Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Attack of the Abscessed Teeth

My wife will tell you that I am very hard headed about going to the doctor.

For a person with a chronic disease, this can be a problem, as it can cause complications that would not bother a normal human being.

For example, I broke my foot a couple of years ago while running, when I stepped on a frozen footprint.  The 3rd metatarsal snapped, but I could not fathom that such a small miss step could have actually broken a bone, let alone with such severity.
So I finished my run (had about 3 miles left) got up the next morning and ran another 3 miles and then decided that I had actually done something that would cause me to put my running on hold for a couple of weeks anyway.

Needless to say, I walked on it for 2 weeks before I finally listened to Melissa and went to the doctor..... not exactly how it happened.  What actually happened was that I had what I thought was a really bad ear infection and it was messing with my swimming, so I went to the Dr to get some anti-biotics, it was messing with my BG levels as well.

Short story is that my GP Dr Kenneth Young (a fine GP who has 2 siblings with T1 diabetes ) told me that I didn't actually have an ear infection (I had been to see him 3 times previous with the same complaint) but he somehow determined on this visit that it was actually an abscessed wisdom tooth. If I remember correctly, I gave him some more information on this trip that actually led him to that conclusion.

So I said, while I'm here Doc, could you take a look at my foot, my wife seems to think it needs a Dr's analysis.  He took one look and said, I think it's broken, but we need to get an Xray.  Which lead to the Xray tech full of concern, coming to me in the waiting room and asking, "You walked in here on this?" This was followed by a trip to the Ortho where they did more Xrays and I was asked repeatedly, "You walked in here on this?"  Finally culminating in the Ortho saying, "They tell me you walked in here on this with a shoe on it."  Diagnosis broken 3rd metatarsal, Dr said he say men my age all the time with this problem and that I needed to quit running. (similar to what my GP told me except he said "Diabetics" and the Ortho said, that since I am T1 he did not think it wise to reset, my now partially healed broken bone and that I should leave it displaced and not run ever again.

Naturally I didn't like this diagnosis, so I sought a 3rd opinion and was told, "I see this kind of injury in 18 year olds, run if you want."  So I did.  I ran 5ks galore, in fact everyday at lunch from my work.  I ran a 10k, a 15k and a 10k as part of an Olympic distance triathlon in St Petersburg, FL (have to do that one again some day)

So when I lined up for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May of that year, I was telling the guy next to me that I thought I was going to do a personal best.  (for me I was expecting an hour 35 -45) imagine my surprise when I felt something go snap in my foot 1/2 mile into the race. I broke 3 bones this time, but the good news is that they healed straight this time because I went right to the Dr.

What does all of this have to do with Abscessed teeth, you are likely wondering about now.  So the other part of the story is that, my dentist had told me probably 2 years prior that I needed to get those wisdom teeth taken out before they caused me problems.  Trouble was that I now know in retrospect, they were causing me problems with my ears, breathing and BG control.  They had apparently been abscessing off and on all of that time, so I should have taken care of it when the dentist first presented the issue to me instead of delaying until it was really a problem.

I went to the Oral Surgeon, where I learned that Oral surgery is not just where you talk about surgery as opposed to written surgery where you write about it.  They actually go in and rip stuff out by the roots.  Not how the Oral Surgeon phrased it but true!

So come to find out that my 2 year delay in the removal of these puppys has brought on an added complication, the nerve on the back molar on the upper left side of my jaw had possible nerve damage making it look like I could loose it as well.  The good news is that he was able to save my molar..... but just for a time and I was glad to get another 4 years of use out of that tooth. 

Getting rid of my wisdom teeth, made me feel like a new man!  I was swimming faster, breathing through my nose again, no longer was continually congested in my head and just had more energy overall.

Then a couple of weeks ago (maybe a bit longer) my BG levels started getting dicey.  Kind of like trying to ride a bronco into a coral.  Going high and low unpredictably.  (usually an internal stress indicator as I have found to be the case)  On Monday of this week 3/25/13 my BG went high and would not come down in spite of bolusing almost triple the amount of Humalog that I would normally I would normally use.

My sister fed me some Potato soup for supper and when I bit into a soft potato, I found the source of my high BGs.  I should mention at this point that this tooth had been bothering me on a mild level for at least a couple of weeks and Melissa had been nagging me to go to the dentist, but of course I was resistant and she was right.  The little episode with the potato soup plus the fact that the pain lasted all night convinced me to go to the Oral Surgeons office the next day.

$550 dollars and 4 hours later, I was one more tooth short of a mouthful.  But guess what!  I am already feeling better only a day after and have only taken one of the pain pills prescribed so far. Don't even need Aspirin and my BG is behaving more like I have come to expect it to behave.

The moral of this story is,,,,,, when your wife tells you to go to the Dr, don't be hard headed, just do it!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Can't eat this?

I love it when people will say to me , "You can't eat this Michael because of you got the Diabetes."  My answer is always a snappy

"I can eat pretty much anything that will fit in my mouth that I can chew up and swallow!"

What they actually mean is that certain foods are not good for you when you got "The Bad Diabetes"!!

I have news for the world....  whether you have "The Bad Diabetes" or not, there are a lot of foods that are not in any of our best interest to consume.  In fact if people would only quit eating these foods, they would disappear from our food store shelves.  That is the way demand side economics works.

Here is the #fact.  If a food is bad for a diabetic (no matter what the variety) it is bad for someone without a chronic disease. i.e. calorie dense foods when consumed on a regular basis, chemicals, toxins (yes there are chemicals and toxins in our food supply) read any book on "natural nutrition" and they all identify this as a problem and there are a lot of long term studies that indicate the same i.e. "THe China Study"

This blog post is not intended to educate you about what you put in your mouth, it is only intended to make you think about it whether you have "THe Bad Diabetes" or not.

There are not 4 food groups, there is no food pyramid and we do not have cartoon creatures from the sun coming down to melt the polar ice caps. These are only marketing gimics.

Reality is that there are 3 food groups, protien, fat and carbohydrate

Protien is not a synonim for meat - it is described by the 8 essential amino acids that form a complete protien and are essential because the rest of the amino acids that we need to survive and build our bodies are derived from these 8.  Don't worry about how, your body already knows what to do with them.  You don't have to get all of them at the same source/food or even the same meal, but if you feel compelled and are on a plant based diet, you can get all 8 from Quinoa.  Don't know what it is, google it.  All I can say is it is delicious.

Carbohydrate is not synonomous with pasta and bread, although it can be found there.  This is the primary fuel source our bodies run on, particularly when the exertion is extreme.  It can be found in most things that we describe as food, but some foods are a lot more dense with them than others for example, ounce for ounce a snickers bar or pasta will have more than a grapefruit or an apple.
A little bit of research goes a long way for knowing these things, I have been counting carbs for years so I generally am very aware of the carb density of anything that goes over the lips and through the gums on it's way to my tummy.

Fat - this is what your body stores all of those extra carbs you consume and fail to burn.  It is also a food/fuel source and can be found in everything from whale blubber to avacados.  There are nutrients found in the fat that we consume that can not be found anywhere else (omega 3s for example)  Fat tastes good! That's right I love it in bacon, chocolate and guacamole (yum)  but it is very calorie dense, so unless you want to turn into a Beluga Whale yourself, these should be consumed in moderation relative to your activity level.

People are always concerned about burning fat and think that they can magically make it disappear from their bellys simply by doing situps or crunches.  The #fact is that even when we are in our most efficient fat burning modes.  In other words we are using stored fat as our primary food source, it still only is allocated from where our body decides to allocate it from.
I'm not sure why "our body does not check in with us to see which pocket of fat we want to burn from, but unfortunately, unless someone can figure out some mental gymnasic to gain control of this process, we are all going to have to  get low fat throughout our bodies to get those 6 pack abs, or perfectly proportioned thighs.

Bottom line, "YES I CAN EAT THAT!"  I just may not want to

All things in moderation my friends!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm a Fataphobe

So those of you that know me, know that I had a catastrophic bicycle crash at 8:30 in the morning on Saturday August 4 that landed me in the hospital for a week and then in a wheelchair for 2 months.

The sedentary lifestyle was very good for my fat cells as they were able to grow or multiply (whichever fat cells do - it seems to me that they breed like rabbits) and I put on 15 net pounds 10 of which I have not been able to shake as yet but I am now ready for round 2 of getting this flabby appleton back into top form.

It is difficult to keep the busy schedule that I do while managing my type 1 diabetes, eating right, getting the exercise I need to maintain my girlish figure and still earn enough money to keep Melissa (my wife) and I in the lifestyle that we have become accustomed to!

But the trick seems to be making it least the easiest that it can be.  Lots of fresh ingredients pre-grouped on Sunday for the rest of the week and set for as little prep work as possible

One of the tricks that I will be using in my quest to drop another 10 lbs is fixing as many of my meals as I can in advance and doing the rest in my Ninja

I will not be starving myself but I will have to be extra careful in managing my Blood Glucose (BG) as when eating clean and mostly raw, my insulin requirements go down significantly.  Particularly with the amount of exercise that I strive to get.

The last couple of months I have been kicking it up, but still need another notch.  I am leading 3 spin classes per week for about 3 and one half hour total and swimming an hour every 2 weeks.

Over the next month with the weather getting better, my bike will increase to well over 10 hours per week and I intend to bring my swim up to at least 2 hours per week and ad in about 2 hours of running.  (I coach and the season is at hand, so it is necessary for me to be in the water and on the track with my athletes)

Ok so there is the prequil to what this fataphobic has in store for himself, stay tuned for how that all works out for me..... by the way did I mention that for bike rides this summer I have
  1. The Assault on Mount Mitchell 102 miles with 10,000 feet of climbing (mostly in the last 28 miles) Monday May 21 starting in Spartenburg, SC
  2. The RAIN ride - Ride from state line to state line in Indiana about 176 miles on Saturday July 13
  3. JDRF Natchez trail Sept 21  Starts and ends in Nashville, TN - a little over 100 miles (I am a coach so I could ride a bit more)
  4. JDRF Death Valley, CA October 19 Saturday - 105 miles in the dryest climate on the planet
  5. El Tour de Tuscon - Perimeter tour of Tucson, AZ - a challenging 111 mile ride around the outskirts of Tuscon on Saturday Nov 23
  6. I need to also do at least 2 more 200 mile single day road rides if I can find some one to keep an eye on me.  Part of my training for the Furnace Creek 508 (508 mountainous desert miles 35,000 feet of elevation gain in 48 hours)
  7. Oh yeah, and I need to squeeze in a couple of sprint triathlons and 40k time trials
Looks like a busy summer ahead and it all starts by getting back down to my riding weight, not breaking any bones this year, and getting into the best shape of my life again!

Come do it with me.... you don't have to do the stuff that seems crazy to you,,,,,but you can!

My goal is to inspire others to be the best that they can be, no matter what they think that is!

Later - Michael

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Well I have been threatening to start my very own Dblog, since I learned that there was such a thing and my niece Hannah gave me a great name for it and after making my brag at the Beta Cell Bash last night that I was finally going to start it, I figured what better day than right after that great event!

First of all what about that name?

As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I was in a bicycle accident in August and when I got to the Trauma unit, they labeled my OmniPod Insulin pump and it looked like Insulin Pimp!  almost as good a name for a Dblog as "Hookers and Blow"...... maybe better :)
So I have a lot of experience with Insulin starting in the Dark Ages of Insulin (March 1974) with straight up Lente and NPH eventually supplementing my treatment with Regular and eventually graduating to Lantes and Humalog, finally ending up on a pump and straight Humalog or Novalog, depending on what I can get my hands on.
This blog will simply be about my day to day existence as a T1 Diabetic, with my twisted viewpoint and logic added on for entertainment value.
Starting with a little bit about myself.
What you need to know
  • I'm a self professed adrenaline junkie
  • I love being creative in all aspects of my life
  • Oh yeah, diagnosed with T1 diabetes March 1974 (I said that before, but this also is my anniversary month)
  • I love to help others achieve their goals in life and believe that the best way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.
  • Co-founder of the Beta Cell Bash in March 2004
  • USA Cycling plus USA Triathlon Certified Coach since 2011
  • Ultra endurance athlete
  • Retired Professional Musician
Other information available on request, or you can just show up for a bicycle ride and learn all that you want to know.  Find out more about that by visiting

The 2nd year of the relaunch for the Beta Cell Bash last night was a total smashing success, with our take doubling over last year!  The bands and visual artists were fantastic and we are extremely blessed by the quality of talent who have leapt to aid us in our cause and made our event a total smash hit!

I am going to have to put a disclaimer in this thing somewhere so in case I can't find a place to leave it permenantly here goes.

The views expressed here are strictly for entertainment purposes and should not be confused as medical advice.  I am not a doctor and have never played one on TV.  This blog is simply a cronicle of my viewpoint and experience and if it somehow helps to change your life in a positive way, I can not be held responsable.

Best wishes and do not be afraid to make the journey!