Monday, January 23, 2006

WV Miners - Sago and Melville

My wife came into my office Saturday afternoon, her voice trembling and said simply, "They found them...".

It's been a tough year in West Virginia. Let's not forget to thank them everytime we turn up the heat or turn on the lights.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


We've all had them, you know, that bG reading that just didn't make any sense. Not very often am I still perplexed by an event that happened three days ago, but this is one.

I really try to keep my carb levels consistant from day to day. Yes, I break over occasionally, but as a general rule I keep it at 30-30-60... 30 grams for breakfast/lunch and 60 for supper. I've found this keeps my readings from swinging wildly and it keeps my waistline under control too. It's all good.

We've been on an oatmeal kick around here recently, so it's no wonder I got up thinking about it as a possible breakfast option. As I studied the label it revealed, 1 serving equals 27 grams of carb. Ok, that's more than I want to eat as we still have some great navel oranges we bought to support the local high school band and I want at least part of one for breakfast. I cut the oatmeal recipe in half, so 1/4 cup dry oatmeal and 1/2 cup water and into the nuclear accelerator. After the ding and a quick taste, I discovered it needed some sweetening and a little liquid. I added approximately 2 tablespoons of milk and a teaspoon of brown sugar. As Goldilocks said, "... and it was just right." Sure, by adding the accouterments, I upped the carb count a little so I'll compensate and only eat 1/2 an orange, still keeping within my 30 gram limit. I was good to go for the morning.

Lunch time rolled around and for some crazy reason I didn't test. I'm not sure why. I always test before lunch, but this time I didn't. Go figure. Anyway, the night before we had set some my wife's cure-all chicken-noodle soup out of the freezer to thaw. She's been battling a wicked chest cold all week and we were hoping the soup would do for her what it always does for me--cure all. We each sat down to 1 cup. Again I approximate from rough calculations and previous exprerience-- 30 grams and bolus accordingly.

About mid-afternoon, while working my way through the book SQL Server 2000 for Visual Basic Developers, I notice I'm fuzzy headed and can NOT concentrate. Time to test. 335! Yeow!!! Where did that come from?

After three days, I still haven't figured it out. Sometimes I spike before getting sick and with my wife having a bad cough this week I first thought I might be headed down that road. So far I'm still healthy. I didn't have any unbolused snacks that morning . Working from home it's tempting to graze in the kitchen while getting a refill/reheat on the ole black nectar... but not this day. I did change infusion sets Thursday morning. Maybe this is it. As I write this I'm coming to the conclusion that this is the most likely culprit. Although I just checked the prime history and I show a 5.9 for infusion set prime and .3 for post-insertion canula prime. In three years of pumping I have never knowingly had a bubble but that's certainly a possiblity. I guess I'll have to leave it at that.

Fortunately, a 7.5 unit bolus brought everything back to normal in a little over an hour. TGFBB (Thank goodness for Banting and Best) and it was back to the book!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


A couple of weeks ago I was tagged by Nicole. It's time I got up off my duff and responded so here goes:

Factoid #1

I'm a Sweeny Guy. Ok, there's alot of talk in the OC about the Barton Girls and their comeraderie, so I'm officially coming forth to declare the Camp Sweeny Guys! My first two years after dx I attended camp and had a blast. It also taught me to like vegetables, something I previously avoided like the plague. Camp sessions were three weeks long so I had plenty of time to make some good friends. Unfortunately, guys don't keep up with friends like the gals seem to do and I've lost track of everyone who attended camp at the same time.

Factoid #2

I'm working on a second degree in nursing. After picking up my first degree in Business years ago, the shortage of nurses and my interest in medicine prompted me to return to school for a BS in Nursing. For those that don't know a BSN (or even associates in Nursing for that matter) and an RN license can open a world of doors career wise. I made straight A's in my intial courses of Anatomy I & II, Physiology, and Microbiology and got accepted in Nursing school. I completed the first courses in the program and am currently taking a sabatical. I have two son's in college and with three of us attending school at the same time is was really tough on my wife, hence the time off. BTW, it's kind of neat to run into your kids on campus.

Factoid #3

My youngest son, T, is a little person. For those of you unfamiliar with little people they are officially defined as anyone under 4'6" tall... my son, now fully grown, stands 4'3". Little person is the polite (and politically correct) term used to describe anyone with dwarfism; he has the most common type, achondroplasia. People with achrondroplasia have a normal sized torso and shortened forelimbs. He has life by the horns and last semester made a 3.4 gpa. He is one of my heros!

Factoid #4

My oldest son is 6'3". I guess this, in itself, is really no big deal, but combined with Factoid #3 you can see I have either David and Goliath or Mutt and Jeff at my house depending on how you look at it. His name is Sam. He and 'T' are really good friends and video gaming buds. Sam has a gpa of 3.8 and occasionally likes to come thru the house and just pick me up for the heck of it. We have a pretty tight family.

Factoid #5

Like several others here on the OC, I married my best friend. I managed to snag an awesome little lady from West Virginia. She is beautiful inside and out and I revel in her accomplishments. She is incredibly intelligent, intuitive, fearless and best of all fiesty. When awards are passed out in heaven you can tell who I am... I'll be the one in the back shouting, "Woohoo ... Allright ... Way To Go Girl!!!!".

That's all for my five random factoids. I'm a relative newbie to the blogging world and the OC so I don't know anyone who hasn't yet been tagged but, as always, be sure to read the fine print.

I reserve the right to tag anyone who, I discover, has not been tagged. I am not waiving this right. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited by law. You have been warned!

Update: Kathleen, has been overlooked and graciously tagged herself. Go check out her blog Living with Diabetes.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Throwing in the towel ...

I'm throwing in the towel... well, at least temporarily. See, I've been self employed for almost 15 years and I think it's time to give it up.

I love self employment! Yes it can be hard and demanding, especially when you work by yourself and there's noone to delegate anything to. One of the great things I like is being your own boss, especially on sick days. If you're sick, you're sick. Stay in bed, drink some hot tea, eat some cure-all chicken noodle soup (my wife makes the best) and get well. If you've had an early morning hypo like Kerri did the other morning, drink a little, eat a little, get yourself back together and start your day a little later. No big deal and no groveling with your boss making you feel guilty, etc, etc, etc.

So you ask, "Keith why are you throwing in the towel after 15 years?". Well two reasons actually. Our income is always on a roller coaster and lately it's been mostly down. That get's very tiring. Second, we don't have any health insurance. Yikes!! A diabetic without health insurance... not a good deal.

For some time we've had spotty insurance coverage, but several years ago the state of Tennessee had a great plan for all us "uninsurables" and I was able to enroll. Unfortunately, this great plan was just about to bankrupt the state, so they did the logical thing (for govenment), they kicked everyone over 18 off. So I have limited prescription coverage for another 6 weeks and then ta'ta. (I just today got a letter in the mail saying it's extended until the end of June!)

I've got the resume' polished and have been submitting it around and I'm doing alot of networking as well. I know it's just a matter of time till I get a bite.

So, here's my dilemma. What do I do with my pump? I've only been pumping for a little over 3 years so the last time I interviewed and had a regular job I didn't have a 'pager' with a funny tube hanging out on my belt. When I was on MDI it's no big deal, you don't carry around a little pager and you can discretely reveal your diabetes after you've been there 3 or 4 months and clearly shown them what an awesome employee you are. Yes, it's a pain in the rump being overly discrete with testing, but hey it works.

I also have concerns about career limitations. I like what Violet said, in a response to Kerri's low post, "I keep those diabetes cards pretty close to my chest. I've found I don't like the idea of the disease making me vulnerable in my career, which is feasible even though we would all agree it never should. " Right on sister, me neither.

During the interview process it shouldn't be a problem. I'll have on a suit jacket and noone will notice. However, come that first day on the job do I keep it in my pocket for the designated 3 - 4 months and then 'come out of the closet' so to speak. I don't know, but I'd be interested in hearing comments/wisdom from the Dblog community on what you did and how it worked out!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sago Mine Explosion

I'm saddened today by the Sago mine explosion in Tallmansville, WV. My wife and I both have coal mining in our lineage and even in the best of situations it's a dangerous business. The great number of S&S (Serious and Significant) citations this mine has incurred certainly makes me suspect that this could have been avoided. Regardless, let's not forget that these are real families trying desperately to hang onto hope in the face of ever worsening odds. They will be utterly crushed if their friend, brother, husband or father does not come out alive. If your a person of faith I'd ask that you join me in petitioning God to save the lives of these brave men and that He would comfort their families.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The First Post on the First Day

I've known about blogging for some time now but until late November did not feel compelled to not only read any blogs let alone write one. Like many folks my schedule is full and I'm not looking for additional unsolicited items to fill what few discresionary minutes I may have in the course of a day.

However, change being a constant in our universe, in short order my opinions have changed drastically. My journey of discovery has gone briefly like this: I used to visit Diabetes Portal from time to time to see what was new. Not having a great amount of faith that a cure will be found, at least in my lifetime, I still like to keep up with new developments, and ponder what life might be like without fingersticks, infusion sets and the constant monitoring of diet and exercise that defines this condition. Unfortunately, upon my arrival at one of my favorite URLs, low and behold I find the gate closed and a signpost complete with explanation. So, let me take a moment to thank Deb Butterfield and the others who invested their time to give us this great information resource and additionally, my congratulations go out to her in the adoption of their second daughter!!!

Somehow that same evening (probably via Google) I ended up over at Scott Johnson's blog. From there my travels took me to Sandra Miller's and then on to Wil's place. Needless to say after these three stops I was hooked. Here are my own people struggling with many of the same issues I'm either dealing with currently or have dealt with in the past. As I've discovered other sites around the OC I've been amazed at the quality of writing and the information, commaraderie and encouragement between others with this condition.

It's my desire to share my experiences in the hope that others can benefit from the almost 37 year road I've traveled with this condition. I certainly don't have all the answers but I'm pleased that I'm complication free and still sailing strong. Let's tack into the wind, tighten the mainsail and we're off on what hopes to be another great year!