A life in the day



Filed under: — site admin @ 10:11 am

On Chuck’s blog, someone pointed out the need for a new term to describe co-workers who are also bloggers. The suggested term was “co-bloggers.” I don’t know; it sounds like something out of abnormal psychology. While that might well be appropriate, I think something more fun is in order. I’m suggesting “cwobber”. It has just the right playful ring to it. (And don’t bother telling me that “cwogger” would be more logical. Sure it would, but it just doesn’t have the right ring.)


Family connections

Filed under: — site admin @ 1:34 pm

I’m very distressed by an example of bad parenting I witnessed and I really don’t know why.

I’ve taken to eating lunch in the park near my office. It’s not much of a park — some ball fields, a few tennis courts, and a playscape exciting only to fairly young children — but it’s certainly better than eating at my desk. I read, juggle, and sometimes play chess. But mostly I watch people.

Yesterday there was a woman at the park with twin boys who, I’d guess, were between eighteen months and two years old. They were there for all of my lunch hour. The boys were having a great time, running, jumping, yelling in the echo chamber formed by the covered slide, and inventing games the way only twins can. Mom was alert and attentive, smiling continually at their antics, comforting one boy after a little fall.

But she had a cell phone to her ear. The entire time.

The whole check-email-on-vacation disaster has been building for a while. Cell phones are everywhere. Being always connected is one of the huge trends for the last ten years. I have resisted it — I even held out against an answering machine for years after everyone else had one — I’m sure, though, that I will eventually succumb. I’ve never seen someone who seemed to be doing everything right with her kids end up doing somthing so wrong. And I can’t even articulate just what I think her transgression is: if you’ve gotta ask, you’ll never know. I’ll I can tell you is that a was gently horrified.

Do you think these kids will ever remember having their mother’s undivided attention?

Back to the Medicine

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:39 am

I’m quite disappointed to return to taking the medicine I gave up several weeks ago. I gave myself a fair chance without it, but my sugars shot up much higher than they were on it. So, I’m back on it, and the sugars are back down, almost to the enviable levels I had during vacation. I’ll keep working on losing the necessary weight, and hopefully try again in a few months.

I really wanted to get off of this. :-(


Progress so far

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:03 pm

Well, it’s been fourteen weeks since diagnosis. I wanted to report progress after three months, but I didn’t have the results of the bloodwork at that point. So fourteen weeks will have to do.

My diagnosis of diabetes has meant changes to my diet and my exercise habits. The exercise has not been as regular as I would like, but hasn’t been bad. The changes in my diet seem to have been quite successful. Just last week, I stopped one of the medications I’ve been on. I think I’ll be on the other for some time still. But I retain hope that I can eventually get off it altogether.

The most important number I need to track is my blood sugar. There are two types of readings:

  • My twice-daily readings measure glucose in the blood in units of milligrams per deciliter. My targets are for values below 120 for a morning fasting level, and absolutely below 180 at bedtime, preferrably below 140. But, at least within reason, the lower the better, so a morning reading of 110 or lower is still a better goal, and maybe 130 at bedtime. I’ve been pretty close. Until I got an infection recently, my morning levels were 95 - 105, and bedtime, 90 - 120. Right after I licked the infection, I stopped one of the medicines, and my numbers have been higher than they were. But the morning levels are still 100 - 120, and evening levels have been 100 - 140, except for two readings around 160. These are slowly going back down, too. I hope that in a few weeks I’ll be back to the levels before the infection, and I’ll be managing it without taking the glipizide. For comparison, the readings that led to my diagnosis were 340 and 270 mg/dl.
  • A hemoglobin A1c reading measures blood glucose as well, but on a longer scale. It records the average level of sugars in the blood over the course of two or three months. The mechanism is simple. Red blood cells’ lifespans are around 120 days. At any time in their life, a hemoglobin molecule in a red blood cell can get glycated, which means that it has a glucose molecule attached to it. It will stay attached as long as that cell lives. So the percentage of hemoglobin molecules that are glycated is a good indication of the amount of sugar in the blood over the last two months. When I was diagnosed as diabetic, my HbA1c reading was 10.8%. The target is to keep it under 7%. My recent bloodwork has a reading of 6.2%.

There are other factors to consider besides blood sugar. At diagnosis, I was at least 75 pounds overweight, and probably more like 90 pounds. In the fourteen weeks since, I’ve lost 28 pounds. My blood pressure was slightly high at diagnosis. For diabetics, they prefer blood pressure below 130/80. Mine was more like 140/85 or 140/90. At my last doctor’s visit it was down to 120/78. And finally, my cholesterol numbers are very good. Total cholesterol was 137 mg/dl, which is well inside the desirable range (below 200); the LDL (bad) cholestorol number was 82, which is in the optimal range (below 100) ; and the triglycerides were 103, which is well in the normal range too (below 150). The only slight issue is that my HDL (good) cholesterol was a bit low. For men, the normal range is 40 - 50. Mine was only 34. That points to a need for more exercise and to the fact that I still have a great deal of weight to lose.

I was told that when I got my diabetes under control, I would notice many positive benefits, including greater energy and possibly clearer eyesight. I’ve not noticed any changes. But I hadn’t had any particular problems with energy. And I hadn’t had any incidents of fuzzy vision, beyond the normal expectations of my astigmatism. I’m sorry not to see greater positive benefits. But I understand well the risks of diabetes, and I’m quite sure I have the discipline to keep with the program.

And there is one clear and obvious result: my profile is shrinking noticeably. I need to buy new belts!

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