Friday, February 26, 2010

DKA is a Killer for Diabetics

Take care of yourselves...well ourselves!!!

Casey Johnson
did not have to die. She did need some support and some professional help which it sounds like she was on her way to try to get. She died of Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

DKA is basically when your body does not have enough insulin to function properly. For example, not taking your insulin injections if you are Type 1, like in Casey's case. Without insulin your body can not break down food and store it for energy. So once your body runs out of it's energy stores it looks for the next thing to break down to keep it going, fat. Once all of the fat is gone it moves on to the next thing it can find, muscle. By now you are in pain and should now that something is not right. Even at this state there are things that can be done to help reverse the affects and get you as close to "normal" as you can get. However, if left untreated, the body starts breaking down all muscles like your heart and other organs your body needs to stay alive. Once you've reached this point there is very little that can be down to stop a diabetic from dying. It can be done but your quality of life will never be the same once you reach this point.

So, lessons learned here??? Take care of yourself, take your insulin and check your dang blood sugars.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Diabetic Olympian

I'm pulling for you Kris and from now on I will have an extra PowerBar Gel at every sporting event I go to just in case I run across another diabetic in need! Congrats only your Olympic appearance!

Diabetic skier motivated by more than self, teammates and country

Read More:
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two Big Wins!!!

The first is against diabetes and the second is for cycling!!!

Big Win #1 Diabetes:
Last week I had my bi-annual doctor appointment. I usually get lab work drawn before the visit and we discuss the results after the visit. This time there was a SNAFU with my scheduling and I wasn't able to get lab work until the day of the appointment. So, I came prepared and printed out all of the tracking graphics and charts that my insulin pump stores and processes through CareLink. Done with the boring background now to the good news!

When I called the doctor yesterday to get the results of my A1c I was told that it was 6.2 for the second time in a row, that mean I've been at 6.2 for over a year!!!! :)

Side note: Per

Importance of the Hemoglobin A1c Test

I know you are going to ask what those complications are. Again, per

So my 6.2% minimizes to the extreme my chances of complications! :)

Big Win #2 Cycling:
A few weeks back I entered a contest at Sidi Shoes for those of you who don't know, Sidi is one of the top brands of cycling shoes in the cycling world. The top three world champions last season were all in Sidi shoes!

They had a contest to submit a story about Sidi shoes. It was pretty open ended, you could write about why you like them, write a poem, submit a picture or whatever. I wrote an essay about why shoes are important to diabetics and how I look for only the best and have found that in my Sidi shoes.

Low and behold I made it to the top 50 essays winning my choice of Sidi shoes!!!

Here was my essay:

Sidi, Cycling, Diabetes and Life!

As a Type 1 diabetic I’ve always done my best to live a “normal” life, as normal as life can be on multiple daily injections of insulin. Part of maintaining my health is through regular exercise, the equation is simple, cycling = exercise, exercise = better controlled diabetes, better controlled diabetes = longer life and better quality of life. My love of cycling was born out of my own drive to maintain my own body and blood sugar control.

Diabetics are highly susceptible to foot injuries which can lead to bigger problems and amputations this is due to circulation issues that accompany diabetes. How do you fight this? Check your blood sugars, exercise regularly and watch your diet. Check! Another layer of protection I always follow is, don’t skimp on footwear! When I look for something to put on my feet I looked for the best. Not only do I have diabetes but I also have really flat feet. Two strikes out of the gate?!?!?

I’ve tried many types of shoes and the bike shop I go to tried to get me in 3 or 4 different brands of shoes that were all good but not great. Then I saw it, a red box with the Sidi logo on. I couldn’t believe it these were the Holy Grail of shoes growing up, I never thought I would see myself in these shoes! I found my size and they felt amazing! My feet felt like I just slipped them into two little clouds and the sun shined in on my feet while angels sang.

(Record scrrratch)

Snap out of it son, buy them and hit the darn trails! I did. I love my Sidis, there durable, light and let my feet breath! I put 1,000 miles on them last season and they are ready for 2,000 more miles, as soon as the 15 inches of snow melt! I love to ride period!

Ride to live, live to ride!

and the shoe I am choosing is the Dragon 2 Carbon SRS how awesome are those!

Great motivation as well to get out and ride and be the best diabetic racer I can be!!!

Stay Tuned!!!

When I get a minute I will update you on my A1c results from last week as well as my big win in a Sidi cycling shoe contest!!! :)

Two big wins!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yes, I am Catholic and participate in giving things up to better myself for Lent. Even if I don't go to Church.

My list of things I'm doing to better myself:

1. Giving up all carbonated beverages. Pop or Soda for the rest of the world, energy drinks, carbonated water. Gone.

2. Giving up alcohol. I'm already half way there since I don't really drink anymore.

3. Exercise at least 4 times a week. Not only does this help me feel better but has made my diabetes control second to none!

Doctor Appointment

Had my bi-annual Endocrinologist appointment today! I got the usual clean bill of health while my Dr. eagerly asked what I had in the works for this summer. I told her about the 100 mile race and some of the other plans, she was pretty excited. She said if she had more diabetics like me her life would be much less stressful! lol!

One side note, my Doctor's office was moved at the Cleveland Clinic leaving me feeling like a Freshman on the first day of school. I had no idea where anything was and had to ask three people for directions.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spinning and Sweat

Another great Spinning class last night! They really now how to kick my ass! I think my heart rate stayed between 178 and 187 the whole time, with a max of 190, it feels great to push it during class. You know what I'm talking about, sweat in your eyes, muscles are on fire to the point where you could get of your bike and just empty your stomach, but instead you push and push harder. That's where I was last night! A brief warm up and hour work out helped me incinerate 1245 calories!

I can't wait until the weather clears to mix up the rides more! Spin one day a week, hit up the group hammer fest with the guys of CAMBA at the West Branch trails and then knock out a group ride with the Akron Bike Club on Thursday. Then use the weekends for extra long solo excursions, t-minus 3.5 months until the Mohican MTB 100 feel free to join me!

I want to keep a higher variety of workouts this season, I feel much better when I do, stronger as well working the different terrain and scenarios. Back to the grind!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Low Blood Sugars

Well, I hate to say it but it's my own fault that I've been sporting a low-blood sugar all day. Unfortunately with diabetes the only person you have to blame for your challenges is yourself. Luckily this is an easily reconcilable problem. A few tweaks to my basal (base) rate of insulin, a few more carbs for lunch and I should be good to go! :)

Dare I say a good problem to have??? What is really happening with my body? No, I am not pregnant! What really is happening, is that my metabolism is starting to pick back up causing my blood sugar to drop lower than when my metabolism is slow. Now that I am back in the gym 4-5 days a week working out my systems are slowly getting back to the green zone which I am A-Okay with!

I think I have learned my lesson for being lethargic. My diabetes control had become all out of whack and I was trending on the higher side with my blood sugars which increases my risk for diabetic related complications like neuropathy, amputations, blindness, organ failure and potentially death. I haven't forgot that diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. Granted I am no where near that point with my diabetes control and probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning but the fact is it is on the list. My girlfriend absolutely hates when I bring this up, however, facts/stats like this help drive me to better control and that is what matters.

Someday I will inspire someone to take control of their diabetes and of their life thus saving it. Until that time I will continue to work on inspiring myself.

Happy Snowday...I mean...Tuesday!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Yes, we have plenty of it! Unfortunately I left the cable to download my pictures at work. So here is the delayed report from Stow, OH. These pictures were from roughly 7:30am, I had a spinning class at 9am to get to, of which 4 people showed including the instructor.

My scientific measures shows the snow at about 11"

Here's my car, nice and plowed in. Thank you Mr. snow plow man! Shortly after all the snow behind my car found it's way back in the driveway. :)

Snow between the cars, pretty far up my rims

Layer of snow on my car!

A neighbors parking job after a big old FAIL at making it to a parking space!

The forecast is calling for another 5-10 inches starting tomorrow. Fun?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Diabetes. Blood.

Ah yes, the lovely world of diabetes. I started yesterday evening with a gym appearance, Molly and I went and worked out on some kind of high performance stair climber thing. It seemed to be half stair climber and half elliptical. Either way, totally worked the lower body. 5 minutes in and the burn already started, so we finished with a solid 30 minutes on that machine before we went to the free weight area for a little weight training. Afterward we left and headed home to cook some chicken up to make chicken salad.

As Molly cooked I gathered all of the medical supplies necessary to refill my insulin pump and install my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) sensor. Here are some picture to illustrate:

My Pump

Injection site that needs to be changed every three days. There is a small 30mm catheter that is actually in my stomach and delivers insulin 24/7. My digital pancreas!

The change is where the problem began. As I removed the old infusion set from my stomach I must have nicked a blood vessel. Blood was slowly trickling down my stomach towards the waistline of my pants. However, I cupped right underneath the site and let the palm of my hand fill up with blood until I was able to be rescued by Molly with a paper towel! Diabetes can be such a pain in the ass! Outside of being a little sore, everything ended up turning out OK and I was able to insert my CGM that talks with my pump to show real-time blood sugar trends. Here's a pic:

On a brighter note, hitting the gym has helped to restabalize by blood sugars no and I'm feeling less run down these days! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stay Safe!

Check out the deal on this tail light!

With the increase in cycling vs. vehicle accident and fatalities this year, make sure that you can be seen. Thanks to technology drivers are spending more time adjusting their navigation systems and send texts while driving. Even talking on the phone is distracting. The most recent Bicycling magazine said drivers using a cell phone have the same impairment as someone with a .08 BAL. That is legally drunk in Ohio!

Please try to do these two things:
1. Always try to be visible and be prepared to take evasive action. I ride with a tail light whenever I'm on the road, even if it's a bright sunny day. Hitting shade can throw a drivers vision of you off.

2. Try your best to not be part of the problem, turn your phone off or don't answer calls or texts while driving. Pull over or wait until you get to your destination to answer.

Happy riding, stay safe!!! :)


I attended my first spinning class last night and it ROCKED!!!! I can't wait to go back for more! I was a little worried at first when I started to sweat profusely after just 5 minutes of spinning. I told myself to quit being Nancy-boy and just do it. I made it through the entire hour of spinning! :)

We did all kinds of hill climbs and jumps and sprints. I only got one pretty noticeable cramp in my right calf, after dialing it down for a minute it worked itself out.

I was a little worried about my blood sugars since this was something new and pretty intense for my sedentary winter lifestyle but with a few adjustments I was fine.

The spinning classes are pretty popular around here so I got to the gym about 45 minutes early to sign up and claim my bike. Before getting to the gym I let my blood sugar float up to about 140 because trying to get out of a hole when your sugar is low and working out is very difficult. I sipped some G2 as I was getting ready for a few extra electrolytes.

I dropped the basal rate on my pump to about 75% and walked at a brisk pace for 20 minutes to get the blood flowing. Then I did some stretching and began warming up on the bike for another 10 minutes, then we started and I was ready to go! Like I said it was a little different getting started but it was a great work out! Especially when the weather sucks as much as it does here in NE Ohio. This is part of my "No Excuses" riding season. If there weather doesn't cooperate that's OK, I get to go Spinning!

I would recommend this workout to anyone and everyone, you can go as hard as you would like and there is some structure to adjusting resistance and stand up or sit down sprints. It feels easier when everyone is doing this instead of trying to time your own work outs and hold yourself accountable.

I have some things going on this evening but will be back at it on Wednesday for some more!