Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Here We Go Again

You may notice that all my previous posts concern diabetes because I have it and was OCDing about it at the time. Now I have something else to "compulse" over which happens to be playing chess. I learned how to play when I was a kid. By "learned," I mean learned the moves, no tactics - no strategy. I played intermittently through high school and college. I never spent much time studying the game, or anything else for that matter, but I could hold my own as long as I didn't mistakenly play against somebody that had invested time and effort in learning how to "really" play. After college my involvement quickly decreased to zero About half-way through my 69th year I made the decision to give chess another. For one thing, I wanted to really learn how to play properly. For another, I'm old and have been advised by reading and other folks to get my brain active to slow down the loss of thinking ability that a lot, if not all, of us experience as the tears start piling up. I've read that this is a young person's game, that a person at my age can't become a competitive player. I would respond to this theory in the word's of one of my favorite characters, Col. Potter on M.A.S.H., "Mule Muffins." The nay-sayers claim that we geriatrics don't have the stamina or endurance to last through extended periods of sitting and thinking. Well young buckos, at my age sitting and thinking are two of the things I do best. So, here I go actually devoting time, effort and practice with the aim of becoming at least an adequate player.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Might Be of Interest (To Some)

I have peripheral-neuropathy. I have burning/pain/numbness/tingling in my feet and lower legs. Did I mention Pain? OK, didn't want to leave that out. Sometimes it feels like my feet hurt all the way to my armpits. It has also effected my hands, no pain yet just numbness. I plunk guitar. (Notice I didn't say play or pick.) I have lost my "fine" sense of touch in my right hand resulting in a lot of rotating and/or dropped picks. I had resigned myself to a life of strumming bare-handed which resulted in broken nails and shredded cuticles. THEN I found these on the internet.
Please excuse the blurry image. They are tethered guitar picks. Slip the loop on your index or middle finger, grip the pick as normal and boogie on!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catching Up - Sorta

My last post, way back on 8/24, was concerned with my 1st visit with my new physician and my 1st visit ever to a podiatrist. The next week I had a regular appointment with my opthamologist and found out I still have no indications of retinopathy. The next day I received my lab reports in the mail and evertthing was normal (A condition with which I am not usually associated.) The biggie was that my HA1C was 6.2, the lowest that it has been since Lord knows when. (Picture a 69 yearold big guy doing a happy dance - O.K. don't, it's not the greatest image.) The next day, while attending one of those kindergarten grandparent-day thingies, I happened to run into (not very hard) a fellow T2 whom I haven't seen in a while.

Him: How's it going with your diabetes?

Me: Great, and you?

Him: Mine is still a real problem.

Me: How are your blood glucose levels running?

Him: Oh, I don't mess with that.

Me: (After recovering from a swoon) Are you eating right?

Him: I'm not real careful about that.

His wife: He ate a big bowl of rocky road ice cream last night.

Me: Well what are you doing?

Him: I just try to get my doctor to keep increasing my medications.

Me: Do you tellhim about all this "stuff" you don't do?

Him: Nah, he'd just fuss at me.

Me: (Bear in mind I'm an ordained minister) Will you let me preside at your funeral? I won't charge a dime.

Him: (Looking astonished) Ah, this stuff isn't that serious.

Me: You're forgetting the eleventh commandment.

Him: What's that?

Me: What goeth around Cometh around.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'll Try This One more Time

Last night I had one of those “Oh Rats” moments. I was almost finished typing a new post when I noticed that I had several windows open. (Laptop screen – Not house) I started closing windows and, sure enough, I closed the one with the new post. “OH RATS” Actually. “rats” was not the word I used. Feel free to substitute your favorite expletive. The post was about my first visit with my new primary care physician. My prior physician has become the medical director of a large prestigious hospital in our area. I had a very good first impression of my new guy. He proved to be very knowledgeable about diabetes and all the extra “stuff” that comes with it. Also, he, like my previous doc, listens. They both realize that a PWD has more insight as to what is going on with their body and what works in controlling their disease than anyone else. I did manage to score an Accu-Chet Nano meter. It will be a welcome addition to my management routine. I’ve been using a Compact Plus (See my post of 8/18) and have been very pleased but that sucker is kind of large to carry around. Now I have one that is extremely small and light weight and can load data into the same software program. Yesterday I also had my first visit with a podiatrist, I’ve been diagnosed for over 15 years so it’s about time. The visit was prompted by a small black spot that appeared on my right big toe. It was just a hematoma that was quickly and painlessly removed by the quick flip of a scalpel. I do realize that professional foot-care is something I need to add to my regimen of care.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


One of the few benefits, if you are a male, of being a PWD (Wouldn’t that be a MPWD?) is that you get nifty toys to use in your control regimen. Yes, I’ll admit that we guys never really quit being boys. I’ll be 69 next month and I still like toys. My latest is an ACCU CHEK Compact Plus Blood Glucose Meter. This was supplied by Liberty Medical, my source for testing supplies since I became eligible for Medicare. Between Medicare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield I am truly blessed out-of-pocket expense wise.

I’ve been quite pleased with the device. The display is bright and easy to read. The 17 strip cartridge is easy to handle. The lancing device is attached so you can’t lose and/or forget it. The lancets that fit it are virtually painless. I have cross checked the accuracy against other meters (One does tend to accumulate them),  and it seems to be spot on. I invested a little money in Roche’s 360 software and the interface works great.

The only disadvantage is that it is a little cumbersome. Being a guy and not usually carrying a purse, I carry a One Touch Ultra-Mini when I’m not wearing enough pockets. Yeah, I do have a “go-bag” but it’s not always convenient to take everywhere.

On the whole I give it 4 ½ out of 5 stars.