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Saturday, November 30, 2013

No Carbohydrate Diet - Part 4

Continued functions of carbohydrates.

FBS  123 this morning.  I am getting more and more convinced that this runs about 24 hours behind.  When I ate bad the next morning I was okay - Friday.  But today I am high and that is after a good day of eating yesterday.  Must continue to monitor.

Today I will finish on the functions of carbohydrates and why we should have them in our diet.  The final series will be a discussion of the different types of diets and what we might want to do as diabetics.

There are two remaining functions that are worth discussing.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary fibers such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, gum and mucilage are important carbohydrates for several reasons. Soluble dietary fibers like pectin, gum and mucilage pass undigested through the small intestine and are degraded into fatty acids and gases by the large intestine. The fatty acids produced in this way can either be used as a fuel for the large intestine or be absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore, dietary fiber is essential for proper intestinal health.

In general, the consumption of soluble and insoluble fiber makes the elimination of waste much easier. Since dietary fiber is both indigestible and an attractant of water, stools become large and soft. As a result, feces can be expelled with less pressure. However, not enough fiber consumption will change the constitution of the stool and increase the amount of force required during defecation. Excessive pressure during the elimination of waste can force places in the large intestine wall out from between bands of smooth muscle to produce small pouches called diverticula. Hemorrhoids may also result from unnecessary strain during defecation.

I know it is a crappy subject but worth noting and understanding how our body tells us when something is not right.

The disease of having many diverticula in the large intestine is known as diverticulosis. Although diverticula is often asymptomatic, food particles become trapped in their folds and bacteria begin to metabolize the particles into acids and gases. Eventually, the diverticula may become inflamed, a condition known as diverticulitis. To combat the disease, antibiotics are administered to the patient to destroy the bacteria while the intake of fiber in the diet is decreased until the inflammation has subsided. Once the inflammation has been reduced, a high fiber diet is begun to prevent a relapse.

Besides the prevention of intestinal disease, diets high in fiber have other health benefits. High fiber intake reduces the risk of developing obesity by increasing the bulk of a meal without yielding much energy. An expanded stomach leads to satisfaction despite the fact that the caloric intake has decreased.

Beyond dieters, diabetics can also benefit from consuming a regular amount of dietary fiber. Once in the intestine, it slows the absorption of glucose to prevent a sudden increase in blood glucose levels. A relatively high intake of fiber will also decrease the absorption of cholesterol, a compound that is thought to contribute to atherosclerosis or scarring of the arteries. Serum cholesterol may be further reduced by a reduction in the release of insulin after meals. Since insulin is known to promote cholesterol synthesis in the liver, a reduction in the absorption of glucose after meals through the consumption of fiber can help to control serum cholesterol levels. Furthermore, dietary fiber intake may help prevent colon cancer by diluting potential carcinogens through increased water retention, binding carcinogens to the fiber itself and speeding the passage of food through the intestinal tract so that cancer-causing agents have less time to act.

For my green drink I do not juice, I use products and have a Nutri-Bullet.  It allows my body to get a significant amount of fiber in the morning and I think is one of the major reasons I get better balance throughout the day.

Biological Recognition Processes

Carbohydrates not only serve nutritional functions, but are also thought to play important roles in cellular recognition processes. For example, many immunoglobulins (antibodies) and peptide hormones contain glycoprotein sequences. These sequences are composed of amino acids linked to carbohydrates. During the course of many hours or days, the carbohydrate polymer linked to the rest of the protein may be cleaved by circulating enzymes or be degraded spontaneously. The liver can recognize differences in length and may internalize the protein in order to begin its own degradation. In this way, carbohydrates may mark the passage of time for proteins.

God's Amazing body at it again. 

As I mentioned, the final post on this series will be a discussion of the different diets and why they may or may not be good for us.

May God grant us the ability to understand our bodies and feed it the fuels it so desperately wants and needs.  Let us give thanks to him for this amazing body of ours - even if it is inflicted with Diabetes.

Bob,

Friday, November 29, 2013

No Carbohydrate Diet - Part 3

What are the functions of carbohydrates?

FBS - 104 - wow I ate like a Hoover Carbohydrate Vacuum cleaner yesterday.  Actually I practiced the art of grazing - taking 1-2 hours to consume all of the food slowly and this year I filled my first plate with the meat to get my body ready and get the First Insulin response going a little faster.  Might be something I try in the future.

BG after the meal - 158.  For what I ate - OMG that was a great number and no medicines!

I want to continue on with what carbohydrates do for our body.  I tried a no carbohydrate diet and it did lower my sugar levels - but at what price.  I want you to know these fad diets are not good for us and the more you know about yourself and your body - the better you can be at controlling the beast within you!.

Two more functions of carbohydrates will be covered in thsi post.

Sparing Protein and Preventing Ketosis

So why are carbohydrates important if the body can use other carbon compounds such as fatty acids and ketones as energy?

First of all, maintaining a regular intake of carbohydrates will prevent protein from being used as an energy source.  Gluconeogenesis will slow down and amino acids will be freed for the biosyntheses of enzymes, antibodies, receptors and other important proteins. Furthermore, an adequate amount of carbohydrates will prevent the degradation of skeletal muscle and other tissues such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. 

Muscle tissue actually makes our bodies more efficient so we do not want to be consuming it for energy.

Most importantly, ketosis will be prevented. Although the brain will adapt to using ketones as a fuel, it preferentially uses carbohydrates and requires a minimum level of glucose circulating in the blood in order to function properly. Before the adaptation process occurs, lower blood glucose levels may cause headaches in some individuals.   When I drop down to 70 BGthen I break out in a sweat that looks like I just excercisaed for hours and ran a marathon.  I am lucky to get the warning - my neighbor does not and she just passes out.

To prevent these ketotic symptoms, it is recommended that the average person consume at least 50 to 100g of carbohydrates per day.

Although the processes of protein degradation and ketosis can create problems of their own during prolonged fasting, they are adaptive mechanisms during glucose shortages. In summary, the first priority of metabolism during a prolonged fast is to provide enough glucose for the brain and other organs that dependent upon it for energy in order to spare proteins for other cellular functions. The next priority of the body is to shift the use of fuel from glucose to fatty acids and ketone bodies. From then on, ketones become more and more important as a source of fuel while fatty acids and glucose become less important.

Flavor and Sweeteners

A less important function of carbohydrates is to provide sweetness to foods. Receptors located at the tip of the tongue bind to tiny bits of carbohydrates and send what humans perceive as a "sweet" signal to the brain. However, different sugars vary in sweetness. For example, fructose is almost twice as sweet as sucrose and sucrose is approximately 30% sweeter than glucose.

Sweeteners can be classified as either nutritive or alternative. Nutritive sweeteners have all been mentioned before and include sucrose, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and lactose. These types of sweeteners not only impart flavor to the food, but can also be metabolized for energy. 

In contrast, alternative sweeteners provide no food energy and include saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, and acesulfame. Controversy over saccharin and cyclamate as artificial sweeteners still exists but aspartame and acesulfame are used extensively in many foods in the United States.  Aspartame and acesulfame are both hundreds of times sweeter than sucrose but only acesulfame is able to be used in baked goods since it is much more stable than aspartame when heated. 

I cover the true aspects of Sweeteners in a previous post -  I Crave Sweets

May God grant us the ability to know when we need some energy added to our diet and may he also give us bodies that can let us know when we are having problems.  May he grant us the ability to come to know and understand the balance of nutrients our body's need.

Bob,

Thursday, November 28, 2013

No Carbohydrate Diet - Part 2

What Do Carbohydrates do for us

FBS - 11/2/7/2013 - 122
FBS - 11/28/2013 - 106 - still fluctuating with stress and work - not totally out of the woods yet

BP - 139/87  home machine and is slightly above 110/70 at this reading / HR - 61

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.  I know for my international readers this a United States holiday but I think we all have something to be thankful for - so we can all call this a Day of Thanksgiving.  Give it up to your higher power(s) and thank them for what they have done for you today.

My dad left me with three basic things to be thankful for:

  1. When you wake up in the morning, give thanks to God for he brought you through the night and you are looking down at the ground and not up at it.
  2. When you go to bed at night, give God thanks for every second he gave you during the day to experience the life he meant for you to experience.
  3. But most of all, thank God for the people he put in your life - and I thank God for each of you.  Strangely enough - I have to thank him for my diabetes because without it - I would not know any of you.

What are the functions of carbohydrates in our body.


According to most sources there are really six functions:

  1. Providing energy and regulation of blood glucose
  2. Sparing the use of proteins for energy
  3. Breakdown of fatty acids and preventing ketosis
  4. Biological recognition processes
  5. Flavor and Sweeteners
  6. Dietary fiber
I will take each one and provide some detail information  and at the end of the series, will wrap up with why we should not go without them.

Providing energy and regulating blood glucose

This might be considered the most important function and why not having them in our diet can be a major risk.

Glucose is the only sugar used by the body to provide energy for its tissues. Therefore, all digestible polysaccharides, disaccharides, and monosaccharides must eventually be converted into glucose or a metabolite of glucose by various liver enzymes. Because of its significant importance to proper cellular function, blood glucose levels must be kept relatively constant.

Among the enormous metabolic activities the liver performs, it also includes regulating the level of blood glucose. During periods of food consumption, pancreatic beta cells sense the rise in blood glucose and begin to secrete the hormone insulin. Insulin binds to many cells in the body having appropriate receptors for the peptide hormone and causes a general uptake in cellular glucose. In the liver, insulin causes the uptake of glucose as well as the synthesis of glycogen, a glucose storage polymer. In this way, the liver is able to remove excessive levels of blood glucose through the action of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes may have two problems - our cells do not recognize and take in the glucose thus leaving large amounts in our blood - or we do not produce enough insulin to manage the glucose produced.  This is much the same problem of a Type I diabetic.

In contrast, the hormone glucagons is secreted into the bloodstream by pancreatic alpha cells upon sensing falling levels of blood glucose. Upon binding to targeted cells such as skeletal muscle and brain cells, glucagon acts to decrease the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. This hormone inhibits the uptake of glucose by muscle and other cells and promotes the breakdown of glycogen in the liver in order to release glucose into the blood. Glucagon also promotes gluconeogenesis, a process involving the synthesis of glucose from amino acid precursors. Through the effects of both glucagon and insulin, blood glucose can usually be regulated in concentrations between 70 and 115mg/100 ml of blood.

Other hormones of importance in glucose regulation are epinephrine and cortisol. Both hormones are secreted from the adrenal glands, however, epinephrine mimics the effects of glucagon while cortisol mobilizes glucose during periods of emotional stress or exercise.

Despite the liver's unique ability to maintain homeostatic levels of blood glucose, it only stores enough for a twenty-four hour period of fasting. After twenty four hours, the tissues in the body that preferentially rely on glucose, particularly the brain and skeletal muscle, must seek an alternative energy source. During fasting periods, when the insulin to glucagons ratio is low, adipose tissue begins to release fatty acids into the bloodstream. Fatty acids are long hydrocarbon chains consisting of single carboxylic acid group and are not very soluble in water. Skeletal muscle begins to use fatty acids for energy during resting conditions; however, the brain cannot afford the same luxury. Fatty acids are too long and bulky to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Notice through fasting or starving, our bodies start to find a different source that is not as good.  Leave it to our "smart brain" to know this is not good for us.  If the brain knows not to consume fatty acids, then we should be smart enough to feed our brain some real glucose.  No carbohydrates - might be a danger to our brains.  When I went on my "no carb" eating; it might have saved my life but what did it do to my brain?  Oh yeah - forgot I do not have much of one anyway - I am okay!

 Therefore, proteins from various body tissues are broken down into amino acids and used by the liver to produce glucose for the brain and muscle. This process is known as gluconeogenesis or "the production of new glucose." If fasting is prolonged for more than a day, the body enters a state called ketosis. Ketosis comes from the root word ketones and indicates a carbon atom with two side groups bonded to an oxygen atom.

 Ketones are produced when there is no longer enough oxaloacetate in the mitochondria of cells to condense with acetyl CoA formed from fatty acids. Oxaloacetate is a four-carbon compound that begins the first reaction of the Krebs Cycle, a cycle containing a series of reactions that produces high-energy species to eventually be used to produce energy for the cell. Since oxaloacetate is formed from pyruvate (a metabolite of glucose), a certain level of carbohydrate is required in order to burn fats. Otherwise, fatty acids cannot be completely broken down and ketones will be produced.

It surely appears to me that these "No Carb" diets make no sense.  What I think makes a lot of sense is using these no carbohydrate snacks to help put a little fuel in our body.  Again, as I have stated many times, you must know what your body needs, on a regular basis on at the given moment you are ready to eat.

By the way, today is Thanksgiving and a day of coming together and sharing a great meal.  My family is not in Nashville and I have an ex-coworker, Steve Megow, who invites us to participate with his extended family each year.  See why my Dad said be thankful for each person God puts in your life.

Oh yeah - he smokes some great meet and none of his family are diabetics so they have a good time.  Lookout for my readings on Friday - for today I feast and thank God for every second he allows me to graze today!  Carbohydrates are in this blog and in the dictionary; but, they are not on a Thanksgiving table!

May God grant you many seconds each day for which you can be thankful.  May he watch over you at night while you sleep and bring you through those unguarded times.  Most of all, I ask that he opens my eyes and allows me to see the "real" person he put in my life today, not one based on race, religion, or political views; but, the one he created.

God bless each of you and have a most Thankful day!

Bob,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No Carbohydrate Diet - Part 1.

I did this once!

I am really thankful you guys stayed with me while I was out doing some heavy work.  I once again apologize but it had to be done.

FBS - 122 this morning.  I am learning that there is a magical mixture between sleep, a snack, and stress.  It seems that when I am stressed, getting little or no sleep, and I have a snack at night my body acts more consistent than when I do not have the snack.  Last night I did not have a snack and I was up today.  I shall continue the experiment.

My Story

You know that today I was featured in the e Newsletter from the American Diabetes Association - that was nice and I am grateful they think my story is worth sharing.  I am not saying I hope people follow my exact path; but, I do hope my story encourages one person to take up my challenge and take charge of their diabetes.

You also know that back when, I reached an A1c of 13.1 - probably dead and God was not ready to call me up.  I hit the panic button and knowing nothing more than carbohydrates are what causes our sugar levels to rise, I decided I would eliminate them totally from my diet - that should fix my problem.

So I turned to a great diet, chicken and stir fried vegetables - okay I was getting a little of those things called carbohydrates - but not many.  I had it for breakfast, lunch, and evening meal.  If I had a snack it was just a smaller portion of the chicken and very seldom any vegetables.  I drank a lot of water and stayed off the coffee.  I did however continue to smoke - call me crazy or what - but when a smoke sounds god - IT JUST SOUNDS GOOD!  Like right now!

Needles to say - I would now tell everyone the diet was as crazy as the smoking.  I have now learned a little more about what our bodies need and how it all works - I would say I was taking a big chance with this diet.

So I am going to share the more clinical information of the good and bad about carbohydrates.  Beware - this may get down into some real medical stuff that none of us can pronounce correctly but I find it fascinating how our body works - you all know I think this body of ours is amazing.

Types of Carbohydrates

The American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association lists three types of carbohydrates:

Starches  (also known as complex carbohydrates)
Foods high in starch include:
  • Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, lima beans and potatoes
  • Dried beans, lentils and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas and split peas
  • Grains like oats, barley and rice. (The majority of grain products in the US are made from wheat flour. These include pasta, bread and crackers but the variety is expanding to include other grains as well.)
Sugars

Sugar is another type of carbohydrate. You may also hear sugar referred to as simple or fast-acting carbohydrate. There are two main types of sugar:
  • naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk or fruit
  • added sugars such as those added during processing such as fruit canned in heavy syrup or sugar added to make a cookie
On the nutrition facts label, the number of sugar grams includes both added and natural sugars.

Fiber

Fiber comes from plant foods so there is no fiber in animal products such as milk, eggs, meat, poultry and fish.
Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. When you consume dietary fiber, most of it passes through the intestines and is not digested.
For good health, adults need to try to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber in their diet, so while it is wise to aim for this goal, any increase in fiber in your diet can be beneficial. Most of us only get about ½ what is recommended.

Other Sources

Other sources or the more in depth scientific community lists 5 types of carbohydrates:

Monosaccharides 

The word monosaccharide is derived from mono, meaning "one", and saccharide, meaning "sugar". The common monosaccharides are glucose, fructose, and galactose. Each simple sugar has a cyclic structure and is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in ratios of 1:2:1 respectively. 

Disaccharides 

Disaccharides, meaning "two sugars", are commonly found in nature as sucrose, lactose and maltose. They are formed by a condensation reaction where one molecule of water condenses or is released during the joining of two monosaccharides. The type of bond that is formed between the two sugars is called a glycosidic bond. 

Oligosaccharides 

Carbohydrates that contain more than two simple sugars are called oligosaccharides or polysaccharides, depending upon the length of the structure. Oligosaccharides usually have between three and ten sugar units while polysaccharides can have more than three thousand units. These large structures are responsible for the storage of glucose and other sugars in plants and animals. 

Polysaccharides 

Important oligosaccharides are raffinose and stachyose. Composed of repeating units of galactose, glucose and fructose, these oligosaccharides are of nutritional importance because they are found in beans and legumes. Because of their unique glycosidic bonds, raffinose and stachyose cannot be broken down into their simple sugars. Therefore, they cannot be absorbed by the small intestine and are often metabolized by bacteria in the large intestine to form unwanted gaseous byproducts. Commercial enzyme preparations such as Beano can be consumed before a meal rich in beans and legumes in order to aid the small intestine in the breakdown of these oligosaccharides.

Nucleotides

Polysaccharides or complex carbohydrates are usually monomers and consist of thousands of repeating glucose units. Naturally, they allow for the storage of large quantities of glucose. Starch is the major storage form of carbohydrate in plants and has two different types: amylose and amylopectin. Although digestible alpha glycoisidic bonds link both types of starch, each type is unique in their branching of glucose. While amylose is a straight chain polymer, amylopectin is highly branched. These differences account for the fact that amylopectin can form stable starch gels which are able to retain water while amylose is unable to do so. Therefore, amylopectin is often used by manufacturers to produce many different kinds of thick sauces and gravies. Sources of starch include potatoes, beans, bread, pasta, rice and other bread products. 

WOW, and I thought it was just simple to count carbohydrates and I was done!  No wonder our bodies appear to act differently all of the time - with all of these variants - it does make us and the carbohydrate world unique.  All the more reason to get to know our foods and how our body processes them.

I would say just on this knowledge - we need to consume carbohydrates.  In the next post we will discuss what carbohydrates do for our bodies and why they are important.

God grant me the ability to understand the complexities of what I eat and how it impacts my body.  Help me to understand I am unique and what works for one person may not work for me.  Grant me the courage to go on my journey with all the help I can get.

Bob,

Monday, November 25, 2013

God's Helpers

The women in my life - how they care for me.

I have finally this morning finished up the project I am on and getting back to normal.  I was running so ragged I did not even test this morning.

This month I am being honored in the ADA Newsletter on on the story - My Story.

I thought I would be lazy and just add it to this blog - much of you guys already know but since it was supposed to be Sunday - just want to thank God for where I am at.

My Story: Bob (robertdant)  - my user name in the ADA community.
                                          
I am positive I am like so many other diabetics and my story begins in 2000 by my doctor telling me he is positive I have diabetes and wants to schedule a test.  At that point in time, I am pre-diabetes and allowed to control it with diet and exercise.

My Dad developed diabetes late in his life and my Grandpa Matheny (my Mother’s Dad) was a Type I diabetic.  So I grew up around it but did not have much exposure to it.  I do not even think I felt anything because I thought – no big deal.  Unfortunately, my wife Kathleen, was told by the doctor it is a big deal and it was her responsibility to make sure I took care of my health through diet and exercise.  Looking back on it now some 13 years ago – I was a fool and so was my doctor.

After 13 years of battling this disease, I finely figured out this year it is my disease and not my wife’s and I do need to take it seriously.  Before telling you about my life style change, I should set up what my life style was before the dramatic change this year.

In 1999, I decided to leave the corporate world and branch out on my own and start my own business.  We were lucky to pick up a nice contract in Des Moines, Iowa and at the time we lived in Chaska, Minnesota.  For two years, I traveled to Iowa on Sundays and back on Friday as it was a 4 hour drive.  Sometimes Kathleen would go with me and we would stay a couple of weeks in Iowa so I could relax.

Get the picture, I was always on the road and never really stable in any environment.  On top of that, I have situation where I never have had a hunger pain.  So I would forget to eat, sometimes for 1-2 days.  Then I started developing times I would feel faint and start to sweat.  I guess instinct told me to dump in some sugar and keep going.  What havoc was I wreaking on my poor body?

This life style of being on the road and traveling to jobs and pouring my entire life into the business continued until 2009 – when I lost the business during the great financial crisis.  We moved to Nashville to get out of the cold and for my wife to be close to our kids; Sarah and Brian – as I was never really home.  Within one month of moving to Nashville, I received another two year contract in Cincinnati and moved up there and come home on the weekends.  I finally landed a gig in London and was there for 3 years.

I had started to smoke again, reached a weight of 250 pounds and was in horrible shape.  While living in Cincinnati, I reached a point of knowing I should lose weight.  All the time knowing I was a diabetic; but did not buy strips as I needed the money for the business – and, after all I was losing weight and thought I was eating right.  I even started walking again just to make sure.

My lovely wife (Kathleen and God's best angel), who should have kicked me to the curb long ago, knew I was not right.  Later I found out she could tell I was not healthy because my skin was grey and many of my neighbors noticed it as well.  She persisted and finally found a study I could apply for and they would put me under their care for two years - SHE SIGNED ME UP.  To get in the test, you could not be on medications and you had to have an A1c less than 11.  Go figure I failed the criteria, I had an A1c of 13.1 and that day my FBS was 540.  I knew I was in trouble.
I started eating meat and vegetables as my only source of food.  Two months later there was another study and this time you had to be above 11 and not on medications.  The doctor called me immediately and I went in.  I nearly failed again as I was 11 on the number. 

Roll time forward and for the next 8 years I traveled and fought the numbers game along with smoking.  When I lost the business in 2009 I knew I had reached rock bottom and God was intervening for so many reasons in my life – probably to save my marriage along with my health.  For the next 4 years I was able to maintain and found out as a disabled veteran I could use the VA – what a fool I had been – it was always there for me. 

In March of 2013, this year, I had my six month checkup and my numbers were heading up again, I had an A1c reading of 8.1 and out came the threat of insulin.  It is not the insulin that worried me it is the needles – I hate them.

Usually when I come home, my family would say nice try Dad; better luck next time; or my poor wife would take on the guilt of not managing my disease for me.  I am blessed in so many ways as I have a daughter (Sarah, God's second angel) who said enough is enough.  No more dad!  I am not going to take care of you when you are older if you do not take care of yourself now.  She is a professional golf instructor and I like playing golf with her.  She told me no more golf or lessons unless I straightened up.

Not sure what scared me the most, the needles, the disease, or my daughter.  Does not matter, I told myself I had to get better and I need help from a higher power who had helped me to quit smoking 2 years earlier.  It was time for my God to help once again.

I bought books, I tried diets like Vegan, and I tried getting back the YMCA for exercise.   My diet had been oatmeal in the morning, salads made by my lovely wife for lunch, and some kind of meat and vegetables for supper.  This had been going on for two years and that is why the numbers being up were so horrifying – I thought I was doing better.

Then a funny thing happened to me and I received this email marketing a book by Suzy Cohen RPh, Diabetes without Drugs (God's special outside angel).  Now this email must have come directly from above because I was having a hard time to determine even how to start.  But this book caught my eye because I grew up with a mother who did not believe in medications if you could avoid them.  I thought, “WOW, Mom to the rescue.”  I ordered the book and started to read it.  I could not put it down - it read that well for me and I loved what she had to say.

So I started the program.  It is now November and I have reduced my weight from 224 to 179.  My A1c in September was 6.4.  All of my medications were stopped but my high blood pressure medicine.  One month later that was even taken off my list by my doctor.  I am now medicine free.

Yes I have been very blessed to have three exceptional women in my life.  My wife has been with me through thick and thin and there is no one in the world better than her.  She has kept me grounded in my faith, my rock when I was on the road chasing a dream, and my best friend when it all fell apart.  My daughter, Sarah, who just simply cares about her Dad and that in itself is another very long story.  Finally, having Suzy come along and writing a book to help me change my life style was amazing.  I still go to her book as there is much to learn that I just glazed over the first time. 

I have also added a new set of friends from the ADA community.  Knowing and realizing I am a diabetic and will always need help – I joined the ADA and participate in the community.  It is great and there is a post were we all get on each morning and register our morning FBS level.  This makes me do this each day as I feel I will let them down if I do not respond.  Another special female Marty (God's fourth angel) really knows a lot and has become a close friend in the ADA community.  She provides knowledge, encouragement, and just good companionship.  You can see her comments in some of my posts.

God has blessed me in so many ways and I know no this thing I used to hate called diabetes, is the very thing God has used to help enrich my life.  I now eat right, exercise 2 hours each day, and live a much healthier life style.  All of this will help me live longer.
If I can do this – I KNOW YOU CAN!

By the way - if you cannot afford Suzy's book - just let me know and I will try to help.  I think it is that good.

May God put special people in your life to help out.  May God give you the sixth sense to know when he has and to listen to them.  They just might be delivering that very special message you need to hear.

Bob,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

God's Amazing Body and Science - Part 4

Blood Our Life Line

I realize it is not Sunday and no I have not lost my mind – just a whole bunch of time is all I have lost. But since I have been busy and missed the most precious day of my week – Sunday; I thought I would call today Sunday and continue with Sunday’s praise to God.

So please bear with me as I post on what I had on my mind on Sunday.

Before going on too far, the prayer requests just keep coming and I appreciate them very much. I ask that you continue to pray for those devastated in the Pacific Rim and for those Americans who have lost their health insurance.

I also ask that you continue to pray for Dora; remember her and how she is a diabetic who is in a nursing home and has lost both of her legs to this horrible disease.

I am asking that you add Kathy, a resident at the same nursing home to your prayers. She has just lost her 23 year old son and does not have a spouse to help her through this troubling time. I am asking that we all step up and be her Rock and ask God to help comfort her in these troubled times.

BS – 11/17/2013 – 97
BS – 11/18/2013 – 102
BS – 11/19/2013 – 115 (crazy right - I ate badly on the weekend – why up now?)



Again this picture represents just how majestic our Maker was when putting us together and building this magnificent machine we call our bodies. Just hard for me to believe that people do not believe that a Super Being put all of this together.

I mean speaking of a well-tuned engine that just purrs when it is running right – how about that body of ours and how it uses blood as the conduit into every part of our body.

Just think of the oxygenation of our blood. In one direction it travels through the lungs to be filled with oxygen – the very basic requirement of life. Add to that the sugar that we monitor is the very source of energy. Just two natural aspects of life carried in the blood and constantly purified and enriched for our natural health.

 



If the original concept does not get to you. Just look at this picture of all the places the blood goes and the total number of arteries and veins we have in our bodies.

Think of those that are big and carry lots of blood and those tiny little capillaries in small places like our eyes.

Every piece of skin, every small aspect or your body, and every nerve in your body relies on this think we call blood – our life energy.

No wonder we diabetics learn to monitor this and take care of it. Something is wrong with our natural production and consumption of the sugar.

Try this experiment if you want to see the impact of high blood glucose on the flow of your blood. Take two classes, one empty and fill one about ¾ full of water. Then add a little red die to the class with water. Begin to pour it into the empty glass and notice how it flows without effort between the two glasses. Pour it back and forth a couple of times and just appreciate how the normal flow of blood is working.

Now take as much sugar as you can and fill the glass with the water in it all the way up. You should now have about ¾ water and ¼ sugar. Let it settle for a minute and let the sugar and water become one. Now pour the liquid from one glass to the other. Notice the thickness and how it does not flow. Now think of that thick blood trying to get into those very small capillaries in your fingers, or eyes, or toes.

Get the picture how nerve damage starts?

Science to the Rescue:


As I have stated a few times, I think God knew we needed science to take care of our bodies like we need mechanics to take care of our cars.

A1c and what it is just amazes me still. It is a 60-90 day AVERAGE of what your blood glucose level has been. AN average! Can you imagine the ingenious thinking that went into that when the master engineer designed our bodies?

Now think of the first mechanic (scientist) that came along and discovered that our bodies could do that. Then develop a test to tell us what it has been. According to WIKI:

Glycated hemoglobin (hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1C, or Hb1c; sometimes also HbA1c) is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time. It is formed in a non-enzymatic glycation pathway by hemoglobin's exposure to plasma glucose. Normal levels of glucose produce a normal amount of glycated hemoglobin. As the average amount of plasma glucose increases, the fraction of glycated hemoglobin increases in a predictable way. This serves as a marker for average blood glucose levels over the previous months prior to the measurement.

But science did not stop there as they realized that monitoring every 60-90 days was not enough. They developed the instant measurement of blood glucose level in our blood.

In 1962, Leland Clark and Champ Lyons at the Medical College of Alabama developed the first glucose enzyme electrode. It relied on a thin layer of glucose oxidase on an oxygen of oxygen consumed by the enzyme.

Another early glucose meter was the Ames Reflectance Meter by Anton H. Clemens. It was used in American hospitals in the 1970s. A moving needle indicated the blood glucose after about a minute.

Test strips that changed color and could be read visually, without a meter, were also widely used in the 1980s. They had the added advantage that they could be cut longitudinally to save money. As meter accuracy and insurance coverage improved, they lost popularity. However, a generic version of the BM is marketed under the brand name Glucoflex-R. There is a UK Pharmaceutical company (Ambe Medical Group) who have the executive rights for distribution within the United Kingdom.

At least in North America, hospitals resisted adoption of meter glucose measurements for inpatient diabetes care for over a decade. Managers of laboratories argued that the superior accuracy of a laboratory glucose measurement outweighed the advantage of immediate availability and made meter glucose measurements unacceptable for inpatient diabetes management. Patients with diabetes and their endocrinologists eventually persuaded acceptance. Some health care policymakers still resist the idea that the society would be well advised to pay the consumables (reagents, lancets, etc.) needed.

Home glucose testing was adopted for type 2 diabetes more slowly than for type 1, and a large proportion of people with type 2 diabetes have never been instructed in home glucose testing. This has mainly come about because health authorities are reluctant to bear the cost of the test strips and lancets.

May God continue to give us scientist and medical professionals to help monitor and care for our magnificent body. May he always guide them in ways that only the Master Engineer can lead mechanics with curious minds.

Bob,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Never Have Hunger Pains

I been that way my entire life

First of all, I want to apologize to all my readers for taking a few days off.  I own my own business and have been extremely busy trying to close some deals.  Anyway - my apologies and hope to get back to the blogging on a regular basis.

For those of you who reached out to see how I am doing - I truly appreciate your concerns.

I do ask that you continue to pray for our friends in the Pacific Rim who have had major storms and many deaths along with the devastation.

I also ask that you pray for the millions of Americans who have lost their health care coverage due to this new law.  I do not dare what side of the political aisle you are on, people in this great nation not having health care coverage is simply ridiculous.  Please pray that our leaders can get their heads out of the anus and make it all work!  I can say all of that because this blog is about our bodies and bodily functions!

As I mentioned I have been busy and the not eating has always been a problem of mine.  So I will let you know what the last three days of readings have been and why this blasted disease is such a problem.

Thursday - 11/14 - BS - 77
Friday - 11/15 - BS - 112
Saturday - 11/16 - BS - 102

Is that not crazy, and what causes this to happen?  Well, as I have said many times - each of us are different and this disease impacts us in many different ways.

I have truly never had a hunger pain in my life and my body does not tell me when it is hungry, like other people's do.  So in the middle of all of this work stress, Kathy and I attended one of our bible study groups on Wednesday.  Around 7:30 (after eating at noon and nothing else all day), my stomach started to growl and both of us were shocked.  Neither of us has ever heard my stomach growl.  So we talked about it coming home and laughed but also discussed it on a serious basis.

So, like always, I thought instead of saying, "I have never had a hunger pain.".  I should look into it and see if there is a reason.  Since my doctors have always said my diabetes come from starving my body of what it needs - maybe I should find out.

What is a hunger pain?

Also known as hunger pangs, hunger pains are feelings of discomfort deep in the stomach. A hunger pain is often a low-grade discomfort that is just strong enough to notice. However, some people do experience hunger pains that are somewhat sharp and intermittent. There are several reasons why an individual may experience stomach hunger pain from time to time.

The most common origin of hunger pains is the fact that the individual has not consumed food or drink for an extended period of time. Muscle contractions begin to occur when the stomach has been empty for several hours. As the contractions take place, the sensation may be somewhat unpleasant and interpreted as painful. When this is the reason behind the hunger pains, a quick snack is usually sufficient to eliminate the discomfort.

So I guess I have been lucky I have never felt one of these.  My stomach growling for the first time did not hurt, but I am assuming that was my body's way of letting me know it needed something.

Before going on, when I am running low on my sugar level, I will start sweat, and I mean a lot.  I can turn a dry shirt into an old wet mop in a hurry.  I will start to feel light headed, and I will feel weak.  Now I have felt that many times before and that tells me time to add a few carbohydrates in the body.  On Monday, I think I will talk about carbohydrates and why they are important.

So am I lucky in not having pains?

What could my body be telling me?

People who tend to suffer with low blood sugar may experience hunger pains when glucose levels begin to drop. The lack of a proper amount of glucose in the blood causes the stomach contractions to commence. Usually, the contractions are mild at first, but become increasingly stronger until the individual consumes something that provides the right type of carbohydrates to restore a safe glucose level.

Another possibility is that the stomach hunger pains have nothing to do with being hungry or experiencing a drop in blood glucose levels. The pain may be caused by some gastrointestinal disorder that is in the early stages. While the sensation is similar to that of plain old hunger pains, consuming food and drink does not make the discomfort go away. When this is the case, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Often, gastrointestinal disorders can be isolated and treated quickly if caught early.

Women who are currently pregnant may also experience hunger pains related to their condition. Pregnancy hunger pains may occur due to the shifting of the baby, causing pressure on the stomach muscles. There is also a chance that the mother is not ingesting the proper amount of nutrients to adequately nourish both the child and her body. In most cases, consuming foods that are high in nutritional content will easy the pains quickly.

Last time I checked I was not pregnant but I thought it might be good to add that in anyway.  Sarah, my daughter, does tease me from time to time that she really does think I delivered a baby in the past two months with my big ole' stomach going away.  But I can assure her I did not deliver a baby and I can assure you I am not pregnant.  If I was, I would be off enjoying my millions!

What should I be doing?

While in most cases, hunger pangs are simply the body’s way of indicating it is time to eat and drink, the presence of constant hunger pains could be a sign of something more severe. Regardless of age or gender, a qualified physician should investigate frequent abdominal pain hunger that does not seem to be satisfied with a normal diet.

Remember I do not have these at all!

It might be something to do with my stomach – say, too much acid or an infection or something.

It might be something else entirely – my hormonal system for example. Or it might be a psychological problem.

It is an important problem to understand and the best thing I can do is get myself checked by my doctor.

You see, what might seem normal to you as a diabetic, may in reality not be a normal function of the body for other people.  Explore your normalities and see if they are really abnormal for a normal functioning body.

IF SO, SEE YOUR DOCTOR AND DISCUSS IT - US DIABETICS DO NOT HAVE A NORMAL FUNCTIONING BODY AS IT IS.  WE NEED TO ALL PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

It has taken me 60 years to figure this out - do not wait around - monitor and observe everything.  I may have something wrong and would have been nice to figure it out when I was younger.

May God help us to listen to our bodies, even when they are silent, they are still speaking to us.  May he grant us the ability to listen with all of our senses.  May he also give us the courage to step forth and discuss our issues with our family, our friends, and our medical professional team.  May he grant us the wisdom to research and learn what our bodies need.

Bob,

Monday, November 11, 2013

Moringa Myth or Magical

I have added Moringa to my morning green drink

Once again, I ask that all my readers take a moment in silence and pray for those in the Philippines and Vietnam.  Thousands have lost their lives and more pounding storms are on their way.  

BS - 113 this morning.  Up again as I had a very bad weekend
BP - 110/77 (Kroger machine) - HR - 63  I went to Kroger as my machine is acting up and I am not sure of the readings anymore.  I had a high reading at the walk on Saturday and want to stay on top of it.

What is moringa

If you are from India you probably know all about this little secret and what it can do for the body.

Found mostly in arid, subtropic regions, Moringa oleifera is likely Nature's most giving plant. Overflowing with antioxidants, vital proteins and nutrients, Moringa is probably the most awesome plant ever studied.

Known by over 200 different names, Moringa grows in over 80 countries.

300 folk medicine remedies reference Moringa.

Of any plant studied on earth to this point, Moringa has the highest protein ratio.

Throughout the world, The National Science Foundation, The National Geographic Society, The National Institutes of Health and the United Nations World Food Program recognize Moringa as an amazing source of nutrition.

Fresh Moringa leaves contain, gram for gram:
  • 7 times the Vitamin C of Oranges
  • 4 times the Vitamin A of Carrots
  • 4 times the Calcium of Milk
  • 3 times the Potassium of Bananas
  • 2 times the Protein of Yogurt

The many benefits of moringa

The many benefits of Moringa that can be easily added to your daily routine can be categorized in one of two ways.  First, there is a long list of the benefits to the inside of your body and mind and secondly, there are the benefits that can be easily seen on the outside. The combination of the inside and outside make it a perfect supplement to take at anytime especially when you consider you can use it in a drink, powder or capsule form.

I am adding the powder form to my drink.

Weight loss

When changing to a healthier lifestyle, the weight loss benefits of Moringa are plentiful because it works to increase the level of metabolism within the body, balances blood sugar levels, and provides more energy that is not sugar based, assisting in the weight loss process.

Pain relief

It has been shown that many age related diseases are due to low grade inflammations within the body. Arthritis and gout are just two of the diseases that seem to strike more frequently as we age. Inflammation often leads to pain. For this reason, more and more are looking to learn about the Pain Relief Benefits of Moringa. Not only will it help with the pain, it will reduce the inflammation that can lead to these diseases.

ECHO farm

I believe I mentioned my son Brian worked on this farm as a volunteer for a couple of years and then had an internship there for an additional year.

We visited the farm a few times and he would tell me about this great product and how this little miracle product was helping malnutrition in Africa and other places around the world.

He tried back then to get me to take some and he even bought it for me - not all that cheap.  Well needless to say I did not understand why it was important until I started my journey and started doing the research on products that are used around the world to help heal the body.

This little gem kept coming to the top and there was no research that pointed to any side effects or complications with moringa.  So I decided to add a 1/4 of a teaspoon to my morning green drink.

If you plan on buying - please by from ECHO as they do a lot for the world and their url is:  http://www.echobooks.org/SearchResults.asp?Cat=153.

They do such a wonderful job and Lydia, my daughter-in-law worked in the bookstore - the farm is just such a great place.

Today I want to thank God for delivering such wonderful little products that our body can use to heal itself.  Also, thank you for ECHO and what they do to help stamp out world hunger.

Bob,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

God's Amazing Body and Science - Part 3

God and Science Creating Small Miracles

For just a moment and since this is Sunday,  I ask that everyone take a moment to speak a word to their higher power about the people facing with Typhoon Haiyan. The pacific rim is being slammed by one of the worst typhoon storms in history and 10,000+ are feared dead.

While stationed in Okinawa, I faced two of these typhoons and the wind were 140 - 160.  Pretty bad storms but not as bad as this one.  With  the winds we faced, large military vehicles were blown.  We must also remember that many of these tiny islands and countries do not have the shelters or places to go.

This is devastating and we all need to pray for the victims of this terrible storm.  Thank your.

BS - 110 this morning.  Having another weekend where not really watching what I am doing as my wife come home Friday night and we had card club Saturday night.  Next week I will get better again.

BP was high at the walk on Saturday so have to check that out at the doctors.

Keeping with the direction I discussed in an earlier post, I will keep Sunday's dedicated to God and science.

What a hard working pancreas

The pancreas is just one of those amazing organs that you just know it took a lot of time, thought, and energy for a higher power like God to design.  No amount of evolution could drive this small organ's abilities to keep the body regulated.

Reprinted from Sunshine Sharing



PancreasWhere is it located?
The pancreas is located in the abdomen, tucked behind the stomach. It is shaped somewhat like a tadpole - fat at one end and slender at the other - and is around 25cm in length.


What does it do? The pancreas has dual roles.
1. it is an organ of the digestive system and of the endocrine (hormonal) system. Once food has been mulched and partially digested by the stomach, it is pushed into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The pancreas adds its own digestive juices and enzymes to the food, via a small duct attached to the duodenum. This process is said to belong to the 'exocrine pancreas'.

2. The pancreas also produces the hormone insulin, which helps to control the amount of sugar in the blood. This is the role of the 'endocrine pancreas'. 


It is this second function that hurts all diabetics - Type I and Type II.  But let's stop for a moment and say what is going on here.  Your blood is carrying the insulin and sugar to cells so they can absorb the right amount of sugar.

So to stay on top of this 24x7, the body has to have some mechanism to monitor the blood glucose level and know if more insulin is needed to control the blood glucose level.

Sometimes the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and the blood glucose levels rise.  Other times, the cells do not absorb the sugar and feel starved so they ask for more sugar and it is produced.

Think of a very smart computer constantly checking to see if the amount of sugar in the blood stream if correct.  That takes some very sophisticated technology to make that work.

For normal human beings - it works fine.  For diabetics, something is wrong and the body needs help.

Science to the rescue

There is a great article in WebMD, http://diabetes.webmd.com/features/4-new-high-tech-tools-to-help-control-diabetes  that identifies how science is building technologies to help diabetics coop with their disease.  I will cover the highlights here.
  
Each diabetic knows the true answer is to test constantly, know your sugar levels, your carbohydrate intake, and to know what fuel the body needs to function properly.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned an 11 year old girl who got on the stage to discuss her life with Type I diabetes.  Her life consisted of constant monitoring, sticking her fingers 9-10 times a day, and then adding insulin when she needed it.

She now uses technology to help manage her daily life.  She has an insulin pump and a constant blood glucose monitor hooked up.  As mentioned in WebMN, the following 4 technologies are helping diabetics make it through the day, the week, the month, the year, and through their life - 5 minutes at a time.

New Diabetes Control Tools: Continuous Glucose Monitors

Many people with diabetes lance their fingers 2 or more times a day to check glucose levels. But even with as many as 9 finger sticks a day, patients still spend less than 30 percent of the day in a normal range, Kowalski says. "It's often a teeter-totter that a person with diabetes stands on."

Now, imagine getting a glucose reading every 5 minutes. That's 288 readings in 24 hours -- or almost 100 times what one would get with 3 finger sticks a day.

Thanks to the continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), this is possible. With a CGM, the user inserts a disposable, needle-like sensor under abdominal skin. The sensor measures glucose in tissue fluid, not blood. The sensor then transmits the data every 5 minutes to a monitor.

New Diabetes Control Tools: Combination Continuous Glucose Monitor and Insulin Pump

Patients who use insulin now have another option besides stand-alone CGMs. Medtronic's MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time is the first combination CGM and insulin pump.

"Patients can both monitor their blood glucose and administer insulin therapy through the insulin pump."
It's not an automated system; patients must still make decisions about insulin dosing. But the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation hailed it as a "significant step" toward one of its major research priorities: That is development of an external, artificial pancreas that could someday automatically measure glucose and deliver insulin -- much like the real thing.

New Diabetes Control Tools: Diabetes Information Management Software

Increasingly sophisticated software programs allow patients who use regular blood glucose meters to track and analyze trends, Klonoff says. Patients can download stored data from their meters onto a computer through a USB port. Then, for example, they can view charts that show what percentage of time their glucose levels were within normal ranges, as well as above or below normal.

New Diabetes Control Tools: Smaller, Hidden Insulin Pumps

When the Omnipod Insulin Management System came on the market in 2005, it signaled a new generation of pumps. These were small, disposable, worn directly on the skin, and concealed under clothing.
"It's a completely different animal. It's the size of a small half-kiwi or a small Matchbox car," says Elizabeth Vivaldi, director of marketing at Insulet Corp., maker of the Omnipod. The pump, a compact "pod," weighs only 1.2 ounces when its insulin reservoir is full.

"You can hide it. People don't need to know," says Kowalski, who wears an Omnipod. He says that many people resist conventional insulin pumps. They're typically worn on one's belt like a small cell phone, with short tubing to deliver insulin through a needle inserted under abdominal skin. Many people dislike hooking up the pump and they try to conceal the tubing.

The following picture is a good picture of how some of these modern medical miracles are hooked up:



You have to love it when science helps God help us diabetics.

God please continue to give us intelligent people who are inquisitive and want to develop modern technology to help all of us.  Thank your for those that you have given us.  Thank you for the help you brought an 11 year old girl and to help her live a better life style.

Bob,

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Faces Of Diabetes

I stepped out today to step on diabetes

BS  - 111 this morning before going to the Diabetes Step out walk.  I had some really good Mexican food last night - wife come home and I wanted to celebrate.

Each year the American Diabetes Association holds a fundraiser in communities called Step Out.  The step out is a walk to raise funds to fight this disease.  This was my first year of doing this and it was awesome.

I thought it would be good to share some of the faces there and let them speak for themselves and how much this means to us diabetics.  I am not a professional writer as you can tell from these posts and I am also not a professional photographer - but what the heck here - goes.

RED Strider

People like myself who walk and also have diabetes - we are the honored
guests.  Yep that is me in my nice red strider shirt.


Eleven year old Type 1 Diabetic explaining what it is like to be a child living with diabetes and the technology that has helped make her life better.  She too is a RED Strider and God bless her courage.

People who care

These are just the hundreds that show up who do not have diabetes but it has touched their lives and they walk to support us.  God bless them for caring about all of us.

 
 

Those that sponsor the event



Those that entertained us



May God bless those who care for us diabetics and who had the courage to step out today in our honor and for us.  May he grant those who can help find a cure with this money the courage and knowledge to do so!

Bob,

Friday, November 8, 2013

Where Am I in My Journey?

What is next for me?

I want to say thank you to all readers out there and hope this blog does some good.  We added new readers from Malaysia yesterday.  During my sad rant in the morning, I noticed that as soon as I create a post my pages read number goes up, meaning some must get this automatically or via email.  Anyway, over 45 people are getting each new post as soon as I write it.  I am really grateful for the support.

Also, yesterday we reached a new milestone as over 100 people come to the blog and opened at least one post.  I am just blown away by all of you reading this and again hope my journey can help you.

I also hope that means 100 prayers went up to higher powers for Dora and our young mother needing strips.  By the way, I decided to reach out an offer those strips.  Turned out she was okay and was not offended by my reach.  Nice to know it is still okay to offer a hand to a stranger.

BS - 110 this morning.  I am the VP of our church's men's club and on the first Thursday of each month we have our meeting.  Someone always cooks the meal for the guys.  Last night, Matt, one of our better cooks, prepared the meal so I did not worry too much about my carbohydrates - it was the day I was going to enjoy.

Since we had a couple of long series on journaling followed by a heavy sad post - I felt today I would take a lite day and take stock of where I am at and where do I see my journey going next.

Am I healthier?

I am asked this question and I know the answer is yes - but I also want to say I know I am a rookie when it comes to understanding my body and what will make it work more efficiently, effectively, and take care of itself.  

I weighed 224 pounds in March 2013 when I reached my rock bottom.  Today I weigh 179 pounds.  I do not have a goal or established weight in mind.  I am working out each day, eating right, and I think my body at this age will tell me how I am doing.  When I left the Marine Corp in 1979 I weighed 170 pounds - but it was structured much differently than it is today.  Will I get back to that weight - not sure and not my dream.  I do this so if I do not succeed, I do not set myself up for failure.

While weight has always been one of those things in the back of my mind and I always wanted to lose the weight - I did not feel it was the most important factor in being healthy.  The weight loss has helped my blood glucose level and high blood pressure - there is not doubt.  I just do not believe it will be the thing that drives me forward.

My A1c was 8.1 and during my September visit it was 6.4.  A 6.4 puts me in the medical classification of pre-diabetes.  But I know better because I know where I have been.  But again, I do not use this number to drive the healthier question.  This number is what the doctors use to see how I am doing long term.  For me, it it is still the constant testing and knowing what I am eating and what it does to the body.

I seldom exercised and thought walking the dog 2 miles was enough.  I still do that but have also added 1.5 hours in the gym.  Do I use any of those numbers to define my health.  No, as I know my body now wants and demands this exercise.  I missed yesterday to play golf and it is crying out - please go do something.  It is telling me what it needs and wants.

So am I healthier - yes I am.  But not by the numbers.  I am healthier because I have learned to listen to my body, my support team, and my God.  I am healthier because I do understand the impacts of foods and drinks on my body.  I am healthier - BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT ME NOW!

My challenge - get yourself healthier.  Do not let a number drive you - let your heart, your spirit, and your mind drive you.  All of these together will put you in a healthier place and that is the true goal.

New beginnings.

Now that I have become healthier, I want to learn to live a healthy life style.  My ADA support community has helped me understand there is more to live than a number - there is a style of living called Living with Diabetes - and enjoying life.  I want to know what that means.

I want to spend more time loving my wife.  Now that I can be more active, I want to spend more time going places and enjoying things together.  I want to learn to spend time just enjoying live versus marching through it.  I can only do this when my life style changes include her and for the moment - they have been about me.  My entire family does Hot Yoga.  That would give me 2 hours three times a day with my wife - sound s like a plan.

I want to spend more time with my support family; specifically my children.  I have two lovely children and have missed a lot of time with them because I have blown through life.  I want to spend time playing golf with my daughter and letting her make me better.  I want to spend time with my son developing some software or learning software together.  They are special and I need to learn to enjoy and appreciate what God gave me.

I want to get to know my extended support team - and that includes all of you.  When I started this blog, I think it was about me and telling my cousins what I have done.  Little did I know it was about me; gaining knowledge and learning from all of you.  I have received more from this blog then I have given and I thank all of you for that.  By knowing you are there is keeping me on the journey and that makes me the winner.

I want to learn how to eat healthier and know what is healthy in a restaurant.  I want to know more about cooking with almond flour or being gluten free.  I want to know what organic products do for me versus the ones on the shelf at the store and I want to know if the price difference is worth it.

I want to know more about my body and how to replenish its natural minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.  I want to understand all of those crazy tests they run and what do they tell me each time I take this body in for a checkup.  I want to know how this great machine given to me by a special God, can heal itself.

Finally, I just want to get to know my God better and learn to appreciate the good things in this life I am given and the challenges.  I want to be able to understand how they are all good for me in the end of time.

Posting future.

So where does that leave us and where this blog will go.  If you have ideas - leave a comment.  If not, then here is where I am going to take it going forward.

I will leave Sundays as a day for God.  It gives me a chance to think of things he does for me and how wonderful life can be.  I like the God and Science theme and that will stay for sometime in the future.

I will leave the form as a journal of my journey.  There are some great blogs out there that have lots of information and organize them as a catalog of information.  That is good - but I want this blog to be about a journey that can help people relate and create their own journey.

I will start a series on eating and what I learn from that.  I will share things I learn and hopefully will create some great recipes that can be added.  Many of my extended support have already done that and I will call on them to help learn as I go through that portion of my journey.

I will also continue to pull forward education on diabetes and how I am learning more each day.  I will often point to sources of information and allow you to read for yourself as well.

I hope this direction works for you all and you continue to get from this blog as much as I do.

Remember our goal is to help one person help themselves to a healthier life style.

By the way, in searching for some information on how to build a journaling product for the community - I found a very good beginning of a site.  It is mainly around food but also has diet,  A1c or sugar level readings, and exercise management tracking.  That site is - http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ and in the middle of the page is SuperTracker.  I am going to give it a try and see how it does.  It, along with my VA health portal should give me some excellent ideas.

May god bless us on our journey.  May he give us the strength to set new directions when we have reached a junction in the road.  May he give us the ability to see into the future by knowing and understanding our past.  May he grant us the courage to go beyond our current boundaries and explore new horizons.

Bob,

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sad Heart

Difficult day today - we all have them and nothing to be ashamed about.

I had a reading tonight before evening meal of 71 and I was getting the cold sweats and shakes - have not experienced that since coming off medications - I hope it is a good sign.  I reached out to my ADA community support group for some ideas - glad they were there for me.

This past week has been a pretty heavy intense set of posts and I hope you are thinking about your journal and your journey.

I am sitting here tonight working late - or early and yes I will miss sleep tonight.  It is part of the job and I know it will impact my blood glucose - but stuff has to get done.

So while I sit here, I go out to the ADA community and read messages and also my own blog comments and emails.

In both sections today I received some really heart breaking news and on top of that, I had a co-worker say some really nasty things about me.  I have gone through life and have never felt hate towards anyone and probably do not feel that now - but I am struggling for the first time actually forgiving someone.

If that is not bad enough - my wife is in Florida helping her parents and I miss her so much.  While she is down there she got sick and I cannot be there to help her - so I am an emotional wreck tonight - reader beware.

But that is not for this blog on diabetes, but the other disturbing events are.  So while it is weighing on my heart and I have nothing else to do but watch jobs execute on the computer, I am going to let you be my ears today as my feelings poor out.

I am not intending this to be political in anyway and many of my international friends will understand some of the same issues in their country.  You see, I have had the opportunity in my life to manage people in 21 different countries and have gotten to know a lot of people around the world.  I think that is why I am so excited to see people from all countries reading the blog.

The news is simple - people need our help and prayers and I am going to reach out tonight for your prayers and support.

When Bad Things Happen To Good People.

Many of you have noticed Marty adding comments to these posts.  She and her husband have diabetes and other ailments.  I know I am older than she is but I still see her as an expert, a mentor, and a friend - yet I have never met her and cannot tell you much about her.

If you read her comments on the journaling post yesterday - you noticed she was asking for prayers for Dora.  So my request is that we all add Dora to our prayers.  I am not particular who your higher power is, please let them know about Dora.  Oh yeah - they already do - we just need to remind them we care.

In case you did not read the comments, Dora is 87 years old, in a nursing home in this great country, has lost both her legs to diabetes, and does not appear to be getting the care she should.  Shame on all of us for letting one person go through this suffering.  We are a greater nation than this - or I hoped we were / are.

My heart aches at times like this because as a human being I desperately want to know how bad things happen to good people.  How do those that appear to love God and are faithful - become afflicted with such a bad outcome?  I could go on this topic forever.  I simply let myself rest after a while knowing that maybe just maybe, there is more to all of this then what happens here on earth.

I imagine Dora staying in the Big House above and she will have a beautiful body for all of eternity and her pain and suffering will be replaced by loving arms and a joy none of us can imagine.  He suffering here on earth and her faith will elevate her into a much higher status when she goes to be with God.

So please add Dora to your prayers and others that are suffering.  Our prayers should be of her getting the right help and to help reduce some of the suffering.

Why must someone go short of strips? 

I was also reading some messages today on the ADA community and noticed that a young mother (29) of two children is not testing because she cannot afford strips until payday.  In this country that is sad.  Those strips do not cost that much to make and yet it is easy to keep the price high when us diabetics have to buy them.

Even Marty talks about going short once in a while because the government will only buy so many.  I too faced that with the VA and found it strange that they only wanted me to test 2 times a week!!  How does that help me help myself.  Is it hard for me to understand that if we catch a young individual and move them towards preventative solutions and education - we will stop the next Dora from happening.

You want to know what my real delima is? I too have financial problems from a failed business and the 2008 world credit crisis.  For several years I could not afford the strips and did what the VA asked me to do and struggle through it all.  Now things are a little better and I can afford to get what I need - no insurance or VA help.

But, I still want to reach out to that young mother and say - do not go short of strips.  Let me help you in anyway I can.  

But I am afraid of how it will be taken or how she might interpret my meaning.  How sad is that? I am struggling with that and wish my wife was here to talk it over with her.  She is my best friend and usually keeps me think through these events.

I am a very logical and result driven individual at work - but on the street, I lead with my heart.  I just know there are ways to help.

Finding a way to help.

As I sit here, working on my computer, I am suddenly struck with an idea.  I have architect some of the world's largest systems.  I have helped big companies get their products to you faster, I have helped banks move money, and I have helped insurance companies develop policies.

Now I am in the health care industry and is my last horizon and hopefully end before I retire - if I ever do.

So why not put something together for the diabetics of this world.  As I look back on my journey, I had to find different products to help and yet I never did find a really good journaling system.  I found bits and pieces every where.

Since I have the knowledge and most likely have the means to get this done - I will work on the concept over the next few weeks and  see what I can do.

Not being a marketer, but I think something nice like Dora'sdiabetes.org would be a nice thing to get in place in honor of her and the a person I would say has caused me to get serious about helping where I can.

I will ask each of you to join me in a pledge.  We diabetics, and those who have diabetic family members, will work together as a community to help diabetics help themselves.  We will find ways to provide tools, support, and even money where possible so no diabetic has to feel alone or they cannot afford the supplies they so desperately need.  I know the ADA is a great source but we can go farther as a team.

Now that I have lost you all together, my apologies but sometimes I you just have to lay it out on the table.  By me ranting, I feel better now as there is something we can do.

Here is how my crazy mind thinks - and it is crazy ask my wife.  There are 27 million people afflicted with this disease.  Let's assume that 50% of those test once a day.  Now let's assume that strips can cost $.10 / a strip - and that would be cheap.  That means 13 million people spend $.10/day or $1,300,000 / day spent on strips and I can tell you it is more than that.  What would happen then if we could just harness a small piece of that - we could have a private fund to help Dora, the young mother, or even Marty when they need supplies.

No, I have no idea how to do that but I will figure it out.

Now my sadness has been turned into a real energy boost - I better go to bed before I give myself a brain aneurism.

May God grant Dora some peace with her remaining time here on earth.  May he grant her many friends and many visits from Marty.  May he grant all of us the courage to mention her in our daily prayers and lift up her burden to the one who can help.

Thanks for listening tonight - it is greatly appreciated.

Bob,
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