Monday, February 16, 2009

open up wide~

whew!  i am seriously starting to get overwhelmed with trying to make a decision about what to do after i graduate in may.  i have so many options, which i am trying to view as a positive thing; it would be really snobby of me not to acknowledge the fact that having my bachelor's is opening up a lot of roads for me, regardless of however i might feel about those roads.
sigh, "the road not taken", right? 
such as:
 
-i could do grad school in community health.  this is  a nice option considering how much i loved doing it in africa; let alone the possibilities regarding disease management model design, educating marginalized communities to empower themselves....however, it will take almost 3 years; therefore pulling me away from my true love (sorry, matthew): clinical medicine.  hands on, people! 

-matt's mom suggested grad school in social work.  this was actually appealing because it really is hands-on in that i could work in a hospital, helping families in emotionally and financially difficult situations to access the proper networks and resources.  however, it also would take 3 years (i'm trying to plan for a kid, people!!) be entirely full-time, and again: it's still not treatment based; i really like medicine!!

-the 'nurse to doctorate in family medicine' track.  this one seems to appeal to me the most because i could take the fast track to a second bachelor's (in nursing, of course, but wow! the advisor informed me it would only take me a bit over a year!  ah-hem, this is all because i took the entire pre-med track, arrrrrgh! then i could just apply to the schools i like that carry the doctorate for family nurse practitioners after we start a little fam-fam.  oi!  but here's a problem:  how will i continue in my love of natural therapeutics studies? i guess there's always ceu's....
but bend-bend-bendable birdy!  i always find a way, since i'm self-taught in most things au naturale medecine, haha.

    i have no idea why i just blogged about this, lol.  maybe because it's why i've not been an 'interesting blogger' of late.  gosh, in this economy, with this disease, with these academic concerns...i know i'm not the only one!  i know i could do a multitude of things and be happy; that's just the kind of person i am.  i don't complain a lot, i love people, and i love to learn.  i do hate being bored, being around overly negative people that have no reason to be, and not feeling like i'm doing something meaningful.  that's why i like medicine so much: you get to be really present to people. 
     but it's been hard this year, i won't lie.  i'm so glad i've learned to become a tree the last few years; we really are meant to be like them: strong but swaying.  having to truly learn the art of flexibility and compromise...all while finding a way to stay true to professional and personal goals.  it was nice to find out before going to med school this fall though, as that would've royally sucked ass to have to be making decisions like, "should i stay or should i go?  all the while thinking, 'jesus h.christ, do you even know how hard i worked to get here?!"  
    now i'm happy to just be re-thinking and re-organizing my life so that i can do everything like having kids, managing my type 1, studying medicine, and still make time for travel, humanitarian work, language studies, dancing, and learning the harmonica! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

surge~

    well, i had to increase my lantus (long-acting insulin dose you take once a day) dose.  it mimics the human body's basal (base-line release every body does with insulin) quite well.  i'm lucky, cos i have a friend who did not  respond to lantus at all.  
sigh. 
    here i am, under the full realization that i was truly honeymooning (my pancreas was still releasing its last bit of insulin for me) over the last year.   i won't lie, it's hard watching an organ lose function.  maybe i'm just emotional right now for other reasons, but i really do get teary-eyed sometimes!  it's like, "cut it out!"  i haven't enjoyed watching my pancreas slowly 'die'; of course it's not dying, peabody's just.....not functional.
    but what does that mean? functional.   it's a word we americans use a lot, no?  overall, i am functional.  i am a functioning member of society.  i have functional relationships with some people; and dysfunctional relationships with others. 
    my immune system does not have a functional relationship with my pancreas.
it really is an emotional time, to have to increase doses, to correct highs and lows, to acknowledge that for instance, the 90 you went into a lecture hall with may leave you at 150 simply because you had to give a nerve-wracking presentation to your colleagues.  ah,  the things we type 1's get to see happening in ourselves. 
whatever the case, i increased my lantus dose last night and woke up to an excellent morning sugar; my first good one in a couple of weeks, really.  the day's numbers went well, too.  funny, i am eternally grateful for the discovery and use of insulin, but that 1 unit dose increase...man, it's just gets to me because of how deep it hits, how much of a painful reminder it can be that...i am now my pancreas. 

 


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sometimes it's the brush with death that brings you back to life~

just read an article that moved me.  i want to share it with you because it moved me ohsomuch
i think the best part is when they actually get into how people with chronic disease "have a close brush with their own mortality, and sometimes experience a reaction akin to separation anxiety. a separation that in this case, is from life".   
the article is very moving in that it tells us how often people 'wake up' up because of their brush with death and begin to do things they never thought they could do, try being the healthiest person they ever imagined.  
i mean, eh, we can all do better. but i've mentioned before how type 1 can 'wake a person up' (or whatever your experience is that wakes you up, for that matter) but it's always inspiring to read of someone with brain cancer who figures they can just... keep kickin'. 

fat and fiber~

fiber and good fats, that is!
i was talking with a friend today about how magnificent fiber has been for me.  ya, while  JAMA came out with a new study showing that (in type II) low glycemic index foods may be better on the blood glucose than high fiber (cereal, that is).  i can't help this (sorry):  yo, guys at JAMA:   
any type 1 coulda told you that, like, duh.

i'm sorry, did that sound arrogant?! 

who reading this ever had good luck with cereal?  i couldn't eat that crap (even "high fiber") even before i got type 1!!! ahhhhhhhh!!! and where is all this money going for research?!

anywho, back to what i was saying about fat and fiber.  this conversation was brought about all because i'd had some peas for the first time in like, forever.  and damn, they were good! yaya, i know you Bernstein freaks are like, "but that's a starchy vegetable!"  but let me tell you, just because with peas and corn you've got to take your insulin does not mean  you're getting a pure sugar.  take the numbers i got from my handy nutritional info on the back of those happy little peas: 
12 grams carb for 1/4 cup 
5 grams fiber and man! 6 grams of protein!
what's all this mean?!  it means that you're gonna burn those little peas til the cows come home!  
i had such a great experience eating peas the other night, they were filling and yummy (made them with some smoked pepper and fresh garlic) and voila!  what a tasty and fibrous side! 
of course you want to know: 
yes, my sugar did excelente.
by the way, my new diabetes educator (i love you, dee!) gave me the best advice since making my new forced-friend: with high fat and fiber (cheese, avocado, berries, nuts, dark chocolate, ice cream, pure yogurt...can you tell i eat mediterranean?) take your whole insulin dose for it after you eat.
WTF?!  
you heard that right: after.  
now, i must say that i don't like standardized diabetes advice, so i tell you that heavily insisting you experiment for yourself like i did.  but manohmanohmanohman (as my little 2 year old buddy ethan says)
i'm doing  great with this new way.  my insulin actually gets the chance to catch up with the processing carbohydrate after the fat or fiber's made it's way through my tummy, and i am on the road to an excellent post meal number. [insert kiss to malfunctioned peabody here.]  this is way better than what was happening before when i'd even split my dose in half as a little before, a little after: halfway through my meal i'd be getting horribly low because the fat or fiber was holding things up, then keep crashing even after finishing, fix that uh, 42, and ta-da: 220 in an hour! and all because by the time the actual carb made it's way through, there was no longer any insulin available to cover it. fun!
i want a functioning pancreas!  hey, i want a non-confused immune system! 
ya, i know you love it too.  
and it all started because of an avocado!
figuring out this biochemical pathway is my new jesus. 
sigh.
i do take a teeny tiny bit of my dose before just to get things going, but what i'm actually trying to cover---the carbohydrate within the berries or icecream or cheese or avocado on the salad or sandwich...i take that dose after. 
either way, it's good to slow down some of that carbohydrate, even when it's wholesproutedgrainorganicnosugarunrefined...bread.  it's still not a seed on a stem growin' in some field-o-wheat, right?