I am still trying to shake the stuffy part of my cold, but it is just lingering. Just enough to make one a bit miserable. The funny thing, again, is now I know a) why I keep getting so drastically sick and b) why it takes so long for me to clear out a cold. I had no idea that low blood sugar not only suppresses your immune system but that one of the symptoms of it is rhinitis. I always thought I just had a retained a bit of childhood in the fact that I would get stuffy when I was tired.
The other day I also got a chance to be in nerd heaven because I has to do something called an Ambulatory Glucose Index, which essentially means that from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep I had to test my blood sugar in a set series of patterns that matched whether I was eating, concentrating or exposed to stress. 37 tests. Mind you, I felt like a pin cushion by the end of the day and my left hand was no longer talking to me, but it was fascinating to see and chart how my body reacts to things. It was funny to see how so many things I had chalked up to eccentricity (losing weight if I concentrated too hard and too long on something) have an absolute basis in reality.
I think at this point I now qualify as an expert on low blood sugar and reactive hypoglycemia. I have read just about every available paper, study and book on it. The sad/funny thing is that within the American medical community there is very little available on the disorder. The rest of the world is far more up on it and acknowledges that it is fairly common. I have, over the course of my life, been tested 5 times for hypoglycemia but that is a very rare disorder (although a common touch point for diabetics). I have always tested negative. I read this quite nastily worded Austrailian paper that talked about how even if American doctors suspect reactive hypoglycemia they use the wrong test for it. I wonder if it is because the treatment is so simple and doesn’t require medication. Plus the test (the ambulatory thing) is also very inexpensive and is dependant on the patient doing it themselves. I also read an American study that led off with a heavy criticism that there is very little training done about low blood sugar and its impact in the American medical schools.
Most of the information here is from the self-help/natural medicine community and frankly, what they write and present is so far off the mark that it borders on the stupid and dangerous.
Anyway, enough of that. I am alittle obsessed with it because it is explaining just oodles about some difficulties and patterns I have had in my life. Its like I keep poking it with a stick and going “Really? Really?” I am now engaged in the process of finding out exactly how much I have to eat and how often to even it all out. At cards yesterday they started calling me “The Shrew” because shrews have to eat about 3 times their body weight each day and I kept jumping up to get something. My best friend is laughing at me and telling me I have turned into a hummingbird because I am always noshing on these small amounts of food.
And it was a bit disappointing, as I try to make some adjustments to the type of food I eat to discover that just about all the organic/whole food type things are jammed packed with the types of additives that are sugar heavy and not the good sugar. I discovered that Cheez-its are better for you than organic wheat thins. Most vitamins are on the off list because they use sugar as a filler and Marmite is a wonderful thing. Imagine that.
Nice, MK just crawled up my back, claws and all, to get to the shelf above my desk.
ANYWAY enough about the intricacies of that. It is just a strange place to be, sort of a state of shock, to learn about how many areas of life this has been effecting.
I am reading a book by Baumeister called “Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty.” Yet another piece of the puzzle for the City. He deconstructs many of our social service and psychological assumption about the nature of violent and cruel acts. Particulary the assumption that violence and cruelty stems from low self esteem. He points out that there has never been any evidence supporting that assumption and yet it was snatched up as the reason for everything from gang violence to domestic abuse.
What makes is a particulary interesting read is that he takes the approach that evil is in the eye of the beholder and begins to weigh the impact of the cost of evil on the perpetrator and why, since there is no true gain, someone would persist in Evil behavior. I just got through the part where he is talking about Christianity and it is very interesting.
Part of the concepts he talks about is the nature of revenge. He brings up Milgram (the famous study about administering shocks) and points out one of the lesser known aspects of that experiment. Part of what Milgram was measuring was how proximity to an authority figure effected the participants willingness to apply increasingly harsh shocks, even if the participant was in deep emotional distress about applying the shocks. The finding was that the closer the authority figure the more willing the participant was to suffer in order to “do good” as defined by the authority. In this case, Milgram had authority figures present who kept reminding the participants that what they were doing was important to science.
In the City there are many sub stories but the climax comes when Love, who has been mad for centuries, wakes from her madness and rises from the catacombs to the city. There she encounters War and remembers that the reason she went mad was that War killed her lover, Peace. It is the struggle between forgiveness and revenge that then occurs. What do we need to forgive? What types of revenge come into play? There is revenge that is directly outwardly and there is also revenge that is internal, a punishment of self in order to attempt to punish someone else. And, is a modicrum of revenge necessary to forgiveness? Do we have to have a period in which, even if only verbally, we exact revenge on the person who caused our pain before being able to move on? And what does the result of forgiveness look like?
I harp all the time on the fact that there is an unreasonable assumption and expectation that forgiveness winds up looking like nothing happened, a return to the way things were before. But that is not realistic. Yet forgiveness entails learning how to let a moment in history exist and be validated without it interfering with the present and yet acknowledging that it changed the path you were on.
8:30, my work for the day is almost done until the layout meeting tonight. I might just go loll around the park for a few hours and write. With crackers.
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