Well, I won't go into too much detail about today's SCOTUS decision. I am thankful to have graduated law school when I did so that I may better (not fully) understand the issues. I may not agree with the outcome, but I certainly respect the process about which I have learned so much over the past three years. What does this have to to do with Diabetes? Well, it's healthcare. This decision has far-reaching ramifications likely beyond my understanding. Also, it will affect Andrew's profession profoundly. So, the Holts have an interest in learning more about this. Good or bad? Who's to know yet? Let it be known that this decision may positively affect a lot of people in a lot of ways. In fact, a lot of laws or regulations that I oppose seek to do great things. I don't oppose them out of any desire to withhold help from people. I want these things also, but I prefer to go about the changes in different ways. That's all. It all boils down to my personal views on the role of government in my life. Very few people would argue that changes need to be made, but we disagree on how to do it. The sad thing is that all the political vitriol has made the issue such a divisive one that we often lose sight of the fact that the main goal is to solve the problem and not alienate each other. I don't want people thinking that because I am Diabetic, I should think one or way or another. Would a law that regulated sugar in the foods we consume be beneficial to Diabetics? You bet it would, but I'd much rather the government foster that idea in the form of encouragement, education, and awareness than under the notion of trying to save me from myself. That's all. These philosophical differences are a beautiful thing, so I am not sure what good is served by attacking people based upon them.
I went back for my first follow-up visit with my endocrinologist one week ago. It went well. I didn't get an a1c test because it had only been two months from my last one (upon diagnosis), and insurance requires three months between them...or so I am told. He did look at printouts of all my blood sugar readings and tell me I am doing a good job. I made a list, in true neurotic fashion, of all the questions I had been accumulating, so it is nice to have those off my chest. I will probably get on a pump in a few months. I may start a series of posts in which I feature a different pump, because I have no idea how one would ever choose! After my appointment, I met with one of the dietician ladies who confirmed my unit-to-carb ratio (1:9 at breakfast; 1:15 at lunch and dinner). I showed her the types of food I had been eating (you know, because the topic of weight gain did come up), and she actually told me to eat more carbs. I was probably eating less than 50 carbs per-day, and she recommends 30 carbs per-meal to keep an active metabolism and energy source. So, I guess I need to stop demonizing carbs in my head. For exercise, I have incorporated running intervals. So, I might do a jog for 1 -1.5 miles, and then run intervals that same distance back home. For example, I might start at the nearest tree in a slow jog and build up to a full-steam sprint. Hey, I am just trying to change it up. It is so hot outside that 45-minute runs seem out of the question, so I am trying to expend a lot of energy in a shorter period of time. Make sense?
I think the biggest food for my soul is to remember to keep everything in perspective. Recently, I was thinking about how fortunate I feel that Diabetes is a disease of daily management as opposed to a guaranteed death sentence. It takes a lot of maintenance and attention, don't get me wrong; however, there are thousands of worse diagnoses out there. Then, Andrew and I were talking one night over dinner about how Diabetes is a first-world disease. When I said that, I didn't mean it in terms of who has Diabetes. I meant it in terms of who can best manage Diabetes. Here's perspective - I had meters and strips given to me, and I still do when I go to the endocrinologist. I am able to go to the Apple Store and try the new meter technology. I am able to download apps that help me count carbohydrates. I have a food scale to help count carbohydrates. I have access to grocery stores in which I can choose which foods are best for managing my Diabetes. I have a new Dexcom that reads my blood sugar every five minutes. The Endo gave me two free insulin pens on my last visit. If I don't know how to do something, I have resources I can call or video I can watch. I have a bracelet on my wrist so people can help me if they find me in trouble. Why am I saying all of this? Diabetics in very poor countries (and poor areas of our own country) have none/very little of this. They are lucky if they are able to get a diagnosis of Diabetes before the complications from it take their lives. It's hard to think about what you should eat when you are too busy thinking about if you'll eat at all. So, when I look back on the rest of this post with that in mind, I feel a bit silly. Jordan, your country has a sound political process to arrive at court decisions. The citizens respect the rule of law and are able to debate the laws without the fear of persecution. Oh, and Jordan, weight gain? You. Have. Food. and more than enough toys to figure out how food works with your disease to keep yourself safe. At the end of the day, isn't safety the most important thing?
I write this not to be a downer. I know it can be a tired story to use other people's misfortune to make you feel better about yourself, but it doesn't have to be that way. It can be a catalyst to change your mind, shift your perspective, and help others. It is really easy for me to get wrapped up in my Diabetes. My doctor said to me when I came for the very first time, "hey, if you're going to be Diabetic, now is an exciting time to have the disease." I know what he meant. We have all this exciting, new technology. We are working toward a cure. But sometimes, on my more cynical days, I think to myself...sure, it is a good time to be Diabetic...in America...if you have money...
I'll figure out how to use my Diabetes for a selfless purpose one day, but for now, I just have a blog.