Thursday, November 24, 2016

Diabetes: One Year Later

So, it has been one year since the nurse came into my room and announced that my blood work came back and my blood sugar was 648.  No, that is not a typo.  648.  That number shocks may people, including myself.  I felt fine but the symptoms were there. An unquinched thirst, the constant need to pee and my once great eyesight was now blurring.  I knew something was up but I was denial.  If you get anything from this post please get this:  you know your body and when when it is telling you something, you need to listen.

The following is what I have learned in the past year:

1)  There is no limit of ignorance when it comes to diabetes.

2)  Diabetics blood sugar will be good on days when it should be bad and bad on days when it should be good

3) Your diabetes will affect everyone around you

Now what non-diabetics need to know about diabetes:

1)  There is no typical body type.   I don't know where the stigma that obese people only get diabetes comes from, but it is the biggest sign of ignorance out there.  No, McDonald's did not give me diabetes and that joke really isn't funny.

2)  Blood sugar is not equated to table sugar,  Carbohydrates are the real issue, both simple (sugars) and complex.  You have to be careful of labels.  I have compared some "no sugar" added products to he regular products and there have been times where the "no sugar" was higher in carbohydrates than the regular.

3)  Providing a sugar free option at a potluck is appreciated but not necessary.  Diabetics know their limits.

4)  A list of don'ts: (1)Don't make stupid jokes.  We've heard them all before. (2)  Don't ask me if I "should be eating that".  Truth is neither of us should really be eating it but if you are really worried about my health, you can make a donation to American Diabetes Association and pray for a cure.
(3) Don't say "you don't look like a diabetic".  See above.

5)  If I snap at you, don't take it personal.  Low blood sugar can sneak up on us and it affects our mood.
6)  If I do have low blood sugar, don't freak out. Rarely will it be an emergency.   I live it everyday and I can handle it.

I often wonder if I did this to myself.  It's hard to say.  There hasn't been enough research on Type 2 to say what causes it.  But I still can't help to think of the millions of gallons of Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mt Dew, Orange, Grape, Pepsi, and any other soda  that I have drank or all the Hostess, Lil Debbie, and every off brand mass produced creme filled pastries that I have devoured.  I guess its to late for me but for those reading there is no time like tomorrow to change your diet.  Why tomorrow?  Because today is Thanksgiving and I can imagine the defiant cuss words thrown my way for even mentioning starting today.

So, enjoy all those carbs and pumpkin and pecan pies.  I know I will. ;-)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Be an Original

I'm really sick of the coat riders.  Everywhere I turn these days, someone has their head up someone's ass.  What ever happened to being an original?  And I don't mean having a purple mohawk.   Having a purple mohawk basically says "I'm not original because a purple mohawk would be what people expect an original to have" which defeats the whole purpose.  And by the way, it looks really stupid, as does, the chain connecting your nose to your ear.  Forget about original accessorising, what I want to talk about is being original in thought.  Don't change your opinions because they aren't popular.  This is what has got our government so screwed up.  Stand up for what you believe in and have a voice.  Take for example my friends over at Big Kev's View, they do the show that they want to do.  If you don't like the show they do, then they feel you can piss off.  They are not changing it.  I respect that.    I, too, have fallen a bit from my originality.  People like happy go-lucky Shane who makes them laugh and I so I will appease. And I will ignore my need to be serious and talk of changes that need to take place in this world. But when I do speak of change, where then are those same people; hiding from the truth, turning their heads as not see while their asses are stuck-up, sway side to side. 

I am Shane.    I will not side with an issue just because it is popular.  I will not hang out with people just because they are the "it crowd".  I do not get star struck and I don't drink the kool-aid because Jebediah tells me to.  I will march on 1 and 3 if I want. I'll jam, Bieber, Presley,  Springteen, Jackson, Dre or Brooks.  Why? Because I can and I don't give a damn what you think.  Boom! How you like me now?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Louisiana- Cleaning Up

You see the pictures and videos on the television and you think "How terrible.  Those poor people." You have no idea how bad it is.  You will hear how families have lost everything and you may even cry.  But you have no idea how bad it is.  Over the next few weeks, you will see statistics and hear terms like "FEMA" and "DSNAP" and you still won't know how bad it really is.  Oh, it's not your fault.  How could it be?  You are sitting in your comfortable house watching. You may be prepared the visuals for you see.  We as a people have been desensitized to such matters. However, the only way to know how bad it is, is to do the following.

Drive and turn into a once flooded neighborhood.  You will see the water line on the trees. You will see the bright green leaves end about four to five feet from the ground and then turn to a splattered brown eyesore.   You will see the same waterline around the houses.  Before entering one of those houses, you'll probably expect to see the inside in shambles, things tossed about, tipped over and things on the ground.  You would be right.  Your preparedness ends there, for sight is not your only sense.

Nothing can prepare you for the smell.  I will never forget it.  To try to describe it would only do it injustice but I will give a shot.  Take an old musty locked up house, amplify that 10 times over, add some soured laundry and then a hint of mud.  Then slap yourself in the face with it.  Like I said "injustice."  You would think that eventually you would get used to it.   You don't.   Trip after trip, dragging, recliners, couches, mattresess out to roadside only to return to that smell time after time.  No you never get use to it.  But sight and smell are not your only senses.

I went to move a yellow ceramic cat off of a sofa.  As I reached for it, my attention was taken away but only for a second.  Within that second my fingers touched something unexpected.  The cat was wet and slimy.  Oh, it wasn't yellow at all.  It was white.  And from the powerless house with no light except the sun, I realized that everything was coated in the yellowish, greenish brown slime.  The likes can only be compared to the worst of the worst of any baby diaper.  Sight, smell and touch; only now fully emerge in situation you are beginning to fully understand how bad it is.  Yes, there is no taste because that would be dumb but if you feel inclined to take a bite of that covered bunny bread, you go right ahead.

As you empty the house, you deal with the soggy carpet squishing with every step.  You fight with getting oversized soaked furniture through undersized doorways.  You feel the heat of a Louisiana August slowly baking you.  You carry and drag the furniture through the formally green front yard turned swamp.  The mountain of garbage begins to rise.  The same view occurs at every house on the street.  Only after the big furniture is out, you start to see the rest and are almost to a full understanding of how bad it really is.  For this is the time, that you see family photos and albums, unwrapped birthday gifts, and a family bible passed down through 4 generations; all soaked to their core and covered in slime.  Nothing can prepare you for that.  Garbage bags are all that is left.  Next, you move to the kitchen.  It's more of the same.  Except, the drawers, the spoons, and pot and pans still have flood water in them.  When you looked at the water, you can see different unidentifiable things floating.  Some are yellow, some are green and you wish you had gloves but the stores were all sold out.   So, you do what you have to do.  I only gagged once.  I came across a plate with food left on it.  At least, I think it was food.    SIDENOTE; I'm not good with smells.  You sever your arm and are bleeding everywhere-I'm your man. If you are shooting fluid from either or both ends of your digestive system- I'm NOT your man.  Recap:  Blood-okay.  Puke and Poop- no way

This would've been the end until yesterday.

This is where I fully understood how bad it is.  I spent 3 hours around a relief center.  I saw people waiting in line to go in to get Food, Water, Diapers, Toilet Paper, Clothes ...  I saw the faces of people who did lose everything.  I saw kids with no toys.  I saw kids happily eating the free meals being offered, knowing that my kids would never have touched it.  I saw parents look worn out but staying strong.  I talked to a family whose trailer home had washed completing away.  I saw people who have worn the same clothes for 4 days because they have nothing else.  I can't help but feel guilty.  I didn't suffer like these people did.

Only submerging myself into these places did I understand the gravity of the whole thing.  I hope by reading this you might understand a little better but I know the only way to understand is to be here in it.

The numbers:
4 trillion gallons of rain or 25 inches in 3 days
Est. 90% of the homes in my town of Denham Springs were flooded.
15 area schools are flooded.  Some will not reopen for 2-3 MONTHS.
30,000 people rescued from homes and vehicles
13 dead

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I can't make this shit up

I began to write this story weeks ago.  But I ran into one small problem... the real story was way to crazy to exaggerate.  This was as far as I got...

 *Based on a true story

The Secret Lives of Pet Rescuers

Lola and Argeaux had waited for this moment:  an unlatched gate.  They made their break.  They did not have a plan but ran, nevertheless.  They had never seen life outside the dirt yard. It was way different than they had ever expected.  Lola had told her pup that a caring and more wonderful home must be out there somewhere.  Scurrying between cars and possibly regretting their decision the two made there way to the local market.

Sandra wanted nothing more than to be a Pet Rescuer Extraordinaire.  The problem was that she loved the attention it brought her more.  One rumor amongst many claimed Sandra had once "rescued" 14 dogs and placed them in a temporary home.  Sounds great except she didn't supply any food or money to support the foster home, she never followed up with the fosters and even went on a family vacation right after the puppy dump.  The foster home had no choice but to turn the animals over to Animal Control.  Animal Control was able to place of three dogs.  The rest went to rest.

Pamela ran the Dee Town Lost Pet website.  She enjoyed the work she did and felt it was important to  reunite the pets with their families.  Pamela had known the rumors about Sandra and after a few dealings with her, Pamela banned Sandra from the site.  Thus began the Petty Pet Rescuer Rivalry. The Rivalry became an all out war during the first two weeks July.

And I stopped there.  First issue I had was dogs dying.  Not much humor there, sorry.

So now the real story:

We were loading our van up to go the beach when this black and white dog showed up.  It looked rather beat down.  We gave her a bowl of water and she drank the whole thing.  We followed that up with more water and some food.  One thing that we noticed was that she was very skittish, especially around males.  She was covered and fleas and just looked very sad.

We kept our plans and drove 2 hours to the beach.  The boys, who were staying home anyway, were going to keep an eye on her.  After a couple of hours of lying under a car, very close to the road. the boys moved her to the back yard.  When we arrive home later that night the dog(the fight to name the dog was already underway) seemed very content to lie and sleep.  The next day, Gretchen gave her  a bath and got rid of the fleas.  She still looked sad.  Our 2 dogs had two very different reactions to her.  Jagger seemed to like her but Millie seemed to hate her.  Bitches, man, bitches.

After the bath, Gretchen posted her picture on a lost pets site on Facebook. This is where "Sandra" and "Pamela" come into the picture.  Pamela, the "owner" of the Facebook page, wouldn't give Sandra our contact information because of the 14 dogs situation mentioned above and she informed us that Sandra had created fake Facebook profiles just to get dogs.  Sandra's response to the denial of information was to take to Facebook to draw sympathy.  She verbally attacked Gretchen in her post claiming that she "stole" the dog and that charges were going to be filed.  Of course, her side of the story made Gretchen sound like a monster.  A friend informed us that there was someone claiming the dog on another lost pet site on Facebook.  The issue now was; is this a real person or a fake profile.  Pamela didn't believe it was a real person and was asking for proof of ownership(their normal standard procedure.)  There was no proof of ownership to be found.

Around this time, on the secondary pet site, there was a "successful rescue."  There had been a second dog.  Both dogs had been captured found picked up by Sandra, most likely a mother and pup.  The mother found her way to our house after escaping Sandra's lair. The pup wasn't so lucky. Sandra couldn't have been more proud of uniting the pup with the owner.  She posted all sorts of pictures and just couldn't get enough compliments.  After that "rescue" the attacks on Gretchen intensified. You would have thought she was the second coming of Hitler.  Then laminated signs were posted all throughout the neighborhood.  Crazy ass lady.  It wasn't even her dog.  Anyway shit was about to get real because we'd been cool about it all until now.  The situation of a found dog had taken a left turn to Crazyville and Sandra was mayor.

All 3 dogs in our house were getting along and the family had adjusted to life with 3 dogs.  The new dog had adjusted to our home and was happy.  But with crazy stalking all around,  it was time to go to the police.  Surprise! Sandra had already filed a complaint about a stolen dog.  Gretchen called to find out what the police could do to help in this situation.  One worry we had was just how crazy is Sandra?  Is she gonna show up at our front door and enforce her own brand mongrel justice?  The police were less than helpful but to their defense, there were a bit more important things going on in Louisiana during this time.  Finally, Gretchen, Pamela and Pamela's boss came together and spoke with a female detective who said she would look into it.  The next day, the officer spoke with the "owner" of the dog and determined that she was the owner of the two dogs.  During this scheduled interview, Sandra made sure she was there and RECORDED the whole conversation between the owner and the Detective.  The Detective said she would contact Pamela and schedule a time for the dog to be returned and then informed Sandra that SHE did not need to be there. The Detective called Pamela and set a time to meet the owner.  The Detective also infomed Pamela that she may want to file a restraining order against Sandra.  So we were notified of a time and place and happily took the dog to the owner.  We were way beyond ready to rid ourselves of this whole experience.  So we arrived and delivered the dog and as we are handing the dog over, out comes Sandra, videoing the whole exchange. She then tried to be our friend saying we should get to know each other.  Hmmm. This was the same lady smearing Gretchen's name just days before.  Yeah, I can't wait to sit down and eat dinner at her house.  No thanks. One last look at the dog and I swear, that dog had that original sad look, like an escapee brought back to the bighouse. Later, Sandra posted her video with the caption of "another succesful rescue". The video actually starts with her hiding in her truck.  Waiting.  Stalking.  It proceeds with her approaching Pamela with an agruement following.  With threats of calls to the police, Sandra enters the Dollar General and continues to video.  Once again, telling a sob story to those inside. And then we show up.  We debated whether or not to force her to remove our images from the post but in the end we just washed our hands of it and vowed not to rescue anymore dogs.  This is the way it truly happened.  The End.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Celebrate Your Independence Day

July 4, "Independence Day", is tomorrow.  All of the familiars with be on the menu:  fireworks, cookouts, swimming, and family.   A top 3 Holiday for me.  I love celebrating the freedoms that our great country has given us.  Given those freedoms, how many of us are truly free?  Some currents events have me questioning my personal freedom.   I think many out there fall into this category.  It is time that you "Celebrate Your Independence Day"!

Grudges-  We let those anchors weigh us down and hold us back.  How much easier would life be if we just cut the chains loose?  I know; People have wronged us, lied to us, stolen from us... But what does holding that grudge do for you?   Forgive!  Some of the wrong doers were major parts of our lives and without them in our lives now, there is a dark hole.  Free yourself from that dark hole.  Reach out to those people and forgive them.  This life is too short and apologies and forgiveness that aren't given before one or the other pass on, only create larger dark holes. If these people are still in your life but you are holding onto to that grudge waiting for a time to spring you revenge, what are you doing?  Is that how you really want to live your life?  "Grudges, huh yeah,  What are they good for?  Absolutely nothing.  Say it again."  Let loose those anchors and enjoy life.  Bring those once special people back into your life.  Forget that circular revenge trap and feel the Freedom that it gives.

Where you are vs. Where you thought you'd be-  What? Your life didn't turn out the way you expected?  Yeah, I'm beginning to think that no-one's ever does.  We spend way too much time comparing our lives with others. We question our life choices, wonder where we went wrong, worried about what those classmates that you haven't seen in 20 years are thinking about you, asking where that 6 or 7 figure salary we thought we'd have by now is.  STOP!  We are where we are.  Look around.  Are you happy?  I think most people would say "yes".  Then why are we doing this to ourselves?  Life is full of curves, potholes and forks in the road.  Even if we can handle the curves, swerve the potholes, we still have make a choice at the fork.  We made our choice.  We can live with it.  It's okay.  "Yeah but if I'd only..."  The choices we have made make up who we are today.  I know all of us would love the change history, but that is not going to happen.  So why dwell on it?   I know work sucks sometimes but will a new job or new company really be better or bring you that much joy.  I'm not saying don't look to better yourself, I'm saying make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.  This makes me think of a Chris Rock bit;  (paraphrased) "So you are with someone who doesn't work, and you run off and get someone new, only to find out now you're with someone who doesn't work and whips your ass."  Stop thinking of how perfect your life could be and start enjoying your life.  Enjoy the people around you, enjoy the world around you and most of all enjoy who YOU are.

Soda -  PSA- Free yourself from this crap.  There is no benefit to drinking it.  You are taking in extra calories, extra sugars, or if your a diet drinker then chemicals.  When you are eating your dinner, do you even taste the soda that you are drinking or does it just help wash your food down?  Anyway, I'm still stuck on my Coke Zero.  I'm working on it.  There is a reason they put caffeine in it and it's not for your benefit.  If you must, then cut down to one day.  (steps off soapbox)

Tobacco -  Really? It's 2016 and this is still a thing?

PS:  This is my first post in over 20 months.  I could carry on about the reasons why I've been absent: difficulties at work, car wreck/recovery/physical therapy, diabetes diagnoses,... you know: life.  I was burned out too.  I had lost the will to write, lost the joy and lost the interest. Part of it was the struggle was figuring out what this blog is.  I know it is probably a little confusing for the readers to go from a comical short story to a post about serious life issues.  But then again that is what inshanesbrain is- that difficult yin and yang balance that is my brain.  So I'm freeing myself of worrying about what the readers want and I'm going back to what I want to write.  In other words, I'm back!