Live Aloha

David and Ginny

November 2016 – we went to Hawaii to ride bikes and raise a little money for Honolulu Tour de Cure, and I some how managed to ride a road bike 38 miles on a very hilly course. Woo! Most of the time we stayed on Maui, and when we came back, autumn was over and winter was on its way.

Something else happened in November, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Diabetes Sucks: Help Me Raise $3000 in Tour de Cure Chicago 2016


In December, 2014 I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, and will be riding in Tour de Cure Chicago on Team Red again this year to raise money for research and to help STOP DIABETES. Why? because diabetes sucks! For the second year running, as a person living with diabetes I wear the Red Rider jersey for training and on the day of the ride.

This year, if I raise $1000 by January 1, 2016, I will commit to ride 65 miles on the road, instead of the 40 mile ride on the trail. I’m not currently comfortable as a road rider and I need all the support and commitment I can get.

Please visit my fundraising pages:

Or if you visit this site, your location will be tracked on a little map before it re-directs you to my ADA page.

THANK YOU To All, From A Grateful Red Rider


Bike The Drive Chicago River

In just 1 week, I’m riding 40 miles on a bike named Veda to help raise funds for the American Diabetes Association’s ‘Tour de Cure’ cycling event.


Team Red at Bike The Drive Chicago

I’m ready; last week I rode a total of 53 miles on Saturday and Sunday (including 30 miles for Chicago’s Bike the Drive).

I’ll be able to complete the whole shebang, assuming I don’t crash too many times trying to learn to ride with my new clipless pedals that I bought last week from Larry Gross at Village Cycle. So far I’ve only fallen once. WOOHOO, go me.

I’m just a little short of making my goal of $2000.00, but I’m pretty confident; fundraising closes by about July 7 and I think I’ll be just over the top by the 14JUN ride date. Right now I’ve raised $1814.00. If you’re planning on sending a check, let me know by email that I should expect it; I haven’t received any checks by mail so far.

THANK YOU to the following wonderful friends and family members who’ve donated so far:

Sheldon Gibbs
Andrea Frabotta
David Brown
Valerie Gruenwald
Bill Barlow
Suzanna Wilson
Patricia Kalicki
Debra Wynn
Ray Malacek
Donna Lettow
Carolyn Nicholson
Sheryl Millman
Kevin Swan
Scott Eiler
Laura A Lampe
Linda Abelman
Marty Acks
Claudia Boyle
Ginny Gibbs
Julie Kinker
Jeffrey Syslo
Jennifer Brundage
Mary Fletcher-Gomez
Robert DeHaven
Kathy Brown
Jeff Westerheide
Michael Scafidi
Joanne Mangiaracina
Sherri Lambton
Jon Jerome

Your support means so much to me. I see comments on donations via the ADA’s Tour de Cure page, things like “GO GINNY” and “Thank you for riding for all the people with diabetes…”

You can see a map of all the donations so far

You can visit my official Tour page at

You can also visit and it redirects to the ADA page.


Diabetes Sucks, But My A1C Is 5.8

It’s a numbers game, and currently I’m on the winning side. My first A1C (long-term average blood glucose) came in at 5.8, down from 6.6 when I was diagnosed in December.

So that’s great, right? Yes, and despite the claims medical hucksters who’ll sell you a cure in a kit, I still have diabetes. It’s just well-controlled at the moment. I’m lucky that at this point it’s not advanced farther.

I’ve raised 1405.00 toward my goal of 2000.00 for the Tour de Cure charity ride, with just a month to go. 

You can help me achieve that goal by visiting (checks cheerfully accepted if you ask for my address).

My longest ride so far is about 20 miles but bad weather on the weekends has cut into my training, though I’ve gotten in evening rides during the week (10 miles last night, partly with Vince Patrizi). I should be able to finish on the day, but I’d still like to log a 30 or 35 mile ride first.

Still, it’s been a long process getting to this point. My numbers are good; do you know yours?


Training With Veda

specialized hybrid bicycle on training stand


We’ve both been on vacation this week and instead of making firm plans to go anywhere, we stayed around home and got some things done. Unfortunately, the weather has not been cooperating, and the previous week’s mild temperatures were replaced by cold, high winds, and even a 5″ snowfall. We only went riding once, and the old bike was off the training stand because I was riding it before we purchased Veda, my new bike (a Specialized Vita Elite).

Veda’s up on the training stand because vacation’s over, the weather isn’t good for riding the rest of the weekend, and it’s been too long since I got any appreciable exercise, and my blood glucose numbers tell the story.

The week of St Patrick’s day, I didn’t have a single reading over 100, and most of them are in the 85-95 range, with one morning as low as 81, the day after an eight-mile ride in Elk Grove Village. There were other rides in the same week – I rode daily after buying Veda until midweek and the BG numbers follow right along.

This week, with almost no riding except for a cold and frustrating ride around the Paul Douglas forest preserve  bike path loop,  and not much walking counted by my Vivofit fitness tracker gadget, the numbers have been troubling. They went right back over 100 with only one day under that number all week, although I’ve been carefully counting carbs and calories (and losing weight) through the week “off.”

Not exercising means not controlling my numbers well. That’s all there is to it.

I’m looking forward to going to the Chicagoland Diabetes Expo in April and hoping that my brother-in-law Dan and his girlfriend Tami can go along with us, it’s going to be fun.

You can follow my progress at – I’m GinnyRED57 there, or at (I’m GinnyRED57 there too).

Check out for my Tour de Cure fundraising – please donate any amount!

The Fitness Bug

Something interesting seems to have happened.

I’ve caught the fitness bug. Either that, or Bug has gotten into fitness (my dad’s nickname for me was either Bugginia or Bug).

I spent all of last spring and part of the summer not riding the bike I bought, which was a fairly decent women’s step-through that wasn’t quite the right fit or size for me. I went for a few rides, and made it around the 20 mile course for Tour de Cure last year, and I liked it all right, but never felt very comfortable on it. Also, I wished I had bought something lighter and had spent more time test riding and trying different things – I had this thought in my head that I didn’t want to awkwardly lay the bike halfway over to get my leg over the seat (never having been graceful) on my previous bike, which was a mountain bike with nobbly tires.

Unlike David, I didn’t go out of my way to ride my bike, and I didn’t plan travel around it (on vacation in Maui last year, he rented a very nice road bike for the 2 weeks and raved about it, but I’m not ready to be a road cyclist).

So then in December when I was diagnosed with diabetes, it was like running into an ice-cold wall of wake-up call. Although I was eating fairly well (following David’s low-carb diet), I was overweight, out of shape, and having to deal with a chronic disease that I was supposed to regulate with diet and exercise.

I still haven’t been to the nutritional class for newly-hatched diabetics, but I attended a 4 or 6 week seminar with David when he was diagnosed that was run by the local hospital, and I’ve been through my own very quick rundown with the nurse-nutritionist at my doctor’s office. The whole thing was a blur, but I came away from my “Congratulations, you’re diabetic” consult feeling slightly underwhelmed by the information I was getting.

Fortunately, with David being so involved with Tour de Cure Chicago (team captain of Team Red, is a member of at least one committee and is well-known in the offices of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago), I pretty much had the gist of what it means to to have diabetes, and have it be “well-controlled.” We’re lucky, neither of us currently have to take medication for it, although many, many of the people we know through the various ADA fundraiser and educational events deal with insulin, oral medication, insulin pumps,and more.

As far as being “well-controlled,” which is keeping one’s daily blood glucose readings within a healthy range, I’m doing all right. I had already decided to do the Tour de Cure and ride 40 miles, and had David set me up with a custom web page that re-directs to my Tour de Cure fundraising page (which has an impossible URL as far as remembering it, reposting it, etc.).

During most of the long, cold, dark winter, I was riding my old bike, set up on a training rig in the spare bedroom. David hooked sensors up and set me up with fitness apps and other gadgets (such as a Vivofit that’s linked to Garmin and also My Fitness Pal). I rode for about 20-30 minutes at a time, every few days. It was boring, uncomfortable, and not that pleasant. But I was getting some benefit and my weight dropped, and my blood glucose kept dropping from the rather high 140s-160s to a more reasonable 110-115. And then it kept on dropping.

So then David started talking about getting me a new bike; lighter, better fit, and so on. I came around to the idea of lifting my leg up and back to get it over the seat again. We talked to a guy David trusts at our local bike shop, Brad at Bike Connection. I looked at a few bikes, but one Brad sized me on had felt right. We made plans to go back and do some real test rides at a couple of places.

Meanwhile, I’d been out on the old bike on a few rides around the neighborhood, and hey, my blood glucose really started to drop. It was good to get the old bike off the trainer, and it wasn’t as uncomfortable as it was on the rig, but it still wasn’t what I needed.

So last Saturday we rode around, and the bike that still felt best AND rode best was Veda.

Since then I’ve ridden every day, even today, a mid-week day (there was a regular Meetup ride at Busse Woods). David got me a refurbished Garmin bike computer, because using my iPhone and some apps with an ANT adapter wasn’t cutting it. And my blood glucose, weirdly, has stabilized in the 80’s-90s. I know, WEIRD, right?

Here’s my Strava route from today – it was oddly cool and warm at the same time. There’s a big booming wind coming from the west tonight and although the temperature read 73 degrees, it felt a lot cooler than that, especially when the wind came over the still-slushy lakes.

This ride from the day before, my first long ride on Veda, ended abruptly when the battery in the iPhone died. I kept riding and went back to Holy Moly, where I’d left the car park (it was a post-church ride).

My mileage is NOT impressive compared to some of David’s friends whose Strava postings are pretty intense, but it’s good to get outside and do something and I’m seeing so much benefit from it already.

Still have to tweak some things as far as the bike is concerned (sometimes called “dialing it in” ) but I’m happy to have caught the fitness bug while it can still do me a lot of good.

My New Reality: Living (and Riding) With Diabetes #RideWithGinny

Last Friday, my doctor’s office called with a terse message. It wasn’t my own physician, it was one of the assistants.

“Your A1C was 6.6, and your blood glucose was 220. You’re diabetic.”

She went on to say that I’d need to come in for a follow-up appointment with a different doctor and speak with a diabetic counseling nurse; for some reason my own doctor wasn’t available (probably booked up) and so I’d have to see the practice on-call doc on the night the specialist nurse was in. I was handed a free kit, with a scrip for more test strips and a scrip for getting nutritional counseling and another for a better glucosemeter if I wish.

Here’s my new gear, which I must use consistently per doctor’s orders (which will be a challenge for me, as I’ve always been consistently inconsistent).

So last night at the follow-up I was quickly trained on how and when to use the glucosemeter, and used the lancette to test my pre-dinner glucose. This morning, I got up and tested before breakfast, like David does. I did ask the follow-up doctor whether that alarmingly high 220 glucose was from the fasting blood test, as opposed to a second test I went back for that was non-fasting. It was somewhat of a relief to find that my “fasting” test glucose was about 137, still on the high side of the prediabetic range.

Okay, I’m diabetic now, this is my new reality, and this is me, living with diabetes. Woo?

In June I’m riding 40 miles in the Chicagoland Tour de Cure, with a goal of raising at least $2000. Please help support my ride with diabetes by visiting my Tour de Cure fundraising page, via either one of these links:

Please check the hashtag #RideWithGinny, too – I’ll use it on Twitter and Facebook, too.

The first page re-directs to my fundraising page, but adds some tracking stuff that will plot the donations by location on a map that is just for fun and gives me an idea of whether someone gave via a Twitter link, a Facebook link, via this blog, or some other source.

Hop below the fold to see more about my new reality; for now, I need to get a healthy breakfast, jump into my cycling gear, and get on the indoor bike to log some miles, because my butt is In Training.

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WordPress › Social Media 2 WordPress for Google « WordPress Plugins

So far I’m only using Daniel Treadwell’s Google+ plugin, as I already have some Twitter and Facebook plugins working. If those are no longer working in the future, I can switch over.

Social Media 2 WordPress for Google allows you to continuously import posts (including photos, albums, videos and links) from Google to your blog.

Source: WordPress › Social Media 2 WordPress for Google « WordPress Plugins

Take Two Kittens And Call Me In The Morning

When I Tweeted this earlier,

I had this in mind.

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately; work is changing and I’m constantly trying to figure out, from minute to minute, what is the most productive thing I should be doing, as efficiently as possible.

Also I’ve been somewhat tense about staying healthy for choir, because we’re recording a Christmas CD this coming weekend, but mostly it’s work. Sometimes I pretty much work myself into a screaming wobbler (not on the phone) when frustrated by something.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling fine, but later in the morning realized I’d spent too much time with my neck bent, reading the Internets… And suddenly I had a full-blown neck spasm.

David and I had errands to run and got lunch too, but afterwards I realized my kinked neck wasn’t getting better. Sleeping on Saturday night was impossible, and slow torture every time I tried to change position.

Just going from vertical (standing) to horizontal (lying down) was agony, and I was taking whatever OTC painkillers I had, plus some leftover Tylonol with codeine. Sunday, more of the same, even after maxing out the daily recommended dosage of Aleve. I spaced them out at minimum intervals, but nothing really shifted until the first two Aleve kicked in (they are very slow acting but last a long while).

I called in sick this morning, barely able to lift my eyes to the top of my screen to send my time sheet and managed to get in to the doctor (not my usual, one of the other practice doctors. Fortunately, the slow but strong Aleve had finally kicked in, and I was able to drive, very carefully.

Several hours later, after a lunch of comfort food at Boston Market (that was all soft stuff because I can’t open my jaw wide enough to take a big bite), I finally got my first meds downed and was installed in the armchair with a new body wrap heating thing. Just as well, because the third and last Aleve that I’d taken the night before had worn off with a screaming thud. Apparently you can’t take more than 3 of them in 24 hours.

And here I’ve been since, watching TV and taking various meds at the proper times: Prednisolone, Robaxin, and Norco — aka a steroid, a muscle relaxant, and a more powerful painkiller, but similar to the ones in my stash from when I had a molar extracted.

As it happens, I slept in this chair last night, but I’m going to go upstairs and try to crawl in, very cautiously. I’ve got an electric heating pad that works better on the bed than the back of the armchair. The body wrap thing is the kind you microwave and wrap around a neck like a collar, and is very comforting, though it only stays warm enough for 15 minutes. Still, I can wear it while walking around the house and while seated at a chair with no headrest.

Time to take my last dose of meds and see if I can lie down without groaning or making strangled cries of pain… that’s getting REALLY TIRESOME.

I hope to be able to log in and work tomorrow, at least try it in the morning.

Choir practice is Wednesday, so I hope to be able to open my jaw more fully by then! and tilt my head back too.

I would really benefit from taking two kittens as a stress reducer though. I would drape them on my shoulders and the purring and warmth would be just what the doctor ordered.