The prompt: Today’s topic is Change the World. (Thanks, Kim of Texting my Pancreas for the topic.)
I ran my first 5k yesterday, thinking it might be an interesting challenge.
I’ve never been much of a runner. So I downloaded a couch-to-5k runner app and started training the next day. I registered for a local race (Denver’s Adelante! 5k). Then I recruited a few running pals to run with once a week. The other days I ran on my own. In time, I looked forward to the trainings as a way to spend time with people I don’t see often enough or just zone out and listen to music.
With 7 weeks of training under my belt, I was feeling reasonably prepared on the day of the race. I ate an apple, drank some water, and stashed a juice box in my jacket pocket, just in case. My family came with me to cheer me on (it being Mothers’ Day, what choice had they?). I ran most of the way. And since I wasn’t running for any particular time, I was happy to complete the course in 36:12.
Of course, the numbers I care more about are the ones on my meter. And I was less happy with those yesterday. Given that I’d been testing and adjusting for weeks to determine a sensible strategy for the run, I was surprised and vexed by my body’s response. Here’s what the day looked like in diabetes terms:
|Eat apple (skip bolus)||Preventively, to avoid mid-race low.|
|8:45||Decrease basal rate by 20%||Again, preventively.|
|9:00||Run (mostly) for 36 min.|
|Check site (it’s fine).|
|Bolus 2.5 units||Hope that’s not too aggressive.|
|Ponder test strip inaccuracy.|
|Verify recent changes to pump settings.|
|Second-guess skipping the apple bolus.|
|Second-guess the 20% basal decrease.|
|Bolus 1 more unit.|
|Spot a few air bubbles in line.||Maybe?|
|Open new vial of insulin.||It’s time anyway.|
|Continue to bolus against a stubborn high for most of the day.||Sheesh.|
It’s difficult to convey the squirrely nature of diabetes to people who don’t live with it every day. The best-laid plans often deliver uncertain results. And yet, my first 5k was rewarding and fun. Diabetes didn’t spoil it. I may not know for sure what was going on yesterday, but I know I’ll apply what I learned to my next 5k. In general, this is how I try to approach to diabetes.
- Diabetes is tough, so I look for tools to help manage it more easily.
- MODY is poorly understood, so I participate in research and awareness efforts.
- I can’t stop people’s from ill-informed comments about diabetes, so I do my best to educate.
So, what do I advocate for? Continuous improvement.