The Flap of a Butterflies Wings:
by Claire M. Blum, MS Ed, RN, CDE
In 1963 a mathematician and meteorologist by the name of Edward Lorenz presented a hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science, proposing that the flap of a butterflies wings could set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, which in turn would move even more molecules of air, and eventually set in motion the atmospheric conditions necessary to cause a hurricane on the other side of the planet. Lorenz and his ideas were literally laughed at, but his idea held an element of charm and mystique, and the so-called “Butterfly Effect” became somewhat of a mythic legend.
Then, more then 30 years latter, much to the scientific community’s surprise, physics professors from colleges and universities around the world, realized that the butterfly effect was a reliable and accurate description of a principle which has now been proven and given the status of a “law” known as The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.
Science has now shown that the butterfly effect begins with the first movement of any form of matter, including people. What we say and do now, impacts our lives and the lives of others, one conversation at a time! The choices we make today impacts the quality of our lives tomorrow.
In the same way, every individual who lives with diabetes has the potential to make a difference in the lives of another, who like themselves, lives with diabetes. As we learn to respect and support each other, providing a safe space for others to share their experience and personal expertise, we can make a difference. If we expect and demand the highest quality of health care, and share what we learn with others, we can change the course of history!
It Begins with You . . .
B.W. Dortch: Over the past 50 plus years, since finding out that I had diabetes, I have learned a great deal about what can happen if it is not controlled. So I started telling people what I know. I hope to forewarn them so they can head off a lot of the problems that I have experienced, and prevent them from experiencing the same. I’ve always been vocal in telling others what they can do to prevent problems, because I want to save others from any heartache and problems. Diabetes is an insidious disease and when you get it under fair control you don’t have any symptoms and you take it for granted. You think you can handle it, but it will sneak right up and grab you. I like to warn people. There are many times when they do not want to hear what I have to say, but once in a while it sinks in and makes a difference. . . And that’s what makes it all worth while!
And Continues On . . .
Andrea Mays: I was first diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes while I was pregnant for Keegan. I was only 23 yrs old and I was very nervous wondering what was ahead of me as we have a family history of diabetes. I went to see a dietician and remained only diet controlled throughout the length of my pregnancy, and when my son was born I showed no symptoms of having diabetes which was a huge relief.
Six months later I started having symptoms again. I was thirsty all the time and I could not get enough fluids in me, I was tired after meals, and moody before meals. I returned to my Doctor who prescribed Metformin (pill) to me. The first day of taking the pill my sugar level was at 30mmol/L (it should only be between 4-8mmol/L).
Note: A BG of 30mmoL/L is equivalent to a BG of 540 mg/dl.
The doctor tried another pill which was called Glyburide and I had the same response. After then my doctor decided I was better off with diet control and left it at that. Over the years I had no education of the long term problems that could be. I continued to monitor my diet thinking nothing would happen to me and I would be fine. I figured if the doctor thought it wasn’t that bad then it must not be that bad.
It was 6 years later that I spoke to BW. He was one of my Customers that had called in for tech support for his HP Printer. We were on the phone for several hours troubleshooting and installing. We spent a lot of time discussing our lives with each other and making small talk. Throughout our conversation we learned that we both had diabetes, which lead to a much deeper conversation. BW told me so many things I had never been told, a lot of things that were eye opening to me.
Diabetes really is the "silent killer" as I like to say. You don't feel the damage it does to your insides so you live as if you were normal and healthy. I was unaware that Uncontrolled Diabetes was the leading cause of blindness, another very scary fact.
My conversation with BW took me back to my Doctors, I asked to see a diabetes specialist, I went and had my eyes checked and got blood work done. My specialist, after checking my blood work was shocked that I had made it 6 years without insulin and he classified me at that point as a Type 1 1/2. He said he had never come across that in all his work before. The reason I am Type 1 is because I require insulin to keep my sugars at a normal level, however I also have a lot of the Type 2 symptoms that don't seem to be as severe as a regular Type 1.
Once I started the insulin I was to take 1 shot with every meal and 1 shot before bed. If I had never met BW and been so informed by him of the internal damage I could be faced with later....who knows what condition I would have ended up in. The knowledge he gave me opened my eyes and made me realize that I need to do whatever it takes to be healthy.
The insulin has brought a lot of good changes into my life. I have energy again. I don’t get tired after every meal. I don’t get the blurry vision or the overheated body after meals....overall the quality of my life is just a lot better.
BW really made a difference in my life and I hope he knows how grateful I am to have spoken to him that day.
People need to be aware of the facts....if you are not properly informed you are really just sitting in the dark.
It's important to me that I am around for my son, and I hope that anyone who thinks they may have Diabetes or anyone with a family history of Diabetes takes the time to listen and learn the facts. If not for yourself then for someone close to you that may have diabetes.
Andrea is a 30 year old single mother to her son Keegan. She says that Keegan inspires her to be the best person possible in every aspect of life, and helps her see the world in a new light. Andrea and Keegan live in the city of Belleville, near Ontario Canada. They enjoy staying active and spend summers at the park, or fishing, camping, and biking. In the winter they enjoy karate, gymnastics, skiing, tobogganing, and skating. Andrea specializes in computer technologies and worked with Dell Computers for 5 years, prior to accepting her present position with Hewlitt Packard. Having her diabetes under control has changed Andrea's life. She is more active, feels 20 again, and enthusiastically says that "Prior to the insulin I felt tired all the time....It's wonderful to be back!"
References: The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters, Simple Truth, Andy Andrews, 2009, LLC, Naperville IL
The Butterfly Effect, Retrieved Jan 9, 2010