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diabetes

This tag is associated with 9 posts

The Eyes Have It! 

Cataracts (insert joke about Japanese luxury cars here!)

Seriously, I already was aware I had them, from my last eye exam.

As a card-carrying diabetic, I am supposed to have my head examined, ahem EYES examined, annually.

I obtained secondary eye/dental insurance for this year, having used MEDICARE previously.

The problem was, I traditionally was examined in January, and hadn’t met my deductible yet!  And $150 is difficult to acquire.

SO, I obtained a secondary. Which also had a deductible.  And as normally I would only see my ophthalmologist once annually….

You get the idea.

Suddenly, my primary health care insurer called me. “Why haven’t you had your diabetic eye exam yet?” 

“Well, I don’t have the cash!”

My primary insurer told me they would cover the exam, as long as I stayed in their network.  I would only pay my specialist fee.  $25.00.

The call was last week.  I saw the eye doc Tuesday THIS week!

Cataracts?  Yes.  Something may need to be done in three to five years.

My retinas? (the big concern of diabetics and their doctors).  EXCELLENT!

Next, I need to scare up funds to get new glasses, and I am golden.

This Tastes Funny 

I’ve been drinking diet soda (of various varieties) for 37 years. (or so).  Mostly because sugared soda is SO full of sugar. In 2002 I was diagnosed as diabetic, so I had yet another reason.

(And yes, I am aware many of the chemicals, especially the artificial sweeteners, are BAD for me. Please don’t lecture me.) 

I developed a taste for Diet Coke™, which evolved into a taste for Coke Zero™. Equally bad, I’m sure, but surprisingly with less caffeine!

I take five prescription medications regularly, and a couple OTC. For diabetic neuropathy, blood pressure, cholesterol and GERD. And chronic pain.

Considering the chemistry set some folks I know take, I consider myself most fortunate.

My roommate has been taking CO Q10, and suggested that I take it as well. Allegedly good for we ‘older’ folk. Due to one of her chronic conditions, she also takes guaifenesin (Mucinex™), daily.

Due to allergies brought on by the cooler, wetter weather, I, too, have been taking it.

It helps.

I began taking these additional meds about three months ago. About two months ago, something changed.

My beloved Coke Zero™ didn’t taste right!

At first I blamed the manufacturer, then maybe I had a ‘bug’. A good friend suggested my body had had enough of the constant ingestion of chemicals! 😦

Multiple Internet searches regarding formula changes and pill interactions were for naught.

What was I to do? 

I began drinking more filtered water, coffee, juice, and even bought a ‘healthier’ fruit juice based soda, with a different chemical sweetener. And seltzer water – when I could find it (I like seltzer water).

But, I still missed my Coke Zero™. 😕

The weather changed, and dried. And my allergies abated. And my roomie stopped giving me the guaifenesin.

About a week later, someone gave me a Diet Coke™. I thought ‘what the hell’ I can nurse it.

It tasted fine!

I’m spending less money on beverages, but I now know I can have a Coke™ product, if I choose!

BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY!

“It’s The FOOD POLICE, Again!”

The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke

By MARY CLARE JALONICK – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke.

The proposed guidelines released Wednesday are voluntary, so food companies won’t be required to comply. But the idea is to persuade companies and restaurants — many of which have already lowered sodium levels in their products — to take a more consistent approach.

It’s the first time the government has recommended such limits. Sodium content already is included on existing food labels, but the government has not set specific sodium recommendations. The guidelines suggest limits for about 150 categories of foods, from cereals to pizzas and sandwiches. There are two-year and 10-year goals.

“The totality of scientific evidence, as reviewed by many well-respected scientific organizations, continues to support lowering sodium consumption from current levels,” said Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “In fact, it’s very difficult in the current marketplace not to consume too much sodium.”

Americans eat about 1½ teaspoons of salt daily, or 3400 milligrams. That’s about a third more than the government recommends for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium is hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.

()

I’m overweight and diabetic.  And have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Much less than I used to, in all respects, fortunately.  🙂

NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED MY DIETARY CHOICES!

I don’t always make the ‘correct’ decisions with regard to the type of foods, or portions or ingredients – but, Hell, it’s my body and my choice!

(Where have I heard that before?)

Worst case scenario – IF the government controls how much salt is in commercially-produced products and restaurants (removing shakers from tables ala Bloomberg), and I feel the need, I’ll just bring my own!

Damn government control freaks!

When it rains, it pours…

morton

RIP Bob Hall

bhall1It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you the passing of Robert H. ‘Bob’ Hall.

Like some folks, Bob was one of my ‘newer’ friends.  We met when he interviewed me for a private investigation position at Tom Ezell & Associates, in 1981.

I had applied because I had been working for other P.I. firms, and wanted to get the requisite three years under my belt to obtain my own license.  I saw an ad in the paper and called.  Jack Wheeler answered, and I thought I had the job!

Jack had been the salesman for Burns Security when I worked there as the assistant security supervisor (lieutenant), so we knew each other.  But Jack said it would be inappropriate for him to hire me without the chief investigator interviewing me, so I was introduced to Bob.  We became colleagues almost immediately, and fast friends.

You see, about five minutes into the interview, it was determined that Bob had attended high school with one Mary R.  The same Mary R. I had married a year previously!  They grew up in the same neighborhood.  Bob also had a serious firearms fetish, as did I.  He just had more firepower than me.  Like legal full-auto stuff! (including an M60 and MAC-10, both of which he no longer owns.)

And thus began our friendship.  He sold me my favorite 1911 ‘Bobbie’, aka The Bob Hall Signature Model, in 1983.  She still works and I still own (and sometimes carry) her.  We have been shooting together, on-and-off, ever since.

He married, fathered two terrific girls, and moved on to run his own P.I. agency.  In the 90’s, he also became the general manager of Legendary Guns of The West, a store where I hung out, purchased many firearms, and even worked part time.

Bob was one of my closest friends.  He taught me, as he taught his girls, not to take life too seriously.  Oft times, my phone would ring, and there would be Bob on the line, not ID-ing himself, but quoting the Firesign Theatre or Monty Python out-of-context!  “Shine-sheen.  A little Egyptian! Chanting a stream of ancient Egyptian holograms – hieroglyphs, that’s it!” or “We dreamed of living in a hallway – we lived in a cardboard box!”  Then he would get to the heart of the call – “let’s go shooting, or I’ve got a gun here I know you’d like…”

Bob’s health had been failing in the past couple of years (as recounted in these pages).  First diabetes took the lower half of his left leg, then esophageal gastric erosion devolved into cancer, which after chemo and radiation treatments were performed, won.

I remember him for his unwavering support of two family members and one friend through their battles with addiction, his gifting his father with an M2 – just like the one he carried in The War, and his pride in his daughters.  Both college graduates, one now on the cusp of getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern!  Her focus is on veterans with PTSD!  Both are responsible firearms owners.

I know it’s a truism that the older we get, the more ‘this’ appears to happen.  Life isn’t fair!  Dammit, Bob, I still have the two books from Brigid I promised you!  (He refused visitors, not wanting them to see him in his emaciated state.)

Goodbye, and Godspeed, my brother.

I Love You!

little Bobby (courtesy of Robyn Hall Galbraith)

Little Bobby (courtesy of Robyn Hall Galbraith)

Nope, Nothing Here!

(My doctor, after examining my head(!)

correction – My EYE doctor, after my eye exam!  🙂 )

Part of my annual medical exam involves a visit to the ophthalmologist.  You know, the guy who dilates your pupils to see what he can see.

Being a diabetic, there is always a concern.  Diabetes, as it limits proper blood flow, can cause neuropathy (which I have) and even diminished flow to the eyes, which can cause blindness!  Even with my ‘good’ blood work numbers.

I don’t like having my pupils dilated, and even more so do not like paying for the privilege.  My eye doc does take Medicare (which I am on, due to my being disabled).  Of course, every year there is the deductible.

And, it is the beginning of a new year.

Sigh.

So, I’d been putting it off until I could cobble some funds together.

My regular physician – knowing my predilections in this matter – sent a referral to the eye doc, who set up an appointment, and they called me with the date and time.

So there’s no avoidance…

Good news!  They take payments!  There is no sign of diabetic damage in either eye!  AND my prescription hasn’t changed.

Until next year…

Doctor Visit And Internet Aftermath

A couple of weeks ago, I made one of my semi-annual doctor visits.  Having many maladies including diabetes and neuropathy make this a requirement.  To see ‘where I am’ with regard to my overall health and make certain my medications are up to date.

My numbers were ‘okay’ (same weight as 6 mo. ago (maintaining my lowest weight in years!), low bp from meds, good A1c, good fasting blood sugar, low PSA), but my doc did ‘recommend’ taking fish oil supplements, as my bad cholesterol number was up.

I had taken some before, but stopped because they made me belch what tasted like aquarium water!

But, I found a non-belching version on Amazon, and am now taking it!  Thus far, success!

So, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

And, I was doing my bit, looking at stuff online (always dangerous).

And found THIS:

Español

Standard Measurements View Metric Measurements
Your Height:
(feet) (inches)
Your Weight:  
(pounds)
Your BMI:
BMI Categories:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greaterThe BMI TablesAim for a Healthy Weight:
Limitations of the BMI
Assessing Your Risk
Controlling Your Weight
Recipes

And according to this, I remain OBESE!  (Just barely)

Sigh.

SO…What Did The New Year Bring?

Let me preface this post with I don’t rarely get sick.

Seriously.

I had a minor bout of flu last Summer, for about three days.  I’ve not had a cold in YEARS!

I’d like to say it’s because of my healthy lifestyle, but, that would be a falsehood.  Because of my various ongoing ‘issues’, I get little exercise, and I eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).  Pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, spaghetti (now called pasta), some beer, Mexican food.  If I eat veggies, it’s usually a salad, with Italian dressing, croutons and Parmesan cheese.

When I DO become ill, I usually don’t do it half way.  Diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer.  And the whole fallout from that near-fatal auto accident some years back.

So, no one was more surprised than I when around Christmas, I began to wheeze upon exhaling.  Just a tiny bit, at the very end.  At first, I thought it was some fool revving his bike at 0600, while I was blogging(!) 🙂

The Winter air quality in the Valley sucks – inversion, ya know!

Then, New Years Eve, I became congested, phlegmy.  No sore throat pain, just throat-clearing nonsense.  I thought it was a true cold, but, it just appears to be allergies, and reaction to the cold weather (28° F, in Phoenix this morning, cold and rainy New Years Eve Day!)

And this morning started with a minor sore throat and cough!

Guess it’s to the drug store pharmacy for Guffaw!

weezy

Another Day at the Salt (Sugar) Mines

obesity_criggo

This was a Today’s Funny I posted the other day.  It reminded me of when I worked at TMCCC.

The company supported many charities.  Seemingly more each year, both nationally and locally.  And they were constantly hitting us up for more money for something.  To make the company look good.

I do remember numerous times being hit up for money for The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, a good charity to be sure!  They usually did this by having helium balloons attached by a ribbon to a bag of peanuts or yes, a candy bar, with a note, to be given as a present or Valentine to a coworker, for a contribution.  On more than one occasion, I pointed out to management (being the smart ass I was am) that selling candy bars to promote diabetes research was akin to (that Vietnam War peacenik phrase) f***ing for chastity!

Of course, I was nicer about it, then.

I was more supportive after I was diagnosed as a diabetic.  Who knew?

Eye, Eye, Ma’am!

eyeSo, the other day I went in for an eye examination.  I’m supposed to go in annually, as I’m diabetic.  For the unfamiliar, the disease affects circulation, which in turn may affect the optic nerve and/or retina, causing blindness (!)

Of course, I didn’t go in last year, as I was in the process of moving, so my mind and money were elsewhere.  And my regular physician has been bugging me to get it done.  So, I went.

I was a little frightened, as my eyes aren’t getting any younger.  And, it had been two years.

All for naught.  The exam was quick and efficient.  My eyes were very nearsighted in my youth, and as I get older and have presbyopia (the thing where older folks get more farsighted) my vision is actually improving!

The one caveat is I’m developing what my eye doc called ‘baby cataracts’.  No, these are not tiny Japanese luxury cars.  She said that I might need corrective surgery in about 10 years.

So, I’ve a new prescription for improved eyeglasses (which I cannot afford).  And my internal eye exam showed no problems from the diabetes!  The eye doc even took my regular doc’s info and faxed her the exam results.  When I go in later this month, there will be one less hassle from my doctor.  Huzzah!

Small win.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…