Thought for the Day

Monday, May 17, 2010

Diabetes Blog Week

I missed the 6th and 7th days of Diabetes Blog Week, Diabetes Snapshots and Life After A Cure.
I'm afraid I'm going to be lazy again and finish this off with links to previous posts:
Diabetes Snapshots: Sharp Stuff
Life After A Cure: Diabetic Poetry

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let's Get Moving

It's day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week, and the topic is Let's Get Moving.
Depending on how I treat it, this is either the hardest topic or the easiest, because it is essentially the reason for my blog.
Here's how Karen, who started this, describes today's assignment:
Exercise . . . love it or hate it? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Or do you have trouble finding your exercise motivation? How do you manage your insulin and food to avoid bottoming out during your workout? Today is the day to tell us all about your exercise habits, or lack thereof.
Well, I love it. It's part of my life, like breathing, eating, drinking... The idea of a sedentary life sounds like punishment to me.
However, I can't claim that I have a regular routine, and I do sometimes struggle with motivation and finding the time.
Hmm, I think I'm going to make this the easiest topic for me to post about, by referring you to this blog.

Back so soon?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Carb, or not to Carb

The fourth in the series of Diabetes Blogger Week posts is To Carb, or Not To Carb.

I am a type 1 diabetic, and this is one of those topics that I think is completely different from the different perspectives of type 1 and type 2.
For me, this is the way I look at it. High blood sugar is not my basic problem. It is a symptom of the real problem, which is that my immune system is destroying cells in my pancreas that are required for metabolic equilibrium.
The idea that people like me should avoid carbs because we have this problem reminds me of the old Vaudeville joke, where the patient tells the doctor, "Doc, it hurts when I do this." And the doctor replies, "Then don't do that!"
Carbs are not my problem. I take Novolog insulin analog to replace the insulin my body isn't producing. And as a type 1 diabetic friend once said, "I'm not on an insulin budget."
I think that basically covers my philosophy. Carbs are not the enemy. Insulin is not the enemy.
Of course it's a good idea to have a healthy, balanced diet. That diet would have to include a fair amount of carbs for someone who was going to put in a lot of miles.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Biggest Supporter

The third in the series of Diabetes Blogger Week posts is about My Biggest Supporter.

It's hard to pick just one person, because so many people have been very supportive of me, but after giving it a lot of thought, I decided I have to say it's Mom.
She was there at the start of my diabetic life.
Sometimes people ask diabetics when they "got" the disease, but what diabetics answer with is when they were diagnosed. We all had symptoms coming on gradually before we knew what was going on, so the diagnosis is the only definitive starting point we have.
Mom was the person who saw that I was sick and took me to a doctor. She was there while I explained my symptoms, answered questions, had blood drawn, and found out I had diabetes.
She probably saved my life that day, and probably several times after that. (She is not alone in having saved my life.)
She had the patience to make sure I was taking care of myself as a typical teenager, balancing that with giving me enough space to feel like I was doing it myself.
Through all of the things I've done since, she has always had a positive, supportive attitude.

Mom with my grandson, her great grandson, River.

Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Make The Low Go

It's day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week, and the topic is "Making the low go."

My favorite hypo treatment for years has been the juice box.
They go down easy. They last a long time. They're delicious. I feel like I'm getting some real, healthy food when I have a juice.
I keep them in my car, in my fridge, in my office, but they're just not convenient to carry everywhere.
So I always have a tube of glucose tablets in my pocket.
However, I don't like to eat the glucose tablets. I would just rather eat real food. If I'm going low, and there is any other source of food available, the glucose stays in my pocket. If I have the option to walk out during a movie and buy something for $2 from the snack bar, that's probably what I'm going to do instead of just pulling out the glucose tablets.
Sometimes the same ten glucose tablets will be in the tube for months as I walk, ride, and run around, the tablets jostling against each other the whole time. When I finally pop the tube open, a puff of pulverized glucose dust bursts into the air.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Day in the Life

Hmm, if dozens of diabetic bloggers are blogging about a day in the life the day after Mother's Day, aren't they going to come up with a lot of stories about Mother's Day?
OK. I'll talk about the day before Mother's Day, because it shows what a genius I am.
I went out for a ride around South Mountain with Kim P., a type 1 diabetic woman training for Ironman Arizona in November. I had to get up at 4 AM, eat a light breakfast for which I under-bolused, anticipating that I would burn off carbs while riding.
We rode for over 3 and a half hours, with lots of stops for blood sugar tests and refueling. I started with my blood sugar a little high, and gradually worked it into a good range, and Kim started with her blood sugar at the low end, but was able to take in enough carbs to get it where she wanted. And we covered about 50 miles.
We had great weather. It was warming up by the time we finished, but it stayed nice and cool for most of the ride.
Later that day, I went to Saguaro Lake with my brother Jon, to do some open water swimming. Neither of us have been swimming much lately, so we were just going to see how it went.
A blood sugar check before going into the water showed my blood sugar was 95, which would have been a little low to start swimming, but I knew that I had checked at home before heading to the lake, and my blood sugar there was 115. So I was on a downward trend.
So I ate a few glucose tablets before going into the water.
Jon is a much better swimmer than I am, which I expected, but still found a little depressing. Oh, well. I have more room for improvement.
After I had swum about 300 meters, I could feel the infusion site for my pump flapping on my side. I checked it and saw that the adhesive was just barely hanging on, and the cannula was all the way out of my skin.
Jon was a couple of hundred yards away from the beach, so I walked ashore and waited for him to come back in. Then I showed him my infusion set and told him we had to go.
We went to my house, I put in a new infusion site, and I tested at 169. Not too much of a problem. It was getting late, and neither Jon nor I, nor my wife Sue, had eaten anything for dinner, so we went out to dinner at Arriba's Mexican restaurant in Ahwatukee. I had a 20 oz cerveza, some chips and salsa while waiting for our orders, and some kind of chicken dinner with rice, beans and tortillas. It was all delicious.
This is where I demonstrate my genius.
I bolused on instinct, guesstimating carbs and how long they would take to digest. It was an artful dual-wave bolus.
After this, Sue and I went out to the movies and saw Ironman 2. I had a small bag of popcorn, and did another dual wave to cover that. The dual wave with the popcorn is as much because of how slowly it is eaten as it is because of how long it takes to digest.
After the movie and before bed, my blood sugar was 121. When I woke up the next morning, it was 122.
Seriously though, I know I just got lucky. It's just that so often I look at the number I get on my blood glucose meter and think, "What the heck?" It is so often not what I want or expect, I like to give myself some credit, deserved or not, when it comes out right.

Friday, May 7, 2010

365 Days

Today is May 7, 2010. The next Ironman St. George is May 7, 2011.

My Triabetes Teammate, and a Triabetes Team Captain for the next season, Tiffany Heindel, reminded me of that today. It's just 365 days until I become an Ironman. Sure, I set out to do this before, but I had doubts then. I've seen what it takes, and now I'm going to do it. It's taking me a little longer than it takes some, but I'm OK with that.
Barring any unavoidable catastrophes (Anything is possible.) it's only 365 more days.

Let's have a little fun with this. Here is a brief history of Ironman.

1963 Marvel comic book Iron Man.

1968 A U.K. children's book, The Iron Man. (Renamed The Iron Giant when published in the U.S.)

1970 Black Sabbath song Iron Man.

1978 First Ironman competition, February 18. Combined three existing long-distance competitions, the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the Around-Oahu Bike Race, and the Honolulu Marathon. "Whoever finishes first, we'll call him the Iron Man." Navy Commander John Collins.

1979 Sports Illustrated 10 page Ironman story by Barry McDermott, who was on Oahu to cover a golf tournament.

1980 ABC Wide World of Sports first Ironman coverage. Collins is transferred to Washington, DC, and turns the event over to Valerie Silk, owner of a local health club.

1981 Race moved from Oahu to the Kona District on Hawaii, the Big Island.

1982 Bud Light sponsors. Julie Moss crawls in to finish second.

Cal Ripken, Jr. begins the longest streak of consecutive games played in MLB, eventually becoming known as "The Iron Man." (Lou Gehrig, who previously held the record, had been known as "The Iron Horse.")

1982 Race moves from February to October. Second Ironman in one year.

1983 17 hour time limit established. Kona becomes a championship race as LA has an Ironman competition. Sylviane Puntous of Canada becomes first international champion. Bill Carlson is the first insulin-dependent diabetic Ironman.

1985 Scott Tinley wins with the first use of aerobars in an Ironman, setting a Kona course record. Ironman races are held internationally.

1986 Patricia Puntous finishes first woman at Kona, but is later disqualified for having drafted while on the bike.

1989 Dave Scott and Mark Allen duel it out for 8 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds. Allen prevails.

1989 Pete Townsend produces rock opera, The Iron Man: A Musical, an adaptation of the children's book.

1990 Ironman Triathlon sold to Dr. Jim Gills, who starts World Triathlon Corporation. Kona race course is altered to avoid airport traffic.

1991 Gatorade sponsors. NBC Sports televises.

1996 Rapper Ghostface Killah, a type 1 diabetic, produces an album, Ironman.

1998 Cal Ripken, Jr. voluntarily removes his name from the lineup for the Orioles final game of the season, ending his streak after 17 full seasons, 2,632 games.

2008 12 type 1 diabetics forming the Triabetes team participate in Ironman Wisconsin.

2009 Another group of Triabetes Captains and more Triabetes team members participate in Ironman Arizona.

2011 10 Triabetes Captains and more team members continue the tradition at Ironman St. George.