Saturday, May 15, 2010

2-In-1: Diabetes Blog Week Topics

Yesterday's Diabetes Blog Week topic (Friday 5/14) was Let's get moving. Exercise ... love it or hate it? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Or do you have trouble finding your exercise motivation? How do you manage your insulin and food to avoid bottoming out during your workout? Today is the day to tell us all about your exercise habits, or lack thereof. I'll get to that in a second.

Friday Blog Hiatus

My Friday was really busy at work, so I didn't have time to blog about anything, nor did I even log into Twitter until about 9:00 PM, at which point, the only thing I did was share the news that JDRF's CEO, Alan Lewis, had stepped down (see here for the press release on that) in spite of being on the job for a little over a year.

I won't pretend to be terribly upset about his departure. I was only luke-warm about his taking the job in the first place, mainly because I wasn't sure if JDRF required him to liquidate any ownership he may have had from when he was the CEO of Novocell (which incidentally just changed it's name to ViaCyte, see here for the press release on that). JDRF has never been very forthcoming about whether they had any conflicts-of-policy for senior executives that I am aware of (or could find evidence of on it's website). My concern was if he, as a former CEO stood to gain financially for decisions he could make as the new CEO of JDRF, such as using his influence with JDRF to fund projects that might lift the value of Novocell/ViaCyte as a company. (As it is, ViaCyte has already received important support from the both California Institute for Regenerative Medicine [CIRM] which is the Prop 71 stem cell initiative that JDRF helped to get passed into law, and direct funding from the JDRF, although most of this pre-dates Mr. Lewis' taking the role as CEO of JDRF), so I don't think it's an unreasonable question to ask. There was no detail in the press release on WHY he decided to step down, leaving us to wonder if he did so voluntarily.

Anyway, with that, first I'll address part 1, which was Friday's topic. Exercise. I won't pretend to get off on endorphins, and I've never been really keen on team sports involving balls (except soccer). But I've always enjoyed hockey (maybe I should be Canadian?) and also enjoy solo sports, such as walking or swimming. But I don't do nearly what I should be, and as middle-age has set in, my metabolism isn't quite what it was when I was 25. Truthfully, I'm looking forward to being in my new office at 120 Broadway in Manhattan (for a photo, see here), because it's proven that people who work in the suburbs get less exercise than urban dwellers/workers because to get to anything in the suburbs, you have to use a car, while in the city, you can usually walk to just about anything. Plus, I didn't want to get tied down to a gym membership near work only to not be able to use it for remaining half the year. Anyway, we're moving the weekend of July 3rd, so I might get settled into a new routine then.

Exercise is, in my opinion, best when it's part of something else, not made to be a task unto itself. If you walk a few blocks each day to and from work, you don't even notice it. Ditto if your job involves some activity (this seldom applies to office workers, but if you work in a job that involves physical activity, chances are you don't even notice the calories you burn as part of your regular activity). I don't really enjoy hanging out at the gym, either, but the reality is that I neither have the space for expensive equipment at home, nor do I want to own this stuff. Once upon a time, I actually owned a treadmill, and it was the biggest dust collection device I ever owned. There were just too many distractions at home, whereas in a gym, you're there to work out, without the temptations of the computer or TV to lure you away.

Saturday's Topic: Wild Card, Blood Sugar Nirvana or Moronic Moment.

Moving on to Saturday's topic ... today was supposed to be Diabetes Snapshots/Photos. Inspired by the Diabetes 365 project, the idea was to snap a few d-related pictures to share today. Post as many or as few as we'd like. Instead, I'm going to rely on the Wild Card topic of the week, because I don't have many photos nor do I pay for hosting on Flickr, so I don't think I can really add anything to that topic.

Instead, I'll blog about the time I ate a meal that tended to spike me to the moon, but my perfectly calculated and timed insulin dosage kept your blood sugar happy. Or tell you about that time my brain had a little diabetes-blip and I did something you think is "stupid". (Because chances are, anyone with diabetes has done it too!!)

We've all had both scenarios, because the reality is that dosages are really NOT scientific. The body has other hormones that can interfere with insulin requirements, and there are other factors that may also influence this. This is why the idea of calling this glycemic "control" is such a joke to me, and many others.

But last Thanksgiving, I actually enjoyed blood sugar nirvana, and it was really a crap shoot that turned out great! My family makes Thanksgiving mostly an all-day-event, with cousins coming in from out of state. The day begins around 11:00 AM, at which point, it's appetizers galore. Dips, chips, nuts not to mention a pre-meal happy hour with my now departed grandfather's Scarlet O'hara's, which is really 2 parts 100 proof Southern Comfort, 1 part cranberry juice, and a splash (or packet) of sour mix mixed in a blender with some ice. Under normal circumstances, that drink is pure sugar (excluding the sweet Southern Comfort cordial, which is mostly alcohol). I've been making them with Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry drink and sugar-free sour mix (a few places sell it, but it's great if you can find it someplace). No one even noticed that it was sugar-free and contained far less calories than the original, and after about 3 or 4 blenders full was consumed (not by me alone), and countless hors d'oeuvres, I tested and corrected with a few units but life was pretty good.

Then came dinner. All the typical stuff turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, some other vegetables or veggie dish. Then desert ... the holiday's make it damn near impossible to manage blood glucose levels, no matter how diligent or good at carb counting one may be. I estimated what I'd be eating and dosed accordingly, worried about the nasty outcome a few hours later. Would it be enough? Not enough? I just said screw it and took a wild-ass-crazy guess and dosed, hoping for the best.

A few hours after our mid-day dinner, I tested, and was prepared for the worst. Instead, I was delighted with a reading of 117 mg/dL. WTF? I totally guessed and this turned out sooooo much better than I could ever have guessed. But next year, I might not be so lucky, so I'll enjoy the gifts when they are given!

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