Tag Archives: diabetes

The people who stabbed my baby

20 Jun

I feel awful today. It was my son’s 15 month vaccinations this morning. He had no idea what was coming, but I have been dreading it all week since I forced myself to make the appointment. At his 6 week, 3 month and 5 month shots, I didn’t feel quite so bad, because he didn’t have much understanding of what was going on. It hurt, he screamed, got a cuddle, and he went to sleep. There were two injections at the last three batches, but three this time – one in each leg and one in his arm. This time, I had to hold him down so he didn’t wriggle away. He cried so hard, that awful cry when you can’t quite catch your breath. I had his dummy on hand and gave him a big cuddle and lots of kisses, and yes, I was crying too. I told him that he had a big ouch-y but that he would feel better soon and he was such a brave little boy.

We had to sit in the consult room for 20 minutes in case he had a reaction, and every time he heard footsteps along the hall, he clutched on to me and started crying again. Oh, my heart! I felt mad at his Dad because our son has had four lots of vaccinations now and he hasn’t seen a single one. He was determined to get him vaccinated (I wasn’t sure either way so I went along with his decision) and yet he has never seen him in pain like that.

I still can’t make up my mind about vaccinations, and I hope we’ve done the right thing. I couldn’t find any convincing research against vaccinations. The autism link was shaky, and disproved not long ago. There have been stories of bad reactions to vaccinations, but there are stories about bad reactions to everything. Children die in car crashes but I still take my son in the car. Children have severe reactions to peanuts, dairy, strawberries, fish, etc., but I offer my son all types of food. A little boy choked to death on a piece of apple a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean that no one should ever eat apples again. Children die of all sorts of things, and it’s awful awful awful, but that doesn’t mean we should all live in bubbles. Although I tend to err on the natural side of things, I also didn’t want my son to contract whooping cough, or meningitis. To me that is scarier than a possible and unproven link to a side effect. The rates of the diseases we vaccinate against have plummeted since they developed vaccinations, and there is a sense of community responsibility too.

I have had asthma since I was seven, and diabetes since I was eight, and I wouldn’t have survived my pregnancy if it weren’t for the hospital, so I am more inclined than some to trust medical science. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for taking pharmaceuticals every day. The list of ingredients in vaccinations is intimidating, but like I said, I didn’t feel strongly enough about not doing it to go against my husbands wishes to do it. But how I hate it. I hate those huge needles that go into my son’s tiny tender thighs, and the way he cries with betrayal.

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I swear I’m not a dieter

13 Apr

I have always maintained that diets are a waste of time and food is for enjoying. I’ve never been into fast food and I always have veges with my dinner, but I have felt for a while that I really ought to stop denying the fact that I could have a healthier lifestyle. It’s so easy to just stick with the same old patterns.

I heard about this raw food thing, and thought ‘ no way!’. Why would I give up fettucine carbonara, roast chicken, pastries etc? Sure it’s good to eat more fruit and vegetables, but that’s a bit extreme. My Mum has been increasing her raw diet, but she has a lot of salads and green smoothies, and that just doesn’t appeal to me. Then I saw some pictures a friend posted on Facebook of her raw vegan Christmas feast. The food looked delicious, the recipes sounded easy, and the seed was planted.

The reason I could contemplate the raw food diet is because I have always preferred my vegetables raw, and I love nuts. Even when I was a kid Mum would make two separate lots of veges – raw for me, cooked for her and my brother. But even so, the thought of all the delicious food I’d miss out on was too much. I love cheese, and potatoes, and eggy bread, and sausage rolls (I know, I know). I am so not the type.

Then I read the book ‘Raw Family’ in which the son got diabetes at about the same age as I did. His mother learnt that it wasn’t diabetes that causes eyesight loss and kidney damage, but the insulin used to treat it. I never knew this, and quite frankly, it freaked me out. Living with the spectre of ill health is not an easy thing. They made the huge lifestyle shift to eating 100% raw, and he has never had to take insulin.

With the equally scary spectre of Peak Oil looming, I know that I am particularly vulnerable. If I didn’t have access to insulin, I would die within a week. I finally felt that something needed to be done; I needed to grasp at any possibility to heal or manage my diabetes without synthetic genetically engineered medications which are heavily subsidised and reliant on oil and a stable infrastructure to get them to my fridge.

So I decided to give the ‘raw thing’ a go. When I told a friend a few days ago it felt strange to say a ‘raw food diet’, because to me diets are motivated by weight loss and are a short term thing. This feels like a lifestyle overhaul, and it’s for health reasons. I was worried that I would crave cooked food but to my surprise, I haven’t. I usually find it near impossible to walk past a bakery, but the other day it was as uninteresting to me as a shoe shop. (I’m not really into retail therapy.)

The results were almost instant. Within a couple of days my insulin intake was drastically reduced. Usually I take 30 – 60 units of my short acting novorapid per day, and now I’m taking 10 – 18. I’m still having my usual 32 units per day of long acting.

And as for the energy thing? Last weekend I climbed Mt Kaukau with my husband and baby (he was carrying the baby) and I was fine! Quite a different story to climbing Mt Iron (which is not much of a mountain really) on our honeymoon 2+ years ago and bawling my eyes out halfway up. I want to be more ‘fine’ when I’m doing physical work. I’m sick of not having quite-enough-energy to really live life to the fullest. I’m also sick of letting my diabetes and asthma have so much say in my life.

I feel better already, and it’s been less than two weeks.

Time for a list

12 Apr

I like lists. They help make things simple and clear. So here is a list of things I want to do this year to be more prepared.

  • Take a pottery class. I figure making bowls and things is a practical skill that I would also enjoy doing. Cost is $150 for an 8 week class so I may have to take it in term 3 instead of next term.
  • Study permaculture and put in a garden. I figure if I can learn from a small scale city garden it will be easier to put into practice on a larger scale. Our landlords are so lax with the many maintenance issues we have had with this place that I’m not even going to bother asking if I can put in a garden. From what I have read so far I really like the idea of zoning, and keyhole gardens, and spiral herb patches outside the door and whatnot. I have a poor track record of maintaining gardens so I’d better get practicing.
  • Build up my business. I am really passionate about my business and I believe it will work. But it is not an easy economic environment to be starting a business in, so it is an unknown. I hope to make enough money to save up for things like solar panels, electric bikes and woodstoves, while they are still being produced, and for a piece of land. That requires a huge amount of money, but I have hope that we can at least make a deposit…
  • Foster connections and join local groups, here in Wellington and in Motueka if possible. I want to sign the baby up for Playcentre and Steiner School, and I have already joined Transition Towns online. I also want to join a community currency group, as well as simply network with all the wonderful people out there who have so much knowledge and goodness that I aspire to.
  • Learn more about homesteading and self sufficiency. I want to know how to survive, like my ancestors. It makes me sad that my generation (in general, of course) hasn’t learned the useful skills that our grandparents and great grandparents and great great grandparents had. I want to reclaim that.
  • Get fit and healthy. This is such a broad term and such a common goal that it’s almost cliche. But I have started eating a mostly raw diet, and it is working wonders so far. I will write more about that in another post.

OK, so that’s quite a detailed to-do list, and fairly broad, but it still lays out my immediate goals in front of me.