Past Favorites: Man-Cave Friends

Exercising tonight on my stationary bike

Making me feel very much like a young tike


Listening to a playlist of songs from the past

Hoping that my strength and stamina will last


Setting a quick pace as the pedaling begins

Missing a day on the bike would be quite a sin


Biking regularly in this Man-Cave each night

Looking around the room, there is quite a sight


Sharing space with a sofa full of Teddy Bears

Watching and smiling at me as they all stare


Pushing and pulling the handles in front of my face

Pedaling with high energy at a fast and furious pace


My biking adventure will continue all of this week

Realizing these “beary” friends will be here to peek


The photo at the beginning of this post is taken inside Mrs. Buckeye’s “Bear Room.”  While I use the room to workout on my stationary bicycle from time to time, the real purpose of the room is obvious.  

Healthy Wishes (Elfchen Series #22)



Changing lifestyle

Plenty of exercise

Eating smart, watching carbs


Photo by Buenosia Carol on

Staying With It


Morning walks

Avoiding junk food

Setting more dynamic goals


Photo by Sebastian Voortman on



Mirror check

Losing stubborn pounds

Looking healthy and fit


Photo by Gerd Altmann on

The German-inspired poetry style of Elfchen (or Elevenie) contains five lines of poetic verse, usually without the use of rhyming verses.  A total of 11 words are used with a sequence of one, two, three, and four words before ending with a single word in the final verse.

Diabetic Shadow Crushed

I have previously discussed the initial part of my Type 2 Diabetic condition as well as the progress during the first couple of years.  Here are links to these past postings:

Diabetic Shadow Arrives

Diabetic Shadow Persists

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Here is the final update about my progress with Type 2 Diabetes.  As discussed earlier, I was diagnosed with this condition in February, 2016.

As of January, 2019, I am no longer considered pre-diabetic (based upon my last three A1C tests).  Here are all of my lab tests from 2014 through 2018, with the final three tests highlighted in bold text.

Date Cholesterol HDL LDL A1C
2014 218 42 154 NA
2015 222 41 162 6.4
Feb, 2016 249 42 179 7.5
Aug, 2016 173 46 112 6.6
Feb, 2017 155 38 105 7.4
Aug, 2017 182 60 111 6.1
Feb, 2018 177 57 111 6.1
Aug, 2018 198 58 129 6.2

I have made substantial progress in improving my critical numbers dealing with A1C, Cholesterol, HDL, and LDL.   I hope to see improved numbers for Cholesterol and LDL at my next set of lab tests (to be taken in early 2020).

What has led to this positive new direction in my health?  These three key points lead the way.

  • New Commitment
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Positive Attitude

I have made a new commitment to improve my health.

  • Make my health a top priority
  • Exercise at least six days per week (walking or indoor biking)
  • Eat healthy (reduce sugar and monitor carbs)

A daily exercise regime is scheduled for at least six days per week.  I take a brisk one-hour walk for about four miles (sometimes longer) in the morning.   When the weather keeps me inside, I crush carbs on my indoor bike as I cover about 6.5 miles in 20 minutes.

An updated and healthy lifestyle now reflects major changes that have significantly improved my health.

  • Make my commitments part of a daily routine
  • Keep a log of my daily carbs consumption (make myself accountable)
  • Understand this lifestyle change is permanent


Here is a sample of the journal used each day to track my carbs.  Even though my numbers have improved, I still fill this out daily to hold myself accountable.

With greater scrutiny, I pay a great deal of attention to labels on anything that I eat.  Two nutritional facts are always front and center:  sugar content and amount of carbs.  Instead of sugar-based snacks, most of mine are low in sugar and carbs:  cheese and nuts.  Stevia is my coffee sweetener, which is one of the healthiest ones around.

I have a well-documented chocolate addiction, which is under control.  Sometimes certain recipes offer a healthy alternative such as one I use for Carbs Bomb (chocolate and peanut butter cups).  Here is a link to the previously published recipe:  Carbs Bomb.

I try to maintain a positive attitude about my health.

  • Using humor to keep my mind balanced and inspired
  • Be willing to talk and write about my health
  • Share what I have learned with others

I am truly thankful for my improved health.  I am blessed to have received a wake-up call from my doctor, and my family has encouraged me to tackle this challenge.  I intend to be around for many years to come.

Several readers have offered prayers, and I appreciate each of you.  If you are praying, include all people afflicted with any form of Diabetes.  They all need our thoughts and encouragement.



Diabetic Shadow Persists

Here is the second part of the discussion about my diabetic shadow.  I appreciated the many comments from readers after posting the initial discussion.  In case you missed the first part, here is the link to it: 

Diabetic Shadow Arrives

addiction chemistry close up colors

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In the previous discussion about my struggle with Type 2 Diabetes, I really was not committed to taking charge of my health and making the necessary adjustments in my lifestyle.  Once again, here are my previous lab results:

Date Cholesterol HDL LDL A1C
2014 218 42 154 NA
2015 222 41 162 6.4
Feb, 2016 249 42 179 7.5

After my February, 2016 test results, my doctor began prescribing a cocktail of medications to address my condition.  He was concerned that future complications could carry the risk of a major life-changing event.

My medications included:

  • Metformin (500 mg): Control blood glucose
  • Atorvastatin (20 mg): Control cholesterol
  • Lisinopril (5 mg): Control blood pressure

I was dedicated to taking these medications as prescribed.  However, the rest of my lifestyle wasn’t making other necessary changes.

I was missing two key elements in following a much healthier lifestyle.

  • Proper exercise
  • Healthy eating

I was making adjustments in my eating plan, but I wasn’t “all in” with what I needed to be doing.  I was still consuming too much sugar as well as not significantly cutting down on my level of carbohydrates.  Exercise continued to be pretty much the same as before—little or nothing.

My new lab results over the next 12 months showed some improvement, but not the breakthrough my doctor and I were looking for.  As he told me,  “sugar is poison” in your body.

Date Cholesterol HDL LDL A1C
Aug, 2016 173 46 112 6.6
Feb, 2017 155 38 105 7.4

While my overall cholesterol was improving significantly, the other numbers told a different story.  The most glaring disappointment in these numbers was the drop in my good cholesterol (HDL) and the increase in my A1C.

The coming months were going to require a change in attitude about bringing my diabetic condition under control.  In an upcoming final post, I will address how these numbers would change for the better.

Diabetic Shadow Arrives

person holding black tube

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Being diagnosed (officially) with Type 2 Diabetes back in 2016, I was not really committed to improving my health.

When the outset of diabetes showed up at my doorstep, my weight was not an issue.  Exercise had become a forgotten word in my daily life.  I was teaching and very active in the classroom so I sort of figured that my constant activity should count as some type of exercise.

My eating habits were generally healthy except for a passion to eat certain sweets, breads, and pasta.  Honestly, I can remember buying a whole pumpkin pie or a dozen donuts to scarf down in a couple of days.

Why worry, my health had been generally great (“boring” as my doctor told me).  My cholesterol levels had been borderline for many years, but I was facing few complications from it.

Early in 2016, distressing news finally showed up at my doorstep.  My health numbers were elevating to much higher and detrimental levels.  With cholesterol levels going higher than ever before, my doctor took more tests, and A1C became my new score to worry about.

Here are my lab results from 2014, 2015, and the first half of 2016.  Remember now that HDL is the “good” cholesterol component and LDL is the “bad” one.

Date Cholesterol HDL LDL A1C
Feb, 2014 218 42 154 NA
Feb, 2015 222 41 162 6.4
Feb, 2016 249 42 179 7.5

As the above numbers indicate, my numbers were going in the wrong direction as of February, 2016.  In an upcoming post, I will discuss more of this journey with my diabetic shadow.

Where’s My Spark?

woman sleeping

Photo by Ivan Obolensky on

My ears hear the wind chimes at play

Their music brings little value to say

My mind tries to listen closely, but cannot

The emotions pile around me, tied in a knot

My melancholy spirit remains dismal and sad

The gray skies never ever make me feel glad

My heart is filled with much loneliness

The day’s outlook fills with emptiness

My emotions have been left too bare

Life’s troubles bring much to scare

My eyes only notice the bad and the ugly

The good has never made me feel snuggly

My heart aches from many past wounds

So many others’ words make me swoon

My body needs to begin moving soon

No!  Let’s linger in bed til’ afternoon

My room remains motionless and dark

Please God, help me to find my spark

Many of us have experienced infrequent bouts of depression.  Sometimes life’s challenges can overwhelm any of us.  Others deal with depression as an illness that follows him or her like a persistent shadow.  If you know of someone who battles depression on a long-term basis, you probably have a great deal of empathy for this person.

Healthy Reversal

person holding black tube

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Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a few years ago

Feeling life’s outlook hitting an unsettling low

Hearing new medical terms with much to learn

“Perfect” health now was a major concern 

A doctor was honestly blunt with his views

Realizing now that “sugar is poison for you”

Struggling at first to deal with one’s health

Now understanding that life can be full of wealth

Taking one’s health seriously became the norm

Changing this lifestyle to avoid those storms

New routines are well-established right now

There is no need for anyone to use a crying towel

Taking meds, exercising, and eating smart

Feeling that one’s life is no longer falling apart

I am a living example that anyone can retake charge of his or her health and move forward.  About three years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  For the past two years, my numbers are excellent in terms of blood sugar and cholesterol.  


Waiting Room Moments

apartment chair contemporary floor

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Visiting a surgical center on this rainy dawn

Waiting for the procedure to begin with a yawn

A television broadcasts some unfamiliar show

There is little information for anyone to know 

From the wall rack, an ancient magazine is found to read

However, morning thoughts are on other tasks and needs 

A beautiful painting displays an image of flowers and spring

Oh, trusting that a hidden cell phone doesn’t begin to ring 

From a table, one sees a display about the fall season

It presents an alternative to the visit and its reason

The purpose of today’s appointment is clear to all

Let’s pray the test results will make for standing tall

Living a full, long life generates a very joyous time

Hopefully today’s findings will put all on cloud nine