Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The "Bad" Kind

"You must have bad diabetes"...

I am always taken back when I hear this statement. It's happened several times throughout my life with diabetes and I never know what to say. Today I was talking to some nurses at work when one started looking at my ID bracelet. That's when she said, "I didn't know you have bad diabetes". My reply, without trying to be too sarcastic, was "I didn't know diabetes was ever good." She then tried to explain further by comparing the way I manage my diabetes against another Type 1 nurse in the unit. Needless to say, she only dug her hole further.

I am always torn when answering this statement. On the one hand, I rarely feel "sick". I think of myself as healthy 99% of the time. (Granted I am writing this post with a blood sugar of 455 and large ketones, another post for another day). Since Sunday I have run about 16 miles, went to a spin class and an ab class, and chased a loose dog for 45 minutes with a nine year old neighbor. I eat more healthy food than much of my lunch table at work and I am at a healthy weight. All in all I feel healthy and would never claim to be sick.

Yet, diabetes is serious. It requires MUCH attention everyday. It can be all consuming, both in time and thoughts. It takes a lot of hard work to remain healthy and live with diabetes. I feel like there is a delicate balance in explaining the complexities of living with this disease. I would never use diabetes as a crutch and yet I want outsiders to realize that it isn't as simple as taking a shot of insulin.  The truth is diabetes can be seriously debilitating if you don't pay attention to your body. However, I never want anyone to look at me and think "there goes that diabetic girl who is always sick".

I don't blame the nurse who said this today. If I think about my life prior to diabetes I probably would have said the same thing. The media does such a poor job of accurately displaying diabetes that often times it is all people know. The conversation ended well. I was able to educate my friend and hopefully she can spread it on to others. All in all, diabetes is a serious disease with horrible consequences IF I don't care for myself. All I can do is take every opportunity to manage my diabetes to the best of my ability.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's Dega Baby!

So it's been awhile since I updated. Not too much going on in my little world. However, I did run the Talledega 21000 Half-Marathon this weekend. Now, even though I grew up in Alabama I have never been a NASCAR fan. 'Dega (as it's commonly called here :) is only about an hour from Birmingham. According to friends with firsthand experience, it is a weekend full of RVs, copious amounts of beer, and mullets. I ran it with my dear friends Nora and Jessica in honor of Nora's dad. The race proceeds went to the UAB Department of Urology. Nora's sweet dad was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. We had some awesome bright pink shirts made especially for Nora's dad. Jess had a great "Girls gone wild" trucker had to top it off. We also rocked some awesome nicknames on the shirts. Jessica was "mugs" and I was "jugs" :) All in all this was a great race. I haven't run much recently (still recovering from the bike incident). In fact, I only ran a total of 9 miles in the two weeks prior to the race. Nora, Jess, and I also ran the Seaside 1/2 three weeks ago with our running group. I really expected to have to run/walk this one but was greatly surprised. We finished in 2:08! The race course was actually fun. I feared it would be boring but the race track is a fascinating place. I had no idea the track was on such an incline. Seriously, it was nearly straight up on some parts. We began by circling the track, heading out to town, and coming back through the stadium to the track again. Nothing like hearing the winner being announced as you pass mile 7 :)

Blood sugars were great through the race. I think I finally have it down to an art. I have a totally separate basal pattern for any run over 10 miles. I usually fear bolusing before I run which leads to being high if I eat anything. This time I bolused about 2/3s of my breakfast. Started out at 187, checked in at 82 at mile 6, ate a gu, checked in at 72 at mile 10, ate some gummies, and finished with a blood sugar of 123! The dreaded A1C date is fast approaching. I am hoping these four 1/2 marathons in the past four months will impact my A1C for the better.

We had our first Glucomotive team call this weekend. I am so pumped about Insulindependence University in June! Seriously, I can't wait. Now to buckle down and fundraise!!