Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stay out of the Mountains and roll with the Hills.

My husband and I have a dedicated run and one turn is Los Angeles to Dallas.  In all the years that we have been driving, even before this dedicated run, we have always taken the I-20/I-10 route between the two points.   There are many people who choose to take 287 out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to I-40 west. 

We choose to go the southern route for a couple of reasons.  The first being neither of us like the amount of traffic on I-40, much more than on I-20/I-10.  Too many towns on 287 causes more stopping and going.  On I-40 there are more hills therefore worse fuel mileage.  I know some people actually choose to go the I-40 route because they don't want to chance getting pulled into the scales in Banning even if you have Pre-Pass there is a good chance of getting that red light, whereas the scales on I-15 south are usually closed.

I started thinking about why people, drivers, choose the routes they do, how they base their decisions and if it makes sense.  To me it makes no sense to go the 287/I-40 route, even to avoid the Banning scales, although I understand the reasoning.  Going that route there is more stopping and going on 287, worse fuel mileage and more wear on the truck.  As an Owner Operator that in itself makes a big difference.  We pay for the fuel and all repairs.  We want our truck to last as long as it possibly can with the least amount of repairs or replacement parts putting more money in our pockets.  On I-40 more traffic and more hills means more on and off the accelerator, which of course is worse fuel mileage and more wear on the truck. 

Planning routes is very important to a driver whether Owner/Operator or company driver.  Our time is valuable and we want to make it from point A to point B the quickest possible way, the least amount of headaches or traffic, best for our fuel mileage, and choosing the route that has the least amount of "out of route" miles is extremely important.

As I have written before we only have one body and we need it to last as long as we can and during that time we want the least amount of repairs keeping our bodies in a healthy state while we continue to age.

We all know as drivers pulling those big hills especially with a heavier load is going to reduce our fuel mileage.  What I want you to know is that having Diabetes we also have to think about this.

Having type 2 Diabetes means that you do not have enough insulin production to cover the amount of food (the amount of carbohydrates or the large portion) that a non diabetic is able to.  For most people with type 2 Diabetes medication is necessary along with reducing the carbohydrate intake and the portion of food at each meal.  Because of genetics the beta cells in the pancreas cannot continue to as they become exhausted and die off.  If you are severely overweight and/or have insulin resistance this also makes the pancreas work harder by producing more and more insulin because it senses that the insulin produced is not getting into those cells and will cause those beta cells to burn out sooner.  Another problem that a type 2 can have is that part of the signaling of the insulin to bind with the glucose in the blood is hindered.  All three independently cause high blood sugar levels. 

We want to achieve the optimal fuel mileage with our pancreas and our bodies and keep those beta cells from working too hard and keep them intact for as long as we can without causing a faster exhaustion of them.

You can do this by taking the route with the least amount of stopping and going and the least amount of traffic and hills or mountains.  Each day is a new route with each meal a major part of that route.  When we eat we want our blood sugar levels to be more like rolling hills, with the smallest amount of grade on that hill.  A 7% grade is going to be a much harder climb, more wear and tear on the truck, more fuel used.  Whereas a 3% grade will barely be noticed.   We all know that when you go up the mountain you must come down the other side.  With the steeper grades coming down the other side means possibly more on the brakes to slow you down, using the Jake brake which is wear on the engine.

If you have traveled across I-80 in Nevada you have experienced the number of mountain passes you have to go over.  I used to know the mile markers of each and how many, but have not been up there for several years.  It is pretty constant across the state.  And in between some of those passes it doesn't even level out.  As soon as you come down one you immediately start climbing again.  This is what we do not want with our blood sugar levels.

If you are not testing your blood sugar levels and not accounting for the amount of food at each meal or the amount of carbohydrates you are probably continually climbing that hill with never reaching the top and never going down hill.

When you eat is important to check your blood sugar level before and after.  You want to give your body the least amount of workload, smaller hill, and you want to come down the other side.  At one hour that is where you should be at the top of that hill.  You want to try to keep that grade at 30 points or less.  If your blood sugar level is 80 before you eat at the top you should be at no more than 110.  At two hours after you eat, you should be coming down the other side and your blood sugar should be coming back down towards the 80 where you started.  Between meals is that flat ground in between those small hills. 

By using your meter which is an extremely important tool in the self management of Diabetes, a healthy nutritious diet lower in carbohydrates, exercise, together with a doctor that is willing to listen to you, work WITH you and that you have a good line of communication with, education, support and encouragement  from family and friends, acceptance of your Diabetes and the commitment from yourself you can achieve a healthy life with Diabetes.

As this year is coming to an end my wish and hope for all of you this coming year is that you make the decision to start planning that daily route that will lead you down that long healthy road.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year.

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