Weird Science

We were back at the dietitian’s last Friday after a couple of weeks away, and both I and The Boy were dehydrated. Not a huge surprise, really: We’d been walking around the college, in the heat, I’d been working out a bit more, etc.

As a coda to this post about my weird dream, the dietitian was giving us signs of dehydration to watch for, so that we would know when to drink extra water. First one she mentions? Weird dreams. General sleep disturbances (I hadn’t been sleeping well, or at least not long enough.)

So far, though, everything that she said would happen has happened. We had some blood sugar crashes early on (as The Boy’s body released the artificial insulin it stored up) and then, in line with his graph being in the right place, he’s started to have sugar in his urine.

Generally, you don’t want sugar in your urine, but in this case it’s supposed to be indicative of the healing process. Intriguingly, The Boy’s sugars are very well in control, if a little wild. (They’ll get suddenly high, then drop down just as suddenly, though never into a dangerous zone.) He’s also on half the per-meal insulin he was a few months ago.

The theory is that artificial insulin is like a cast for the pancreas, so once the body starts healing, you need to take the cast off, letting your sugars get a bit high so that the pancreas will be stimulated to start producing.

I’m sure this could cause a panic attack in a lot of medical professionals. I’m sure it’s dangerous. But you know what? So is diabetes-for-the-rest-of-your-life. They kind of feed you a cock-and-bull story about how you can be in the NBA and live a normal life, but the long term consequences for a diabetic, even one with well-controlled blood sugar, are really pretty horrible.

I love mainstream medicine, don’t get me wrong, but really only for emergencies. Bad infections, broken bones, heart attacks, and so on. But if I have high blood pressure, I don’t want to take a pill forever. I want my blood pressure back to normal. Same with high cholesterol.

But even if you’re an all-mainstream-medicine-all-the-time-guy, the FDA sits on drugs that might help people in the name of protecting them, essentially protecting them to death. “Excuse me, Mr. Government, sir, but I’d like to try that cancer medicine, even if it might kill me. Because I’m going to die anyway.”

I think Man has an inalienable right to his snake oil, as I’ve said here many times. I’m sure, in my case, that it’s part of the pursuit of happiness. And in everyone’s case, it’s a matter of sovereignty over his body.

If the government would leave my body and my property alone, I’d be happy to have the social liberals and conservative battle out whatever they wanted.

Water, Minerals, and Incredible Things

Well, The Boy has been on this new diet for two months. So far, everything that the nutritionist has suggested would happen has happened. He’s had a few crashes that slowly came back up, but now we’re at the point where his body needs less fake insulin, or so the theory goes.

In practice, he’s reduced his per-meal insulin by half, while maintaining excellent blood sugar levels. He’s less thrown off by dietary lapses, as well. Too many carbs raise his blood sugar less dramatically and for less long. (It used to take him days to get it back under control sometimes.)

As for me, well, I’m losing weight. Sort of funny: I think the walking for 20, 30 plus hours a week built up muscle as much as it reduced fat, so no weight change. Not losing weight drinking the water is a little harder to explain, except that I was very dehydrated.

I’m not supposed to be exercising right now and meat is out, to say nothing of the various junk foods, and it’s difficult to impossible to maintain my weight without those things. (No tragedy; I can stand to lose a few pounds.) I am missing exercising, though.

Encouragement to be as good as I can so as to get my body in good enough shape to actually use it, I guess.

Drink Too Much (b)

I’ve been drinking too much water, according to the latest tests. (The doctor has advised and tested me on the basis of me needing to be alive to pay for The Boy. Smart!) I haven’t had any negative symptoms (e.g., headaches) but I’m reducing the amount of water I drink, and adding some fruit juice in.

The Boy, unfortunately, backslid a bit in the past two weeks. He’s been having trouble keeping track of his water bottle and I think his guesses were on the low side. He’s also got to start getting more aggressive as far as changing his diet. He’s been good about trying new things, but if he finds something he likes, he’ll eat it to the exclusion of all else. Variety is key.

Some of you asked about this program; I finally got the guy’s name right: Carey Reams. This is just the first thing that came up on Google, so I don’t know how accurate a representation it is, nor should it be considered a validation of other things on that site. (Or an invalidation, for that matter.)

Years ago I knew a woman with a mess of inoperable brain tumors who did this program and got rid of all of them. It took her a couple of years to go from “terminal” to a clean bill of health, but in the next ten years or so, she didn’t have a relapse.

I just remembered that; interestingly, there’s no connection between her and my doctor.

Stay tuned.

(Snake) Oil and Water Mix

The Boy has been easing into a nutritional program to help with his diabetes and I have a rule that I don’t do unto my children what I wouldn’t myself endure, so I’ve been easing into the same program myself.

The first part of the program involves drinking distilled water at regular intervals. This is somewhat controversial, as you might discover if you were to Google it. But I have reason to trust the doctor I’m dealing with, who’s very knowledgeable about body chemistry.

Actually, water is an interesting sticking point for a lot of programs. You hear a lot about people being dehydrated, for example, but Adele Davis eschewed the eight-glasses-a-day meme saying she’d never met anyone who did that who wasn’t seriously deficient in some vitamins. (The water flushing water-soluble vitamins out of the system.) The IAHP warns against too much fluid on the basis of over-hydration leading to seizures. (One of the effects of a seizure is to push fluid out of the body with saliva and urination.)

Conventional medicine seems largley unconcerned with the quality of fluids–water, Gatorade, whatever, it’s all fluid, though most draw the line at soda–but alternative medicine hyperventilates over the water’s mineral quality, fluoridation, source, etc.

For myself, if I have a glass of water at my desk that I can easily refill, I’ll end up drinking a gallon in a day. But I have no dog in the what-sort-of-water-and-how-much race; I have no idea.

So, yesterday, I drank the prescribed amounts at the prescribed intervals for about 3/4s of the amount prescribed me. (I started late and ran out of time.)

Those of you who are regular readers know that part of my treadmill desk environment is to reduce some stiffness in my achilles’ tendons that I acquired during a particularly sedentary job. I had made great progress. The only stiffness I’d feel any more was after sitting for a while or sleeping; I’d take about a minute to loosen up. You also might recall that I was experiencing a bit of numbness from the early days from when I had overdone.

This morning I was walking around for several minutes and realized there was no stiffness at all in my tendons. Just a very slight ache. As I was writing this, I had to stop, get off the treadmill, take off my shoes and double-check my foot–numbness all gone.

Wild, eh?

Then, of course, I’ve reported on the stiffness in my back. (As I’ve mentioned, I’ve always been tight: Even during my martial arts years, with tons of stretching, I was never much of a kicker.) The downside of doing all the walking seemed to be that I had to make sure I did some periodic back stretches or I’d feel sort of locked at the waist. (And I’d forget to do those stretches; it’s been weeks since the last time.)

As of this morning–without a single stretch–I can now comfortably grab my legs just above my ankles.

That’s a hell of a placebo. I love a good placebo.

On the flipside, I was warned that this water regiment would likely lead to a cold due, allegedly, to the body using this water to flush out things it hasn’t been able to before. No cold yet, but a remarkable amount of goop in the throat.

Wii Boy

The Boy is diabetic. The doctors insist, but have no tests to prove, that it’s type I. We think he’s type II, because he’s had the symptoms all his life. (Nobody ever connected the symptoms to Diabetes until he nearly went into a coma but he had them as an infant, even.)

In the weeks prior to setting out the Wii Fit board, he was having trouble controlling his blood sugar. It was consistently hitting the 200s (when normal is in the 70-150 range).

A few days of doing the Wii Fit and it dropped down below 70. He’s had to lower his insulin. The only problem I see is that it won’t last. The games are fun–and he’s highly competitive–but he’ll lose interest once he’s mastered them.

We have a pool coming, too–the Boy loves to swim–and with luck he’ll stay engaged with a physical activity and be able to get off the insulin altogether.