Friday, February 3, 2012

Root Planing

WOW, is it not very fun!  I had the final two quadrants of my mouth completed today and my entire face was lopsided on account of the anesthetic--I looked very much like the victim of a stroke.  ...which is only funny remembering that episode of the Family Guy when half of Peter's entire body goes numb.

Stop mocking me! 

Anyway as I become super queen of oral health, I have a huge regiment to follow:
  • floss
  • brush
  • those little brushes between all teeth that will allow it
  • peroxide rinse
Day in and day out.  Or at least for the next 6 weeks before my check up.  I love the waterpick, but it's making me feel less human and more robotic with all this daily maintenence that must be followed for top quality performance. 

And I have this feeling that two of my back teeth that are now far apart, were touching when I went into this appointment this morning.  I just noticed that about half and hour ago and haven't made the call whether to panic or not...  are my teeth just this moveable force of pure annoyance?! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

THE GREY is a badass movie

#justsayin.  I haven't seen a movie twice in the theatres in a long time, and I saw this one on Saturday and Sunday.  So there!  Saturday I knew relatively nothing about the plot, and therefore it was this whirlwind of awesomeness as not only did it basically open with the greatest plane crash footage ever, but then went on to pick off each character in a crazy variety of ways while all the time telling these symbiotic wolf and human pack stories. 

Love Liam Neeson.  What a badass.  What a great dude.  I loved all the actors though--Diaz, Flannery, Henrick, I forget the others--wait, Burke, Hernandez--I am blanking on Dermot Mulroney's character name, but I loved him the same too.    It was incredibly intense and sad--but it had all this cool heart too.  And the wolves, though terrorizing them, were not the a-typical bad guys--they were doing their thing and unfortunately we were not supposed to be there.  ...not to mention in "the fucking den!"

It was a great movie.  It's dark--and it's defintiely not a pick-me-up plot; but it has very funny moments in with the darkness and by the end you are just riveted and moved and exhausted.  When the screen goes blank for the credits the theatre both times was gripped in silence at the drama of that final moment.  It's like everyone lets out a collective, OH MY GOOD GODDAM!!  Did that just happen?

Once more into the fray
Yay Liam!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ok, I watched "The Tree of Life" and I hated it!

Every 2011 top ten movie list I came across was touting this Tree of Life jazz.  One of my all time favorite movies is The Thin Red Line and so I thought, ok Terrence Malick, you crazy awesome bastard, I'll check out your Brad Pitt movie.  How can we lose?

FAIL! This movie seemed like a drunken parody of a Terrence Malick movie.  If you were going to make fun of his style: the breathy narration, long curvy landscapes and strange angles from which he rises around all the actors--then this little Tree of Life movie would have been the greatest comedic gesture of all time.   However I think it was supposed to be very serious, and therefore the whole time I sat there with my mouth kind of ajar as if to say, WHAT THE HELL, MALICK?  Seriously--Sean Penn was completely irrelevant--why was he there at all, I wondered?  There were many gorgeous moments for sure, but all in all this movie left me numb and frustrated and really I just wished he had done the whole thing with just the dinosaurs.   The dinosaurs were awesome.    Maybe just dinosaurs and Brad Pitt living in a shack along the river before the KT Extinction would have been awesome.

I hate to be a hater, cause I do love the guy, but Terrence, NO.  This one made me mad. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

fun with teeth in 2012

My teeth are questionable. They are the funniest thing about me because they are always falling the fuck out. I lost my front tooth when I was 22 to the wily beast that is periodontal disease; fun-loving and perhaps most under appreciated side effect of diabetes. When I was younger and reckless, the only long term diabetes side effects I knew about were death, blindness and dialysis (the last one being what I learned from Steel Magnolias!). And I had, as aforementioned, taken quite the liberty that none of those things would ever occur.

When my front tooth was first loose, it was one of those chilling things that I ignored desperately as long as I could. Back then I still kept a very narrow focus on any ailment—I wanted to ignore everything to the most intense degree; keep a savage distance from the reality of anything going wrong. I may have been a tad manic in my approach, for sure. Loose teeth aren’t something that can be ignored too long though. Especially the ones up front that get inserted into the pizza slice first when you go to take the bite. Especially the ones that, when you lose them, make you look and feel like a hayseed dolled up for Halloween with rabid accuracy. & I was living in New York City, for goodness sake! I had a flashy job!

I sucked it up and took my 22-year old self to the dentist. They regarded me with interest—so young and needing dentures! Ha! Miracles of science! My dentist was great though, without too much chastising he got me cleaned up, a mold of my upper teeth made, and had a “flipper” denture prepared that was ready to go once they actually pulled the front tooth, so that there was not even a day I had to be toothless in public. Vanity aside, this was a revelation. My flipper was basically a retainer with a front tooth in it. Very sensible design, although I have always been the kind of person with a penchant for distractedly flicking retainers up and down without thinking about it—I had to train myself not to take this habit on the road as it was now my tooth popping up and down and that did not support the allusion of youthful health and wellness that I was trying to achieve. I was reminded of the retainer I lost in Lake Huron when I was 9 after getting braces off. A simple flip and it popped right out of my mouth into the dark water never to be seen again. I had to knock that off now.

The focus on better health sprung from this experience did not last. I did manage to lower my A1-C somewhat, but soon enough it was close to a double digit nightmare again. Nevertheless I moved, got married, put off going to the doctor and started drinking regularly. My life as a diabetic has really been a constant balance of <bare minimum effort to maintain it> combined with <pretending it isn’t there at all>.

But zero effort tends to yield limited success. Five years later I lost another tooth on the top. Living in Colorado then, I went to see a new dentist who made me a second flipper, this time with two teeth on it. Things were serious, but I was still living on the edge—I can beat this! I can outlast diabetes and all its stupid side effects! My A1-C at the time of this second round of tooth pulling was 8.1. The focus on better health sprung from this experience lasted considerably longer than the last one. I started very slowly to begin pulling myself together. And literally there was some real pulling that needed attention. I was spread out across a vast self-deception that had morphed into apathy and somewhat alcoholic tendencies. A banner mix all and all. But I finally started to see beyond the day-to-day survival habits I had carved out for myself. I realized that free spirit sensibilities shouldn’t stop you from seeing the bigger picture. Though it might be bleak, it may also help you reconstruct a better path forward. I can be care-free, but not a moron.

This is all on my mind because I'm currently getting root planing done again by a very handsome periodontist here in California, and I realize that again, I have to put all-systems-go energy into maintaining my best self. I can't be the pretty girl at parties who takes her teeth out for kicks anymore. What is it they say; loose teeth, loose lady? No, I guess no one really says that anywhere. I made that up.

I am a grown up, goddammit! Ha! Here's to 2012.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

(Great movie, by the way.  If only Cameron Diaz had been diabetic in it, then it would have been perfect.)  I had been thinking about sweets lately because I had half a Snickers ™ bar the other day to bust out of a low and it was just about THE BEST THING EVER!!!


I’ve had a lot of influences looking in on my diabetes over the years—I can liken it to political party races in some light—some folks have been staunchly liberal in the idea that I can do anything, eat what I want and just be safe and pay attention.  Others have been nagging and conservative, quietly saying things at parties like,  Ummm can we find something else for Carrie to eat?  while someone hauls out an amazing looking chocolate mousse cake with piles of berries and spun sugar all in the shape of the French Rivera…  And like an addict I do have a fascination with abusing sugar.  I rarely forego the dessert.  I don't overdo it, but I can't not have any...unless it’s something awful like marzipan.  Then diabetes is a great crutch to get out of having any.  Otherwise I crave sweets.  I want them most of the time--and not even elegant things like cheesecake or merengue--I'll jump the fence for some jelly beans.

Lately I have been observing budding teenagers all around as my boyfriend's daughter prepares for high school and has roughly two hundred friends over every other evening.  These girls drink ripping sweet Italian sodas.  Like 40 ounces at a time.  These girls eat candy.  These girls eat candy like nothing I've ever seen.  They tear through Halloween family-size bags of all kinds of crap within a matter of hours and I start obsessing about how unfair it is that their insides are processing it all normally.   Pixie sticks?!  Yes please! 

It's such a simple balance that we keep, but so constant and unrelenting.  Watching these girls go overboard on sweet tarts and taffy (yum and also yum) I remembered myself back in high school and the beginning of college when I was definitely at my worst in terms of taking care of myself--I used to eat candy and throw back jugs of juice with the completely back-ass thought of challenging God almost.  Basically daring a spiritual force to talk me out of it.  It never happened, but I never felt all that great either.  Having grown up somewhat, I do see that, oh yeah, INTELLIGENCE and RESPONSIBILITY and a SENSE OF SELF WORTH are all a part of the magic of beating your chronic affliction...if you are brave and awesome and all that. 

I still do want to be brave and awesome, though every now and then, lately especially, I keep hankering to do some real damage and drink a Mountain Dew that has a bag of gummy worms marinating in it.  The fact that I know the outcome of this scenario is much like the lessons one learns from AA, I guess.  One day at a time.  Don't do it, sister.  Just shrug it off and keep on keepin on. 

ok, ok.   

Friday, July 1, 2011

Point Reyes (Lighthouse Low?)

I took this picture last year from the Lighthouse at Point Reyes on the California coast. Lisa and my shadows are along the bottom toward the right :) I thought of it cause I went really low on that trip too. Maybe I just can't leave the house without having a disastrous low.

Alec thinks I go low in grocery stores on account of a psychosomatic reaction. We have yet to test it, but I will publish the results.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harbin Hot Springs

This past weekend we trekked out to Harbin Hot Springs which is about a 2 hour drive for us. The resort is a small community in Middletown, CA which hosts all the classic California cool hippie-fare, for lack of a better description. Everyone is beautiful, there's a lot of massage and yoga going on, the eats are all organic, in the hot pools you have to remain quiet and no drugs or alcohol on the grounds. And mostly everyone wandering around is naked.

The naked part is new for me too, however I'm getting into it. It is an odd part of the experience but I think a few dips into that daunting pool is enough to sway anybody.  It's fun to hang in the sun and jump in the water as you are--and you get to check everybody else out which is always somewhat reassuring to be honest. Folks come in all sorts of weird sizes with weird additions. It's great.  Just don’t get trapped into any conversations about shamans. 

Hot Tub Therapy, being a real term and all, works great for aches and pain, cardiovascular troubles and arthritis, but for diabetics there is also a whimsical trick hot tubs can play on them—lowering blood sugar.

That’s why we are always listed on the warning signs around hot tubs and spas—"do not use if you have a heart condition, diabetes, blah blah blah"—and I know this to have had huge effects on me throughout the years, dropping my sugars drastically after just half an hour soaking.  So of course I was watching myself carefully at Harbin, drinking tea with jasmine syrup in it to counter the effects of the SUPER HOT pool they have up there—it reaches an illegal sounding 120 degrees and damn, it’s so hard to keep quiet as you try to descend down the stairs without gasping or howling. 

Anyway shortly after we got home, which was a good three hours after soaking in any of the hot springs, my blood sugar dropped hard and fast.  Fast and furious.  Furious and freaken wild.  Alec was biting glucose tablets in half and dropping them into my mouth like a bird to let them dissolve while I pretty much went into convulsions on the couch.  It lasted about 4-6 minutes before the glucose started pulling me back and I lay there looking up at the tapestry I had managed to rip partially off the wall.  Super lows for me are always capped with utter panic and frustration—like your brain just exits the room real quick by accident on its way somewhere else and ends up coming back with a profound sense of the dark side.  Some trick door always gets tripped—then not only am I mad at myself for the low, but the physical toll it takes makes me feel like I’ve gotten hit by a truck.  

It reminded me that it is no joke to mess with the alchemy of blood sugar and hot water.  It also got me thinking that I need a hot tub now to better experiment and nail down a routine to follow.  More to the point, I dream about being prescribed a hot tub that is covered by insurance—yes—and then foregoing calls and other responsibilities because I need to “take my meds” and go sit in it out back.  Oh yes.  Doctor’s orders.  And the blood sugar goes down the old fashioned way…

If you were diabetic at the end of the world, (and I always think about this), could you just live in a hot tub, drinking whiskey and running laps around the neighborhood?  Could you stave off high-blood sugar this way for long?  (I mean long after we have for sure raided and looted the pharmacies for insulin)...