Making An End Run Around Type One Diabetes Complications

March 15th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Living with a malfunctioning organ (insulin dependent diabetes means my pancreas cannot produce insulin and cannot help to regulate the amount of glucose in my bloodstream) means I will someday encounter any number of physical complications. We all know it and we all know we’re supposed to keep our blood glucose levels “in a healthy range.”

Did you just shift in your chair? Roll your eyes? Take a deep breath?

I do, every time someone who doesn’t live with Type 1 says it. Because it’s HARD. The human body is an amazing complicated and finely tuned machine. With one piece broken—one piece of hundreds—I need to use a lot of brain power, three machines, and count everything I eat and more days than not I still don’t get it “right”.

So, in my attempt to bring my Type-A self to a place I can be okay with that, I looked at what complications I’m likely to meet: heart disease topped the list.

Alright! I can do something with that!

I take care of my heart through cardiovascular exercise. I treat it as best as I can without being fanatical. My eating isn’t great. My stress levels are high. My speed isn’t impressive.

But my endurance can outlast most.

I am very lucky that I enjoy physical activity; I love how it makes me feel and I really love having the confidence to know I can climb over a fence or get out of a window without too much trouble. (I will save a discussion of why I think about these things for another post.) I love going to the grocery store and assuring the checker I need no help out to my car. I love not having to buy Queen-sized underwear.

Most days, it’s the small things in life that make it fun. It’s the big things that make it all worth it. And it’s the strategy to keep going as best as I can that makes it all possible.

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