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The cost of ignoring diabetes

March 8th, 2017 No comments

In my early 40’s I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes along with high blood pressure (hypertension). I followed my doctors regimen of medications and over time I lost weight (122 lbs to date) and had my blood sugar under control. My regular doctor visits became spread apart further and further as I was following my directions and I was doing fine. The costs of these medications increased over time and I decided on my own that since I was no longer having problems, I didn’t need to take my medications.

Those, such as myself, who fail to realize how uncontrolled diabetes can cause health complications ranging from loss of sight, damaged kidneys, heart problems and even amputation. Poorly managed diabetes leads to nerve damage, a side-effect known as diabetic neuropathy, and also restricts blood flow to the extremities, making it harder for wounds to heal. Left untreated, within just weeks even a minor foot injury, such as a blister, can lead to infection and gangrene. In many cases this occurs when sufferers simply don’t give the condition enough respect labeled by psychologists as diabetic denial.

Almost three years after I stopped taking my medications, I experienced a change that has affected me emotionally as well as physically. I’ve put myself through a harrowing realization that by not taking my condition seriously I have decreased my quality of life. So now, due to my “diabetic denial”, I now have one less “little piggy!” From an unknown blister/sore between my pinky toe and fourth toe on my right foot that became infected to losing the fourth toe altogether. It is still being treated by my wound care doctor but is looking better at each dressing change. During my hospital stay I was introduced to several teams of doctors. The surgeons team which is also my wound care doctor, the infectious disease team which was charged with ensuring my bone infection was clear, the nephrology team which ensured my kidneys were working and my regular doctors team.

I write this in hopes that somebody somewhere reads it and it helps them. I haven’t spoken of this much at all, not even to family and friends. It’s taken me a bit of time and I’m not sure I’ve dealt with it in a sane manner. Luckily my family that is around me everyday have kept me smiling and laughing, even sending me “lack-toes intolerant” memes the day of my surgery. I’m getting my blood sugar back under control again and back on medications that are less costly.

According to the CDC, more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010. One in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it. Another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have prediabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 percent to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

Type 2 diabetes usually happens later in life and is linked with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle – although spiraling rates of obesity in children have led to an unprecedented explosion in this form of the disease, too. But regardless of the type, the risks and side-effects of both conditions are exactly the same – which is why they both need close monitoring. Take it from me, monitoring is a life changer!

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The Duties of American Citizenship

May 13th, 2016 No comments

I recently had a tense discussion about civic duty with a well-informed young man that does not believe in civic duty in regards to voting. My point was that regardless of your party affiliation, the candidates, etc., you are responsible for voting.

Theodore Roosevelt once said that “A U.S. Citizen being virtuous must not become ineffective, and not excuse himself for shirking his duties by any false plea that he cannot do his duties and retain his self-respect. This is nonsense, he can; and when he urges such a plea it is a mark of mere laziness and self-indulgence.”

Wanting to prove a point that the U.S. Government does expect certain inalienable duties, I found some details at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Rights Responsibilities
Freedom to express yourself. Support and defend the Constitution.
Freedom to worship as you wish. Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
Right to a prompt, fair trial by jury. Participate in the democratic process.
Right to vote in elections for public officials. Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
Right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship. Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
Right to run for elected office. Participate in your local community.
Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
Serve on a jury when called upon.
Defend the country if the need should arise.

While these are not all, they certainly cover most. Yes, it is your right to vote. It is not compulsory, it is a privilege AND a responsibility. As stated above, “Participate in your local community.” If voting is not participating in your local community then what category does it fall in?

Roosevelts closing statement of his speech in 1883 rings so true even today;
“In facing the future and in striving, each according to the measure of his individual capacity, to work out the salvation of our land, we should be neither timid pessimists nor foolish optimists. We should recognize the dangers that exist and that threaten us: we should neither overestimate them nor shrink from them, but steadily fronting them should set to work to overcome and beat them down. Grave perils are yet to be encountered in the stormy course of the Republic — perils from political corruption, perils from individual laziness, indolence and timidity, perils springing from the greed of the unscrupulous rich, and from the anarchic violence of the thriftless and turbulent poor. There is every reason why we should recognize them, but there is no reason why we should fear them or doubt our capacity to overcome them, if only each will, according to the measure of his ability, do his full duty, and endeavor so to live as to deserve the high praise of being called a good American citizen.”

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They don’t make them like they used to

October 8th, 2015 No comments

Recently my 15 year old PC mouse at work started failing on the left click button. It was a Blue Logitech BJ58. I understand the blue was hard to find and I especially appreciated that my friend Sandy Martin gave it to me.

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So the bossman stopped somewhere one morning and got me this cool looking wireless mouse.

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I’m not sure I’ll like a wireless mouse but so far so good. I may repair the old one but the new one is growing on me. Thanks MM.

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Road Trip to Vegas

October 2nd, 2015 No comments

A good friend of my son Wes is getting married in Las Vegas the first week of November. After looking over flights to Vegas Wes and I have decided to take a road trip instead. We have calculated our trip and hotels reserved. We’ll have more to chronical on this trip than we did on our trip to Austin. We’ll be in a small rush to get there but will have time on the way back to try to see as much as we can.

Suggestions?

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I am 50 Today

March 5th, 2014 No comments

Today I’m half a century old. I’m not sad or depressed. Every year I’ve learned to appreciate all the blessings in my life even more than the years before.

I attribute a lot of what I’ve gathered in the way of wisdom to grandparents who loved me and spent much of their time shaping me into the person I now want more than anything to be. To parents who love me so much, are always there for me and wise enough to know when to give me wings and when to hold my feet to the fire. To marrying the most loving and caring woman who challenges me in the things I think I can’t do. To parenting two of the most amazing children and to a God who gave everything for me. My family and friends through my life have most assuredly influenced, cared and corrected me as needed.

So I felt compelled this week to look back at my 5 decades and determine if I’ve made an impact. I don’t mean anything like did I create a cure for cancer. No, nothing that monumental. I mean did my presence or my efforts make an impact?

The first recollection of presenting myself to the World is not well remembered and had me standing in an open window with bars while in Madrid Spain. I was either handing out money that did not belong to me or urinating onto the sidewalk. Either way it must have been impressive! I was three. During my first decade I also met my first best friend Bobby Fields. He lived in the house directly behind our house in Meridian MS. He was a year older and we enjoyed playing basketball, riding our bikes and goofing off around the neighborhood. Good times.

My next decade was exciting and included the beginning and the end of my teenage years. Dating, you all know who you are, I’m not going to go into details. Driving, accident(s), showing off. My mom bought me a 1967 Ford Mustang when I got my license. My first job at the Woolworth in College Park assembling bicycles for Christmas and menial labor. Great church family at Calvary Baptist Church. Great memories going on church trips. Our family moved from Meridian MS to Clinton MS. I graduated high school and joined the USAF traveling the World. Lost my Papaw. Miss him so much.

My third decade was very rewarding and challenging. Finished my planned time span in the military and met and coerced an amazing young woman to marry me and moved her to Atlanta GA! New jobs for us both and we bought our first house and new car. I assisted in the creation of our first child; a boy! Very proud! Moved my new family back home to MS. It ended with some dispiriting time.

My fourth decade was a time of growth. I again assisted in creating our second child; a girl! Blessed! Job changes for us both. Challenging times becoming parents. Bought our second home. Great memories watching my siblings families grow. Last few years were of better job opportunities and a career change.

This last decade has included a rewarding career change, new church, new friends and new experiences. Children turning into adults and I’m having separation anxiety. I’m anxious for them to move out! A nurturing relationship with my loving wife. A few medical issues that are under some control. Growing relationships with my God, my family and my friends. I lost my grandmother and my Dad. I still tear up missing them.

So that’s my abridged version of my life to date. So I’ll close with a few things I’ve learned. It’s not WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have in your life that counts. Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are but we are responsible for who we become. Having a trusted friend provides perspective when you’re concerned or stressed.

I’m grateful to everyone in my life and I hope to enjoy many more moments with all of you. You know who you are!

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