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.