Leading My Own Life with Diabetes – Diabetes Daily Voices

Each day with diabetes brings about challenges, new and old, that continue to make us feel like we were recently diagnosed. We learn, relearn, and continue to count our carbs, check our blood sugar, take our insulin and still end up with a blood sugar that makes us ask, “What the heck?”

running - I

The day came for me to complete my 13 mile run in preparation for my first marathon and I did everything right. Or, so I thought at the time. The night before the run  I  had a balanced meal, made sure to stay hydrated by drinking a ridiculous amount of water, set a temporary basal to kick-in at 4:30a.m. for a 7:30a.m. run by using the “patterns” function on my pump, and went to bed the night before with an ideal blood sugar.

Everything was going well…until I woke up! First thing, I check blood sugar. 294 mg/dL.

“What the heck?” 

I was hoping to jump out of bed being excited for my big run, but I practically had to be pushed out of bed because I was so tired from the high. I had a little over an hour until I was going to start my run and I had some decisions to make.

  1. I need to lower my blood sugar to around 150 mg/dL without causing it to go much lower during my workout.
  2.  I need to eat some carbs to give me energy for the run without increasing my blood sugar.
  3. I need some coffee, because I have a 16 month old! More of a necessity than a decision!

But more than anything else, I need to prepare myself mentally for the longest run of my life. I have been training for months now to get to this point and regardless of how my diabetes is trying to interrupt my plans, I am going to do this run!

I have come to realize that living with diabetes is similar to training for a marathon, only one has a finish line and the other does not. The daily training of diabetes/running continue to make us more disciplined, better prepared, and stronger mentally and physically. But every once in a while we have a day where we just cannot seem to get things going.

You start chasing a high blood sugar and the next thing you know you are eating glucose tabs for a low; much like a runner struggling to get to the top of a hill and then using the momentum of the downhill to propel them to pick up the pace. Unfortunately, the temporary burst of energy from your blood sugar dropping, or running downhill will eventually lead to fatigue because of the erratic levels.

So, when I woke up with a blood sugar of 294 and my diabetes telling me to give some insulin, go back to bed, and complete my run tomorrow, I needed some motivation. Being a music junkie I turned on my iPod to one of my favorite songs, from the band Rise Against, called “Paper Wings,” and headed for the door. I kept singing the line, “Is this the life that you lead or the life that’s led for you? Will you take the road that’s been laid out before you? Will we cross paths somewhere else tonight?”

My Answer: I lead this life with diabetes and although diabetes tests me with different challenges each day in an attempt to take the “reins,” I am not going to take the road that has been laid out before me. We (diabetes and me) will cross paths somewhere else tonight, tomorrow, and the next night, and I am prepared more than ever for your next challenge!

 I finished the 13 mile run with a blood sugar of 133 mg/dL!

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