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Monday, 30 January 2017


What did I do in 2016 when I was ignoring my diabetic self?

A lot of exercise.

Pokemon Go was where it was at (ok, its still where I'm at, at least until I find the last 3 non-regional monsters I need to complete my PokeDex collection). I did a lot of walking in the latter half of 2016 trying to hatch distance-based pokemon eggs and find new Pokemons.

It helped to have something to concentrate on as I walked. I have always found exercise to be mind-numbingly boring. Or it made me anxious. PoGo took care of both the boring and the anxiety. I was able to forget how nervous exercise made me (thanks for that, diabetes) when I was concentrating on catching little monsters.

I started off small. I have always walked during my lunch hour, so I increased my single block to 2 or 3 blocks (had to try to get as many PokeStops as possible). Then I started off walking 4km in the afternoon after work, then worked on getting my time down as I got better at catching monsters and not tripping over my own feet. When I had gotten my time down, I added more distance and found a 6km route to walk.

I kept going and as my PokeDex got fuller, I got fitter. My 6km route morphed back into a 4km route when I found an exercise park that I could stop off at and complete a few sets of muscle based exercises. I upped my reps. I stopped catching as much Pokemon and my exercise time ballooned out from around 50 minutes a day to around an hour and a half on weekdays, and over 2 hours per day on weekends.

On weekends I vary my exercise a bit more. I might go for a bike ride, or a longer walk for a few hours. Sundays are Springwood Conservation Park Day, where my husband and I go to do laps. There's a very steep set of stairs followed by a 1.5km circuit that I jog 3 times. The stairs are an absolute killer and going up them 3 times is more than enough to give me the lovely 'going to puke my guts up' feeling that you really want when you're trying to run.

I recently started adding jogging to the mix. At first I was breathless after 100m, but I can now run nearly 2km before I need to stop and walk for 30 seconds before starting up jogging again. Every day I push myself to jog further, even if its just a few meters past where I made it to the day before. The only problem with that is, I cant PoGo and jog very well. So I am just turning on the app and then sticking it in my bag while I jog, so that at least I'm walking my Buddy Pokemon and hatching distance-based eggs.

The plan is to eventually be runnning the full 6km while still adding a stop-off to the exercise park. Or maybe getting a 4th lap of the Springwood Stairs in before I get the shaky 'about to vomit everywehere' feels.

Not everyone understood the appeal of PoGo, but for me its managed to keep me interested and pushing myself to get fitter for over 6 months now. Slowly, but at least I'm getting there, and for the first time in my life I'm actually enjoying exercise. So theres a plus. To everyone who complained that there were too many young people out walking their phones, there's a plus.

Monday, 23 January 2017

I think I had Diabetes in 2016

I think I had diabetes in 2016. I know there were nights that I didn't sleep and days where I slept too much because my blood sugar didn't really do what I had planned for it that day. There were finger-pricks and site changes and pump battery changes. There was blood and insulin and sticky-leftover residue from CGM tape. Diabetes was there. I'm sure of it. I can't tell you what my last A1c is, not because I don't want to, but because I don't remember. If it was better or worse than the one before that, I have no idea. But I am vaguely aware that at a few points along the year I let someone siphon some blood out of my arm to produce some readings that I paid no attention to.

I lost my diabetes voice in 2016. It hung in there for a little while at the start. I just got too tired, too busy, too overwhelmed with life to keep hearing it. "Check Your BG" got swamped by the sounds of my rattling washing machine every Saturday morning. "Change Your Basal Rates" was drowned out by copious amounts of Netflix. "Advocate!" couldn't be heard beneath my new nephew's sweet little coos. I didn't take "Be prepared" along to work with me each day, and found myself completely out of test strips, insulin or both more times than I cared to count. (Thankfully there were people close by who helped me pick up the slack during those moments of complete unpreparedness).

In 2016  I let diabetes 'just be there' quietly in the background. I began to accept that sometimes you can't have perfect control...and that that sometimes might span for a year or more. Life was too busy for diabetes.

I think I need my diabetes voice though. My diabetes needs my diabetes voice. It helps.