Ethics 101

I currently work for a very corporate company and in a recent meeting my boss was mentioning business ethics.  Of course this concept is everywhere these days.  Go to any true corporate website and you will most surely find a page dedicated to informing you of their corporate responsibility.  Nowadays, as a society, we highly value a company that can not only make billions in revenue but also abide by ethical standards.  Of course how transparent these companies are is to be debated. I am not going to get into that here.  What I will say is why aren’t we taught human responsibility?  And no I’m not talking about spending $1.00 a day to save a child’s life in a third world country.  Is it too much to ask to save your own?  What I gather is that it is corporate’s responsibility to do right by us and its our individual respnsibility to….to take care of everyone else???  Now don’t get me wrong; I am a hippie at heart and love humanitarianism (my dream has always been to be an attorney that practices international human rights law for refugees), however, how on earth are you able to take care of someone else if you are not properly taking care of yourself? 

OK. So where am I going with this?  Ethics needs to be retaught.  We need to learn the ethics of doing right by our bodies.  We are all caught up in what we need to do for others or what others are doing around us that we completely neglect our selves.  If becoming diabetic has taught me anything it is that I MUST TAKE CARE OF MY HEALTH. FOR ME.  NO EXCUSES. And then for everyone else.  It’s just like how the mother should put the oxygen mask on first and then proceed to save her children.  You can’t do anything if your body and health are not right.  I am a mom so this really hits home with me. 

Take a look at this: in this month’s Diabetes Forecast Magazine I read “Type 1 diabetes is on the rise, according to researchers who studied 20 years of data on Philadelphia children up to age 14.  The frequency of diabetes diagnoses rose by a third in all kids…In kids under age 4, the rate of diabetes diagnoses rose by 70 percent”  70 percent!!!!!  It then goes on to say, “The researchers aren’t sure why diabetes may be increasing at such a rate in younger children.”  (Are you kidding me? You can’t even postulate that it has something to do with our incorrect food pyramid, carelsssly promoted processed foods and lack of play?)  And children are not the only ones being diagnosed Type 1.  I am proof.  The number of adults being diagnosed has also increased. 

I’m not here to preach but why aren’t we making a change?  We value ethics so how is it so easy in one sentence to say that a disease has risen 70 percent but then write it off by saying we don’t know why this is happening.  The answer is right in front of us.  Let’s start focusing on our selves.  Focus on what we are eating instead of chalking it up to “I had a stressful day so it’s ok” or “The food pyramid says so” and how we are moving/exercising instead of “I’m too tired” or “this is just my body type.”  Let’s also teach our children, the new generation, the ethics of nutrition and taking care of their bodies so that living a satisfying life doesn’t just come from good grades and becoming some well-to-do company man.  Have your own personal mission statement and begin by taking a minute to look in the mirror and hold yourself accountable. Because in the end you know it is the right thing to do.


Peanut Butter Heartbreak and Allergy Misconceptions

I say it over and over again that for so long I really had no clue about my body.  But that’s because I really had no clue.  I could say my body has been an experiment but actually my life has recently been an experiment on how to live harmoniously with my body.  I realize now that it’s talking to me. Helllloooooooo there!!!! It’s been saying to me.  Luckily I finally pulled the earplugs of naivety and denial out of my ears.

After being diagnosed Type 1 diabetic obviously there was a major adjustment to my diet.  OK no more rice for me but reasonable carb, high protein peanut butter heck yes! It was my “treat.”  When I was feeling bad it was there to comfort me…until I started realizing it was doing more harm than good.

All of a sudden I felt like I was in high school again.  My face was breaking out, my back and my chest too.  Since I had changed so many things I was eating it was a difficult process of elimination.  It wasn’t until I eliminated everything else that I realized it was the peanut butter! My precious peanut butter!  Low and behold when I removed it from my eating repertoire my skin cleared up.  And that was that. No more peanuts.  Clear beautiful skin.

When I tell people I am allergic to peanuts 98% of the time they ask me if I go into anaphylactic shock.  Seriously?  What are we learning about health growing up?  Oh yeah we’re required ONE semester of health.  Not everyone’s allergy manifests in the same way and not every allergy manifests via anaphylactic shock.

Another example, I am allergic to sulfa drugs (no Coldeeze or multi-vitamins for me), Cipro (used to treat UTIs) and the dye Red 40.  When I ingest these I break out with small hives on my feet and ankles.  I remember getting sick and taking a bunch of coldeeze only to wake up with itchy feet.  Hmmmm could it be althetes foot? Ewwwww.  I sprayed the hell out of my feet to no avail until I realized it was an allergic reaction.  When I went to the doctor they didn’t believe me saying that allergic reactions come out on the trunk of your body first.  Needless to say I never went back to that doctor.

Back to peanuts.  I have always loved peanut butter as I think you can tell.  I used to eat it all the time growing up.  In retrospect I doubt I would have had the “acne” I did in high school had I not been eating peanut butter.  I wasn’t listening to my body.  I always chalked it up to hormones never a faulty immune system.

If there is anything you can take away from this post it is this:

Take the time to pay attention to your body.  The soul and the body must be in tune with each other.  It is not simply your physical vehicle.  Don’t let your ego think it is more important.  If your body is doing something out of the ordinary don’t be so quick to write it off.  Stop and take the earplugs out.

Secondly, don’t doubt your feelings and thoughts when it comes to your body just because a medical professional tells you you are incorrect or because status quo states otherwise.  You and your body are one; you’re on the same team.  Set yourself up with confidence in your life and you will always feel like you are winning.

Boston Today

While this post has nothing to do with diabetes or nutrition I couldn’t help but write about an observation of mine regarding the events that took place in Boston today.

First, I just can’t understand how any decent human being can attempt to hurt another in any capacity.  Its just sick.  It’s unconscionable. Sadly there are those who do things like this.  They were not hugged enough as children.  That’s no joke.  I am a mom and I take that seriously.

Secondly, I’m quite surprised at how many graphic photos are floating around.  Growing up (in America) I don’t remember seeing pictures of this nature, either in the newspaper or on the news.  When I see gore in a movie for example I get extremely squeamish.  But I think this is partly because I haven’t been accustomed to seeing it all my life.  It seems that these graphic photos of the aftermath are what people want to see.  You can do a search for “graphic boston photos” and they will show up.  It signals to me that people want to see the truth, as ugly and horrifying as it is, we want to know and understand the reality.  Perhaps knowing this reality will ignite something in us.  To stand up for ourselves and/or make a change.  To say “this isn’t right.”

It hurts my heart to think that these people’s lives have been turned upside, unknowingly by the will of some evil person(s).  I hope those affected can push forward and show the sick people who did this that the human spirit is far greater than what they did today.

Sweat is Good

Sometimes I think to myself how far I’ve come to learn about my body in the past year.  There was a lot I didn’t know about it.  I feel like the body I knew for 28 years is not the same one I know now.  As I continue to research and read about physiology of the body (for personal interest, I am not a doctor), I come across new ideas about my body.  For example,  when I look back to when I was younger, I rarely sweat growing up.  I’d like to say I was very active but I don’t remember drenching t-shirts ever.  I was actually glad about this.  No nasty sweat stains for me!  Some will say that certain people genetically sweat more or less than others.  I used to think this was the case.  But now I don’t think that’s entirely true, at least for myself.

I’ve been bad the past few months: eating more carbs than I probably would like to and hardly exercising. Maybe because it has been winter? Anyway, last week I started walking on my treadmill again when the kids go to bed or I’ll ask hubs to give me 30 minutes time while he plays with them.  I walk just enough to get me sweating, (the incline setting helps), and I am in awe that my body is doing this.  My whole life it has been difficult to sweat and now I can get a nice sweat going after a good walk on the treadmill???? What gives right?  OK so maybe a portion of it is genetics, I’m still not sweating buckets but there has been a change.  I really think that the fact I wasn’t sweating previously was an indication something wasn’t right.  I now know it had something to do with my diabetes.

I am sure my inability to produce enough insulin at all times just sucked the life out of me, literally.  I’ve never been one to drink a lot of water either so inability to produce adequate insulin together with low water consumption equals serious dehydration.  I am pretty sure I was consistently dehydrated.  No wonder why I always had dry skin and never sweat!  When I found out I was diabetic the urgent care I went to put me on an IV.  They told me it would take about an hour to drain the bag.  Ummmm 30 minutes later that baby was empty!

Most people think of sweat and say “Ewww gross!” But for me it is so reassuring to feel beads of sweat running.  It tells me that my body is functioning differently than it used to and that’s a good thing.  Insulin, eating low carb and drinking 3-4 liters of water a day (I literally carry my liter water bottle everywhere I go, ask my husband) help me stay hydrated.  Can anyone diagnosed as diabetic later in life relate to my experience with sweating?  If so please share!

Pump Review and Progress

Gosh I can’t believe I wasn’t able to write not one single post all week!  I feel disappointed in myself for this.  On a daily basis something will pop into my head and I think “I have got to write this in my blog!”  Sadly, even with all the technology at my fingertips I lose all of these ideas and then when I get to my keyboard to type I’m left with a big question mark.

This week, no this month, no wait this year I have experienced a lot of firsts and an unusual amount of change.  My kids are finally old enough to go to preschool, I’ve made an abrupt career change, I feel like I am entering a new phase of my marriage after 5 years (not bad just changed), my all around health knowledge and habits have changed, not to mention the way I present and feel about myself has changed (hence the tattoo).

I started two new jobs this week.  I signed with Keller Williams and began a part-time job working for two financial advisors at MetLife doing marketing.  But wait the title of this post is “Pump Progress” so I suppose I should get to one of my other “firsts.”  This week was also my first week using my insulin pump.  Minus the first few days of VERY high blood sugars I am very happy with it.  It is an adjustment wearing it.  I clip it onto my bra, sometimes you can see it sometimes you can’t.  I was worried about my children snagging the tubing (they are 2 and 3 1/2) but nonesuch happened.  In fact, they asked what it was and I explained to them that its mommy’s new medicine and that its a very important machine that they have to be careful with or mommy could get hurt.  Of course all they want to do is push the buttons.  Thank goodness it is set up in such a way that it would be very difficult for them to accidentally give me a bolus.  Way to go Medtronic!

I’ve also adjusted my carb ratio which was way off.  I know they were avoiding lows by being conservative but I had already known that a 20 gram carb ratio was not correct.  So I changed it to 15 and I am feeling better.  I still think my basal is a little low.  Before I was taking 14 units of Lantus but when I started the pump my dietitian put me on 10 units of basal per day. I think it should be around 12.

A cool feature of the pump is that I can set multiple basal settings (?!?!?!?!).  Basically, there may be times of the day for which you require more basal than others.  For example, I have noticed that I need more basal from about midnight to 5am.  I am told this is common but not always the case.  I only have one basal rate currently until I sort of “confirm” exactly when I need more or less.  It’s only been a week.  But the fact that I can even do this blows my mind! Forget the Lantus!

The new meter I got (the mBayer Contour Next which I highly recommend to pump and non-pump users) can “talk” wirelessly to my pump.  Mind blown again.  I check my sugar on my meter and it automatically sends the information to my pump which is stored for 12 minutes.  I can then choose to correct my blood sugar if it is high or if at mealtime enter a carb number and it will both correct (if necessary) and bolus. I love numbers but I hate doing math so this is a total win for me.  No more calculating in my head!

If that wasn’t amazing enough, it also keeps track of how much “active” insulin is still floating around.  According to my dietitian and pump instructors when you bolus the insulin stays in your system for approximately 6 hours.  There is a steep curve so most of it is used in the first two hours but thereafter some still remains.  If I am going to bolus for a meal, it takes my current blood sugar, then the number of carbs I will be eating and then subtracts the amount of any residual active insulin to calculate exactly how much I need.  I mean man are we lucky nowadays!  I admit I get frustrated with my diabetes from time to time but if I try and imagine having to deal with this decades ago, without sophisticated technology…I just can’t.

Aside from this I can also set alarms to remind me to check my blood sugar 2 hours after a meal.  I think you have to have some smarts to use this thing but really this thing does pretty much all the thinking for you.  All in all it’s pretty amazing.  It is going to take some getting used to attaching it to my body every three days ( the FDA has only approved use of the attachment parts for three days) however I see many benefits to having this over the insulin pens.

There is so much more I can comment on but I will post again and go over some other things.  This post is getting long.  Friday nights are now my dedicated blog nights so there is a limit to what I can write in a couple of hours.  I hope that others out there considering using the pump who want a personal account of someone using it for the first time will read this and feel comfortable getting an idea of what it’s like and encourage them to seek more information.  I know that there is a lot of medical information out there on professional medical websites but we are definitely in need of real life stories.

Comments and questions about the pump and my experience are certainly welcome.