My UnityPoint – Follow My Health

MyUnityPointUnityPoint Health is one of the local healthcare organizations in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois where I live.  Recently, I changed healthcare providers and moved from an endocrinologist to a nurse practitioner.  I’m thrilled with the nurse practitioner BTW, but this blog is about a tool that my new provider uses to communicate with her patients.  It’s called Follow My Health, and it’s a web portal for managing your account with your provider.  It’s tool offered by UnityPoint Health for setting appointments, sending secure emails, updating medications and supplements taken, seeing your blood test results, and downloading all of your medical records with Obama’s Blue Button download program.

If you’re a patient of UnityPoint Health or Trinity Healthcare in the Quad Cities, ask your provider about this.  Ask them if they’re connected to the “My UnityPoint” or “Follow My Health” system.  Here is a tutorial video about what the portal provides



From 2003 to 2011, I was a patient in the Edwards Hospital system in Naperville, IL near Chicago, and my endocrinologist there was so far in the dark ages, that when I started with her in 2003, she didn’t accept credit cards, when other doctors were providing web portals like this one.  Eventually she accepted credit cards, but she never did communicate via email when I moved to the Quad Cities in 2011.  When I moved to the Quad Cities, there was no choice in endocrinologists.  There was 1 accepting patients in my insurance system.  His office computer system was overhauled recently, and his employees just never could figure out how to use it.  He didn’t have this portal either.  So now my nurse practitioners office is totally connected.  Totally high tech.  I’m finally with a legit provider who understands technology.  They even suggested that I send them emails if I ever have problems and they can look up my current pump settings and make recommendations via email.


Health Benefits of Disc Golf for Diabetes

There are many health benefits to playing disc golf.  Those who know me, know of my love for disc golf.  Some of you may not have heard about disc golf yet, but you’ll know a little about it by the end of this blog post, and why it’s so beneficial for people with diabetes.

I started playing disc golf about 20 years ago.  My cousin Jon got me started with it when I lived in Schaumburg, IL.  The first course I ever played was a 9 hole course in Elk Grove Village.  While everyone else was playing golf, I was playing disc golf.  I liked it better because it was free, the discs were cheaper than clubs, and you didn’t have to make an appointment to play.  You just called up your buddies and said “Hey, you wanna throw today?”.  Little did I know back then how healthy my favorite past time was.

Check Out -------> with disc golf, you have a tee, a basket (the hole), drivers, midranges, putters, just like in golf.  Tees are often made of concrete, and they give you a good place to get a running throw.  Sometimes they’re made of dirt, but mostly they’re concrete.  The drivers are usually very rigid and thin with a sharp edge, and they’re designed to be snapped out of your hand to get the greatest range.  Midranges are heavier, not as sharpe edged, and made of different plastic.  Putters have a soft blunt edge, are much heavier, and made of very soft plastic, so they drop like a rock when they hit the chains of the basket.  Most serious disc golfers play every hole a par 3, no matter what the sign says par is suppose to be.

Disc golf is played in public parks all around the world.  In my area of the midwest, I’m kinda lucky because it’s kinda the only thing we have to do around here, so there are tons of courses around to choose from.  With them being in public parks, it means it’s a nice walk through nature every time you play.  Some courses are short, some are long, but you can sometimes end up walking a few miles just to play 18 holes.  It’s low impact, yet brings great benefits.  All kinds of studies show how just walking 30 minutes a day bring many health benefits including warding off cancer and diabetes.  Terrain in public parks ranges from slow and steady, to steep hilly, rugged, etc.  So your walk can be a more challenging workout too.  Especially for people like me who have to climb trees, or into streams to recover his disc!

discgolf-eastern_11172012_004You actually burn an average of 900 calories on an 18 hole course.  I tested this once, and it was true!  I wore a calorie burn / heart monitor once while playing 18 holes.  Now, if you burn that many calories, think of what it’s going to do to your blood sugar as a diabetic?  For most people, it will make your blood sugar drop, so make sure to always carry glucose tabs with you on the course.  Do this often, and your body will start to improve it’s own insulin resistance.  Plus it helps you lose weight.  Just because of the exercise.  Exercise that’s fun and enjoyable, yet not terribly impacting.  People of all ages can play disc golf.  I’ve seen guys in their 70’s playing, and kids below 10 playing. golf courses can be found in most big cities, and even in small towns now days.  If there’s a disc golf course in your town, disc’s are probably sold at your local nearby drug store, grocery store, or department store.  Here is a link/picture to Disc Golf Course Review, where you can search for courses in your area.

So to review the health benefits of disc golf for diabetes:

  • Burns 900 calories per 18 holes, around 400 for 9 holes
  • Improves insulin resistance and reduces blood sugar
  • Aerobic exercise causes weight loss
  • Improves cholesterol and reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease


So now, what is the next step?  Get our there and throw of course!!!  

Yes, you’re responsible for the obesity epidemic . . .

Yes, you heard me.  It’s not the fault of the government, or the advertisers, or the farmers, it’s you.  Every time you make the choice to buy fast food, or one of those food products that you KNOW is bad for your body, and bad for your health, you are responsible for the obesity epidemic.  It’s your food choices, that fuel the government to keep subsidising GMO farmers, that keep advertisers finding new ways to hook you with their products, and keep the farmers trying to find those subsidies.  Every time you purchase foods from McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wendys, or Oreos, ice cream, soda products, juice boxes, and more, you are enabling the obesity epidemic.  You know what’s good for you.  Just choose it!

We have the responsibility as consumers, to let our government, our advertisers, and our farmers, know that we choose to live healthy, and that we prefer to spend our $$$ on whole foods, fruits and vegetables, grass fed or open pastured animal products.  That we want to live vibrant healthy lives, instead of the lives the majority of us are living right now.  With lifestyle diseases that are completely reversible like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and so many more.  We let them know this with what we spend our $$$ on.  Yes, it’s more expensive in the grocery store to buy healthy whole foods instead of frozen, prepackaged foods, snack foods, juice boxes, cola, etc.  Do know how much it costs for 10 years of diabetes treatments, or for bypass surgery?  A LOT MORE!  My bill after bypass surgery 10 years ago was $120,000!  Spend now, to save later.  Besides that, spending money on healthy foods makes your life more enjoyable because you feel good, instead of being cheap and living sick, and then having to spend all that money on treatment, and still not feel good.

Everyone wants to be healthy, but some people just don’t have the motivation.  How do you find that motivation?  You have to find your why.  The reason that you want to be around as long as you can.  Is your why your kids?  Do you want to be here for their high school graduation?  For college?  For their marriage?  To see your grandkids?  Do you want to fullfil a lifelong dream of running a marathon or a cross country bikeride?  When you discover your why, it makes those choices easier.  Everybody knows what their why is, but some people are afraid to think about it.  I encourage you to think about it.  Then admit it to someone, so they can help you stay on track, by reminding you of your why when you jump off the wagon.

So the next time you pull into the drive through, or you’re at the grocery store, and you reach for that bag at the window, or those packaged foods that you darnwell know are bad for you, you’re going to pause, and remember this blog.  You’re going to think of your why.  You’re going to wonder if you’re spending $$$ is really contributing to the obesity epidemic.  Then you’re going to look at yourself.  Then you’re going to put it down, and walk over to the produce isle and pick a food you’ve never tried before.  You’re doing to do this every trip to the store like I do, and you’re going to start to lose weight and feel good about your body and your choices.  Then you’re going to share your experiences with others, until you can inspire someone.  We can cure this epidemic, even it’s only 1 person at at time.  Be that person today.  Make the choice.  Be healthy.


“True health reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington.”


More Paleo and Ketosis for Diabetes Observations

I haven’t been working out for about a month now, as I was trying to ease into a ketosis lifestyle.  I stopped my workouts because I was already stressing my body with the ketosis.  In the past when I tried this lifestyle, I found that when I did try to exercise, I had zero energy, and usually couldn’t complete my workouts.  So I’ve realized the same thing again.  Plus, when I workout on the ketosis diet, my blood sugar spikes like crazy.  It doesn’t do that if I’m not in ketosis, and it actually falls like it should.  My guess is that my liver is either entering gluconeogenesis (converting protein to glucose), or it’s just dumping whatever glucose it has left, so that my muscles can operate to the best of their ability.  I’ve just decided that ketosis for diabetes is not my thing.

The other thing that happened to me again, is that after about 10 or 12 days, just like the last time I tried this, I had a bout of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), where my ketones went off the scale, my blood sugar spiked, and I had to literally OD on insulin to bring it down, then I had to scarf down gobs of carbs (yeah, I don’t care about grammar right now) to keep me from seriously crashing.  This is a process that can take anywhere from 6 to 18 hours to treat, so you can’t sleep if it’s happening to you.  Don’t worry, I know how to treat DKA.  I do the same thing they’d do at the hospital.  I’ve been doing this for 42 years, so I know how this works.  Those are scary days even so.  Both times I’ve tried ketosis, after 10 or 12 days, I have this DKA fight.  Then I go high carb for a few days because I get paranoid.  Then I come back to at least eating normal paleo.

So I’ve decided that ketosis is not for me.  I’m going to stick with paleo for sure, and I’ll keep my carbs to under 100, but not under 50 which causes ketosis.  I’m a Beachbody coach, and I get paid to workout, so I have to workout.  My income depends on it!  Besides, working out to Les Mills Pump is fun, and those female trainers are hott!  What really sucks though, is that on ketosis my blood sugars were almost normal.  My 30 day average blood glucose dropped by 100 points from 265 to 166.  I’m still kind of eager to get my A1C done at the end of the summer though.

If you’re a type 1 diabetic that’s on a ketosis lifestyle, please comment below with your experience.  I wish I could find a community of T1D’s that live in ketosis?

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