Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seitsemän for Tuesday

I know that Chrissie tagged me for the seven meme, and maybe Gina(then again, it may have been Scott Johnson, but either way, I'm doomed!), and finally, Khürt tagged me, too. Whenever I think of seven ... I always think of the Morgan Freeman/Brad Pitt movie with all the creepy depictions of the seven deadly sins being carried out in the form of various ways to murder people. I suppose I could look on the brighter side, and assume it means I'm like Schoolhouse Rock's Lucky Seven Sampson, but lets not get into that right now.

Although I'm not crazy about these meme things, which in the snail-mail world would be called a chain letter, I'll comply simply because this week is likely to be a quiet one for me as far as postings. Tomorrow, I'm going to my parents' place in the leafy exurbs in Connecticut for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, so I'm unlikely to post anything else this week unless I have time (which means my 7 year old niece will be busy doing something else).

Anyway, here are Rules:
1. Link to the person's blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Seven random and/or wierd facts? Hmmmm, there are just so very many, where do I begin?

1. Its no secret I've lived with T1DM for 31 years now (God, how old does that make me?), but perhaps my readers were not aware that my older sister also has type 1. Compare that ratio to Bernard where one of his 5 other siblings has type 1. Regardless, because of that, diabetes was really never a biggie in my formative years because I grew up in a house where a majority (2 out of 3) of the children had this frustrating, never-ending chronic disease.

2. I'm cynical. OK, thats hardly a secret, but my cynicism is based on experience. I can honestly say that I think that insulin analogs (and all biosynthetic "humanoid" insulins, for that matter) do not work as well as the old insulins that kept me complication-free for two and a half decades, and the new stuff offer ... gasp, less predictability in my blood glucose levels. Are they faster? Sometimes, but predictability in my numbers was something I saw disappear after being forced to switch to biosynthetic "Humulin", an insulin which is is only genetically similar to insulin, but lacking some key elements since its made by injecting the human insulin gene into the e.coli virus. And after trying those patent-protected so-called "designer insulins" which BTW, have never been proven to improve hemoglobin A1C's, although they do cost about 50% more, I've concluded those are worse. Too bad the manufacturers want everyone to be on analogs because they are patent-protected for a few more years and can protect their revenue stream.

3. Along those lines, I will dispute anyone's claims that wearing an insulin pump is a liberating experience, virtually eliminates hypoglycemia, or offers the best in care available to treat type 1 diabetes available, and I have the experience necessary to make such an assessment. I tried pumping for almost 4 years, and did not find any of those claims to be accurate for me, so please don't tell people these things will happen -- they are not applicable to everyone, and the device is a nuisance to wear. However, I will say that the experience of pumping was one of the most informative experiences I ever had, and I learned things about managing the big D I would never have learned on MDI, so I don't think it was a wasted experience for me. But I will call you a "pump evangelist" if you try to convert me now, and thats not a term of endearment!

4. In addition to having grown up in Connecticut (and never having moved for the first 19 years), I went to college in the Boston area, and when I graduated, I returned home and commuted to NYC for a year. When an opportunity arose, I packed up and moved to the Monterey/Santa Cruz/San Jose, CA area, followed by a move to Foster City, and finally to San Francisco (I lived in Cow Hollow). In 1997, I moved to Newark, Delaware (for a short time) before settling into a place in Ardmore, PA just outside of Philly. Most recently, I called Port Washington (Long Island), NY home before moving to my current domain in Queens, NYC, which is three times as large and has a washer and dryer (how many residents of the city can say that?) On top of that, I also lived for 3 months in Helsinki, Finland. I can be polite in Finnish, and do not butcher the words, but beyond that, 3 months is not sufficient time to gain language proficiency. BTW, seitsemän is Finnish for seven.

5. I have a significant collection of TV Shows on DVD. I've lost track of how many (although they are organized by decade), but to give you a sample, I have different series' ranging from the 1950's to 2000's, including every episode of I Love Lucy/The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour (1950's), the entire series of Get Smart (1960-1970's), every episode of The Brady Bunch (1970's), the entire series of The Golden Girls (1980's), and yes, I even have more modern shows like Comedy Central's Drawn Together on DVD (season 3 is now on the air). My objective is to someday transfer all of the discs onto a massive hard drive on a Media Center PC so they are all accessible via remote control, but have no timeframes on when I get around to doing that.

6. I like all animals, and over my lifetime, I've had dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, fish, even cows and a pig. But my preferred pets are cats. No, this is not a dog person vs. cat person thing, but I just prefer the fact that cats are very low-maintenance animals who use a litterbox do not need to be walked twice daily, and also does not bark and slobber all over me. Plus, I can leave my cat Phyllis for 3 days and she is perfectly capable of caring for herself while I'm gone. Of course, Phyllis rides in the car all the time, and doesn't mind traveling with me. But, personality-wise, she is more similar to me -- more reserved and less likely to fall in "love" with a complete stranger, but is very social once she gets to know someone.

7. My great grandmother was Lithuanian, and over the years, I've grown fond of certain Lithuanian foods. On the surface, many dishes resemble the more widely known Jewish varieties of these foods (cabbage soup, rye bread, for example). But the difference might have some rabbis shaking their finger at you. Notably, pork (ham, etc.) is the most common meat used in a lot of Lithuanian cuisine, which is strictly taboo if one follows a Kosher diet. For example, to be made according to the family's traditional recipe, cabbage soup must be made from a ham bone, so the frozen Tabatchnick variety found in the frozen foods section of your local supermarket just won't cut it as far as flavor is concerned. I happened to visit Lithuania a few years ago, and would agree with travel guru Arthur Frommer when he says that for most U.S. travelers, the Baltic states are low on the radar, which is unfortunate. Many destinations in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania offer a relatively inexpensive vacation compared to many of its neighboring countries in Europe and plenty of beautiful things to see -- culturally, architecturally, and geographically speaking. Vilnius is at times called "the New Prague" for its Baroque Old Town. He reports that the main exception seems to be that the unrelenting popularity of Prague has made that city pricier than Paris these days (not to mention more crowded).

So, I have taken the seven and diverged on different topics. For those of you who read all of them, maybe I have shared something you didn't know! I have skipped naming seven others to participate because, as Allison says, "I swear everyone has been tagged already… if you’re reading this and haven’t been tagged, consider yourself tagged!" Have a happy Thanksgiving holiday!


Khürt Williams said...



Bad Decision Maker said...

hmm, I will not be a pump evangelist to you, I definitely respect that shots work better for some people. I am a pump enthusiast for myself though, and the way my body works and my schedule is, especially around exercise. However, I'm having absorption problems and may be taking my 2nd pump hiatus. Any tips from an MDI expert such as yourself for dealing with exercise and schedule changes/unpredictability? Especially : not having to make myself really high (like 300s or 400s) by skipping half of my bolus and the meal preceeding and/or eat 5 billion things to avoid lows around exercise? Especially long exercise or multiple bouts of exercise scattered throughout the day (I frequently a bike/on foot commuter).

Scott K. Johnson said...

Great list Scott - and I promise I had nothing to do with you getting tagged (this time...). I did enjoy reading your answers though!

And of course Phyllis is now famous thanks to your photoshop kung-fu. Or, I guess I should say something like Phylliscott? :-)

Take care man!

Anonymous said...

very interesting facts, from a very interesting guy!