This weekend was the official start of cycling season, if you didn't celebrate the start of my season it is ok, you can pop champagne tonight. With temperatures finally above 50 it was time to put some miles on the bike, yesterday everything went very well until mile 17 of a 30 mile ride. My pump beeped and let me know that my blood sugar was BELOW 40. I quickly called bs and continued on my way. I don't suggest doing what I did but I knew without a doubt that my blood sugar was above 100. I had no low feelings and felt strong while riding, I continued my ride and arrived home with a blood sugar of 115. Post ride I checked my CGM site and all was good, I let my CGM off with a warning, I told him that he is allowed to make mistakes but while I'm riding is not the best time.
Today my bike ride would take me just over twenty miles to the Coast Guard to see my brother in law TJ compete in a track meet. JOEL!!!! (Inside Joke) My ride would take me on back roads but I would have to go over the Gold Star Bridge which is pictured above. The bridge has a narrow walking/bike path, the path is away from traffic but at best only five feet wide. Before leaving my CGM was acting up again, it read 66 when I was really at 220, I removed the CGM site and off I went. The CGM rubber tubing was bent when I examined it which explains the wacky readings. Going to the Coast Guard I had a little trouble finding the road that got me to the bike path to cross the bridge. Once I found it I had no problems at got to the meet just in time to see TJ throw.
The trip back home would be a little more interesting, while on the bike path another cyclist came flying at me and was not worried at all that I was in his way. I was going around 18mph on a slight uphill, he was easily going 25, I got to the side to let this guy by and caught my leg on one of the bolts for the light post. I quickly said some very bad words to the moron that would've hit me, he responded by using hand to tell me I was #1. I guess I forgot that the Olympic trials for cycling were in New London today. (I'm not the worlds best cyclist by any stretch, I make stupid mistakes when I ride but forcing someone to hit a wall, come on buddy not smart!!!) With a lot of ride left I continued on not feeling any pain because I was so angry. It was until five miles from home when I tried to adjust my shorts that I knew I had a little bruise. When you adjust clothing and it is stuck to your skin that is not a good thing. Once I returned home I tested and was at 153, the change from a 9% basal to a 4% basal rate helped keep me a little higher while I rode. The minor bruise from the bridge is below, it is nothing major but yet another battle wound from the bike. Happy the season is here and hopefully it isn't this crazy all year long!!
This morning was the first morning this spring that I have ridden my bike to work. I forgot how much work goes in to being able to get on a bike at six in the morning, my blood sugar at 530am, when I awake has to be perfect or riding becomes very difficult. If my blood sugar is to low I will not ride, if my blood sugar is above 220 I will have to take some insulin to lower it which will put me at risk of getting low while riding. Luckily this morning I did not have to deal with a bad blood sugar, I was able to jump right on the bike and make my way to work.
I felt great riding and I forgot how grea it is to be on a bike while the sun rises. I also forgot how tough figuring out my insulin after riding is, my breakfast consisted of a couple eggs and an english muffin. Usually this calls for 2.6 units of insulin, knowing I would have a heavy physical day of work I cut back and only took 1.4 units. I don't know what was in the air today but my blood sugars were almost perfect all day long.
The only trouble I did have was a couple hours after I had ridden my bike home from work. My blood sugar was at 41 around 6, I felt the low but honestly thought I was at 70. I know that lows and highs happen but having a number that low made me mad. I have been doing so well staying above 60, seeing a blood sugar of 41 brought me back down to earth.
This morning I made my television debut!! I was joined by Scott Petrin, a good friend who is living with Type 2 diabetes. Scott and I were at NBC 10 to raise diabetes awareness and let people know about the Rhode Island American Diabetes Tour De Cure. I believe the video is very well done and my hope is that it will raise diabetes awareness across the state and get more people to the Tour De Cure to learn more about diabetes. To read the article you can visit http://www.turnto10.com/story/21808733/health-check-tour-de-cure
My diabetes birthday was this past Saturday, this may upset some people but to me it is just another day. I'm not one for being recognized for something that I do everyday. I don't need to celebrate the day of my diagnosis, that would do nothing for me. I live with diabetes day in and day out, it is not something that I only remember on one special day. As I have gotten control of my diabetes back I am truly thankful for every day that I'm alive.
Everyday I'm thankful to be living with diabetes, without diabetes I believe I would not be the husband, athlete, or coach that I am today. I never sit back and think what if I never got diabetes, thats just not me. I'm thankful for the day because I have been through some very tough times, those tough times have taught me to enjoy the day. The biggest change these past four years has been how I look at my diabetes. When I wasn't taking care of myself I hated my diabetes, I hated being the kid with the needles and the odd disease that people didn't understand. These past four years I have adored my diabetes. I now look at all of the good the disease has done for me. It has made me a very healthy eater, it has been the reason I ride my bike thousands of miles a year, and it has saved my life.
I look forward to waking up tomorrow and going to test my blood my blood sugar. In fact I look forward to doing that the rest of life, I owe my life to diabetes.
The first week of the Diabetes Tournament is complete!! The first week of match ups saw the top seeds, Insulin, Insulin Pumps, and Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) moving on by shutting out their first round opponents. The #10 seed Glucose Tabs pulled off the upset by defeating the #7 seed Carb Counting by a single vote!! Cinderella is in the diabetes tournament this year as well, she comes to the tournament as the #11 seeded Insulin Pens!!! The Insulin Pens has no problem defeating the #6 seeded Drug Companies, I spoke with the drug companies after the results were announced and they said "We make the &#*$% Insulin Pens how could we lose?? What if we just decide to shut down in protest?? What would happen then??" Obviously the drug companies are very upset!!! This week brings a number of very interesting match ups, the match up that should be the closest is the Insulin Pumps vs Glucose Meters!! Be sure to vote and check in next Monday for the results!!!
Each Sunday I upload all my blood sugars from my insulin pump to the Medtronic Carelink website. Each Sunday night I will email my endocrinologist and he able to look at all of information from the past week. For some reason having to upload the information for my doctor doesn't make it a top priority. I decided if I upload it to my website each Sunday maybe that will make me more apt to upload my information.
The purpose of uploading this information is to give people an idea of what my weeks are like as a diabetic. I'm not uploading this information to say look at me and how well I manage my diabetes. Also if I have crappy blood sugars I don't mind if people suggest things to fix my high blood sugars but please don't belittle me and how I control my diabetes. I really don't need to read an email that says "Your blood sugar was 300 on this day why do you have a blog?? You have no idea how to manage your own diabetes."
This months diabetic of the month played a big part in making diabetes cool for me. It was six months after my surgery and I was slowly becoming the diabetic I should have been, Leanne and I decided to attend a TCOYD event in Providence. It would be a way to see the latest and greatest diabetes supplies as well as a way to meet some people in the diabetes community. The great Kerri Morrone Sparling introduced Leanne and I to race car driver Charlie Kimball. When we were first introduced, I thought to myself this guy doesn't care about this event he just wants his appearance fee and wants to get back to doing whatever it is race car drivers do. As the breakout sessions began Leanne and I decided to check out Charlies, we could learn how a pro athlete lives with diabetes.
Luckily Leanne and I were the only ones in the room to hear Charlie speak. I could sense he was a little upset that only two people came to hear him speak but he quickly grabbed a chair and for the next hour talked to Leanne and I like we were long lost friends. Charlie and traded questions about diabetes, life, and driving a car. That hour was one of the best hours in my diabetic history, I thought this guy was to cool for us and what I got was a normal guy who has the same diabetes fears as everyone else that is affected by the disease. That hour taught me that it doesn't matter who you are diabetes is the same for everyone. It is how we handle our diabetes that dictates how great we are in life.
Charlie will start his third season in the IndyCar Series tomorrow in the 83 NovoNordisk car. I have never been a fan of car racing but Charlie has me excited to watch the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Charlie is an amazing guy and does a lot in the diabetes community. Charlie may be driving the car but he has the diabetes community in the car with him!! I can't wait to see Charlie win his first IndyCar race, when he does he will be proving to the doubters that although he has diabetes he can do anything anyone else can!!
As my diabetes diagnosis anniversary approaches I have been having a wide range of emotions as I look back at the past twenty-two years with diabetes. So much has changed since I was diagnosed and I feel that I have forgotten what it was like when I was first diagnosed. When I speak to patients that have just diagnosed I tell them that it will be ok, and it will but I have forgotten what it is like to not know how to test your blood sugar or draw an insulin shot. It is very tough to explain but I believe it is like teaching a student that just got his permit how to drive. We all think it is so easy to drive on the highway, that is because for a long time we have been doing so. When you are first thrown in to that position it is a very tough thing to do. The same goes with diabetes, you don't instantly know what to do when you are first diagnosed.
I believe the diabetes community needs to do a lot more for those that are newly diagnosed. We need to take a step back and remember what it was like that first six months after our diagnosis. We can help the newly diagnosed by showing them how we have dealt with everything diabetes thrown at us since our diagnosis but we need to start with the basics. Once a newly diagnosed patient realizes what they can do they will be more willing to listen to what can be done down the diabetes road.
Although it is very early in the season my blood sugars have been very good at work. I have been averaging a 126 blood sugar around 9am, a 92 blood sugar at lunch, a 71 blood sugar at 2pm, and a 136 blood sugar at dinner. Obviously that 2pm average is way to low, today the 2pm low has me paranoid. I know that everyone at work understands my diabetes and the constant challenge to keep my blood sugar above 100. I could feel a low coming, I took my packet of Gu and hoped for the best, thirty minutes later I was still at 73 and in need of some juice to fix the impending low. I would have to drive back to the break room and grab a glass of juice, which means I would be not working for ten minutes. Again everyone totally understood but I couldn't help but feel bad that I got a mini "break" while they worked. I always feel that I have to work twice as hard because of my diabetes, if I get low I'm not doing my job and that isn't right.
I really hate when I get low at work, my goal is to not be low while working. Today I was 146 at lunch and only took 1.6 units of insulin to cover a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some pistachios, a fiber one bar and an apple. When I punched the carb count in to my pump it said I should take 3.4 units, I knew what my job would be this afternoon and that I would be very active. My guess wasn't correct today, I still had that 2pm low. Tomorrow I will cut back on my insulin at lunch, but something doesn't feel right about taking 1.2 units of insulin to cover a meal.
"Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding."
Phil Southerland and Team Novo Nordisk continue to change diabetes. As the cycling season starts to heat up Team Novo Nordisk continues to prove to people all over the world that people living with diabetes can do anything. Below are some amazing inspirational photos and videos that Team Novo Nordisk has posted to Facebook and Twitter. Team Novo Nordisk can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Team Novo Nordisk is @TeamNovoNordisk on Twitter and at http://www.facebook.com/TeamNovoNordisk?ref=ts&fref=ts on Facebook.
Aaron Perry, Changing Diabetes down under in an interview with New Zealand's ONE News
It may not be as big as the NCAA Basketball Tournament but for people living with diabetes it could be. I believe this tournament will be a great way to see how everyone feels about what is available to them as diabetics. I may have left a few things out, feel free to suggest items that you believe should be in the 16 team tournament and when I create next years bracket your suggestion may be present. Without further ado here are the match ups!!! You may vote on this page and also by clicking on the Diabetes Tournament tab to the left. The tournament page will have the updated brackets each Monday until we have a winner on the 15th of April!!! I think the 8 vs 9 match up could be the best!!
It is weird how a bad blood sugar can ruin my day. All I wanted to do today was go for a nice bike ride, have a nice lunch, watch the PC hockey game and enjoy time with Leanne. A blood sugar of 332 at 9am ruined all of my plans, I was so set on going for a bike ride that I had a total 3yrd old meltdown when I saw that my blood sugar was so high. I few swears were said, I took some insulin and cancelled my temp basal. I would not be riding my bike this morning, I could however ride my bike later in the day. I decided that a retreat to my favorite spot to think, the shower, was necessary. This is odd and may be weird to think about but the Snow Patrol Pandora station and a good twenty minutes in the shower clears my head. While cooling down in the shower I ripped off my cgm and had another mini meltdown, it was then I decided to not ride at all today. I would try to enjoy the day and take a day off from working out.
It took me until noon to get my blood sugar to 115, I had lost half of my day because of a high blood sugar. I believe I was so angry because on Saturday I spoke with Delaine Wright and Matthew Urban about Type 1 Diabetes and exercise at the 2nd annual JDRF Rhode Island Diabetes Expo. At the event I spoke about what I have to do diabetes wise to be able to get on the bike, I was fielding questions and giving suggestions to others, and today I totally messed up my own riding plan. I know that it happens but why couldn't my pre ride happen two weeks from now. The best thing about diabetes is that it will be there tomorrow and that tomorrow will be a whole new adventure!!
This morning I saw this amazing link on Twitter and had to share it http://www.diabetesdaily.com/voices/2013/03/top-29-most-annoying-things-to-say-to-people-with-diabetes/ Many thanks to Ginger Vieira for creating this list.
Those living with diabetes and their caregivers will enjoy the list, those that don't know to much about diabetes, the ones asking such questions will hopefully understand why this list was made. Leanne and I have been faced with a lot of these questions, I'm not always the nicest person and will often walk away or just smile and change the subject when I'm faced with such a ridiculous question. I understand where the question is coming from but I would never walk up to someone and ask "Your father was never bald why did you go bald so young?" or "Wow what is it like to be the only person overweight in your family?" As a diabetic that is what those 29 questions feel like. I don't know how else to put but I will say that if we continue to raise awareness that these questions will slowly go away.
As winter turns to spring a lot of things begin to change, the days get longer and warmer, flowers bloom, and my pumps basal rates get a tweak. While those other items on the list are beautiful changing to my spring/summer basal rates is often a very ugly transition. For a good two weeks I will often experience a roller coaster of blood sugars and way to many lows.
This week I made the change to my Spring basal rates but I also made a small change in my approach to my blood sugars. I often will over react to the dreaded double arrows on my CGM when my blood sugar is rising. When I saw the double arrows in the past I would take a unit of insulin and wait a half hour, if I was still high or trending up I would take another unit. Eventually all of the extra insulin would catch up to me and my blood sugar would be in the 60s an hour or two later.This year I have promised to not over react and if my blood sugar does rise that I will tweak my basal rate and not react by giving myself unnecessary insulin.
I'm happy to report that so far things have been working very well. I have had a low around 11am the past two days however, I will see how tomorrow goes before tweaking my basal rates. My daily average for insulin this week has been around 32 down nine units from my winter average. With everything going so smoothly this week my plan is to start running or riding my bike to and from work a few days next week. That will be another challenge but after (hopefully) solving the first spring challenge the second one will be accomplished with the same relative ease.
This morning I received a call from Medtronic, I was busy at the time but expected the call was to let me know that my latest pump supply order had shipped. When I listened to the voice mail I was shocked that it was an actual person leaving the message, she would go on to say that I needed to call her because she had some insurance questions.
When I called Medtronic I was quickly transferred to the representative that had left the message. The representative said that my insurance was interested in the order that I had placed on the 17th of January. I was told that I would need to send Medtronic my blood sugar readings for the past three months. Luickly all of my readings are put in to a chart when I upload them to Medtronics Care Link website. I had no problem uploading my latest information and printing out the charts to fax to Medtronic when I get to work tomorrow morning.
What I do have a small problem with is that the insurance company is in a way doing a diabetes investigation. I highly doubt that they are doing this to make sure that I'm taking proper care of myself and using the supplies that they are paying for. I believe that they want to check on my product use because of the cost, they don't want to cover products that in their mind I don't need. I wish I could be in the room when someone at the insurance company sees that I test atleast six times a day, take forty units of insulin a day and use my CGM everyday. I would love to hear them say "Oh crap this guy actually uses what he orders. Can't save any money with him."
The funny thing is in ten years I never got a call from the insurance company when I wasn't filling my test strip prescription. I don't care if the insurance company wants to see if I'm using the products they are paying for but when I they aren't paying for products because I'm not using what I should I would like a call then. I know that insurance companies shouldn't have to babysit their patients but when they are only worried about making money and not the people they are covering it looks very very bad.
The past twenty-four hours have been very rough. Something I ate has not been sitting well, I believe some chicken that I made on Sunday may be the culprit. The fun started an hour or so after I finished my run yesterday. Early on my blood sugars stayed within normal range, but as the night went on my blood sugars crept up and have been above 180 for most of the day.
The toughest part of the bug was trying to figure out how my insulin to take when my blood sugar was high. Around 1am I was at 300 and feeling very warm and sick. I was very scared to take the 3.7 units of insulin that my pump suggested, what would happen if my blood sugar went low?? I could not keep any food down and a low would be very tough to recover from. After taking the suggested insulin dose I returned to bed where I would only be able to sleep for an hour at a time. I was getting up every hour and my blood sugar was very slowly coming down but would never be below 200 until noon today. As the day went on I began to feel better and I very slowly started to eat normal foods again.
Right now my body feels strong again, I never like being sick but if I can be done with it in twenty-four hours I can't complain. Tomorrow will be very interesting as my body starts getting adjusted to an increased work load during the day and working out after work. The fun spring time blood sugar fight has begun!!
My plan for the next two weeks is to try alternate my running and cycling days. In doing so I hope that my body will get use to the daily activity and in turn make the transition to being on the bike everyday for the next six months a little easier. My body feels strong right now but I believe the warmer weather and the physical activity at work will start to take a toll.
After returning to my usual workout schedule yesterday my body is already starting to adjust. My blood sugars have been a little lower than I would like all day long. I didn't have any blood sugars below 80 but my blood sugar was low enough that I couldn't do any physical activity without having to have a snack before hand. I began to plan for my run around 2:30 this afternoon, a bowl of cereal without taking any insulin was the meal of choice. At 3:45 my blood sugar was at 182 and I felt good going for my run around 430. My run went very well, my body felt strong after being on the bike yesterday. The only negative from the run was seeing a real runner a mile from the end of my run. Being the competitive person that I am I did my best to keep pace with him, I'm happy to say that I was able to stay with him but my blood sugar paid the price. The last mile was completed in seven minutes, I was at an eight minute pace until then. When I arrived home I felt ok but tested to see how I should cover my post run snack. When I saw 60 I was shocked, I shouldn't have tried to keep up with that guy!!!
My snack would quickly bring my blood sugar back to normal. In the coming days it will be an interesting battle to try and balance my blood sugars, work and exercise. But as always I love the challenge and will be excited to see what I learn.
Today was a day of getting back to normal. It is great to be home, my life began to return to normal this morning as I rode my bike twenty miles to go see a good friend finish the half marathon that I should have been running in. (After a crazy week, that wasn't the best food wise and only had two runs in it I was told by my "coach" that it would be a good idea to sit out the half marathon.) My diet was also a lot better today, it involved a lot of vegetables and a good amount of carbs as I step up my time on the bike as my biking season quickly approaches.
This evening I decided to head to the supermarket and get the food that Leanne and I would need for the week. I expected to spend a lot of time in the produce section and then head of to the evil land of the isles for the cereal and other everyday items. I'm not sure if it was my healthy mindset that made all of the candy displays stick out but I felt like I was in a bad dream. I was being attacked with every turn I made, Little Debbie, Ben and Jerry and Betty Crocker were all out to get me as they are each week. This week however they brought a friend CADBURY, this evil monster only comes out around Easter but he is the toughest to ignore. He comes at me with creme eggs and mini eggs!! It is so tough to dodge his egg fetish!!! Why does he want others to join in his odd fetish with candy eggs??
If it wasn't for this past week I would've given in to those evil candy monsters (I have a soft spot for mini eggs) I can put them off for another couple weeks however, I need to get my butt ready for the cycling season and the will power needs to be as strong as my legs. It isn't always easy to say no but in the end the results are a lot better than any candy I can ever eat!!
This past week has been very tough on my normal eating habits. I have tried my best to find the healthiest food option but I wasn't always offered a healthy meal option. While I was at meetings for the call to congress the Ada offered a lot of healthy options food wise, lots of fruit and low carb options but the liquid choices caused me to scratch my head. The tables were loaded with diet soda and coffee, towards the back of the table they had small bottles of water. We all know the negative effects of diet drinks (http://www.naturalnews.com/033110_diet_soda_weight_gain.html) I do my best to drink plain water but I will occasionally enjoy a diet soda with a meal.
This week I have noticed the effect that diet soda has on my body. I went from having one diet soda a week to having one a day this week. It may be the food, the work, or the soda but I have been very tired. I can't wait to get home and walk around the house with my gallon of water and enjoy a quinoa and veggie meal.
The point of tonight's blog however is why the Ada offered so much soda!! I spent three days fighting for better diabetes care but the company I'm working for is offering diet soda?? It doesn't make sense to me, we need to look at people's diets, we know that a bad diet increases the chances of diabetes. A nationwide change needs to be made to we eat, I have seen some small changes but we need to make drastic changes to make a change. Having the calories of a meal on the menu helps but the fat in the meal is nowhere to be found. You can very easily have a 200 calorie salad but that tablespoon of salad dressing has almost eight grams of fat. (http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-salad-dressings-french_f-ZmlkPTYxNDM3.html) changing the way that people eat will not be easy, I believe that we will never see McDonalds offer a 36oz water with an apple and a BBQ chicken breast with no bread or cheese. For the time being we need to fend for ourselves when it comes to making healthy food choices. It isn't always easy but the healthy options are there if we take the time to find them.
Follow The Diabetic Cyclist on Facebook!!!!