Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Under the Dome update!

How do I do this?  A show comes on TV that I have no desire to watch then find myself every week watching it and getting all wrapped up in it.  This Under the Dome show recently got me hook, line, and sinker because they have introduced that thee are 23 type 1 diabetics in this town and they just recently ran out of insulin.  First, how are there 23 type 1 diabetics in a single small town?  That is impossible.  Second, how did they run out of insulin?  We are all hoarders and there should be a show called diabetes hoarders.  Last, I haven't seen a single meter being pulled out and someone testing their BG's.  So now I have to see what happens in next weeks show to see how they get more insulin or if all the diabetics just die.  Who knows but what a show to put as one of its many plots, something so close to me as how to survive a duration of time with limited insulin.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Loss of life

I got into work Monday morning and everything seemed like a normal day.  Then around 11:00am an email went out about one of our co-workers.  He was out mountain biking with his oldest daughter and her friend when his daughter had an accident that caused her to die of internal injuries.  This saddened me so much because I had seen this story the night before on the local news and just thought of how random of an accident to have killed the girl.  Then to find out it is a friends daughter and to know just how much cycling and being outdoors meant to him and his family.

We are always told to never take life for granted and to live everyday like your last.  Then we go on year after year and that "live each day to its fullest" and to "always appreciate those around you" get watered down over time.  There is no way for me to make any of this better for the family but to support them in any way I can and to remember the few times I got to meet Kaylee.  The last time I saw her was about three weeks ago when my co-workers wife brought the family to the office with their youngest son (he is just a few months old) and when I saw the girls I was asking them if they got to change diapers or baby sit.  Now that is the last time I will have with her and I have to thank God that he gave me that he at least gave me that much.

Friday, July 26, 2013

An open letter to Mari

If you are a diabetic and do diabetic things on the inter-web then you are familiar with Mari Ruddy, she is an awesome person.  She has started her own diabetes camp thing with "Team Wild" and is also the founder of the "Red Riders" which I am a part of.  The Red Riders are a group of diabetics that ride with ADA (American diabetes association) in their "Tour De Cure."  This to me makes her a diabetes role model, a diabetes mentor, and also a diabetes advocate.

Then on June 11, 2013 at around 1:00pm Mari went missing and an all diabetes hands alert was sent out for all of us to pitch in and do our part to help find her.  Everyone on the diabetes inter-web was doing what we could do to spread the word and inform anyone to help find her.  The search for her was over when she was found on June 13, 2013 at like 4:00pm.  Mari was alive and all we got was that she was being taken to the ICU unit.  The family put out a message that they would like to be alone with Mari during this recovery but nothing was ever said about what happened.

Recently Mari has been released from the hospital and has sought the diabetes inter-web for a place to stay but still has said nothing about what happened.  When people ask her about whatever happened she either ignores them or gives a blank answer saying she will recover 100%.

I am so happy that she has been found and everything is going to be good.  Then just like everyone else that was recruited to help out and followed the story we are left with what happened?  This upsets me because everyone inside the diabetes community know something is going to happen to all of us at some time.  You never read in the obituary section of the paper about all the type 1 diabetics that simply die of old age.  No, you hear of our complications with organs and stuff that bring us down.  Since Mari is a role model, a mentor, and an advocate this is a great time to open up and educate the community on whatever happened. Personally I have had all sorts of issues and problems with my diabetes which I love to use as ways to educate others of things to do and not to do.  We learn as we go and sharing is caring which opens up discussion and that helps all diabetics.  If this had nothing to do with diabetes I really feel she should tell us that as well.  The thing about not saying anything is that we all get to use our "imagination" on what happened and trust me the scenarios that have played out in my head are not good and I don't want that to be what happened.  I do understand 100% that it is her right to not tell or say anything about it but I think if that is the road she is going to go down then we have the right to remove the labels she had as a role model, a mentor, and an advocate.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


For some odd reason I picked up watching this "Under the Dome" TV show.  I am not even much of a Stephen King fan but whoever is producing this show has intrigued me.  The makeup of the characters and the development of the town, from first trying to figure out the dome to now where they realize they might always be in this dome and how will they survive the rest of their life when they run out of stuff.

That got me thinking about one of the huge issues with camping, being outdoors, hiking, biking, walking, or heck just name it and it applies to it.  You need the right people with similar personalities with you.  Have you ever been on a trip and it was so much fun BUT that one annoying person that did something to bug you the entire time?  We have all been there and done that. 

So I wanted to share a little advice (disclaimer:  Never listen to anything I say, this should only be used for entertainment value and never construed as advice) on how I have come to do group outings with either people you don't know or with people that are irritating in some way.  The first thing and the most important thing to do is ask the other person questions about themselves.  This might be hard for some people but the more the other person talks the less you are going to irritate them.  I have to do this because my personality comes off harsh to alot of people, take my buddy Vic for instance.  He couldn't stand the air I breathed when we first met, then I warmed up to him by asking him questions and that in turn got us to know each other better and eventually he became my diabetes sports mentor.  Next is to have a positive attitude no matter what.  The old saying that critters are attracted to honey and not vinegar is true.  No one likes a complainer so listen to your mothers advice and never talk bad or negative.  The only time to ever talk about bad situations are when they are over and in a comedic light.  For instance say your car breaks down with you and a few annoying friends.  don't argue about what happened, just figure out how to fix the situation and when it is over you all can laugh about how hard it was to figure out the jack, and how long it took to get the tire off.  This is a way to bring the group to like each other because everyone stayed positive and defused the situation.  Last, is to pay attention to your surroundings.  Just think of your diabetes in this situation (OK if you don't have diabetes I can't remember what that is like so read another blog that is from a normal person without diabetes) when those annoying diabetes police come to you while treating a low and they tell you about how that orange juice is going to kill you.  There is also the person that meets you and wants to share their relationship to diabetes with you and they say something like this: My grandmother had diabetes and they cut off her toes and spleen because of it.  That doesn't make us feel better.  These are people that don't pay attention and are trying to help but in fact you want to punch them in their pancreas because of what they say.  Don't do that and to avoid this type of mistake you need to notice peoples reaction to something you say or listen to things people talk about.  We all hate the absent minded person that is like a round diabetic trying to fit into a square insulin pump.

In the end any situation can be kept from being a bad one just if we all use proper personality.  Whether you are lost on a hike, in a broken down car, or trapped in a snow globe you can always have a good time with the right personality.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cheap does not get clean!

 You all know I am cheap, and you also know I can admit when I am doing something wrong.  With the summer upon us and living in Dallas mixed in with how much I like to spend time outdoors there is alot of bathing for me.  Then I am also a heavy sweater, not the kind you wear but I sweat like there is no tomorrow,  I refer to myself as very inefficient with my energy use.
 The cheap part comes in with me buying the 97 cent Suave body wash at the local discount store.  This stuff works and I don't smell or anything but what it doesn't do is get all the deep down grime off of me that causes skin irritations and the dreaded body pimples.  For a normal person who does zero or less sweating in a day this Suave stuff is perfect but for the active lifestyle diabetic that I am this stuff does not cut it.  Mix in my infusion site and it gets infected, and I get breakouts on any part of my body that sweat does not dry off of me easily like where my helmet hits my head or waist band and I am just a mess.
So the thing to do for active you, and myself is to not buy cheap soap or body wash but to get a quality product so that you don't have these issues like I do.  I bought some Old Spice Swagger and now I smell like petunias and don't have issues with infusion site irritations, or skin problems during these 100 degree days of workouts and outdoor activities.  So let this be a lesson to you all that if you act like me (cheap and sweaty) then you have to get the right product for your lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I hope the doesn't find out that Jeff takes all this great gold from their website, send it to me and I publish it on my blog.  This is probably one of the best descriptions of the TSA security at airports for diabetes.  Personally I have really found out that since diabetes is so widespread and with all the new security measures the agents actually are quite familiar with the disease when going through the nuclear scanner things.

Probably the best thing anyone ever showed me to do at the airport is to bring a canteen/reusable water bottle thing.  The reason is the bottle is safe on both sides of the security line, just the fluid you keep in it isn't.  So you drink your water, vodka, insulin martini all the way through the line to where the cancer scanners are and dump out the fluid in the trash cans that are full of pistols and knives.  Then when you clear security there is always a water fountain on the safe side and you just fill your bottle up with water this time and you just saved yourself like ten bucks because you don't have to buy a bottled water.  Also you can bring the canteen/reusable water bottle onto the plane saving you another ten bucks because you don't have to buy water on the plane either.  This is a win/win/win situation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A thrifty Pickle

 I love these pickle pops things.  You can drink the straight, freeze them to make a pop sickle, and use them for cramps.  Pickle brine is non-science proven the best thing for cramps while working out.  I looked on the inter-web and read that pickle juice is good before, during, and after workouts of long exertion.  The only thing is these branded pickle pops cost like three bucks for ten of these suckers, and it is only the brine not a single pickle in them.
 So at the house what I do is eat a pickle ever now and then when the outdoors looks to be humid and I have a hard long activity planned like running, cycling, lawn work.  Then on one of our rides one of the ladies mentioned how she just puts a pickle in a zip lock bag and brings it along.  She then pulled it out and started to eat on it.  I thought this was an ingenious idea because lets face it gels, glucose tablets, and gummy chews get real boring after a long ride and having a pickle would be a great change and cheaper than the pickle pops.  Now I plan on switching from pickle pops on rides to just a pickle in a zip lock baggie.
That got me thinking even more about how I can save more with what I have.  I bought a Tupperware thing to make freezer pops at the house but haven't figured out anything to make with them.  I didn't want a bunch of sugar or expensive juice pops, so they have been sitting on my counter as I comptemplate what kind of healthy pop sickles I could make.  Then it hit me with the giant jar of pickle juice I had in the fridge.  I should just make pop sickles with the brine.  So I made a batch and they were awesome.  That got me thinking even more (this is scary how much thinking I have been doing isn't it?)  that I should make like a southwest style pickle pop sickle where I put a little bit of jalapeno juice in with the pickle brine to give them some kick.  The wonders of using your mind!

Monday, July 15, 2013


 So I must admit, I watch TV.  There are times when I ask people if they watch a certain TV show the usual answer is "I don't watch TV" but then later down the road these people always seem to know what is on TV for not watching it. For some reason when people give me that response it simply irritates me.  I think maybe because they use it like saying they are better than I am for even owning a TV.  Why can't they just say they don't watch much TV?   Any way to my point, I have picked up watching this reality game show thing called "whodunnit?"  Which seemed quite nonsense to me at first but I was pulled in like a fly attracted to a bright light.  This show now is one if my favorites to watch.  They really put alot into making it very real and extremely entertaining.  If you have not seen it yet I highly recommend you start watching it or finding the beginning episodes and catching up.
Last night while watching the show, which each episode a person on the team playing the game dies.  Then the rest must figure out how they died and the last person standing (besides the killer which is on the team as well) gets like 250,000 dollars.  The person who died was in the kitchen where a puma like creature was on the kitchen island when the rest of the group found him.  In the end (spoiler alert) the mountain lion/puma didn't do it. 

This reminded me of last summer doing my Wilderness first aid training where our instructor taught us that medicine and medical help is not an equation like A+B=C but more of guidelines and what you have to do is asses the situation properly before jumping head first into the scene.  Have you ever heard of the swimmer that was drowning and the next guy jumps in to save him and dies, then the next guy jumps in and dies until someone finally figures out that jumping is might be the issue.  Whenever you come onto a person with medical issues do not rush over right away and help.  Take a minute to assess the situation and determine if it is safe.  Think of people in carbon monoxide,  you see people in a room passed out and you run in to help only to be knocked out by the same gas that did it to the others. 

This episode had a neat twist that killed the game participant which was when he turned on the gas to cook his steak it actually spewed poison gas at him which killed him.  Then when he stepped on a mat to cook the steak it opened up a secret hatch that let the cougar/mountain lion/puma into the room which later inspection of the animal revealed the steak in its mouth.  The inspection of the kitchen revealed too little blood for the animal to kill the victim.  One of the players in the game is a nurse which she is close to being killed all the time because she is not solving these mysteries but last night with her medical training she figured out everything by using her assessment of the entire scene and all the clues.  When diabetics sometimes go low we need people to assess what is wrong with us as to not have the cops called when I walk out of a department store with merchandise I had not paid for, only to sit on the curb outside.  Once the police showed up the realized that I was not the worst shop lifter on the planet but in need of medical help and they brought out an ambulance to give me that D-50 stuff.  Life is all about seeing things we can't see and assessing all details no matter how big or small they are.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Being Acclimated

 This past Sunday we were out doing a training ride for the Dallas-Fort Worth "Tour de cure" on August 3rd.  One of the coordinators for these rides is my buddy Don and he is real good about rotating our rides throughout the DFW metroplex.  DFW is like 80 miles wide by 100 miles long so basically half of Texas and parts of Oklahoma are considered DFW.  The day was a low humidity of 20% but the temperature was 88 degrees at the start and moved up to 96 by around afternoon.  From the beginning we knew we had a two group pack, one consisting of faster paced individuals and a second group of slower paced individuals.  The rides are always "no drop" which means no man, woman, child, or diabetic is left behind.  Things were rolling good (besides the usual traffic) until the heat took out a few riders at the 20 mile mark.
There are always factors with exercise, training, and activities that we sometimes overlook.  Everyone on the ride this day was capable of doing the distance, keeping up with either group but one factor that alot of us forget to consider is acclimation.  You can train for a marathon on a treadmill in your living room all year and be ready for it but remember the marathon is outside and you don't get a TV to watch, fan blowing on you, towel hanging by your side, and air conditioning all the time.  The fact is training needs to be done in a simulation of what your event is going to be like.  The event might be hilly and if you only train on flat ground you will not do well, if the event is in August and you only train in the winter, you will not do well.  The ride was shortened for one of our riders and was pretty tough for a few others and I would say alot of this is because how many hours people spend indoors.  Oh yeah let me tell you my disclaimer as well:  I am not a doctor, medical person, clown, or actor.  I have diabetes and this blog is meant for things to stimulate your thinking and to get you to consider things.  None of this is advice and should not be taken that way.  So with that said I personally do what my friend Dr. Mark told me to do and that is first drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water.  Say you are 200 pounds then drink at least 100 ozs of water a day, every day.  Then, get your but outside as often as you can and learn your body to take the heat.  Finally know when to say when and prepare, train, and nutrient yourself properly.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is that what I think it is?

 We all do what we can do to get buy.  Those of us that have been blessed with the joy of diabetes know this all too well.  I remember the diabetes seminars as a youth with the corporate sponsor booths with all the "E.D." stuff (this was before little blue pills).  How embarrassed I was to see a lady with a needle holding a fake set of mans junk to show that even when you get old there are ways around what diabetes does to your body.  As you can tell I am still traumatized from those days of walking down the diabetes event midways.  Then this week I just about stood out of my desk chair and screamed.  I was at work getting ready to turn some reports into my boss when I noticed on one of the many sheets of paper a nice blood stain on it.  Now if I handed this sheet of paper to another diabetic, they would be like, hey looks like you test your blood often and please next time lick your finger when you are done like the rest of us good diabetics so you don't leave a diabetes slug trail on everything.  Then in the non-diabetes world this is gross.  Just another day with the most fun disease ever.  I made a copy of the paper and turned my reports in on time.
With my blood soaked work reports fresh on my mind it reminded me of the diabetes tabloid thing Jeff had sent me.  He likes to see what is new and funny at and alot of it is some really good stuff.  Why is it that no matter where we go there is like a trail of test strips.  I was mowing the lawn last week and saw one in my front yard.  I never test outside in my lawn.  It is like they have a mind of their own.  I don't think a diabetic would ever make a good serial killer, because they would get caught after the first try, or probably would be in the middle of the first attempt and go low and have to get the "would be victim" to call 911 for them.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dew Rag.

 I asked my good friend Lew why he always wears a dew rag while riding.  Thinking it was for protection from the sun and maybe to keep his helmet from rubbing his head wrong or something.  His reply to me was that he wore it because it kept the sweat out of his face, eyes, and sun glasses.  Then he offered to let me try one on a future ride.
 Lew brought the dew rag for our ride last Sunday and I first had to get instructions on how to wear a dew rag and once it was on it did make my helmet feel different but nothing bad.  The ride was a solid no wind and the heat started in the 88 degree range and rose to something like 96 degrees.  He was completely right about the sweat issue, I never realized how much of my riding was distracted by sweat.  The dew rag worked like a charm and the only slight downside to it is that the dew rag reduces a small amount of air through your helmet but the reward of no sweat in my face, eyes, and sun glasses was worth it.
The picture above is of the inside of the dew rag Lew loaned me which has a headband to keep it in place and soft chamois material on the front to feel good on your forehead.  It is so funny when you never knew something was actually distracting you or slowing you down till you listen to others and find out that something small can make a big impact.  I am now going to search the inter-web and get myself a dew rag for my own.  Then I am going to start to work on my fear of clip pedals.  Lew gave me our friend Don's old clip pedals to try out but I have been too scared that I will fall over and everyone will laugh at me or I will need another shoulder surgery.  I just need to man up and do it.  They tell me it is more efficient, faster, and better so I will do it.