An internet diabuddy blogged recently about the issues women with type 1 diabetes have to reckon with.
Exercise got a special mention. It lowers blood sugar, sometimes to dangerously low levels.
When she was diagnosed she was advised to eat a sandwich before sex. “Mood killer and all that”, she lamented.
Blokes with type 1 face worse issues. Imagine building a boat, I’ve just mixed a batch of epoxy, slapped it on a sheet of ply, and am about to laminate the cabin top of the new boat. Should only take an hour, but can’t be interrupted.
Halfway through: the dreaded light feeling in lower abdomen and upper legs, the need to pee, shakes.
Should have eaten a sandwich first….
Rip off the gloves, run to the house, scan the sensor: 3.2 mmol/L and crashing! Race to the fridge, stuff my face, then raid the jellybeans.
Back to the boat. Epoxy, time and tide, wait for no-one.
Mood killer alright!
There is a silver lining. The blood sugar lowering effect of sex can be put to good use.
“Darling, my blood sugar is high. Shall I inject some insulin, or will you fix it?”
These two critters were sitting beside the road somewhere on our daily walk. Usually we only hear their unearthly wails at night, they are not often seen during daylight.
Junior looked a bit out of sorts.
Mum, or dad, made it clear that I should not approach too closely, by giving me the death stare and hissing loudly.
I obliged and zoomed in.
Curlews sit with their lower legs hinged forward at the ‘knee’.
A strange sight.
Most of the time my mind works like a giant ad server.
It has access to my contacts, calendars, photos, files, mail, calls, conversations, location, friends, camera, microphone etc. Sixty three years of data including everything I ever undertook and experienced, untold petabytes of information, is available to my mind, 24/7, to serve up advertising.
And it does.
Facebook and Google are but pale imitations.
My mind, like my iPad, can be applied to ‘serious’ purposes: problem solving, decision making, unartificial intelligence.
It can work out the answer to questions ranging from ‘How did the universe originate?’ to ‘What’s for breakfast?’
Like my iPad, my mind is mostly used to replay entertaining movies.
Mainly the blockbuster ‘Imemine, a love story’, starring Me.
During the frequent intervals, ads are shown.
“Suggested by Siri”.
“We think you may be interested in this”.
“Others have purchased this”.
Etcetera, etcetera. Goods, services, experiences, opinions, jingles, associations etc. Above all, repetitive ad nauseam..
Apart from deep sleep, the movie plays all day.
The mind calls this process ‘thinking’.
It seems I’m mainly interested in the sound track and the subtitles. The full HD 4K cinevision is secondary.
My attention is drawn to this process most of the time.
In fact, it is what constitutes ‘I’.
Is there a way out?
Can I delete my mind account, like I did Facebook?
This week I wanted to understand the thinking process better, so I said to myself (a clue): “Think of a cow”.
Obviously a real cow cannot fit inside my skull, so I was curious as to what would happen. I expected some image of a black and white animal with horns and a huge udder 🐄 to somehow appear on the screen of my mind.
I saw three things instead: the letters ‘c’, ‘o’ and ‘w’.
Somehow these letters signified bovine meaning.
I had to really insist for an image to appear.
Then I thought of my wife. This time four letters appeared, starting with ‘w’. The appearance of my beautiful bride was only a secondary consequence. I got into trouble when I related this story. 😩
My thinking is not pictorial. It is linguistic, a set of boring grammatical constructs.
And nowadays in English, instead of that wonderfully nuanced Dutch.
The rich fabric of everyday life is transformed, abstracted and reduced to a sequence of letters obeying syntax rules.
Thinking is silently talking to myself. Letters and words, mostly without a real referent in that wonderful universe that I am immersed in.
It is said that 100 years ago the average human would have 5,000 thoughts per day. Now it is 50,000! Mainly tiresome and pointless repetition.
And no pictures!
Spending time in the world of thought is like living in a hex core dump. That’s how a computer spits out it’s memory contents when it encounters a syntax or logic error.
Why would I?
Given that our galaxy the Milky Way consists of 500 billion stars,
given that our universe contains between 200 billion to 2 trillion galaxies,
given that there may be multiply universes,
given that the whole shebang came into being and whirls about governed by a small number of laws that can be known,
doesn’t it seem odd that I believe that I am separate from all of the above, that I am an individual, that I have free will?
I am in and of this world.
The universe is my I.
I am a type 1 diabetic.
My pancreas broke, it stopped producing insulin and other essentials to life.
In practical terms, without frequent insulin injections and constant management of blood glucose levels, I’d be dead within weeks.
My name is with me for life. Yes, I can change it. Not to be undertaken lightly, though.
So it is with boat names.
I like taking photos in cemeteries.
This one I took on my daily get-da-suga-under-control walk on a cool autumn morning. The rays of the sun had just burnt off the remnants of the fog. It was a beautiful day. Read More