What Happened To The Science

For the last few months I have stopped checking my BC pre and post workout. Or, rather, I have stopped sharing that information. I know, that's weird coming from me, Mr. Share All The Things Even When Mom Hates It. But, to be honest, there is a reason for it.

I don't need to.

Now, I still have to go in for my quarterly blood work, but I'm pretty sure I have this beat. I wake up and check, I'm at 120 or better. I get home from work and I check and I'm at 120 or better. I exercise and I check and, again, I'm at 120 or better. Except for a few times where I had some issues after longer, more strenuous bike rides, I'm always pretty good.

I'm not really sure what happened. I am very sure that I started riding bikes just in time. The more people I talk to the more I am reminded how much more of a struggle this could have been, how much more dangerous this could have been, if I still weighed 300lbs this time last year.

I do still struggle with my food intake just a bit, but I have it mostly nailed down. You know the drill, only shop from the edges of the market (except the bakery) and the aisle where they keep canned beans and those cute little diet cokes. Like I said, I do still have some struggles with my diet.

Besides going back for another blood check, I'm actually going to be revisiting the initial problem that brough me to the doctor in the first place; my feet. The primary reason I am taking Cymbalta isn't because I'm bat-shit crazy as most of you might have thought. It helps with the pain in the feet caused by peripheral neuropathy. It's really hard to describe, but there is a giant Wikipedia article if you want more infomation. I can tell you that it makes my feet, especially my right foot, feel as if I am always walking with a shoe full of sand. As if that wasn't fun enough, at night, I get the sensation of icy fire below the knee and in my hands, with the occassional feeling of electrical pulses violently leaving my body. Enough that I get the jumps and loose a few hours of sleep.

I've added Turmeric to the mix which has helped a huge amount! That, plus keeping my numbers in line is about all I can do on my own. There are some crazy hippie theories I've been hearing about out there, but I'm going to stick with science on this one to see if there is anything else I can do. Mostly because I really don't want to have to continue to take the Cymbalta longer than I have to, because it is one of those drugs that once you start, you just can't stop. Just like Lays chips, but without the satisfying crunch and salt, but with the annoying weight gain. Night. Mare.

In one month it will have been 1 year since I was officially diagnosed. While I really can't say that I have actually beat Type 2 Diabetes, I can say that I have it's number and know how to manage it.

Who Rides for Science?

If you have been following me on Strava or Facebook recently,you might see something like “Riding for science. -36” on a recent post. While not really science, it is to me, since I’m keeping track of how my cycling affects my blood sugar levels.

Yes. Blood sugar levels.

Why would I need to do that you might ask? I’m pretty fit, exercise regularly, appear to eat well and all that, right? That’s what I thought too.

My year started off badly and included making bad choices. Drinking too much, eating poorly, smoking and not exercising regularly. I was also experiencing more stress at work than usual. So, like I said, year started off badly. I am back on track, but that doesn’t change what has already happened. Add to this the fact that, not terribly long ago, I was not pretty fit, did not exercise regularly and weighed 100-ish pounds more than I do today.

Back in May I started feeling a tingling sensation in my feet and hands, along with numbing. I had a feeling I knew what was going wrong and took way to long to see the doctor about it. When I finally made it to the doctor, a check of my blood sugar without fasting pegged the device at close to 350. For reference, normal is between 90 – 100 (110 – 120 after eating). I was started immediately on 2 medications; 1 to help lower my blood sugar, the other, an anti-depressant, to help with my feet. Continue reading →

Wanna Ride Bikes?

tandem

Been riding bikes for most of my life, like many of you. I remember my first bike almost like it was yesterday; a screaming red Schwinn Stingray with banana seat and ape hanger bars. Or, at least I thought they were since I was 5. Learned to ride that thing like a boss too. Imagine how upset I was when I let it get stolen. It was soon replaced with a screaming yellow version of the same bike. And I rode that thing like a boss too. Forever. No kidding, like my car, I had that bike forever and rode it everywhere. It’s where I started with bikes. This might sound familiar if you’ve been a donburnside.com reader for more than a few years.

Fast forward to this last weekend. The Burnside Manor played host to the ‘rents as they needed to visit to deliver a few things. Namely some really kickass (potentially) wine. And, the beauty you see above.

I haven’t fully researched the bike yet, but I do know it is a Colson Tandem, built sometime in the 40’s. Most of it, from what I can tell, is original, like the seats and fenders, the frame and the wheels. Again, I only think. It’s got an internal front brake, coaster brakes and a 3 speed that mostly works. It was delivered with rotten tires and tubes, quickly replaced day of delivery so I could get out and ride it.

I remember when this bike first came into my life. It was at Newport Beach. Grand dad picked her up and made it part of the beach house bike stable. There were always very unique bikes in that collection. This one quickly became a favorite. Not because you could ride it with another person, which is cool to be sure. It’s that you can ride it by yourself.

From the rear seat.

Yea, this particular tandem bicycle allows for 2 person steering. Since both riders can steer, 1 can drive from the back without a front seat passenger. Took it for a ride around the hood last night and got some interesting looks, since I was riding from the back. Don’t worry, I’ll get video soon enough.

It’s a cruiser to be sure. This is not what you would consider a speedy bike. It rides so low that if you turn too sharp, the pedals will scrape the ground. But, high speed turns with big leans aren’t what this bike it about. It’s about the ride, baby. She is comfortable to ride and a joy to pedal. With as much weight as she carries, once you get moving the momentum just keeps it going, smooth and comfortable over the bumps.

This is my next project. Getting it cleaned up and tuned up. Like I mentioned, she is rideable now. After a few minor things, she’ll be ready for anything.

Don’t Get Old

shoes

About a year ago. There was this, then there was this, followed up by a few more visits to the doctor. To the doctor that told me, without mincing words, that I was going to have to lose weight and improve my overall condition or he was going to treat me like a diabetic. Yea, that was pretty shocking.

So I started exercising. And it was hard. And, if I’m honest, I wasn’t really exercising well. I mean, I would go, but I wasn’t trying very hard. I discovered walking and discovered that I really enjoyed starting my day with a brisk 3 mile walk. Then summer hit. Then the new job.

So, anyway.

This isn’t the first time I’ve let myself get out of shape. This is, however, the first time that it has happened since I was in my 30s. Remind me not to let that happen again. Everything is harder and the results take longer. When I was 30, I would skip french fries, think about going to the gym and have a light beer and lose 5 pounds. Now, 15 years later, that takes some serious control in what I eat and how much I exercise. Don’t even think about skipping more than 2 days either. No sir. It’s like starting over from the beginning again. Continue reading →

It’s How I Give Back

WordPress. Open source and free. I use it everyday. I make money from it almost weekly. It’s a giant part of what I do.

Since it is open source, anyone that uses it should feel compelled to somehow give something back to the WordPress community. Many people think that you need to spend time squashing bugs in the core code, or developing sweet plugins and themes. Sure, those all work, but I’m not really good at either of those things.

What am I good at? Training, implementing and thinking so far out of the box you can barely see the box. That’s what I do to give back and part of the reason why I volunteer at my local Wordcamp in the Rockstar Bar. That’s just a fancy term to say that if you have a question about WordPress or a problem with your WordPress or you are looking to have a discussion about WordPress, this is the place with nerds that are available to help you out. And this year I did.

  • I helped troubleshoot a widget problem.
  • I helped set up a contact form that worked
  • I showed someone how to properly configure their WordPress settings
  • I helped someone hash out a way to provide piano lessons online.

Overall, it was a pretty great day of WordPress and I’m glad I was able to take the time to participate. As an added bonus, because I showed up, I received a free-for-life account at WP Engine, a premium, WordPress-only, web host. Expect a full review of that in the coming weeks.

If you have to use WordPress, are curious about WordPress or looking for a place to meet other WordPress users to swap stories and tips, I highly recommend hitting up a Wordcamp near you.