Monthly Archives: May 2015

Visible Progress

My progress lowering my blood sugar level has become very obvious as of late.  Check out the following graph of the past 90 days:

Joseph Sollner BGL Levels

Past 90 days blood glucose levels with average.

As you can see the past couple of weeks my efforts have started to pay off.  I did have a couple of days in which I did go hypoglycemic.  That is when my blood sugar actually goes too low.  I’ve upped my carb intake to compensate for now. Overall though this graph is a great motivator to keep going, and to keep logging all of my statistics daily.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to track this amount of data 10 years ago.

Here are some pictures from last summer when I drove through the Franklin Drive-Thru Safari.  You can find the whole gallery here: Franklin Drive-Thru Safari.

Joseph Sollner Drive Thru Safari

Drive Thru Safari Friends!

Joseph Sollner Drive Thru Safari

Drive Thru Safari Friends!

More Exercise Via Yardwork

This weekend I got a good deal of exercise completing some more yard work.  The next focus will be on the grass in the front yard, trying to fix some of the bald spots caused by flooding last year.  The goal is to have a nice yard to relax in while completing my exercise goals at the same time.  In one day alone this weekend I walked about 11 miles.

In one project this weekend I used some old dog food cans and some old wood to create some flower planters to mount on the fence.  This adds a nice mix of color to an otherwise blank wall in our backyard area.  It was super easy to do, and best part it was free.  I’ll have an endless supply of empty cans as well since two of my dogs are on special diets.

Here are some pictures of the ‘old can planters’.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Old dog food cans to be used as planters.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Holes drilled to drain water.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Wood cut to size.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Wood after power washing.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Cans mounted to wood.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

First set mounted.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

First set mounted.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Grouping mounted.

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

All flowers added!

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Flowers added!

Joseph Sollner Old Can Flower Pots

Flowers added!

A1C 13.1 to 8.4

My blood test numbers came back and my new A1C reading is in.  When I was in the hospital my A1C was at 13.1,  basically off the charts.  My blood test from last week shows my A1C now at 8.4.

While 8.4 is better than 13.1 it is not in the 6.X range I want to eventually be in.  An A1C number in the 6.x range basically means I’m a healthy diabetic, and am successfully mitigating most of the possible issues down the road.  So getting to a 6.x number is a big deal to say the least.

On a side note my cholesterol levels came back high.  My doctor said this was not surprising.  He put me on a cholesterol medication to help me get those numbers in control as well.  My goal is to have LDL level below 100.  This basically means more exercise in my future.

Here are some pictures of flowers we recently added to the patio area.  Yard work is my favorite type of exercise.

Joseph Sollner - Patio Flowers

Patio Flowers

Joseph Sollner - Patio Flowers

Patio Flowers

Joseph Sollner - Patio Flowers

Patio Flowers

Joseph Sollner - Patio Flowers

Patio Flowers

Metering Madness

My Glooko MeterSync Blue came last Friday.  This thing is an awesome tool for managing my blood sugar levels.  I no longer have to manually write my levels down after testing, then manually put them into a spreadsheet.

My meter stored all my test data that I have run so far since leaving the hospital.  I was able to sync that data to Glooko and was instantly able to see a statistical analysis of my tests.  Right away I was able to see that I need to better balance my dinners.  My blood sugar has the widest variance after dinner.

I’m also able to produce reports, including a log book, at the click of a mouse.  I can email these off to my doctor, or print a copy to bring with me for any appointments.  If you are diabetic and test your blood sugar frequently I suggest you check out Glooko.  All you need is a smartphone and a compatible blood glucose meter to use their MeterSync Blue.

Here are some pics of my stats.  You can see how my numbers are the widest range before bedtime.  This means adjusting my dinners to be more inline with the 4 4 4 4 meal standard.

Joseph Sollner 30 Day BGL Graph

Past 30 day statistical graph.

Joseph Sollner Past 90 day daily graph.

Past 90 day daily graph.

Joseph Sollner Past 90 day time of day graph

Past 90 day time of day graph.

 

 

I Can See Clearly Now

My visit yesterday to the eye doctor’s office went much better than expected.  It all started off with a ride to the office using Uber.  Crazy that Pensacola has Uber, but I’m glad it does.  I paid about five bucks less than what a cab would have cost, and I rode in a nice Lexus to the doctor’s office.

Once there they ran a whole bunch of tests.  I ended up waiting awhile after the tests for the eye doctor.  He had to perform an emergency surgery.  He was able to save someone’s eyesight,  so I didn’t mind waiting a few extra minutes.  He came in to see me in due time, and gave me the good news.  My eyes didn’t show any sign of diabetic damage, and even better, I don’t need glasses at all.

The doctor actually mentioned that as my blood sugar normalizes and stays low that my vision would improve a bit.  He said that basically with high blood sugar the inside of your eyes can coat with sugar causing your vision to become blurry at times and cause near-sightedness.  This made perfect sense as I noticed it was hard for me to view things at a distance for a bit, but I don’t have that issue anymore.

Once done I took another Uber ride home.  The driver was interesting to talk to.  He spoke a couple of languages and did translator work for the Department of Defense from time to time.  He dropped me off at home and I celebrated my good eye diagnosis with a slice of pizza.  (My eye doctor told me to live a little, so I had some pizza.)

Here is a picture of Sally trying to hide from me.  I could see her clearly!

Joseph Sollner finds Sally trying to hide

Sally Stains Corgi trying to hide.

Out With the Old

The past week or so I’ve been going through cupboards and my desk and getting rid of old items I no longer use.  I’ve also managed to package up a couple of bags of food I can no longer eat due to the high carb count in them.  I’ll be donating the food this Saturday to the national letter carriers food drive.  The mail man will pick up the food when he drops off my mail.

It will be nice to not have those foods staring me in the face every time I open the cupboard.  It is also nice to open up my desk drawers and not have them cluttered with old electronic gadgets I no longer use.  I’ll be refurbishing some items and donating them to a local thrift store I’ve done free web design work for in the past.  Other items will find their way to an e-recycler to become something else.

All in all making way for my new reality with diabetes.  So far I’ve learned that as long as I stay focused and take care of myself, I’m going to be just fine.

Here are a couple of pictures of an old Pontiac Station Wagon I saw last summer.  It was at the Pontiac-Oakland Museum, and was a boat of a vehicle.

Joseph Sollner Old Pontiac Station Wagon

Old Pontiac Station Wagon

Joseph Sollner Old Pontiac Station Wagon

Old Pontiac Station Wagon

 

Eye Appointment and Blood Tests

Tomorrow I go in to get my eyes checked out and to make sure there is no damage from my diabetes.  I would not be shocked at all if I end up with some glasses.  Not from the diabetes, but from staring at computer screens all day long.  I’ll be taking Uber for the first time in Pensacola.  Costs a bit less than a cab, and it’ll be interesting to see how it compares to Uber in bigger cities.

Yesterday I went in to get blood work done.  This is more extensive blood work compared to the daily tests I run at home.  It will be interesting to see what my A1C numbers look like.  They were off the charts while I was in the hospital.  I’m hoping to have them around 9 to start.  Eventually I would like to have them below 7 and close to 6.

Here is a picture from Chicago last summer.  This was taken before heading out to Cleveland, with a stop in Lansing along the way to visit family.

Joseph Sollner MTTS2014 Chicago

MTTS2014 Chicago Breakfast

Planting Flowers = Great Exercise

Today I planted a bunch of flowers outside.  I also created a wildflower bed along part of the driveway.  This should look really cool once the wild flowers start to sprout later on this summer.

Lugging around dirt, digging up weeds, raking leaves, and finally planting is a good workout for sure.  I have been averaging around 15,000 to 20,000 steps when I do yard work.  About 5 to 7 miles of walking around the yard.  Not much by some standards but not bad for me.

The good news is all the work has actually lowered my blood sugar reading about 10 points on average.  So adding flowers to the yard is helping me lower my blood sugar.  Not bad at all.

Here are some pics of the flowers added today.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

Driveway wildflower bed.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

Flowers in the front yard.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

These grow like crazy.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

Flowers in the front yard.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

Marigolds to protect the vegetable garden.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

Climbing plants for the shed.

Joseph Sollner - Early Summer Flowers

Climbing plants for the shed.

Diabetes Management Software

So I’ve spent awhile researching diabetes management software.  Primarily looking for something that I can just automatically populate with data from my blood glucose meter.  I was surprised that there really wasn’t anything out there that was an all around good product.  Most programs did one or two things great, but fell short in integrating an overall ease of use experience with good data management.

I did finally find Glooko, and their MeterSync Blue product.  They really have created what I feel is the best solution out there.  I can’t wait for my MeterSync Blue to arrive so I can start using it along with the full suite of data management tools.  I’ve already loaded the app onto my phone, and plan to use an iPad to track all my medicine and insulin doses.

I really want to get down to a few as possible medicines, and would love to get off of insulin.  The cost adds up, and plus, who likes giving themselves shots every day?

Here is a picture of an ‘art car’ that was in town awhile back, the Chewbaru.

Joseph Sollner Art Car at Art Fair

The Chewbaru