Walking out my front door, I catch a whiff of a sweet fragrance. The smell, courtesy of my blooming hackberry tree, is distinctive, a little heavier than the perfume that seems to envelope the area around the gardenia plant in my courtyard. And both are decidely different from the delicate odor offered by my blooming jasmine. I rarely stop to think about the integral part that smell plays in a life; in fact, my olfactory abilities probably are the least developed of my senses. And yet, the sense of smell is a key part of the brain, designed to bring joy (the smell of a loved one) or to warn of danger (just think of the contents of a dumpster filled with rotting food). And, according to a psychologist who ran Mom through a battery of tests concerning her memory loss in 2004, the sense of smell originates in a part of the brain that often is attacked first by Alzheimer’s disease. So the sense of smell, long ignored in the rush through life, has moved up in my awareness as I go thoug...
Last night as I was sleeping
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures .
-Anthony Machado, “Last Night as I Was Sleeping”
Sweetness and honey: two words that might elevate bloodsugars of diabetics everywhere just by imagining them. Yet I love this poem and these lines in particular. Because even though the old failures are there (and always will be), there’s comfort there, too.
Machado’s bees remind me that this is how we learn. We learn to change not by getting it right all the time, but by getting it wrong. More often than not, we learn what to do by learning what not to do (reason enough to read this and other SharePosts ). Of course, I can’t help but look at Machado’s poem through the eyes of a diabetic…a diabetic who has gotten it wrong as many times as she’s gotten it right.
Treatment The immediate goals are to treat diabetic ketoacidosis and high blood glucose levels. Because type 1 diabetes can start suddenly and have severe symptoms, people who are newly diagnosed may need to go to the hospital. The long-term goals of treatment are to: Prolong life Reduce symptoms Prevent diabetes-related complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and amputation of limbs These goals are accomplished through: Blood pressure and cholesterol control Careful self testing of blood glucose levels Education Exercise Foot care Meal planning and weight control Medication or insulin use There is no cure for diabetes. Treatment involves medicines, diet, and exercise to control blood sugar and prevent symptoms. LEARN THESE SKILLS Basic diabetes management skills will help prevent the need for emergency care. These skills include: How to recognize and treat low blood sugar ( hypoglycemia ) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) What to eat and when How to take insulin or oral medicat...
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