Friday, December 2, 2011

Limiting test strips

Many PWDs complain about their insurance, or Medicare limiting test strips, and thus, they can't test as often as they need to.

Well, test strips are only as good as how you use the information you get from them. Insurance companies tend to limit strips because of an English study that showed that Type 2's who tested didn't get any better A1cs than those that did not test. But the important question that they didn't bother to ask was, WHY? Well, it's probably because Type 2's who are not on insulin have no way to DO anything about high numbers, other than to log them and show their docs their logbooks. And then the docs tend not to do anything, either, until it becomes an emergency.

At this point, there are NO Type 2 drugs that will allow a person to get a high BG down. They can try exercise, if they are able, but even that is not always effective. Some medical professionals are advocating early use of insulin, and it makes sense to me if it gives them a way to have immediate feedback and the ability to lower their BGs. Also, because diabetes in some is primarily a secretory defect, with insulin resistance only a contributor, insulin makes sense for them, too. (I just got this out of reading a genetic study).

So, because insurance companies are run by business people for profit, and are NOT in the business of optimizing people's health, they practice a one-size-fits-all policy on test strips, and if you need more, then it's YOUR problem! :-(

Monday, November 28, 2011

The A1c as a Diagnostic Tool

Although the medical establishment is increasingly leaning toward using it, the A1c is a LOUSY test for diagnosis. It can vary a lot among different people, because some people glycate more and some glycate less. When I was diagnosable by current standards, with FBGs of 138 and 131 three months apart, my A1c was a glorious 4.8. Even when I was miserably symptomatic, and the docs could no longer deny the diagnosis, I had a 7.1, which would, now, be diagnosable (the cutoff is 6.5), but did not reflect how very sick I was. And the top-off is that when I was near death from a coma last year, my A1c was 10.7, which is supposed to equate to an average BG of about 250. NO FRICKIN' WAY! I was actually running between 400 and 600 for MONTHS before I finally collapsed.

It's clear from these results that I'm a low glycator. Maybe being a low glycator means I'm resistant to complications, too (I HOPE), but living with constant thirst, constant hunger, and needing to pee all the time is NOT quality of life. And I have not read any evidence that I actually AM resistant to complications, so why take the chance? I'm aiming for an A1c in the 5's, even though my PCP's APN told me that below 6 is dangerous for us older people. I know my body better than she does.

Then, on the other hand, there are high glycators, who do their darndest, and still can't get below that magic 7.0. Again, I don't know if they are more prone to complications (and again, I HOPE not!), but in NO way should they compare themselves to me. It's not fair, and it only makes them feel bad. And in my case, if I didn't know better, it could lead to undue complacency. Neither one is a good place to be.

So, having no voice, there is nothing I can do about it, but seems to me like if there is ANY suspicion of diabetes in the family, especially Type 2, then a person should INSIST on an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test -- that's the only REAL way to know if you have disordered glucose metabolism. Yes, it's more of a hassle for both the doc and the patient, but it's better to know the truth early. No one WANTS to have diabetes, but if you do, you do, and it's better to learn to take care of yourself BEFORE those complications set in!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thoughts about Bernstein

Seems like most diabetics who are serious about their control know about Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's books on diabetes management.

Bernstein demands a high degree of self-discipline and determination. He, himself, has had good success with a very low-carb diet, and has plenty of anecdotes about other people, both Types 1 and 2, who have also done well.

But I still don't know of any studies that have actually used a REAL low-carb diet (i.e 30g a day, as Bernstein calls for) in comparison with a low-fat diet for any significant period of time, and that's what the medical field is really waiting for. They are very cautious about accepting new practices without standard scientific evidence (yes, I know Bernstein isn't new, but he is to them). If anyone knows of such studies, it would be worth calling the attention of professional organizations to them.

The other thing is, some people feel they really CAN'T give up their carbs. It's a pleasure issue to them, and in a way, it's like smoking -- current gratification outweighs distant harm. Also, some people have reported success with McDougall -- if it works for them, great. I'm convinced that there are different types of metabolism in humans, and what works for one may not work for another. It would be nice to see research on defining those differences, so that dietitians could work, not only with a person's food preferences, but also with the way their metabolism functions.

As for me, I'm a picky eater, and I can't go with Bernstein all the way, but I've had some good success with a modified approach. My food palette is relatively limited (but NOT extreme, like Anderson Cooper!), but I'm pretty happy with mostly the same foods every day. I know I'm light on the veggies and meat, and I do eat cottage cheese, yogurt and a little milk, so my total daily carb intake is closer to 60 than to 30, but my weight is at a healthy place (BMI 24.1), my lab results are excellent (totally normal lipids, and an A1c of 5.8), and I feel good.

So I guess I'm trying to say there IS wiggle room, and people have to come to their own accommodation of what they are and aren't willing to do, and what risks they are willing to take. Humans are complex animals, and one size does not fit all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Terminology Battle

I'm getting more and more anti-type terminology. While Type 1 and LADA are pretty clearly defined, Type 2 is just a garbage-can diagnosis, because there are SO many things that can go out of whack to cause what appears to be "classical" Type 2, and one person's treatment needs may be very different from another's. 

And I just read an article about diabetes in Africa (which also occurs in other tropical countries) that is NOT Type 2, nor is it type 1b, although that does occur. They are calling it Type 3 (sorry, caretakers, you slot is being occupied! And not only that, some are now calling Alzheimer's Type 3, too. So WHY am I anti-type terminology???), and it is related to malnutrition, and not insulin resistance (there goes the Type 2 criteria), and occurs often, but not always in children. If the child's nutrition status improves, and there is no permanent damage to the pancreas, it can go away (there goes the Type 1 criteria). Personally, I would rather see diabetes classified by cause: autoimmune diabetes, insulinopenic diabetes, insulin-resistant diabetes, surgical-diabetes, malnutrition-diabetes, PCOS diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis diabetes, whoa, I've already described 7 types! If diabetes were described in this way, it would at least give docs a clue as to how to treat -- as an insulinopenic diabetic, I don't want docs harping on oral drugs, which I'm afraid will happen if I have to switch docs when I go on Medicare. 

Don't you think it's time to stop oversimplifying diabetes, and recognizing it for the vast array of disorders it actually represents, and start concentrating on identifying and treating people properly?

Friday, November 25, 2011

How to enjoy Thanksgiving!

OK, first revelation is that I'm not perfect. Second revelation is, guess what! I have diabetes! Third revelation is that every once in a while, it's really WORTH it! I went out with friends, and had a filet mignon (my favorite; I don't really like turkey or ham), a salad, about half a baked potato, and CHOCOLATE DECADENCE for dessert. That means a small piece of warm chocolate cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. It's a LOT more than I usually eat, and my stomach was full for about 8 hours afterward. I took a dual wave bolus, but for me, the insulin only lasts about 3 hours, and when the square part just dribbles out little bits, it's really not enough to knock down those highs. I really do need to figure out a way to deal with pigouts. Not that I do them very often, but once in a while.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hospital/nursing home hell

For those of you that don't already know the story (everyone else, bear with me! :-)  )

At the end of August, 2010, after a couple of months of climbing BGs, which I was unable to control, I saw my endo. My fasting BG was 302, A1c 10.7 (really high for me), liver enzymes in the 100′s (normal is less than 40) and I was suffering increasing mental confusion, and blackouts, which I was unaware of. He did nothing; just sent me home.

6 days later, I didn’t show up at a picnic I was supposed to attend, and my friends came looking for me, and found me near comatose. The last thing I remember is them calling my name from outside the door. Good thing I leave my door unlocked, because they came in, found me, and somehow got me into the car and to the emergency room. The ER DID save my life, after testing me for drunkenness, drugs and dementia — the wrong 3 D’s. All my systems were out of whack, and I was in acute kidney failure.

So I was admitted, and remember nothing for a day and a half. According to the CDE on the case, they took a look at me — age 62, and decided I was a Type 2, and started me on Type 2 protocols. Which meant insulin on a sliding scale, only to correct highs, but no basal and no meal coverage. And then, couldn’t figure out why my BGs were going up instead of down. The reason for the Type 2 protocols is that they expect the patient’s own body to bring down postprandial highs, which is often (but not always) the case in Type 2′s. So the CDE fought with them to get them to use Type 1 protocols on me. Whereupon, my BGs started to come down.

Then, because I was no longer acute, they sent me to a rehabilitation hospital AKA Alzheimer’s home, which assured them that they knew how to take care of diabetics. Ha! I arrived there on a Friday night, and the hospitalist was off until Monday, and somehow the Type 1 orders didn’t accompany me. So back to the no insulin except for corrections, and going up into the 400′s after meals (and I was eating only protein, because I knew that carbs would just blow me sky higher than I already was), and they just left me sitting there with miserable highs for hours, because it wasn’t time for insulin yet. And I couldn’t corner the hospitalist until Monday, so I relapsed back to the place where I started, with confusion, hallucinations and blackouts. Worried about going low? HARDLY!!!

Finally, I got to the hospitalist, and convinced him I needed a basal, and boluses before meals, and he put me on fixed doses — wouldn’t let me take control for myself — I’m sure he was used to dealing with passive, demented patients. So I ate as little as possible, and slowly, slowly, my BGs started to come down. But I was there for THREE frickin’ weeks (plus the week in the acute care hospital), when, if I had had proper treatment to begin with, it should have taken no more than a week to recover sufficiently to go home. Fun with spending unnecessary money, and Alzheimer’s patients are SO much fun to spend all your time with.

As soon as I got home, I found myself a new endo (Type 1 himself), who immediately figured out that my insulin needs had changed radically, and put me back on my pump. I have since gotten things back to normal. But I am terrified to ever go in the hospital again, even though I really needed it at that time.

Side note: the sliding scale worked for me, once I was getting basal and bolus insulin, because the standard rule was 1u of insulin to lower BG by 50 mg/dl. A friend of mine, who has Type 2, was in a nursing home, and they used the same scale with her. But the difference is that she is very insulin-resistant, and needed more like 10u to lower her BG by 50 mg/dl. I can't understand why hospitals don't understand that diabetes, of either type, is not a one-size-fits-all disease!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I've been thinking about the JDRF ad, that states that 1 in 20 Type 1 diabetics will die of hypoglycemia. I'm not into arguing statistics, but it got me thinking about diabetes awareness.

So much of what we see in the media falls into 2 stories. The first, well-intended and more common, is that Type 2's caused their own diabetes by overeating and being fat couch potatoes, and that they could reverse it if they'd only stop eating the Twinkies, and get off the couch. This is not only unfair, damaging and depressing to Type 2's, who simply CANNOT be generalized to this picture, but it also creates stigma that crosses over to Type 1's, who, being a small minority of diabetics, get lots of well-meaning but totally irrelevant feedback about their diabetes.

But the second story, also well-intended, bothers me more. That is, Type 1 diabetics are super-achievers, and can do anything anyone else can, with no mention of the struggle and self-discipline that it takes even to live a "normal" life, let alone a super-star life. But we are constantly regaled by stories such as those of Dr. Natalie Strand, who won that race (although she couldn't possibly have done it without the life-saving assistance of her partner), Charlie Kimball, the race-car driver, Nick Jonas, Gary Hall, etc. But these people are the exception, not the rule.

My reaction to both these stories is that they're too Cinderella-ish (eat right, lose weight if you have to, and exercise, and you, too, can marry the prince!!), and not Little Match Girl enough (she died trying). So, even though I viscerally didn't like the JDRF ad, I do know what they were trying to do. There are those that lose the diabetes lottery (and that includes BOTH types), but they remain vague, not translated into the experiences of real people. And no one seems to notice how much work it takes just to live an ordinary life, day to day with diabetes, not to speak of how much harder it is for people who DO develop complications. No wonder diabetes doesn't get the support and funding that breast cancer and AIDS do!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and Diabetes

Well, I just had a DXA bone scan today, which they recommend every 2 years for all men over 70 and women over 65, but younger, if you have risk factors. And I found out that Type 1 in particular is considered a risk factor. I'm 63, but I guess I count as having a risk factor.

Turned out that I have osteopenia (low bone mineral density, but not as low as in osteoporosis) in the femurs, but not in the spine. That surprised me, because I haven't had diabetes as long as some (It started at age 43 and I was formally diagnosed at 45), and osteoporosis doesn't run in my family. :-(

The risk factors include normal to low BMI, thin bone structure, smoking, auto-immune diseases, excessive drinking, not enough calcium and vitamin D in bone-forming years, family history, history of anorexia (diabulimia!) and inactivity. I do have thin bone structure, autoimmune diseases, and (ashamedly!) inactivity.

So there is definite evidence that women (but also men) with Type 1 are at increased risk, and osteopenia is a risk factor for osteoporosis. One article said that 50% of Caucasian women will break a bone at some point in their lives.

But the really surprising fact is that, although Type 2 women tend to have INCREASED bone mineral density, at least partly attributable to the fact that their bones get more weight-bearing exercise, they are also at increased risk of fractures. And no one knows why.

I also read up on treatment, and there is no general consensus there. On the one hand, taking drugs like bisphosphonates and other drugs could actually increase bone mass to some extent, but in osteopenia, the person might never experience a fracture anyway, and why take a drug that may not be needed? Osteoporosis, being more severe, with a higher risk of fracture is another story, but again, the question is why wait until you are at great risk?

So I'm going to continue reading up about it, and going to delay making any kind of decision until I have a chance to talk with both my PCP's APN, and my Endo's APN -- I'm taking enough drugs as it is, and since all the available drugs have unpleasant side effects, I'm not going to rush into anything. But I would be interested in any insight any of you may have! :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

C-peptide and Medicare

This is for all the friends that love me.

Backstory: I have agonized for 20 years about what type of diabetes I have, and whether I'm faking it, and had bouts of denial, and binged myself into a coma last year which almost killed me. I know it's emotionally crazy, but I'm being honest about all my horrible feelings.

I will be eligible for Medicare in less than a year and a half, and I've been in excruciating emotional pain thinking that my C-peptide would be too high for them to cover my pump. So when a friend on TuDiabetes got hers done, and JUST squeaked in under the line (110% of the low end of normal), I put my heart in my mouth and decided to get mine done too. She suggested that I do it privately, because I have been just too scared to ask my doc because once a higher than cutoff C-peptide has been recorded, the shit has hit the fan.

So I went and got a blood draw yesterday, and wasn't expecting results so soon, but there they were in my email box this morning. And:

0.9 (normal range 1.1-4.4) !!!!!

This is EXCEEDINGLY good news, for 2 reasons. First, I'm solidly below the cutoff, AND I do have residual insulin production, which clearly contributes to better control. How lucky can I get?

I'm just shaking with relief, and now I have to ask my endo's office to request the results, because I CAN share them. And hopefully never have to have another test.

Still reluctant to actually call myself Type 1, (still prefer Type Weird), but at least I know I'm not a hyperinsulinemic, insulin-resistant Type 2. No insult to Type 2's -- you know that I have utmost empathy for them, but I really needed help with dealing with all the shame and blame issues that are imposed on Type 2's when I believed in my heart of hearts that that's what I really was.

Maybe this is a ramble, but I needed to do it. And if you respond to me, I'll feel even better!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Member of the Tribe

Someone posted a video on Facebook of a dying man and his message, supposedly from God -- and it turned out to be deathbed evangelism. So I posted that it was repugnant to me, and she apologized. I was pretty impressed by that. So many Christians are utterly unaware of the effect their religious words and actions have on those of us who are not members of the majority. A friend told me, jokingly, because she knows I'm Jewish, that I was a "good Christian", meaning that she thought I was a good person, but why couldn't she just have said "good person"? Instead of saying, like they did in Nebraska when I lived there, "That was a Christian thing to do", why can't they just say that was a good, or moral or ethical thing to do? Because the implication of using the word "Christian" is that people who are not Christians do not do good things.

And then there is the Nebraska (Bible Belt?) expression "to Jew someone down" meaning to unfairly get the better end of a bargain. I took several people to task on that one, and they were completely taken by surprise -- they had never even thought about it. I was glad to get out of Nebraska -- they were not bad people, but I couldn't be a part of their culture.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tonight at my folk dance group, I was telling my friends about my fantastic, better than average blood lipid panel. And their first reaction was, "oh, you must have really cut down the fat!" Well, no, I didn't. "Well, what about the saturated fat?" Nope, didn't pay any attention to that, either. "Well, what did you do?" I cut back on carbs. " Well, the Mediterranean diet is really the best" Then I stopped talking. I don't REALLY know all that much about the Mediterranean diet, but one of the ladies gave me a copy of Nutrition Action Newsletter, published by CSPI, and it has a distinct bias toward plant food in order to save the earth (when what would really save the earth is to get the human population way down), and there were recipes, and one of them (red lentils) had 40g of carbs per one-cup serving -- I couldn't get full on THAT! They also gave a sample menu that included an all-carb breakfast of fruit, fat-free milk and oatmeal -- no way I could tolerate that, a salad and hummus for lunch -- I would be starving 2 hours later, and stir-fried veggies and tofu over brown rice and yogurt with banana and a little granola for dinner. And I got to thinking -- let the non-diabetics save the world. Those who can handle that kind of diet should follow it. My insulin-impaired metabolism requires a medically indicated diet, and that's what I'll follow!

And for those who are curious as to what a better than average lipid panel is: Total cholesterol 170 (range under 200) LDL 90 (range under 100) HDL 65 (over 60 considered protective) Triglycerides 77 (range under 150) and VLDL 15 (range under 40). I have NEVER had such a good lipid panel in my life, and the only thing I can attribute it to is having reduced my carb intake. The proof is in the low-carb pudding!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lab results to exult!

Natalie ._c-

High five!

Just can't resist proclaiming it to the world!!!!

It's been just about a year since I decided to get serious about diabetes control, and started limiting carbs. That does NOT mean going "no carb" nor as low as Bernstein suggests -- I've been aiming at around 60g a day. It also does not mean resisting occasional treats, an occasional piece of fruit, a restaurant meal, or an occasional bit of grain here and there, including wheat.

So I got my lab results today. The easy stuff first: A1c of 5.8, which I was expecting. For me, being a low glycator, this is NOT "excellent" but it IS good enough. :-)

Now for the stuff I have ALWAYS had problems with: cholesterol. I inherited the genes for lousy cholesterol from my father, who was thin, and had no diabetes in his family. So, voila!
Total: 170 (range 100-199)
Triglycerides 77 (range 0-149) First time EVER in the normal range
VLDL 15 (range 5-40) I've NEVER had it this good
HDL 65 (range >39) >59 is supposed to be protective, but again, I've NEVER had it this high! And I DON'T run marathons!
LDL 90 (range 0-99) I read somewhere that LDL really shouldn't go below 25, and that diabetics should be under 70, but given the above results, I really think I'm not going to worry about it.

Vitamin D was low normal range, but I can supplement a little more in order to be mid-normal.

My TSH was still low and my T4 was still high, but that's because my body was really screwed up after the coma, and they raised my thyroid dose a lot, and still haven't brought it down to where it was before the coma, which was 125 ug. When I see the APN, I'm going to suggest that -- it's a pretty normal dose for my size.

The only conclusion I can draw from my year-long experiment is that for MY metabolism, it works. I don't have any trouble staying on this plan, and am confident I can keep it up long term. I'm not having weight or hunger issues, I'm not using excessive doses of insulin, I'm feeling good, and I really can't think of any cons or disadvantages. I'm NOT craving carbs, and I haven't lost any brain power as far as I can tell!

Everyone is different, and I'm definitely not telling anyone what to do, just reporting on what has worked for me. I'll take it! :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


FatCatAnna over at Diabetes 1 reported that there is a movement to establish a new way to report A1c's. And I suppose some people are going to get all worked up over it. But I don't care how they report my A1c -- it's invalid for me, anyway. I'm a low glycator, and my A1c has, for 20 years, been consistently lower than my BGs would indicate. When I was diagnosable by today's standards, my A1c was 4.8, and when I was near comatose with BGs averaging about 500, my A1c was 10.7, which corresponds to an estimated average glucose of somewhere in the mid 200's. My docs may think I'm doing just great with an A1c of 6.0, but *I* know it's not exemplary by any real standard. So I'll just keep on ignoring the A1c, no matter how they report it, and keep close tabs on my BGs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Illness and Depression

I don't know how to go with the flow of depression, although I am becoming more aware of triggers. I have a cold, which was really bad on Saturday and Sunday; started to let up on Monday and today, but I'm still not completely recovered. And my reaction to it was to get depressed -- feeling like shit, and no one to take care of me, and I still had to get up and feed myself and take care of my cats. And then the RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) hit, and the lower part of my body had to get up and walk around and wiggle frantically, while the upper part of my body wanted to just lie still so that my nose would stop running, and the sneezes would stop, and my breathing wouldn't hurt so much. I really wanted to cut myself in half. I wanted my MOMMY!!!! At one point, I was lying in bed alone, mad at my cats because they weren't cuddling me, but they must be mind-readers, because not 5 minutes later, there they were, coming into my room and jumping up on the bed and taking their customary cuddling positions.

I wish I could welcome depression, but I can't, because it always triggers feelings of low self-esteem, and a desire not to live any more. Maybe not suicidal, but just wishing the world would go away. My mind gets into endless, unpleasant loops, and every bad memory of my life comes swooshing in. And there is no pause button to hit. I can't even listen to music, because when I'm depressed, it makes no sense to me.

So today, I went to my group, and I cried, and people were very sympathetic, but it's really something I need to learn to deal with. I need to learn how NOT to go to the dark places, and how NOT to get caught up in the negative loop. But it's not easy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis, RIP

My heart hurts so bad. I'm crying for a man I never knew. I am sickened by the fact that the US Supreme Court, which is dominated by Conservatives, didn't even bother to consider the concept of "guilty beyond any doubt". Why is it clear to me that there was great doubt, because 7 of 9 witnesses recanted. At least some of them were illiterate and did not understand the testimonies that they signed, and some of them said they had been forced by the police into giving false testimony. Also, one of the 2 witnesses who did not recant was the other prime suspect, and had actually admitted to the killing to a woman when drunk. She came forward with that evidence. Yet this was not worth anything to the Supreme Court justices.

A column I read said that he had 3 strikes against him. He was black, he allegedly killed a white man (a cop, no less), and he lived in Georgia. That apparently was enough to convict him, in spite of there being no physical evidence to link him to the crime.

This was not a judicial execution; it was a 21st century lynching.
Thoughts About Type 2 Diabetes

In Type 2 diabetes, there are a lot of hormone and gut enzyme abnormalities for which there is as yet no practical test. However, even the now abandoned OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) gives a clearer picture than a simple fasting glucose, or worse yet, an A1c. Add in a C-peptide and antibody tests, and you get a pretty good picture of where to start. The reason for abandoning the OGTT was that it was a hassle for the people getting tested, and for the doc. But when it comes to early diagnosis of Type 2, isn't that better than waiting for complications to happen before diagnosis? One day of hassle is better than years, or a lifetime of misery!

Personally, I'm in favor of eliminating the "prediabetes" label, and aggressively treating those people who are at risk BEFORE they develop full-fledged Type 2 with complications. Call it "early stage diabetes." Supporting an effective diet plan (which is a distant dream at the moment) and a supervised exercise program would be a start. Preventing complications and keeping people in the workforce (as long as there are jobs!) is surely better than supporting them on disability!

We, as a country, are rich enough to start wars, but not rich enough to take care of our own people?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Squirrel ramblings:
I read a post on another site that said that certain health benefits should be denied to smokers, because they were not taking care of their own health, which made me think about the slippery slope that could occur with this kind of thinking. Here's part of my reply:

I have a problem with your statement that "chronic smokers may disqualify themselves from certain healthcare benefits", because you don't specify WHICH benefits. A lung transplant, yes, because if they continue to smoke, the lungs will not keep them alive for very long, and those lungs could have gone to someone else who would take better care of them, but what OTHER benefits?

My concern is that, as soon as bureaucrats start making medical decisions, they start to put people in boxes, and then there are always people who fall between the cracks. I remember, in the early days of dialysis, there were hospital committees who made the decision about who would get dialysis and who would die. One of the arguments for the choice was, a man who had a family should get dialysis, but a childless woman should not. (The govt. is still discriminating in favor of those with children -- look at the child tax credit, which goes to rich families with children but not to poor people who are childless!)

And then, if we can deny benefits to smokers, we are on a slippery slope that will surely include denying benefits to the obese, many or most of whom, in spite of popular public opinion, really do NOT overeat themselves into obesity (except insofar as they follow the govt.-sponsored guidelines to eat a lot of carbs, and not enough protein). Obesity is a FAR more complex issue than most people are willing to believe, and if we GET the obese, who is next? The disabled, especially because many of them can't work, and therefore don't contribute to society? The elderly, because they have too many illnesses -- time for them to die anyway? Obviously being a bit sarcastic here, but I AM afraid of creeping "healthism", which is a word I just made up!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First post

OK, you talked me into it. This blog will be about anything I happen to think about, which can vary widely. My interests are linguistics, anthropology, history, religion (and non-religion), medicine, diabetes, nutrition, politics, ethics and morals, psychology, world culture, including music, dance and foods, cats, science and anything else that pops into my squirrel mind.

What, you may ask, is a squirrel mind? It's a mind that acts like a squirrel -- popping here and there, and picking up nuggets as she goes. Never stopping long enough to get into the real depth of anything, but possibly giving others ideas to think about. I will leave it to the philosophers and scientists to plumb the depths -- if I spark your interest in something, you can always Google it.

I admit to being a bit afraid to do this, because what if I have nothing to say? But on the other hand, writing one's thoughts down is said to be a good thing, so here I go!