Thursday, January 21, 2016

Diabetes and Frostbite


The look on the face of the man above is about how I feel during the winter. I am not a fan of being cold (or for that matter hot) and I think of winter as kind of thing one just lives through.

While I was doing some research the other day, I was reading about frostbite. Frostbite is one of those things that they talk about on the news when it is so bitterly cold.

Did you know that people with diabetes are more susceptible to frostbite? The article I was reading did not go into specifics as to why this would be true but I imagine it is because of reduced feeling in the feet of some people with diabetes. Also, people with peripheral neuropathy would have decreased circulation which would also cause the hands and feet to have a harder time warding off frostbite.


What can you do to avoid frostbite? The easy answer is to stay inside when it is bitterly cold. But that doesn't work for most people. You need to limit your time outside and dress in layers. Areas of the body most susceptible to frostbite are the hands, fingers, feet, toes, ears, and your nose. Make sure that you cover those areas when you are outside in the bitter cold. Keep them protected from the elements. Make sure that your clothing is not restrictive - as in not so tight that it obstructs blood flow. (If you are diabetic you should not be wearing tight shoes or socks at any time of the year.)

If you think you have frostbite, it is time to go see your doctor or the ER and have it checked. One of the important things is that if you have an area that you think might be frostbite make sure you don't thaw it and then re-freeze it. That is particularly bad. Also, if you think you have an area that has frostbite, warm that area slowly. You can soak it in warm water but not hot water.

Mostly, I hope you live somewhere that is not as awfully cold as it has been here. If you do live somewhere warm, how come I am not visiting you?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do You Have FONK?


Do you have trouble being realistic in areas of your life? I do.

Take my emails. I always seem to have emails that I have not opened but I am sure I will. The subject line has led me to believe that there is something interesting there. For example, I have kept an unopened email for the last three days that has a subject line of something like “100 things to do this winter”. I almost opened it and then thought about whether or not I needed 100 things to do this winter. After all, I am in the middle of cleaning out our house and getting ready to move. Do I have time for 100 things to do? I can name 100 things I need to do within the walls of my house.
So, why did it take me three days to delete that email?

Have you heard about FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out? That is when you have a terrible time deciding what to do because there are options and you are worried that by choosing one thing that you will miss out on another. A quick Google search of “FOMO” brings up over a million entries in 0.37 seconds. Yea, it is a thing.

I think my problem is not as much FOMO as FONK. Yes, that’s right, I suffer from FONK. (This is completely different from funk. Which I don’t’ have – at least not right now.) What is FONK? The Fear Of Not Knowing. I don’t worry about choosing between things. I just like to know about things. I like to know what the new movies are about but I never go to the movies. I like to know about the activities around town but I generally don’t participate. I just like knowing what is going on. Because of this, I keep magazines and emails when I shouldn’t. 

 So which do you think is worse FOMO or FONK? Even though I asked the question, I don’t know if one is worse than the other. Being human, I think that FOMO must be worse than FONK because I don’t have it.

I think that having FONK has led to clutter whether it is in my email box or in my home. Several years ago, I started using an app called “” The purpose of this app is to help clean out your email inbox. You decide if you want to see an email in your inbox, if you want it “rolled up” (put into a once a day email) or if you want to unsubscribe to that email sender. I have gotten more ruthless over time but I still get some emails that I should hit the unsubscribe button. I look at my daily rollup and think that I should unsubscribe from most of those emails. While I can easily do it, I still haven’t.
I also go through spurts of feeling that I should be reading certain magazines. And then they sit and I never read them. Since we are moving, I have been letting my magazine subscriptions lapse but why did I wait? 

Wondering how this applies to diabetes? Well, they say that reducing clutter will help you lose weight. Reducing my FONK tendencies might help me with my perpetual goal of weight loss.

 I think it is time to let go of some of my FONK tendencies. Are you afflicted with either FOMO or FONK?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!

Let me be the millionth person to wish you a Happy New Year! I wish you a year filled with wonderful surprises and lots of wish fulfillment.

Did you make resolutions for this new year? Have you started them yet? Have you broken them yet? I have so many things that I would like to change! It would take a notebook to keep track of them. Do you find it easy to make a list of changes you would like to implement?

While I am by no means an expert on making personal changes, I have read widely on the subject. As a result, I have some suggestions.

1.  Start with one change. Do not try and change more than one behaviors at a time.That is a recipe for disappointment. If you have a list of things that you want to change, make the list but plan to start each one a month apart. So, let's say you want to start going to the gym and you want to lose weight. So maybe you start going to the gym in January and plan to start changing your eating habits in February.Don't try and be a juggler with your changes - those balls will fall down.

2.  Look at the changes and make them measurable  Don't just say, "I am going to start going to the gym".  Instead say, "I am going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 30 minutes." That way you know when and for how long it will take you to meet your desired change.

3.  Plan for problems  Maybe once a month you have to go to a meeting at the normal time you would go to the gym. Think about how you will adjust your schedule for occurrences that will crop up.Will you go at a different time of day or will you go on a different day? If you have a plan in mind for when you will have to adjust, it will help you when the time comes.

4.  Find a way to enjoy whatever you are going to do. If it is going to the gym, do something that will be more fun for you. Maybe you need a kickboxing class. Maybe running on the treadmill and listening to books on tape is better for you. Think about what you like and incorporate it into your whatever you decide that you have to change.

5.  If you have a big change that you want to make, break it down into pieces. Then you can see how to accomplish the change and see yourself moving toward the goal.

6.  Tell someone about your goal. Supposedly this will help you keep to it. I am not a fan of this. I think that I will stop whether or not I have told someone. You know if that would motivate you so if it would, tell someone. (or everyone)

Overall, just think of the little engine that could.  I think I can. I think I can.

Thanks for reading!