Monday, December 30, 2013

Diabetes Year of our disease 2013 review!

My self imposed editor-in-chief, Jeff has informed me that I need to do a "year in review."  He is always on my case to do things that he wants to see on my blog.  I take alot of them with a grain of insulin but I think he was right and I should reflect upon the year that was diabetes 2013.

I really couldn't come up with like a top 10 or like a highlights reel but a few things that Jeff reminded me of are listed below:

  • We had alot of fun stories from our "Dallas tour de cure" training rides from people throwing up, getting lost, tons of pickle juice, emergency medical crews being called out, and our good buddy Don and his infamous "box of goodies."
  • Then there were the actual rides where Jeff and I did 70 miles one day starting at his house and just went all over Dallas, and when Don and I did our first 100 mile ride, then the infamous time when I was hit by a truck.
  • I remember the diabetes themed trips I took such as the diabetes life inspiring Montana river float trip, the Philadelphia marathon where I stripped down to my undies to cross the finish line, and the Ragnar 200 mile relay runs with so many friends.
  • Then Jeff reminds me how I am always trying to hit on girls during our training rides and I strike out every time.  Not even a single phone number from all my trying.
So that is the beginning of my diabetes year in review 2013.  Please post any comments, questions, or concerns if you want to mention any of your diabetes 2013 year highlights.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Diabetes Christmas

 So I was decorating for Christmas and I wanted to theme the little amount of cheer I show around the house.  I have a few random things left over from what my Ex left me so I put those things up.  then I decided what fun it would be to do a diabetes themed Christmas.
The Christmas tree seemed the perfect place to start (OK, I didn't get very far).  I realized that there were lots of old meters, test strip bottles, and finger prickers I could put holes in and hang them on my tree.  Well from the picture above you can see I didn't exactly get very far but I have all sorts of ideas for next year.  I was thinking to save old insulin bottles and drilling a hole in them and putting them on a string of lights and wrap my tree in them.  Then I had all sorts of stringing gross dirty test strips and stuff together.  We will see how far I get but so far I had a great time. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ice-mageddon 2013

So let me tell all of you that Dallas is an interesting place to be when the temperatures fall below zero and there is snow or ice.  Those of us in Dallas are willing to deal with all the days of 100 plus degree days because a majority of us hate winter.  I am one of those that hate winter.  We get like maybe a day of snow or a day of ice and those few days is where the entire country points their finger at us and laughs themselves silly.  The recent ice-magedon 2013 caused an interesting scare for everyone.  There was a three story building that had ice on the roof and when it defrosted a bit it all came crashing down onto a few cars destroying them.  Luckily there were no people under the falling ice because it would have not been so funny any more but probably tragic. 


So once these ice videos hit the inter-web, every Dallas-ite when outside kept their eyes to the sky to make sure were not going to be killed by falling ice.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Diabetes Trash

 The other day was trash day and like most suburbs our trash is almost 100% automated and the trash dude just drives the truck.  I am sure we will have full automation in the near future but the problem with the trash guy only driving the truck is that he could give two flips if any trash doesn't make it into the truck.  I remember as a kid the trash guys would make sure everything got into the truck and they would put your trash can lids back on and everything.  Those were the good old days.  Now on trash days I have to do the cleanup when I get home as to not have plastic bags in my trees and the such.
When I inspected the remnants of trash left by the automated trash arm thing I saw that even the trash man rejects my diabetes and left my diabetes waste on the ground.  This cracked me up because all of us diabetics know one thing, and that is all diabetes stuff has a magnetic field around it and they stick to everything besides trash bags and trash cans.  The usual suspects are test strips on floors, and random places but I seem to find pieces of pump supplies and things in all corners of my diabetes world.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Diabetes potty humor

So I have been coming up with some pretty solid and funny "blue" diabetes humor.  My best one so far is when I tell people that they can't get diabetes from me unless they sit on a toilet after me.  Then when people ask me how I came down with diabetes I tell them I sat on a toilet after a diabetic and that is how I contracted the disease.  Then my buddy Jeff was playing around on the book of faces one day and came across the picture above.  He posted it on my book of faces wall and said that if they had these toilet protectors 25 years ago I would have never come down with diabetes.  That my friends is a quality well crafted diabetes joke.  I have been recently telling people when they ask what my insulin pump is, I just say it is a penis pump and they get embarrassed real quick.  That one is becoming one of my favorite things to tell people.  If you can't embrace this horrible disease we will have for the rest of our lives we might as have at least a small amount of fun with it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Illegal Underground Diabetes Black Market

Last Sunday my good diabetic buddy Jeff was in a pinch.  He is on the Omnipod system and for anyone who uses an Omnipod knows of the dreaded errors and such.  Jeff's Omnipod was going crazy and he was three days out from getting a replacement.  The thing is Jeff didn't have any long acting insulin on hand so he could go onto shots while he waited by the mailbox for his replacement.  So what do we do in these situations?  Of course we do what all good diabetics do, and that is break the law!  Jeff called me and asked if I had any Lantus on hand, which I had two bottles on hand.  We met up and I also gave him my old Omnipod thingy and one old pod I had left over from when I was on that goofy system that breaks down all the time.  I like to refer to these transactions as "The illegal underground diabetes black market" because, it is against the law to share prescriptions with another person but us highly effective diabetics do it because on a weekend about half of the supplies we use is not found at your local pharmacy so when an issue arises and no matter how much planning you do all the time you will have an issue someday, and that is why we rely on each other to get us through.  This is just the diabetes code!  Recently another diabetic friend of mine was traveling but was going to be gone when his shipment of CGM sensors were to arrive at his house and he was on his last sensor.  He contacted me to see if he could borrow one of mine and give me one of his when he got back.  We didn't have to make this exchange because he found another diabetic that was closer to him (we live like 40 miles apart) and did the same exchange.  This is why I will keep telling each and every one of you, diabetic or not.  You need to have a good network of people around you at all times weather it be car issues, or illegal underground diabetes black market needs.  A solid network of friends, coworkers, and diabetic elves will always get you out of a bind.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Always have a backup plan.

The symposium saturday before last was great and one of the gentlemen (I forgot his name at this time but I will give it to you later, or just go to the link above) had a great discussion about training diabetic athletes.  He said to always have a valid back up plan for your medications.  Then he was talking about how one time a student of his forgot their backup and the good doctors message was "Then you don't do the activity."  I really liked this and preach it to every diabetic I know.  One thing I have had an issue with while training for the philadelphia marathon was that about halfway through my body turns into a turkey in an oven and pops out all my medical devices.  So what I have done is put multiple sites on for my insulin pump.  I also learned some of this with my good buddy Vic who sunday before last sunday finished another ironman.  He is such a beast.  Lucky for me I had both sites in at the finish line and for over 5 hours my BG's were between 130 and 180.  If I just could always run I would be cured!  Back to the moral of the story is not only to have a backup plan but you need to test it as well.  Just like having a spare tire means nothing if you don't know how to jack your car up, a backup diabetes plan needs to be tested and used in a safe control environment.  I would say go somewhere a safe distance from everything and cut the line to your pump and see if you can switch to lantis and humalog injections for an afternoon.  Practice makes us diabetics look perfect so you have to be ready for anything.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A whole bunch of naked diabetes!

 Last week I was battling this horrible cold from Sunday night through basically still today (I know I need to see a doctor for a cold lasting this long).  So the Philadelphia marathon was last Sunday and my only goal was to finish, if that meant to walk half or crawl, I was going to do it.  You can see in the picture above my pre-race look.  The weather was great and I was feeling the best I had felt all week.
 So the gun went off at 7:00am and I crossed the starting line at 7:33am or so at a solid slow pace, but I was feeling good and the course was so beautiful.  The thing though with me is I talk to myself way to much.  you know that angel on one shoulder and the diabetic devil on the other shoulder?  That is exactly what I have just for some reason I lever listen to the angel side.  At about mile 20 I started to think about things to make this marathon memorable.  The thought entered my mind to streak the finish line.  The idea first was to take off my long sleeve under shirt and cross the finish line in just my tank-top and undies, but that just didn't seem like a streak to me.   Then I thought to just take all my shirts off and my shorts and cross the finish line in just my undies and hold my clothes as I crossed the line to get an official time and everything.  From the picture above you can guess that I decided on just my undies.
 Once I crossed the finish line, Oh yeah before I forget to tell you that yes I stripped down right next to the cops stationed at mile marker 26 and they could have cared less that I was going to to my skivies to finish the race.  Then once I was done and I felt good because I had my sweaty clothes off I walked around for about 30 minutes just with my undies and finisher medal on.  It felt so great, and now I know that I am a true amateur nudist.  Above is me sitting next to the "Thinker" statue near the finish line.
I was a bit disappointed they didn't have "finisher" shirts at the end but the "finisher" medals were cooler than cool.  This was my favorite marathon to date and I can't wait till next year and to see what I come up with to top my streaking the finish line.  Sometimes I think I use diabetes as an excuse to be over the top crazy.  Would I be this over the top if I weren't diabetic?  Who knows because I am a diabetic and this is how I roll.

Monday, November 18, 2013

What is Juvenile Diabetes?

 So this past weekend was the Philadelphia marathon and also the diabetes symposium.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to take my mother with me on a field trip a day early and explore the city where America was founded.  We decided to see the Philadelphia museum of art and from the photo above you can tell that the juvenile diabetes was in full bloom.  I had so much fun and this was really a great museum besides my juvenile ways.
 Here I am looking like I am going to pick the nose of this statue.  Since I am always finding ways to do funny stuff this was pretty easy stuff to get away with even though the museum security was watching me.  They seem to be behind the times and don't realize that cell phones not only have a rear facing camera but a front facing camera and when I looked like I was next to this guy trying to get a photo of the statue across the room I really was snapping these photos.  If I only put this much effort into the rest of my life.
 After a while I went even further down the juvenile road and started to do funny pictures of me pointing at bare naked boobed sculptures.  Notice how I had to use my finger to show you the naked boobs on this lady?  Very classy right?
Here is another shameless boob picture of me showing you where hers were at.  The security was in this room as well and even moved out of my way thinking I was taking a picture of the bust of a guy across the room.  One day I will grow up and not have fun, but until that day comes I am milking this as much as I can.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Glucolift travel tubes

I was thinking the other day about my dilemma with the bad tube of fast acting glucose tablets.  The raspberry ones that had water get into the container and spoiled the tablets.  My thinking was how my friend Chris Angel and his company Glucolift has these awesome travel tubes that you can refill and they don't leak any water.  Actually it was a tube of Glucolift travel tubes filled with orange creme tablets that rescued my bad glucose tablets.  It is funny how something so simple can impact your life in such a great way.  Chris has these travel tubes on his website for a few dollars and they are amazing.  First they fit any brand of glucose tablets and they are re-usable.  I have reused the cheap generic glucose tablet tubes before and they are nothing to write home about, but the Glucolift travel tubes are awesome.  I have like six or seven of these travel tubes and they are awesome to keep your tablets in a safe, waterproof, and durable container.  Go to website and take a look at them and if you have never tried Glucolift tablets I would reccomend you picking up a bottle of the orange creme.  You will almost enjoy getting a little low to eat these all natural diabetes treats.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yield to Peds

OK so I am training for the Philly marathon on November 17th and I enjoy running on a certain trail by my house.  Well it is not exactly by my house but within ten miles and this trail is 11 mile loop and I enjoy running it twice.  The trail is a good because it has things to distract me while I run like a dog park, ponds with ducks and kids fishing, play ground parks, and nice homes along the way.  Last Sunday I was on this trail running along and all of the sudden a cyclist buzzes by me and he is yelling at me some random get on my side of the trail and stuff.  This upset me and so I knew he would be back so I definitely was going to mess with him when he came back.

About ten minutes later he comes cycling back and I get in the middle of the trail and ask him why he can't yield to pedestrians.  He responded back with, if I didn't have my earphones turned up so loud I would have heard him yelling at me to get out of the way.  So I asked him the question of "what if I were deaf?"  The guy says back to me, "if you were deaf you would have a shirt on that said deaf on the back."  At that moment I nearly exploded and jumped the guy.  I then lifted up my shirt to show my diabetes pump and CGM and told the guy I had diabetes should I wear a shirt that says diabetic on the back all the time?  He got real scared that I was about to beat his a$$ and I asked him if he hated all diseased people?  I then calmed down and told the guy I was a cyclist and when you are on a trail the pedestrians have the right away and that the cyclist yields to the pedestrian.  He smarted off and said that pedestrians are supposed to stick to the side of the trail so cyclist can get by.  I decided to leave because there was no way I could beat that much stupid out of him. 

His comment made me so upset because at times it does seem like all us diseased people are supposed to constantly educate the stupid that we have diseases and certain things are not as easy for us, like diabetics need insulin to digest a cookie and stuff. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Diabetes Hypothetical Question.

 I have a question for you diabetics out there in the great inter-web.  Today I was waiting for my doctor in the waiting room and my BG's had a quick drop from 150 to 40 in no time at all.  I recognized the signs instantly and got some glucose tablets.  Then when I opened the tube up I saw the water damaged, mildew looking tablets in the container and wondered to myself, are these safe to eat?
The tube has been in my truck for like a couple of years and probably got wet or something but, if this was all you had to raise your BG's would you eat them?  I did have like three other tubes of glucose tabs, quick sticks, and other random candy to eat in the truck so I did not eat these.  The thing is though I have kept them because I am kind of thinking about doing a non-scientific experiment on my body and eating these and seeing if I come down with some sort of issues from eating these.  So my answer to the question is, Yes I would definitely eat anything to raise my BG's.  What would you do?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saturday Night Diabetes Fever!

The answer to your question is yes, I am a dork and stay in most Saturday nights and I also enjoy watching "Saturday Night Live."  A couple of weeks ago the show had Arcade Fire which is a band I am not exactly too familiar with and when they came on to perform I was mesmerized by the awesome sound they had.  Then when they played their second song I was even more hooked into doing a little research into this band and adding them to my play list.  Once I thought I had seen it all and thought the night was ending and time for bed with the end of Saturday Night live, they had an encore video show with Arcade fire playing their new songs to be released on Oct 29th.  The video above is what they showed and it is so awesome with all sorts of guest appearances like Bono from U2, Michael Cera from "Super Bad," James Franco, Aziz Ansari, and just when you thought it was the most awesome thing ever about halfway through they have this fake space shuttle video conference which was Zack Galifianakis and the actor from the T-Mobile phone commercials as the "astronauts."  The video above is 22 minutes long but in my cute little slightly working diabetes heart it is an instant classic and I have listened to it like 10 times in the past couple of days.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Diabetes Hands

 I have some good news and also some bad news about me.  First the bad news, when I go out for a run on the weekends I sometimes have to "go to the bathroom" but, lucky for me I choose a trail with water fountains and bathrooms along the route. 
The bathrooms along my route don't have soap so I have learned my lesson the hard way and now bring with me something to "wash" my hands with.  Hand sanitizer is good at killing germs but it does not "wash" your hands as I once learned.  A friend of mine told me to always think about if you would want your heart surgeon to do your quadruple bypass with just hand sanitizer?  So I take along with me something that is a wash like the monkey wipes above.  They are awesome and come in a handy singles pack that I can use over and over and over.  OK, I sometimes use the restroom alot while running.  These are also great to keep in your diabetes supplies man or woman's purse.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's always fun in the land of Diabetesville!

OK, before I go any further I wanted to put out a couple of warnings before you read this post.  There is a descent amount of unsightly diabetes nudity below and also alot of whining and complaining.  You have been warned and proceed with caution.
So I started having a bit of stiffness in my shoulder.  I had rotator cuff surgery about 11 years ago and there is always a little pain doing this or that but nothing I couldn't fake my way through.  Then I was trying to run about three weeks ago on a Saturday and the pain became unbearable and I had to end my run and the next day I sat on my couch not doing anything but trying to get my shoulder into a comfortable state, at this point I knew it was past time to see the ol doctor.  The doctor said the sack that surrounds my shoulder was inflamed and when I moved my arm it was pinching parts of the sack.  To add onto that he said I had some descent arthritis in the shoulder as well from my surgery.  He ordered me some prescription strength bengay and also a few sessions of physical therapy.

I started physical therapy that Friday and the ladies took one look at my shoulder and that I was a diabetic and told me I definitely had "frozen shoulder" as well.  They informed me that frozen shoulder happens in alot of diabetics and it just takes alot of working out the right muscles to get everything back to diabetes half falling apart shape.  Then once we did some exercises they ended my session with a "taping" of my shoulder.  I have seen lots of people wear this stuff but I have never understood what it did.  So you can see in the picture the last piece of tape I had on and what it does I guess is pull everything out so that nothing is pinching or something.  The taping worked really good and the physical therapy (I am in week three of four now) has done miracles for helping out.  I am just going to put this in the category of the daily life of living with diabetes.  Remember if we just don't eat sweets the disease is under control!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Diabetes Comedy

Sorry everyone I fell behind on posts, got busy at work, and am of course lazy.  My buddy Jeff sent me this picture and I don't know where he got it from but this has to be the pinnacle of all diabetes comedy.  I showed it to my coworkers and they didn't get it and that is what rocks even more about it that non-diabetics can't see the awesome humor in this picture.  So enjoy your weekend and when you test your BG's and it is a little elevated just refer back to this picture and everything will be OK.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to avoid the noise!

 Do you ever want to just eat something that is not healthy and contains what normal people call bad for diabetics stuff called sugar?  I must tell you, half the teeth in my head are sweet so I don't just have a sweet tooth, I have half a mouth full of sweet loving teeth.  So my worst holiday is Halloween, I loved this holiday until the age of 13, then it became a curse and the beginning of depression season.  Halloween is followed by Thanksgiving, another great diabetes day of defeat, then Christmas, which is awesome for the BG's and A1c's, then New Years and by the end of it all you feel like the world is against you.
Now, I am not embarrassed of diabetes there are just times when you don't want the 70 something year old smoker at your work harassing you because your bg's are 68 and you are drinking a glass of OJ and they are telling you that you shouldn't be drinking that.  Like anyone cheats with OJ?  Get real, we do bad with lots of other crap but never OJ.  So I was playing around with a buddy at work and he came to my desk and asked, "you got a cold because of the Advil?"  I responded to him that no, it was my way of muling illegal candy around and to stay under the radar of the diabetes police.  Then I opened the box to show him the caramel's inside and he asked, why would you do that?  I told him to stay off the radar of the diabetes police.  Just having fun like I always do but sometimes it is just easier to hide your candy obsession than to answer a million questions like "are you low because of all the candy you are eating?" or the "you shouldn't be eating that?"  Like anyone on the planet should eat any part of this, I just sometimes enjoy a simple freakin piece of caramel, or two, or three, heck maybe the whole freakin bag.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Because I was high!

 Last week I was humming along at work one day when all of the sudden I felt cotton mouth, irritable, and like I had to pee the entire Mississippi river out of me.  I looked at my handy dandy CGM and sure enough from the last time I checked and till I opened up the CGM my BG's were in mid take off into outer space.  Now I don't eat much of a breakfast, mainly protein and about 10 carbs and I felt about an hour ago that everything was fine, then I had tested an hour before that and I was 158 so what was the deal with the bad diabetic?
I looked down at my shirt and noticed this small spot of wetness right around the area of my pump site.  Quickly I dropped my droors and lifted my shirt to see my pump site had popped out and I was just dumping perfectly good insulin all over the top of my skin, shirt, and site.  This is where hanging out with other diabetics really help you out when in a bind.  My buddy Steve had showed me in Montana a trick that only other diabetics will tell you or show you because it is against all rules and regulations for diabetes management.  The thing is half of our lives are spent in the grey zones of proper diabetes care.  The trick my friend Steve showed me was to take out a new infusion set, pluck that sucker right on your alcohol cleaned site, then take off the tubing and plug in the tubing connector from your old sight that is still in your pump without being rewound or anything.  Then prime the insertion tip which is like one unit depending on your infusion set.  Then you have an emergency quick site change that did not require your bottle of insulin out, a rewind on your pump, or any of the "usual" things in a full site change.  I went about the rest of my day and within two hours I was back down to normal and I drank lots of water to flush out any possibilities of keytones.  Now here is a disclaimer so you don't sue me for my six bottles of insulin and six months worth of supplies I have to my name.  This is highly diabetes illegal and if the diabetes police catch you doing this they will arrest you and put you into some sort of sugar prison cell or something.  Like I said this was an emergency site swap so don't do it.  I love learning the in's and outs from my friends

Monday, October 7, 2013

How do you milk a coconut?

 I normally drink almond milk because my god friend Dr. Mark told me about how milk from a cow can easily carry bacteria and bad stuff that can give you 24 hour colds and other sick stuff.  Also almond milk has less calories and more good protein.  That sounded good to me so I made the switch.  Then I have been reading about how putting more coconut stuff in your diet is good as well like cooking with coconut oil instead of vegetable or olive oil.  I haven't made the switch from olive oil to coconut oil but I will give it a try someday.  I did notice in the paper one day that there was this coconut milk and wanted to give it a try just they don't cary it at WalMart yet.
The other day I was at Kroger instead of my normal WalMart or Aldi because I had a craving for pineapple sherbet (don't judge me!) and I had to get some fast so I went to the closest store.  While I was there I wanted to pick up any other random supplies I needed and came across this coconut milk at the store so I splurged and bought a half gallon.  This stuff is OK tasting, definitely better than coconut water but not as good as almond milk.  I drank it more as a change up of water more than drinking it as my breakfast fluid and protein.  The results are that this stuff is a good coconut water replacement (don't ask me if it has the same health benefits) but I still like my almond milk better as an alternative to cow udder milk.  Send me a note and let me know if either you have tried it or if you like it better than almond milk.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Breakin the law! Breakin the law!

 I don't mean to break the law but I have this crazy thing inside my head that says I am not really breaking the law.  It is like when you jay walk, that really isn't "breaking bad" cooking meth kind of law breaking.
 Over the weekend I was looking for some chords and headphones I have misplaced.  I went through my camping bags and as I was reaching into the bottom of one (never blindly reach into the bottom of any bag a diabetic owns) bag and came across a rock I picked up in Montana.  Taking a rock from private property or a park is technically against the law and also against most "leave no trace" codes and my buddy Ken would whap me up aside the head for taking it.  The thing is I just like to have a small piece of rock to remember where I was.
I will put this rock with my other small rock tokens from years of camping and they all just take me to a place inside me where diabetes doesn't roam free and I don't have to prick my finger.  So call me a thief or a bad person and all that is true just remember I don't do it to be malicious, I do it as a keep sake.

Friday, September 27, 2013

old school stuff!

I know this is pretty useless stuff but for some odd reason I just like to know my knots and how to tie them then to know when to use them.  A friend of mine, back when I was like a sophomore in high school taught me some really neat stuff one year working at scout camp.  This guy was one of those guys that could survive any where, any time, with anything.  He was like Bear Gryls before there was a Bear Gryls.  We were doing alot of fun "ewok village" stuff one week just because we were bored and were working on a monkey bridge that went between two towers we built but the monkey bridge was about 50 yards long and we were having problems getting the ropes tight enough and also keeping the towers from collapsing.  That is when my buddy busted out the old school truckers knot.  The truckers knot you see above and can read about in the article I posted is used to hold things down or to gain mechanical tension in holding something tight.  Think of a trucker with a load of gear on the back of his rig and doesn't have any ratchet straps, tarps, or stuff to hold the gear down he can use a truckers knot to tie things down with more force than he could by just pulling the rope with only brute muscle strength.  Our monkey bridge was staked out with five foot long stakes that were about six inches around that we hammered into the ground with an axe and we used three of them.  Then on each stake we had a rope with the figure "A" part you see above and we used the loop as a pulley and progressively on each stake repeated figure "A" and that created a monkey bridge that could hold an entire village of ewoks on.

The only downside to this new truckers knot that I learned was when it came time to tearing down our elaborate ewok village the part in figure "A" you see above we just used simple over hand knots which once tightened down fully and had a thousand kids running up and down the bridge was impossible to take out of the rope.  So we had to cut the rope at the last over hand knot we put in and sacrafice the un-tie-able section to the knot gods.  I know this story is going somewhere, the picture above shows a better start to the truckers knot by using the over hand loop.  From my ewok village issues years back I have always avoided using a truckers knot because of the possible loss of the rope.  Now I know a better, modified version of the truckers knot I can put this old school knot back into my arsenal of knot weapons for future need of tying down crap in my truck the next time one of my ratchet straps give out.  It just goes to show that if you always keep an open mind and stay informed, you can learn cool new things just like I did.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Diabetes can always ruins a good thing

 Tuesday I was working out with my group and our trainer had a cool gift for all of us and that was a free T-shirt!  What made this T-shirt even cooler was that is was a fig Newton running shoe T-shirt.  I wear fig Newton running shoes so this was a nice addition to the swag.
 When I got home there was this funny feeling coming from my belly (no not that kind of funny feeling).  The kind of funny feeling that you know something diabetes related is not going so well.  Then I looked down my shirt ans saw the blood on the shiny and new T-shirt where my pump site was.
 I lifted up my shirt so see the stream of blood gushing from my pump site and knew that I was not going to be feeling well for the rest of the night.  Not sure if the rest of you "normal diabetics" have ever had this happen to you but I am first not normal, and second a klutz.  What happened was my pump site either slightly came out during workout and was pushed back in, only to rip and tear my insides, or my site shifted and hit something that makes blood gush out of me like a Texas oil rig.  Either way I get a real nasty bruise, quality swelling and pain from the area, and also it makes me sick.  Not sure if it is like insulin going into my blood stream or something it just makes me queasy when this happens.
The first thing to do is always replace the pump site and monitor my BG's to see if I am doing any sort of insulin resistance or something.  All in all I made it through the night and my upset tummy was not too bad of an issue but my new shirt probably has a permanent blood stain on it.  Oh well, what do I own that isn't covered in diabetes?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Easily treatable disease!

A 22-year-old woman may die

My good ol buddy Jeff was joking with me the other day and sent me the article on the lady above about how she is a diabetic in prison.  Of course Jeff was joking that I might have a chance at dating her since she is a criminal, in jail, and also has type 1 diabetes.  Then I started reading the article and couldn't get past the part where the author describes type 1 diabetes as, "an easily treatable disease."  I almost hit the floor when I read that.  How little research this author must have done to report on diabetes and the woman in prison.  Do I feel like a complete failure now that I can't control an easily treatable disease. 

The article does provoke even more issues that to me go into why I am not a fan of the new government health care system about to go into effect.  It was brought up to me by a person of inside knowledge that the government considers 3 times a day as the standard of BG testing.  I test like 10 times a day and also wear a CGM.  So first of all I can't control this easily treatable disease and second I don't want the government in charge of my medical care if they consider 3 times a day as the standard of diabetes care.  OK, so this just adds so much more to the things that I don't understand and just will have to live with and deal with when time comes.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My favorite house guests!

There is one critter I always enjoy seeing around my house and that is the gecko.  I am not sure if the gecko above is a Mediterranean gecko or a common house gecko.  They are like almost identical in every way.  The one gecko I know for sure this isn't is that one from the Geico commercials.  There is nothing bad about geckos at all.  They eat insects and walk all over walls and stuff.  My dogs get a good exercise chasing them when they accidentally come out during the day.

This year has been my best year ever for the size of geckos I have had.  Usually I get a few really small and skinny ones but this year as you can tell from the picture above I have some whoopers around.  Does this mean I have more bugs around the house?  I hope it doesn't, just this year I have been leaving my porch light on at night and if there is one thing to get a gaggle of geckos on your garage door or front porch is to leave the lights on for them.  There was one a week or so ago that would sit on my front porch every morning waiting for me to come out.  Then I would say hello to him and he would scurry off to his hole to sleep the day away.  Geckos just make me think that I don't just live in hotter-than-hell summer Dallas, Texas but instead it feels more like: hotter-than-hell summer Dallas, Texas Caribbean style.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sticky situation

 I am always late to the party and way under informed on most subjects, and diabetes definitely falls into that category.  Since the dawning of Dave (The Diabetic Camper) being on an insulin pump of the year 1999 I have used IV prep as my default stuff to get my skin as tacky as possible.
 The only problem I have with IV prep is that my body is like your Thanksgiving day turkey with that little nub thing that pops out when it is done.  My body constantly pops out my infusion sites just like that turkey does and I constantly fight with keeping my infusion site attached to my body.  I have always used IV prep and alcohol as a base, then I have tried all sorts of tapes and anti-perspirants with none of them working when the temperature hits the 90+ range.  Then one day on my recent canoe trip in Montana along the Missouri river my friend Tracey asked if I had ever used Skin Tac.
I have never even heard of this "Skin Tac" stuff and asked her what it was all about.  She informed me that it is like IV prep just with alot more sticky to it.  Well after this conversation I was still playing around with odd places I can put my pump site then recently while my site was on my leg it popped off during a workout.  One of the guys in our workout group who is a nurse asked me if I had ever thought of Skin Tac.  Then at that moment I remembered Tracey telling me about this stuff and so I thought that I should give it a try. 

The next order of pump supplies I added a box of 100 Skin Tac wipes to the order and let me tell you all something.  This stuff is awesome!  I love that it sticks everything to anything.  Once I put my site on my clothes are like fused to my skin and my fingers are stuck together.  I am so in love with this stuff and what it does.  If you have the thanksgiving day turkey issue like I do, you should definitely give Skin Tac a try.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Do you ever feel you know your friends too well?

So I admit it that I am addicted to funny commercials.  Then funny commercials sometimes remind me of stuff.  The above commercial is playing in the Dallas area currently and every time I see it I think of my buddy Don.  My good diabetic buddy Don loves squirrels and he also gets irritable whenever he has low BG's.  So when I see the squirrel giving the finger to the runner I always imagine that happens to Don at home.  The back of Don's house is like a giant glass wall overlooking his backyard of live oak trees that are filled with squirrels, birds and stuff.  I just chuckle inside myself watching this commercial and thinking of Don pounding on the glass yelling at a squirrel that his tail is dumb and the squirrel turning around and flipping him the bird and telling him his blood sugars are low and to eat something.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

coconut water

 OK, this coconut water stuff is all the rage right now and I am not one to miss a good fad so I wanted to join in on this craze.  I even hear on one life radio about that we are supposed to try to cook now with coconut oil instead of olive oil.  something about how it is the healthiest of all the oils.  The thing is I tried coconut water a while back and I am not sure if it was tainted, went bad, or just that coconut water tastes like bad dishwater in my mouth but it wasn't anything good or worth writing home about.  Then I constantly see this coconut water in the stores and I want to know if one is different than another or I was buying dirty coconut dishwater flavored coconut water.
So I put on my white trash thinking cap and decided to start with the most unhealthy of all the coconut waters I could find.  The one I came up with was Goya aqua de coco, which my Mexican to diabetes dictionary tells me that it is sugar and coconut water or something like that.  Then I read the back label and the ingredients pretty much agreed with my sugar and coconut water ingredients.  I had this can in my fridge for a few days waiting for the right time where I was freshly worked out and had a slanted down arrow on my CGM with a BG of 120 or so.  That day was here and I cracked open the can and let me tell you this, it was pretty good stuff.  I bought the kind with the coconut meat chunks in it because, I like the chunky-ness of pulp and it slows me down when drinking things.  I am sure the bad outweighed and of the good from the coconut water in this can but it started me on the trail of working up to the dishwater coconut flavored stuff again.  If you are a believer of the water of coconuts and have a special brand or flavor I should try please post a comment on this page and I will probably take you up on it and do another post on your recommendation.

Friday, September 6, 2013

What every diabetes educator should be like!

There are some little nuances about having diabetes (either the good kind or the bad kind of diabetes), and they are small but they build and build until we usually get depressed or go into diabetes rage on somebody.  These are small comments that people do not think are negative or harmful to us diabetics but they are and they do.  The one that is like finger nails on a chalk board at my work is when my co-workers hear the beep on my meter or CGM and they say out load: "Whoa" like something bad just happened like my BG's are low or high (they don't know the difference).  Then they also say the: "Whoa" whenever they see my numbers are below 120 or above 200 (still they couldn't tell you what any of that means they just know it should always be 150 to 180).  So the "whoa" noise I hear is my co-workers telling me I did something wrong and that it needs to be fixed.  My mother never meant to say hurtful things to me and I never realized they hurt me till high school age but she used to ask: "What are your numbers?"  Then if my numbers were high then she would say: "Now what did you do to get that way? Was it that cookie you ate or something?"  My mother was not trying to be the diabetes Nazi police but she was and it put guilt into me for wanting to eat a cookie or have some ice cream.  I became depressed about diabetes because I knew there was not another diabetic on this planet that did this eating and BG thing worser than I did.  What changed me from depressed worst diabetic on the planet to positive diabetic that loves to always make sure everyone in a square mile radius knows I have the bad kind of diabetes is when I joined a diabetes support group and the diabetes educator was a type 1 as well but she hated diet coke and told me she refuses to drink the stuff and always had regular coke and she knew how much to bolus for it and to not go crazy with the stuff.  We also went over trigger words in our little support group and that is where I learned which words upset me and which ones I want to hear.  This was probably one of the best things I have ever learned.

During our Montana trip we had a diabetes educator named Carla.  Now I was a skeptic of Carla from our phone conversations, wondering if she was a diabetic Nazi police or not, but I was open minded and wanted to see how it went before I made any judgement.  Then on the trip I got to know Carla and from minute one I loved her approach to discussing diabetes with youth and how she engaged (or at least tried to engage) everyone in their diabetes care.  The first thing she did with everyone was discuss what she required of the youth and when she wanted it.  This was awesome because diabetic Nazi police never let you know when they want a number from you but when they do they want to tear you up if it is not what they want it to be.  Carla even asked each juvenile adult diabetic if we wanted to do this with her (we all were 100% in doing whatever the youth had to do).

The amazing thing was how Carla reacted to a 350 BG or a low 65 BG, she would ask the person what they thought about a treatment, then she would either agree or let you know why she would disagree, and both sides had a chance to talk about what they thought was the best thing to do and Carla never was over bearing or determined for her angle.  Then she documented it in her three ring binder and go on to the next.  Do you know how liberating this is to a diabetic?  This is a concept that needs to be spread around the world and back, to not question why a diabetic is where they are but to just discuss with them on how to get where we want to be.  Parents, Diabetics, and everyone this is how to win the hearts and minds of diabetes.  Never worry (ok maybe discuss counting carbs or something but use it as how to work on future things, not how bad we must have been to dissapoint with an off number) what we did wrong to get somewhere but how to make the right changes in the future to get where we want to be and then to follow up with how to adjust our future to stay there.  I wish every juvenile diabetic and their families could hang out with Carla and learn these awesome ways to keep your diabetic and diabetes in the land of happiness.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A new take on drinking water

 It is hard to see the water bladders in our canoes but the black bag looking things in the second and third canoe from the left has these 2.5 gallon water bladders in them.  I have done alot of outdoor adventures and a great deal of backwoods week long camping but never had I ever had to bring all our drinking water along a trip.  We had something like 80 of these bladders and I know what you are thinking and I asked the same question: "why do we have to bring all our water on a canoe trip?"  The answer I received was because the Missouri river water was too dirty to purify and also too gritty to just use iodine.  This sounded reasonable to me and I accepted it.
Above is a picture of what the water bladders look like that I stole of the inter-web.  They are quite industrial but ergonomically sound.  I would compare them to a sand bag on their shape and they had this handy dandy string that went all around the outside of them for easy grab and go.  Then the water bladders were like a canvas material on the outside which gave them a good texture to them.  Nothing like the old balloon noise or rubber feel the the bladder. 

The only thing that had me concerned the whole trip was: "what if we ran out of water?"  I constantly was counting these things and figuring out how much water we used in a single day.  We had plenty of water and dumped out a few at the end but for my first pack in all your water adventure this one was fun and I am glad I now have canoed on a river full of fresh water that you cant drink.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Connections to our past

 Do you ever wonder if you were adopted because you are different from the rest of your family?  Not like in a "real life" kind of adoption or that you are the only one with diabetes in the family so you had to be adopted but like your tastes and everything are different than the rest of your families? 
I was thinking about this "what if" question last night because I know I am first of all in the right family and second of all am not adopted (besides that I am the only one with diabetes).  The reason boils down to a simple thing my grandmother told me years ago just after my grandfather passed away and I was like 14 or so.  She mentioned to me that the last thing my grandfather wished he could get was an ice cold slice of watermelon and the summer heat had just started picking up and that was when my grandfather would cut open a watermelon and we would all sit around and spit the seeds.  He was at a nursing home at the time due to fading memory and my grandmother was gong to pick up a watermelon and take it to him the next day just so he could enjoy it with the heat.  last night when I got home from working out the first thing I did (OK the first thing I did after I fed the dogs) was to get my cold watermelon out of the fridge and cut a few slices off to cool me down.  Cold watermelon on a hot summer day is like the best thing ever, OK besides like fresh home made ice cream, glass bottle ice cold diet cherry coke, or alot of things.  The point is I love having such a connection with my ancestors with simple things as a slice of cold watermelon on a hot summer day.