Tag Archives: Diabetes

Diabetic Depression

By now, everyone’s heard about diabetes. This is a tough disease to deal with sometimes. There are some folks who think this is pretty easy to do; just change how you eat. Well, it turns out it’s not quite that easy to do permanently, and when you change up, sometimes bad things happen.

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At least I know about it. I was reading a story a couple of days ago where a basketball player on the Georgetown team was just diagnosed with it. He was having stomach problems and finally went to the doctor about it, and there you go. Now they’re saying he might miss some games; how bad can it be if he has to miss some games?

This kid is in great physical condition and got it; how the heck is someone like me, out of shape and on insulin, supposed to control it all of the time?

Well, I could, and I do well from time to time. I’ve written about my eating plans and when I can stick to them they do work. When I don’t, though, things can start messing up in different ways.

One thing I go through here and there is something called diabetic depression. I seem to get it when my glucose levels are high for at least a couple of weeks. I don’t always know it immediately when it’s coming on, but probably should know that if my glucose level is high for at least a week it’s time to go back to the drastic eating plan.

What does high mean? Though there are mandated highs or standards by the government, each person has their range where they feel good or bad. The U.S. has a standard between 80 and 120; I feel good between 110 and 150. When I start getting under 110, I feel like I’m borderline dizzy, and when it gets below 100, I’m no good at all. Hitting 44 after a walk one day, when I couldn’t even drive home, was probably my scariest moment. By the way, as Sire once mentioned here, other countries have different numbers they use, and I guess if they stay under a 4 they’re considered as doing well; I don’t fully get it, but I just wanted to be somewhat clear.

This obviously means anything over 150 is high, no matter how you look at it. If I’m around 170 or so, I don’t panic at all. But when my readings get around 200 and stay there, or higher for awhile, there’s trouble a-brewin’.

In the last two weeks, since that’s the average a glucose monitor will give you, I’ve been averaging 219; no, that’s not good. Three days ago I awoke to a reading of 320, and that was after being awake 2 hours without eating anything.

The day I wrote my post on possibly giving up blogging, it was 244 after a couple of hours; nope, not good. I’ve had only two readings under 200 in the past two weeks, and both were afternoon readings, not morning readings. I’ve come close to 300 a few times; that’s not good either.

I tend to get depressed. When I get depressed, I want to quit some things and overdo others. I’m a dessert hound; I admit that.

But it’s not just desserts that drives up the numbers. Carbs is the monster. I’ve had pizza a few times. My wife made spaghetti on Sunday and I had some, then had some on both Monday and Tuesday. I’ve eaten a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches over the last week or so; yeah, that commercial got to me. I’ve had cake, cookies, and hot chocolate also, and I can’t say in moderation either. Once the numbers get high, you stop caring, and you go hog wild.

Luckily, my life has always been about coming to grips with something at a certain moment and deciding it’s time to get back on the straight and narrow. My wife is out of town this weekend, yet I’m working hard on being good. I can’t claim perfection, because I acknowledge that I do need her help, but I’ve gained a little bit of control, and hopefully by the middle of next week I’ll be back into the 150’s or lower.

I was talking to a friend of mine Wednesday night at a networking event. He was telling me his mother was diabetic, and he never realized how hard it was to plan meals and try to stick to an eating plan.

I’m not going to say this is harder than giving up cigarettes, but it’s different. You stop smoking, at least you have other things you can go to that you enjoy. Sure, you might overeat for awhile, but you’ll get used to that. With diabetes, supposedly you can never go back to eating what you like, or at least how you like, and there’s nothing to replace it. Well, there’s poker, but when I play poker I don’t tend to eat, and my wife wouldn’t like that any better than me playing poker every day. She’s like that. lol

Just thought I’d share that, so if every once in awhile you see an odd post or two, you might have an idea of where it might be coming from. Doesn’t mean I might not be thinking about something here and there, but at that moment the thought process might be influenced by something else. And, just for clarification, not everyone gets depressed. There are so many different symptoms people will exhibit. I’m lucky that my vision hasn’t been affected this time around.
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My 10 Favorite Blog Posts Of 2009

We’re winding down the year, and since I’ve already posted my goals for 2010, I thought I’d take a look back to see what I really liked that I posted in 2009. That’s not necessarily an easy task, as I had well over 200 posts, but I do what I do for my readers, and also for myself I suppose, as I get to see where my mind was at certain times throughout the year.

The posts below weren’t necessarily the most commented posts of the years, although, as it turns out, one of them actually was. These are posts I liked for some reason, and that means it’s a selfish reason. Maybe later on, at some point, I’ll actually post something about the most popular posts for the year; we’ll see. In the interim, I hope you enjoy some of these posts that you might have missed throughout the year, and heck, you might think about doing something like this on your blog.

1. Barack Obama – Our Time Has Come – There shouldn’t be any question why this post is here, even though it may not have been one of my better written posts. You just can’t imagine how proud I was on this day, and man, I wasn’t hearing any mess from anyone about “well, he’s not all black”. If he were walking down the street no one would be saying “Hey, there goes half-white Barack.” So, my wife and I were proud, my mother was proud, my grandmother was proud, my dad would have been proud, and it was a great day.

2. Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me – This one was part of a meme that someone else started, and I decided I’d go this route rather than the 25 questions meme that was going around.

3. Massive Traffic To Your Website/Blog – This post was a rant against all those other posts you’ve all seen where someone is talking about how to drive massive traffic to your blog, but it’s the same thing you read over and over, without any proof that any of what they’re talking about works. You know me; I hate when people copy from each other without offering anything new.

4. Six Things I’ve Learned About Affiliate Marketing – This post turned out to be the most commented on post of the year for me, and Sire, it topped out at 88, so no, I still don’t have a post that’s reached 100 comments. These were pretty good lessons; if I’d only listen to myself every once in awhile.

5. Dad, Mom And Computer – My story about how I used to talk with my dad on the computer and how it meant so much to him, then my mother later on, and of course me.

6. The Keys – Talk about having faith. This was my sharing the story of how I lost my keys on the day of a Syracuse University basketball game, how I knew I’d find them, and how it all came true.

7. Five Personal Lessons On Health Care – This one told the story of what I went through when my mother fell ill in September, and is probably the first time I gave advice to people with my background as a health care consultant that everyone needs to know.

8. No, Reading And Creativity Are Obsolete – Someone else wrote on the topic “is writing obsolete”, and I decided to counter her argument, so to speak, with what I thought was really the problem.

9. My 13 Favorite Singers – I loved putting this one together, and I felt I needed to go there because one of my most popular posts, Top 100 Singers Of All Time, was based on a list that Rolling Stone did and I just commented on it, but a lot of people thought those were my choices.

10. World Diabetes Day – 2009 – They do this type of thing yearly, and being diabetic, I always have some kind of story to share on the subject. This bad boy is growing fast, and I’m sorry but I just don’t believe that all the people gaining too much weight is actually all their fault. So, this is my tale for this year.

And there you go; if that’s not enough to read back through, I don’t know what is. I hope you enjoy going back through a portion of my year with me.

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World Diabetes Day 2009

Today is World Diabetes Day, the day when diabetics and those who treat them hope to spread the word as to just how bad this thing is. It’s the fastest growing disease in the world, and it’s not just because people are eating badly, eating too much sugar, or overweight. Well, a part of it might be eating badly, but those aren’t the only reasons.

Since last year’s post on World Diabetes Day, when I told my story of how I learned I was diabetic, I have written a number of posts highlighting some of the issues diabetics have to deal with. Truthfully, when it comes to eating plans, it’s not about being diabetic so much as it is about starting to watch what you’re eating most of the time, and controlling your diet so you’ll feel healthier all around. In the three weeks since I went on my new eating plan, my glucose is way under control, with medication of course, and I’ve lost 5 pounds. Yeah, I’ve done some exercise, but not as much as you’d think I should be doing.

I wrote two other articles dealing with diabetes, although one of them might have applied to others who hadn’t thought much about it. That one was about sugar alcohols, and how many people have a resistance to them, and thus explains why they have problems eating many foods that say they’re sugar free. The other one was telling you about my worst day of the year as a diabetic, when it seemed like my world was ready to crash. Okay, that’s pretty dramatic, but suffice it to say it was a scary day.

So, what would I wish for on this day? The reality is that there are a lot of people walking around with diabetic symptoms who haven’t gone to get tested. Often, if you’re not paying attention to the signs, by the time you do get yourself checked out you might end up in the hospital for a few days. I have known way too many people who say they weren’t feeling well, or were having problems with their vision for weeks on end, then finally went to see a doctor, only to discover they glucose was in the 400’s or 500’s. One person I knew had his glucose at 679; it’s a wonder he was still walking around.

The higher numbers will get you admitted quickly, because at those levels you’re a walking time bomb. It could take a lot of work to get their glucose levels down to at least close to normal, where you can put someone on regular medication and start talking about changing one’s diet. I know there’s a lot of you reading this blog who aren’t feeling great, or might be a little bit overweight, or possibly even more. We, as I have to include myself in this one, are predisposed towards diabetes. It also ran in my family, which means I should have known better.

The wish, therefore, is to go get your blood tested for this. It’s a simple test, and most cities or communities every once in awhile have a blood glucose drive, where they’ll test it for you. It’s free, easy, and it’s better to know early than late. If you don’t have such a thing, go to your doctor and ask for the test. It’s inexpensive and fast, and at least you’ll know and can do something about it.


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How The Eating Plan Has Fared

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Starting A New Eating Plan. I knew it was time to do it because I had lost control over my diabetes numbers. The problem with diabetes isn’t one bad day; it’s many bad days in a row, because that’s when bad things start happening to your body.

Something I didn’t talk about in that previous post was where my numbers had been, compared to what I needed to shoot for. Here’s some figures for you. The American Diabetes Association says one’s glucose level should be between 80 – 120 mg/dl, or milligrams in a deciliter, which is 1/10th of a liter. Too much information? Well, let’s just stick with the numbers then. Anyway, the high figure used to be 140, and I like to try to shoot for between 110 and 140 because I just feel better in that range. When I start getting too close to 100, or lower than that, I start shaking or getting light headed; that’s never fun.

Anyway, the day I started on this new plan, which was two days after my diabetes clinic, the Joslin Center, had told me to increase the amount of insulin I needed to inject twice a day from 30 units to 40 units of 100 milliliters. That’s a bunch, because when I was first injecting, I was only at 15 units. My glucose figure had a 2-week average of 225. Just a few nights earlier, I had recorded a reading of 365; that kind of thing is scary, and it was after I’d eaten pasta earlier in the evening.

The eating and exercise plan started Monday the 26th. By the 29th, my afternoon reading was 110; 30th, my morning glucose reading was 130. I even lost two pounds. I felt pretty good going into the weekend, as my wife and I decided I get Friday nights and all day Saturdays off. After all, it’s hard to stick to a tight eating plan without a break here and there. I ate whatever I wanted last weekend, but I didn’t overeat, and I didn’t do much damage to myself, which was nice.

That Sunday, I went back on the plan, but I changed up some. Instead of straight chicken and mixed vegetables I added hamburger and salmon and spinach into the mix. I also added some ham slices for a sandwich instead of a full meal, and also allowed myself a quick snack, if I needed it, of a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter on it, and a much thinner layer than I would have had before the eating plan.

Last week my glucose numbers continued to fall, to the point where I had to cut back on my medication. One morning my reading was 110; phenomenal for me. Two days, though, my readings were under 100, once at 87, the other time at 97. Remember those shakes I mentioned earlier? I knew on those days that I needed to cut back on my medication, but I also had to eat sooner than 3 hours, and mix in some of the snacking I’d talked about. I didn’t lose any weight during the week, but as I said in my initial post, the goal really was about reducing my glucose levels. My average for the last two weeks had come down to 151, and I’m happy with that since my readings were a little higher over the weekend. But during the week, I only had one number over 140; wow!

So, this does prove that, when all the chips are down, one can modify their diet and bring down glucose levels. It also says that people can probably find some of their own maladies and, by changing their diets somewhat, modify some of their issues. Kind of like how, by changing my mother’s diet a few weeks ago, we were able to reduce her high blood pressure to almost normal.

Of course, I’m still not off the hook here. All I’ve done is given the medication a chance to work with me. But being able to reduce how much of the medication I’ve had to take, it means that my program is working, and probably if I decided to give up my fun nights, I could probably reduce it further. But I’ll never eliminate the medication completely, and if I gave up my one night, I’d probably have problems sticking to the plan as well. For now, I’m a happy guy.

By the way, notice I call it an eating plan rather than a diet? I think the terminology is important as well. People have problems sticking to diets, but having an eating plan, which includes some “free” days, makes it quite tolerable indeed. It may only be semantics to some, but I see dieting as something much different than what I’m trying to do. I may be crazy, but I’m getting the results I want, so it’s working for me.


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Starting A New Eating Plan

On Friday night, while my wife and I were having a general conversation, and I asked her if I could tell her something without her going too far one way or the other in her reaction. She said yes, knowing that, because it’s me, it wasn’t going to be anything overly dramatic, but that I was serious about something.

I told her that I hadn’t been feeling all that well lately. As a matter of fact, it’s probably been since just after my birthday in early September. I’m diabetic, and over the past couple of months I’ve struggled with my glucose. I had been okay, not great, but okay, until my mother got kind of ill, and I had to go take care of that. I’ll admit that I’m also under a lot of stress, and that certainly didn’t help things any.

So, no, I haven’t been feeling all that well. And I know why I haven’t been feeling well. See, there’s two things I have to do to feel well, and if I’m not doing both of them, then I don’t feel well at all. One is I have to eat right. The other is I have to exercise. Oddly enough, I can actually eat well and feel pretty good, but I don’t lose any weight. However, exercising doesn’t overcome feeling bad because I’m eating badly; that’s not fair, but that’s life.

We agreed that, starting today, I would go back to an eating plan, with caveats. Breakfast will be some kind of eggs. After that, every meal I eat, when I’m home, will be chicken and vegetables. And the amount of chicken has been measured. I know because I cooked everything Sunday and put it in containers. The plan is to eat every 3 hours or so, hoping I’ll be able to hold out at least that long before eating again. I’ve done this twice before in my life. Once, I lost a lot of weight. The last time, my glucose came down, but I didn’t lose any weight, even though I exercised twice a day. I’m thinking I can track it to the alfredo sauce, which is what I mixed the chicken with when I did this same eating plan in March of 2008.

One thing that hasn’t happened is that I haven’t gained any weight. But things are shifting, and I don’t feel good. What that means, from a diabetic, is that I feel my blood coursing through my body. You’re not supposed to feel that. You’re not supposed to feel the pounding of your blood when you try to go to sleep. That means your heart is working too hard to pump the blood through your body. When your glucose is up, your blood thickens, and thus it’s harder to push through. Also, if it’s high for a long time, that will start messing with other areas of your body. One day, back in July, my eyesight was affected when my glucose shot way up; that was scary.

So, here’s the eating plan. Sunday through Friday afternoon I stick to my eating plan. Friday night, since we usually do something, I get to come off it, but not to overdo anything. Same goes for Saturday; controlled behavior, but I can eat foods outside the norm. Then on Sunday, back to eggs for breakfast, and chicken and vegetables the rest of the day. That’s mixed veggies now; I don’t eat weird veggies now. And, at some point, I might have to mix some rice in there, for a little bit of carbs. We’re not supposed to totally take carbs out of our diet, though some of those mixed vegetables should count.

As for the exercise, the guarantee is to exercise at least once a day for at least 15 minutes. I have a trampoline, and if I watch one of my documentary DVDs, I can get it done. I put on the timer to make sure I get there. And, as I get used to it again, I should be able to do a bit longer after awhile. Actually, for me, it’s usually mental; just can’t wait to get back to work. But I’m going to follow my 4- week work plan, where I’ve given myself a special permission to take care of my health. It’s part of the Get Clients Now program by C. J. Hayden, but I’ve modified it to help me get other things done.

So, there you go. By the time you see this I’ll hopefully have eaten some breakfast, and I’ll be ready to start my trek towards feeling better. If the past is any indication, I should start feeling better by Thursday, and my glucose should start responding in a positive manner. I can do this; anyone want to join me?

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