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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Confessions of a sandal hater.

 OK, I have a confession to make.  My feet are not feet-like, they are more like diabetic hooves and I extremely dislike anyone to see them or even worse for anyone to touch them (they are very sensitive hooves).  This was causing me great angst and worry for the recent Montana diabetes trip because, we were going to be in water alot and it was mandatory to have water shoes.  So I put down my list of must haves and have-nots.  First and foremost they had to show as little hoof as possible, then they had to drain very well, and last they had to be made out of rubber and cloth (not leather Jesus sandals).
 The search was on to find the perfect water hoof, I mean water shoe for this diabetic.  The first problem I encountered was buying water shoes in late July is probably not the smartest thing in the world.  Most places were clearing out these items for back to school space and the sizes left were like for weird large kids or basketball players.  Then I saw they have these water five finger toe looking shoes but I felt a bit weird with those and another confession is that the bottoms of my feet are more sensitive to pain than any other part of my body.  These water five finger socks seemed to be a bit extreme for me.  Then I looked at the standard Keen which was a nice thing for like 90 bucks but all I found were made of leather and looked as if they did not drain very well.  Then I started to panic as the event got closer and closer and I was no where near finding what I would wear on the boats.  My brain finally said "go to every store that sells anything like this and see what they have."  That is when I found myself late at night one day in the shoe section of Kohl's where they were closing out their water shoes and I found the pair above on sale and fit all my criteria.  Even though they are generic which scared me about them falling apart halfway through the trip or me not getting enough time to break them in and finding a weird rub with them.  They were perfect and made the trip even more memorable because of my stupid fear of people seeing my feet.  I have to get over this fear.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teaching an old diabetic new tricks

 So I am a huge fan of the belly, I mean a fan of wearing my CGM sensor, and my pump site on my belly.  It is just comforting to have my sites right under my nose where I can see them and know if they are sticking and so forth.  Well on our Montana adventure trip I was having problems keeping both my sites on my belly and was running low on my month worth of supplies I brought in just the first three days.  The lovely picture above is just before my CGM site came off from like half a roll of medical tape.

 So the youth on our diabetes adventure into the Montana wilderness told me how they hate putting their sites on their belly and prefer their butt, arms, and legs over any where else.  That was reason enough for me to give it a shot in the arm,  literally I moved my pump site from my belly to my arm.  Now I had used my arm for my omnipod back in the day but did not think it would be wise to have my Animas pump on my arm with all the tubing and stuff.  The youth taught me how they ran their tubing and so I did as they told me to do and it was amazing for about a day until I was walking along some cliffs and forgot about the site on my arm and knocked it clean off.  The picture above is of me trying to look cool and flex my little tyrannosaurus Rex baby arm.
Being the Macguyver guy that I am, I had brought some of that "sports wrap" stuff that is so popular now and when I put my pump site on my arm this time I didn't do it on the back but more onto the tender insides of my arm to protect the site and also with the slight sting always being on the inside of my arm I wouldn't forget where the site was.  The tape was a success along with the new arm location because the tape kept my klutziness from doing any damage to my site and the new location helped me not sweat off my site as well.  This was a win-win-win for old diabetes DC in so many ways.  Now I don't have the fear of wearing my tubed pump site on my arm and will keep "sports wrap" in my first aid kit going forward.  Little things like this is what makes these diabetic adventures so much fun, we all share information and hypo candy with each other.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A diabetes invasion in Montana!

 I am sure you are well aware last week I was not around to post anything on the old blog and yes the week before I was slacking because I was getting ready for last weeks trip.  So last week was our big trip to canoe the Missouri river in Montana and my junior captain arrived in the lovely turbo-prop plane you see in the picture above.  There could not have been any more excitement in my BG's for this trip and there was also some slight nervous-ness about how all the youth would inter-mingle and the guides would handle diabetes along with anything the river might bring upon us.
 Here we are at our Saturday night dinner at the fancy Great Falls, MT "On the Border" restaurant.  There wasn't alot of options for 15 people to walk to in the area and this as good as any to start the trip.  My friend Tracy who is an amazing group leader started the whole thing off with a "name game" which rocked because by the end of the game we had every ones names memorized and we were on our way to creating the greatest gaggle of diabetes peeps ever.  The funny thing about dinner and being around this many diabetics in one place is how we all look at the carb count menu and share with everyone at the table how we are thinking of getting something but the carbs, and fat might be a bit much so we think about something else.  This fun carb conundrum really got the group to talk about diabetes and we all settled in with discussion on food and how it affects each of our BG's.
 Sunday morning we were greeted by the trip guides from Wilderness Inquiry and our boats and van that took us a few hours to get to coal landing which was were our take-off point for the canoe portion of the trip began.
 The picture above is of everyone getting the gear set up, tents sorted out, and the kitchen crew starting to make some spaghetti for the night.  The trip guides really shined here by setting down how everything would go along the river and what each person had to do in the "tribe setting."  which is how these type of trips go, there is no more "I" on the river but a gaggle of diabetics that all have a say.
One real cool thing that I originally did not think was going to be so neat was our diabetes educator Carla would get everyone to test their BG's at the same time like say before a meal.  Then she would get the ingredients boxes and tell everyone the carb count and what size was a serving.  After our meal she would discuss with us what we thought we ate and what we should bolus and set our basal rates at.  She would document all of this in her notebook you see above and we would have a visual indicator of what we were doing and how we should make adjustments along the trip.  Then the really fun thing was the 2am testings which everyone would be woken up by Carla and Tracy to test and see if we were trending any direction, had any high or low BG's, and if we needed to make any adjustments.  I really learned alot about how to approach youth with how to get them to take an active roll in their diabetes.  So many times now we see parents that do everything for the youth and it should be something the person with the disease should be doing and making the decisions.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tour de Cure

Saturday was the Dallas/Fort Worth "Tour de Cure" which I have been doing training rides since November to be in top diabetes shape for the event.  Saturday was also my birthday which was pretty cool to be hanging out with a bunch of diabetics and riding my bike on my birthday.  The only bad thing was Saturday morning when I woke up I was definitely not feeling it.  I slept through the first set of 4:00am alarms, then the 4:30am alarms and finally woke up with my 5:00am alarms and all I wanted to do was go back to bed.  When I finally got out of bed I was running late and when I arrived to the check in to receive my bib the race gun went off for my ride, the 62 mile event.  So by the time I was checked in and on the course there was a good 5 mile gap from the front of the pack to me.  The temperature was OK so I started to push it pretty hard and payed the price on the way back with some nice leg cramps.  The good thing was all this diabetes training helped me push through the cramps and finish feeling fine, fresh, and foxy.  Now, when I got home there was little of me getting up and down because of the pain in my rear but all in all it was a good event.