Back on the Wagon

Blood Sugar

Reality check!

Hello and thanks for stopping by!

Now that the big move is over (like a person ever gets completely unpacked), it’s time to start working on some other, more personal issues.

With all the chaos of working on Dad’s estate, moving to the farm, moving into the trailer house. etc., I’ve not been watching the blood sugar and it’s been getting very bad in recent days.  The other day I was shocked to see the level had reached nearly 500.  That’s four to five times the normal amount…. not good!  Long term numbers like this would all but ensure dire consequences such as strokes, heart attack, blindness, renal failure, amputations, etc.  It was a race to see what would go kaput first…

FailureWednesday was the first appointment with the new physician in the city where I now reside.  There was the usual trepidation about getting a lecture.  Instead, the doctor was a kindly man and his words were gentle.  The doc said he had read the medical history about a person who had made a lot of progress with losing weight, reducing the blood sugars, and getting off the diabetes medications.  He wanted to know what he could do to help that guy get back on track.

We talked for an hour.

A gentle reminder was a good thing.  There are some areas in life where you can bury your head in the sand and do nothing; ignoring diabetes is not one of them!  I have a friend who lost his kidneys due to this condition.  He’s much younger and the impact on his life has been significant.  Thankfully, there’s still time to correct things.  Ignoring the condition is not an option.  And unlike this classic scene from the movie Star Trek IV, a doctor cannot give you a pill to grow a new kidney… yet!

Chicken Tortellini SoupSome familiar changes are coming and they will end up on the blog.  It’s back to eating healthier options, substituting salads for chicken nuggets, and pondering (and recording) what’s eaten.  Cold weather, stress, availability of free food, etc. aren’t viable excuses for gut stuffing.  (although a little treat now and then is not a bad thing)  Fresh fruits (in moderation) sound terrific and, of course, so does replacing chicken nuggets with a familiar favorite – an occasional avocado.  When I made this healthy soup the other day (with a few sprigs of cilantro), it was much tastier than the fast food I’ve been eating at work… and there was no impact on the blood sugar.

The plan is also to keep on camping and taking some walks.  Fishing?  That won’t change!  Last weekend I walked close to four miles over rough terrain while chasing trout.  It’s healthier than spending the time in the recliner!

Food portions are still a problem.  I’m hoping to keep cooking good quality meals but in smaller quantities… sort of like the “small plates restaurants” you now see popping up.  Instead of a big portion of scallops, maybe a fresh salad with two scallops will suffice.  There is no need for a 1 lb bacon heart attack burger…  Maybe a campfire grilled turkey breast with cranberry-horseradish mustard would be a good alternative.  Just like the last time, there is a chance to tap into some fun, creative ideas and make them work over the long haul.

Piss On ItIt will be a happy and healthier autumn season.  Serena and I will likely be camping  somewhere pretty soon.  She is looking and feeling great after a rough patch.  The intrepid little kitty sets a good example.  Life is too short not to enjoy every day.

I hope the blog friends are having a terrific autumn season.  It’s as beautiful as ever in Iowa… a great time to engage in some outdoor fun.

Beware of the squirrels.

Thanks for stopping by!

Brad, Serena, and Jesse James in Jones County, Iowa


About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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7 Responses to Back on the Wagon

  1. Jo says:

    Boy do I understand about diabetes. My daughter had been having trouble with bad vision and went to see a Dr. they checked her blood sugar and believe me it was higher than yours. She didn’t even know she was diabetic until that very day. They kept her there for 4 hrs until they got it down to 300 which we know is still not good. It is a battle to keep her on the straight and narrow with this and she is not a child.

    Good luck with your new healthy life style I know you will do the right thing.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Jo! It’s a daily struggle. Sorry to hear about your daughter but she’s lucky it was caught early enough. I’m struggling a bit and can’t seem to get the darn sugar below 230 or much of the time. Part of the problem is working in a kitchen (chicken nuggets). It’s really the little changes that are helping – replacing a big greasy burger with a salad, replacing French fries with an order of apple slices and “go-gurt” (yogurt in a plastic tube). Tell her to keep up the good work. It’s worth it!

  2. Sunday says:

    Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life!
    You can do it!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the kind words. It really helps having a job that keeps a person very active. It’s going well so far and things are turning around. If it wasn’t for being so close to those yummy chicken nuggets…

  3. Sunday says:

    You are sure not alone, many of us fight the same battle over and over and over and ……….. It is so hard to change habits even if they are good for us. Keep looking up and good luck!

  4. Bethers says:

    I’m so glad that you take your healthcare seriously. One of the most interesting books I’ve read regarding diabetes is Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s – “Diabetes Solution” He’s a type 1 diabetic now in his 80s, looks fabulous and is doing well. One thing he recommends is weight/strength training. It’s not necessary to go to the gym for that, often the public library carries home exercise dvds which make the routines a lot more fun. Love the cat pictures! Glad to see Mr. Jess is back and Serena is feeling better.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thank you for the kind words. I agree and learned that strength training really does help. The body keeps burning calories long afterwards as it continues to build muscle. The workout at the job is amazing – despite eating some large amounts of pretty greasy food, the cholesterol and triglycerides have been dropping quickly. As healthier options are implemented, it will only get better.

      Thanks for the note about Jesse and Serena. Those two are pretty spoiled and seem almost like kids – they want to be held all the time and fight over who gets the attention. There will definitely cat pictures over the weekend – I’m packing for a brief but fun little trip to see something special. Take care! Thanks for stopping by!