Tuesday, February 28, 2006

T-Minus 1 Day And Counting

I had a meeting tonight and figured I would get back to the house too late to hit the treadmill. About 5:15p I decided to 'git ur dun' and headed downstairs. Fortunately, the treadmill behaved itself, unlike Sunday night, so I got in a good 30+ minute workout. Looks like treadmill workouts are going to consist of three 10 minute segments. Ten minutes of jogging at 5 mph sandwiched between 10 minutes of of brisk (3.8 mph) walking for warm-up/cool-down. I'm at an in-between stage. The walking is too easy but the jogging gets tough beyond ~8 minutes. Increased speed and distance will come with time so I've just got to hang in there.

Last week I speculated, I would take either Monday or Tuesday off. That hasn't happened. I'm leaving my official start date at tomorrow, March 1st, but I've actually been going since last Thursday. I've already got a six day streak, so I feel good about that.

Monday, February 27, 2006

T-Minus 2 Days And Counting

I was surprised when I reviewed last week. I accomplished the 30 minute workout for 6 days and took Wednesday off. My bGs have been very good and my average TDD for the week is 37.4. I hope the pounds and inches will start slidding off soon as I'm not seeing any results on those fronts.

Last night was spent on the treadmill. I got an earlier start than on Saturday, but not as early as I'd like. I'll have to work on this issue. I hadn't been on the treadmill but about 3 minutes when it gave me an E3 error. Besides sounding like a pump error, I don't have any specifics as the treadmill was gifted to me and came without documentation. Upon observation, I noticed the belt had slipped to the side somewhat so I found the allen wrench and recentered it. No more E3s. I started with a brisk walk and at the 10 minute mark, broke into a 5mph jog. At 12+ minutes the treadmill abruptly stopped. I think there is a loosened conection inside the safety switch which will require some adjustment. Anyway I reset the switch and resumed jogging for another eight minutes and finished with a 3.8mph walk. 30 minutes accomplished.

My legs have been very tight all day from last nights workout. I took 2 ibuprofen earlier to help with inflamation and I've drunk lots of H20 to try to cleanse my system of the excess lactic acid. Neither one of those things helped much and I was considering taking a rest day. However, habits are hard to break, and I got on the bike for 30 minutes earier this evening for a less intense workout and I believe that has helped more than anything. The increased circulation has probably flushed the muscle tissues as the soreness has decreased measureably.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

T-minus 3 Days And Counting

Had a close call with consistancy last night. It was a day of "honey-do's", the last one being to wire a cable outlet in the kitchen. I just about lost my cool till my sweetie came to the rescue with a fresh idea and an infusion of patience. I had to drill a hole up through the base plate in the basement and run coax cable up through the insulated wall to be 'fished out' the pre-cut hole in the kitchen wall. If you've done any of this type work it can be pretty frustrating as the cable kept getting tangled in the insulation, not to mention the initial tedium of finding the right place to drill in a almost 100 year old house. To make a long story short, we got it done but at the expense of time.

I didn't make it down to the basement for a date with the bike till 10:15p. I wrapped it up about 10:55 including a couple of minutes on each end of the 30 for warm-up/cool down. This is a little on the late side for exercising but I 'got it done'. This is one of the hazards of scheduling this in the evenings, as it's subject to the other activities of the day. I may have to reschedule for early mornings, as that's been my most successful time in the past.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

T-minus 4 Days And Counting

Yesterday, I had a good workout on the treadmill. I try to walk at a 4 mph pace but this is ending up at about 3.7 to 3.8. I know this doesn't sound particularly fast but try it. I keeps you moving. About 15 minutes in, I kicked it up to 5 mph and ran (actually jogged is more like it) for 5 minutes until kicking it back down to a brisk walk (3.8) for the remaining 10 minutes and then tacked on a few cool down minutes for good measure.

I aggravated my left knee in college while trying to do too much too soon, after a several month running sabatical. It's never been quite the same and even now I feel it. It doesn't hurt but I know something is not quite right. I probably need to get this looked at in the future, but for now I'm going to try to keep it strong and back off when I sense it's becoming irritated. My left hamstring is still tight but seems to be getting better. My wife gave it a deep tissue massage earlier today and that helped too.

After my walk/jog, I came back upstairs and noticed I didn't feel quite right so I tested... 32. OK, this is aggravating. One of my goals is to lose a little weight around the mid-section, so feeding my insulin is not what I had in mind. I over did the correction slightly and had a 200 prior to going to bed. Bolused 3 units and this morning awoke at a good solid 83. I'm going so have to back down on the dinner bolus slightly and cut the pre/during/post-exercise basal rate back a little too. In spite of the hypo correction, I ended the day with a TDD of 34.1. I consider anything below a 39.9 good. It's all part of the learning curve to begin the 100 days.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another good ride

I had another good ride last night in preparation of the 100 day kickoff. I did a couple of minutes of light (60 rpm) spinning on 'Lo' resistance both before and after the main 30-minute workout. Gradually worked my way up to 'my' high setting (at 90 rpm) for 10 minutes before starting to gradually back the resistance down. My heart rate was strong and I was really sweating towards the end, both indicators of a good workout. Maybe later I'll invest in a heart rate monitor as I'd like to track this closely during my workout.

The value of exercise proves itself again as my morning bG was 79 even after a Mexican meal out last night. I don't know why exercise is such a struggle as it reinforces itself with good results.

Don't know what I'm going to do for riding/treadmill entertainment after the Olympics are over. I was hoping Irina Slutskaya would pull out a gold last night but it just didn't happen. Didn't seem like anyone but Arakawa could keep their bum off the ice, including out own top contender who smacked it once and then had to put her hands down a second time. I feel a particular empathy with Irina. She has been caring for her mother who has kidney disease and is on dialysis after her initial transplant failed. It's that diabetes/kidney link thing going on there. I'm so thankful mine are working well... especially after all these years.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On Track

I'm still on track to begin the 100 days next Wednesday, March 1st. I had good bike rides on Sunday and Tuesday evenings and did 30+ minutes on the Treadmill on Monday. I took last night off just to rest my legs a little as my hamstings and calves are pretty tight in spite of the fact that I've been trying to stretch at every possible opportunity. On Tuesday evening's ride I felt strong and kept the trainer on my current high setting for an extra five minutes. That made 32 minutes total.

I'm in the process of determining my schedule before Wednesday's kick off. I want to take at least one day off between now and then. I'm thinking it will probably be Monday... that will be four days straight before kickoff. However, if I feel good on Monday then may take Tuesday off, to make five straight. I'll see how it goes.

The awesome effects of exercise have shown themselves. For most of the week I've been between 75 and 140, except for last night when we had homemade pizza. I'd been famished all day for no apparent reason and I overate. That fact combined with the high fat meal made bolusing difficult and I awoke at 200 this morning. I'm thinking about getting an OTC A1C kit next week to give me a baseline, especially since I had to reschedule my January Endo appt and now can't get in till late April.

I'm off to the trainer. I have the old Sony B&W TV set up so I can watch the Olympics while I pedal. This is the Lady figure skating's big night. It's the first time I can't bring myself to root for the good ole USA's top contender. Sorry folks, my blood runs red, white and blue but her attitude is just outright arrogant. Oh well, you know what they say, 'Pride goes before a fall'...... literally.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

100 Days

Today I'm inspired by a combination of Elizabeth's post on The Tipping Point and John Boy's 100 Days. After the Christmas holiday's I typically go through a several weeks where my blood sugars swing erratically. There's no big secret to this, it has to do with the fact that I've been off the exercise routine for too long. This year I managed to come through Christmas pretty much unscathed food wise. We kept most of the junk out of the house and if it's not here then I don't eat it and that's good.

Exericse is another issue altogether. Exercise does more to stabilize my bG's more than any other factor, but probably the one I wrestle with the most. While insulin and diet are important and not to be discounted, exercise, at least for me, covers a myriad of sins. I've been off a regular exercise program since late fall, when all the mowing, raking and various outside activites drew to a close. (I count those things as exercise as it has the same effect, if done with enough vigor.)

When I read Elizabeth's post on The Tipping Point I knew my aggravation with swinging bG's had just about reached critical mass. Critical mass defined as the point when I finally get off my keester and go down to the basement for my date with the bike. The bike is my old road bike set up on a stationary trainer. Thirty minutes on it can make me sweat like a marathon runner on a Texas summer day. Not only does it give me a great workout, but for the next 48 hours the blood sugars tend to be good, unless I do something dumb like hit the chocolate donuts at Krispy Kreme (which rarely happens).

Another event adding to critical mass is that my clothes are not fitting as well as they once did. If I buy the next larger size then I'll just unwittingly allow myself to get a little larger in the comfort of new clothes. By refusing to buy a larger size then the snug fit serves as a constant reminder that something needs to be done.

Enter John Boy's 100 Day post. When I read this it struck a chord with me that resounded with action. 100 days of consistant 30 minute per day areobic exercise will certainly do what I need it to do: stabilize my bGs, lower my A1C, drop about 7 pounds, decrease my girth and increase my cardio-vascular fitness. Best of all it's do-able.

My plan is to start the 100 Day's on March 1st. I would have already started but I've been away long enough that I'm having to work up to it. I exercised two days, two weeks ago, three times last week and I'll go either 4 or 5 times this week. I'll be pushing it on March 1st, but I should be OK.

I hope you'll join John Boy and myself. It won't be easy, I know it will require staying up late some nights or rising way too early some mornings to accomplish the goal. If, however, it does what I think it will do then it will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Tonight was the monthly gathering of our local PWD group. The speaker, himself a T1 of 27 years, was none other than our own Minimed rep, sporting a Guardian RT. Not coincidently, it was the subject of the presentation. Many of us who followed Wil's blog got a very indepth day by day review of the subject and I don't think I can add anything to what Wil has already extolled.

However, a couple of interesting points were made tonight that I wanted to pass on to the OC.

  1. If your considering the Guardian RT, hold off, better things are coming. While I don't have specifics, the indication was that the external unit will be smaller and the whole unit will be more refined. I have to admit that the external unit is a little bulky and smaller is usually better when it comes to these devices that imbed themselves into the most intimate happenings of our day to day lives. I don't have further information on what exactly 'refined' means. My guess is that Minimed has learned several things from their limited release and are incorporating these lessons into the production release. The rep indicated the new Guardian would probably be available next year.

  2. The new pump/sensor combination unit should be available in the US in the next 12-18 months. It is already available in Europe. For those of you who are following this story closely this is probably just a reconfirmation of what you already know. Since I'm currently in no position to purchase (read: no health insurance) I'm following both these stories from an informational perspective. (I think this situation will rectify itself shortly so that I won't be just a window shopper.)

I'm becoming a believer that this is the next step in my personal diabetes management. Due to my years of experience in software development, I'm always leary of the infamous 1.0 releases which are typically bug laden. I think the new Guardian unit, I'll dub it the 2.0, when released will be a good jumping off point.

Our area rep, has a personal endo visit tomorrow. He indicates his A1c typically runs about 6.7. With the additional information provided by the Guardian. he's expecting something in the 5's. I'll let you know how he does.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tagged by Vivian

In the latest round of 'tag, your it', I'm 'it'!

Four jobs I've had in my life:

  1. Hamburger cook at Whataburger
  2. Waiter/Head Waiter at Red Lobster
  3. Bookkeeper
  4. Project Manager

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. Forrest Gump
  2. The Untouchables (You just can't beat Sean Connery)
  3. The Parent Trap (1998 remake with Lindsay Lohen, the music is great and it's pretty romantic towards the end. It has our song too... L is for the way you look at me... sing it Nat!)
  4. The Princess Bride

Four places I have lived:

  1. Texas (I was raised there... Hook 'em Horns and go Cowboys!)
  2. Olympia, Washington (Great place to get married... and we did.)
  3. North Carolina
  4. Tennessee

Four TV shows I love to watch:

  1. Good Eats (Alton Brown just rocks when it comes to food, science and humor!)
  2. 30 Minute Meals (Rachael Ray's spunkiness is just fun to watch and for the most part she cooks pretty healthy too!)
  3. The Apprentice (This appeals to the entrepreneur in me.)
  4. This Old House (Hey, a man's got to have his tools.)

Four places I have been on vacation:

  1. Leon, Nicaragua
  2. Budapest, Hungary (OK, both of these were technically mission trips, but it was still enjoyable.)
  3. Vienna, Austria
  4. Fairbanks, Alaska (Great place to honeymoon with your sweetie!)

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Lasagna (My wife can whip up a pretty mean batch on occasion!)
  2. Lasagna (Angelos in Irving, TX makes some of the best, heavy on the cheese and at a great price too.)
  3. Lasagna - Not to brag, but I can make a pretty good batch in a Lodge #12 Dutch Oven around a campfire... this is life at it's finest.
  4. Lasagna - we just got a Johnny Carino's in town and I must say their's is mightly tasty too... but a tad pricey!

Four websites I visit daily:

  1. msdn.microsoft.com - good site for software developers and I do believe the the content is infinite!
  2. weather.com
  3. The OC
  4. monster.com - hey, I'm looking always looking for opportunity!

Four places I'd rather be right now:

This is a hard one, but as long as it's with my family I guess it doesn't really matter. However, it would be nice to be someplace warmer.

  1. Sebastian, FL (My inlaws used to live here. In the heart of citrus country, we really enjoyed our January visits and in addition a refreshing respite from the cold.)
  2. Hawaii (I've never been and I think it would be a nice place.)
  3. Las Mercedes hotel in Managua, Nicaragua. Good pool, good eats, nice warm weather and a stroll down memory lane!
  4. I'm keeping my options open on this one.

I'm tagging Laura and Kathleen.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Happy Anniversary Baby Got You On My Mind

Todays post is in honor of the Little River Band, their song Happy Anniversary as well as my 37th diabetic anniversary!

Yes, it was 37 years ago today that my Mom woke me up on that fateful morning and couldn't understand what I was saying. Not the bleary eyed grumblings of a sleepy pre-teen, but the honest to goodness "I can't understand what your saying!" because I think somethings wrong, kind of understand. Being the clean freak that I was (and still am), I was trying to tell her that I wanted to take a shower! But she just wouldn't listen... or maybe I just couldn't talk. If memory serves me correctly, I remember getting somewhat adamant (as adamant as I dared) somewhere in the discourse. Well, fortunately her prudence prevailed as she bundled me up in my bathrobe and slippers (the second thing that didn't make me happy that February morning-- not getting dressed) and shuffled me out to the car.

I remember a VERY brief sit in the waiting room and then back to an examinination room. I had barely gotten seated on the paper covered table when you guessed it ... I HAD and I mean HAAADD to go the bathroom. My Mom and the nurse were reluctant to let me go, but this time I prevailed. I can still remember them saying, "Don't lock the door!. Just shut it but DON'T lock the door!" They were emphatic. Best I can remember, I just closed the door to where it touched the jam. Both they and my youthfully shy bladder were appeased.

After that point things get really foggy. My memories are really just snapshots in time. I remember coming back in to the examining room and laying back on that 'wonderful' crinkley paper... ... ... ... I remember being on a stretcher and being carried down the large spiral staircase of my pediatricians second floor office building... ... ... ... I remember being in motion and hearing the muffled sound of a nearby siren... ... ... ... I remember rolling down a hospital corridor... ... ... ... and that was it.

That was it for about 36 hours and then I began to awaken. I remember my Mom sitting in the chair beside me, she was crying as she talked on the phone. When I was fully awake I remember a Doctor entering my room and telling me I had diabetes. My immediate answer was, "I know how I got it! Two weeks ago Bill breathed on me!"

Bill was a boy in my fifth grade class with diabetes. He was a nice enough guy. I knew he ate a mid-morning snack in the back of the classroom, but I hadn't paid much attention. I did know that he had passed out one day as we lined up to go to lunch. Later that year, in some pre-adolescent wrestling scuffle he had deliberately breathed on me.

Well, the Doctor set me straight. He told me a nurse would be in later that day with an orange and a syringe so I could practice giving injections. The orange never materialized but the syringe came the next morning loaded with insulin. The nurse was kind, appologised for the lack of orange training even though I'm pretty sure it wasn't her fault, gave me thorough instructions on how to perform the real thing and encouraged me to try. I did and in a miracle moment it didn't hurt... not at all! I got off to a beautiful start. Later I would find that all injections aren't that way, but for that day and several after, they were relatively painless.

I ended up staying in the hospital 7 days. I developed pneumonia while there and wasn't allowed to leave until I was better. In the day, at least for me, the prescription was penicillin by injection... in the rump. One in the morning, one in the evening-- it was terrible. This went on at the most 3, maybe 4 days max, but my skinny, emaciated little butt didn't have a place on it that wasn't sore. I sure did hate to see that nurse come down the hall.

My Mom, a school teacher from the old school who loved me dearly, let me lay out of school several days before going back. I remember napping in class many days after I returned. I had a very kind, compassionate fifth grade teacher who just let me sleep and get my strength back. Somehow I managed my studies... she helped me catch up and unbeknownest to me at the time, simply forgave several assignments. Bill and I became good friends for the rest of that year. The next year we were in different classes and naturally drifted apart.

Such was my onset. To the trained eye, it was readily apparent what had been happening over several months prior to my onset. You have to know the signs of hyperglycemia and most people didn't know the signs in that day, especially if diabetes didn't run in your family. It doesn't in ours. I've had and am having a great life. Yes, I have bends in the road like everyone, but I sit here 37 years later without complications, without seizures and without any hospital stays other than the inital onset. I look forward to the next 37 years for as John Avery Whittaker once said, "The best is yet to come!"