geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Category: cycling


getting back to nature… sorta


Hey!  I’m back.  We’ve had lots of appointments and “to dos” lately and I haven’t been able to post anything.  Not sure I’ll be able to put together anything comprehensible today, but we’ll see what I can come up with.  grin

Today is daughter-in-law Melissa’s birthday.  I hope my card got to Ohio in time!  I also had an appointment with my endo this week which went really well.  Despite my struggle with highs, my A1c was the same as last time.  I guess that’s not too shabby to stay at 7.3 for six months?  I would love for it to be lower at the next check up though, and hopefully, the tweaks to my insulin pump settings will do that for me.

So far, I have really been seeing the effects because I’ve had several lows in the past couple days.  Nothing serious, thank God, or crisis-causing, but after dealing with highs, the lows can be a little more scary than before.

The thing is, for the non-D out there, lows can come out of nowhere for no reason with no warning.  Especially if you are like me with hypo-unawareness, lows seem to just appear!  I had no symptoms of being 60 or 50, so when it gets to 40 and 30, I’m a little surprised (and panicked!)  That’s why I’m so thankful to have the Dexcom now.  At least that kind of thing doesn’t happen nearly as often as it would otherwise.

The only way it happens even with the Dex is that I can miss a calibration and the readings be off, like 20 points.  That’s not much if you’re in the 120-150 range, but when you’re in the dirt below 60?  20 points is the difference between conscious and not.  (remember my experience in November?!  yikes!)

So yeah, I’m trying to be much more diligent about at least timing the calibrations so that there’s not one due in the middle of the night.  That’s what happened before.

Anyway, so Tommy and I did the gall bladder/liver flush a couple weeks ago.  (see this post for deets)  My personal opinion is that it’s not horrific.  It’s not pleasant by any means, but it wasn’t a nightmarish couple of days.  And there was plenty of evidence that we both had some seriously gunked up innards!  Sheesh!  Since Tommy had been religiously drinking the apple juice as prescribed to soften stones, there was not a whole lot of “solid” evidence for him.  I only drank maybe 3 cups of apple juice total in the five days prior (when you’re supposed to drink four cups a day!!) so there were tons of pea-green “stones” anywhere from the size of a dried pea to a stinkin’ lima bean!  We also both reacted differently.  I was up about 2 hours after drinking the last of the potions for the first day (the olive oil and lemon juice) going to the bathroom.  He was able to sleep all night without getting up.  He started out with thin results whereas I started with thicker but definitely not-normal stuff.

I KNOW!!  I KNOW!!!  How gross that I’m telling you guys about our poop!!!  But c’mon now.  I’m getting close to the age where that’s normal conversational material, right?  Ha ha!!  Besides, we’re attempting to regain some health and hopefully help Tommy (and ultimately me too!) avoid gall bladder surgery!  So cut me some slack and go do the flush yourself!  I betcha you’ll be talking about what you discover too!  Ha ha ha!!  Seriously, I tried to be as tactful as possible here…just be glad I didn’t post you some pix as well!!  gasp

Changing the subject but not the topic, we’re still drinking “golden milk” every night.  (you can find the recipe here and one list of benefits here)

the most recent health craze: Golden Milk

FYI:  neither of the recipes on the links above are exactly the recipe I use.  I’ll try to do a post about that soon so you guys know exactly what I’m using here.

As for what it’s done for us?  Well, if  you recall, I told you after having the scope done on Tommy’s stomach, the gastroenterologist told us he has GOT to stop taking NSAIDs once and for all.  She took him off of them about 4 years ago but his GP put him back on something else we were told wouldn’t bother his stomach.  We’d never heard of the drug before and I guess were so busy and concerned by how much the pain was limiting Tommy (the man could barely walk) we didn’t question it.  Turns out?  It’s a form of NSAID.  Nice.  So his stomach is once again raw, irritated and close to developing ulcers and bleeding.

While Tommy was still mostly under the sedation, he mumbled and almost cried about this because he knew the doctor had already said in the procedure room that the NSAIDs had to go.  He was saying things like, “how am I going to walk?” and “how am I going to work?”  sigh  I felt so awful for him.  He was worrying so much about this stuff.

When the report came back that he needed to have a HIDA scan (which is routinely when gall stones are suspected) he began looking up all sorts of info about the gall bladder and came to the conclusion that it was important and not nearly as disposable as most doctors like to say  it is.  We decided that God didn’t put any spare parts in there, so we’d start researching ways to heal the gall bladder naturally with diet and nutrition.  (note that I’ve been trying to get the man to change his diet for several years now, especially this last year when he quit cycling and began to put on a lot of weight… rolling my eyes here)

Anyway, that’s when we ran onto the stuff about tumeric being good for the liver and gall bladder.  I’d been wanting to try golden milk already just in the hopes that it would help me sleep better.  We bought the few ingredients that we lacked the next day and made a batch.  We were pleasantly surprised with the taste and committed to drinking a cup of that each night.  We also started him drinking two cups of tart cherry juice each day.  Tart cherry juice is known as a great anti-inflammatory agent as well as tumeric.  So we hoped using both of these along with a lot of dietary changes (because of his allergy testing) would keep him from seizing up and having awful pain.

Orangey-yellowy tumeric root…

So far?  This is two weeks post-flush and about a month after the scope and he’s been using nothing but the cherry and tumeric (sometimes taking capsules of each of those along with the drinks when he hurt more than usual) and he’s doing really, REALLY well.  Seriously, before he would have been almost bedridden in about three days without those NSAIDs.  If we could start riding again, I’m sure it would help even more, but with his dad wanting to restore this old pickup (and Tommy loves doing it to, but it would be nicer if he could work on it in his own time instead of his dad’s schedule, which kills any time to ride bikes sad face) it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing that with any regularity.  He might surprise me and start getting on the trainer.  As for me, I’m riding outside!

The weather around here has been hinting spring for a couple weeks now and I am itching to get my bike out.  I’m going to be so bummed to see how far back I’ve gone since I haven’t ridden in over a year now, but maybe I can build back up quickly…ish.  ??

At this point, it doesn’t matter.  Frankly, I’m thrilled to be feeling good enough to even think about riding.  And that’s, I believe, another benefit of drinking golden milk each night.  I think it’s helping me feel better.

Hmmm…well, I wasn’t planning on this being all about golden milk and our experience with it so far, but in case  you’re all curious about the latest “fad”/trend or whatever you like to call it, and decide to try it before I ever get (finally) a post up about how I make it, let me share a few tips and a bit of info with you….

First of all, the body doesn’t readily absorb tumeric on its own.  That’s why there is (or should be) always fresh ground pepper corns in the recipe.  (if there’s not or it says you can omit it, don’t use that recipe or site!)  FRESH ground black pepper corns, yep, the same kind people have used for eons to flavor their food, is one catalyst for

DON’T SKIP THE PEPPER!!

helping the tumeric absorb.  Don’t skip it.  I am not a big fan of black pepper, fresh or otherwise, so I was a little hesitant, but when you blend it with everything else, you can’t even see the pepper, let alone taste it.  It just calls for a pinch so the other flavors easily overcome the pepper.   You can also just put in 2-5 peppercorns when you heat it then strain those out.  I’m too lazy for that.  Whichever way you do it, make sure it’s fresh.  It’s important for proper absorption.

Second, I don’t make the recipe that calls for making the tumeric into a paste.  No particular reason and I believe there’s no way it could make a nutritional difference.  It’s just easier to me to put in the powder.  I HAVE finally procured some fresh tumeric root (by driving 80-some miles to Whole Foods) so soon as I’ve used up the ground that I have on hand, I’ll try the fresh.  We already use fresh ginger root   and love it!

we try to use fresh ginger all the time!

Third, I DO NOT USE COW MILK!  I had to give up dairy years ago because it turns my head into a nightmarish snot factory before it even hits my tonsils!  UGH!  So, we use almond milk.  If you can find organic soy, that’s okay, but to me, it comes out way too frothy.  Now, I love me some froth, but there’s just so daggone much with the soy milk, you have to about scoop it off to get to the liquid!  Too much work for me!  I’ve also used coconut and it is great for this!  I would continue using it, but Tommy’s allergic, so… I only use it if he’s not here and I’m making for myself.  sigh

Fourth, I heat the milk in my Vitamix.  I am slap in love with that thing!  I’ve had it close to a year now, but have DEEPLY DESIRED one for decades!  I finally found a deal offering major discounts on returned units, so I jumped on it!  I use it at least once a day, but usually more than that.  I make Tommy a frozen fruit smoothie in the mornings and then I make our golden milk in there in the evening.  Lately, I’m also blending coconut oil into my coffee, too, so that’s at least three times most days!

check out that froth! just the right amount is heavenly!

Fifth, get organic ingredients whenever possible.  I know that’s a big buzz word in health news these days, but I think it’s important to ingest as few chemicals as we can.  Lord knows we are bombarded with enough harmful things out there that we can do nothing about.  I try to do whatever I can when I can.

Okay… there you go.  Oh wait… here’s a page I found talking about the benefits of tumeric.  It appears to be written by someone for whom English is a second language, but it’s very readable anyway.  It just points out the importance of the pepper!  Don’t leave it out!  😉  Use the whole-kernel/strain method if you have to!

Let me know if you try this…what you think of the taste and what it does for you!  YAY!


how does your garden grow?


Hosea 6:11

Hey guys. It’s been busy around the Gray residence the past several days. Our garden is beginning to take off, so that means we’ve been out there in the dirt!

Here’s what we started with April 20th … we sowed the whole thing, which you can’t tell here.  garden planted: April 20, 2016We have several varieties of tomato and pepper plants, some broccoli and cabbage, beans and potatoes, squash, zucchini and cucumbers and a bit of lettuce and a rhubarb plant.  Now, it was NOT my intention to plant so much stuff.  As I said in another post, Mom got the gardening bug this year for the first time in a long time.  She loves those green beans.  I do too, but I hate picking them, so ever since Tommy and I started gardening on our own (without any input or advisory help from the family) we have put those “fences” up for the beans to grow on.  It makes picking LOTS easier and keeps the beans cleaner, which in turn, keeps them healthier.  Mom has always been uber picky about them though, telling us that we were picking them too soon.  (she likes them FULL with huge beans…which most times leaves the green part too tough to even eat!)  I’ll just tell you, we are gonna butt heads before this is over.  Haha!

My intention was to not even put out beans.  Last time we did, they were awful.  Not even tender to begin with and way beyond too tough by the time they were mature enough to pick.  We ended up just pulling them, vines and all, off the fence and giving them to the chickens.  Putting up that fencing is WAY too much trouble for that.  I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with it this year.

We haven’t planted for the past couple years because it was just such a small harvest for so much effort and then last year, with cycling so much, there’s no time to tend a big garden.

Anyway, so besides what amounts to four rows of beans (once we plant on each side of the two fences), Mom wanted four more rows.  So there they are, already showing the signs of being planted without something to run up, browning leaves and dirt all over them.  For some reason, it seems they just don’t do as well, at least for us, unless we plant them on the fences.  (and like I said, even then if the weather’s not just right, they won’t be good either!)

If you hadn’t figured it out by now, I’m not really a gardener.  Ha.  I can get stuff to grow and I don’t mind planting, but I detest the maintenance.  The weeding, hoeing, the bug-watching, the dusting and fertilizing.  I hate that stuff.  Tommy would wallow in the dirt out there all day if he had time and you let him.  Whenever we are pulling weeds, I’m fussing about all the dirt getting on me and he’s down on his knees patting and pushing the dirt around the plants.  Tommy, crawling around in the garden...

He LOVES it.   It’s so funny…I don’t know how he has missed it all these years, but a couple weeks ago we were out there weeding and he says, “I love doing this, don’t you?”  I just looked at him, mouth agape and hair sticking to my face in the sweat and dirt on it.  “Um, nope.  It is just about the least favorite thing to do ever.”  He was flabbergasted!  Yeah, my poor hubby is not the most intuitive fella.

So yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with gardening.  I LOVE knowing what’s gone into my veggies, that no poison has been sprayed on them (that’s if I can keep my mom from putting Sevin all over them!) or tilled into the ground, but the whole process, beyond planting, I just hate!  I hate harvesting too.  Not as bad as weeding and hoeing, but almost.  It’s just so much work and it’s all so rush-rush.  With the way I’ve been so stinking low on energy lately, even more than usual, I just don’t know how much I’ll be able to handle this fall.  But I’m not going to fret over that now.  Maybe between now and then, I’ll have figured out what’s going on with me and feel a lot better.  Lord, let it be so!

As for the “love” side of gardening, I wouldn’t have put out lettuce at all since we had such a poor experience with it last time.  But Mom had bought some lettuce plants (I had sowed seed last time) and they are doing great!  No bugs or anything, so I’ve been out there gathering some and making some amazing wilted lettuce with sauteed onions and peppers.  YUMMO!!  I will be glad when the squash and zucchini come in too because we love them as well and use them in just about every dish when we have them in the garden.

Hosea 6:11

I’m gonna try to focus on this scripture from Hosea and maybe see if my attitude changes.  I really think that I just dislike the garden because I’m not wired to love it, ya know?

My great aunt Lida was a gardening phenom.  She LOVED working the soil and tending her plants.  When Tommy and I first got married, we lived behind Aunt Lida in a little trailer for almost 5 years.  Between the front of our trailer and the back of her house was her massive garden plot.  She would be out there early in the morning before it got too hot and then sometimes again in late afternoon.  She could work circles around any of the rest of us.  And she knew EVERYTHING about growing things.  I really miss her whenever we’re doing things like that.

Okay, I’m gonna shut it down now.  Hopefully, in a few weeks, I can post some pictures of some amazing tomatoes and stuff for you.  We shall see!

Blessings!

 


water: liquid gold for the body


woman drinking water

I guess that’s what was wrong with me yesterday.  Maybe?  I dunno, but I felt like some cow poo yesterday and pretty much just laid in the bed all day.

How sad IS that, y’all???

Actually, there were some extenuating circumstances.  We went riding again Sunday afternoon.  It was perfect weather and so we took the opportunity to ride!  We had stopped to get some lunch on the way home from church, so we just had to change, check the tires and get our water bottles ready.

I ended up going low by the time we’d gone four miles…all of which were downhill.  It wasn’t terribly low: in the sixties, so very manageable.  I suspended my pump and “shot a Gu” (the way Tommy phrases using an energy gel (called GU (goo)) always makes me laugh) drank a little water and started off again.  Gu energy gelsBy the time we were halfway through what ended up being the entire ride (a little over 13 miles) I was feeling terrible!  Just like I couldn’t get any energy even though my sugar had climbed to almost eighty, which is fine for easy riding and I had also taken another Gu by that time with my pump remaining suspended.  I just felt plain ol’ crappy!  Every time I exerted any extra energy at all, for instance, a tiny bit harder pedaling to go up a slight incline, I felt like I was just gonna pass out.  If I did much more than that, I’d actually see stars.

Despite feeling nasty, I actually did better this time.  I made it all the way back home, even pedaling up our continuous incline to the house.  I think that section has been named “Stairway To Heaven” on Strava.  It didn’t dawn on me until I dragged myself out of the bathtub that I was dehydrated!

woman drinking bottle of water Remember, I got dehydrated so bad a few weeks ago that my endo recommended going to the hospital for fluids.  I was already sick that time so I wasn’t sure how much of the yucky feeling was from dehydration, but I now know that was MOST of the reason!  I have never dealt with dehydratioin before in my life!  I had no clue it could make you feel like you’re going to die.  When I stood up out of the tub water, I felt a little woozy.  Not unusual, was my thought, since the water had been as hot as I could stand.  But by the time I had dabbed most of the water off (instead of thoroughly drying like normal) and stumbled from the bathroom to the bed, it hit me about the dehydration.

Infographic on Dehydration

YIKES!  According to this, both times I have felt this way, I was already in “significant” or moderate dehydration!  If I look at the symptoms under “severe”, I realize what a bad state I was in because I also had the respiratory symptoms of rapid pulse and depressed respiration.  Y’all, I had NO CLUE dehydration was so serious!  And what the heck?!   Looking at the “mild” symptoms, I now know why I have been freezing even when the thermostat says it should be very comfortable in the here.

Did you guys KNOW this stuff?!?!?  Wow.  I saw one graphic that said when you feel thirsty, you are ALREADY dehydrated.  I don’t often feel thirsty and I sure didn’t during the bike ride.  It seems my turncoat body just won’t give proper signals in any situation, not just when I’m hypoglycemic!!  pththt

Check out this last one about what a small percentage of dehydration can do to your body:

percentage of dehydration and effects on physical performanceNo wonder it was wiping me out completely to exert the least bit of energy!  I have GOT to learn to recognize the symptoms before I get to the point that I can barely walk.  Honestly, it’s a miracle I even made it up the hills to our house.

I wonder if diabetes makes dehydration worse too?  Do any of you know?  I mean, I wonder if it effects us “harder” or maybe faster for some reason?  More than likely, I have got to feeling SO bad because I was completely unaware of the symptoms.  But you know how it is if you have t1d too, most everything seems to affect us in a more extreme way.  I just wondered if it was true of dehydration as well?

Anyway, that’s sorta why I didn’t post on Monday like normal.  I was wiped all day yesterday too.  I slept most of the day, which makes me feel like a crappy human, but whatcha gonna do?  I’m thankful to feel better today, but I gotta start making an effort to just drink more water.  I feel like I drink a lot of water already, but apparently it’s not enough.  I’m hopeful that if I can combat the dehydration, maybe, just maybe, I’ll start to feel better all the way around!!

I can handle that!

Chime in and let me know your experiences with dehydration!!

Blessings,

G~


finally a bike ride!


Redbud Ride London KY 2016

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, you might have picked up on the fact that I have REALLY missed getting to ride my bike!  We had these huge plans to really stick with training all winter.  I mean it!  We went so far as to clear out our small “living room” which held some Queen Anne furniture my mom had given us, selling the small sofa and two chairs, keeping only the wardrobe and four tables (I plan to re-do the tables to match in our family room…SOMEday!) so we’d have room for the bikes and fans and trainers.

In case you don’t know, a trainer is a contraption you can affix the bike to in order to “ride” in place indoors. cycle trainer Click the photo above for more examples on a Google search page so you can understand a little better.

So yep, we got rid of all that stuff so we could become killers on our bikes over the winter.  And we got on the things all of ONE whopping time!!  GAH!!  I think Tommy actually got on a second time, but lemme tell you, as much as I love riding outside, I detest riding inside just as much.  Ugh!  It’s just not fun, as any cyclist will tell you.

In our defense, we did get really sick.  Tommy had some bronchial thing that started his asthma, which had been pretty dormant since just after high school!  He was taking nebulizer treatments four and five times a day there for awhile!  Poor guy.  There was no way he could have ridden in that condition.  And of course, if you know me, you know I wasn’t about to do it without him keeping me going.  (I know, I KNOW!  I really need to work on being a li’l more independent, but there ya have it.  I suck at self-motivation!)

After the season had really started, at least for the dedicated cyclists around here, I had the itch to get out and ride, but I am a chicken.  I don’t like to go riding by myself.  I let fear overtake me and start worrying about my sugar going low or having a flat on the back which I couldn’t change myself if my life depended on it.  I worry about wrecking my pitiful self in the remote areas where we ride and being stranded all alone.  Ha ha… see?  I can really do a number on myself.  Although, in all seriousness, I don’t like to ride alone because I don’t recognize when my sugar goes low anymore.  After the time I sped off a hill going about 35 mph only to stop at the bottom when I got this teensy flash of fatigue and thought, “I wonder if I’m low,” only to find that I was very low, in fact, hovering around 40.  sigh   I just don’t trust my body to let me know that I’m dropping before I do something crazy like that, ya know?  I had no idea I was anywhere near that low and could have SO easily had a major crash.  I like to avoid those any time I can.  😉

But Sunday afternoon, after seeing all the bikes go by the house the day before, we couldn’t take it anymore.  We decided to head out after church.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it all the way back home.  Talk about being MAD at yourself!?!  I was!!  The worst thing is it wasn’t my legs or even my saddle that gave me problems.  It was my stinkin’ neck and shoulders that got so tight and hurt so bad, it felt like the muscles were going to tear through my skin.  ARGH!

me, crapping out at mile ten  :(  Hey, the sign said stop, so I did.  Okay?

I made it ten of the twelve miles and crapped out just before the hills leading back to our house.  How disgusting!  Once those muscles start aching though, I can’t get them to calm down no matter how often or how long I stop to “rest” them.  I’m not sure how to overcome that, but I have GOT to figure out a way!  *sadness!*

Geannie's 2016 inaugural ride gets a thumbs down

                                   Sad. Just SAD!

The start of the cycling season in Kentucky has been well under way ever since it got halfway nice enough to pile on that insulated spandex and pedal, but the official start is our town’s Redbud Ride.

redbud ride kentucky

The Redbud is our town’s annual bike ride which took place this past weekend.  The Redbud Ride has become one of the premier rides of Kentucky’s Century Challenge and it happens right here in London.  Actually, the main route goes right past our house!  Before we got into cycling, we would watch all those “crazy bike riders” go past in the spring for the Redbud and then again in the fall for The Thriller Ride and think, “I can’t believe those people would get out in this weather/this early/in that getup/etc and pedal all day!”  You know what they say… Never say never.  Ha ha!

 I actually know and have ridden with some of these fine folks.  Seriously, if you have ever considered cycling as a hobby or way to get healthy, cyclists are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  And the most diverse “sports” group you’ll ever encounter too!road cycling kentucky

There are several routes to take.  There’s one for beginners that’s 24 miles, another route that’s 36 miles, a moderate route of 58 miles, an intermediate route of 70 miles and then the “century+” of 102 miles.  That one is the first of the four century rides that must be completed during the season to earn the coveted Kentucky Century Challenge jersey.

kentucky century challenge 2016

My beast-of-a-husband earned his jersey last year!  I was so proud of him!  I seriously can’t imagine riding a hundred miles in one day.  Heaven help!!  I barely did a half-century (54 miles, to be exact) and I cried the last four miles in.  I was SO tired and hurting!  I think I’d stop and curl up in a ditch on the side of the road to cry if I attempted to do 100 miles!!  Ha!

I am SO glad we finally got out to ride.  It WAS a lot of fun til I started hurting so bad.  And now I’m struggling to not let my mind work me over, ya know?  Trying not to tell myself not to try again.  Honestly, if I could do a couple 18-25 mile rides a week, I’d be thrilled.  I think that might even get me back on track with losing weight.  I lost a little over 30 pounds once I really started riding last year and I’ve kept it off, thank God although I’m not sure how!  I would love to repeat that this year, but I sure am getting a pitiful and late start.  *bleh*

And we have the garden this year too.  We skipped putting one out completely last year because we were spending so much time riding, it just didn’t leave time to tend a garden.  We probably wouldn’t have done more than peppers and tomatoes this year except that Mom wanted a full garden, so maybe she will understand if we ride instead of work the garden sometimes.  She’s always been very supportive of me riding.  I’ll have to explain some time how my parents view hobbies and such…let’s just say it’s not very favorably.  Heh.  I think deep down, she usually feels proud of my riding but she really doesn’t understand it.  Once she made a comment when I told her I’d done my first 40+ mile ride (without planning to!) last year “Why didn’t you just make it 50?” as if it was just a matter of trying harder or something.  Bahaha!  She has no clue about factoring in weather, road conditions or daylight, not to mention physical capability.  *pshh*  Funny, Mom.

So there we have it.  At last.  Our first ride of the year in the books.  I really DO hate that my attempt was so pitiful, but I plan to try it again.  I’m not sure how I’ll overcome this neck issue because those muscles stay in constant pain, so when I push them at all, they get really angry.  Maybe I can pre-dose with some ibuprofen and some muscle spray or something.

We shall see!

I Corinthians 9:26-27

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Blessings to you!!

G~


depression and type 1 diabetes


depression symptoms
Just a quick post to keep this in the forefront for my blog… it’s a sunny Saturday in my part of the world and yet I’m having to force myself outside.  This is the first gorgeous weekend day we have had all year.  So why am I so resistant to go out and enjoy it?
Depression.
Do I feel all sad and blue?  Not really.  Am I weepy and melancholy?  Nah.  I’m just plain BLAH today.
I recognize this and I realize it’s just one of the many symptoms of my depression.  I know I need to get out, and I actually HAVE to get out (need to pick up scripts at the pharmacy!) so I’m dressed, put my makeup on and fixed my hair.  I’ve made progress already!
And soon I’ll head out to do a few errands.  What I would love to do when I get home is go ride my bike, but I’m having a little problem with that right now.
Don’t laugh… I don’t want to get it out because neither Tommy nor I have ridden the bikes (on trainers in the house) all winter!!  If you want to do rides of 20 or more miles, at least in my case, you don’t need to “let yourself go to pot” and that’s exactly what I feel like we’ve done!
We were both either really busy or sick this winter, and we really didn’t need much en/discouragement to ditch the trainers.  So I’m ambivalent about the bike even though I LOVE riding and have wanted to get on the thing for months now.
Here’s the thing… I’m afraid that if I get on and find out how bad out of shape I am, I’ll get REALLY discouraged and feel even worse about it.  But ya see, I might just surprise myself.  And then again, I might not.
STOP LAUGHING!  You see how I get when I’m a little more depressed than usual?
Ah so… we shall see which part of me wins later.  The Naysayer or the Optimist.
Now that I’ve “said it out loud”, maybe I’ll be even more motivated to just do it!!
I promise to report back in.
Have a gorgeous day, my friends!
Blessings,
G~
..:EDIT/UPDATE!!:..
Okay, so I got my errands done without getting wiped out.  Thank God for that!  And I DIDN’T make the bike ride, however, I didn’t just flop either.  😉  My intention was to mow our terribly neglected yard, but when I got changed and went out to ask Tommy what the mower needed (oil check, etc?) we discovered that it was out of gas and both gas cans were empty.  Of course… so I headed back to town to fill the cans, came back and let Tommy fill the mower only to then find that SOMEone (who wasn’t me) had left the key on so the battery had run completely down.
Well, ya might as well laugh, right?  As I’ve said, I don’t really enjoy mowing the yard like I used to since I got my foot cut back in 2012 but I was going to do it because it needed doing and Tommy wouldn’t have time.  I’m not really that picky about much, but a yard that needs mowing just bugs the soup out of me!
So I mumbled something about it being a sign that I shouldn’t mow as I came in the house and piddled around til the thing had charged.  At last I finally got to mow only to almost have a panic attack (and I have never had a full blown one of those) when I got out on the steep-ish incline in front of the house.  I normally have some issues with that area, but after the accident, it was worse, but never this bad.  I just told Tommy I couldn’t mow that part.  He was cool about it, which is why I married him.  *pththt*
Now I’m back in the house cooking a bit so we can have a cookout tomorrow, hopefully with some of the kids if they’re not all busy right after church.
All in all, it’s been a good day.  Maybe we’ll both get our courage up and drag those bikes out tomorrow….

 


recouping, but slowly…


I am used to being sick. I mean, I do have type 1 diabetes. That is a moment-to-moment adventure of a roller coaster ride way to live. But I do it. I am not bitter about having to do it. God gave this to me for some reason that is meant to glorify Him, so it’s all good. Hear me when I say that I do not believe I am cursed by having this disease.

This isn’t about diabetes, though. I have been dealing with a massive, monstrous sinus infection and asthma flare for over a month now. I’M TIRED of it!! Argh!

After FINALLY getting the doctor to give me a Rocephin shot and a different oral antibiotic, I at last started to get over the horrendous throat and ear pain I’d dealt with for over a week, but it took much longer to get over this mess…and I’m still trying to do that. I have the (apparently) obligatory lingering hacking cough hanging on.

For clarity, I was put on blood pressure medicine at least 10 years ago. Not because I had high blood pressure. Not by “normal people” standards. You see, if you are a diabetic the standard limits and tables for determining an acceptable blood pressure (or cholesterol or ANYthing else) do not apply. No, what would be an acceptable bp level for you will be considered much too high for me. In order to protect my kidneys, when my bp was within “acceptable” levels for you, I was put on the meds. T1D’s are much more susceptible to kidney disease and failure, so protecting them while they’re still healthy is a big deal. However, the bp medicine they put me on, an ACE inhibitor, a very mainstream one, over about a 7-year period caused an awful hacking cough to develop. Ever since then, I’ve had problems with my lungs. *sigh*

I was taken off that medicine and put on a different type of bp med… this happened over and over. A couple of times, because I get tired of trying to keep up with all the different medicines I’ve been on AND because the names of the drugs are changed, after going to a new doctor, I have been put back on an ACE inhibitor…and shortly thereafter, the coughing would resume.

Realize this isn’t your garden-variety coughing I’m talking about. This is hacking til you can’t breathe then you choke and throw up type of coughing. I was sent to an allergist at one point who did a lot of tests and told me (of course) that I was allergic to a ton of things and diagnosed me with asthma.

I’ve said for years that I have asthma, but I don’t really wheeze. I cough my brains &/or lungs out unless I get completely out of breath, THEN the sort-of wheezing starts, but it’s more of a squeal when I try to inhale. Yeah, I do EVERYthing differently. Ha ha…

And so, that’s where I am right now. I have FINALLY gotten well enough to attempt riding my bike again. I have been trying to build up for the past week and a half. I could only do a few miles the first time before I just gave out. The next time, I got in about 9 miles. Then 12, then 14… I had a really bad (stubborn) low blood sugar once and had to wait for Hubby to ride back and come get me in the truck (more on that in another post…it was a really weird experience)

So this past Friday, Hubby and I went out on our own and I was able to get 17 miles in without dying. (ha!) Then on Sunday afternoon, between attending/working as altar counselors both services at church, eating lunch and going back at 6 pm for a meeting, I was able to do 20 miles. Granted, I almost hawked up a lung doing it, but I did it.

It was nice to even FEEL like working hard to get those miles in. Praise God! But now I’m getting concerned about my stinking lungs. I’m now on amlodipine, a ccb drug (calcium channel blocker) that helps widen blood vessels to lower blood pressure. It’s one of the few blood pressure meds that don’t have coughing as a side effect, and if I take it at night, it doesn’t seem to bother me at all, thank God, because now that I’ve had to take these things for so long, I can’t seem to go off them without my blood pressure going up to what is considered high for even “normal” people. Great. 🙁

I realized last week that I’d not been taking a medicine for both allergies and asthma. I know, I KNOW!! Shame on me. But it’s hard to keep up with them all. I’d run out just before Hubby and I left for his last century ride in Elizabethtown and in the chaos of packing (we took puppy with) and making sure we knew where we were going, packing all his cycling paraphernalia, gassing the truck, making a hotel reservation, etc.. I just forgot about it by the time we got back. That and my blood pressure medicine are the only ones I take at night and *blush* I don’t take my bp med consistently (don’t judge…I DO keep an eye on my bp, I just don’t take it every night… more like about 3-4 times a week or so) and so, after realizing the cough was just not getting better, it dawned on me that I wasn’t taking the montelukast (Singulair), I went right out and picked it up. But it’s not like a “rescue” inhaler or whatever, it doesn’t work immediately. Hopefully I’ve learned another lesson about sticking with one of my meds (like the Wellbutrin!) and will stay on top of it better now that I’ve proven how much it helps.

Speaking of Wellbutrin, did I report that I am now getting the brand name (not the generic bupropion) FOR FREE??!!! I had to go back and see the ARNP at the place I’d first gone to for talk therapy so I could continue getting the prescription (hassle since I had to drive almost 50 miles to get there, but…) When I walked into the room the first thing she said was she’d just learned about a program for people with commercial insurance policies that would help pay for the brand name! I had told her how way back years ago when I’d first been put on Wellbutrin (before it became a generic) it worked very well for me, then once the generic came out (and of course, I had to use it because of insurance/cost!) I didn’t feel like it worked as well for me. I had been taking the generic ever since she put me back on it a few months ago at a higher dose, but in generic. Every time I picked up the prescription (which still cost me $30 each time!) it would be a different brand. Nice, when it seems that how effective it was had to do with the “other” ingredients used. We had looked into getting the brand, but it was going to cost me over $200 each month and with another 5-7 prescriptions to buy just for me each month, plus insulin pump supplies?? No way. We just couldn’t do that, so I had to stick with generic.

She gave me a number to call and sent in my info. Later that same day the company called me to verify all the info and in about 3 days, I had a bottle of brand name Wellbutrin XL with no out of pocket cost!! Talk about a blessing!! I haven’t noticed a huge difference, but it will be SO nice not to worry that this different brand generic each month is going to cause a problem. (it has in the past) After realizing how much Wellbutrin helps me, even when I don’t feel like it is/was, I won’t try to go off it again. And now, same goes for the Singulair/montelukast. If it keeps me from having this awful coughing stuff, I’ll make sure to stay on it.

And yeah, I’ll just pray God will spare me the side effects. *bleh*

Okay, then, I guess that’s about it. I will leave you with this though…some notes from a recent sermon:::

“The Bible is like an apple tree. You have to shake it (READ!) to get the fruit to fall!”


rain – – bleh!


So, SO much rain. It rained all last week, flooding a couple times, actually and I haven’t gotten to ride at all!

I am feeling so pathetic! I need to ride! Here’s hoping for a chance in the next couple days!

I finally got the yard mowed today. It was in desperate need after going without all last week and then all the rain.

Tonight, instead of going for the group ride I went out to visit with the ladies in my reunion group. We hadn’t gotten together in months and months! It was nice and on Saturday, the one lady is having a fish fry, so there’s that to look forward to.

Wednesday, there’s a big shindig to celebrate our town becoming a TrailTown, which is a big ol’ deal and such a great thing for us! After that, I have an appointment to get a long-overdue haircut.

Thursday is our next planned group ride with some of the older and newer riders and they go at an easy, ride-at-your-own pace that I like. They don’t mind if I stop a million times to check my sugar and stuff which is really nice.

Maybe I can ride with the other group tomorrow night too…they go at a bit faster pace, but I may go anyway. Or maybe Hubby and I can go Wednesday night.

I dunno, but have mercy, I have a busy week ahead and hope, Lord willing, (and I’m sure He is…that’s me, layin’ it off on Him *shame*) I will get some accomplished on this house too.

Blessings to all!


it’s official: I have amazed myself!


So a few weeks ago, I wrote this in a post:

“I still can’t see myself ever getting to the point that I could do a century like Hubby and the rest, but I would like to attempt a half-century, just me and him one Saturday.”

My hubby pulled the above post up and showed it to me a couple nights ago. He said, “Do you remember writing this?”

The reason? I had actually accomplished that half-century ride this past Saturday, June 13! Yep. I actually did it.

I wasn’t so sure I was going to make it back, but amid random bouts of tears, I made it. The ride was actually 54 miles, so once I hit 50 on my computer, it was all I could do to make myself keep pedaling! We even had some impromptu SAG support following us. But I thought, I can’t be the ONLY one who gets driven back to the trailhead!
Me & Hubby
We went with a large group that ended up breaking off into about 3 different groups. We rode from Livingston to McKee and back. It was just as beautiful and nice a trail as I had been told. It was a hot day, but we had shade almost the whole time and hardly any traffic at all.

I’d been told we would eat lunch at a pizza place in McKee, but when we (the slower group) got to town, the group was all at a Walgreens eating packaged food and fueling up outside the store. The other two ladies I was with and Hubby and I decided we’d go on to the pizza place, though, so we rode a quarter-mile on into town.

Boy, you sure forget that not everywhere is like home. We walked into that place, that looked extremely run down, and it smelled like an ashtray. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stand it in there the way my lungs react to cigarette smoke. I hacked and coughed most of the time, but Hubby and I ordered an 8″ pizza and it was really yummy.

I was able to eat and not choke to death and then we iced up our bottles, hit the restrooms and headed back for the return.

The time spent in that resturant was enough to get my lungs all messed up and I hacked and coughed and wheezed for about 10 miles. We stopped a few times to let me get a couple more hits off my inhaler or gag and spit, and finally, thank God, the coughing stopped. You can’t imagine how much harder it is to ride a bike while you are struggling to breathe!!

My sugars did pretty good and my pump was suspended (turned off) most of the time. I guess I did at least 10 tests while we were riding!

When the big group first started, Hubby rode on ahead with them. Once me and the group I was with go to about the 15-18 mile mark, Hubby came riding back and rode the rest of the way with me. I’m not sure if he had gotten worried about me or just wanted to ride with me or both, but I was immensely glad he was there for those last few miles. I think I’d have stopped if he hadn’t been.

My wrists were hurting, my saddle was killing me, my toes were going numb and my neck and shoulders were aching. I was downright miserable!

When I rolled into the parking lot where we’d left from, the other two ladies who had riden with me all day were already there, cheering. I got to the back of our pickup, unclipped and leaned over on it and just bawled for a second. Next thing I knew, Hubbs was right beside me, bawling too, hugging me and telling me he loved me.
My first half-century!
I was a mess, lemme tell ya! I have NO CLUE how these people can ride TWICE that far and still talk, let alone walk or eat or breathe!!

I would NOT have made it to the finish without this man right here, cheering me on, believing in me and convincing me to believe in myself.
filtered
I have been greatly blessed!!


boom!


Okay, it’s official. I have moved up (in my own mind, that is) into true “the BIG TIME”. Maybe that’s not official big time, but I don’t know what else to call THIS old gal doing a bike ride of FORTY-ONE-A/N/D-A-HALF MILES!!! (you’re darn tootin’ that half mile counts! LOL!)

https://www.strava.com/activities/315203929/embed/7065947a4cfd2239c37d12ec32cf4dbeb5b1ea58
NOTE: I am REALLY not happy that for whatever reason I can’t link my ride map here. ARGH! The sight of that map makes me feel all-kinda-jazzed! 🙂

Seriously, I would have never, EVER believed I could do this if you’d said beforehand we were going to ride this far. The plan was to ride to the next county, stop at a little restaurant there for lunch and ride back, which would have been about 19 miles. A decent ride for me, actually. I have done a few 26 mile rides and can handle that distance fairly well.

Well, we decided to take a different route home, so that added quite a few miles AND hills/elevation to the thing. I was SO amazed that I actually did it! I guess I was a little too tired to get TOO celebratory about it at the time, but MAN, was I proud of myself!!

And so, you know I’m riding this month to help raise money to fight kids’ cancer in The Great Cycle Challenge (click the link to donate!) so my goal is to ride at least 200 miles this month.
The Great Cycle Challenge to end Childhood Cancer!
I already have 79 in for last week. I decided I’d plan to ride at least 50 miles per week. It’s a good thing I got the extra in since it’s pouring the rain today. *sigh*

I really wasn’t planning on doing that many, but on Saturday, our eldest son decided he wanted to ride over to where he’s youth pastor (they were doing a blood drive that day and he was going to donate and check on some things at the church). That’s about an 18 mile trip one way and so we had DIL#1 drive our truck over so we could haul the bikes back. We all had a graduation party to go to later as well so we didn’t have the time to do a round trip. Plus, Son#1 was planning to donate blood so we knew at least he would not be able to ride back.

Turned out he couldn’t donate because his pulse was too high. Hubby was going to donate but hadn’t brought any i.d. with him. So it turned out to just be a nice opportunity to get a ride in with Son#1, which I’d been wanting to do since he hadn’t ridden with us since I got my new bike.

It was a good trip & we made good time too. I think Son#1 was a little impressed with how much I had improved. Hubby and I marvel at how he can go months without riding (he seldom has the free time for it) and then go out and do some fairly long rides. Hubby says it’s because he’s young.

I guess, but I don’t think I could have done it at his age. Haha!

So yeah, I rode 79 miles last week for the challenge, but if you include the ride linked above, from May 30 to June 6, I rode a little over 120 miles!!

I’m sorry and if there happens to be some rouge cycling beast reading here, just let me have my moment… but I am daggone proud of myself!

Ha. I know part of the reason I can do more is because this bike is so much better than my old one, but it fits/shifts/rides so much better, I just WANT to ride more now!

I still can’t see myself ever getting to the point that I could do a century like Hubby and the rest, but I would like to attempt a half-century, just me and him one Saturday. It’s amazing how empowering it is to realize you can do something so crazy and so hard!

I have to admit, I’ve been fighting low blood sugars randomly since last Saturday, but they are not super-severe and not very frequent, so I think I’m doing well.

I DID have that crazy low the other day when I had ridden hard & fast for probably 6 miles, then for some reason, insisted we stop to check my sugar and it was 52. ACK! Yeah, and I didn’t even feel it. I had just come down a hill doing almost 35mph. I was pretty shaken to realize that I couldn’t even feel that I was going low. I treated the low, suspended my pump (so it wouldn’t deliver any insulin), checked a second time (it was up to 87) and we set off again. I stopped again to check a couple miles later and it was hovering just over 100.

All those readings I was very proud of, but I can’t help getting angry and frustrated about the fact that I have a CGM-capable pump, but my insurance will not cover the sensors (which need to be changed every week and are approximately $100 each, so at least $400/month). I mean, if I had sensors, the CGM (which I purchased) would alert me when my sugar dropped too fast, got under 60 and if it happened to reach 60, it would suspend my pump for me. That’s a great feature for lows that happen in your sleep (which I’ve had two of since riding so much more) and you don’t wake up. For two hours, you stop getting insulin so you don’t die in your sleep.

As it is, I have to stop, pull out the small glucose monitor, the bottle of strips and my lancet device. Then I have to have Hubby hold it or lay my bike down so I can balance everything or put part of it on the ground too. Poke for the blood, wait for the result and the put everything back up.

That’s NOT a big deal normally, but when you are on the road? It’s a major pain to deal with. We usually ride on rural backroads, so we don’t have to worry too much about a lot of traffic. Most times, on an 18-mile round trip, we may see as few as 2 vehicles or as many as 12. Most often, it’s no more than 4 though, but if we had to also contend with traffic while trying to test? UGH!

I can’t understand how insurance can deny coverage of those sensors if an endocrinologist recommends them. I think it sucks big time. And I hope and pray that Hubby’s company will change to a new insurance provider SOON because Humana has been a real disappointment to deal with. I KNOW there are companies who are covering sensors. I sure wish it was mandatory across the board.

Ah well… no use complaining, but I wanted you to know what I have to do to control/monitor my sugars while I’m riding versus what COULD be a much simpler, easier and safer solution if we could afford sensors one way or another.

Habakkuk 3:19 – “God, the LORD, is my strength;…”


that’s TWO hundred!


Horsey Hundred 2015

Well, he did it.  Hubby got his second century ride in the books.

This was a whole ‘nother experience, having to go to another town where he’d never ridden before, had not practiced on any of the route at all, et cetera.  You don’t realize how much comfort there is in being familiar with the road and the terrain!  Hmph…that’s a whole other post-slash-sermon right there, though, isn’t it??  Ha!

But yes, we left the pup with Mom for the night and drove about 2 hours away for this ride.  It was beautiful country and I even survived with my trusty GPS getting to the places I needed to be all on my own.  God sure has been stretching me in the area of traveling by myself in unfamiliar territory.  I can’t lie…that scares me thinking of what He might be preparing me for, ya know?

Anyway, I’m really proud of the hubby… he is such a go-gitter and is already counting down the twenty-some days til the next 100-miler in Frankfort.  (yes, I know, this last ride went through Frankfort, but the next one starts there & goes…I don’t even know where all it goes!)

I spent most of Ride Day at the 93 mile rest stop.  It was hot and boring.  I have to plan better next time.  It was hard not knowing exactly where the stops were.  All I had to go on were road names listed in the cue sheet.  That’s a turn-by-turn ‘map’ of sorts the cyclists can use.  It just lists road names, though…so all I’d know was that a particular rest stop was on “this” road, not exactly WHERE on the road it was.  That was unnerving to me, but I made it to both the stops I went to without any incident.

The worst thing was thinking “I’ll grab a bite somewhere on the way” then finding there really wasn’t any where nearby to get food!!  I literally went from 6 a.m. til after 6 p.m. without anything to eat or drink!  Well, wait… I did eat a small bag of chips that one of Hubby’s rider friends had gotten then didn’t want and half of a Payday candy bar that Hubby couldn’t eat.  Yes, I was at rest stops with tons of food, but I wasn’t about to even think of eating any of the food that was for the cyclists, even though the thought of asking to have some water did cross my mind several times.  I just toughed it out.  I honestly thought for sure I would pass a fast food place on the way to that second rest stop, but I didn’t, and then I thought I’d run back out to pick up something real quick before time for Hubby to be there, but there were routes coming in both directions into the stop and it was way out in the country, so it would have taken a lot longer to drive out and back.  And then I’d have to drive through cyclists too, which isn’t fun for them or me.  Sigh.  Next time I am packing a cooler for myself!  And a chair and an air mattress maybe.  Ha!

There was a terrible tragedy that happened during the ride that has left me shaken, though.  A drunk driver hit and killed one of the cyclists.  I had no clue, but when they made the announcement at the closing ceremony, Hubby informed me that he’d ridden past it shortly after it happened.  He wasn’t sure at the time if there’d been a fatality or even that it did involve a bike rider, but my core was shaken at that news.

Of course, we never know which breath will be our last, but I had not even entertained the thought that this hobby could get my Hubby, or even me, killed!  I have fought with the fear and the thoughts of wanting him to NOT do the next rides.  I have tried to rationalize the fact that just getting out of bed in the morning can be potentially deadly.  Shoot, LAYING in the bed can be deadly, ya know?  Any of us could die just as easily no matter where we are.

That’s when it dawned on me that it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do.  When God says it’s our time, we are going, no matter what we do to try and “stay safe”.  I guess, just that sudden, crushing realization that it could have just as easily been Hubby who had been killed shook me.  I suddenly wanted him to NOT ride, to not do anything dangerous, to be safe.  But who of us can ever be truly safe and from what are we being “safe” anyway?  If we live in fear of dying,  we won’t truly live.  We will become obsessed with preserving our lives while frittering away all the excitement, joy and fun there is in living.  We will miss opportunities to spend time with those we love, enjoying life with them.  Simply put, we will miss out.  On life, on love, on fun…on everything!

My mother is one of the biggest worry warts I know.  I try to cut her some slack because God knows with both her children having chronic diseases, that kinda dictates that she be a worrier, right?  But she can really take it to the extreme.  She doesn’t know about the accident  and hopefully she won’t til at least after the next ride Hubby does.  If she finds out, she will fret about it and nag me to death that I should make him NOT ride.  Yes, she’ll insist that I MAKE him not do the next ride.  That’s just mom.  We’ve all learned to deal with her neuroses the best we can and sometimes that means keeping certain info from her.  I haven’t posted about the accident on Facebook or anywhere or mentioned it to anyone except the kids.  Neither of my parents have Facebook, but they have friends who do, so I don’t want any of that stuff getting back to them if I can help it!

Anyway, all that to say, I could feel my Mom’s panic rising in me and I could step to the other side of it, and feel the futility of it as well.  I don’t want to feel like she does.  I don’t want to worry away my life.  I don’t want to give my appreciation of life away to fear.

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

10 fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.



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