Some Days Diabetes Wins
When I ask for donations and raise money for diabetes research, it’s usually done with a very outwardly focused lens. I’m usually thinking about my friends and family that have Type 1 and am doing my part to tell them “I’m with you.” I’m usually thinking about the younger generations that maybe have a chance at a reversal or a cure. I’m not usually thinking about myself.
This November will mark my 14th anniversary of living with Type 1 and (knock on wood) I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve taught myself to actually enjoy eating healthy foods and sometimes I even like exercising. Over the years I’ve done a lot of work on my mindset as well, always being able to find the positive side of things and keep an optimistic nature about myself. I used to be afraid of people finding out that I was Type 1—now I use my diagnosis as a platform to encourage, inspire, and connect with others. All things considered, I find the disease to be pretty manageable. Most of the time.
In no way does that mean that I’m not constantly fighting an internal battle. Anything I eat or drink must first go through a mathematical equation in my head so I know how much insulin to give myself. I haven’t slept soundly through the night, probably in 14 years. I’m woken up by a low or high blood sugar, by the cord from my pump wrapping around my body and on the verge of being pulled out, to drink a glass of water, to pee, the list goes on and on.
And running a marathon? That’s been a whole different battle for me. For example, let me take you through my Wednesday night:
I got home from work around 7:00pm and had planned on running 8 miles. I plugged my phone, watch, and headphones all in to charge for a few minutes before heading out and then checked my blood sugar: 60. Well, that run will have to wait a few minutes. I grab a glass of orange juice and a handful of pretzels and wait to come up.
Alright, let’s get running. I’m feeling pretty strong. A quick walk break at mile 3 to check blood sugar again: 102. A little lower than I’m comfortable with, with 3 miles still to go. I’ll have a gel at mile 4.
Solid run. Come home, eat dinner, go to bed.
2:00am: wake up in a cold sweat, stumble to the kitchen, check blood sugar: 40. Where are the carbs? Survival mode kicks in and I eat far more than necessary. Peanut butter by the spoonful. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Orange juice and the last of a gatorade hanging out in the fridge. Back to bed.
7:00am: wake up. Check blood sugar: 400. Do a correction, chug a glass of water, off to work with an upset stomach and a migraine.
Sounds fun, right? Not every day is like that, but some are. Even if I do everything right, eat all the right foods, take the correct amount of insulin, work out, etc., something could still happen that can make my blood sugar rise or fall. Period coming up? High blood sugar. Cold coming on? High blood sugar. Change in the weather? Guess what: crazy blood sugars. Why? Because I’ve been blessed with a pancreas that doesn’t function.
But maybe someday we can change that. For younger generations, for future generations, for my family and my friends, and who knows, maybe even me. Because even if I put on this facade of always smiling and staying positive, even if I can “manage” 90% of the time, 10% of the time I’m very tired. 10% of the time I’m thinking how nice it must be to not “manage” and how nice it must be to eat without doing math, sleep soundly through an entire night, and run at full speed without worrying about your blood sugar.
30 days and just $579 to go! Help me get to the finish line of the NYC Marathon by visiting my Fundraising Page. Donations of all sizes are very much appreciated and go toward the education, advocacy, and a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Follow my journey here, on Instagram as @type1cousins, @bridgetwoznica, and through the hashtag #BridgetRunsNYC.