Tag Archives: Diabetes

Don’t Lie About Your Health

Some of you might remember that last week I helped my friend Beverly Mahone promote the free download of her book Don’t Ask & I Won’t Have To Lie. Since that day I started thinking about some things that I’d been keeping to myself, and then a brief encounter with my mother on Thursday got me thinking even more about my silence as it pertains to my health. I decided that I needed to finally come clean, and last night I decided to record the video below explaining myself while hoping that you listen to what I have to say and start thinking about your own health. First, the video:


https://youtu.be/CAtVv_Pxjy8

There you are. By the way, I’m now down 14 pounds and with the doctor reducing the amount of insulin I inject twice a day, we’re both hoping it helps my weight loss goals. So, now that you’ve heard my tale, I hope you do the right thing for the right reason for yourself, your family, and of course your overall health.
 

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My Colonoscopy Story

Yesterday I had to have a colonoscopy. For those that don’t live in the United States, it’s recommended that once someone reaches 50 that they have one to verify they don’t have colon cancer and to check for other stuff. I at least got to defer for a couple of years since I rarely go see my doctor for a checkup, but I finally got cornered so it was my turn.

Now, these are fairly common, but there can be issues here and there. They do knock you out, and you do risk a perforated colon, internal bleeding, and a couple of other things. So you can’t just shrug it off and say it’s nothing to worry about, though for the most part it’s relatively safe.

My issue is that I couldn’t get any real information from anyone as to just what could happen being diabetic. You have to fast, and with the medications I take, I’m supposed to have food with them. So, what would happen to me going through the process? That’s the main reason I made the video.

But there’s a few things I didn’t mention in the video while trying to keep it under 15 minutes. For one, By 4PM of the day I was fasting I started getting this massive headache, and that stayed with me almost the rest of the night. I couldn’t take almost anything for it because I wasn’t eating, though my wife did give me an Advil eventually and that took the edge off it.

I was really hungry all day, but wasn’t so hungry the day of the procedure for whatever reason. I still craved pizza, though we had fried rice instead since it was much lighter. That’s their recommendation, eat light and get used to eating again, so I ate small portions pretty much every hour because I was really hungry; today I’m getting my pizza! 🙂

They will ask you over and over what your name is, what your date of birth is, the last 4 digits of your social security number and what you’re having done. Initially I worried they didn’t know what they were doing until I realized that it’s a safety procedure that they’ve put into place to make sure that physicians won’t be doing the wrong procedures anymore, what with all those errors in Florida some years ago. They also kept asking me what I was allergic to.

After the procedure you’ll expel a lot of gas, and that makes them happy. This is one of those “dignity” things I mentioned in the video. There’s stuff we wouldn’t walk around doing in public that they’re expecting you to do. Thing is, there’s no smell because your entire system is cleaned out, and what they’ve done is pushed a bunch of air into your body through your rectum so it has to come out. And be thankful it’s coming out, otherwise you’re going to get cramped and it’s going to hurt. I had that problem during the virtual colonoscopy in the x-ray department, where you’re not under anesthesia and just have to lay there and take it. That’s when you’re on either your side or back; once you roll over onto your stomach, since they take the views from 3 directions, even adding more air wasn’t bad at all.

One last thing. In the video I said that I came out of the anesthesia pretty easily. Most of that is true. I felt clear headed and knew exactly what I was saying and what was going on. I even felt that if I’d had to I could have driven home, which it turns out is illegal once you’ve had anesthesia in New York for at least the day. However, when I had to get up and get into the wheelchair, I found that I wasn’t okay at all, and luckily I didn’t just try to force myself into the chair because I’d have fallen and the nurse wasn’t close to big enough to have held me up if I’d gone down. So, always respect the anesthesia.

I also mentioned that I was given propofol, the same stuff Michael Jackson was given by that doctor. Let me tell you, I understand why he would have wanted this stuff. Although I wasn’t happy with the pressure my head felt when it started to take effect, I feel like I slept well in that short period of time, and I ever dreamed; I’ve never dreamed while under anesthesia before. In its proper dosage it’s wonderful stuff, but I can also tell why one should never, and I mean ever, use it at home.

That’s all I have other than the video below, but if you have any other questions go ahead and ask. This is one of those things that, as younger people we avoid talking about because it kind of scares us, but once you reach the proper age you’re probably going to have to go through. At least I’m telling you what might be coming.


 

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The Water Experiment

Many of the regular readers of this blog know I’m diabetic. What a lot of folks don’t really know is that I run a group on Facebook for the support of Type 2 diabetics, which used to be called Adult Onset. It’s not called that anymore because unfortunately many kids that aren’t born diabetic are going that way as obesity figures around the world are increasing.

Last Sunday myself and another participant in the group decided we were going to try an experiment. The experiment was the brainchild of another member of the group who I’m not sure is diabetic or not, but he’s one of those health foods guys who loves, well, weird foods; yeah, I called it out. lol Anyway, he stated that if we drank only water for a week and didn’t change any of our other habits that we’d lose our cravings for sweets and desserts. He also said we could still eat whatever we wanted to, including desserts, but that by the end of the week we wouldn’t be craving it anymore.

By the way, to flesh this out, he said that diet sodas and any drinks with artificial sweeteners make us crave desserts because they make us think we’re having sugar without having sugar and suddenly our bodies want real sugar. I’m not really sure I go along with this theory, though I’d read it somewhere else, as studies are conflicting about it; aren’t studies always conflicting?

Y’all know I love my sweets. I’ve talked about my chocolate and love for my Doubletree cookies and peanut butter desserts and such. And of course I’ve talked about my love for cake and the way I must eat it properly.

I also love my diet drinks. Unlike a lot of people, I’ve always liked diet soda, except for Tab; did anyone besides Bobcat Goldthwait really like Tab? The day I was diagnosed as a diabetic I gave up regular soda and started drinking diet soda and other non-sugar drinks and never looked backwards except for the super-very-occasional grape soda; no one’s ever made a good diet grape soda.

It is with this in mind, as well as a mindset that’s always seen certain drinks going with certain foods, that I entered into this experiment. I’m always up for a good experiment as you know.

The first day went well. I actually like water, as cold as possible mind you, and I transitioned into it well. After all, like much of the rest of the country it’s been pretty hot here, and very cold water felt right.

The second day I ran into my first challenge, and it wasn’t a dessert craving but a mismatch of food and drink. I had a salad, and in my mind, salad and salad dressing and water don’t mix. I absolutely hated my salad so I only ate a little bit of it. However, though I always prefer diet soda with my pizza, that went fine. I still had dessert, but I wasn’t craving it.

Truthfully, that’s how the pattern went for the next three days. I was drinking a lot of water because I drink lots of liquids anyway. The guy who came up with the challenge, named Dave, started wondering if I was drinking too much water. You know this deal about drinking 64 ounces of water a day, or at least consuming that much because we get water from some of our foods? Phooey! I drink close to 128 oz with each meal, no matter what I’m drinking, and then I’m a casual drinker during the rest of my day. I always have been, even when I was a kid. He started worrying that I was washing nutrients out of my body and that it might affect the experiment. Hey, the experiment said drink water, not how much, so it was what it was.

The sixth day was problematic, and I know it was really mental. I had my first true dessert craving in a week and I knew what I wanted; yeah, that’s it to the left. lol I was also starting to really want to get done with the water thing, and I determined that I wasn’t going to fully hold myself to it on the seventh day. After all, what would one more day change things anyway, right?

On day seven I drank water up until around 7PM, when I ordered Chinese food. I broke down at that point and had 4 cans of Diet Pepsi Vanilla that my friend Scott had brought me; yeah, that was nice, and it totally enhanced my food. For me, the experiment was over, and I quit with only 5 hours to go. Earlier in the day I went to an outdoor tweetup with the heat around 90° and thus water was feeling really good because it was ice cold.

How did the experiment go overall? Well, not totally according to plan.

One, I really did only have cravings on one day, but I also knew I could eat dessert whenever I wanted so I’m not sure if my feelings were muted because of that.

Two, I gained 4 pounds, and I’m not quite sure how that happened. I didn’t work out all week, though, because of injuries I suffered the day the experiment started during a nature walk I partook of.

Three, I almost started to hate water, and that’s not good. At this point I’ve struck a nice balance between my diet soda, Wylers drink mix and water that I can live with. And I’m going back to the gym, having healed sufficiently to work out again. I need to drop what I gained and then drop even more.

Believe it or not we’re going to try the experiment again next week starting Sunday, but we’ll change up some of the parameters. One of those will be no dessert for 5 days; yeah, that’s all I’m promising for now. Another will be certain foods that we promise to give up; no potatoes, grits (that one’s for me), rice or pasta. I don’t have a problem with the pasta but rice… ugh. And for the 5 days no regular wheat, only whole wheat bread; there goes my favorite bread. We’re still debating on the Ritz crackers with peanut butter for my evening snack; I might lose that one as well, which means I’ll have to get creative on what I can snack on.

I’m wondering what Evelyn is going to have to say about this one; heck, I’m wondering what the rest of you think about experimenting like this and if any of you want to try this experiment with Greg and I; Greg’s the other guy who went along with me on this journey. Any takers?

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I’ve Joined A Health Club

In April I asked this question on a Sunday; Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self? I gave my answers, but I can’t say that I was overly happy with myself and the answers I gave. Truthfully, I think I’ve done a lot of stuff, but nothing close to what I should be doing.

So, I decided to join a gym. Okay, it wasn’t as easy as that. As with everything else in my life, there’s a mini story to it all.

Two Fridays ago my wife came home, upset because her gym was closing, and the one the guy had transferred her account to, since she was paid up through April 2011, was about 20 minutes away, and she didn’t want to have to go that far to workout. For probably the 10th time I suggested she visit the gym I used to belong to for about 5 years in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Back then it was called Sundown; now it’s called Gold’s Gym, and it’s about 5 minutes away, only because of stupid lights because it’s maybe a mile and a half from the house. For some reason my wife has always hated the idea, but this time she was amenable to going to have a look.

As soon as we got there I could tell from the outside that things had changed. There was a sports therapy building next to the gym, but the sports club is where the gym used to be. We walked in and things were drastically different. I learned there had been a fire in 1994, a year after I stopped going, and they changed a lot of things around. It’s way more open now than it used to be, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

This is what you see when you first walk in. It’s the front desk, but it’s also a juice and smoothie bar. You can buy both healthy and non-healthy snacks in the machine, though not too many non-healthy choices are given. You can also buy muscle building stuff that I’m not paying any attention to; I don’t need to get bulk at this point in my life.

The place has a rubber track you can either walk or run on. It has tons of treadmills and walking machines. They have a lot of Nautilus-type machines geared towards building muscle by pushing weights, though some are for toning also. They have a large free weights area, something I used to do in the past but I think I’m going to stay away from them this time around, at least for six months or so. They have workout classes with some of the latest routines like
Zumba; no, I won’t be doing any of that either. Supposedly they might have some stretching classes, but I didn’t see that on the schedule. I really need stretching more than almost anything else. And they have these other machines that work more with your own weight than true weights; my wife and I use those most of the time.

And they have these things, a pool and a hot tub. I don’t swim, and even though the woman told me it was only 4 1/2 feet deep, that’s just not happening. The hot tub might be something else, though. She said it’s kept at 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and my mind can’t figure out if that’s comfortable or not. I love Jacuzzi’s, so I’m thinking I might like the hot tub, which is only 3 feet deep, but I asked if I could wear a shirt and shorts in there, since I don’t have swimming togs, and I’m not sure I want to expose the world to this body just yet; she said yes. Now all I have to do is get over this thing about sharing a large tub, and you can see it’s large, with other people in it; I don’t necessarily roll that way. The woman there said she’d actually walk me into the pool if I ever get the urge, but I just can’t see me getting the urge. Bad memory of pools, and the last time I was in one was October 1976; ugh!

We started with a 7-day pass to see if I’d even go to the club, and I went 6 days out of 7, though a few of those days I barely made 30 minutes, and one day, Sunday, I made 10 minutes because I twisted my knee and it wasn’t getting better trying to walk it off. We then decided to officially join on Sunday, and now we have a contract for a year. I’m going to work hard on making myself go at least 3 times a week, and my wife loves working out, so if I have to wait until she gets off work to go, so be it. But as it gets warm I also know I’m going to want to get walks in at the lake. No matter; I know I need to exercise this summer while I’m home, and if I’m paying for it, I’m hopefully going to get it done.

These days I border between being outright sore and being really uncomfortable. I don’t feel good after working out, and I don’t feel juiced; sorry Zig, but those endorphins aren’t quite popping for me yet. But I’m going to try. I have a guy working with me for 60 days to see if I show measurable improvement; man, I hope something changes. I need to do this; I’m 50 and diabetic, my doctor says I need to lose weight, and I need to help the medication work.

Okay, your turn; what are you gonna do?

Esprit by Spirit ET-8 Folding Treadmill

Esprit by Spirit ET-8 Folding Treadmill

Price – $1804.05


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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.

migrant mother, Dorthea Lange, for TFIF contest
susan via Compfight

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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