Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fan Mail From Some Flounderer

Well, here we are, week 2! I have been taking my diet seriously and as a result am down from 352 lbs to 348 lbs. this is a huge deal for me because the doctor's scale I use at home (you know, you step on the platform and slide the weights around till it balances. Surprisingly inexpensive at a used surgical supplies store.) only foes up to 350 on its own. Then you have to hang an additional little weight on the slider bar to get you the next 100 pounds of range. Of course I have set my first goal to retire the little weight and am thrilled to see it go, but (here comes the kernel of doubt that Mark mentioned yesterday) I have crossed this border before and snuck back up again. I think I'm going to wait a while until I stay below 350 to say I'm there now. The hope is that sometime I will see myself as a skinny person, much like Iris' realization that she is a runner. Right now I identify myself as old, fat and bald and have thrown diabetic into the mix. It will be interesting to see what I call myself whenever I decide to identify with the strong, capable, physically well maintained version of myself. Of course I can just feel all of you out there thinking - Why wait? Why not make your belief outcome independent and see yourself that way now? Great question, I'll get back to you on that.

Below is my BGL chart for the past week:

You may notice that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are missing. Last Friday I was out with a friend running around town. I had just found a carrying case for my BGL measurement paraphernalia that goes on my belt, held there by a velcro fastened strap. I was jazzed because I could carry my stuff around with me everywhere and started measuring my BGL 5 or 6 times a day to create a more detailed picture for myself of how my body responds to food. I have a pretty obsessive iPhone app to track my food intake. More on that another time. Well, while I was running around i reached down to my belt to take out my glucometer and discovered it was gone. Apparently it had fallen off somewhere. So, after waiting a couple of days to see if I had lost it in the car or at home I couldn't find it, and started using another unit I had gotten from my doctor when I was first diagnosed. anyway, as you can see, for the past few days I have been doing a good job staying within my target range but I am not sure that the numbers I am getting from this other meter correlate to my old meter. I seem to be getting lower numbers now and I don't believe that my diet has changed that much. Fortunately, i ordered my preferred kind of glucometer online (2 units so I have a spare) and it came today, so I'll be back in business for next week. This kind of thing is par for the course for me. I live a somewhat scattered and disorganized life, not unlike the guy on the old ed Sullivan Show who kept all those plates spinning in the air. The difference is, I drop a lot more plates that he did.

However, the question of whether a different meter accurately shows if I am within target range raises another interesting question - What should my Target Range be?

Some stuff I've read says you should try to be below 140, and a non-diabetic blood sugar is less than 100. My podiatrist (taking care of your feet is an important part of the diabetic experience) says that more than the actual level of sugar in your blood you should try to avoid big swings in your blood sugar as this is what damages nerves and causes loss of feeling in your feet (diabetic neuropathy). She would rather see me have a higher average value as long as my numbers don't vary by more than plus or minus 20. Now my endocrinologist/diabetologist who is supposed to be the hub of my diabetes team has given me no direction at all so I don't know what numbers he thinks are good. After talking to my GP she referred me to a guy she calls the "Diabetes Nazi" whom she had hesitated to refer me to at first because the guy is so overbearing and directive. Personality wise this is not a great match for me, I tend to react by telling guys like that where they can put their advice. But since working with Mr. Rogers is not getting me a program to follow I am going to try at least one consult with Adolph Hitler and see if his program makes sense to me.
I have also consulted a French homeopath (Dominique) that my sister uses. She calls him the Witch Doctor and he has been helping her breathe new life into her beleaguered and diabetic pancreas for some time. Apparently she has gone from diabetic to pre-diabetic and has recently come off the medication she was on because her body has become less insulin-resistant due to his ministrations. I spoke with Dominique and will give him a whirl too. He tells me that he has one patient whose blood sugar wouldn't come down no matter what allopathic medications her western doctors tried on her. After 4 months of working with him she is now consistently below 90 and her regular physician has told her to stick to whatever she's doing because he could never find anything to help her. This sounds very appealing as my aim is to be diabetes free as soon as possible. The thing is, Dominique's methods involve a lot of mixing of little drops to take in very specific ways at very specific times and you have to mix them fresh, you can't just sit down on Sunday and make a big batch for the week. Given the peripatetic chaos which is my lifestyle I an skeptical of my ability to successfully implement this promising looking treatment, but for right now I will stick to not believing that my past way of doing things is predictive of how I will do this. The again, I spoke to Dominique last Tuesday and still have not gone in to Lab-Corp to submit my blood for the rather comprehensive analysis Dominique requires to design my treatment. OK Iris, maybe at the beginning one does a lot more walking than running, we'll see how it goes.
I have to say, I continue to be grateful for all of you for your eyes on me and your good wishes. If I didn't have to update the community today I doubt I would have set aside the quiet couple of hours I did to review last week's results and focus on this issue for myself.

See You All next Week!!


  1. Mark,

    You did it again! Round two and still standing. That's awesome!

    As I considered all the various approaches that you're considering, it occurred to me that oftentimes the question of "which approach to pursue" doesn't really matter. In the end, it's often about sticking with just one approach, any approach.

    The reason I say this is that I often talk to people who say that they've tried thus-and-such, but it didn't work. However, upon further investigation it becomes clear that they never actually did do thus-and-such, at least not in a manner that would be considered giving it a fair shot. They may have started doing it. They may have followed parts of the prescription. But they never really pursued thus-and-such with diligence and persistance.

    OK, so in the end, "what you do" does matter, but only if you actually "do" it. I think the greatest success factor for Iris in both her running and in her singing has been that she's not merely flirting with technique or dabbling, but instead, she's sticking with approaches and giving them a chance to work (or not).

    So, whether it's the witch doctor, or Mr. Rogers, or the Diabetes Nazi or your GP, the process of debugging a system starts with minimizing the number of variables and then sticking with that variable set until you've exhausted it.

    What do you think?

    Thank you so much for sharing your walk through recovery from diabetes, for your openness and heart. We are so rooting for you to succeed and I can already see the svelte guy that I've seen in that Al Pacino-looking picture I've seen of you when you were rebuilding your BMW.


  2. Hi friend,

    After you posted your stats last week, I decided to write down my air flow stats every day. And in the end.... I didn't do it once, while you did! Good for you! Will let you know next week again about how many of my 14 measurements I did for that week. See if I can keep up with you.

    I agree with Teflon that a lot of things at the same time can dilute focus. I also agree with you that in he beginning you walk way more than you run. So, I cheer for every step you take. You don't have to run, just take one step at the time...

    Love, Iris

  3. Old, fat and bold, with a little change in attitude you could call yourself Buddha...

    Love - and keep the spirit

    Joy - who will still call you Shrek

  4. How about gold, fit and bold?


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