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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Update & Random Stuff

Hello everyone!

I really appreciate all of your support to my last post. I can't tell you how meaningful it is to me. I think the OC is the best thing I've found since my insulin pump. You all are the best. I wish I could find words that better expressed how much you all mean to me. Thank you.

My brain meds finally arrived last night. Thank the Lord above. While my irritability, emotional instability, and general mood have been feeling better, I have not been sleeping well at all. What is it about depression that makes you not able to sleep at night, and makes you want to sleep the day away instead? I also fight with restless legs at night - but only when my meds are out of whack. Does this happen to anyone else? It's so disruptive and it really drives me crazy. But since I know that I'm back on my meds, it's not worth going to any doc about just that alone. It will take a couple weeks I think for the meds to kick in, but hopefully the restless legs at night will go away sooner than that (please).

To hopefully prevent my running out of meds again, I'm using a suggestion that Bernard made, and am entering those "eligible to reorder" dates into my calendar. It was a big mistake that I made, not remembering to re-order in time, and I feel that I paid dearly for it. Whatever I can do to prevent that from happening again, I'm all for it.

I'm using this down time to do a lot of reading. I don't have a very good understanding of general nutrition and healthy eating practices, and I'm working to build that up a little bit. I feel it's a real weak area in my self care, and it impacts the entire package, not just my diabetes management. Improving this area of my life will benefit not only my diabetes, but my overall health. Sounds like a good deal to me.

I have been reading a couple books by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, and I think I like what she has to say. It's all about balance - and I like the idea of balance. For the most part it is not any crazy diet, just balance. Sticking with natural stuff where possible (very hard in today's world). Have any of you read work by her? What are your thoughts on it?

I know that I eat a very unbalanced diet, heavy on the carbs, no meat at all, and before you ask if I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat many veggies (yet) either. So, learning more about what's out there, things to try, I'm bound to find some things that I like. It's all about building my food repertoire.

I had been, up until the last few weeks, trying one new food thing every week. Finding a few things here and there that I like, others that I can tolerate, and many things that will not make it's way between my lips ever again. But - I did find new things! Each new thing I find adds many options to my diet. If I can keep on trying new things, and keep building that menu up, I'll be in better dietary shape all the time.

And you want to know why I picked these books out of the sea of stuff that's out there on health & weight loss? The bullet items on the cover caught my attention, then I flipped the book over to check out the price. $12.95 - and I thought that was really cheap. Maybe I'm just used to buying computery books at $50 a pop, but that low price made me feel that she was not out to rob people blind with some expensive fad thing. Who knows if it's justified or not. Either way, it's at least worth a read. What's the worst thing that will happen? I might waste some time reading the books. Big. Flippin. Deal.

In other news, I participated in a big kayaking event a couple of weeks ago. It was a fundraising event, raising money to clean up the Mississippi River (which starts here in Minnesota). I have been interested in kayaking on the Mississippi for a long time, but it intimidated the heck out of me (you know, big river, moving water...). This fundraising event had 200 - 300 other boaters (canoes & kayaks), and a whole slew of safety and support boats. So, what better time to become more familiar with the river?


This picture (don't laugh at my hat - the sun was cooking me...) was at the finish line - which was at, of all places, a big gravel pit. Let me tell you, I have never been happier to see a gravel pit in my life!!

The trip was two days long, and covered a total distance of 44 MILES! We covered 22 miles each day - all of it right through the Minneapolis & St. Paul area. The trip was well organized with rest stops every few hours along the way. Sponsors donated great food and there was a lot of support from gracious volunteers all along the way. Let me tell you though, the end of the first day, I was beat. The trip was all downstream (going with the current), but there was such a strong headwind on the first day that if you stopped paddling to take a drink or take a picture, you started going upstream - backwards!! And the only way to get to the end was to paddle paddle paddle! Day 2 was great - wind at our backs, great weather. A wonderful experience all around.

I ran a very aggressive temp rate on both days, and didn't have any low BG's (a good thing when your paddling down a river). I did misjudge some of the meals/snacks at least twice, and shot up to the mid 300's. That sucked, but I was able to take a little mini-bolus and get back down very quickly (isn't it crazy how exercise super charges your insulin? It can get you in a bunch of trouble if it catches you off guard!).

I'd like to end this post with a couple of really great quotes from fellow OC bloggers that caught my attention shortly after my last post.

The first is from Kevin, over at parenthetic (diabetic):

"As I get closer and closer to my goal I'm definitely getting a much more healthy outlook on my life with diabetes and what my future with it will be like, and that's better than any doughnut I've ever had."

The second is from Zazzy's site, over at Zazen in the moonlight:

"Be nice to diabetics, we deal with enough pricks already"

And if you're not laughing at that, have someone check your pulse.

At least a smirk, c'mon now...

14 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

*smirking*

I forgot to take my lexapro once (when I was on it)...Probably 6 days in a row. Didn't remember until I was bawling my brains out watching "Follow that Bird" (a Seaseme Street movie). It wasn't pretty. Hope the meds kick back in soon.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Scott

I'm so glad that your meds arrived - I hope you'll see fast improvement.

I don't remember if you're on Symlin on not. If not, you may want to read my blog entry about it. For me, it's been great at providing me with a feeling of being full, which really reduces my tendency to overeat. For that reason alone, I'm glad to be using it. I don't consider myself 'hooked' on Symlin yet because I've not been on it enough to know whether I'll use it in the long term.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Hey!

That looks like a nice kayaking trip. I did a weekend camping/canoe trip once, but my wife (before she was my wife) and I flipped our canoe and soaked EVERYTHING we had with us, except (thankfully) for our sleeping bags, which we had in trash bags. Sounds like you had a much smoother time than we did!

And on the veggie front: I used to not eat many veggies. I grew up in a household where cooking broccoli meant BOILING it for 30 minutes! In my opinion, any vegetable that has been cooked for more than 10 minutes tastes like crap. It's just soggy mush and enough to put a kid off veggies for a good decade. Vegetables are supposed to have a snap to them when you bite into them.

It wasn't until after college that I slowly came around to eating vegetables. (Prior to that, friends would tease me that I was on the "white-food" diet: white bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.).

I'm telling you, steaming your vegetables will shock you if all you've ever eaten were vegetables that were cooked to death. Seriously, there's not much better than broccoli in a half inch of water, brought to a boil with a lid on the pan (very important to have the lid on the pan) and cooked only until they turn bright green (3-5 min). Put a little salt on it, and Mmmm, mmm, good! Give it a whirl.

(And thanks for the quote, too, I'm glad you got something out of it).

12:18 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Hey Scott,

I'm with Kevin, steamed veggies are actually pretty tasty. Broccoli and cauliflower are two of my favorites, and asparagus sauteed with a little olive oil is delicious!

My two cents on diet: balance is key! Think of the mindset "what should I fit into my diet this week?" instead of "what must I avoid?" That way you don't feel like you're depriving yourself. Trying to fit in fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and dairy will fill up your diet. Then you can fit in a few yummy treats too!

It does get easier. Once you've established some good eating habits, you'll find that endulging in low quality carbs isn't as appealing. The trade off of high blood sugar and feeling poorly for that quick treat, just doesn't seem worth it.

You're totally on the right track (wow, "totally"- the California girl in me is coming out!) And I'm really impressed with your kayaking trip... very cool!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Scott,
1) good to hear you're doing better
2) did you have any physical symptoms when you were not taking the med? There is something called "SSRI Discontinuance Syndrome" which I have gotten each time I tried to get off the Cymbalta. It even took me to the ER - the main physical symptoms for me were a constant low-level dizziness and these sudden violent stabs of vertigo -beginning within a day of stopping the med. I thought I was having mini-strokes. This wise old doc in the ER spotted it immediately and told me to resume the Cymbalta and see my psyhiatrist right away. When I did, he agreed and said he would have alerted me to that possibility had I gotten his permission in the first place (I had not). It was good to know it had a name, yet, now am I stuck taking this for the rest of my life? Maybe so. Anyway, I'm not gonna fuss over it at the moment.
3) Let me know when I can borrow that hat!

Kathy

4:39 PM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

Scott, glad to hear you are doing well, though you do need your sleep, now. ;)

Who could argue with an approach that stresses balance. Please let me know if you can find the balance, dude. I am contantly searching to find that in all aspects of my own life.

Kayaking looks aweseome! I went canoeing down the New River in Western NC, which is I think the only river that flows backwards. It was just a day trip, but I had a blast!

Take care of yourself and keep us posted.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Nic said...

Hi, Scott. So glad you're back on your "brain meds." I've been through the withdrawal process and it's NOT pretty.

I have to echo the others on steamed broccoli -- garlic salt is also a nice addition.

And, if you have a craving for dessert but are trying to be good, frozen berries, honey, yogurt, a banana and milk whirled through the blender is a delicious snack. This treat is how I make sure to get my fruits and calicium in an otherwise peanut-butter and carb-heavy diet.

Best wishes!

8:03 AM  
Blogger J said...

Nice pic scott Love that hat .... the restless leg thing is the electuric thing I was talking about and with in 2 day sof taking my meds I notice the difference... hope it is that soon for you ... does where yo order you meds have atomatic delivery I do that for my pump supplies and it helps so much cuz I too forget when I need to order? chin up (((hug)))

12:32 PM  
Blogger Vivian said...

Sounds like things are looking up. I think you will start a new fashion trend with the hat. :o)
As far as the books, I really believe what speaks to one person in one way will be different to another. Kind of like when you read the same scripture at a different point in your life, it takes on a whole new a-ha moment. Hang in there and keep searchin', we are all in this with you, all the way.
Viv

10:21 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Thanks everyone!

MN - I didn't have any symptoms of that type of thing - just the restless legs. And it wasn't enough to make me go in anywhere. It was just frustrating and annoying.

I wonder if you would have the same thing happen if you gradually reduced your dosage rather than stop cold turkey? Hmmm.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Scott,

Just a lurker here who hasn't officially signed up. I also wanted to thank you for your great posts. My 9 yo daughter has type 1 and I'm always concerned about her emotional health. Your blog gives me insight into some of those aspects.

I also wanted to mention that almonds and avocados are good for bringing up your HDL's (the good cholesteral). Don't eat too many almonds though,they are fattening, a small handful a day is good. If you like salmon that's a good one too.

Thanks again.
Kathy

3:06 PM  
Blogger Flmgodog said...

Scott,
I am glad to hear you are back on the meds and hopefully on the road to "happy brain"!!!!
I am so jealous of the kayak trip. Not many fun places to kyak around here however I am not too far away from where you are, maybe I will try kayaking.
Thanks for the comment on my blog!
I could kick myself over my A1C from yesterday. I feel like a fool. I knew it would be up a little but a whole percentage point. Jeebus!!! My 14 day average was only 136. I don't know what went wrong!

Take care!!!!

2:40 PM  
Blogger MileMasterSarah said...

Scott,
I used to be on all sorts of psych meds and I remember the many difficulties I had both with staying on them and then stopping them eventually, so I can sympathize with that and I am glad you are back on track!
I think that the more you learn about food and experiment with new things and new tastes you will be amazed. One thing Ive learned through my adventures with food in the past year is how much I truly LOVE FOOD! It is almost like society rejects the idea of diabetics loving food and flavors and seems to correlate a "diabetic diet (what the heck is that anyway?)" with flavorLESS diet food. Anyhow, good luck on your nutrition journey, I hope it leaves you satiated!

1:21 PM  
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1:42 AM  

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