Archive

Archive for the ‘type 1 diabetes’ Category

mid-September

September 14, 2012 Leave a comment

The shorter daylight is becoming rather noticeable. I wake up on workdays and it is still somewhat dark, and now not long after 7 in the evening, it is dark. So we’ve begun our descent into darkness and the eventual depths of winter.

I’ve now bowled 3 nights in the league I’ve joined and so far there is no any profound sign of improvement. I’m averaging around 125 per game. I like some aspects of bowling — trying to develop a routine, developing a consistent release and choosing a place to aim each roll of the ball. I like those, that’s a challenge I can enjoy and think about. My biggest struggle with the game is the environment of the bowling alley — it’s loud and there’s a lot of distraction going on. That doesn’t mean bowling is bad or wrong or anything, it’s just that those are aspects to its environment which are very stressful for me, and leave me feeling rather whacked-upside-the-head by the time league night is done. For other people, that’s exciting and good, it energizes them.

But I’d definitely like the sport a lot more if it took place in a quiet and subdued environment.

—-

I took a day trip out to Catoctin National Park and Cunninghman Falls last week. Cunningham Falls are the highest set of falls in Maryland. Unfortunately, with a somewhat dry summer, the falls weren’t all that impressive. Still, it was good to take a quiet day alone to myself and do a bit of hiking. It had been quite a while since I’ve hiked in a somewhat mountainous environment.

—-

About 2 weeks ago, I came somewhat close to tapping into something that almost became a poem or something I could consider a poem. For the first 10 lines or so, the words sounded right, I could see a cascade of images, and then there was nothing more. I tried to push it along, open it up, tried to play off the sounds of the words already written down, but nothing came from them but trite hackery which left me despondent and wondering if I might ever be able to shake something out of my head ever again. I suppose maybe it’s encouraging that the impetus continues to rattle around in my head, and sometimes I get some flashes of how I might be able to turn my head within the imagery to see something more, to hear something else, to find the bits of drama and tension. Although sometimes now I think perhaps I am just too afraid of that drama and tension, I still have the shadows of the last great drama and tension in my real life and those shadows haunt me into a paralysis.

—-

Got blood drawn for an A1c last week. Results came back as 5.8%, which is pretty good as usual. I was expecting 6.0% maybe, I had a bit of a rough patch late in August when my basal metabolism cranked up higher and I lagged behind with correcting the Lantus dose.

—-

I don’t know whether it is good or bad, but I’ve been having a lot of erotic dreams lately. I suppose it’s good in knowing that I still have sexual desires and thoughts.

—-

Over the past year and a half, I’ve tried 3 gluten-free beers. Redbridge, New Grist Beer, and New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale. Of them, my taste buds think that Redbridge is the best so far and tastes most like regular beer made with barley. New Grist is okay enough, but its flavor isn’t as satisfying. New Planet’s ale was the worst of them, it’s one that I would avoid from here on out and I only finished drinking it because I didn’t want to feel like I had wasted the money on it.

—-

I find talking with others at times a near alien experience for me now. I end up wondering if anyone ever actually communicates. I don’t know, I really don’t know. Or maybe it’s just that for the vast majority of people, it works for them and they don’t think about it the way that I think about it. Or it works good enough. But it’s never worked all that well for me and now I’m here in a period of life where I’m absent any sort of confidant. Of course, it’s been like that before, but now it’s a more profound sort of absence, because there was a significant period of time where it seemed like I knew at least one real sort of communication and I had a confidant. Now there’s none and that has become like my own little descent into Douglas Adams’ conceit of the Total Perspective Vortex. The Vortex could induce madness in a sentient being by showing them a tiny dot inside a vast empty space and there was sign which pointed at the dot and said, “You are here.” I am here now. I was here before but without perspective. Then my life zigged in a amazing way and when it zagged back, it left me off at the dot but now a sign pointing at it and saying that I am here.

Advertisements

shoulder progress

August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

It definitely feels like the thaw of the shoulder is getting better, more consistent, more optimism inducing. For a long time now, I’ve been unable to put both my right and left hands on their respective hips. I don’t suppose in any way it’s a necessary function of life, but it’s a bit annoying sometimes to be standing someplace, waiting, and realize that I can’t put my hands on my hips. I have to settle for right hand on the hip and left hand in front pocket. For a long while, I genuinely couldn’t even put my fingers on the front of the left hip and the thumb behind. But now I’ve gotten to where I can do that. It still isn’t right and doesn’t look right because my arm can’t rotate enough to allow the elbow to stick out to the side, or if I do make the elbow stick to the side it’s by making the shoulder itself lurch forward.

But that is progress. I try to work on the shoulder some when I’m in the shower in the mornings. The heat and warmth give at least an illusion of greater pliability with the flesh and joint — although that may be a lie to myself. Still, it feels like I’m making progress with how much I can pull the left arm behind my back and across to the right side. I can hold it for longer periods of time too. When I first would try to do it, the discomfort would grow too great in about 10 to 15 seconds. Now I’m stretching it farther and can get it to the edge of the range of motion and hold it there for more than 30 seconds.

Am I finally reaching the home stretch for it? Am I reaching a point where the adhesions in the shoulder capsule are beginning to crumble, where the tissues have finally lost nearly all inflammation that there is no real pain anymore, just a more tolerable sort of discomfort? I hope so. I’m tired of not having full use of both arms.

I sometimes wonder why this one’s frozen stage has lasted longer. It’s not been for lack of trying to keep active with the arm. I have done a lot more to try to stay active with the left shoulder and arm than I ever did with the right side back in 2003 to 2005. That right shoulder took about 2 years. I first noticed twinges in it late in the summer of 2003 — in August of 2005 I started golfing and was pleased by how much range of motion I had — not full, but very close. This left one started in Feb. 2010 and now it’s August 2012. 2.5 years, and the shoulder is not nearly so thawed out. Why? Is it just because I’m older and my body can’t heal as fast as it once could? Is it just some sort of random variation? Is it because I try to stay active with this shoulder, unlike the right one? By that last question the thought I’ve sometimes had is what if using that shoulder caused a tougher sort of adhesion to fill in the capsule space? Is that possible? What if because I didn’t use my right shoulder so much in 2003 and 2004, the adhesions that developed weren’t so tough or dense or something? Then when the pain had subsided, the adhesions broke up more readily?

There is no evidence or definitive answer, and there never will be.

—-

I’m going to be in a bowling league starting next week. My brother suggested I might like to try it since I bowl fairly well whenever I get roped into going to a bowling alley. And if I play every week, I’ll probably see some improvement with the practice. I don’t think I’ll enjoy it as much as golfing though. Golf is more interesting in its variety of challenges.

—-

I’ve been working again on improving flexibility. For a while this summer, I had slacked off on the stretching: there was frustration about how I had seemingly gotten stuck, even though I felt rather sure I ought to be able to get more. Then I came across something about PNF stretching or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching, and it’s making a difference. It’s a cool idea. First you stretch a target muscle as far it can go passively, then you contract that muscle, hold it for some time, relax it and when you do that, you stretch it out some more. Go through a few cycles of that and bam, the muscle has been stretched farther than it ever has been before. It’s like playing a little trick on the nervous system. Of course, you still need to be careful about things, but it’s a useful tool in the toolbox and I wish I had known about it earlier.

—-

I had tried to start running again back in March, but that didn’t stick. Some frustration about how my blood sugars would drop very fast. I’m trying walking now. There’s still some trouble with blood sugars dropping too much. But I want to regain some aerobic fitness. But I may have to go back to bedtime Lantus shots if I want to be able to do extended cardio without huge drops in blood sugar. Which means I’ll have to go back again to bumping my blood sugar higher before bed and dealing with occasional nighttime hypos. If there’s one thing I’ve really liked about morning Lantus shots is that I didn’t have nearly the worry about nypos (nighttime hypos). But if I think about things and if I do decide at some point again that I want to do a marathon, I will have to switch back to nighttime Lantus.

That marathon idea is the idea with the walking. Back in the early part of the 20th century, a lot of the great Finnish distance runners did a lot of walking during the wintertime. That was their slowpaced cardio work. Then as it got warmed up, they’d start running. I’ve been thinking that. Get in the habit of walking briskly 4 or 5 times a week, then when we get to March next year, start running and build my way to a marathon.

I believe I can do the physical part of that. I’ve done it before. And I could probably do it better if I have a better cardio buildup with the walking over the winter to come. I worry some about the emotional challenge to it though. The marathon I got myself ready for in 2009 was fueled by an emotion which has been a rare occurrence in my life. One which I may never know again. There’ll be a lot of thinking to do if I’m running, a lot of memories to run with and run by and run through and run around and run for and run against.

Ça suffit.

early daffodils

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Just a few odd thoughts to jot down. I think I saw daffodils bloom around here the earliest ever I’ve seen. Saw some back on March 2nd when I was going home from work. It’s been a mild and easy winter here, making up for the prior 2.

—-

Golfed on Sunday, did pretty well except for an ugly 3 hole stretch, 14-16. If not for those holes, I would have shot in the mid 80s and would have felt really good about the state of my swing. But I learned again an important lesson to my golf swing, the importance of controlled tempo on the backswing. When I get quick with my backswing, bad things happen. My body doesn’t fire properly and the clubhead goes all over the place and gets way out of position. I’ve now realized that last fall when I had that realization about the right elbow being tight to the body, the other big thing it did for me that day was slow down my backswing. I concentrated so much on keeping the right elbow close that it kept my backswing well-controlled in tempo. But as I acclimated to the right elbow sticking close to the body, my tendency to hurry crept back in.

So somehow I’ve got to get better at keeping the backswing slowed down. I did it good for 15 of the holes on Sunday, but lost it for 3. Somehow at the 13th hole I lost that thought of keeping the backswing slow. Then it didn’t dawn on me until walking off the 16th with a double bogey that the backswing had gotten quick. Guess what then? My tee shot at the par-3 17th flew nicely nearly straight at the flag with a slight fade to it. Then I got myself to reasonable par chance at the tough par-4 finish at Ed Oliver’s golf course to close out the round, and finished up with a good enough bogey.

—-

For the first time in nearly a year and a half, I ran yesterday. Didn’t set myself any sort of distance to run, I went by time. Run out for 15 minutes or so, then go back. It was a bit grim. The aerobic fitness I once had was completely gone. I felt sort of like I was running in syrup, it felt so slow. Oh well. I can live with that. I don’t run to be happy when I run, I run for the challenges and puzzles it provides, the chance to gain a better understanding of my physiology. So it’s never been necessary for me to feel happy while running. Of course it’s never really been necessary for me to feel happy anyhow. If you stop worrying about happiness, then you might not be happy, but you might not be quite so despondent about not being happy.

So I ran again. The left shoulder was okay with it, I didn’t feel too off kilter with how the left arm swung. Running might not have been a good thing to do anyhow last year, with the shoulder very tight, it might have made me run kind of lopsided and possibly resulted in some sort of injury. Now I can run with better symmetry. Also right now I can look forward to the period of early rapid improvement.

Tried out using the droid app Handy Runner to track the run. I’m not sure what happened, but it didn’t start tracking the distance of my run until about 15 minutes in. It looked like it said I had 6 satellites when I began the run and I pushed start. I had left the phone outside about 15 minutes prior to beginning the run so it could catch the GPS satellites.  Oh well, I’ll try it again tomorrow, but I’ll also put on the watch and heart rate monitor. Hopefully Handy Runner will track the distance properly tomorrow, and that way I can use the run by time method, and then I’ll have distance from Handy Runner without using runningahead’s map feature to estimate the distance.  The plan is to run about 90 to 100 minutes this week, then increase that to 100 to 110 minutes the next week.

One possible problem right now is a possible change in my body’s metabolism and handling of insulin. Blood sugar was 152 mg/dL before running yesterday, I was at 79 mg/dL when I got back. I didn’t use to have big drops in blood sugar when running except if I had extra Novolog insulin in me. I didn’t have any in me yesterday. Another difference might be from how I take Lantus in the mornings now instead of night. That means in the past when I ran after work the Lantus was winding down some. Yesterday, it was probably up around peak absorption. I may have to consider switching back to Lantus at night, and going to bed with a higher blood sugar than what I’ve been doing.

We’ll see what happens. There’s a lot of running to do to get me to November.

ETA: Amazingly, my legs feel about as sore as they ever felt, almost as sore as the day after the first half-marathon I ran back in 2007.  I’m not quite as stiff and sore, but it’s somewhat uncomfortable going down steps today.  I don’t remember getting this sore after my first runs 5 years ago. Does being 5 years older make that much of a difference? I don’t know. Hopefully some foamrolling and stretching tonight will help work the kinks out and my legs will feel normal or near-normal by tomorrow, along with the beginning adaptations in the muscle fibers and blood.

Winter Classic

January 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Before now, I suppose my biggest time of interest in hockey was in the 80s. First there was the famous miracle on ice team of the US hockey team in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Then my interest in hockey got another boost some in 1985, not really because of anything going on in the world of hockey, but because of how I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There I was, March 1985, in the sort of empty sterility of a hospital, my life changed more than I could possibly know, stuck with my quiet tumult of thoughts. The Flyers had had a famous hockey player, Bobby Clarke and he was a type 1 diabetic and he still is since he is still alive.

Now I’ve always been a fan of the Philadelphia sports teams. So I became a bit more of a Flyers fan now that I shared a metabolic problem with one of the Flyers players. I also remember that one night while I was still recovering in hospital, the Flyers and the Blackhawks had a game.  According to NHL reference, the Flyers lost that night, 5-2. I can’t remember all that much in terms of my feelings towards the game, I do remember there seemed to be a lot of charging back and forth, up and down the ice by both teams and the game was fairly exciting in spite of how I was probably rather disappointed at the result. In a limited it would be nice to get a good favorable sign egoistic perspective, I would have rather liked it if the universe showed a little justice and sympathy by having the Flyers win.

Oh well. Wishes have little bearing upon the outcomes of reality. Reality is the cold hard relentless brutality of itself. Oh well.

I watched yesterday’s Winter Classic with the Flyers and Rangers. I’ve been following the Flyers pretty closely this year, I’ve had my interest in hockey re-inspired due to some influences from 2009 and 2010, although there was also a core emotional reaction of feeling some angst about associations with hockey from events in 2010.  Funny thing about that day in May I rode home on a train. When I got off the train, Roy Halladay was approaching the end of pitching a perfect game for the Phillies, and the Flyers and Blackhawks were playing the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Once again, the Blackhawks would deliver a message in beating the Flyers.

But since the Flyers are a relatively solid team, I’ve been able to push down the despair from certain emotional associations with hockey, and I’ve followed them this year. Claude Giroux is an exciting player to watch.

—-

It was warm this past weekend, Saturday and Sunday and I golfed both afternoons. I could have had a fairly good round on Sunday if my putter had behaved. I did have another important swing realization — I need to keep my tempo slowed down on the backswing. I have a horrible tendency to get quick. It’s very very bad. It came through very clearly to me on the 1st hole of Sunday. First I yanked my tee shot left some with a bad hook. Then I sort of chop hooked my next shot. Then I thinned a 9-iron back behind the green. Fortunately I save bogey with an up and down from there. It then hit me what was going wrong. I was jerking the club back fast and there was no consistent swing resulting from that. I slowed down the tempo of my swing and from then on, I began striking much more solidly with better consistency.

So I’m thinking of putting a new mark on my golf balls with a Sharpie — EZB. Easy back. So I can look at the mark every time I tee up the ball and remind myself not to get quick on the backswing.

—-

I had one of those crazy maze-like dreams last night, one that got creeped out by the sensation of evil lurking somewhere in the dreamscape. It woke me up at 2:11.

 

one of those bad diabetes days

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The diabetes and me have been coasting along pretty good over the past month and a half. I suppose it was time for one of those weird days to happen.

All day yesterday, I kept coming out low. The highest glucose reading I got was 123 mg/dL after stuffing myself with carbs in response to a low. A bad low. A low which had me in a bit of confused daze and sweat popping off my arms and body.  I don’t know what happened yesterday. Did my liver decide to take a vacation? Did I maybe take 26u of Lantus insted of 21u? Did I inject into some layer of tissue that got more rapid absorption?

I ask that last one of those three because when I woke up this morning, I had to pee something awful, but first I tested. 337 mg/dL. That’s my worst hyper in a couple of years maybe, maybe longer even. So what if the Lantus got absorbed in 18 hours instead of 24? Then maybe my timid guesstimate shot at covering the carbs I ate in reaction to the hypo ran out around 1 AM this morning along with the Lantus and my blood sugar began climbing.

But there’s no real way of knowing for sure.

The hypo after dinner last night was bad. I had begun to feel empty headed maybe around 1 hour 15 minutes after dinner, but I just shrugged it off to me being tired from not sleeping well the night before and waking up early.  By the time I checked my blood sugar around 45 minutes later, I was feeling really off but in one of those vacant and unknowing states. My thoughts were repeating themselves.  I reacted to seeing 30 mg/dL on my meter by wondering if it was 80 mg/dL instead and thinking maybe I just ought to go lay down on the bed for a while. It took about 15 minutes for the fact of 30 mg/dL to sink in and make me wander to the kitchen to search for carbs, even though I had glucose tablets in my bedroom. I think I opened and closed the fridge door a few times before the fact there was orange juice finally registered and I also somehow avoided a temptation to grab a diet caffeine-free Dr. Pepper instead.  Then I ended up drinking a couple of large glasses of orange juice and the carb replenishment panic set in. I ended up eating a couple bowls of spicy Doritos to satisfy a fairly overwhelming desire to suffuse my body with carbs and chase away the nasty feeling of being low. It was way too much and I wasn’t keeping track well, but it was just basic survival instincts guiding my actions by then.

When I was later recovered, I made a conservative guess about how much carb I needed to cover with insulin, but I was conservative.

Another reason I for maybe ending up at 337 this morning is that my liver really kicked in and did a prolonged period of glucose dumping.

Oh well, I’m alive, but feeling rather bolloxed by everything of yesterday and overnight. Hopefully this day will settle in to a better range. I got down to 183 before leaving for work and was at 165 when I arrived at work.

5.6

August 24, 2011 Leave a comment

5.6 for my latest A1c result. I think the last time I had a result of 6.0 or greater was May 2007. It always makes my doctor happy, although he obviously cautions me about hypoglycemias. But I don’t have too many of those and my hypo awareness has improved since 2006 when I switched over from 2 shots of NPH and pray to using MDI with Lantus and Novolog.

smuggler

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I had bad dreams Friday night. And last night, it wasn’t so much a bad dream but odd and I was dissociated at times in it, where I was another person in the dream and would see myself doing something. From what I remember, it started off that I was working in a convenience store and was slicing meat for hoagies. Then some other guy was slicing a roast beef but the meat slices would be turkey.

But that wasn’t our real job. Our real job was smuggling people out of Iraq. I have no idea why I would be dreaming about that, nor dreaming that that out the plate glass window of the convenience store it was Iraq. And we had to smuggle people out of there while slicing meat for sandwiches.

I woke up around 4 out of that and was completely thinking, “what the fuck?” Managed to get back to sleep though and was jolted awake by the alarm at 6.

—-

Earlier in the year, around mid-April, I had a bit of surprise one morning when I looked out to see what was at the bird feeder, and I saw 3 rather large birds walking around underneath the feeder and its tree, looking for seeds. These large birds were turkeys, 2 hens and 1 tom.

The last I saw of the hens was towards the end of May. But the tom continued to hang around, often showing up in the mornings or late afternoons, looking for sunflower seeds which were his favorite. Then about 2.5 weeks ago, he stopped showing up and I figured he had moved on to elsewhere or had met his demise somehow.

Then he showed up again last Thursday.

—-

The GABA experiment continues. Still taking 6.0g a day. My basal dose has gone back up to 22u though. And sometimes, for reasons I don’t understand, it appears that my liver will sometimes dump a huge amount of glucose into me. It happened to me last night. I had had some peas for carbs with dinner, not much, but 2 hours after dinner, my blood sugar was 300 mg/dL. Ugh. And there has been other instances of this, where I will get an unexpected high reading, in the upper 200s. The occurrence of that makes me think that if eventually I am satisfied nothing is changing, that the autoimmune attack is still wiping out the beta cells my body tried to regrow, then I’ll stop taking GABA. At least in this high of dose. Maybe I’ll supplement some still because type 1 diabetics may be generally deficient in GABA.

I also don’t think it’s done much to relieve my sense of anxiety or tendency to worry. I don’t know if that’s because GABA doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier well or if I’m just always an anxious worrying sort of person. I don’t know. I had rather hoped that the GABA might help with that, I really had. I might be a bit happier if it was able to help me.