I read a tweet about a girl who gave herself an insulin shot in a classroom setting and managed to disrupt someone’s world. I’m being sarcastic. My response would not have been so polite, at least if she had made a second comment.
It brought to mind how I do things differently in modern times compared to back in the day when Fred Flintstone and I rode around together, feels like that at times. Back then if we went out to eat, my mom or dad went to the bathroom with me and drew up and injected right there in one of the dirtiest rooms possible. Why? Stigmatism. In those days if you saw someone with a syringe in a bathroom it was, what drugs are you using? That was on my mind each and every time we did that. It made me self conscious that I was making someone else feel uncomfortable.
I spent years trying to not offend or irritate people I didn’t know or really care about. My dad was really bad about this. “Let’s go in here to stay out of the way.” Seemed more like a “lets stay hidden so they don’t know we have issues” kind of move.
Now, I don’t care if someone sees me shooting up. I even call it that. Shooting up is usually a term used by druggies getting high, not diabetics saving their own lives. I never go into a bathroom to inject anymore. If someone flushes a toilet you just got sprayed with fecal bacteria. Does not matter much that you used alcohol or other disinfectant because once it dries it no longer works. That bacteria could hang in the air for several minutes before landing on the counter or faucet. Sorry to ruin people’s meals but this is reality.
I’ve had people come up and ask if I was diabetic, while I was injecting. There are so many of us now it is not as odd to see someone injecting in a restaurant or store as it once was. 22 million of us in the USA alone and about 10% of them are type 1, insulin dependent for those not versed in the language. I make no apologies as I have come to terms with the fact that I die without it and refuse to say sorry for that.
My first response to someone who says they are not comfortable with me injecting is to take into consideration their timing. If they say something while I’m drawing the insulin from the bottle I will politely excuse myself to another area to jab and go. Some people are sacred of needles and I get that. If they have waited, watching me draw it up and then say something while I have the needle stuck in my skin, well, they just out of luck. I am going to continue. A person who waits until it is too late will most likely be the person who pitches the biggest tantrum as well.
That is when my inner ass comes out. He is not nice nor is he well behaved. He will tell you most likely what you do not want to hear. I try to leave him at home but there are people in this world who seem to just be hunting for him. If you wish to be rude do not expect that to be a one way conversation. The worst mistake you can make is to think that because I am an “inferior” diabetic that I can’t defend myself. lol Game on.
I started a new job this weeks and to say that I was not nervous about it would be a bold faced lie. After my initial experience with my new pump and the adjustment I went through, I was highly nervous about how bad things could get that first week. I’ve been doing research on body fat and its affect on insulin. The reason for this sudden interest is simple. My doctor told me when I first talked to her that they have a negative effect on insulin. Being over weight like I have gotten over the last few years is bad. I’m trying to remember her exact words but its basically was that fat acts like an insulator for insulin. The more of it you have the more insulin you need because of its effects on your absorption of insulin. With this new job I plan to start losing all this extra weight I packed on since I last had a real job that I could work hard at. After leaving the factories to try my hand in human services, read that taking care of developmentally disabled individuals, and then moved into security I found myself slowly getting fat. Yes I should have cut down on my food intake but I had always planned to start exercising more to make up for it. OK well anyway………. Long story short I gained about 20+ lbs. over maybe 2 years. Enough that all my older jeans no long fit. I now am empathetic toward pregnant women who deal with this during the 9 months. OK back to topic now, this excess fat will end up costing me more in insulin. I will keep taking more insulin to do the same work as long as I stay fat. Loose this extra fat and the amount of insulin I need also will drop. Not to mention the fact I will not have to drag around this extra and that extra weight according to the height and weight chart I found on line, I should weigh about 180 lbs. max. Well at 261 lbs. currently I am 81 lbs. overweight, I take issue with the that ideal weight since have been a weight lifter and will be again. Muscle weighs more than fat so I feel that ideal weight should be a reference rather than a rock solid goal. So I have an extra 81 lbs. of fat wrapped around in my body that needs to go. Imagine all the damage it has been doing already. I found an article from Jade Teta who is an integrative physician and author on this subject from the http://www.metaboliceffect.com/science-insulin/ web page. Insulin causes many different effects on the human body and resistance to the insulin he says is not an all or nothing concept. The liver will react one way and the muscle another and to different degrees. Sorry if some of this is hard to understand. I get the basics of this all and am trying to relate it here without complicating the message. From what I read of the article, please read it yourself to get the whole message, when the liver looses its ability to sense and respond to glucose it is the party to create most of the metabolism issues. The resistance is brought on by the massive amounts of insulin given in injections and the bolus amounts although not as much. The pump gives the insulin over a longer time. An inject for me took as little as 3 or 4 second from start of plunger push to end. The pump will deliver he same insulin in a way longer time, in some cases over 1 minute. That big dump of insulin is not given in one shot but over an extended time frame, much better. Score one for the pump! I was told by my doctor that I had over the 36 years of being a diabetic, developed a lack of being able to sense lows and I now wonder if this has anything to do with that issue. In other words I fought long and hard to not get a pump and now that I was kind of led into that decision, I feel that my clod feet syndrome was a bad idea. There is no Dr. or M.D. with his name so I am just calling him Mr. Teta, says that the war between insulin and cortisol, adrenaline, and non adrenaline is what creates biggest problems for metabolic issues. Mr. Teta calls it the key to insulin resistance and also “the most insidious metabolic disturbance of the modern day”. Wow. As I said before the article has a lot of technical terms in it about triglycerides and other chemical names and processes but the under the tab of insulin and fat storage it makes me cringe. Insulin can push your body into storing more sugar as fat than it should. It make sense to me. I said earlier I was into to weight lifting more as a power building than body building but I got bigger regardless. Big arms and legs but one area I always had issues with was first the backs of my arms and then my stomach being fatter than the other parts of me. The reasoning I came to was that these were the areas I was injecting the insulin. In fact once I started in my stomach it quickly became quite visible. Quickly being maybe a year as my arms had been used for better than 20 years to give shots. If I can lower the amount of insulin maybe I can work at getting this fat off also. I just found the key to fixing all this resistance of insulin. Exercise. Plain and simple exercise. Mr. Teta says that muscle contraction is an independent method of moving glucose into the cells and also increases the number of glucose receptor on the surface of the cells. Well Mr. Teta didn’t say that but he referred to a 2010 study from the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism that discusses it. It goes on to talk about using resistance training to decrease insulin resistance and increase the body’s ability to store glucose. The growth of faster twitch muscle fibers have the best benefit for insulin and blood sugar control. I am shedding a tear now as I realize the heavy lifting I love to do but had to give up when money was tight was the one things I had been doing that was helping me with my blood sugar control. I can remember at times when I would stop lifting for either medical reasons or just to jump over a stalled workout routine and after just a few days, 4 maybe 5 that my blood sugars would start getting out of whack again. Once I started back up again they would drop right back into place and I felt better quickly again. I’m in almost full tear mode here since I love lifting heavy. It began back in high school and I kept with it for many years after as well. I have not seen the inside of the weight room since the beginning of last year, 2012 and can see the effects. I am fatter, weaker and my blood sugars are all over the place. I’m going to end this blog now and go eat breakfast and then this afternoon I will start a workout routine to begin getting back into shape. Seeing where I have been, where I am, and where I want to be it just makes good sense to go back to what I love.