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Deep Sea Diabetes

Last month my parents were down here for a little vacation to visit their grand daughter. During this trip, my dad really wanted to get out on the ocean and do some deep sea fishing. We decided we were going to take out a large charter boat, even though we knew we weren’t likely to catch much because of the amount of people that were going to be on the boat.

The night before I got everything together that I knew I was going to take with me because we had to get up pretty early. I packed the cooler with:

  • Water
  • Gatorade
  • Regular Soda
  • Skittles
  • Sunscreen
  • Syringe, insulin, meter (packed in ziplock and kept on the outer pocket of the cooler)

In the morning I ate a bagel because I wanted a food that I knew would keep my BG levels above 160. This is one of the few times that I don’t mind my BG going over 160-180 and not doing anything to correct it. I knew that the heat and the activity level of reeling in fishing line would lower my BG levels naturally, so I didn’t want any extra help with the insulin.

Once on the boat, I actually decided to detach myself from the pump for a little while because it was very crowded and lines were being crossed so people were walking in and out and in front of and behind of everyone and I didn’t want to take the chance of the tubing getting snagged (no fishing pun intended, well kinda), on anyone.

Unfortunately, I was right about catching fish. My dad and I both hooked two fish, but it was at the same time we were surrounded by sharks and they were having a feeding frenzy on everyone who was hooking fishing. The good news about the trip is that I didn’t have any extreme lows. We moved to a different fishing spot 2 times, so during those 10-15 minute breaks I drank some water and snacked on a few Skittles.

This was only the 3rd time in the 11 years I’ve been diagnosed that I’ve been out in the ocean and all 3 times I’ve had successful trips.

Here’s to the next one being just as fun.

Dear Jay Cutler – Letter to Jay

Some of you have seen lately that I have been tweeting about Jay Cutler and my dream and goal of interviewing him.  So here is an open letter to Mr. Jay Cutler himself.

Dear Jay Cutler,

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.  It is not very often that somebody considers somebody else close to their own age a role model.  I can honestly say that I am one of those people.  I am truly inspired everyday by your actions of being an NFL quarterback with type 1 diabetes.  Why is this so inspirational to me?  Here’s a little background.

I played QB my entire life.  Had scholarship opportunities to Rutgers before a serious knee injury and ended up playing D-3 ball for a year.  During that year, towards the end of the season, I had began to feel extremely tired and drained of all energy.  I was also drinking a lot of water and gatorade and just didn’t have an appetite.  I started to see a big drop in the output I was getting on the field and in the gym.  Long story short, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a few months later.

So, I understand playing QB with diabetes, but can’t understand doing it at such a high level of the NFL.  For the fact that I am a type 1 QB, and you are an NFL type 1 quarterback has intrigued me to have a goal of interviewing you since you were diagnosed.

I am a Jay Cutler fan, except when you play the Eagles because let’s face it, I’m from Philly and you know nothing comes between Philly and the Eagles.  I believe that the media judges and puts you out to be something you are not.

As “groupie” as this letter sounds, it is an honest letter coming from a guy who is inspired by your hard work ethic and what you do for the diabetes community.

So, I end this letter with, Jay Cutler, will you grant me an interview opportunity?

Thank you.

Chris Stocker

My Life Before Diabetes

This blog is obviously titled The Life of a Diabetic because I have a life and I just so happened to be diabetic.  But what about that life I had before diabetes.  I always hear people ask, are you glad you were diagnosed at 19 or would you rather have been diagnosed as a young child and not know anything different?  Well, I don’t have an answer to that because I’ve only lived through one situation.  But I will be the first to tell you, it is one hell of a reality check and a complete shock and change of lifestyle.  If you have ever heard me speak or talk about my diagnosis, you would have heard the story of me being a freshman in college and being rushed to the ER with a blood sugar level of 858.  And then life changed.  Let’s take an adventure into Chris before diabetes (kinda like Behind the Music).

Growing up, I was just like any other child.  I was very athletic so I played every sport possible, football, basketball, baseball, track.  I was always an outgoing person that just wanted to do something to make myself better at a sport to try and get a scholarship one day, that was my whole goal.  I was a fit, in shape kid. Hit 6’0″ in 8th grade and stayed that height through high school.  I weighed about 180 going into high school and got up to about 215 before graduation.  My life was starting to take shape.  I was all about football and basketball, constantly practicing to get better.  My parents supported me in anything that I wanted to do for sports.  Camps, clinics, late night practice sessions, driving me from place to place.  My dad always told me that I didn’t need to work through high school because my job was sports.

Towards the end of high school I started to see my life path and where I wanted to be in several years.  I had a scholarship offer to play QB at the University of Maryland during my junior year of high school.  I suffered a knee injury that required ACL, MCL, LCL, and cartilage removal (more on this later about how a doctor said this could have triggered my diagnosis).  After that knee surgery, Maryland ripped up the scholarship.  I was knocked down, but I picked myself back up and worked hard through rehab to get a full ride offer from Rutgers.  Well, there was the next step of my life, I was going to play QB at Rutgers and pursue my dream of the NFL.  And then a tweak to my ACL happened again, and my scholarship got taken away, because it was too much of a risk (kinda sounds like a pre-existing condition clause to an insurance company).  Once again, dealt another bad hand, but got back up and kept moving.

Finally, I decided that instead of going to a junior college that Rutgers suggested, I would go to King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA for a year and get better.  Second week of practice another knee injury set me back, once again.  These knee injuries are like high blood sugars it seems like.  I made it through the season successfully though.  After the season was over, I began working out right away to put myself in a good position.  Then I started to get tired, and even more tired everyday.  I started to lose weight because I was working out.  And then I started drinking a lot of water because my body was dehydrated.  Then I kept urinating a lot because I was drinking so much water.  Then I started losing an appetite because my body was getting worn out, so I decided to stop working out.  I couldn’t keep up with the workouts anymore so I had to quit something for the first time in my life, I had to hang up the cleats.  Fast forward to that night in college throwing up all day and night and being rushed to the ER.

That is a general summary of my life before diabetes.  My whole life was sports, so I wanted to relate the sporting events to diabetes.  So who knows if I would have had those opportunities to play division 1 football if I had diabetes.  Knowing what I know now, and seeing Jay Cutler, of course I could.  There were some obvious changes from my life before diabetes and my life now, but I am happy where this life sent me.  I would have never moved to Florida, which means I would have never met Amanda.  If it weren’t for diabetes, I would not own my own company right now.  I would not be blogging.  I would not have the opportunities now that I have.

That was my life and it made me the person I am today.  However, today, I am the person I am….today.

What Diabetes Games Do You Play?

This Saturday I will be going to the Phillies and Marlins game in south Florida because it is the last time that the Phillies come down here.  I will be watching the Virginia Tech game in the early afternoon and head down to the game directly afterwards.  I am so happy that football is back, college this week and NFL next week.  Anyway, on to what I’m trying to get to.  I will be going down to the game a little earlier to tailgate.  It is great to tailgate at Phillies and Eagles away games because there are so many Philly fans no matter where you go.  When deciding to do the tailgating, we obviously had to plan which games we would be bringing with us.  Beer pong table, cornhole, washers and of course a football.  But then this got my thinking.  What if it was a diabetes tailgate?

So, this post is going to end pretty fast, with a simple question.

What type of diabetes games do you play, and please explain how you play them?  I am interested in learning some d-games.

Football and Diabetes Cause Stress Also

Yesterday I talked about the only real stress about diabetes that I get is when it comes to re-ordering my pump supplies.  Of course there is other stress involved, but I don’t allow myself to stress for very long.  Except when it comes to one major thing, football.  That is right, my Philadelphia Eagles stress me the f*ck out!  This year is going to be even more stressful because of all the off-season acquisitions that we received.  I am not going to speak too much about football here, but basically every year that football starts my blood sugars get a little out of control.

I go to the bar to watch the games and I am  constantly snacking throughout the whole game.  But not this year.  I am challenging myself not to snack throughout the game and I am also going to try and eat before I go to the game and then after the game in order to save money while I am there.  I am also working on my mental toughness that I had in high school and was very disciplined and not lazy and it was all about mental toughness.

I don’t ever bring my meter with me to the bar.  Once again, this is changing as well.  It will go into Amanda’s purse and I will test my sugar after the first 3 quarters and then the fourth quarter, well, it’s the fourth quarter and I am just going to have to tough it out.

Bring on football and bring on the stress!

Scary Low Blood Sugar at the Driving Range

Low Blood Sugar at Golf CourseToday was such a beautiful day and I was sitting at home just doing laundry and cleaning up all day, so I decided to take some time to go to the driving range.  I haven’t been able to golf for a few weeks and I have a golf tournament the second weekend of April, so I need to get back into golf shape.  Overall, not too bad.

Anyway, before I went there I had some chicken and pasta for lunch. I didn’t test my blood sugar before I went out to the driving range, not a good idea.  Once I got there, it was really hot out there, so I began to sweat right away and I could feel the blood sugar dropping.  I didn’t bring any candy or Gatorade with me, because I figured it would only take me about 15-20 minutes to go throw the bucket of balls.

I hit the first 10-15 balls normally, and then I felt it getting really low, so I didn’t want to exert too much energy, so I did a quick hit drill where I just lined the balls up and continued in a swinging motion.  This helped me get through the bucket balls a lot faster.  Now I had to drive home.  Luckily I live on the golf course and I didn’t decide to walk there like I initially was going to do. As soon as I got home, I drank some orange juice and ate a few cookies and then it was all good.

The blood sugar dropped quickly because I didn’t think it was that bad, and I just spent the money to buy driving range golf balls, so I didn’t want to just not hit them.  I know exactly what you’re thinking, because I thought the same thing, is a $4.00 bucket of driving range golf balls worth passing out from a low blood sugar?  Absolutely not!

I survived it, and sometimes I test my limits, but I know that I shouldn’t.

I am typing this at almost midnight Saturday night, and it is a lot more relaxing writing blog posts on a Saturday night then going out I think.

Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about a diet idea that one of my co-workers came up with because he was concerned about my eating habits and my diabetes.

Different Kind of Doctor’s Appointment

This week has been filled with different kinds of doctor appointments other than diabetes.  I did something to my knee in a co-ed softball league a couple of weeks ago.  The same knee that I tore my ACL on 9 years ago.  Seems like I may have partially re-torn it, or tweaked it a little bit.  But I had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor and it’s weird going to doctor’s visits that have nothing to do with diabetes.  I was impressed however, that when the doctor saw me, right away he said, “Ah, Minimed insulin pump.”  Made me feel good about this guy that he knew what an insulin pump was, and also the brand.

I had to get an MRI on the knee yesterday, but there were some issues so I had to reschedule it for this Saturday.  I haven’t had an MRI in a long time, but I hate them.  The worst part about this injury is that it pretty much has me doing no exercise at all.  I can ride a bike, but at a slow minimal speed.  I can’t play softball, I can’t golf, I can’t walk far distances or run.  I can swim, but I haven’t had a chance to get into that workout schedule.  I’m up when my girlfriend leaves for work, so I am really going to try and start going to the pool at that time and getting a few laps in for some exercise.

Well, until I hear more from the doc about the knee, I will just be worrying and hoping that I don’t need any sort of surgery.

Have a good day ya’ll

Sunday Blood Sugars

I haven’t talked about how sports affects my diabetes lately because the Eagles have been playing well lately and I have not had too many worrisome times with them.  Same with Virginia Tech.  There has been close games, but I have had full confidence so far this year.  Today brings a match up between the Eagles and the Giants, division rivals.  Also, rivalries with a lot of people that I know and I will not hear the end of this until next year if the Eagles get beat.  I have no doubt that they will win tonight, but it gives me that little added stress.

When I am watching an Eagles game, my heart starts to beat very fast and I haven’t really checked my blood pressure during the games, but I have a few years ago and there was a huge difference in my blood pressure between a blow out game and a tight game.  My blood sugars vary depending on where I am watching the game.  Since I live in south Florida now, the Eagles games are not on tv a lot, so I have to go to a sports bar to watch the game.  When I go to a sports bar, I do not take my meter in with me, and I kinda guess what my blood sugar is going to be.

If I am watching the game at home, like I am tonight, then I will test my sugar like I normally would so they are a little more under control.  But I do have a problem testing my sugar at home as opposed to how often I test it at work, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other time.

Well, today is Sunday so that means time for laundry and cleaning up around the house and relaxing with football. So have a great day everyone.

A New Week, A Lot of Work

A new week, a lot of work.  I decided to take kind of a 3 day weekend from working on things.  I turned my laptop on for about 30 minutes since Friday and that was to just write blog posts of Saturday and Sunday.  So now I have a lot to catch up on.  I have created a new exercise plan as well and I am going to stick to it.  If I can dedicate 30 minutes a day to write a blog post every day, I can dedicate 30 minutes a day to exercising as well.  I’ve put on too much weight over the last 3 weeks.  I just need to get back down to a manageable level of weight, basically so I can fit into all of the clothes that I don’t fit into anymore.

Last night’s game with the Bears and Eagles was a great game.  We won and that was awesome, but it was also great to see Cutler throw a touchdown for Diabetes as well.  The best part of the game last night was when it was over.  McNabb went over to Cutler and pulled him away from the cameras and talked him for several minutes.  This gave me the chills.  Cutler isn’t playing that great right now, but neither are his teammates (as a former QB myself, I could tell a lot of receivers were running wrong patterns and it’s not always his fault).  And the city is going to start turning their back on Cutler and McNabb of all people know how that feels.  I think that was a stand up classy thing for McNabb to do.

Moving on, my niece will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, I can’t believe that.  Tomorrow is also the birthday of the twins.  When I refer to “the 11.13.09 002twins” this is what I mean.  My aunt, who was more like a sister to me, has 4 little girls, and they have called me Uncle Chris since day 1 and I have called them my nieces, so I still call them my nieces even though they are really cousins.  Confusing?  I know.  Here is a most recent photo I have my new niece.

Well, now it’s time to get back to work.  Have a great, short week.