Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tour de Cure

As a lot of you may know, I am a Type 1 diabetic. That means that my pancreas no longer makes insulin so I have to take daily in order to live. I started out taking shots (4-5 daily) & about five years ago I switched over to an insulin pump. I'm actually currently in the process of getting a new pump. (Please be in prayer for that - I've been working on this since October 2006!!!)

Most people think that Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes is a childhood disease. I know I certainly did until I heard my endocrinologist tell me that what they thought would be Type 2 (when you can generally take medication & even reverse it with diet & exercise) was actually Type 1.

It was when I was pregnant with my second son that I found out I had this disease. I went in for my very first prenatal visit. It was actually at the doctor's office I worked for. I used to be a medical transcriptionist. I thought how nice it would be this time around. I could just run upstairs for my appointments. My favorite provider could deliver for me. It was to be perfect!

However, at the very end of the visit she mentioned that I had "3+ glucose" in my urine so they wanted to do a random finger stick "just to be sure." The lab tech just about freaked out on my when the result came back at over 300. The normal range (which I didn't know at the time) is 70-100. Since I was so naive I just went back to work & told the tech to let me know what my provider decided once she was out of the patient room.

Well, I was given one week to get it under control with diet. That didn't happen so I was sent for education on how to use a blood glucose meter and to give myself insulin shots. It was so hard. In fact, I made my hubby do it for the first few weeks until his schedule didn't allow for it. The only thing that really got me through was that I was doing it for my baby. They caught it early and I prayed that by keeping it under good control would help my baby not develop any birth defects - which can be common in mother's with diabetes.

I was also referred to a high risk OB (oh & my regular provider could no longer care for me since I was now high risk either - I had to go to the local OB/GYN clinic at the hospital & begin seeing them instead). The specialist was the first to tell me that I did indeed have diabetes & not gestational diabetes. My sugars were very high & it was caught at just nine weeks gestation.They would have to wait for the baby to arrive before they could tell me if it was Type 1 or Type 2, but given my age, they thought it was probably Type 2.

I found out I had Type 1 on September 10th, 2001. I, obviously, remember that day pretty vividly considering what happened the very next day in our nation. It's kind of hard to forget the day your life changes in more ways than one.

So why is this post titled "Tour de Cure?"

Well, my MIL loves to ride her bicycle. She rode for two years in the Trek Across Maine. It's a three day biking event that raises money for the American Lung Association. It starts in the western mountains & ends on the coast. One year I mentioned that the American Diabetes Association does a one day event called the Tour de Cure & I would do it with her if she wanted to. Silly me! She took me up on it that very year.

The first year I took it easy. I signed up for the 25K & thought I only had to ride 8 miles. Have I ever mentioned that math is not my strongest subject? It was actually 15 miles. I managed it, but just barely. I hadn't trained very well for that one.

The next year, I foolishly upped it to the 50K which is about 30-32 miles. I can never really remember that one. It was really hot & I got dehydrated & overheated. I quit at 16 miles.

My MIL is on the far left in yellow with the reddish helmet.
I'm on the far right without the helmet on. The girl in the
middle is also a diabetic. She is the granddaughter of
the woman next to me who is a long time family friend.

Last year - from when this photo was taken - I again signed up for the 50K but I had done a lot more training on my bike prior to including a 20 mile ride around the area I live in - that I actually finished. I'm happy to say that I did manage to finish this ride. I did skip a 2 mile loop at the end that was right on the ocean since it was VERY windy & I was afraid I'd have a difficult time with it. I did manage to ride 28 miles though.

This year I am again signed up for the 50K. I'm doing my walking tapes & praying I can get in to shape for it! I even conned my older sister to ride with me. :-) Yeah Beth!!!! The route will be slightly different this year. Although, it's great that we get to ride by Walker's Point. We usually stop & take a group photo.

If you'd like to support me in this ride & to help raise funds for diabetes research & a potential cure, I have a web page set up through the ADA where you can donate. Every little bit helps. If you prefer to send it via another method, please leave me a comment or e-mail me. Here's the link for on-line donations:

Thanks! The ride is on June 3rd. I'll be sure to post updates on my training & the ride itself.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, I really enjoyed reading how you've taken on bigger challenges each year and are improving! Great modeling for your boys too.

    I'm afraid that if I actually got on a bike, I'd fall over when my feet left the ground, lol.


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