beta-cells

Hey You!

Yes you, over there! What do you know about diabetes?
No, it’s not being fat, and it’s actually more complicated than not eating sugar.
Well, since it seems most people don’t know that much about it, for World Diabetes Day, we’re gonna do a quick crash course.

There are two kinds of diabetes: Type 1 (formerly known as ‘Juvenile Diabetes’) and Type 2.

Type 2 is the more commonly known type. This can come about from flooding your body with more sugar than it can process. While many type 2 diabetics do have larger body types, they are not the only ones. Even if you are burning off the calories that you eat, your body still has to process the sugar you feed it, and while it you can’t get diabetes by eating healthy foods, nearly everything has sugar in it- bread, sauces, and even fruits and veggies all have sugar.

Type 1 is by far the lesser known of the two, for all that it is fairly common. No one knows exactly what contributes to Type 1, though there are many factors that are suspected to have a hand in it. Type 1 Diabetes is an irreversible autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system recognizes your body’s beta cells as foreign entities and destroys them. Beta cells are found in the pancreas and are responsible for producing insulin to break down sugar.

As of yet, there are no proven cures for Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetics sometimes can technically ignore their Diabetes without fatal consequences. However, this can lead to serious health issues, including loss of nerve function in the feet (hence all those commercials you see on tv), irritability, and general unhealthiness. Type 1 Diabetics cannot.

Living with Diabetes is manageable, but some days it can be tough. Some of the realities kinda suck. To list a few:
- giving yourself a shot every time you eat or else wearing a pump
- managing your numbers every day
- screwing up your numbers can mean anything from feeling dizzy to death depending on the situation
- needing to carry insulin and a kit everywhere
- needing to know the nutritional facts of everything you eat, or at least be able to make an accurate guess

So, in order to help your friends with Diabetes, here are some things you can do to help them out (A/N: many of these are geared more towards Type 1):
- do not tell them that they cannot eat sugar. Especially if they are full grown. They know their bodies and their limits, and it is insulting to insinuate otherwise. (Besides which, this is inherently untrue, otherwise they would all die as everything has sugar of some kind. Diabetics just need to dose themselves with insulin to eat it.)

- do not harass them about their kits. Yes, it looks like they are taking drugs. Yes, they’ve heard that joke about a million times. No, it is not funny or okay to inform teachers that they are taking drugs. That is discrimination and bullying, and nobody needs that.

- if somebody close to you has Diabetes, ask them to teach you how and when to use their glucagon pen just in case. Also, keep hard candies, juice boxes, or other fast-release sugar sources on hand.

- give them the recipes of the food you make them. This will make their lives so much easier. Homemade food is nearly impossible to measure accurately, especially without at least an ingredients list.

- provide protein (i.e. cheese, beef) with meals, as it is one of the few things Diabetics can eat without dosing (though, if it’s drowned in sauce, this is no longer true)

- give them prep time if you want to plan trips. Lantus (long term insulin used for sleeping) needs a fridge. Insulin kits and snacks must be packed.

- do not pull on their pumps. Pumps are attached to the body like IVs- under the skin. This hurts.

- be generally accepting of their dietary needs and do not get frustrated when accommodating them. Remember, this is their life every day, a bit of inconvenience for their sake can go a long way.

- do not call them fat, or shame them for their Diabetes.

- DO NOT provide people who ask for diet soda with regular soda.
This is not a joke.
I don’t care how you feel about dieting, Diabetes is often not a visible thing, and while diet soda is okay to drink without dosing, regular soda will throw your numbers out of whack in a dangerous way.

(Feel free to add more helpful tips to this post)

anonymous asked:

What would happen if someone who was not diabetic was injected with insulin? Could a high dosage kill them and what would the consequences be if they were injected with too little to be fatal?

Hey nonny! Hoo boy howdy, yes, this could be fatal indeed!

So here’s the sitch with insulin. It’s a natural hormone, secreted by the beta cells in the pancreas. What it does is it pushes sugar from the bloodstream into the cells, where it will get burned for energy.

Diabetics use insulin because the beta cells stop making (enough/any) insulin, and without insulin, the sugar builds up in their blood, but because it can’t get into the cells, the cells start to metabolize muscle and fat for energy. This is, once things get bad, called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.

That’s what happens when there’s no insulin. What happens when there’s too much insulin?

Essentially, the amount of sugar in the bloodstream drops to zero. The sugar is all pushed into the cells, but there’s none available in the bloodstream. The problem with this end of the blood sugar spectrum is that the brain runs preferentially on sugars, and it needs a steady supply. And when the blood is devoid of sugar, the brain can’t get any, and it will quickly burn through the supply it has.

This basically causes the brain to shut down / lose consciousness, though this is more a sliding-toward-unconsciousness than it is a lightswitch; characters who are hypoglycemic might develop slow, lethargic affects (the way they comport themselves), they may become very sleepy, or they may even lapse into a coma.

And this can indeed be fatal if left untreated. A significant insulin overdose could cause death, though of course it doesn’t have to!

If it doesn’t, the character could come out just fine – if it’s caught early, or medical staff arrive and quickly/correctly diagnose the problem, it’s easy to fix; any medical problem you can fix with a peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich is aces in my book. More severe cases where the person is too comatose to defend their airway (ie not to choke on water) will get an IV and a nice big blast of sugar water (D50; 50% dextrose in water; literal sugar-water), and will keep getting sugar until the sugar outweighs the effects of the insulin, and the character regains consciousness.

So your character could just get disoriented, dizzy, and very hungry, and instinctively drink a pint of juice and be fine. You could even have someone else – perhaps a diabetic character (hint hint!) who knows what hypoglycemia looks like – induces them to eat/drink/be merry.

Hope this helped and was useful/interesting!!

xoxo, Aunt Scripty

disclaimer    

Becoming a Patron lets you see the freaking future. Have you considered becoming a clairvoyant?

Free eBook: 10 BS “Medical” Tropes that Need to Die TODAY!  

I see posts from other PWDs all the time referring to their pancreas as being “dead”.

OUR PANCREASES ARE NOT DEAD!
OUR PANCREASES ARE NOT DEAD!
OUR PANCREASES ARE NOT DEAD!

The beta cells, maybe, but not the entire organ. We still have alpha cells (which produce glucagon, the hormone that tells the liver to release glycogen) and our pancreases are still producing digestive bicarbonate to neutralize the acidic chyme from our stomachs as it enters our small intestine. Our pancreases are still very much alive. They were attacked, yes, and suffered damage, but THEY ARE NOT DEAD!

Diabetic! Lance bc why not
  • He was diagnosed @ age 9
    • His huge family helped support him
    • Lots of people to nag him to check his sugar all the time
    • Always someone there to take care of him if he was sick
    • Only one in his fam to have diabetes
  • When he was diagnosed he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to be a pilot anymore
  • Has a CGM ((with a blue sensor))
  • Pump??? ((idk if tslim, animas, or Medtronic)) or pens???
  • Makes good jokes about diabetes all the time
    • Will actively fight anyone who makes ignorant diabetes jokes
    • Likes to make people uncomfortable when they make jokes or misinforms or anything
    • “Im so alpha my beta cells stopped working”
  • looks up to shiro bc if he can be a badass fighter and pilot with his robo arm then damnit lance can be badass with a robo pancreas
  • SUPER STRESSED when he was launched into space
    • But I mean who wouldn’t be???
    • theres no insulin in space bro
    • and of course the //one time// he didn’t bring his meter he gets launched into fucking space
    • someone help this poor lost boy
    • his pump was probs running low on insulin too
  • he slowly started being high all the time bc he was trying to save his insulin in his pump for as long as he could
    • I totally didn’t do this when I went to the beach 3 years ago and forgot my insulin for 3 days and need to change my pump what
    • This got bad around the time sendak attacked the castle the first time
  • Lance was real high and had ketones and going into dka during the party
    • The reason he was feelin extra shitty and left early
    • When sendak attacked he couldn’t focus or shoot straight bc his sugars were all fucky
    • Adrenaline makes you high
    • Exercise w/ high blood sugar is a Bad Thing
  • When he went into the healing pods after getting hit it helps lower his sugars
    • Puts him back into honeymoon phase
    • He isn’t chronically high anymore
  • Pidge and hunk were the only ones who knew he was diabetic before the attack
  • He tells the rest of the team after he got out and realized how bad he got
  • Pidge hunk and coran work on making some new alien insulin type thing to help
  • During the mind meldy thing hes pretty low and the rest of the team can feel how he feels
    • Everyone super shocked at how he feels
    • “wait that’s how you feel?? Like all the time???” “well not all the time,,, only when im low??” “lance you say ur low like half the time”
    • hes also is hypoglycemic unaware sometimes so he didn’t even know he was low until keith pointed it out in the simulation
  • pidge and hunk hook up his pump and cgm to his lion
  • Blue can tell when hes high/low
    • Forces lance to take a break and correct when his sugars all wonky
  • When shiro found out for the first week or so he took up Dad Mode and was on his case nagging about if hes okay during training
    • Lowkey lance loves it bc it reminds him of his family at home being overly naggy
    • He comes in and checks his sugars in the middle of the night bc he cant sleep anyway and knew he was having a rough day sugar wise
  • Keith likes to watch him check his sugar and change his pump
    • Hes super lowkey about it tho and thinks hes being subtle
    • Like he’ll sit across the table and pretend to be playing with his knife or something else but is like watching out of the corner of his eye
    • Lance totally knows hes watching tho
    • At first he thinks its bc hes like weirded out by it since hes used to people from classes being weirded out when he checked
    • Eventually lance just shouts “Can I help you?????” at keith when hes changing his pump and is kinda annoyed
    • Keith just asks if he can help him bc hes actually really interested in it like the nerd he is
  • Everyone starts making good hearted good natured diabetes jokes
    • But lance is still the king of ‘em
    • And diabetic pickup lines
    • “her are you my needles bc ur super fine”
Thank you, Frederick

It’s World Diabetes Day, the anniversary of Frederick Banting’s birth. Banting discovered insulin, and without his discovery, I’d have died at the age of twelve. In the wake of the election my diabetes and chronic illness advocacy has been neglected to the point where I am only addressing Diabetes Day now, at ten at night. A weird part of me – the part that has normalized an existence wherein I am always one tiny miscalculation, one computer error, one missed test, or forgotten alarm clock setting away from death – has felt like this wasn’t as important anymore. In the face of Trump’s election, I felt compelled to tackle every social injustice I could find. Suddenly it was as if all I’d done for education, science literacy, women’s rights, and diabetes awareness weren’t enough. Why had I not also been more involved in politics? In racial justice? In environmental protection? I felt ineffectual. Flaccid.

But I’m not a super woman, and I don’t know how to fight every injustice (at least not yet!), and I can’t give up fighting the battles I’ve been fighting so long. And after all, my diabetes advocacy does intersect: for with Trump and his team’s threats to the ACA and the heath care social safety net in general, people like me are at very real risk. 

Advocacy requires education, but don’t worry, if you don’t know the story of Banting’s discovery of insulin, it is anything but dull!

You must first imagine a time when diabetes wasn’t a punchline about fat, lazy Americans. Before it was a hashtag accompanying photos of greasy and sugar-filled treats. Before it was something anyone laughed about. It was 1920, and diabetes was a universally feared death sentence that almost always befell children. 

Type 1 diabetes, the type I have, is an autoimmune disease. There is no prevention and there is no cure. It is not caused by diet or “lifestyle”, and it does not discriminate; it can emerge in anyone, from infancy through adulthood, of any level of physical fitness. A full understanding of the disease has not yet been reached, but what is known is that it is at least in part genetic, and is likely triggered by environmental factors such as viral infection. A person develops type 1 when their immune system starts attacking their body’s own insulin-producing beta cells. Without insulin, energy from food consumed cannot enter cells. Before the discovery of insulin, this meant certain death.

In the early 20th century, large hospitals would have entire diabetes death wards, usually filled with children, all slowly succumbing to the disease while their grieving families sat by, waiting for them to die. I can imagine what it would have been like to be a child in such a ward. I can tell you exactly what it feels like to die from diabetes, because I almost did. Twice. 

The first time was when I was twelve. It started as malaise. I was a bit more tired than usual. I was somewhat nauseated a lot of the time. I started to become emotionally depressed. As the month preceding my diagnosis progressed, I became weaker. I did not know that my body was cannibalizing my fat and muscles for energy, that my blood was slowly turning acidic, and that my organs were beginning to fail. My weight dropped rapidly. I was winded walking up a flight of stairs. My vision got a bit blurry and my thinking muddled. And I was so, so, so thirsty. Like, unless you’ve spent three days in the Sahara with absolutely no water, you cannot imagine how thirsty.

Had I not been diagnosed I would have starved to death. The inability of my body to convert food into energy causing me to waste away, and eventually to die from heart attack, stroke, or systemic organ failure as a result of Diabetic Ketoacidocis (acidic blood), slipping mercifully into a coma first…maybe lingering for a few days. And so was the fate of every child before a young Canadian doctor, Frederick Banting, discovered insulin. 

Now picture this in your head: the year is 1922. In a diabetes death ward in a children’s hospital in Toronto, a couple hundred children lie in metal-framed hospital beds. Their bodies are emaciated, some are in comas, all suffered as I suffered. The air is sweet with the smell of their breath and urine, for a diabetic’s breath is like fruit and their urine like honey. Their Gibson Girl mothers weeping, their besuited fathers trying to uphold the emotionless masculinity of their age, their siblings in petticoats and newsboy caps kneeling at their sides. Then a dashing young doctor, Banting, and his partner, Best, enter the ward, insulin syringes in hand. One by one, they begin injecting the children, and by the time they get to the last child, the first have already begun reviving from their comas. 

Suddenly, diabetes is no longer a death sentence. It is a disease that could be managed. Children who were skeletal and comatose become plump and active once more. It is the epitome of the inspirational tale. But this is not a story of hope, because that is not where the story ends.

Managing type 1 is both difficult and expensive. Although insulin is nearly 100 years old, patent-loopholes allow drug companies to keep tight proprietary control over the most effective formulae. A lack of regulation of the pharmaceutical industry in the United States means that US patients often pay more than ten times the price for a bottle of insulin than our fellow diabetics in other countries. The insulin that keeps me alive, Apidra, costs between $280-$480 a vial depending on which US state you buy it in – and bear in mind, depending on the patient one month’s supply can be anywhere from 2 to 10 vials. In Canada, the country of insulin’s discovery, the same vial is about $30. Further, effective type1 management means testing one’s blood sugar 8-20 times daily (each of my test strips costs $2, so that’s up to $40 a day), delivering insulin via syringe or pump (a pump runs between three and seven thousand dollars), using a few other medical odds and ends like sterilization alcohol, medical adhesives, etc., and regular doctor visits. The total annual cost of my diabetes medication and supplies, without which I will die, is about $26,000 before insurance.

That cost is not prohibitive, it is impossible. And because of that, I almost died of diabetes a second time.

Before the ACA, I was uninsurable. My type 1 considered a pre-existing condition. After I was dropped from my dad’s insurance, I had to pay for everything out of pocket because of my uninsurable status. Even re-using single-use only insulin syringes to the point where each injection left a massive bruise on my abdomen, even reusing finger-prick lancets until they were literally too blunt to work anymore, even fasting every other day to take less insulin, I couldn’t afford the cost of my disease. In my mid-twenties I began insulin rationing. I would test my sugar only once a day and take the bare minimum of insulin to keep me alive, keep me working my three jobs.

Then one morning when I was 26, it caught up with me. I’d lost 20 pounds in a month – I woke up vomiting that morning: the Diabetic Ketoacidosis from not getting enough insulin was so extreme that I lost seven more pounds in one day. My roommate drove me to the emergency room where I had five IV lines put in, was put on oxygen, intravenous potassium, and spent three days in Intensive Care. 

President-elect Trump is already waffling on his stance on the ACA, but that doesn’t stave off the real fear of me, other diabetics, and others who have pre-existing conditions for our lives. Literally, we fear for our lives because we know that people like us were left to die before the ACA. We are hoarding our medications and supplies and taking every step we can to hedge against loss of insurance.

I said this was not a story of hope, but neither is it a story of despair. For, like I said, there is a part of me that has normalized fighting for my life. I have done it, in a very literal sense, every minute of every day since I was twelve and a half years old. And so too have other type 1s fought. And so too have type2s fought. And so too have all those with chronic illness and disability fought. We fight because our lives are worth fighting for. Because an enlightened society recognizes our intrinsic value as human beings, despite the flukes in our physiology. We fight because we know that, despite the misconceptions and stereotypes society has about us, we have something to offer humanity: something immense, something those who’ve never had to fight for there lives cannot understand.

Our bodies may be damaged and weak, but we are strong. And we will take our fight to the steps of the White House, to the feet of the men who want to strip us of our means of survival. Who want to strip us of our Right to Life. We will use our damaged, sick, and broken bodies as blockade. We will use our clever and quick thinking minds. For if anyone knows how to fight, it is us. 

Type 1 children, before and after insulin treatment: 

Dr. Frederick Banting, Nobel Laureate for the discovery of insulin: 

Banting and Best, with one of the diabetic dogs they successfully treated:

Thank you, Frederick. 

Voltron: Legendary Defender Meta and Wild Theory Posts

Written after the VLD Season 2 debut, all theories on this blog can be found below and under the tag #Wild Theories

I’m pretty sure 95.3% of these theories will be proven false, but they were fun to write. 

Shiro & the Black Lion - Guardian Spirits of the… - Cosmos or Sky?

Shiro drew the Galra to Kerberos - Poor Matt and Sam.

Blue Lion & Blue Paladin’s quintessence - as explained by the series’ writers

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Each paladin will eventually have to choose between leaving the team and staying. It started with the arms.

Who was supposed to be in the second cell of Beta Traz? - Part One Featuring Shiro; Part Two Featuring Keith, Allura, and Shiro

A few theories about how Shiro and Keith know each other and how EPs are desperately trying to hide it. 

Shiro and the Case of the Unreliable Narrators - Shiro knows more than he says (redux); Zarkon knew Shiro was the Black Paladin prior to “The Rise of Voltron;” Allura doesn’t remember much from 10,000 years ago; and Coran remembers everything.  

Marvok and the Universal Hub Station Base - Marvok used to be at the “hub” from “Collection and Extraction,” and now he’s not. #ThanksPaladins

When Zarkon Goes Searching for the Black Lion in “The Best Laid Plans”…he passes by the Blade of Marmora headquarters and a fire planet (maybe where the Red Lion was found).

Shiro and Sendak – VLD Season 3 Theory - Shiro doesn’t remember much about his year as a prisoner of the Galra Empire, but there are a few things we can piece together from Seasons 1 and 2, which foreshadow a Shiro and Sendak reunion in Season 3.

The third episode of every season will deal with Shiro’s past in some way.  #NuffSaid? (Click to see exhibit A and B.)

Keith’s hoverbike in “Rise of Voltron” has the number one on it. What can that mean? I might have read too much into this.

The Return of Original Voltron’s Face in VLD - From S2E9 - The Belly of the Weblum

The Only Thing I’ll Ever Write (Most Likely) on the Paladins’ Ages - Spoiler Alert - you’re right. Everyone’s right in what they believe about the paladins’ ages. 

Lion Colors and What They Mean in Relation to the Paladins - i.e. the first post of “Keith, Lance, and Shiro are more connected than we think.”

Keith, Lance, and Shiro are waaaay more connected than we think redux and their connection has been foreshadowed since “The Rise of Voltron.”

Have I mentioned that Keith, Lance, and Shiro may be closer than we think? If not, here’s yet another post about it! 

Keith and the Black Lion have the same dresser - and what this means for the Black Paladin role. 

Lance might die and how - Part One Featuring Voltron 84 PlotPart Two Featuring Shiro and Keith 

What’s gonna happen to Kolivan now that he’s lost all the Blades we’ve ever met and loved? (Hint: He adopts Keef and stays on the Castle of Lions.)

Why is Shiro called “Shiro”? My headcanon on the matter during a WTS.

Shiro embodies the spirit of GoLion - a few friends help me out with this theory. 

Voltron - Galran, Altean, and Balmeran Attributes - Voltron was built with a mixture a technologies and lifeforces, including Balmeran energy. 

Where did Shiro go at the end of VLD Season 2 - Hint: Slav and DotU

White hair means something in VLD and cannot be random. (Here’s looking at you, Shiro.)

Shiro and Altean Hair Remix - Long-haired Shiro with magical powers, anybody?

“The Rise of Voltron” title card has a purple start on it. Can you say foreshadowing for the battle for the Black Bayard?

I guess people don’t realize saying things like “I rather kill myself than have diabetes!” Or like “God I’d rather take a bullet to the head than take shots.” Just really hurts, because I do have to do this everyday and I can’t really do anything about it. Sorry my pancreas sucks, but your attitude does too. Sorry I wasn’t given a golden pancreas, you almighty being whose beta cells work.

Originally posted by theantmancometh

Okay so Split is already known as Not Good for how it demonizes people with multiple personality disorder but wow the misrepresentation I just saw medically was……..w o w 

Like apparently one of the personalities?? Has Type 1 diabetes?? but only one???? THATS NOT HOW THAT WORKS

Like yes, Biologically there is variation between each personality in this kind of disorder (if I recall correctly, its variation in things like heart rate and blood pressure and brain waves, things like that), but i can’t see how your beta cells can be killed pretty much dead in one personality then SOMEHOW MAGICALLY WORK IN THE OTHER. If he only had the auto-antibodies in one personality,, then he’d still have some beta production when he shifted over personalities unless he stayed really long term. Like it would be like some kind of perma-honey moon period.

They double did not do research in this freaking geez. 

leonrekjavik  asked:

Insulin secreted by beta cells found in the islets of Langerhans which are found amongst acini cells in the endocrine region of the pancreas convert glucose into glycogen which is stored in the liver's hepatocytes (liver cells). This occurs when the blood glucose concentration level becomes too high and the beta cells detect this. #BiowithLeon #Imsoproudiwrotethatoffbyheart #Imbraindeadsaveme

holy heckk, Leon is doing a big science :00 

Buzzing Bella: Part II

“I want daddy to do it.”

Bella, age six, was stark naked as she uttered the words. Her tiny hands were clenched into fists, and she stared at me pleadingly with tear-filled eyes. Her expression mirrored that of her father, Chris, who was sitting cross-legged on the ground next to us. Meanwhile, I was on my knees, holding a pistol-like medical device limply by my side, feeling like some sort of evil monster.  

“Bella, sweetie, we told you,” said daddy in his best, most soothing voice. “Samantha is changing your pump site today. You have to let her try. Please?”

“Nooo,” she wailed, the suggestion barely out of his mouth. 

She turned her fists backwards to shield her exposed rear where, moments earlier, I attempted to align the menacing contraption, which she was now eyeing with great intensity.

Her dread, though highly inconvenient, was justified. If she allowed it, the apparatus would pierce her skin with a long needle, leaving behind a few millimeters of plastic tubing. We would then connect the tube to an insulin drip, which she would be forced to wear on a small pack around her waist at all times—the synthetic solution to the destruction of her body’s beta cells when she was just a baby. The doctors called it type 1 diabetes, but Bella just called it unfair.

I was also diagnosed with T1D as an infant, which perhaps made the situation worse. I understood her trepidation completely, while also being the source of her despair. As one of my fingers inched idly toward the trigger on the insertion device, Bella—watching me like a hawk—flinched horribly, swatted the tool out of my hands and onto the floor, and erupted into renewed hysterics.

My chest ached watching her cry. She was visibly shaking; her innocent brain trying desperately to comprehend what she had done to deserve such terrible punishment. Somewhere in the depths of my mind, a visual of a familiar little girl with bright blue, watery eyes manifested. A younger version of my mother appeared above her holding an insulin-filled syringe, begging the girl to stop squirming. 

Originally posted by slashermovie

The girl sobbed, “Mommy, no, please!” and drew her knees tighter toward her chest. I nearly dropped the device again in an act of surrender, whatever resolve I had mustered at the start of the task fading along with the memory.

Chris and I exchanged dejected glances. I knew he, too, would give anything to alter the circumstances so that his beautiful little girl was no longer subjected to an endless procession of pokes and prods. Yet we had an obligation to her health—he as her parent, and me as her babysitter—though such logic was meaningless in the face of her immediate fear.

“Bella,” Chris began once more, and this time his voice was firm.

“Samantha is going to change your site this weekend—whether you like it or not—because mommy and I will be on vacation. Wouldn’t you rather she practiced while we’re still here?”

“No!” she screamed with finality, and it was clear there was no hope of me succeeding. Defeated, I passed the insertion device to Chris and left the room to assuage his daughter’s growing fear that I would attack her the minute her white-knuckled fists unclenched.  

A short while later, Bella returned to her bedroom fully-clothed with a crisp pump site on her butt, gnawing forlornly on the lollipop she had been promised as collateral for her cooperation. Back in the kitchen, I tried my best to convince Chris that he and his wife need not cancel their trip—their first ever since Bella’s diagnosis— assuring him that I would devise a genius strategy for Saturday when her next site change was due.

“You have my permission to use whatever means necessary,” Chris offered. “Treats, gifts, lies. Whatever it takes. If you promise her something that you can’t immediately deliver, we’ll take care of it when we’re home.”

“Don’t worry,” I said with all the confidence I could muster. The echo of my younger self weeping at the sight of a syringe lingered below the surface, but I continued: “I’m sure I can handle it. I’m sure everything is going to be just fine.”

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Only I was exceptionally, most certainly, unsure. How was I going to convince headstrong Bella to allow me anywhere close when our test run had gone so awry? Whatever trust I had gained as her babysitter evaporated the minute her dad passed me a loaded needle-gun with her name on it.

Though I willed it not to come, the weekend abruptly arrived. Bella’s parents departed with the sole instruction to text or call any time for anything (“no really, anything”) and I halfheartedly assured them that they had absolutely nothing to fear. After tucking Bella into bed, I spent Friday evening imagining various worst case scenarios before eventually drifting into a heavy sleep, punctured only by visions of giants wielding skyscraper-sized syringes.

The next morning, Bella sat across from me at the kitchen counter shoveling cereal into her mouth, talking animatedly about her friend Sasha who had once succeeded in lodging a cocoa puff into her left nostril.

“That’s crazy,” I said, but I was hardly listening. Instead, I was preparing my opening, though there seemed to be no good time. Bracing myself for the inevitable rebuttal, I began, “Hey, what do you think? Should we do your site change before or after dinner?”

She twirled her spoon in the air thinking for a moment, and then decided, “Mmm, after.” I breathed a sigh of relief, taking it as a positive sign that she had not challenged the idea outright.  

The morning and afternoon passed without issue. We went to the park, played board games, had lunch, corrected a low, corrected a high, watched TV, and finally, had dinner. As Bella pressed me for dessert, I decided I could wait no longer.

“You can have dessert, but only after we do your site change.”

To my surprise, she nodded without contest, and headed toward the bathroom where I had placed a freshly primed insertion set by the sink.

When we arrived, she removed her pajama bottoms and turned her back to me with unnerving complaisance. As I aligned the device against her lower back, she craned her neck backwards and instructed to the top of my head, “Count down from ten before you do it.”

“Of course, whatever you want,” I said.

“And you have to say ‘zero.’ Don’t do it until you get to zero,” she added, sternly.

I pinky promised to follow her rules, and—once satisfied with the positioning—I began the requested countdown.

“Ten, nine, eight,” I recited.

Bella shifted nervously, watching my hands with the intensity of a cop staring down a perpetrator.

“…seven, six, five, four…”

She was now bouncing from leg to leg, biting her bottom lip. Her nervous movements made it difficult to hold the device in the correct spot, but I did not dare ask her to stop for fear of jeopardizing her compliance.

“…three, two, one!” and I pulled the trigger, but the positioning was all wrong. Bella leaped backwards with a curdling yelp as the tip of the needle jabbed her, missing its mark, but still delivering a sharp jolt of pain.  

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, sweetie! Are you okay?”

“You didn’t say zero!” she bawled, her face red and contracted, her sobs bellowing from her chest and echoing into the bathtub where she had collapsed in shock.

Originally posted by ba1n3s

Whether or not she felt as much pain as she dramatized, I had completely botched the first attempt. This meant we would have to do it all over again. The only problem was that, this time, Bella was not quite so eager to participate. In fact, she was very much hysterical.

And so began a series of bribes for which I am not entirely proud.

“Mommy and daddy said that if you do a good job, they’ll take you to the toy store and buy you ANYTHING you want. What do you say?”

“No!” Bella wailed, her knuckles clenched in defense, snot and tears running down her pitiful face.

“Remember I promised you that dessert? Well, it’s waiting for you in the kitchen. All we have to do is get that site on you.”

“No!” she cried, and I caught her side-eyeing herself in the mirror, clearly impressed with her own performance.

“Bella,” I barked, changing tactics. “If you don’t turn around and let me put on your site, you’re grounded all day tomorrow. No TV. No iPad. Nothing.”

“I don’t care!” she spat.

She crossed her arms and stepped onto the toilet seat so as to position herself above me as I continued to kneel pathetically on the floor. Though tears were still leaking from her bloodshot eyes, she did not hesitate to reclaim control when presented with the opportunity. It was clear to both of us that I was completely powerless.

I scoured my brain for another bribe, another threat; but nothing came. The problem was that I understood exactly how she felt; utterly helpless and full of dread, the anticipation of the pain worse than the actual insertion. At least she trusted her father enough to know he would never hurt her intentionally, I thought. Unfortunately, I had not built enough rapport in this area to make her feel safe. Yet there was no alternative. We would have to sit here until she calmed down, even if it took all night, as I was the only adult in the vicinity trained in the procedure…

Suddenly, a brilliant, crazy idea hit me with such intensity I jumped to my feet. Though my mind was racing, I tried to speak as calmly as possible.

“Alright, Bella. I get it. You don’t want me to do it,” to which she nodded theatrically, wiping her eyes with the back of her hands.

“So I’m not going to.”

“Huh?” she said, forgetting that she was supposed to be acting victimized.

“I’m not gunna do it. I don’t want to hurt you or make you more upset.”

She glared at me suspiciously, her mind searching for the loophole.

“Then who will? Daddy said you need to do it,” she added, suddenly keen on following instructions.

“Well, I don’t want to anymore. But you can do it.”

“What? Me?”

“Yes, you. You’re going to do your own site change, Bella! What do you say?”

She clapped her hands to her mouth, and then a sly grin crept across her wet face.

“But…how? I’ve never done it before.”

“I’ll teach you. Here,” I said, and I placed the insertion device into her small hand to show her just how serious I was.

She cradled the tool with a mixture of fear and curiosity. Then, recalling all the times she had seen her father do it, she placed the prongs of the instrument delicately on her hip, angling the needle slightly, careful not to graze the trigger.

“Like this?” she asked.

“Up a little more,” I said, and I reached over gently to demonstrate. With some hesitancy, she allowed me to position her hands and adjust the device accordingly.

“There, that’s perfect.”

She admired her work and absorbed the compliment. Then, the smile faded from her face as it dawned on her that the next logical step was to release the needle.

“Go ahead,” I prompted.

“I’m scared,” she said.

“Okay. Well, if you don’t feel ready then I guess I’ll have to do it,” I suggested.

“No!” she yelled, and with amusement, I realized how quickly she had weighed the pros and cons of the situation, settling easily on the option where she had the most power.

Despite my continued compliments on her form, she could not muster the courage to pull the trigger even after several demonstrations. At her request, I obtained an additional insertion set and allowed her to pull and release the needle multiple times into my thigh so she could get a feel for the technique. Finally, after I could no longer justify another puncture wound, she felt confident enough to try again on herself.

“Okay, you’re gunna count down again,” she said. “And this time don’t forget zero!”

I agreed, and began the count, hoping this was finally it. As I hit four, however, Bella lost her nerve and dislodged the device, forcing us to begin the process once more. I was beginning to lose my patience, especially as it dawned on me that she had been without her insulin pump for nearly an hour.

“…seven, six, five…”

“Samantha, I’m scared!”

“…four, three, two…”

“I can’t do it!”

“Bella, please! I know you can do it. You got this, c’mon!”

She stared at her feet, clearly not believing me. Then, in almost a whisper, she asked,“…will you be proud of me if I do it?”

Originally posted by lil-snuggle-swirl

The purity of the question caught me off guard, and in spite of my frustration, I dropped to my knees, softening my expression.

“Oh, sweetie. If you do this, I will be so, so proud of you. As proud as I’ve ever been. And mommy and daddy will be, too. Just think about how wonderful it will be when you get to tell them you did your site change all by yourself!”

She beamed, and with fresh confidence instructed me to resume the countdown.

“Ten, nine, eight…”

Her grip was firm on the device, and her fidgeting had stopped.

“…seven, six…”

A loud click perforated the air, Bella jumped slightly, and when I looked down, a fresh, but slightly red pump site glistened on her backside. She had broken her own rule, and pulled the trigger before I hit zero. Bella stared at me with her mouth open, equally shocked by her own gall, and I burst into tears.

“Why are you crying?!” Bella asked, chuckling.

“I don’t know! I’m just…I’m so proud of you!”

“They’re happy tears?” she asked.

“Yes, happy tears!” I said, wiping my face, and laughing, too.

We examined the site and confirmed it was functional (“Better than daddy’s, I think!”) Elated, I lifted her into the air, spun her around twice, and kissed her wet little face with my own. Back in the kitchen, Bella enjoyed a celebratory chocolate chip cookie, and I felt I deserved one, too. 

On Sunday, her parents arrived back home looking much more relaxed than I had seen in ages. Bella bounded into their arms, where she was instantly swept up and attacked with many kisses. While bouncing a jovial Bella on his hip, Chris asked, “So? How did it go?”

Bella immediately interjected.

“I did it!”

“Did what, baby?” asked her mom.

“I did my own site change!”

“You did what?!” said Chris.

“I did my own site change!” repeated Bella proudly.

Her parents exchanged confused looks and turned to me for explanation. All I could do was smile and shrug.

“Yup. Told you,” said Bella. “I did my own site change. Oh! And Samantha cried. But don’t worry,” she added, quickly, “they were just happy tears.”

Originally posted by nyxisis

High-Intensity Exercise Boosts Insulin Production

If you’re still focusing on cardio exercises, you should consider a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) regimen. Most professional trainers will agree that HIIT exercises are more beneficial than cardio at promoting muscle mass. Additionally, though, there’s new evidence suggesting that HIIT exercises can improve insulin production.

Researchers at the American Psychological Society (APS) conducted a study to determine how HIIT exercise affects insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Known as beta cells, these cells are responsible for producing insulin. Individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin, resulting in a wide rang of adverse symptoms (some of which are dangerous).

Normally, the human body converts sugar (glucose) into energy. Insulin is designed to help control blood glucose levels by telling the liver and muscles to accept glucose from the blood. When there’s enough energy in the body, insulin tells the liver to store glucose at glycogen.

If your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, you may experience dangerous blood sugar spikes, which can specifically result in one of two conditions: diabetic ketoacidosis, or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS).

After analyzing a dozen men and women with an average age of 53, all of whom had type 2 diabetes, researchers concluded that HIIT exercises were effective at boosting insulin production. For the study, researchers asked the participants to perform HIIT exercises 3x per week. At the end of the study, researchers saw “significant improvements” in beta cell and liver function, including insulin production.

When discussing the findings, the team’s lead researcher and study author explained that just 10 to 20 minutes of HIIT exercise for three days a week is enough to improve beta-cell function in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Here we show that exercise at high intensity for as little as 10 to 20 minutes per day, three days a week for six weeks improves beta-cell function in adults with [type 2 diabetes],” wrote the study’s author.

Of course, all forms of exercise are beneficial, especially for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Assuming this study is correct, though, you should focus on HIIT exercises, as they promote insulin production.

This study was published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.

This drugs Inhibit...
  • Leflunomide: Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase (DH) [Carbamoyl phosphate --> Orotic Acid]
  • Mycophelonate: Inositol Monophosphate (IMP) DH
  • Ribavirin: IMP DH [IMP --> GMP]
  • Hydroxyurea: Ribonucleotide Reductase [UDP --> dUDP]
  • 6-MP (& Azathioprine): PRPP Amidotrasnferase (de novo purine synthesis) [PRPP --> 5-phopsphoribosylamine --> IMP]
  • Allopurinol: non-competitive inhibitor of Xanthine Oxidase [Xanthine --> Uric Acid]. Allosteric Inhibitor of PRPP Amidotrasnferase
  • 5-FU: Thymidylate synthase [dUMP --> dTMP]
  • Pyrimethamine: Dihydrofolate (DHF) Reductase
  • Trimethoprim: DHF Reductase
  • Methotrexate: DHF Reductase [DHF --> THF = no dUMP --> dTMP]
  • Rifampin: DNA dependant RNA polymerase [inhibits sigma (promoter) and rho (terminator)] in RNA transcription
  • Actinomycin: RNA polymerase 2, RNA polymerase α2ββ
  • α-amanitin (amanita phalloid mushroom): RNA polymerase 2
  • Quinolones: DNA topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase
  • Fomepizole: alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Disulfiram: acetaldehyde dehydrogenase
  • Beta-lactams: peptidoglycan cross-linking in cell wall
  • Glycopeptides: peptidoglycan formation by binding D-ala-D-ala portion on cell wall
  • Aminoglycosides: initiation complex in protein synthesis & translocation
  • Linezolid: initiation complex in protein synthesis
  • Streptogramins: aminoacyl-tRNA (aa incorporation) in protein synthesis
  • Tetracylins: aminoacyl-tRNA (aa incorporation) in protein synthesis
  • Cloramphenicol: peptide bond formation in protein synthesis
  • Macrolides: translocation in protein synthesis
  • Lincosamides: translocation in protein synthesis
  • Fluoroquinolones: DNA topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase) & DNA topoisomerase IV
  • Sulfonamides: dihydropteroate synthase
  • Trimethoprim: dihydrofolate reductase
  • Rifampin, Rifabutin (rifamycins): DNA-dependant RNA-polymerase
  • Ethambutol: arabinosyltransferase, inhibits synthesis of arabingalactan, no cell wall.
  • INH: synthesis of mycolic acids, need bacterial catalase-peroxidase, encoded by KatG gene. Resistant if deletion of KatG gene
  • Azoles: 14alpha-demethylase, thus inhibits ergosterol synthesis from lanosterol
  • Flucytosin: DNA/RNA synhesis, active metabolite inhibits thymidilate synthase (5-FC --> cytosine deaminase --> 5-FU --> 5- Fd-UMP)
  • Echinocandins (-fungin): beta glucan, thus inhibit cell wall synthesis
  • Terbinafine: squalene epoxidase, thus inhibit the formation of squalene epoxide from squalene
  • Griseofulvin: mitosis, interferes microubule fx.
  • Chloroquine: detoxification of heme into hemozoin; heme accumulates, heme toxic for plasmodia.
Diabetes: Type 1 vs Type 2

TYPE 1

Total lack of insulin

  •  5 to 10% of people who have diabetes.
  • autoimmune disease - immune system attacks beta cells in pancreas that produce insulin
  • eventually eliminating insulin production from the body.
  • cells cannot absorb glucose to produce energy
  • symptoms usually start in childhood or young adulthood. 
  • episodes of low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) are common
  • cannot be prevented  
  • treated with insulin injections or pump

TYPE 2

 Too little insulin or cannot use insulin effectively 

  •  can develop at any age but most commonly becomes apparent during adulthood. 
  • vast majority of diabetics
  • body develops insulin resistance 
  • body compensates by producing much more, but can’t always produce enough and eventually beta cells may be destroyed from overwork - resulting in deficiency 
  • may not have symptoms before diagnosis
  • there are no episodes of low blood sugar level, unless the person is taking insulin or certain diabetes medicines.
  • can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle 

Both types increase a person’s risk for complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure.

  • excessive build up of blood glucose causes an increase in osmotic pressure 
  • the kidneys no longer able to absorb most of the glucose - due to extreme concentration
  • the body pulls fluid from the tissues to try to dilute the blood and counteract the high glucose 
  • dehydrated tissues signal the need to drink more, subsequent increase in urination 
Type I and Type II: What’s the Difference?

Type I Diabetes

Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease wherein your immune system targets the beta cells on your pancreas which produce insulin. What causes your immune system to turn on your beta cells is unknown. In some instances it has been correlated to a bad case of the flu, or a bad infection, but at other times there is no discernible cause at all. The trigger aside, it is wholly genetic. The end result of this is that a T1D’s pancreas cannot produce insulin, and therefore they need to inject it into themselves. This is called being “insulin dependent.” It is in no way preventable.

Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is somewhat more complex. T2D has it roots in genetics as well. However, unlike T1Ds, many people can prevent it through lifestyle choices. Increasing exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet can prevent the disease, or at least stave it off if you are particularly prone to it. Sugary drinks like soda, and juice are particularly noted to correlate to T2D. It can’t hurt not to over do those. In spite of all this though, there are some T2Ds who will get the disease regardless of how healthy they are. My grand-uncle, for instance, ate well, and was slim as a bean, but he got T2D anyway. (He was the brother of my T1D grandmother curiously enough.) Other times, it is simply a process of aging, my grandfather got it, and he was a healthy man, but he was in his 60s, and his body just wasn’t responding to insulin anymore. Hence, sometimes, it honestly is as unpreventable as T1D. The ultimate conclusion is that while most cases of T2D are largely preventable, there will be those T2Ds who are as helpless as the T1Ds to either prevent their disease or to diminish the severity of it.

The cause aside, T2D differs from T1D in that it is not caused by a lack of beta-cells. The body of a T2D is capable of producing insulin. However, their body is incapable of responding to that insulin properly. This is called being “insulin resistant.” Some T2Ds will have to inject extra insulin, others can keep things stable by taking pills. The really lucky ones though, (as lucky as any diabetic is), may be able to turn things around. My step-grandmother, (not the one I mentioned in my post the Life and Times of the Diabetic, but my paternal one), was T2D for years, but when she had to get open-heart surgery, and was obliged to lose weight, she was shocked to discover she lost the diabetes too, (well kind of, if she ever gained the weight back she’d have to take medication again.) She still monitors her sugar levels once or twice a week to be on the safe side, but she has been able to control her diabetes purely though diet. She’s determined now to not gain back the 20 lbs she lost, because she says she hasn’t felt so good in years!

Why are They Both Called Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease wherein your body doesn’t get the sugar it needs to function. The sugar stays in the blood and results in high blood sugar. This can make your blood toxic, and cause a lot of damage to your body. Whether you can produce insulin or not, if your body does not get the sugar it needs, and stays in your bloodstream, you are diabetic.