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)...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Canada Post Down!

As someone who had been raised completely responsibly with an understanding of proper maintenance of my health and regular visits to the doctor, it is somewhat appaling to see how I have oblitered foresight and proper planning at this point in my life. 

For a good 8 months now I had been ordering insulin from a Canadian pharmacy--they don't require a prescription (which is good because when you stop going to the doctor you stop getting them).  I didn't stop going to the doctor on purpose though--I swear!--I had reasons which included a 6 month stint of being uninsured, followed up by a move out of state before getting reinsured but once re-established I found, ha ha, that my new insurance only applied in Colorado while I was now located in California.  (this is a much longer story, you understand =)

BUT last week I put in an order with my trusty Cannuck Pharmy only to find that Canada's recent  nation-wide postal strike had put a stop to all mail delivery, thus blocking my ingenius and reasonable method of securing my meds.   It was a hurdle I had not anticipated.  I had to get creative.  Which I did.
In the meantime now I have a single bottle of Lantus and a single bottle of Humalog dwindling down until the end of July when I make the trek to Colorado to go see my old doctor and hopefully get a goddam prescription at last.  My doctor has never been good about renewing prescriptions for me when I can't come in for visits--which seems ultimately unfair to me considering that I need the insulin no matter what, but I'm not splitting hairs.  I'm down with the negotiation and trouble.  Bring it on!  He is going to laugh when I tell him...

or he may punch me in the face...