Month: April 2015

Avoid it “-tol”!

If you’re a type-2 (T2) diabetic you most likely know about the medication Metformin. And you probably know about, maybe have even experienced, the rather ugly side effects it can have on your GI system. I read all about it when I was first diagnosed and have tried very hard to avoid those systems.  This diligence kept me from having any issues with the medicine when I started on it or up until now- almost. 

Knowing that I need to have some food and water on my stomach when I take my dosage and that I don’t usually feel like making/eating much right out of bed, when I take my first of two doses, I found a viable alternative: a protein bar and Greek yogurt. My PCP thought this approach was very good, especially since my blood work has continued to improve. 

A few weeks ago I came down with a “stomach virus”. After more than a week of GI symptoms and no fever or other expected indications, I began to wonder what was really going on; this couldn’t be a stomach virus still yet. My wife suspected it was Metformin-related but that didn’t seem likely to me; I’d had no issues thus far and hadn’t changed my dosage. But I began to research the possibility that the Metformin was the cause since I was at a loss. 

I found a very rare case/condition that I was sure didn’t apply to me with my initial searches. More searching with various terms finally yielded some answers. About 10-days before the onset of these symptoms I had gotten a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for Atkins brand products. My last  grocery shopping trip I’d used that coupon for two boxes of Atkins bars at Walmart, the only change in my diet I could think of. And this change matched up not only with the timing but also with the information I found online about some of the products ingredients.

I assumed that the low carb bars would be fine, even good, for me. But they contain Maltitol an artificial sweetener of the sugar alcohol family from my understanding. There are a couple of these sweeteners that end in “-tol” and all of them react poorly with Metformin. I got rid of the “new”bars and my GI-troubles were gone, after a very long 10 days, in under 48 hours. 

So now I know I need to carefully read the labels of any new to me foods looking for, and avoiding, all the “-tol”s. While I don’t remember all the links and searches it took to find this information I do recall a couple; here they are in case you’re interested in the other “-tol” or more reading on them.

So, I suppose the Metformin was the culprit, indirectly at least. And as for the Atkins-brand products, I think I’ll avoid it “-tol”!

Painted Skies: a haiku 

Realizing God’s existence, to me, is natural and unavoidable.  Like seeing a painting I know there was a painter. Seeing a building I know there was a builder. Seeing creation I know there is a Creator. 

“They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”  Romans 1:19-20


Painted skies above
Vivid life abounds below
I see the Father 

Linked to CDHK challenge #709

The Old Home Place (kikôbun/haibun)

The old home place was long gone now. Still, I liked to visit where it once stood when I was in the area.  Grandma’s roses once led down the gravel walkway, a lush green hedge from spring through fall, bursting with pink petals intermittently as they bloomed. Overgrown now, the roses strangled by weeds and vines, the pathway would be indistinguishable to anyone not knowing to look for it. The sweet smelling roses are now only a memory, like Granny and Papaw. The honeysuckle that has overtaken the beloved flowers require no loving care. Yet the emitt an enchanting – but entirely different – fragrance; I’m not sure I like it. 
 photo credit:  

Honeysuckle vine
Covered in fragrant white blooms
Thicket of perfume

This is my attempt at composing a kikôbun/haibun, linked to the Time Glass challenge perfume at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. 


Many folks, in my opinion, confuse wisdom with knowledge or intellect. Wisdom come from experience, and many times from mistakes: mistakes we make and, hopefully, learn from the experiences they being about. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are to use the examples of the mistakes made by men and women in the Old Testament to learn from, so as to not repeat those same mistakes ourselves. 

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (‭Romans‬ ‭15‬:‭4‬ ESV)

Using this knowledge adds to our wisdom – if we aren’t too stubborn to apply it. It seems to me that most of us are too stubborn and have to make our own mistakes, experience their consequences, and then learn from them. 


we don’t learn wisdom
though we have the examples 
mistakes will be made

while we reside in this life
within ourselves is our strife
© Greg Wolford

Linked to the CDHK challenge #708 wisdom

A Taxing Day

As I write this I am merely hours from the monumental task of completing my income taxes. And even less time from having them accepted and officially completed! I knew we would owe so I wasn’t in a hurry to file early, just starting really yesterday. But I didn’t realize how much I had to do; I’d been really lax in my preparation this year and I paid for it in stress the last 48 hours. 

I took one short break this afternoon from my drudgery to check my email and look at comments left on the blog. This break turned out to be the saving grace of the day for me. 

I had “likes” and comments from newly made friends that greatly lifted my spirits. Since I’ve started writing again, the last few weeks, I feel like I’ve made several new friends through reading and interacting with other writers. I feel like a part of a new little community, one that shares, helps, and encourages each other. Being brand new to it I probably feel closer to and more a part of it than I really am – but that’s good; it shows what kind folks these people are I’m getting to know. And I really look forward to getting to know them better, knowing more of them, and learning from and being further inspired by them all. 

I’m still amazed at how quickly you, or at least I, can feel like you’ve made a new friend via the World Wide Web, someone you’ve never met and may never meet. And it gives me such joy to see the kindness of folks from all walks of life, all over the globe who are really still strangers to me be so helpful and encouraging. My hat is off to you guys and gals: You made a “taxing” day into a real joy for me today. 

Blinded Eyes

I spent quite a while pondering the thoughts shared by Chèvrefeuille, the host at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, on the latest challenge which is delusion, #706before I was able to put this post, the haiku and haiga together. In his thoughts he pondered upon the idea of delusions in the religions of the world, including the question of if the concept applies to Christianity. My best understanding of his thoughts are he is unsure; my beliefs  are solid and clear. 

I suppose I should preface my remarks with a couple of things. I in no way challenge the belief or faith of Chèvrefeuille; I’m using his post as the fuel I think it was intended to be, to think and write. And for full disclosure I state my beliefs and faith: I am a Christian who believes in the God of the Bible, as He is revealed in His inspired, infallible Word. I believe in a literal seven-day creation and that the accounts and persons of Scripture are just that- actual accounts not allegorical tales (except in the obvious and traditionally understood passages which are, mostly, contained in the psalms and wisdom books). I hold as true the traditional confessions of the faith including such things as The Apostles Creed

I agree there is delusion in all the religions he mentioned, including Christianity. But I believe that other religions are all delusion; reconciliation to God the Father is only through His Son Jesus Christ. 

The delusion in Christianity is the blinding of people to the truth, which is revealed through the Holy Spirit. Those who are “blinded” still see the message of the cross as foolishness while believers know it is the power of God to save us. (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-21)


The father of lies 
Blinded eyes from the real truth
Are opened by Christ

Again, I want to make it perfectly clear I am not making a personal attack on Chèvrefeuille. I am stating my solid faith and belief and am not apologetic for that. 


Sometimes one of the hardest things to do, in my life at least, is to abandon or detach myself from an ideal I’ve held for a long time. I can think of at least a few times when I have been smacked right in the face with a reality that didn’t align with the way I thought I understood it. Releasing my wrong perception  and embracing the correct vantage isn’t always an easy thing to do – for some folks it’s unthinkable, impossible even. But as we travel this road of life we will come to these crossroads and where we choose to “go” when we do oftentimes will define, or redefine, our lives. Letting go isn’t easy, even when it’s the right thing to do. 


Bonded to the ways
Instilled by our forefathers 
Detach from wrong roads 

Traditions from the Old Guard
Don’t make them absolute truths 

This tanka (and entire post) was inspired by the Carpe Diem Haiku challenge #705, Debonding (or detaching).