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Stress Relief

How do you relieve stress?

Lately, it’s been doing different things.  For example, taking walks at lunch, spending time with our sons, playing on the Wii, or…

..shooting a gun.

What did he just say?

Now before you get all worked up, the gun is a CO2 airsoft handgun; a gun that shoots little plastic BBs.  I constructed an outdoor target in our backyard. First, I stood up two 6 ft. poles inside bricks, about 15 feet from the patio, while the paper is attached to the target by tape.  Masking or duct tape works well.  I load my airsoft pistol and shoot from the patio.

I can’t tell you how great it feels to simply put some holes in a piece of paper.  The CO2 gives the gun a nice sound as you unload a clip full of BBs down range.  Best of all, it’s cheap entertainment and this won’t alarm the neighbors!

Enjoy and have lots of fun…

Mark

Healthy Eating?

I’m trying to eat healthy since stepping on the scale to discover that I’m running 10 pounds over what I was pre-Thanksgiving. Not good. And with any change, my diabetes plays a big part in it.

For example, I’ve been hitting the fresh (and organic) veggies. And while doing this has been great, I’ve kept track of my daily insulin levels since my diet change. (Okay, so I told my family that I was doing a “lifestyle change”, but my 10 year old mocked me saying I was really on a diet. Ah, kids. Gotta love ‘em!) My insulin levels have gone down an average of 15 units per day with “diet” alone.

So, what does this say? The less insulin I use on a daily basis, while keeping my blood sugar between 90-120, is healthy. Add exercise in the mix, and life gets better. But…one step at a time. So far, I’ve done the following:

1. Eliminate beer. Beer brings gut. Gut bad.

2. Drink more water. I am now drinking 64 ounces of water a day. Pee good.

3. Replace carbohydrates with lettuce, peppers, celery, and carrots. Veggies good.

4. Reduce caffeine by 50 percent the first couple of weeks, then 75 percent. Caffeine is no doubt my best friend. But, I need to cut back to get healthy.

5.  Separate meals by 4 hours or longer. Personally, it is much better for me to wait than to keep full.

I have a long way to go. My goal is 20 pounds by April and I know I can do it!

Wish me well!

Happy New Year!

I just finished two wonderful weeks of vacation with my family and friends.  Wonderful, because I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people who love me and love one another.  This relieves a lot of my own stress, e.g. work, etc.

However (and I do mean, however), my diabetes threw some nasty curve balls that had no explanation.  For instance…

  • I had a pump change that felt like someone shot me in the arm with a rifle.  After tolerating a day of mediocre blood sugars, and having enough of the sharp pain, I removed the pod.  I halfway expected blood to gush everywhere.  But…it didn’t and the cannula wasn’t bent.  However, my arm was sore for days.
  • I had another pod change that went extremely well with absolutely no pain.  I tested my blood sugar 2 hours later with nearly a 300 (I ALWAYS give myself 2.5 units after initial pod insertion to prime the site).  It took me nearly 8 hours for my blood sugars to finally come down.  My blood sugars were flawless the next day.  Go figure…
  • I ate a relatively moderate sized Mexican meal for lunch, and took a load of insulin to cover the carbohydrates.  Two hours later, my blood sugars are over 300.  Once again, it took 4 long hours to bring that disaster down.  I checked my pump to see if I did something wrong.  Nope…I took nearly 20 units of Novolog for a small quesadilla with a handful of chips.  Very, very sad.  (I would like to blame the soda, BUT it was clearly Diet Coke.)

These are just a few anomalies that I’ve faced over the last couple of weeks.  I guess it could be worse, but when I try my best to keep my blood sugar numbers in range, these situations drive me nuts.

Keep going strong and…

Have a wonderful New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Sorry I haven’t posted for so long.  There’s just too much going on in my life right now.  ;-)

A couple of quick notes before I go back to working, laundry, house cleaning, or running errands…

1.  I’m already tired of seeing “x-mas” or “happy holidays” (notice I didn’t even bother to capitalize the words).  Attention everyone!  It’s Christmas and if you don’t like it, well, tough!  Oh, one more thing, I don’t believe in political correctness.

2.  Funny how our behavior changes this time of year from being nice and respectful, to being downright jerks.  I had a guy pass me in the parking lot yesterday and he almost ran over two people.  Are we that much in a hurry?

3.  On the good news front, I’m doing my best to rest this Christmas.  My body, mind, and soul need it.

4.  I have committed to God that, in 2011, I will do my best to be still and listen for His voice.  The more I listen to God, the better my life is.

5.  My diabetes has been a roller coaster lately and I blame the pump.  If I hit scar tissue, the blood sugars go nuts.  If I have a good site change, my blood sugars are great.  Go figure…

Finally, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and God’s love and grace upon you.  I truly believe that the more we love like Jesus, the better this world will be.

Merry Christmas!

Pumpkinpalooza!

I am thankful for a number of things:  My wife, our children, our friends, and my life.  I am blessed to be spending Thanksgiving with those I love.  I also thankful that I am surrounded by a number of excellent cooks.  Yesterday, Tuesday, began the official first day of ‘Pumpkinpalooza’.

What is pumpkinpalooza you ask?

If you love pumpkin, like I love pumpkin, then imagine being surrounded by warm, moist pumpkin bread; fresh pumpkin pie; pumpkin ice cream; pumpkin cheesecake; pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.  I love it all!  This is the time of year that I don’t fret about the number of carbs I consume.  Mix the proper amount of exercise, insulin, and pumpkin goodness and I’m having a party.

So, to all of you, have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!

taken from worldcommunitycookbook.org

Band of Brothers

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

(Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from Henry V)

As a kid, I too had dreams of serving in the military.  I read books on the Navy Frogmen.  I was fascinated by the Green Berets.  Of course, having diabetes at the age of seven, in 1976, put a huge damper on my dream.  I had a lot of inspiration.  My father served in the Navy.  Both grandfathers served in the Army.  My great uncles did too.  All had adventures; all had stories to tell.  I wanted desperately to be a part of those adventures…

But alas, that didn’t happen.  Now some 34 years later, I’m a husband and father.  I hold down a tech job and drink copious amounts of caffeine.  Boring right?

Actually, not so.  It’s what you make of life that defines who you are.  Back in the late 70’s and 80’s and 90’s…you get the picture, exercise and diabetes wasn’t actually promoted too well.  As a matter of fact, it was more downplayed, more shied away from than encouraged.  But sometimes the need to push the limits happens and so we take that first step.  I, among many of you, have pushed the limits and loved it.

To name a short list, I’ve done the following:  martial arts (28 years), scaled 100+ foot cliff walls, parachuted (my parents still don’t know I did this one), survived an Army survival course, kayaked a class 4 rapid…  The list goes on.

We, as diabetics, don’t have to live a sedentary life.  No!  We can accomplish great things IF we aspire to push ourselves beyond the walls of this disease.  We may not be able to serve our country directly, but we can support each other and the brave men and women who do so every day.  Let not your heart be troubled.  Do something great this day!

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother!

Diabetes Every Day

Yes, those of us who have diabetes (Type 1, Type 1.5, or Type 2) live with this disease every moment of our day.  But what does this really mean?

Imagine your life on a constant roller coaster.  Some coaster cars go up (like our blood sugar), some cars go down (like our blood sugar), and some cars are even and steady (you get the point).  Some days the roller coaster ride is a nice, steady ride with the wind blowing through your hair and, essentially, you’re coasting.  You want the ride to keep going.  While other days the ride is full of climbs and drops, some drastic, with severe sharp turns as you wonder when this ride will ever end.

Now throw in food, exercise, stress, and emotions and the roller coaster ride becomes much larger.

This is our lives with diabetes.  Our diabetes doesn’t stop during the day, give us a break during the night, then continue in the morning.  No, it constantly ebbs and flows like the ocean.  We manage it; it does not manage us.  We decide whether to live, or try to live, a healthy lifestyle.

Right now, I would like you to watch this video.  It serves two purposes.  One, to inspire and two, to remember there are children in the world who need our help.  If you are diabetic, watch it for the inspiration and allow it to, “move you”.  If you are not diabetic, I hope you become inspired to get healthy, get active, and encourage others to follow.

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