Monday, August 13, 2012

Diabetes As A Marathon

Me talking in sports analogies is a rarity, but stranger things have happened and I love me some Ice Cube from time to time!
I've had friends ask me point blank: How do you do it?
And by "IT," they mean living with diabetes.
And usually my answer is: I don't have the option not to do "it." Diabetes wasn't my choice, diabetes chose me - I didn't choose it.
And then I quote Ice Cube: "Life ain't a track meet - It's a marathon," diabetes or not.

Sidebar: I love that quote and even have it on my blog - It pretty much sums up life!
There are some days/moments when diabetes is like breathing. I don't mean that it's easy, more like it's automatic - I'm on auto-pilot. I wake up, I test my blood sugar before I get out of bed and I make my morning coffee - I don't even think about what I'm doing, I just do it - Half awake and in need of coffee.
Other times diabetes is laborious, between battling blood sugar bitchfits in either direction, bent infusion sets or dead batteries and a million other diabetesisms that drive me crazy and make me question WTF is going on.
But mostly, living with diabetes is a marathon - one that never ends. There are moments in my Diabetes Marathon where I drag behind the other imaginary runners feeling sluggish, like I'm literally walking/running through J-E-L-L-O because of high blood sugars that refuse to come down and leave me worn out, tired and wondering how the hell I'm going to run my next step, let alone make it to the finish line.
There are moments where my body shakes as I reach for the juicebox and have to slow down my pace - Almost coming to a complete stop until my low blood sugar stabilizes and I feel like I can continue the race. Sometimes I am physically alone in these moments where I feel like the ground is shaking beneath my feet - And it requires me to remain calm and count the minutes in increments measured in carbohydrates of 15. The clock moves slowly and the minutes go by even slower and I worry about the ground lost and subtracted from the mental tally of the diabetes ground gained in my head.

But those moments pass and I continue on.
Then there are those moments in the Diabetes Marathon where I hit my Runners High via Blood Sugar Nirvana and feel like I could go on for miles and miles - And for a moment I feel that I am untouchable, in control and in the lead. These moments are never permanent, but appreciated none the less - And I try my best to remember those moments and the feelings that they bring when I need them most.
I've run this Diabetes Marathon for almost 35 years and there are days when it gets old, not to mention annoying. This Diabetes athlete gets a bit delirious and incredibly tired.
But then I regain my footing and snap out of it and trudge forward because I don't have a choice - pancreatically speaking.
It's then that I look around at the others I'm running with and realize a very important fact.
Unlike most marathon runners, I am part of a team - a Diabetes Pack so to speak, not a singular athlete out on her own.
My teammates encourage me when I'm feeling like I can't go on, cheering me on and telling me that I can and will succeed & vice a versa. And that makes all the difference in my endurance level, both on the race route and in this thing called life - And that my friends is a wonderful thing~


StephenS said...

I love this line: "The clock moves slowly and the minutes go by even slower and I worry about the ground lost and subtracted from the mental tally of the diabetes ground gained in my head."

That's how I feel sometimes after a low, but I've never been able to put it into words like that.

I have no doubt you are succeeding, and will continue to succeed.

Jenn said...

Thanks for being part of the team!

Jenn said...

I needed this one today. Thanks for being part of the team.

Unknown said...

I was just thinking about this when I woke up this morning. How we've only been at this 6 we have a lifetime to go. How I don't know when we'll burn out or how we'll deal with it. How she'll never get a break from it and someday I will. How I will somehow find a way to keep running.

Kate Cornell said...

Excellent post.