Monday, April 1, 2013
Day 3 - Why do I Need Math?
In the math course that I am taking I had to ask myself where and how am I able to apply this math and why do I need this math if I am not going into a math program in university but a science program in university - and where in my life am I able to effectively use this information, or when am I ever going to use the information that I am learning in my life and the answer was staring me in the face which is diabetes
So within the Math course that I am taking we are learning how to factor polynomial equations, how to solve equations, how to create the equations out of word problems, how to graph the equations etc, and for the most part I cannot see a relevant point in my life where graphing would come into play and I cannot yet see the entire applicability of the understanding of the equations and the ability to factor the equations to solve for x or to simplify the equations to get to the main factors that are making up the equation, but in looking at the word factor it is easy to take this approach to diabetes and sugar levels where within a day there are many many many factors in play, such as insulin sensitivity, insulin dosage, insulin types, exercise, stress, foods, types of foods like fats or carbs or fibre that will either increase or decrease the rate of break down and absorption of sugar, emotional responses, depression, anxiety, sleep, positivity, socialization, negativity, anger…those are all the ones off the top of my head, but I'm sure there's more - anyways, all of those factors can and do influences the blood glucose level during each day. So like Stress+Fatty Food+Exercise+Long acting insulin+6 units of Short acting insulin = 9.8mmol/l - its obviously not that simple in regards to the addition or subtraction equation because many factors affect and influence the other factors and can make the other factors stronger or weaker causing sugar to rise or lower during the day and what this math is useful for is being able to factor out a factor that may be causing the blood sugar to be high during regular times of the day or causing the sugar to be low during regular times of a day - and in this find out an appropriate equation including all the factors to best be able to control blood sugars and keep them as stable as possible throughout ones life.
This is beyond my capability within math at this point but nonetheless there is no excuse for myself to understand and apply this math because I can use it to my benefit by creating a daily equation of what to do and when to do it based on factors that raise or lower the blood glucose levels - which most type 1 diabetics do when calculating how much insulin to inject during specific times of the day when the carb to insulin unit ratio varies between the times of the day. And in starting to understand this math and start to really apply myself in this math I can start to better myself by making the injections mathematically supported instead of a guessing game which I am essentially doing now - meaning guessing how much the exercise that I've done will affect me and thus guessing how much insulin to inject for the food that I ate during before or after exercising, but by recording the factors that I go through that have been proven to influence the sugar levels and factoring out the sugar levels or increasing or decreasing specific types of insulin at specific times of the day when/as those factors are present I can create an equation of how to best keep the sugar levels stable as those factors are present
I started to see this better as I was visiting the endocrinologist that I see, and as we were looking at the highs and low patterns and what was possibly influencing the readings she suggested decreasing or increasing types of insulin during those times of injection prior to injecting the insulin and changing around the equation of the insulin meaning changing the times and amounts of injections to best support myself when waking up or during work or while at school etc, and the way that I see this is a simplistic form of managing myself in diabetes because, especially during exercise, the sugar levels and insulin sensitivity dramatically changes and has been a struggle for myself to keep `level` as I exercise or work due to the dramatic change in insulin requirements during those specific times and I've also had difficulty finding the correct insulin dosage amounts prior to working or exercising because within an hour of rest the insulin sensitivity can change and if I do not work as hard as I worked near the end of the shift the amounts of insulin that I need when I get home and eat a meal change drastically. That being said giving self self awareness within the factors that are influencing the sugar levels is best for support and to give self that awareness the thoughts/emotions/feelings within the mind need to be eradicated as I've shown myself many times before that by allowing myself to entertain myself for a few moments I quickly forget to inject the basal rate insulin at the regular time and thus cause the sugar level to be affected differently at different times of the day/night
So when one has diabetes, math is an important subject to understand and apply at the level of factors and factoring out factors and finding factors and creating equations based on factors and sometimes unknowns so that one can create an equation for self based on ones owns needs and requirements of insulin and/or exercise etc, that include what to do when specific factors are involved in the resulting sugar levels. Essentially I wrote this because I've had a resistance to math and have struggled in the past course in math and so this is a point of motivation for myself to start to apply it in my daily living instead of simply seeing numbers on the board and only knowledge of the methods and ways to manipulate the equation to find the factors within the equation