Thursday, November 14, 2013

World Diabetes Day. A Poem.

(I totally stole this idea from Kerri.  Her poem's awesome.)

Have you drunk enough water?
Have you had enough food?
These are questions I'm asking,
Though I'm not in the mood.

No, I'm not in the mood
to count carbs like crazy.
But I know when I don't,
Everything will get hazy.

When the numbers are wacky,
I don't seem to know why.
I've done nothing different,
So why am I high?

Exercise is a must,
Though I know when I do it,
A low is a-comin,
I'll just have to get through it.

Leaving the house
Is a whole new ordeal.
Do I have all the supplies,
That I'll need to stay real?

Do I have all the needles,
the insulin too?
The pump set infusion,
And glucagon new?

The doctors they tell me
That everything's fine,
But come back tomorrow,
Because it's a fine line.

Machines are all running,
They pump and they check.
They keep things all humming,
So I'm not a wreck.

The cure, it'll be here.
It's due any day.
That's what they tell me,
Yes, that's what they say.

In the meantime, I wonder
If I can have milk.
I ask the same questions
As those of my ilk.

It's a cruel game we're playing,
This sugar roulette,
With the pancreas taunting -
"You get what you get".

They just keep on pounding,
These drums in my head.
It's while I'm awake,
And while I'm in bed.

So here's to the people.
The people who pray,
The people who celebrate,
World Diabetes Day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Me And "The Green Smoothie Girl"

Ok, first of all, you might get offended at this post.  If so, I'm sorry, and I hope we can still be friends.

Also, as it turns out, there are a lot of CAPS in this post.  Sorry, and yes, I'm yelling.

So, here goes:

The one "cure" I get the most is green smoothies.  Hands down.  I hear this a lot.  "Go on a juice fast.  Green juice only.  It solves everything."  "No, not juice. Smoothies.  Green smoothies."  "Green that.."

I know processed food is bad.  I've read quite a bit about it.  I'm against food colorings, hydrogenated oils, all that terrible stuff. (Flavor blasted goldfish are not good for you.  That's all I'm saying).

They send me to different websites about various spas and such, and "The Green Smoothie Girl" comes up a lot.  Hey, I'm into whatever will help, and greens?  Who says those are bad?  Anybody? So I go to her website.

Immediately the first thing I see is a video where she chats with a "Dr." who cured himself of Type 1 eating raw.  This used to be on her main page, now you have to dig through her site to find it.

Go.  Check it out.  (It will piss you off if you are diabetic, but go anyway).  It's the second video.  The very first thing she says is how remarkably simple it is to reverse Type 2, but HERE we have a Type 1....

It's so awesome.  So miraculous. (where is the sarcasm font?)

"Prior to eating raw, my blood sugar averaged about 300, which is high..."  Um yeah.  If your blood sugar was averaging 300, you have some serious issues with control, and your medical team needs to be changed. No wonder you felt crappy.  You were not doing what the medical community was advising.

Then he eats raw food for 30 days, and voila!  He's ALL BETTER.  (Actually, he's just eating food that doesn't require insulin.  Oh, and he still needs insulin if he's sick, but STILL, he's CURED)

When I dug through her site to find the video again, I have to get angry again, as I see the first statement, in which she states "I doubt they have ever tried to heal the pancreas".

Oh, you "doubt that" do you?


(Well, OK.  That comes second to keeping us alive with insulin.)

Every doctor I have ever talked to about diabetes (and yes, they have "bought into the endocrinology story") says that the research points to regeneration if the immuno attack is stopped.  They used to think it was just in honeymooning diabetics, but more and more they are realizing that many Type 1's make insulin for far longer than the initial honeymoon phase.  It probably isn't all of us, but it's more than they thought, and that is exciting, exciting, news. Healing the pancreas is PRIORITY #1.

But, no.  They've bought into the terrible medicine story, and want everybody to die a horrible, sickly death. They won't tell you that.  Only she will.

Here she is talking as if her special doctors (and only go holistic, peeps!  Only HOLISTIC) are the only ones who will tell you the secret of islet cell regeneration. Nope.  Pretty sure they're all shouting that from the rooftops.  It's just that we haven't figured out that pesky little immuno attack thing.  I took a study drug (placebo! Dammit!) that tried to regenerate those lovely islet cells. That was over 4 years ago.  Not a secret. 

There's more.  If you don't want to look, the link is a lovely little story about someone taking "no supplemental insulin" after 3 weeks of going vegan.

Except here's where the definition of "supplemental" comes in. He's still on his long acting.  He takes less of it, to be sure, but he still needs that.

(It reminded me a lot of my colonoscopy prep, actually.  I ate very very little, and took probably 10% of my basal and that was it.  What a miracle.)

All in all, it's a nice little uplifting story of  "reducing insulin usage".  Paraphrasing here - "It's so crazy!  I'm eating raw veggies and I need far less insulin?  Who knew?"


This guy doesn't need to bolus anymore!  Just basal!  Nobody will tell you this!


If you don't do the basal, you'll eventually starve to death, but that's a quibble, really.

Actually, before insulin, they did starve diabetics, because hey, no food=no insulin necessary (they didn't know about insulin yet, but this is why the starvation diet works). They did allow small amounts of veggies and meat.  But yes, veggies basically don't require a bolus.  Well, some do, but spinach and kale and what not, not so much. Your basal should cover that just fine.  This is what those "evil conspiring doctors" do know, and they will tell you this.

It's too bad, really, that she makes these leaps.  Because so much of what she says is true.  Americans eat like crap.  We eat way too much sugar, processed foods, and drink too much soda.  We don't drink enough water and we don't eat enough veggies.  And if you do her program, you probably will experience weight loss, more energy, and clearer skin.  It probably will clear up some of your other health issues, your blood pressure will drop, your cholesterol possibly, and you'll probably feel pretty good. That's basic.  The body likes real food, and it likes green food. I'm not disputing that, and I think it's a great message.

I don't know why, however, she takes that and then makes these leaps into saying that doctors won't tell you the truth, (because they don't know it) and that diabetes can be cured.  That dietitians have all bought into the misinformation that they learned in college, and are under the thumb of the lobbyists from the meat and dairy industry.  No dietitian has ever read as much as the Green Smoothie Girl.  She's read the most.  And if you disagree with her, you just haven't read the studies she has.

I've met with a few dietitians in my lifetime.  The first thing they all say?  "Nobody gets enough vegetables.  Eat all the green vegetables you want.  Then eat some more. Drink a lot of water."  They're all agreeing with her basic message. If you ask them about juicing and smoothies?  "Go for it."   Although, since being diabetic, I have received the advice to be super careful with juice and smoothies, especially if they contain fruit.  Fruit juice is highly glycemic, and should only be used to raise lows.  Do they like processed food?  NO.  Do they like soda? NO. Do they like MSG? NO.  Big fan of hydrogenated oils?  Not so much.

So, plain green smoothies I could probably do.  Except that everybody I've ever talked to that does smoothies adds fruit.  They say it's the only way they're at all palatable. So there's that. Fun.

She also thinks she can cure cancer.  I don't know anything about cancer, and hopefully I will never have to find out.  Color me skeptical.

She does backtrack a little.  She gets a lot of hate mail when she talks about diabetes reversal and apparently never has she raised the ire of readers more than when she posted that awful video, and in that other post I linked she backpedals and says that she's never told people to go off insulin or metformin without being under the care of a competent physician.  Wait, what?  She actually admits that she's not competent to give medical advice?  That goes against everything else her website says, where she basically tells you to listen to her and not the terrible medical establishment, (unless you need to once a year, which hopefully you won't) but I was glad to see that.

Still. She and I will probably disagree on what a competent physician is, but hey.  We'll probably agree about statin meds. She "just" says the body can regenerate. That's all. Which is true.  Which we all know.

You can reduce your insulin needs by going raw!

Duh, sweetie.  But you can't ignore them.

You can cure yourself of everything with green smoothies! That medical establishment just wants your money.  (I agree, they do). Buy my books!  And my oils!  Come to my lectures!

In one breath she says she isn't on the fringe, she just wants people to eat more greens, and in the next she's reversing Type 1. I guess we disagree on what the fringe is.

No you can't cure everything with green smoothies. But you can try.  It will work for some things, but please stop taking these crazy leaps from "it's good for you" to "you don't need insulin anymore".  It's very, very dangerous.

Anyway.  This is my rant. I have never met this person. I'm sure she's done a lot of good for a lot of people. Green food is good for you.

She makes me crazy.

I hope we can still be friends.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween is Over. Halle-freakin-lujah.

I don't know if you know this, but I hate Halloween.  People think it's because I'm diabetic, and that certainly doesn't help, but I've pretty much always hated it.  I simply don't get it.  At all.

It's all just so weird.

Let's terrify children.  It's hilarious.

Let's put on skanky costumes.  On our children and ourselves.  It's awesome to see normally upstanding professions like nurses and cops look super sexy. Or sexy cartoon characters.  Those are fun.

Let's go to strangers houses and ask for candy.  Repeated for hours on end.  This results in mass amounts of candy, none of which is good for anybody, much less a diabetic.

Let's deal with the mood swings, tooth decay, stomachaches, and fighting that are the neverending gifts this candy provides.

Let's celebrate death by putting hanging nooses on our houses and pretending to have dead bodies hang out of our cars.  It's SO FUN!

Isn't this hilarious?  What with the decapitation and the blood?

I hate it.  I hate it all.  But I do it, because, as Sheldon would say, it's "the social convention."  I don't do all of it, of course.  My house remains giant spider free, because, really. REALLY?  Basically, I do the bare minimum. I allow my children to dress up and go trick or treating.  I hand out candy if people come over, but our neighborhood is not one really frequented, the houses are far apart, and the driveways are long. It's not great trick-or-treating fodder.

I am what is known as a Halloween grinch, and I am OK with it. (I ADORE fall, though, and wish we didn't have to mutilate pumpkins, and we could just display them without faces and eat them).

Now, let's talk about this particular Halloween, which was actually the scariest one I've had yet.

I was out with my friends walking around in cold weather, in one of those "cool" neighborhoods where people go all out and depict suicides in the windows, because - hilarious! - watching candy overflow everywhere, and I went low.  I had eaten a cookie before we left, I had a Starburst, I still had to filch some carbs from a plastic pumpkin.  I was grumpy, and I apologize to my friends, because really, when I'm in a mood like that, I shouldn't be around people. My fuse is very short when I get like that, and giant spiderwebs just aren't helping.  Also, I like to pretend I'm normal, and that diabetes isn't affecting me 24/7.  When it's obvious like that, I don't enjoy it.

Anyway, I kept eating, walking, and trying to pretend it's not the worst day of the year, and my sugars came up and I was fine.  Came home to my teenager and her friends, who were gracious enough to come over at a last minute invite, and had a warm drink, Dex didn't like me going high, but it didn't spike that much.  I was good.

Until sometime in the night, I woke up, again feeling very very low.  The Dex must have beeped and buzzed, and that's possibly what woke me, or maybe it was the low itself.  Dex said 54, with an angled arrow downward. Here was my "thought process":

I am "low."

I should do something when I'm "low".

I can't remember what that is.

I have a pump now.  I should do something with that.  Turn it off?  I am "low".  I need to do something. What do I do when I'm "low"?

I'm pretty sure I need to do something.

Ah.  Check sugars.  That's what I do.  (BTW, this is wrong. Always treat first)

My meter said 106.  I was aware enough to know that wasn't right, I felt way too crappy for that.  I figured I had something on my hands, so I got up and rinsed my fingers and checked again.  Yes. 54.  Exactly as Dex said.

The getting up, the cold water, maybe just waking up more, SOMETHING kicked my brain into gear.


And I did.  And I felt better.

And then I tried not to freak out that I wasn't really aware of how to treat the low.  That my brain was that affected.  It must have been because I was so tired, plus the low.  And so I talk myself out of it, because all's well that ends well.

And then I dreamed of my family dying horrible deaths, and all I was worried about was what I was going to wear to the press conference, because for some reason, it was national news.

And then I got a migraine, courtesy of diabetes.

Good bye Halloween, hello National Diabetes Month.  Welcome.