Thursday, May 31, 2007

low creativity?

p.s. : Sometimes I think I have more lucid, creative thoughts when I'm low. Like I think of all these random interesting ideas, or even can synthesize thoughts better than usual. When I was walking home and low (sometime between the 72 and the 55), I had a few ideas about some stuff I've been stewing over and trying to write about all week. This is when I'm just starting to get low I guess, before I get too cranky, although sometimes I thin it happens even when other forms of coordination/strength are starting to go. Anyone else noticed something like this?

Maybe it's like being high or something, an altered brain state gives you a new creative perspective? Lowered inhibitions to think more freely (especially about stuff I'm trying to write and therefore may have anxiety around)? Or maybe it's just the adrenaline rush.


Tested my blood sugar before leaving work tonight: 72. That should be a number I'm really happy about, on the low range of my goal, perfect at a time when I probably will eat a meal soon-ish. It used to be. However, with all the yo-yos I've been having, especially around exercise, and without my pump (I am on shots for a few months to give my pump sites a break; scar tissue was causing really crazy/bad absorption), 72 makes me not happy.

On the pump, I would've turned my basal rate down or off for a while, and probably been fine. Maybe had to eat a little bit of something, maybe not. But on shots...

72 usually means that if I don't do anything, I will get low by the time I'm home or during the trip home, which usually includes almost a mile of walking to and from trains. If I had planned on biking all the way home, forget it. I'd have to get on the train unless I felt like eating a ton of food and risking getting low in a place that I don't feel so comfortable stopping by myself and want all of my strength (mental and physical) and biking abilities that make me safer.

So tonight I ate a fruit leather (bougie hippie natural version of a fruit-roll up) before I started walking even though I didn't really want to. I prefer not spend my food money, appetite, and calories (yeah, I wanted to leave that last one out of this story but I'd be lying) on eating dried fruit or gatorade instead of yummier, healthier, cheaper, more fun real food. That I could eat when I actually am wanting to eat instead of having to.

And I still was low (55) when I got home.

That's not a terrible low, but not where I want to be. Enough to make the walk home less fun, and make me cranky enough that I might pick a fight with family or friends trying to interact with me while I'm low. Also, lows, even really mild ones, don't facilitate good, conscious eating. It's more like grabbing whatever I see and inhaling it standing up instead of enjoying a thought out, balanced meal that I enjoy. And feeling low certainly isn't going to have me actually cooking anything for dinner. Besides being frustrating in and of itself, this is also frustrating and ironic because part of my up and down roller coaster blood sugar issues are because of this very thing - not planning or counting (carbs) well enough, not scheduling sit-down meals on a consistent schedule enough.

I've pinned the problem with not having a pump and exercise or scheduling problems down to 2 major issues, at least for me:
1) Not being able to have different basal rates at different times of the day (eg lower for exercise, higher for sitting around at work). With shots (lantus), you just have one basal for all day and all night.
2) Not being able to make decisions about my insulin 0-120 minutes ahead of time, as you can with the pump. With shots it has to be the meal before and/or the lantus shot up to 24 hours earlier.

How do people not on pumps do exericse? Or... life? I don't get it. I guess the privilege of having the pump for 6 years has really pampered me. Maybe my blood sugars are more wacky and variable than other people's, and I'm sure my erratic schedule doesn't help with that. But really!? How do you do exercise unless you're willing to eat a lot of fast-acting sugar constantly? Or your exercise is a planned trip to the gym at the same time every day that isn't too long of a workout and then you make sure to not move for the rest of the day? That's not really the type of exercise I like or how my life is and I want it to be. I need and love my little walking or biking trips interspersed throughout my day to keep me happy, sane, focused, and to have the time to fit in a lot of exercise because it is part of my commute. And to not have a car, which I don't want (and probably couldn't afford now anyways).

I'm off to attempt a run, hopefully without another low or a high enough to stop me after rebounding from that 55 (and, of course, overtreating it).

For non-insulin-pumpers that need help with vocab: a glossary

Diabetes blogging community and categories

I've been thinking about splitting a separate diabetes blog off of this one. I hadn't planned on posting lots of random daily stories, frustrations (aka my blood sugars are still crazy yo-yoing with exercise, and also drinking in a way that they didn't as much with the pump, and I MISS MY PUMP!!), and successes, more on thoughts or rants about issues that come up from those stories. But it's appealing after finding this huge diabetes blog community that is exciting for me to read, connect with and be a part of.

My pseudo-academic postings and non-diabetes-related rants might be boring and push away people looking for diabetes community. And non-diabetic people here for the other stuff might not be interested in the minutia of my daily issues, and won't get those thrills of connection and intimate familiarity with stupid mundane things that I know I get when reading other diabetes blogs. Maybe I would be able to build more of an interactive community, get more comments, if I split them.

But, let's face it. I can't even keep up with one blog, let alone two. And I don't really like the idea of splitting myself up into separate categories like that anyways.

Edit: I've added more links to other blogs I read sometimes, including a separate list of diabetes ones.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


(critical mass last friday)

thanks for the images

p.s. yay summer!

Monday, May 14, 2007

work less, live more!

I know I've been gone awhile; it's amazing what having a life and some warm weather will do for your time spent online. I have been busy here and also traveled for work and then to see friends, which was wonderful. I'm going to try to get back to blogging, I have a bunch of ideas ruminating....

One thing that came up a lot while I was catching up with people on my trip was jobs. Some of us have recently entered the full-time work world, some of my friends are preparing to do that after they graduate this month.

Basically, I think working a lot of hours sucks in a way that is not recognized or articulated often enough, especially if you are in a middle or upper class position (by salary or by other means) that you have enough resources that you could maybe avoid it. A lot of people have to work more than 40 hours a week to get by, but for the people that don't have to do this to make ends meet, then why do they do it??!?

Some careers require it, at least in some form of training/internship/gatekeeping phase (paralegals before they go to law school, residents who have finished med school but are not yet fully trained doctors) - but recognize that it could be otherwise? Working 40 or 50+ hours a week is taken for granted by a lot of people in the "professional" world. A lot of people talk seriously about wanting to make enough money or more money; less often do I hear people seriously considering working less or challenging the idea of working all the time when planning career choices in the short, but especially the long term. I

I find it's hard for me to fit in working 40 hours a week, commuting, enough sleep, exercise and generally taking care of myself and still have much time left over for a social life or other things I want to do. I feel like I am a little slower than many people at getting everything done, but it still seems like an issue. It's hard for me to imagine having any quality of life while working more and/or having other big responsibilities like a lot of people that work that much have like school or kids on top of all that. That is one reason why I don't at this point see myself wanting kids - your entire life gets taken over! This time issue is also another major reason why I'm considering applying to nursing school instead of medical school - med students and residents sometimes work 80 hour weeks. I can't imagine doing this and being able to take care of myself. Or be happy/sane/have any friends. Which is important to me.

I think part of what has gotten me thinking about this is recognizing the need to take care of myself, and that is not as deceptively easy as it might seem when you are stressed or working a lot or taking a lot of classes. Another part has been the anti-work politics and ideas that surfaced at my school, both in and out of class. This is a broader idea of challenging an industrious work ethic and work being inherently virtuous, but is also linked to the idea of a shorter work week.

The fact that in most other industrialized countries, especially Europe, they have a shorter work week and more vacation time (I only have 2 weeks a year, what is that?!) makes it seem more plausible to me, and not a totally wacky idea that we could work less. There's a "take back your time" campaign that looks interesting, although they are quick state that they are not anti-work.