I stopped working out due to cognitive overload and fear. It felt weird to be on the treadmill at the gym and after 35 minutes "fall out" or eat candy. One time when I was out walking, my husband had to find me on the road to bring me a coke. Crazy right? Almost counter-intuitive! When I played ultimate, my blood sugars soared. My doctor didn't think that could be right, but numbers don't lie. Just managing the day-to-day of the disease early on was a challenge and working out, more complicated. Simple things like forgetting to wear my pump to work or to bring back-up supplies were problems that I needed to figure out. I put working out aside.
In August 2010, on my second anniversary, I decided that I was going to get my life back by giving myself the one prescription that makes a significant difference physiologically in my life, getting up and moving every day no matter what. On the days that I work out, I use 10 units less of insulin Initially, it was hard to break old patterns of putting work first and myself second and navigating my fears. It took several months, until April of 2011 to get it right. Several missteps got it in the way because I didn't have the right tools. A continuous glucose monitor, a machine that checks my blood sugar every five minutes, changed my ability to work out, as well a friend, Jackie, who started walking with me. Her mission was to figure it out with me.
Since then, we have sort of figured it out. I still have some lows. I carry about $9000 worth of equipment when I walk\run, my pump, my cgm, my meter, my phone, candy, and ziplocs, in case of rain. Fortunately, like tonight, it never seems to rain on me, even when it looks like it. Someone wants me to finish my task of taking care of myself. Since August, I have put over 369 miles on these feet, mostly walking. But tonight, my red-letter day, I was able to run 2.6 miles without stopping, without lows, without fast-acting sugar. I couldn't have done it without support. Tonight it was the support of my husband and daughter, but it was also on the wings of others who have helped me get this far. Thank you!
What can I take away from this to my classroom? It is important to be patient. Change takes time. A network of support is key. Changing a lifetime of habits is hard work. Be tenacious.