the same funding to assist with that.  because they were adults, it was assumed they had the coping skills to deal with what had happened.  it was assumed they understood how to 'get over it.'  on some level, it is the naive belief that adults are not...vulnerable.
      i am certainly not suggesting that getting diagnosed with type 1 is anywhere near to being a child soldier.  i am strictly commenting on the basic psychological adaptation skills that kiddos have compared to adults. but do you see what i am getting at?   life changes us enough, and when the only [physical] life you've ever known is drastically transformed into something completely new, it's a real double whammy. 
perhaps i am starting to sound depressed.  believe me, i'm not.  i'm just putting it out there that adults, it seems, tend to think [perhaps too much] about being type 1, about the meaning of being type 1, about how to be type 1 without acting type 1....diabetic.  i do prefer what some woman said in an article once: 
             
      i don't tell people i'm a type 1 diabetic.  i say i am a woman living with type 1 diabetes.

spoken like an adult who has thought through her feelings on the matter. 



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

summing up my thoughts on gaza~


we're all GAZA
Originally uploaded by ahmed the egyptian"
An excerpt from editor, social justice activist, and truth speaker, Kevin Clarke:

"In justifying the incursion and attempting to rationalize its murderous impact on Gaza citizens, commentators have noted that other civilian populations in the past have been treated brutally because of actions of their government and note Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Berlin, and Dresden as examples, following a "total war" argument that basically runs 'since the Palestinians elected Hamas they share responsibility for Hamas and essentially now are getting what they deserve.' This argument seems pathologically indifferent to the suffering of others.  The 135 (more now certainly) children killed so far didn't vote for anybody.  I certainly agree it is historical fact that noncombatants often pay a heavy price for the actions of their leaders.  I don't agree that this is a historical precedent worth emulating if humankind seriously presumes anything like progress toward more civilization and not more barbarity."   

Monday, January 12, 2009

welcome to your new life~


my life everyday, as i now know it. 
i am my pancreas.  
i use syringes and meters and finger sticks and sugar alcohols and all of this goes in my hip little indie bag. 
call me what you will, an insulin junkie, an involuntary addict of sorts, but i think and live and survive everyday by being my own doctor, mathematician, nutritionist, dietician, gourmet chef, and counselor. 
as my endocrinologist put it, "my job is only to help you see the forest from the trees."

and, WTF? life coach? who the hell needs a life coach?  
ask a type 1 diabetic how they get through everyday, still laughing, studying, dreaming, hiking, working, running, cooking, despite all of the worrying, and you will realize you are the only 'life coach' you will ever know.

poor peabody's downward spiral started around this time last year, and i made it all the way 'til march 6 (thanks, buddy) until i absolutely could not go on...unless i wanted to end up in a temporary coma, eh? 
 
but you know what?  i'm loving my life in ways i cannot fully express yet.  oh, it's coming though.  it's seeping onto the pages of my green notebooks again, onto my stickered-up laptop you see up there, and my composition books full of messy notes and critiques and essays and thoughts.  it's coming back through my camera.  i see the world in a whole new light.

i'm. still. flying. 
no one can stop you; 
take flight!

check out my flickr account!

am i being exhibitionist?  hopefully not.  
however, i just got my flickr account more organized: my africa photos are better categorized, and so are the [few] photos i took over the summer. 
*ahem* about this summer.  i think i fell off artistically, so to speak, because i spent so much more time journaling the hell outta my new type 1 diagnosis, and just trying to enjoy being outside and loving my honey and friends.


enjoy as they come, it's just one more resolution (*winkwink*) to keep my photostreams going!



Saturday, January 10, 2009

healthy, savory snacks and treats~

whew! i haven't posted in a while!  sorry folks, life just got sooooo hectic, what with dealing with the acquaintance i have staying while he gets on his feet again.  
i wanted to share with you a few of the things that have been keeping me going, as one of my kind of 'understood' resolutions is to [continue] eating the most whole, low glycemic foods as possible; and better than that, find wonderful and nourishing things that anyone can really enjoy.

note: anyone, not just type 1 diabetics can(and should!) enjoy these as they are all low glycemic, high fiber and au naturale.  some studies i read recently are actually showing that low glycemic may have more of an important impact than merely looking at high fiber and leaving it at that:  

apple flax meal muffins. 
worth a measly 8 grams of carbohydrate, these pack quite the fiber punch (5 grams!)  i enjoyed these all week, finding i barely needed a morning dose of insulin.  i will provide the recipe when i get it perfected, as it is adjusted from one i got from the low carb diet on about.com.  the problem is that the author of that site is promoting a lot of splenda and weight loss and often 'weird' carbohydrate alternative-eating, in my humble little type 1 opinion.  i understand people have a hard time, i just feel like there are ways to adjust recipes to be simply more slow-burning and naturally sweetened than to take the over-processed, unnatural route.  low carb is great, but slow-burning carb makes it even better; hence flax meal and....

coconut flour and berry muffins.  
again, i'll provide the recipe later, but wow!  so yummy and they've got that heaviness that i think often comes with why you crave such a 'treat'.  however, again, they're worth very little in carbohydrate and yet are full of good carbs and fiber and taste good with a dark chocolate drizzle, so can be 'transformed' into a mid-afternoon or evening dessert!

straight and pure coconut milk splashed onto berries. 
i love this so much!  i've been eating it for breakfast, for snacks, for dessert!  seriously, just buy pure coconut milk in the can, chill it if you can (because it'll thicken nicely in my opinion), pop that top and voila!  you've the most lovely little treat your heart desires!  (that is, if you're into coconut...) 


chocolate almond milk cocoa, with cardamom.  
this has been a great treat for me.  if you buy unsweetened chocolate almond milk and find you just must sweeten it, use erythritol, which i've found has no effect on blood sugar whatsoever (they aren't lyin'!)  however, i think it can stand on its own feet at 2 grams of carbohydrate per cup.  then, once you've added the cardamom (a wonderfully warm and sensual spice from a pod, often used to treat broken hearts) you have a winter drink sure to make you cosy up with your [hopeful] honey or... a good book (if you're getting over a broken heart.)   :)