Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Do compromises work?

 Heather and I have adapted our lives to the pandi.  The camping trips we had planned around festivals were canceled and our other trips were reviewed for rona guidelines.  Once we cleaned up our calendar we filled in the weekends with pandi approved rona minimizing trips.  What we came up with was to focus our camping trips on water based activities.  To keep us from getting rona we realized that renting a kayak was deemed too risky so we looked into purchasing one.  We are two peas in a pod and love doing things together so a tandem kayak was definitely our focus.  The only problem with either buying a couple of kayaks or one tandem kayak is the amount of garage space they would occupy.  We found a great deal on a used tandem kayak and almost purchased it until I thought to measure the garage to see if it could fit.  Of course we found out that loading, unloading, storing, and transporting a kayak or two kayaks was going to be too much so we almost gave up.  Then we came across these blowup kayaks and at first we thought of them as for kids and for use in a pool.  The more we researched the more we figured that a blowup kayak was adult friendly, cost effective, and easy to store.  There are downsides to having a blow up kayak compared to a regular hard shell kayak.  The blow up kayaks are not built for speed so there is a "right" speed to go when traveling and anything faster just wastes energy and it becomes a hassle to steer.  Then they get a little uncomfortable after about two hours.  Then you start to get a little antsy in the seat, which then brings us to the last part and they are a little more unstable getting in and out of.

The end result works perfectly for us because we set reasonable expectations, did the research, and looked at solutions that filled as many "must have" items in a nonbiased approach.  We knew that this hobby might be just a fad for us so spending alot of money and storing something we rarely used was a big factor.  So how does this relate to all of you and your type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes?  When looking at how each of us manage our type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes we should all do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis on ourselves to understand who we are.  Then look at what options are available to you weather it be a bionic smart insulin pump, a regular insulin pump, a tubeless insulin pump, or multiple daily injections.  I personally know that technology is a weakness of mine and that I camp alot so a futuristic bionic smart insulin pump would be a threat away from civilization.  The tubeless insulin pumps hit my weakness of being a klutz and I knock them off all the time.  The regular insulin pumps are a threat to me because I am forgetful so making sure I have plenty of insulin in the reservoir is another weakness.  My strength is my routine and taking a shot of long term insulin twice a day works on my strength.  Then I love the shock and awe of pulling out my insulin at a restaurant and  being the center of attention while injecting myself with insulin so daily injections isn't perfect by no means but it is the best compromise for my SWOT analysis.  I have been on all sorts of insulin pump therapies and the good thing is to always keep an open eye and understand if something isn't working for you then it might be time to analyze and maybe try something different. So never criticize or demoralize anyone for how they are controlling their type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes.  Remember that your life and SWOT is different than everyone else life and SWOT so don't look down on MDI people like myself, instead understand that  type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes is all about making the right compromises to live a happy and fulfilled life and always be open to understanding why other type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes therapy cultures do things the way the do. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Make the most of what you have

 I love trying new things.  They are even better when they are free and easy.  Recently Heather and I went camping at Sea Rim State Park.  This park is on the gulf coast where Louisiana and Texas meet.  The atmosphere is interesting where the swamp meets the gulf so you can see alligators while hanging out at the beach.  

When we travel to a new area the research starts with searching for things one must see, then there are things one must eat, then there are things one must do.  A travel plan and daily itinerary is formed from what we find in the results of our searches and one of those items I found was to go blue crab fishing.  

Blue crab fishing from what I found on youtube consists of a rope with a chicken neck tied to it and a net.  I don't know why it had to be a chicken necks but this seemed easy and fun.  Well we had brought a Cornish game hen to eat as one of our dinners but the recent damp warm air made the mosquitos impossible to be outside of our camper in the evenings to cook.  We don't cook in the camper because well it just takes away that feeling of camping.  We altered our evening dinner plans to heading to town and enjoying the local seafood restaurants.  I used our now defunct dinner plans as bait and some simple 550 paracord that I usually keep way too much of laying around in my truck and I was off and fishing for blue crab.

With my first toss out I had a bite and gently pulled in my blue crab catch and I was hooked.  This blue crab fishing thing was easy and absolutely a blast.  Heather even enjoyed watching me pull in crab after crab while trying to get a single bar of coverage on her phone to find an interesting place to eat dinner.  You are wondering how this relates to diabetes and why is this important?   Living with the type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes is hard and it sneaks up on you.  I have had it for 33 years and it has given me a couple of heart attacks and kidney disease but, by surrounding myself with positive people and being willing to try things and actively checking off my bucket list items.  I feel so happy and love everything about life.  There are no more marathons for me, there are no more triathlons for me, and there are no more 100 mile bike rides for me.  Does any of this make me feel sad or down?  Not at all, because I have done them and now that I can't do them I can move on and catch blue crabs(or any other fun activity) with Heather and keep creating good times with the things that I can do.  So from me to all of you: don't waste time being angry or sad about diabetes, surround yourself with positive people, do things that you can do that make you happy, and do it now!  Who knows what type 1 juvenile sugar diabetes will bring you tomorrow but today there is the opportunity for your blue crab fishing activity with fun friends to make you happy.


The Diabetic Camper

Monday, January 23, 2017

seeing things from another point of view

I have always had a love of BBQ but I have always loathed what it did to my less than perfect care of my diabetes.  Not that I have ever really deprived myself of the tender slow cooked meats that are yummy to my tummy but what I did was limit my eating of BBQ.  Reserving this fatty delicacy for limited special occasions with friends.

This was all good with me because we all understand that diabetes is a disease of constant let downs, people monitoring us, public humiliation, and daily struggles.  I set up my BBQ colander schedule a touch lower than my fried chicken schedule which is once a quarter.  So BBQ was more like twice a year.  This made me choose to only go to the best places for BBQ and for occasions where I really wanted a 24 hour struggle with blood sugars on a rocket shooting for the sky while I tried to figure out the carb count on the sauce, fat, protein, and mysterious other things that might be in a particular style of meat (plus I can't seem to avoid a heaping amount of cobbler with BBQ, but lets not focus on that issue today).

Recently I had one of those "Ah-Ha" moments in my life while on a trip to the hill country in Texas with my lady friend.  I realized that if I have a more German style of BBQ which consists of a dry cooking method and the BBQ is served with a vinegar sauce then I am practically eating zero carbs and if I limit myself to one serving of quality cobbler than it is actually simple to have a steady 150 blood sugar after eating and keeping them there for the next day. 

Last Saturday my lady friend and I attended a BBQ, grilling, outdoor cooking class where the world renowned chef Tim Byres taught us how to cook steaks and vegetables actually in a fire.  Not on a grill, or in a smoker, but throwing them straight into the coals of the fire.  We learned about making dry rubs and how cooking doesn't have to be a sanitized clean event all the time.  I would say that this was the "Ah-Ha" door opening up even more where now we can grill more flavor with less carbs and with less fatty meats then just BBQ.

I know this seems like a lot of rambling from a less than perfect diabetic to those of you out there who are excellent at depriving yourself of certain foods, and can exercise multiple times a day and have an A1C below 5.0 but for those of us that like a healthy 7.0 on up A1C and enjoy living all of life to the fullest and not skipping out on any part of it and eating a variety of food, I hope you see that if we just change how we look at something we can make it work.  Keeping an open mind and positive attitude towards the dark side of diabetes will put more victories in your life and obstacles will change into opportunities of fun.