A Type-1’s Naming Day…

Okay, I’ll be the first one to admit that maybe I need to lay off the YouTube for a while, because I personify the type of person who slips down the rabbit hole and finds way more than he expects to. Then I keep watching, and watching… And watching… But I found this video interesting, because it involves someone I’ve been watching on television over the past few months that I wasn’t even aware has Type-1 Diabetes! This catches me with a bit of egg on my face, because one of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tells me, “You don’t LOOK Diabetic…” What the fuck is someone “supposed” to look like if they have Diabetes?

The video depicts the Diabetes journey of American actress Mary Mouser, who has most recently played Samantha Larusso, the daughter to protagonist (depending on your perspective of the storyline) Daniel Larusso, in the popular web series, Cobra Kai. Now, being a long-time fan of the original Karate Kid movies, I jumped on this series without hesitation and watched both available seasons within days and am greatly anticipating the third season, which is said to be coming out in early 2021.

In the included YouTube video, Mouser describes her discovery of Type-1 and how it affected her life. She was diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 13, which I can say from having many friends in the same boat, is incredibly rough. I had the benefit of being diagnosed at the tender age of 4, which means I had barely a clue as to what the hell was going on. But you can see Mouser become visibly emotional at certain points in the video, and it definitely brings it home for me. Check it out:

Mouser talks about the tenth anniversary of her diagnosis and the video was posted on YouTube by Mouser herself, last year. I can’t help by note the similarities in the fact that although she’s only portraying it in a role, she plays a character who grew up in a karate environment. This rings true with a great deal of my own upbringing, as I grew up training in karate, as well.

I was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes in 1982, after passing out in a bowl of Froot Loops. Honestly. That’s what got me diagnosed. There were a number of symptoms that presented themselves for months before that incident, including weight fluctuations, severe mood swings and I even started wetting the bed again. One of the big problems with having a brother with Epilepsy, kidney failure and Fanconi Syndrome (a post for another day), is that my aches and pains often went ignored. Despite all of these symptoms, nothing appeared to be “seriously” wrong, so it was chalked up to growing pains or being a moody kid (which I was).

This wasn’t a slight on my parents’ part, it was simply the result of my brother constantly being on death’s doorstep where I was not. At least not that they knew of… Apparently, they were wrong. Imagine passing out on a Tuesday and waking up on a Wednesday… Of the following week! That’s how my journey started. And it was all downhill, from there.

When I woke from that first incident, I had severe Diabetic Ketoacidosis and my blood sugars were being slowly lowered and I was being rehydrated by way of an IV infusion. I had a number of family members present, including my parents, brother and grandparents. They already knew what the doctor hadn’t yet told me: I had Type-1 Diabetes. My life and my future were effectively changed, forever.

Over the two weeks that followed, I was taught a number of things including how to test my blood sugars, how to take insulin injections, dieting (which basically just involved avoiding sugar) and what would be involved in my day-to-day life for the rest of my life. It was hectic and stressful. I can admit that at the young age of 4, I only understood a small percentage of it. A lot of it went over my head, which created strange combination of indifference mixed with anxiety.

To my mother’s credit, she practiced injecting saline water into her own arms as opposed to practicing on an orange, which is what doctors and educators would provide, back in the day. Her perspective was that she wouldn’t allow anything to be done to her child that she hadn’t experienced herself. She bruised herself up pretty good, before starting to help me take my daily injections.

It was a disgustingly rough journey and over the years that followed, which included no less than 5 comas (the longest of which lasted almost two weeks), multiple changes in therapies and doctors and constant adjustments, I faced the inevitable lack in most of the advantages that kids my age enjoyed. I never joined sports, never had sleepovers and never enjoyed the usual social normalcies that kids my age had. But I adjusted and fought through all of it. My brother, who is now deceased, saved my life in almost every instance of the comas I mentioned, as he shared a room with me and would be the one to alert my parents that I was in distress.

In 1988, I faced a situation that no child should ever have to. I was told I was going to die. It wasn’t said in those exact words, but the reality sunk in regardless. Severe Diabetes complications including insulin resistance were causing my body to fail. Doctors really had no solution at the time, other than changing up my insulin type, which did absolutely nothing. Insulin resistance can be dangerous, since it prevents the proper use of glucose in your body.

That’s when I took matters into my own hands and joined karate. I started taking responsibility for my own diet and fitness and started to develop myself, physically. It worked for me. It may not work for everyone. But the important thing is to keep fighting and find what works for you. The nay-sayers over the years, have stated that they don’t believe that martial arts and fitness would help overcome medical complications. But the question is, how could it not? There may be no cure for Type-1 Diabetes, but you can still kick its ass. There are tons of ways to improve your health and stretch your life expectancy as opposed to what we faced, even 20 or 30 years ago. Keep fighting. Keep looking for a way.

And if Mary’s video inspired you or touched a chord, be sure to check her out on Cobra Kai, which is currently available on Netflix. There are only two seasons, with Season three coming out soon, but it’s definitely a hard-hitting show that covers martial arts, karate, the social condition and stars a lot of talented people from the 1980’s and modern day. ☯

A Little Something To Inspire…

I quote a lot of articles and posts in my blog. This is because I’m not a doctor, dietitian or fitness expert, although 32 years of intensive martial arts training HAS to count for something. But for the most part, I speak from the heart and try to be as genuine as possible while quoting sites and people that I know will add some credibility to what I say. Last weekend, I was free-falling down the YouTube rabbit one one night, since my wife was out of town and my 5-year old was fast asleep. And I found a video that moved me to tears…

Those who know me well are quite aware that I’m not a man who exudes emotion easily. But this man’s journey did it for me… The man in the video is named Vance Hinds. An assistant DA in Texas, he was living an extremely unhealthy life and weighed in at 475 pounds, which is over 265 pounds heavier than I’m currently sitting. Hinds was ironically first inspired to lose weight by a comedian named Burt Kreischer.

Although I don’t know why a comedian, of all people, would motivate someone to lose weight (I haven’t researched this person), Hinds reached out to a former professional wrestler named Diamond Dallas Page. I’m familiar with Page, having watched him wrestle throughout my 20’s and my early 30’s, and I know that he contributes a significant amount of time to helping other people achieve their weight-loss goals as a motivational coach.

I’m linking the YouTube video below. I don’t claim ownership, nor do I have any rights to this video. As I said, I just happened to land on it while surfing YouTube, one night. The video is only about 5:30 minutes and you can watch Hinds’ journey from 475 pounds to 277 pounds, for a total loss of 198 pounds. It’s pretty inspirational…

This motivates me. Here’s a guy that did it simply for the sake of improving his health and his overall lifestyle. No endorsements, no financially charged motivation; he did it for himself and his family. It brings my own journey into perspective. In 1988-89, I joined karate in order to help me overcome insulin resistance and Diabetes complications that threatened to end my life before my 20’s. I succeeded.

Now, as I move into my 40’s, I’ll admit that my own weight and living habits have fallen to the wayside. I’ve tried a number of different things to overcome these issues. And I believe that it’s important to try as many different things as possible; it allows us to find the path that’s right for us. But seeing Vance’s weight loss journey has made me realize that losing the 20 or 30 pounds I need in order to be healthier is small potatoes in comparison to what this man just went through.

When I attended the police academy in 2009, I weighed in at 185 pounds. By the time I graduated six months later, intensive training, exhaustion and diet brought me down to 165 pounds. It was the lightest I had ever weighed, at that point in my life. I’d like to say I felt great, but the exhaustion was palpable. Within two years of walking away from the academy, I broke the 200-pound threshold and I’ve been fighting to dip below it, ever since.

Obviously, Diabetes plays a significant role in how my metabolism functions and the weight I carry. That being said, I’ve seen Type-1’s who have been in the “skinny” category. Am I trying to be skinny? Fuck, no! I believe in carrying some mass, it’s one of the only way s to maintain strength. But I think that dropping some weight and finding a way to keep it off should be possible. In 2014, I was down in the low 190’s and that simply involved consistent cardio and weight workouts and a “reasonable” diet of three regulated meals a day.

Body image is an important part of who we are. You shouldn’t aspire to be who you see in magazines or on the internet, but rather who you feel you genuinely are. We can all gain inspiration from other people’s journey. The important part is finding a way to make it work for you, and to achieve the goals that you aspire to in order rot be healthy and happy. Hopefully, you all find that path. ☯

Mild Bragging Rights

I’ve been working on bring down my Hemoglobin A1C for about the past ten years. It hasn’t been easy; shift work, stress and basic lifestyle make it somewhat difficult to maintain decent blood sugars at the best of times. This was one of the main reasons behind why I decided to start on pump therapy. Over the past five years or so, I’ve been slowly creeping my way down.

For those of you who don’t speak the Diabetes dialect, Hemoglobin A1C (or simply A1C) is a measurement of the average blood glucose levels over three months by measuring the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in the blood. Anything over 6.5% is usually indicative of someone who has Diabetes. Anything below that is generally considered normal. There can be some exceptions to these levels, but it’s pretty basic and has been one of the most-used evaluations to measure how controlled someone’s blood sugar levels have been.

The big problem is that in the past five to ten years, improving A1C results have yielded to increasing one’s blood sugar’s “time in range.” That is to say, maintaining more time between 5.5 to 7.0 mmol/L. The big problem is that one’s A1C level can be manipulated over three months thought extreme highs and lows. Time in range cannot. Keeping your blood sugar in range can’t be manipulated, which is where my new pump and CGM come into play.

Auto mode on the new Medtronic 670G (or newish to me, at least) uses continuous glucose monitoring to verify my blood sugars every five minutes. That means that my blood sugar levels are measured 288 times a day, assuming the sensor and auto mode are working right. The best I’ve ever managed is about once an hour, without taking into consideration that I try to sleep for eight hours a day and work. Meaning that I may get lucky and test my blood six to eight times in the course of a day with a traditional blood glucose monitor.

Combine the fact that auto mode works to correct blood sugar levels with each and every one of those readings and you greatly increase your odds of improving your time “in range.” Listen to me, I sound like a damn infomercial. I should be getting commission from Medtronic for endorsing their products. But seriously, my insulin pump and CGM have been great tools for helping me lower my A1C’s over the past few years.

Just to give you some reference, I started out with an A1C of about 8.4% five years ago. At those levels over an extended period of time, this A1C level will eventually cause vision problems, blood vessel and organ complications, heart disease and stroke. It stands to reason that I would want to try and lower it. But considering what I wrote in the previous paragraphs, why am I still focused on A1C’s? Shouldn’t I be working on “time in range?” Yes. Yes, I should. That’s why I’m doing both.

Better time in range means a better overall A1C. So the bottom line is I’m working on both. A week ago, I visited with my endocrinologist and was advised that my A1C level was at 7.2%, which is the lowest it’s been in years. My overall goal is to get to at least 6.9%. That would be a feather in my cap, as my doctor would say, and is hopefully a goal I will be able to achieve by my next appointment in March. ☯

You Can’t Go Back Again…

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you can’t go back again. What’s been is gone, with nothing left but what’s to come. Although I’ve always lived my life on the concept that one should never have regrets, there’s nothing wrong with missing certain aspects of one’s past. It’s encouraged, in fact. After all, as philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Of course, I believe he was referring mostly to being mindful of the lessons learned from our mistakes, so as to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future.

I was on a popular blog site this afternoon, when I came across a post about what people miss about the 90’s. The 1990’s were an exciting decade for me. I was never a fan of “boom-chick” music that seemed to be all the rave (see what I did there?) in the 90’s, preferring the more classic versions of true rock that emerged in the 1980’s, despite the hair and scrotum-strangling jeans that came with it.

It got me thinking about the specific things I miss about the 1990’s, and since I haven’t written one of my wonderful lists in quite a while, I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity. Without further ado, here is my top seven things I miss about the 1990’s:

  1. No Social Media: I’m coming’ out swinging on the first one and it may not be a popular or shared opinion. But I miss the days when social media DIDN’T rule the world. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were barely an idea in some nerd’s brain at this point, and life seemed all the better for it. People actually did things together in groups (imagine that?) instead of spending nights up chatting online;
  2. Gaming Systems: Oh, to have an original NES system at my disposal… I use an online emulator to play some of my old favourites like Super Mario Bros. 3, but it’s just not the same. And yes, I totally get the irony of bashing on technology while admitting I use it to revisit the past. Let’s not go there! The arrival of the N64 changed gaming forever with the two best games for group parties: 007: GoldenEye and Super Mario Kart 64. It always felt as though we could play those games forever and never get tired. Games these days are all purchased on one’s phone or tablet. It lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi…”;
  3. Television Was Better: Many may argue on this point, and I’ll admit I’d have difficulty living without the miracle that is the MCU, but television in the 1990’s was LIT! TGIF lineup on Friday nights, movies that didn’t have a bunch of CGI thrown in and if you missed an episode of your favourite show, you were pretty much fucked as you couldn’t go back and rewatch it like you can on streaming services today. But the overall content just felt more real and genuine;
  4. There Were No Cell Phones: Smart phones have made our lives easier in so many ways, I’ve lost count. Emailing, scheduling, surfing the internet… Not to mention using it as a phone! But there was something liberating about knowing you could leave the house and not be pestered by texts, calls and emails at all hours of the day. Just because it’s convenient doesn’t make it good! It seems as though there’s simply no way to just “get away” these days, short of turning your phone off. And then you have to explain to folks why your phone was off and you ignored their contact. It’s a mess;
  5. Things were cheaper: I’m probably wrong about this, but the 1990’s felt like the last decade before inflation starting bending us over a log and jamming a red-hot poker up in there! Back in the mid-90’s when I got my driver’s licence (and purchased my own first vehicle), gasoline was only 56 cents per litre! Can you imagine? I had no idea how good I had it! Gasoline is currently 1.22 cents per litre, and when it dropped into the 90’s during there pandemic, people lost their fuckin’ minds! I used to work at a Catholic church’s bingo hall every Thursday night, collecting bingo cards for $15. On Tuesdays, I would walk or bike to my local corner store and purchase all four latest Superman comic titles, as well as a diet soda and a bag of chips for about $5. Financially, I was living large! Nowadays, it pretty much costs the $5 to purchase ONE comic book, let alone three of them with snacks;
  6. I Was Home: In a lot of ways, I don’t miss being a kid or a teenager. Living under someone else’s rules has never been my forte, but I had no idea how good life was. Everything was provided, I was safe and comfortable and I was with my family with my whole life ahead of me, and I had my Sensei and my karate school available to me. Although many would agree that being an adult and making your own way through life holds its own aspects of freedom, youth brought its own freedom, as well;
  7. Everything Was Fresh And New: Most people who think back on their adolescence will find memories of everything they did for the first time. Getting their driver’s licence, that first vehicle, first job, first girlfriend, first everything with said girlfriend… cough, cough… But now, the stress of adult life has watered down most things. I remember getting my first car. It was an absolute piece of shit. A two-door 1986 Toyota hatch back, 3-speed manual transmission. Yes, you read that right: 3-speed! But I loved that car to the moon and back, despite it’s poor condition and for performance. In April of 2018, I purchased a new-to-me sports coupe because my previous vehicle’s transmission exploded on the highway (you know the car, it’s the one I wrote about in Goodbye, Sweet Car…🎶). And all I could think of at the time, was how I now had a new bill to pay every month. Some of the innocence is lost.

Folks, we can’t go back again. This much is certain. But we can always look back fondly on the good things that we experienced, even if at times we didn’t realize they were good things. Every emotion, every action and every experience we went through in our past helped to define the people we are today. And unless you’re a career criminal or intentionally make other people suffer, who you are is pretty great.

What are some of the things you miss most about your adolescence? Feel free to leave your best memory in my comments section. ☯

Life, Uhh, Finds A Way…

Yes, I know Jurassic Park came out 27 years ago and most people from this generation may have heard of it, but have likely seen the newer, shittier iteration, Jurassic World. I love the work Chris Pratt has done on Parks & Rec, and definitely his portrayal of Starlord in the MCU universe. But there’s a special place in my heart for Steven Spielberg’s original interpretation of Michael Crichton’s book and I’m a HUGE Jeff Goldblum fan, hence the title. But movies aren’t the focus of today’s post. I mostly brought all this up so I could use Goldblum’s popular line from the movie as my title.

In fact, my flowers are the subject of conversation for today. At the start of August, I had written about how people are stepping outside their comfort zones and are undertaking a score of home projects, due to all the downtime everyone suddenly has as a result of COVID-19. My pet project was turning my backyard into something that didn’t look like the desert wasteland in Mad Max (another fantastic movie!) I wound up turning our barren dirt patch into a lush, green lawn and I planted a batch of flowers in a round, concrete planter that was there when we moved in.

The first example of one of my blooming flowers

During this last post about my backyard, I had written how excited I was about the full growth of greenage coming out of my planter, how I was starting to see a few flowers sprouting up and couldn’t wait to see how full everything would bloom. Then, a quick day-visit from my mother-in-law confirmed that most of the green in the planter was actually an invasive weed preventing the flowers from taking hold. I was pretty miffed at the time, especially since I was foolish enough to think it was all flowers. But my wife and I worked at removing as much of the weeds as we could in order to allow the flowers free reign.

Another one of my flowers in full bloom

I’ll admit that my recent focus has been on our home’s foundation and the repairs required, as well as their inherent cost. Now that the back lawn has taken proper hold and I have my garage cleared out as a dojo space, I’ve been largely ignoring the back yard. Until I noticed sometime last week that the planter seems to be in massive bloom, despite all the dead leaves floating around it. Even with the colder weather and autumn starting to set in, my flowers seem to keep on kicking.

Look at all this life, would you?

I know, flowers aren’t really everyone’s thing and many are likely thinking, “What’s the big deal? So you planted some seeds and they sprouted…” Well, first of all, to those many, shut up! Second of all, there’s a distinctive pride to undertaking something you’ve never done before and have it be successful. Especially faced with the fact that I struggled with getting it started over the summer, but once I left it alone it bloomed quite nicely on its own. Hence, Jeff Goldblum’s line about how life finds a way.

Nathan’s favourites, “Look at the blue, Daddy!”

It’s nice to have an outside hobby that can be done during the warmer season, and I’ll admit that planting flowers and tending to them is quite peaceful. And in case you don’t get the vibe behind my blog, trying to be at peace is kind of the point. One can’t help but feel joy at the sight of so much life blooming in one’s environment. With October in full swing, and snow likely to hit the ground within the next month, these flowers likely won’t survive for too very much longer. So I thought I would share them with all of you before they disappear. Granted, if they keep on blooming through the snow, I’ll be writing a different post about how I’ve grown “super flowers.” ☯

Keeping Your Cool…

Every once in a while, I find something funny or interesting online when I’m researching other posts. I like to throw these up in a post when I find them so that others can enjoy them and get a chuckle out of it. Plus it allows me to provide a short post where I don’t go on for several thousand words. Of course, despite saying I’m trying to keep it short, here I am jabbering on…

Although I get a kick out of this, it also serves to provide an important lesson. It’s important to keep your cool in daily life. After all, things would get pretty bad if one lost their proverbial shit for every little thing. But by the same token, everyone needs to cut loose and find an outlet every now and again. Fresh air, exercise and rigorous fitness routines can help to provide an outlet so that you don’t cause a shit storm of your own. ☯

International Coffee Day ☕️

Okay, this is one of those “silly” holidays that hold no real history or bearing and that most wonder if they should actually be “celebrated.” But I enjoy including some of these from time to time, especially when they relate to something near and dear to me. And I love coffee. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of caffeine, and since coffee is consumed pretty much everywhere in the world in some form or another, I though I would throw a few facts out for International Coffee Day

The first thing would be the development of this holiday. The International Coffee Organization in Milan came up with this little gem back in 2014. Depending on your source, the holiday is celebrated either on October 1st or September 29th. According to a Wikipedia post, International Coffee Day is celebrated on different dates ranging from early January to early October, depending on what country you hail from. I’ll stick to Canada’s September 29th.

I couldn’t find exactly how one “celebrates,” other than to consume and enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee. And most people do this on a daily basis, anyway. But now is as good a time as any to remind you of some of the potential health benefits of coffee, so long as with all things, you consume in moderation. Avoiding the fact that many experts believe we’ll run out of coffee beans by 2080 due to climate change, let’s examine my top five benefits of coffee:

  1. Coffee will make you less tired: This one should be pretty obvious, but I always like to start WITH the obvious one. Caffeine is a stimulant, and once it hits your blood stream and reaches your brain, it can help wash away fatigue;
  2. It’s good for you: As long as you don’t douse your coffee with a bunch of sugar and loads of creamer, black coffee has zero calories, zero carbohydrates and contains a batch of B-vitamins as well as Potassium;
  3. Coffee makes us happier: This is another d-uh moment. If you’re a coffee drinker, there’s a noticeable “pick-me-up” effect, due in part to caffeine’s stimulant effect but also because we enjoy the coffee. Any good part of your day is a good part of your day, and will make you happier;
  4. It can help stem Type-2 Diabetes: Despite having Diabetes myself, albeit Type-1, I’m a touch skeptical on this one. But there are a batch of studies that have apparently shown that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Type-2 Diabetes;
  5. Coffee is high in antioxidants: Next to the occasional glass of red wine, coffee contains a huge amount of antioxidants and can help clean you out from the bad stuff.

Healthline.com has a fantastic article entitled 13 Health benefits of Coffee, Based on Science, which outlines not only the five I mentioned above but eight more benefits as well. And I mentioned moderation earlier because as with all things in life, moderation is key. Overconsumption of caffeinated beverages can pretty much worsen or CAUSE the opposite of all the benefits I have listed above.

I also forgot to mention my favourite benefit of black coffee: the enjoyment. If you had told me I’d love coffee this much, twenty years ago, I’d have called you crazy. But with all the different blends, types and flavours, there’s a lot to be experienced and enjoyed simply from that small cup of steaming liquid you start your day with. So, hopefully you did. After all, it’s International Coffee Day! ☯

Just For Laughs…

Sometimes, you need to just sit back, take a breath and have a laugh. I found this little gem while cruising the World Wide Web for something else and I couldn’t help but chuckle. I can totally admit that I don’t know the story behind what’s happening in this photograph, but besides making me giggle like a schoolgirl, I think it also illustrates a few important life lessons.

The first is that life is, in fact, a matter of balance. As my friend Daryl once told me, life is like a battery; some positive, some negative, all POWER. But the balance among all things is what’s important. The second lesson is that no matter how disciplined you are or how hard you’ve conditioned yourself, the world can sometimes be overwhelming and cause an overt reaction from even the most serene of people.

That being said, I should once again point out that I don’t know what the story is behind this photo. There was a story a few years ago about a group claiming to be Buddhist monks collecting donation money for a temple in Thailand. I think this was in New York, and the “monks” would approach arriving tourists and try to hit them up for donations. They would apparently become aggressive and even violent if people refused. That probably should have been a sign that they weren’t genuine. But the photo certainly gave me a laugh. ☯

Toilet Troubles

No, before you panic and scroll beyond my post, this isn’t about difficulties in the washroom! At least, not in the traditional sense… As most of you know, I make use of an insulin pump for my insulin delivery. I’ve been on pump therapy for over five years now, and recently upgraded to the Medtronic 670G. I’ve also started using Continuous Glucose Monitoring, which has presented its fair share of challenges, despite being a comfort now.

But my “toilet troubles” came in the shape of an issue I faced about two weeks ago during a change of infusion set. I had been doing work in my back yard and worked up quite a sweat. As a result, I decided I should grab a shower. But once I was in the shower, I remembered that I only had about 8 or 10 units left in my current reservoir and I would need to change my set up once I got out of the shower.

As any Type-1 Diabetic using a pump would agree, “naked” showers are a rare treat. For those who may not understand, a “naked” shower refers to one you get to have where you don’t have an infusion set attached to your gut and can enjoy the shower without the dangers of pulling the set out from washing. Having a shower line up with the actual change of one’s infusion set is rare, so I chose to rip the infusion set out while I was in the shower in order to reap the benefits.

The infusion set includes a round piece of sticky adhesive material, fastened to a hard piece of plastic that hold the actual cannula that delivers the insulin. I decided to pull an NBA imitation and toss the infusion set over the top of the shower door and hopefully get it into the trash bin. Instead, I successfully managed to come up a bit short and it landed right into the open toilet bowl!

Once I was out of the shower, I stood there and tried to decide how I would get this discarded piece of medical equipment out of my toilet bowl. I judged that I didn’t want to take the chance flushing it, as I didn’t want to risk clogging the line. I’m also not one for submerging my hand into an open toilet bowl, despite how often I clean it. As a result, I needed something that could successfully grab the infusion set without contaminating say, a kitchen utensil or an implement that I would never feel quite right using again, regardless of how well I cleaned it.

My solution is that I ended up using two Q-tips to try and pick it out. I struggled for several minutes looking like some dark comedy of someone with paper chopsticks, eating leftover Chinese food out of the grossest carton possible. Plastic and wet adhesive are reasonably slippery when wet. Add in trying to grab onto them with wet cotton swabs and you’d have yourself $10,000 if this were the 1990’s and someone caught it on film and gave it to Bob Saget!

I did finally manage to fish the infusion set out and toss it in the trash, after several attempts. I’ve often given my son Nathan a hard time about closing the toilet lid, since there’s a small shelving unit with toothbrushes and my electric shaver hovering right above the toilet. Leaving the toilet lid up is often a recipe for disaster since Nathan is quite clumsy and has come close to dropping his brush in the toilet on more than one occasion.

I should have followed my own directions, as this could have been avoided if I had closed the toilet lid before showering. Of course, I could have simply kept the infusion set on a shower shelf until I got out too, I suppose. But it made for a funny incident and goes to prove that Diabetic problems are not simply limited to medical ones. ☯

Fumio Demura

I just got through watching both seasons of Cobra Kai, which are now available on Netflix. The series follows the exploits of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel Larusso, respective antagonist and protagonist from the 1985 original “Karate Kid.” This time around, Lawrence is the focus as he struggles through a failed marriage, an estranged son and bringing back his Sensei’s failed karate dojo, which is Cobra Kai. It’s a fantastic martial arts series, focused on karate. I can’t wait to see what Season 3 will bring.

It got me feeling nostalgic for the original Karate Kid movies, which included two sequels and a rebirth with “The Next Karate Kid.” You’ll noticed I haven’t mentioned 2010’s remake of the The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Although it was a decent movie, it’s based on Kung Fu, not karate and was basically a slap in the face to the original. But through that nostalgia, I started researching and falling down the YouTube rabbit hole and discovered some interesting facts about the film series, including the involvement of Fumio Demura.

Fumio Demura is a well-known martial artist who studies Shito-Ryu karate and kobudo. I came to find out that Demura played the stunt double for Pat Morita’s “Mr. Miyagi.” This came as a surprise to me, since I knew of Demura through his books. Demura wrote a series of books in the 1980’s covering a number of weapons used in Kobudo. Since joining Kempo Karate in 2016, I’ve slowly introduced the bo staff and sat into my training regimen.

Since there’s a limited amount of coaching time on weapons in the dojo, I decided to order two of Demura’s books, Bo: Karate Weapon of Self-Defence and Sai: Karate Weapon of Self-Defence. In these books, Demura covers a number of basic concepts for both weapons and includes several photos and diagrams. They’ve been helpful, despite the fact that I don’t focus heavily on weapons.

It was cool to read about his involvement. We’re all aware that movie actors use stunt doubles, but it was neat to find that one of my favourite movies included a stunt double that I’ve read and studied about. If you study karate or kobudo, I highly recommend you search “Fumio Demura” online and see what you can find. Any of his books are definitely worth a read. ☯