The Rambling Road: A question of precision

Having medical conditions often means medication, and taking medications often means a level of precision whether we realize it or not. Each medication has its own, often unique, requirements for administration that are often, in some way, in conflict with any others.

Add into this the human propensity for mistakes, and you have a recipe for disaster. In my case, this morning, it was a matter of injecting the wrong dose of my long-acting insulin, to the tune of 22 more units than I should have taken.

In isolation, this is not that big of a deal. I will have to keep extra track of my blood sugar throughout the day to make sure it does not drop too far, and because I can’t afford not to stay on track with my regular doses, I will have to make sure I eat enough calories tonight to see me through until morning.

That said, while I happened to notice this mistake and can compensate for it, I wonder how many times I may have made similar mistakes–taking a once a day pill twice or other instances of taking not enough or too much insulin–since this process began.

The fact is these mistakes pile up. Over time, we can’t help but to make them, and they start to have an effect on our health just as surely as the diseases we are treating. It’s an important thing for patients and medical professionals to consider for anyone battling disease.

As for me, I will redouble my efforts to pay attention. That’s the best I can do.


Read more at my The Rambling Road weblog…

Retuning cheese making

From the beginning, my desire to make cheese was rooted more in a desire to find a way to preserve milk I might actually have in excess at my farm than any other thing. That is, I never set out to make true Cheddar or Ricotta. Instead, I want to make Innisfree cheese using time-tested methods.

So far, my effort has been a mixed bag, partly because I’m not listening to what the milk is telling me. On the other hand, I have learned a lot from the mistakes I’ve made and have a much better idea of how to proceed.

For me, moving forward means going back to what started me down this path, and that means rereading Sandor Katz‘s excelled writing on the subject. His approach is fundamentally what I am trying to do, and I’m working to reapply his simplicity to what I am doing.

If you are interested, I highly recommend his book Wild Fermentation (affiliate link). It is simple, straight-forward, and an excellent primer for anyone looking to make a variety of fermented foods, including cheese.


Learning from my mistakes

One of the advantages of reading weblogs written by honest people is that they tend to share their experiences, even when they happen to be negative orĀ embarrassing. I try to do that very thing with my weblog, and I do so because I hope that other people can learn from my experiences without having to go through them themselves.

As it turns out, I committed one of the cardinal sins of online business in using my debit card as a means of conducting transactions instead of using a traditional credit card. Why is this a sin? Because, unlike credit cards, which have very developed fraud and dispute resolution protections as part of their terms of service, debit cards function just like cash, even when they have the Mastercard or Visa logo on them, and most banks are not as willing to help you solve fraud or dispute problems the way the credit card companies might. Further, debit cards take the money directly from your account while credit cards hold those transactions in a buffer account.

Having made this mistake, I joined the nearly 20 percent of Americans who have had their identities stolen since the government first started keeping records of such things. I will probably be able to resolve the problem because I caught it soon and took aggressive steps to stop further theft, but the fact of the matter is that it never needed to happen. Sure, someone might have compromised a credit card, but the damage would have been less and less enduring.

So, the lesson I want you to learn here is that, if you are using your debit card to conduct online business, stop. Use a credit card instead, or if you don’t have a credit card, look into using cash proxy services like PayPal or bank payment services. Do not use your debit card because you cannot protect your money if you do.

Further, make sure you are using strong passwords online. Do not use the same passwords for every site. If you need to write your passwords down, use a program that can encrypt them like KeyPass. Never, ever use personally identifiable information in your passwords–that includes names, dates, phone numbers, or anything that might be able to be found publicly.

Learn from my mistake and avoid letting it happen to you.