Insulin

Is neat.

Once I had an experience helping a kid at a debate tournament take his insulin. It was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever experienced, for a number of reasons.

How to explain this. Hm.

For starters, I have no idea what debate tournaments are about. Or what debate is really about. I have never debated, participated in Mock Trial, or even witnessed a formal debate (let alone participated in or witnessed a formal debate tournament) (let alone judged one). And somehow, despite that, this story begins with my traveling to a nearby city to judge a high-school debate tournament. A friend asked if I could stand-in as a judge for a debate tournament because he thought I’d do an OK job. Something to do with me being great at arguing with him – it seemed, well….Weird. Having agreed, and having dragged myself to a random school somewhere in MN on a Saturday in November, I found myself in a large cafeteria with hundreds of suit-clad kids. I was chilly. There were cans of soda, powerades, and bottled waters to drink. Everything smelled really clean and like it had been freshly vacuumed. Again, weird.

The debates around the school were timed. Lincoln-Douglas in their style, and seemingly extreme in their demands, these mini-events had (via some sort of career-scented tractor beam) pulled in the young professionals of tomorrow from all over the country. A ton of school buses sat outside. It was all honestly pretty intimidating. A handful of color-coded maps each depicted the locations and times of the dozens of debate events. During the middle period of the day (just during/after lunch) perhaps 95% of the kids ran off for their respective debates, leaving the cafeteria entirely empty. It’s (again,) weird how loud hundreds of suit-clad kids can be and how quiet a large linoleum can be once they filter out. One kid, munching down on his food some 5 or 6 tables over, remained after just a few minutes.

I was sipping on some blue powerade as the sound of a small body vomiting smacked my ears with baseball-type force. Again. A third time. My hand quivered and my stomach fell across my shoes (not literally) upon hearing it – vomiting really isn’t my thing – and I pitied whichever person, likely that kid some 5 or 6 tables over, was having the gut attack. As a younger person I was on the swim and cross country and track teams and hated more than anything to take a bus out to a competition. The feeling of sitting in a foreign school around 11:14am on a weekend, waiting to be judged against my peers, wrung out my stomach like a sock each time. So I could feel this kid’s pain – a fourth time – and, after he puked a fifth time, I began to get concerned. I remember thinking Five is a fuck-ton.

On turning around to face the bright cafeteria – there were skylights, and the place had an even and frosty glow – I saw the young boy aforementioned gripped to a garbage can for dear life. The garbage can was the rolling kind, with 4 wheels and a height of maybe 3 feet 6 inches. He was small and appeared to be on his heels as wretch-fest #6 commenced. His diaphragm and entire upper body lurched, as if some invisible tentacles were sucking him violently into the garbage can. Fuck: this was no nausea or performance anxiety. Something was seriously wrong. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Another thing I remembered from childhood was my sincere desire to be left alone whenever I was vomiting. How to approach while also giving the kid his necessary space?

Cornering my body a bit (rather than facing the kid square on) I edged up slowly, waving timidly with a hand and offering a bashful and solemn ‘hey’ of a smile. He made eye contact with me as the tentacles gripped him and tugged again. “Hey dude, just so you know I’m Ian and I’m an EMT, so if you need anything lemme know, and if you want me to leave you alone I c-“

“I’m type 1, my last A1C was fine but I’m at least over 300 right now and my pump is broken. Can you help me? (pukes)

[translation: I have type 1 diabetes and am having a blood sugar crisis. My last check-up at the doctor’s was ok. But right now my blood sugar is dangerously high and my insulin pump, which I need to fix my blood sugar, is broken.]

Before continuing this story I figure I’ll leave you with a bit of history. Read up, teach yourself a bit about what to expect with diabetes (you might run into some crises yourself someday, if you haven’t before) and then I’ll write the rest of this story down

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news_landing_page/first-use-of-insulin-in-treatment-of-diabetes-88-years-ago-today

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Winter: 1 Ian: 14

At 2:20pm on Wednesday, January 31st of 2018 I lost my annual war with winter.

Winter is by far my favorite time of year: It’s the only season that one can have some privacy while outdoors. All of the programmed, voting normies pretty much go inside and focus on their petty tasks and organized delusions for the winter months, leaving the expansive snow-dappled city to the crows and squirrels and frigid silence. As long as the sun is gone and the temperature is low you can rightly expect ungrateful and unsturdy normies to be stuck indoors, lamenting the loss of the July heat and their unremarkable tans.

Yes: winter is a time to be outside by yourself, with yourself, & for yourself. I love winter not just because of the solitude but because of the fun: walking or driving in snow is like a video game set to medium-hard. Ice is like the fictional-frictionless surfaces you learned about back in your high school physics class – and the cold turns the whole world into an ultra-low-temperature chemistry set. There are real challenges and threats that a few people face during winter but for the most part, privileged normies have no place to whine.

If you feel down on winter, worry not – there are mental habits you can undertake in order to improve your mood and stop complaining about the weather. The only thing worse than shoveling a car out of the snow is listening to your neighbor complain about how they, too, had to shovel their car out of the snow. The way to enjoy winter is to make a game of it. Just 9 minutes ago I lost a round of my annual game-with-winter and although I’m ashamed I have dragged myself here to fess up and describe the loss.

 

Every winter I make a point not to slip on the ice and bust my ass. It sounds redundant but you’d be surprised how many people just walk along through a snowstorm as if nothing has changed on the ground. You gotta watch that shit. Whenever Mother Nature takes a swipe at me and causes me to slip I take note. Sometimes slips are big – sometimes they are little – or sometimes, *cue music* they are catastrophic. To me a noteworthy slip is when both of your feet leave the ground. The game is this: to count how many times you experience a noteworthy slip over the course of winter, to count how many times your noteworthy slip turns into a fall, continuously tracking the values of each. Every time you experience a noteworthy slip and land safely back on your feet you earn one point. Every time you experience a noteworthy slip and fall back on your ass, Mother Nature earns one point. To me a victory in the game-with-winter is to have a perfect streak (for the entire season) with no falls. To that end I had experienced a total of 14 noteworthy slips this winter until I experienced #15 outside just now. But #15 was different – I had just placed a chair in the snowbank in front of my house so that a passerby might grab it. I turned around and jumped onto the walkway leading up to my house – landing on my right foot- and immediately my bottom half flew out from under me.

“SHIT!” I landed on my right hip, right knee, and right hand. Stood up – with a massive and begrudging smile – “You’ve got me, ok? Fair and square, ya got me.”

Instead of 15-0 I was suddenly 14-1. No doubt an admirable score, but still a losing one. And it’s only 1/31/2018! She got me pretty good this year but I’ll be back for more next year!

Amygdala regulation

Ain’t easy. Especially on low sleep. I recently stumbled upon some literature describing the relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. Specifically it went over the connections between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdalae. Will have to come back here & post the link(s) but wanted to jot this down here, as it’s timely & highly relevant to mood disorders.

Sleep is a fickle thing & it seems that quality and duration of sleep is related to one’s ability to keep their amygdala functioning well. The absence of good quality sleep of proper duration can lead one to experience impulsiveness, out-of-control distractibility and responsiveness to irrelevant stimuli, and immense irritability. Take it from me: the vast gulf between being contented & calm or being a murderous monster can be crossed, in part, by hitting the hay.

Unknown scribbles

Found a crumpled-up piece of paper in my basement. From a yellow lined mini-memo pad. It reads,

 

The sun whose rays are all ablaze with ever living glory,

Does not deny his majesty, he scorns to tell a story, 

He don’t exclaim “I blush for shame,” so kindly be indulgent