Something Old, Something New

Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

Recently (there’s that relative term again) I decided to weed through my mass collection of earrings spanning far too many years. Ninety percent of those earrings are ones that I have made myself though. In fact, I haven’t bought a pair of earrings in nearly five years.

While separating my collection into piles of keep, break apart, or just replace the hook and clasp, I came upon a set that I really loved but had fallen out of favor with because it had tarnished so badly.

20140317-073343.jpgBlue, in case you hadn’t noticed, is by far my favorite color, green coming in a very close second. It was the blue beads that first drew me to this set hanging on the costume jewelry rack all those years ago. But not just that, the delicate chain between the smaller beads was so shiny. You know how Southerners are about shiny things. This pair became my go to pair with my blue outfits for many years. They stood out nicely against my naturally dark brown curls.

As my collection grew from my creative spurts, more and more newer, shinier sets crowded this pair out making them virtually invisible to me each morning as I selected my adornment. While sorting through all my sets I rather cavalierly chucked this once much loved pair into the break apart pile along with all the other tarnished beyond reason sets. How cold and callus the decision was and it took less than two second to make.

Like any time consuming project, by the time I was finished sorting and reorganizing the surviving pairs of earrings, I was ready to call it a day. So there all the discarded earrings sat on my dresser in handmade wooden bowls (remember I am a MakerGoddess) for what seemed an eternity. Finally, the day arrived that I had the time to deal with all the mess.

First I replaced the hooks and clasps on the ones set aside for that easy repair. Back into the collection they went. Next, the task of breaking apart all those earrings whose metal parts had fallen into such a state of disrepair that the only redeeming quality left to then were the beads. But wait, couldn’t they be saved, I hear you asking. I did think of that. A couple of runs through a sonic jewelry cleaner though revealed the hopelessness of the valiant effort. So back into the bowl they went as they waited their fateful meeting with the cutters.

Pair after pair snapped apart, the beads IMG_1680 set aside for reintegration into my vast stock, 20140317-075645.jpg the metal works cast into the bin like fish guts. With each successive pair any and all sentimentality faded more rapidly than a blink. Until I came to this pair. I paused, holding it in one hand, the cutters still poised in the other. The next few seconds, that seemed to last an eternity, were filled with reasons to keep the set. The chain and hooks can replaced! Or can they?

I was down to my very last pair of silver hooks, recouped from a pair I had previously repaired, when the hope of rejuvenating the beloved earrings began to waver. Then a search of my lengths chain presented another road block. While I had some pretty delicate links in my stores, none were as delicate as the original. Was this it, the end really come for my favored pair? No!

There is no way you can ever mend anything back to its completely original state. Even car enthusiasts can spot a restored classic from one that’s never had work done. The smallest chain in my supply may have been bigger than the original, but it would still work, wouldn’t it? Yes!

Painstakingly counting and recounting and recounting and recounting (yes, multiple times) each link set between beads in the original to assure comparable length in the new, I set about the delicate surgery on my old friends. I didn’t have to be so precise, but wanting to remake the pair as close to the original design spurred my tenacity to the task. It soon paid off!

20140317-080638.jpgEmboldened by the success of the first repair I set my lithesome hands in motion at a faster pace, counting but not recounting as many times the links of the original and replacement chains.

Sheer ecstasy filled my heart when I saw the pair, completely rejuvenated.20140317-081430.jpg

I could have relooped the beads, but I felt for nostalgia’s sake, keeping a bit of the old was important. It is this blending of the new and old that now gives this pair its old fashioned charm. And they still stand out nicely against my naturally dark brown (thanks to Miss Clairol) curls. See?

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Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Very sentimental and so relevant to this project. Old, check. New, check. Even blue, check. But where did the borrowed come from I hear you asking. Well, it wasn’t my design to begin with now was it?

When Is It Too Much?

A once popular British TV comedy show featured a pair of characters who seem to be the best of friends. One is in a wheel chair and seems not only physically, but also mentally disabled. The friend is ever so obligingly taking care of him in each skit. The disabled character would make a choice about something (a trip, a book, a holiday destination, whether or not to go to the bathroom at a more convenient time). The friend would then proceed to gently attempt to persuade the man away from the undesired choice and guide him back toward a more reasonable choice. Always the one in the wheelchair stuck to his guns on the inappropriate choice so his friend eventually gave in. Yet every time the decision was carried out you’d see the one in the wheelchair saying he didn’t really want his choice but rather what the friend suggested. And of course the friend always fixed it. Well nearly always. He couldn’t quite change the holiday destination once the airplane was already taking off.

While this makes for great comedy, I wonder, what if this were a real relationship? Would the friend continue to do things with/for the disabled person? Would the friend ever decide to stop arguing with him and just let him lie in the bed he made, accepting his own consequences? When would the friend finally say, “I’ve had enough.” and just walk away.

I recently met a very nice young lady in the beginning years of her career. (Remember recently is always going to be a relative term with me.) She liked her profession but wasn’t very happy in her job and wondered if it would be worth it to make a change, to another location or a different position. She had come under new management at the beginning of the year and thought she might give it a bit longer, just to see if the fresh new blood made her work environment and the job any better. I commend her for wanting to see how the land lies for now, but how long will she wait?

I was there too. Giving just one more reason to stay, and did so for about three years. Finally, I took the plunge and began applying for other positions within my field.

That was scary, I won’t lie about that. I had been in the same position at the same location for eight years! The idea of being anywhere else, doing anything different, actually having to commute, was never entertained. Yes it was a dream come true to have just a one mile commute! But as the years wore on, and my work environment deteriorated, so sank my acceptance level. Being just a song away from my job became the only good thing I could say about it.

My problem was that I was stuck in a rut of my own making. As a friend of mine once pointed out, I clung to the security of the familiar. Sure that place, that job, stunk to no end, but it was a known odor. If I moved, if I made any waves at all, would I find the same stink or one more foul? Mr. Murphy and I have a complicated relationship. He doesn’t mind and I don’t seem to matter. So his law of things going wrong applies to me categorically. I was just too afraid to take that risk.

Risk nothing gain nothing, though.

I had to leave the security of my familiar when making not one but two changes in my career this school year as it turns out. That was terrifying! But the rewards far outweighed the momentary discomfort I felt in making the change. The best part was that the second decision to make a change was actually easier for this old scaredy cat. And I made it relatively quickly.

I am now doing a job in a much more conducive environment. So what if my commute is over 20 miles now. At least now as I advance forward in my career I am encouraged that taking such risks are going to not only become easier and easier but also I will be a much happier, more productive individual in the end.

My favorite teacher Ms. Frizzle always says, “Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy.” Fabulous advice if you ask me. Well, except the messy bit, unless you are very near a shower.

Growing Old UNgracefully

I recently wrote a blog post titled ‘Expectations‘. It was a very enlightening piece that in some ways shows my growing maturity. However, the other day as I scrolled through my posted blog titles I discovered that I have another blog post by the same title, this one written in February 2012. How could I have given the same title to two very different posts? There’s old age showing, I think. No it’s not! Ssshhhh

At a recent outdoor concert I saw a man in his 50s wearing a T-shirt with this post’s title in big bold print. Where was my camera!?

That’s so me! I’ve said since I turned 40 that I refuse to grow old gracefully. I’m going kicking and screaming the whole way.

I refuse to listen to my lower back as it creaks and pops first thing in the morning. Don’t tell me I can’t dance the Cha-Cha Slide and Macarena three times in a row each with my 2nd graders on play day. My knees just unnecessarily complain for three days afterward that’s all. That’s not growing old.

I’ve never, even in my twenties, been able to stay up way late at night then get up ridiculously early the next morning and be able to function with any amount of coherence. So my early to bed early to rise lifestyle is not a sign of aging. It doesn’t matter that I’m leaving the club scene at ten o’clock because I have an eleven o’clock date with my pillow. That’s not age creeping in.

I don’t remove my glasses in order to be able to see close up, they just simply get in the way sometimes. Who needs bifocals? It’s simply unnatural to read a book at anything less than arm’s length. This trombone maneuver is exercise, not an indication of an aging woman’s failing eyesight.

Give up eating raw tomatoes because they now give me heartburn? Perish the thought! Heartburn is a condition of the aged or overly stressed. Do I look stressed? No, I’m simply not in the mood for tomatoes. Ever. Too much trouble to wash them and slice them and generally include them in any meal. You ordered my salad with NO TOMATOES, right? Sigh.

There’s a saying in our family: If mom says it is so then it is so even if it ain’t so. Well I’m Mom and I say if I’m growing old, which I’m not saying I am mind you, then I’m doing so very

UNgracefully.

Who Am I?

Can you really and honestly say you know exactly who you truly are?

Garth Brooks has a song titled I’ve Got Friends In Low Places. While it’s very good, and I like it, it’s never been my most favorite. It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it; I’d give it a six, Mr. Clark. Years after I first heard it, though, I saw myself. This little country ditty has become a wake up call that I’ve needed for far too long. If you know the song you are very likely scratching your head. The wannabe posh girl wears cowboy boots? Well he said “I showed up in boots” he didn’t specify COWBOY boots. Yes I do wear boots, black leather high heeled ones in fact, but that’s another blog post.

For once, it’s not about the lyrics, though. Not at all. I do not have friends in low places and I so do not like whiskey! Still, when this song plays it is a reminder to me. Always be myself above all else.

Let me explain. When I first saw Mr. Brooks perform this live on a premium channel years ago I just tucked the experience away in some corner of my brain not to emerge again for almost 20 years. The thing that stands out in my memory today is what he did at the end of the song. The base line continued softly in the back ground as the applause died down and then he began to tell a story. Now, I do have a way with remembering conversations verbatim, but for the purposes of this post I’ll just paraphrase. He said he was back home driving around when his song, this song, came on the radio. As he was listening, he paused a moment and said to himself, “Garth,” that’s what he calls himself back home he said, “would you handle this situation like that?” He paused, a blank expression on his face, mouth gaped open then suddenly closed as he slowly started to nod then quickly shake his head while a broad grin grew on his face. He said no he wouldn’t have handled it this calmly and so he just had to write a third verse to the song. It became an almost bigger hit than the original, certainly a huge demand at his live shows. All from knowing himself, truly going with his gut feeling.

There’s a lesson there.

Through the years, it seems that those of us who live for others end up losing ourselves. We know those closest to us intimately enough to be able to get them what they need before they even know to ask for it. Then one day we wake up and realize that those we were living for no longer need us. It’s natural, it happens. Even the birds eventually leave the nest. They may still want us, but they don’t need us. We end up wondering who we really are, if not so-and-so’s mom or dad, not so-and-so’s spouse, not the 4th grade principal, then who? Who is this person in the mirror staring back at me every morning?

It takes time to figure out who that person that has been submerged for so many years truly is. It’s almost like getting kicked in the head hard enough that you suffer amnesia. Humans don’t come with reset buttons. We can’t delete and reinstall in a matter of just a few hours. There is no quick and easy switch in our brains from who we were, or who we thought we were, to someone we ought to be, that someone we always were but kept so deeply buried in our pursuit to put others first and adhering to societal norms.

It’s not just figuring out who we really are, it’s about being okay with that person before anyone else can even think about accepting the change. If a married mother of ten is secretly deep down inside a naturally skillful belly dancer, so be it, she must accept who she is despite what her family and friends may think of it. I’m thinking her hubby won’t complain too much. Next will come the process of change, sometimes from the inside out, sometimes the other way ’round. Those around us may be a bit weary at first as they see the transformation begin but don’t stop. As I said in a pervious post, only you have the responsibility to make yourself happy. Falling in love with yourself and becoming the best human being you were meant to be is a pretty joyous feeling to be sure. Once you are self-assured, others will rejoice with you.

I hear you disbelievers out there who knew me as a Type A++ personality. You all think this is just another do-as-I-say-do-not-as-I-do kind of lecture. No way that uptight, OCD, ducks in a row, little box ticker can change. But oh no, you would be very surprised to learn that I have in so many ways mellowed and truly changed, for the better. Comes with age I suppose. Like a fine wine, right?

I know myself far better today than I ever have my whole adult life. Who am I? I am a brilliantly witty social butterfly with a genuine, easy smile that puts people at ease. Oh, and I write a little too.

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Expectations

We all have them, all of us, everyday. As children we expect that bumble bee in our closed palms to be quite content and not sting us before we are able to show off our prize capture. What a disappointment we feel when the insect’s survival instinct kicks in and we are forced to pry open the jail bars to tend to our wound.

Children tend to have unreal expectations, but the funny thing is, I don’t think we ever really outgrow holding onto a few unreal expectations all throughout life.

The brazen graduate expects to walk into a six-digit salary before the ink on their degree is even dry. The blushing young bride expects a smooth-sailing happily ever after with no effort required. The mature parents expect their empty nest to remain empty and not have to raise those wonderful little children that made them grandparents. Ok, so maybe that one isn’t so unrealistic.

While on our trip to the UK this past Spring I took pictures of just about every public toilet I visited because of how different they were in some way to American public toilets. You may have seen the post. (scroll down if not)

The thing that struck me as particularly interesting was the lack of graffiti. In America, you see writing on stall walls in all sorts of establishments, but not in any of the ones I visited over there, save this one:

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I thought it intriguing that the one and only act of graffiti I witnessed was such a profound statement that it truly has changed my life, for the better.

One of the biggest problem with expectations may be in not realizing you have them or that they have been set at such an unreasonable level that anything or anyone can and will let you down. But once you can realize you have them, or see that they are far and above any sense of reality, let them go.

Do not expect your friends or your spouse to make you happy, be happy with yourself and you will be happy when you are with others. Do not expect someone to call and offer you that millionaire job, go out and search for it. Learn to admire the bumble bee from afar.

It is ok to have expectations, I’m not saying we shouldn’t. Just don’t let them rule your life, do not lose your cool when they don’t come to fruition. Sit back, regroup, then ask yourself why things didn’t turn out the way you expected. Was that bar just a bit too high for even Black Beauty to jump?

Take off the rose tinted glasses, get a reality check, and you will be pleased to see that it’ll all come right in the end.

A Trip of a Lifetime

Monday, March 25, 2013 a group of 12 students, 4 teachers, 1 graduate and 1 chaperone from Robert E. Lee High School landed in Dublin, Ireland at 5:30 a.m. local time to begin a 9 day tour of the UK. We arrived at our hotel by 8:00 a.m. only to find our rooms wouldn’t be ready until after 2:00 p.m. “Here are your maps. We will go on a walking tour in just a few minutes,” our tour director John announced. Following a short briefing, at 8:30 a.m. we set off from the hotel, leaving our luggage in a secured room until we returned. It was freezing, snow flurries flew off and on all day, nothing sticking. The wind cut through us like sharp daggers as we walked along the streets surveying our locale.

Molly Malone, AKA the Tart with the Cart

Molly Malone, AKA the Tart with the Cart

“Let’s meet back here at say, 10:30,” John said and set us all free to roam on our own to have a late breakfast. The Tart with the Cart – by day she sold fish and vegetables, by night she sold… This was our rendezvous spot the whole time we were in Dublin. It was a centrally located statue and the kids knew the name, well nick name, very well.

Two of the teacher chaperones, my son, and I all walked down an alley off the main street looking for an inviting place to eat. We found what we were looking for, but the entrance was back out on the main street. Soon the majority of our group found our cozy hide out and joined us. I had a latte and porridge (oatmeal) with brown sugar and cream. With this photo, my food journal began.

Brown sugar and cream porridge with a latte. Just the thing to warm the insides.

Brown sugar and cream porridge with a latte. Just the thing to warm the insides.

The outside of the Pub. I think I should have walked across the street to snap this one to get the full name in the shot.

The outside of the Pub. I think I should have walked across the street to snap this one to get the full name in the shot.

Irish Stew and Soda Bread

Irish Stew and Soda Bread

At lunch time we stopped at the International Pub and warmed ourselves with a steaming bowl of Irish Stew and a slice of Irish soda bread. The atmosphere was inviting, the locals very chatty, and the barman as congenial as any perfect story book character.

The International Pub our first day in Ireland

The International Pub our first day in Ireland

With a full belly and fingers I could finally feel, I set about snapping photos of this charming establishment. The barman at one point suggested that I and one of the high schoolers in our tour group step behind the bar for a unique photo opportunity. My complaint was that you wouldn’t see me behind the bar, and you very nearly can’t. The young man in the photo with me, is over 6 feet tall. My 5 foot tall frame was only visible because I stood on my toes. Modern Ireland, it would seem, was not built for short people like myself.

The barman posing with a glass of Guiness. THE beer of Ireland.

The barman posing with a glass of Guiness. THE beer of Ireland.

After lunch we made our way back to our hotel to finally check into our rooms. There was just enough time to set luggage in the room and a hot bath before heading down to dinner. Our stay in Dublin was by far the best of our whirlwind tour to Dublin, Wales, and London. I am already making plans to go back next year. Hopefully it will not be snowing every day as it did on this trip. Still, if it does, at least I know some of the best places to warm a frost bitten body.

PS I have so many more pictures to post and will be doing so over the next several days. Stay tuned and check the pictures page for additional photos not included in posts.

PPS Ignore the time stamp on the photos. For whatever reason, I failed to reset the time to local UK time and it remained in EST the whole trip. Add 5 hours if you are truly curious of the time of each photo.

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Hypoglycemia – Not Just For Diabetics

While lying down, I turned my head and felt dizzy. I turned back, took a few breaths. Then tried to turn my head again. There it was again. Ok, slow down, track breathing, try one more time. Not there this time. Now, try to get up.

OMGoodness.

An all over the head dizzy spell hit me. Like spinning around when we were kids. I crumbled back down to the bed.

I laid there a few minutes, trying to figure out what was going on. My husband tried to help me lean forward, baby steps toward getting up. Nope, the room lost gravity control and spun. I couldn’t move on my own, let alone stand. He propped one pillow under me as he helped me lay back down.

“Let’s try to figure out what’s going on,” we agreed. The blood pressure cup was called for first. 106 over 60, pulse rate 72. REALLY!? I’ve never had pressure that low, at least not since our second son was born. My normal at rest pulse is always in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Recheck and recheck, each time pressure and pulse is just as low as before within a few points.

I’m feeling so nauseous now. I want to sleep to keep from throwing up. Drank a juice box. No change, at least no appreciable change. We waited. My blood pressure is still low. Drank a protein drink. Now I’m no longer feeling the urge to regurgitate. Things seem to want to stay down now.

Gotta pee. Like a racehorse!

But I’m scared to get up because of the dizziness earlier. With only a minor amount of dizziness and a lot of help from my husband I made it to the bathroom on very slow feet.

Back to bed, now I’m freezing to death. The temperature in the room hasn’t changed, but I can’t stop shivering, my teeth are chattering. Time for cheese and Ritz crackers.

I’m shoveling—well, fighting the urge to shovel—eating those crackers almost faster than my husband can pull them out of the bag and spread on the cheese. After four or five, the shovel reflex dies down. I can hold the cracker in my hand a little longer before cramming it into my mouth.

We checked my blood pressure again. 118 over 78. Pulse: 92. My normal. I feel so much better.

hypoglycemia

hypoglycemia (Photo credit: Newbirth35)

So what happened? We should have checked: my blood sugar. Apparently, I had suffered a wicked low drop in blood sugar. Worse than I had ever suffered before. That’s why it took a juice box, a protein drink, 7 crackers with cheese and half a glass of milk before I could stand on my own without feeling dizzy.

In 1995, I was prescribed a fasting blood draw. Thank goodness my husband was home. He drove me out there. I hadn’t eaten since super time the night before. It was now 8 in the morning. I had gotten up, had a shower, gotten dressed and helped get our then 2-year-old son ready for the trip to the base. I was feeling weak as we entered the clinic, but was able to do so under my own power, only holding onto my husband’s arm for balance.

I had to wait nearly 30 minutes before being seen. Nobody except my husband seemed to notice how sleepy I was getting. The blood draw didn’t take that long, but the paperwork that followed was another 15 minutes. It was now after 9 and I hadn’t eaten in more than 14 hours yet had been awake and active for the past three. I had absolutely no reserve energy left in my cells.

My husband had to take charge of our son as we went out to the van, I was moving much too slowly at this point. We drove the short distance to Burger King the only place open on a Saturday morning before 10:30. My husband put our son on his shoulders then wrapped an arm around me to help hold me up as I made my way from the parking lot. He deposited me into a chair then went to order.

The smell of the burger and fries made me so nauseous I couldn’t even think of eating. I wanted to put my head down on the table and go to sleep. My husband badgered me until I took my first bite. Once that first bite hit my stomach I was ready to eat, a little too ready. I started cramming the fries into my mouth almost before I finished chewing the ones that were in there before.

I was in shovel mode. I couldn’t help it. There was no control, my brain was telling me to slow down and eat like a lady, a grown up civilized person at the very least, but my body just wanted the glucose from the food, every cell was starving and needed to be fed, all at once. About half way through my burger and fries I was finally able to slow down, my brain was finally in control of my actions.

It would be two weeks before I got the appointment to review the findings from the blood draw.

Airing on Monday, January 2, 1995 and Monday, January 9, 1995 Deep Space Nine episodes #57 and #58 “Past Tense” Parts 1 and 2 showed Dr. Bashir talking to a woman who is sweating, sorry ladies – glistening, in an otherwise freezing room. Her eyelids began to droop, her head began to slump forward, and he asked her, “You have hypoglycemia, don’t you?” Which makes her realize he is a doctor. Wow! I had lived with the condition all my life but it was the first time I had heard it mentioned in anything mainstream.

Gene Hackman’s character, Brill, in Enemy of the State (1998) tells Will Smith’s character, Robert Dean, “I have hypoglycemia. I get a little cranky when my blood sugar is low. I need to eat.” Really? Now it’s in the movies.

Do a search for hypoglycemia and you will find more information than you ever wanted these days. No longer is it considered just a condition occasionally suffered by those with diabetes. No, this is a real condition in and of itself.

Low blood sugar occurs when there is more insulin in the body than glucose. For someone with diabetes, a quick acting sugar followed up by a protein snack and most time times they are right as rain.

But if someone doesn’t have diabetes, how is it that they drop so low? There are actually a few known causes now. For me, I have a pancreas that is simply an over achiever. A normal pancreas will secrete a small amount of insulin all day long, but when we eat, it sends out a larger bust, in correspondence to what is eaten. A higher sugar food will generate a higher amount of insulin release. For the person who suffers hypoglycemia, the pancreas is sending out those much higher amounts of insulin—all the time.

“Just make sure you eat.” That was the wise advice from that army doctor in 1995 as she checked the results of my blood test. My blood sugar on the report was low, in the upper 50s, “But nothing to be worried about.”

Really? I went through all of that just for you to tell me to not worry and make sure I eat regularly. I KNEW I needed to do that. I’ve fallen out more times than I could count which is why I went in to see what was wrong with me and what could be done.

So, I started carrying Power Bars in my purse. Anytime I felt shaky, I would unwrap and down one of those in one sitting. Do you know how many carbohydrates are in one of those bars? They were designed for athletes, those putting out large amounts of physical exertion, not a mildly action active mother of two young boys. Guess where those extra carbs wound up. Uh-huh! Right into my incredibly expanding waste line.

It’s funny how life throws you curves that end up becoming home runs. In 2003 our oldest son fell sick. We figured it was just one of those bugs that was going around school. The weather was starting to change and everyone was getting sick. But this was different. When his stomach finally stopped hurting I had him eat M&M’s. He hadn’t eaten in several hours and with my limited hypoglycemia knowledge I thought a high sugar food would be the first thing he needed. But, the small handful of chocolates made it worse, not better. He almost immediately bent over in pain. I had to get him to the hospital; this was more than just a bug. With a blood sugar level of 867 (normal is around 100 – 120) and nearly slipping into a coma, he was diagnosed with IDDM (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) or Type 1 diabetes (used to be called juvenile diabetes because of the age of the patients being diagnosed). It’s an autoimmune disease because the body attacks itself. Specifically, the white blood cells in his body had attacked and eroded the insulin producing beta cells on his pancreas. He could no longer process the glucose from the food he was eating; it stayed in his bloodstream turning his blood into a thick paste.

Think of making two pitchers of Kool-aide. Add the correct amount of all the ingredients and you have an easily flowing, thin liquid—blood with a normal sugar level. Now mix the powder with the right amount of sugar, but only about one third of the required water. It’s still a liquid, but an incredibly thick liquid. You could just about stand a spoon in it upright. That’s how the glucose-laden blood moved through his veins.

Eating more meant adding more glucose onto his red blood cells, making his blood thicker. Without the insulin production, even though he was eating, the cells in his body were still starving. His body began eating itself and producing ketones—a natural, but poisonous by product of burning fat cells within the body. He had lost over 10% of his body weight in just a couple of days.

That night was the worst night of our lives as parents, but it set us onto a path of discovery. March 9th will be his 10th anniversary of living healthy with diabetes.

We had a lot to learn in those first few days, weeks, and months. How to count the carbohydrates in his food and how to work out insulin to carbohydrate ratios as well as insulin to blood sugar level ratios for a start. We learned the proper way to treat a low blood sugar with a small amount of a quick acting sugar followed by a reasonably sized, high protein snack.

Wait a minute! If that works for our son, will it work for me? YES! It’s amazing how using this method of treatment for lows helped me to drop the 30 extra pounds those overkill, reactionary fixes had packed onto my frame.

Symptoms of a low blood sugar can include: dizziness, crankiness, sudden intense sadness or anger, shakiness, sweating or freezing (in an otherwise comfortable environment), disorientation, nausea, sleepiness (an uncontrollable urge to sleep), and extreme hunger.

I have experienced low blood sugar episodes ever since I can remember, even before I knew there was a name for it. Over the years I have had most of these symptoms at different moments, but the other day was the first time I ever felt the dizziness. I’d rather not feel it again any time soon.

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