Mindfully exploring the experience of walking dead as a pancreatic-juice vampire. I’m going to start sharing more about my experience of Type 1 Diabetes.
On December 6th, I hit a tree going 60 mph. My blood sugar was reaaal damn high. I dozed off, rounded a corner, kept going and WHACK!! Flew off this ditch and hit a tree mid-air. All I remember is the extreme impact, waking up, seeing blood all over the airbags. I tried to open the door but it was crumpled shut. I rolled down the window and flopped my broken body onto the ground.
I looked around, the trunk had flown open, the car was bent, shit had flown out of the trunk and was scattered everywhere. Delirious, I started picking stuff up– trying to clean up. People stopped, I asked for a ride home and then I blacked out. I woke up in the hospital as I was getting a CAT scan. I was in and out of consciousness for a couple days. My blood sugar wouldn’t go down– the trauma was freaking out my liver and it was pumping out sugar. They didn’t feed me for 2 days, kept giving me insulin, but my blood sugar wasn’t budging.
The experience was enlightening.
I don’t share personal life details very often. With billions of people wandering around the planet and with many of them complaining on the internet, there are already more than enough of these personal details floating around.
I usually reserve my efforts for PsychoSpiritual GnoTruthing, but here you have a new thing– I will dance around diabetes.
I hate dancing.
Yet, for the sake of other Bodhisattva Vampires, I will share my practice of Type 1 Diabetes.
It was in 1921 that Canadian physician Frederick Banting and medical student Charles H. Best would be credited with discovering the hormone insulin in the pancreatic extracts of dogs. Banting and Best injected the hormone into a dog and found that it lowered high blood glucose levels to normal.
So, until the 1920’s, we were doomed. Diabetes was a death sentence. Then, we learned to suck the juices out from other animals’ pancreases. Dogs, cows, pigs, we had a heck of a time. Some people didn’t react so well to these other insulins. Eventually, we got “human” insulin! Hooray.
Although bovine and porcine insulin are similar to human insulin, their composition is slightly different. Consequently, a number of patients’ immune systems produce antibodies against it, neutralising its actions and resulting in inflammatory responses at injection sites. Added to these adverse effects of bovine and porcine insulin, were fears of long term complications ensuing from the regular injection of a foreign substance,(3) as well as a projected decline in the production of animal derived insulin.(4) These factors led researchers to consider synthesising Humulin by inserting the insulin gene into a suitable vector, the E. coli bacterial cell, to produce an insulin that is chemically identical to its naturally produced counterpart. This has been achieved using Recombinant DNA technology. This method (see fig. 2) is a more reliable and sustainable(5) method than extracting and purifying the abattoir by-product.
We are alive because of genetically altered E. Coli. Because of mutant bacteria. Awesome. Kinda.
They also eventually figured out how to tweak the action of it– there is now fast, medium and slow acting insulin.
Diabetics must be aware of all carbohydrate intake. Constant mindfulness of eating is a necessity. Skilled diabetics are well-practiced yogis. And! It’s not only carbohydrate intake that we must remain constantly mindful of, we must also keep constant watch on our emotional / mental / physical / spiritual stressors.
Under stress, the liver releases sugar into the blood. When we’re sick, same thing.. Our bodies can release so much sugar that there are unexpected spikes. You can plan for it, and understand that this happens, but still– it is difficult. It is easy to get depressed about unexpected things happening. Really high blood sugar is scary. Really low blood sugar is also scary.
Exercise increases the action of insulin– it lowers our insulin resistance. The same amount of insulin will do something one day and something different the next. We’re aiming at a target that is moving in many dimensions. If you take too much insulin before strenuous exercise there is an increased possibility of your blood sugar diving. Low blood sugar hurts in this really weird way. It’s like a metabolic pain. The body screams for sugar, adrenaline surges, we grow pale and weak, irrational and confused– sometimes extremely emotional– the brain suffers.
Luckily, we’re not aiming blind. We can check our blood sugars and become acquainted with our body’s tendencies. Those with little understanding assume that diabetes management is simple– yeah, sure, it is manageable, but if the diabetic wants to live long and without totally whack complications, they gotta do some serious psychic judo.
Do the good work, whether or not you have Diabetes– be aware of the body and it’s motions.