Check the B.S.

Have you checked your blood sugar recently? Go check it and take care of it if you need to do so. And then read this post. For those of you without diabetes, bask in the luxury of not needing to do this. I envy you. While I am thankful that I have Type 1 Diabetes because it has forced me to be a healthier, more compassionate person, that certainly does not mean that I enjoy what it takes to take care of my diabetes. I enjoy the results of taking care of my blood sugar – feeling normal, happy, energetic, and able to pay attention. But I do not enjoy the process involved in getting to that good blood sugar. In the rest of my life, I often enjoy the process much more than the result (the result is over much too quickly), but goodness no! not in diabetes. No, with diabetes, I like results. In diabetes, I like moving forward, getting better at management, and hearing about (and seeing the results of) all the amazing things JDRF is funding to cure, prevent, and manage this disease.

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Just a Spoonful

Fifty years ago, Julie Andrews sang that “just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”.  Forty years after that, Johnny Depp, acting as J.M. Barrie, said to little Peter Llewelyn Davies, “Just a dog?  Just?  Porthos, don’t listen to him!  Porthos dreams of being a bear, and you want to dash those dreams by saying he’s just a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word. That’s like saying, ‘He can’t climb that mountain, he’s just a man,’ or ‘That’s not a diamond, it’s just a rock.’ Just.”

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Not A Weakness

Growing up, I thought it was a weakness to have to worry about one’s weight; I thought it was the person’s own fault for not being trim.  Everyone should have been able to overcome that “weakness” in one way or another.  At least that’s what I thought until something very unexpected happened.  Two months before I left for my freshman year at Furman University, I was forced to welcome this “weakness” with open arms, whether I liked it or not.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  On Wednesday 18 June 2008, I went to the doctor for a check up so that she could sign papers saying that I was healthy and could live in on-campus housing.  After getting blood drawn and getting a couple of shots, I left the appointment to get my usual reward for putting up with needles: ice cream.  But this time, I didn’t go for a small ice cream cone or frozen yogurt; I wanted to try out something my friends had been talking about recently, a Chick-Fil-A milkshake.  I think I got strawberry.  I came home and started practicing my violin (my plan was to major in music) and got a call from the doctor at about 5 or 6pm saying my blood sugar was so high that the meter couldn’t read it (which meant it was over 500), my A1c was 16.5%, and there were way too many ketones in my urine.  All the numbers she threw at me over the phone made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Was 500 a bad number?  I guessed so, since she was suggesting I go to the Emergency Room immediately.  How on earth was the random number 16.5 related to all of this?  And what were ketones?  (Actually, to tell you the truth, even now I can’t tell you what they are.  Time to look it up myself.)  And what did urine have to do with blood and the sugar that was in my blood?

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