Monthly Archives: January 2006

Friday cat blogging.

Our older two, Nepenthe (Neppie, torbie) and Karelia (Kari, orange & white tabby):

Getting to know all about me.

From Julia:

Movies You Need To See To Understand Me Better:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Dead Poets Society
High Fidelity
Miracle on 34th Street (original, black & white)
Office Space
Say Anything

Albums You Need To Listen To Understand Me Better:

Tuonela – Amorphis
Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi
Crush – Bon Jovi
New Miserable Experience – Gin Blossoms
Ozzmosis – Ozzy Osborne
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – Sarah McLachlan
October Rust – Type O Negative
High Fidelity soundtrack
Vanilla Sky soundtrack

TV Shows You Need to (Have) Watch(ed) To Understand Me Better:

Growing Pains
The Office
Party of Five
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Books You Need To Read To Understand Me Better

Anne of Green Gables
The Canterbury Tales
Desert Solitaire
Fahrenheit 451
The Hours
Prodigal Summer
Towing Jehovah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Games You Need To Play To Understand Me Better:

Trivial Pursuit

Periodicals You Need To Read To Understand Me Better:

Bon Appetit
Cooking Light
Boulder Daily Camera
Diabetes Self-Management

Catalogs You Need To Get–not necessarily order from–To Understand Me Better:

Eddie Bauer
LL Bean

Places You Need To Visit To Understand Me Better:

Stevens Point, WI

Friday cat blogging

Last week I featured Perl, one of our younger three littermates. Here are her partners in crime, Kahlua and Athena Edwina:

The return of Friday cat blogging.

The name and theme of this blog may have changed over the past couple months, but I decided to resurrect my participation in FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING.

I present to you…Perl:

Reaction post.

Although The New York Times series on diabetes in New York may have had some flaws surrounding lack of information on type 1 diabetes and using scare tactics in the first couple of installments, I think there were some valid points made that New Yorkers (and the rest of the country and world) needed to read. The main issues are prevention of type 2 diabetes and prevention of complications for people with either type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The most important thing to realize about type 2 diabetes is how the incidence of the disease has skyrocketed in the past 25 years. It’s all about processed foods and lack of exercise. Even people of traditionally ethnic backgrounds are eating more processed food and less homemade food as convenience rules over the idea of good nutrition. A huge conundrum results from the fact that processed food is easier served from food banks than homemade food. Better to feed unhealthy food than to let someone go hungry. Although there has been some progress on getting soda, juice, and snack machines out of elementary and secondary schools, they are not obsolete. On the other hand, exercise during the school day IS becoming obsolete with less funding for physical education or even recess. Eating well and exercising are keys to preventing type 2 diabetes as well as many other diseases, yet many people would rather continue to avoid them for a variety of excuses such as time, money, and convenience issues.

The other important point is that diabetes is not getting the funding needed to treat those with diabetes who are still otherwise healthy. There are many people, with both type 1 and type 2, who do not have adequate health insurance to help them stay healthy and avoid complications. There are many people, with both type 1 and type 2, who do not understand their disease. Rather than spending money on routine care, health insurance companies and the government’s programs end up spending money on complications of diabetes. Instead of providing education to otherwise healthy people with diabetes about the disease, health care workers criticize those who have reached the point of irreversible complications. Sometimes even the health care workers could use a short course in diabetes care.

This is a problem that is not going away. Many around the diabetes online community have commented on this series so far, though the three most prominent posts have come from type 1′s.

Tyler says: “The fast food industry has done a great job making their food seem cool.”

Elizabeth posted comments from the NYT series discussion forum. This was particularly moving, from “injectionsites”: “DIABETES IS LIKE A RELIGION; YOU BELIEVE IT……….AND LIVE WITH IT OR ………YOU IGNORE IT, – AS MOST PEOPLE DO – AND DIE FROM IT”.

Kassie responded to Part 3′s focus on insurance companies: “I’m trying to turn that into motivation – sort of a ‘well clearly the insurance companies will fail me until I need a toe lopped off, so it’s going to be up to me.’ I’m trying to figure out what job I can get to make enough money to never have to worry about insurance coverage. “Megamillions winner” comes to mind. I am shocked that most people only receive coverage for one strip a day. That’s just flat out ridiculous.”

November 12, 2004

The phone rings.

I slowly wake up as the cats who had been keeping me warm scatter.

I reach for the phone and groggily say “hello”.

“This is _____ from the West Metro Fire Department. Is this Rachel?”

I think to myself, who is this _____ and why did he wake me up from my much-needed nap for a silly fundraising call?

“Yes,” I rudely answer.

“Greg is okay, Greg is OKAY, but he had a seizure at the King Soopers at Wadsworth & Alameda and took a nasty spill as a result. We are headed to Lutheran’s ER.”

I bolt up in bed and look at the clock – even if he had remembered to stop at PetSmart for litter and cat food, Greg should have been home by now. A million thoughts start rushing through my head as the paramedic keeps talking to me. Finally he says that Greg wants to talk to me.

“Hey, woman. I went low. I tried to get to the juice aisle.” Whatever else Greg said escapes me.

I am in no shape to drive to Lutheran, nevermind that I do not drive anyways. That is when I first realize that he had stopped at the grocery store and was not driving. Thank goodness.

My first instinct is to call Steve. He may still be at work nearby, despite his long commute home in the opposite direction. As soon as I get off the phone with the paramedic, I call Steve, Greg’s closest friend. He is almost home already. I fumble around, upset over the fact that now I must call my in-laws. They have never had a call like this concerning Greg before either. Whenever there has been a problem before, he has been with his medically-inclined parents or with groups of friends or even with me – all knowing what to do when he starts going low and cannot help himself. Always in such good control, he did not say much about how it made him feel to have dealt with type 1 diabetes for nearly 2/3 of his life.

His mother answers the phone and I start telling her what happened. Before I get too far, she says, “We’ll be down as soon as we can”. The next hour, I contemplate calling a cab or running to one of our little-known neighbors so that I can see that my husband is okay. I try to keep busy, tidying up the house and sending quick e-mails to my family to let them know what happened.

But I wait, and wait more as we drive to the hospital, another half hour away from our home. When we arrive, he is away getting a CT scan. A couple more hours before he is released. He feels low again right as he is being discharged, but it is determined he is just weak from the seizure and from lying down for the several hours since the paramedics arrived at the grocery store to help this special yet stubborn man of mine who skipped lunch that day.

The phone rang and my attitude changed. I suddenly became an active participant in Greg’s diabetes management rather than the passive participant I had been. He could not keep me away from it any longer. Little did we know how valuable my sudden active participation would become just a few months later with my own type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The phone rang and his attitude changed. The insulin regimen was adjusted, but Greg grew apprehensive about a possible repeat episode, which reflected in his slightly higher A1C results in the coming months. It is something to work on, to try and ease the anxiety to keep him in good control of his diabetes. There were lingering effects of back pain, which got better over time and with some much needed weight loss. And yes, now he eats lunch every day.

The phone rang and I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of the paramedic.


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