Exercise to Stay AliveI have always exercised, and I have always loved it. I guess its because I love to compete within myself and with others. This affection for exercise has been a God send in controlling my insulin dependant diabetes.
I was diagnosed at age 24, and I was in outstanding shape. I was a good competitve marathon runner, capable of running under 6-minute mile pace for the 26.2 mile race. When I was told I had diabetes, my first thoughts were that this should help me run better. I was told to moderate my running, do less, as it could cause more problems than it was worth. I admit that there were some very dangerous moments but overall my running has been a key ingredient to my success.
I have no complications after 14 years of diabetes, and thanks to the pump, I ran my first of four marathons in last November 1996, after a 14 year layoff. The pump has given me back the freedom to run long and not worry about dropping out. After just five months of pump therapy, I ran the Philadelphia marathon, finishing in 3:13:54, qualifying for my dream of running the Boston marathon.
In April 1997 my wife and two children flew to Boston, with the help of Disetronic, Medisense, and Night-Bite, who has given me the tools I need and use to succeed. I use the pump to carefully and accurately control my insulin needs. I use the Precision QID on a watch strap on my wrist, and I test myself over 12 times throughout the course of the race. I don't even have to stop running to check my BG.
I am now sponsored by Power-Bar and Power-Gel, which I use to maintain my blood glucose during my training and racing. I now run about 50 to 70 miles per week. Recently I competed in the Delaware marathon running a 3:12:12, but most importantly, my BG management was increadably stable and I felt great! I actually felt in control and I could really race again.
I encourage everyone to reach inside and find that competitive athelete waiting to be released. Everyone has one and it needs your help in getting out. You will be so glad to get your conditioning back, and you will be on top of the world when you see what it can do for your diabetes management. It is a valuable tool for diabetes. It strengthens all the the parts of the body that poor diabetes management negatively effects, the small and large blood vessels in your toes to your nose, your muscles and nerves will all benifit, your heart, lungs and brain power will all be enhanced, but the biggest benifit will be the confidence you will gain in your ability to control your diabetes.
Isn't it frustrating when you give all your efforts and still end up with poor results? It discourages you from sticking to your routine. I know -- that's what happened to me last year. I was three years removed from the dicipline of the DCCT study, where I spent 8 years strictly controlling my BG. My A1C had slipped to 7.5 and my blood sugars were bouncing all over the place. When I finally crashed my car into the gaurd rail, I fortunately realized that the system of multiple injections was dangerous for me, especially when I wasn't sticking to my schedule, and I needed help. That's when I went on the pump.
Five months later, I was running my first marathon in 14 years, and my A1C was below 6.0 for the first time ever. I felt much better, with more strength and energy. This April I'll be on the starting line at Boston once again, confident that I can run faster, proud of the level of training and fitness that I can and have achieved. All this because of the wonderful technology available today.
I haven't had one dangerously low uncontrolled BG since I began on the pump. I can run as far as I want, confident that I have all the tools I need to maintain my blood sugar. We really do have the power to control this disease and the power to control it is a reality today. Educate yourself to it. Enpower your body to perform the way it was disigned to. Exercise! It will give you freedom to live long and Healthy.
Bill King receives e-mail at BKINGB@aol.com.
Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 20:59:46
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