Some call it a battle. Other say it's a war. I don't know what to call it, but all I really know is that I never wanted to feel limited by this thing they all call "honeyed urine" or diabetes. When I was in college, my cousin, who was diagnosed six months before I was with Type 1 diabetes asked me if I was worried about what would happen after college. I asked him to clarify and he talked about insurance and health benefits and having diabetes.
"I don't want to feel limited by this, and I don't think I'll ever let it limit me," I told him. "I want to be able to travel the world and not worry." Right? WRONG. If I didn't feel limited, it was my parents who felt limited for me. I took a job that was so small, it didn't have health insurance for its employees. They paid me as an independent contractor for two years and when the bill was signed into law stating that children could stay on parents' insurance plans until age 26, I was thrilled.
I just turned 26 this month, so I beat the deadline. I found myself a job with insurance and everything! I'm moving up in the world!
Anyway, that was one limitation on me that's no longer there. Now, I feel it. I feel the limitations in my body when I shake, in the weakness that overpowers me, but like any hard-headed athletic person, I want to fight it. How do you fight your body when it's telling you to shut down and stop? You think, maybe I can just go a little more, a little more after that and you push yourself to the limit of, oh I don't know, shakies, sweating, and feeling like the world just fell on you.
There's a reason why I go into this. Stay with me here. Yesterday I was at a workout class and before I started my blood sugar was already at 74, which is a little below normal. I thought to myself, I'm already here and OF COURSE the cookies I thought I had in my bag were not there. You can see where this is going, right? I hate being vulnerable and realizing that I can't do something because my body won't let me. Do you ever feel that way?
I pushed myself through the hour long class, the weakness coming in waves. Of course, this is not a good thing to do by any means, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I wanted to wish away the diabetes and I was envious of the women around me who could move and strut without worrying about the consequences of their blood sugar dropping or possibly fainting, for that matter. I didn't want to be looked at as weak or incapable of doing a simple exercise routine. I had dropped to 64 in the middle of the class but I figured, I can do another half hour! How stupid. By the time I was done, I was at 49.
I'm sure other diabetics feel the same way. It's a battle. I keep telling myself that I can, even though clearly, my stupid body is telling me to stop. What a hypocrite. I also tell people that they should listen to their bodies. Pff! How am I setting an example?
Low blood sugar levels are the biggest pain in the neck! It isn't easy to stay at the 100 level. It feels like a balancing act and what in the world can you do about it? Like my doctor used to say, "You work out to be healthy, then you eat because you go low, so you're eating calories that you just lost. It's a crazy situation." And it's true. If blood sugars are too high, you shouldn't work out or if they're too low, you might go through an episode like I did.
But I plan on trying to figure this out. And hopefully, I'll have plenty of years to finally get it right.