I was warming up at a fitness class the other day when I noticed a girl on the opposite side of the room as me. She was fit, a few months pregnant, and had what appeared to be an insulin pump clipped to the side of her workout pants.
For the next 60 minutes, I went through the motions of the class, completely distracted. While trying to be discreet (although looking back, I’m sure I was staring like a creep), I tried to get a better look at the device, hoping to confirm it was a pump. It had to be – it was the right size and looked like a Medtronic variety.
Once I had determined that, my excitement got the best of me: I was across the room from a new type 1 friend! We live in the same neighborhood and go to the same barre workouts! We’re going to swap stories about preventing lows during exercise over salads after class! She’ll give me all the details on pregnancy with type 1!
After class, I made a beeline to to my new friend. (Again, looking back, it was probably creepy.) “Is that an insulin pump?” I asked, still out of breath from the workout. “What?” she asked me with a blank look on her face. “Oh…this?” she said, grabbing the device. “It’s a pager.”
A pager? Do people still use those? I’ve heard funny anecdotes from the diabetes community about strangers mistaking their insulin pumps for pagers. But, mistaking a pager for a pump might be a first.
Thankfully, the girl was sweet and didn’t treat me like a weirdo for staring at her for an hour before rushing up to her after class. (By the way, she seemed to know what an insulin pump was, so I assume she works in the medical field…hence, the pager). While the incident made me laugh, it also highlighted how hungry I always am to connect with other people with diabetes.
We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes. No accomplishment is too big or too small…
My last three posts focused on negative aspects of diabetes, so today I’m glad to be writing about something positive. I’ve been living with diabetes since January 2010 and come a long way since that time. Below are a few diabetes-related things I’m proud of. I don’t know if they’re necessarily accomplishments, but they’re certainly positive things that have emerged from my life with D.
1. I no longer pass out every time I’m poked with a needle. Having blood work done every quarter and giving myself shots multiple times a day took care of that.
2. I have refused to let diabetes get in the way of exercise. I knew working out would be trickier the moment I started insulin, but haven’t let it stop me. That doesn’t mean the fear isn’t there, but I’ve focused on being prepared and learning as I go. I always have my meter and glucose tabs on me, and have frequent conversations with my endocrinologist about exercise-related adjustments.
3. I have found joy in food. Living with diabetes equals a challenging relationship with food. Despite those challenges, my love for cooking and eating has remained, or even grown. I’ve channeled my passion into many kitchen experiments, finding happiness in creating delicious low-glycemic dishes, like double chocolate cookies and baked oatmeal.
Today’s Diabetes Blog Week prompt asks us to give ourselves credit for one diabetes-related thing we do well. I think this is a great topic given how easy it is to feel down about diabetes.
One thing I can pat myself on the back for is my commitment to exercise. I’ve always been really active, but with diabetes I’ve held myself to an even stricter schedule. Without exercising nearly every day, my blood sugar creeps up quickly.
When I was in L.A., I relied on canyon hikes, tennis, and pilates. This year in Boston, I’ve taken fitness classes through school and walked around the city like a maniac (a major plus of living without a car). While exercising doesn’t always result in perfect blood sugar readings, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to stay closer to my targets.
Hiking in L.A.