For the majority of my experience with T1Ds it has been a ‘wait and see what happens’ type of journey. What I mean is, there is a lot of mundane sameness each day. Wake up, prick your finger to check your numbers, make any adjustments necessary, eat breakfast, count your carbs, enter carbs into the bolus wizard (a tool on the insulin pump I currently use) to calculate the amount of insulin needed. Press ACT and let the pump do its magic. Repeat at snack time, then at lunch, then afternoon snack, then dinner, then before I go to bed…blah blah blah. My brain tends to go to neutral as the days peel by. High numbers one day, low numbers another day, stable numbers another day, rinse and repeat!
I have also discovered this tends to become unhealthy for me. My brain craves new experiences, perhaps this is why I test the waters with my bloodsugar tolerances to different types of foods. I am not satisfied with substitute anything. Sugar free desserts, yuck, fat free Ice Cream, yeah right, and my particular favorite, sugar free, fat free, (taste free) caramel. If I am going to enjoy these flavors I am going to do so in their natural environment as they were meant to be experienced. However, there is a price to pay for these little journeys back to nature. But it has raised an important issue for me. My brain needs to wrap itself around something new.
As I wait to hear from Faustman Labs about when I will begin the clinical trials for BCG (and what I mean by this is I watch every email that comes, hoping it is from Faustman Labs) I have decided to pursue learning a different language. This is the first week I have been learning and as with all languages you have to learn the alphabet in order to understand the language. There are other methods to learn new languages, but for this particular language since it is so opposite to English, it needs to be learned the old fashioned way…learning the alphabet.
The reason I am learning a new language is not because I am planning on becoming a world traveler or will use it to communicate with a large population of people that live in the metropolitan area. Nor am I learning a new language because I have mastered all the dialects of English (Southern: “Well bless your little ole pea picking heart”, Eastern: “I paaked my caaa in Haaaavaaad Yaaaad.” Northern: “Ya you betcha”, Western: “Dude, awsomeness to the max” or any other variation) but I need my mind to focus on something other than my disease. I have discovered my mind actually hurts when I am trying to learn a new language because I am accessing a part of the brain that goes under used once you learn the language of the region you live in. I desire to focus my brain on learning something new so the mundaneness of this disease does not eat away at the few remaining healthy brain cells I possess. But most importantly, I am focused on something completely new. Since I thrive better with formulating goals that are just out of my reach, this occupies the void in my brain that otherwise worries about T1D and whether or not I am going to be there for my grandchildren when they graduate from High School or get married or have children of their own. Those unanswerable questions become counter productive. Living in the present is where I am the happiest, having solid goals is what motivates me to move forward.
Where does your source of new learning come from? Should learning ever stop?