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!