Monthly Archives: September 2012

Not quite as busy this week.

Last Saturday started a very busy week for me. A bike ride that benefited JDRF that day was just the start.

Tuesday, I was supposed to attend a monthly meeting for pump users locally. This would have been my first meeting with this group. But because of dicey weather and bad traffic, they canceled. I’ve been trying to get into one of these meetings for a long time (they don’t meet during the summer).

This goes back to a post from the first month of this blog, where I laid out what I think an ideal support group would be. But I also had to admit that I had never met with a support group before, and I was going to start looking for one. Well, it’s five months later, and I’m still looking. To be honest, I’m not sure that I really care about it anymore. I mean, I’m sure that support groups, and support in general, is great for people. But I’ve pretty much had to live this D-life on my own all these years, so it might be better if I just get comfortable with that and go back to depending on myself only.

Thursday, it’s time for another neighborhood board meeting. I’ve been a part of the board for three years, and I do it because I was asked to serve. When they stop asking me to serve, I’ll stop serving. Now, our president has stepped down in the middle of his term, and his next in line isn’t interested in stepping into the role. That may leave it up to me. Again, if I’m asked to serve, I will. But only if I’m asked. More to come on Thursday.

And on Saturday, I finally get to take part in JDRF Mentor training! I’m very excited about this, and I’ve been waiting for almost a year for it. After the training, I hope they actually have someone for me to mentor. No, wait a minute… actually, I hope there’s no one left to mentor. That would be great, wouldn’t it?

So I got a little found time on Tuesday (enough to write a little something). In a way, I’m glad that my life has gotten busy with worthwhile tasks. And I hope I’m able to do something positive, and make people feel good about themselves and their lives.

It makes me feel good too.
 
 
 

I’m number 1! No, really… I was #1

In short, I was the first person at the check-in table for the 65-mile ride at the Tour de Talbot, which benefits both the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy and JDRF.

So they gave me number 1. And since I was wearing a yellow jersey (I always try to wear bright colors when I’m on the road), I became the subject of about 20 Tour de France-type jokes on the course:

“Number 1 and the yellow jersey? No pressure there!”

[While I’m being passed] “Yellow jersey, huh? And number 1 too? Where’s your team to defend you?”

Yeah, yeah, ha, ha, that was funny the first twenty times. Those kind of comments were understandable, but not fun. However, an interesting set of circumstances had me changing my mind.

At the first rest stop on my ride, I briefly saw John Anderson from Sanofi Team Type 1 (He’s actually part of Team Type 2). He lives in Annapolis, about an hour’s drive from the start. He did the 100 mile ride Saturday. While taking a photo of the volunteer table at the stop, I caught John as he was getting back on his bike.

I didn’t want to bother him as he was getting ready to take off, so I just went about my business and didn’t think about it again. I figured that was the only time I would see him all day.

Then at the next rest stop, I had a quick break, ate a granola bar, and got ready to go again. But I realized that I hadn’t checked my BG yet, so I pulled my meter out of my bag to check. I did a quick turn to my right as I checked, and who was there? John Anderson.

“Yeah, gotta check those numbers. How ya doin’?”
“I’m a little lower than I’d like, but I just ate, so I think I’ll be okay.”

We had the normal D-conversation… “Are you on insulin, or pills?”. “Pump? What make?” (we’re both using the Medtronic Revel). “CGM?” (he’s a big proponent of using the CGM, I’m not… especially the Med-T). I asked if I could get a quick photo, since I didn’t get one earlier:

Then I thanked him, shook his hand, and went to put my meter away and get on the bike to finish the last third of the ride.

When I started off, I noticed someone else was getting started again to my right, and when I looked over, it was John. We rode together for about a mile, talking about exercise… I mentioned my blog… and he told me a story about being in a run in Baltimore a few years back. And because he’s usually at or near the front of the alphabet in these events, he received number 1 for the run. “It made me feel good; I thought it was kinda cool. Everybody notices you when you’re wearing number 1”.

That lifted my spirits for the rest of the ride.

So what was the ride like? Well, it was a measure of redemption after the 100 mile ride I was a part of in June. I got advice from other riders and from my doctors in the interim, and my nutrition and overall preparation was a lot better than it was for the last ride.

I did not finish number one on this ride, but that wasn’t the point. In fact, this was the most laid-back event I’ve been a part of in some time. There was no official start/finish line. There was someone who gave a brief announcement at the start, but that person didn’t even say “Okay, Go”, or blow a horn, or anything. He stopped talking, all of the riders looked at each other, and then we just started. When we all finished, we just stopped, next to where we parked our cars in the lot of the country club where the ride originated. That was it.

But it was a nice ride, through some beautiful country near Easton, Maryland. There was a cold front that came in a couple of hours before the ride started, and that resulted in some strong headwinds through most of the first 40 miles or so. After that, it was great. Temperature at the start: 60 degrees, with 10-20 mile per hour winds. At the end, it was around 70 and the wind had died down a lot. This time, especially at the end, I stopped trying so hard and started enjoying the ride and the view from the saddle.

Time to finish: About four hours, not counting the time at the two rest stops.
Blood Glucose at the start: 158 mg/dL
BG at 1st rest stop: 91 mg/dL
BG at 2nd rest stop: 81 mg/dL
BG at the finish: 66 mg/dL (treated with juice and another granola bar, then lunch)

And best of all: I felt great after! Priceless.
 
 
 

September DSMA Blog Carnival. A lot of D-Baggage.

“Hello, my name is Stephen, and when I travel, I’m a Diabetes Gear Hoarder”.

I’m off for the Tour de Talbot, Saturday, September 15 in Easton, Maryland. Proceeds from the ride benefit the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy and JDRF. I hope to finish the Metric Century ride, which is 65 miles.

I’ll only be gone for 24 hours, but look at all of the stuff I have to take with me:

Here’s what’s in that photo:
– My pump

– My Meter

– A very neat, very old thing that I carry my insulin in when I travel (I posted about it here)

– A re-purposed infusion set box, containing:
2 infusion sets
2 reservoirs
2 IV Prep wipes
1 Novolog pen
1 Lantus pen
3 Pen needles (no, I don’t know why I packed only three)

Of course, that’s not all. In the meter case is lancets and strips. And in my pocket are four of my favorite candies to fight off lows. Also, I’m taking along an entire bag of them in case I need more.

I know that almost all of this is for that “just in case” scenario, but we know that things will happen (and all too often, they do).

So we prepare… we plan… we pack… and we overcome any issues that arise.

“I’m Stephen, and when I travel, I’m a Diabetes Gear Hoarder”.

This post is my September entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/september-dsma-blog-carnival-2/

Can a visit with friends help you manage your blood sugar?

Well, no… it can’t. At least I can’t find any medical evidence to back up that assertion.

But last night, the stars aligned, we had a chance to have a couple of long-time neighbors over for dinner, and I felt great. We ate and talked, laughed, discussed their kids and my parents, and what we all thought we’d be doing in twenty years.

It was one of those impromptu gatherings on a perfect evening that helps the stress of the day and the week release like air from a balloon. What can be wrong about that?

My blood glucose level before our meal: 115 mg/dL

My blood glucose level after everyone went home: 118 mg/dL

Can a visit with friends help you manage your blood sugar?

It can’t hurt.
 
 
 

Weekend review.

Looking back at the weekend, I can report that I was able to do all of the things that I needed to do the past couple of days. Yay!

And did I suffer a terrible low or a ridiculous high? No! That doesn’t mean that I didn’t suffer any lows. I did have a couple of lows on Sunday, which is kind of understandable considering the fact that I did a hard hour and a half on my bike in the morning. As a result of that, I was chasing lows all day. One about 3:30 p.m., and one about 5:00, right before dinner.

We did get one sad bit of news today: my next door neighbor’s mom passed away this week. She’s been to dinner at our house multiple times, and she was always a great addition to any group of friends. I’ll miss her, as I’m sure her son, my neighbor will. Rest in peace, Bessie.

We did a lot this weekend. And when I say we, I mean Maureen, myself, and Rachel. Everybody played their part, and we accomplished a great deal. The best part is, after my ride on Sunday morning, I’m right where I need to be with my JDRF ride coming up on Saturday. One more hard workout and one a little easier, and I’m ready to go. I’m looking forward to it.

And one other thing: I like to tell people that I’m a spiritual man, but I’m not religious. When I was out on my bike Sunday morning, after the weather had changed overnight, and it was cool, and sunny, and beautiful… while I was riding, and I could hear the birds and see the sun through the trees, and I could really concentrate… I felt closer to God than I have for a long time. I was so grateful for a beautiful day and a chance to enjoy it. I can’t experience a morning like that without feeling something bigger than myself. It was special.

Hope you enjoy your week. And I hope that you’re right where you need to be too.
 
 
 

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