I was having a conversation about Diabetes and A1C readings with my wife this past weekend, when i started to discuss and bring up many of the other folks I’ve known through my life who have Diabetes. It made me realize that for the most part, almost everyone I know who has either Type-1 or Type-2 Diabetes has failed to take care of themselves to the extent that they’ve caused damage to themselves that can no longer be repaired. It’s made me realize just how involved my care has been and how far my training and efforts have brought me.
After four decades of living with Type-1 Diabetes, I enjoy the pleasure of retaining all my limbs and digits, have a clean nervous system, clear kidneys and have the heart of a horse. In fact, I ran a stress test just a few short years ago and even ran the PARE two years ago in New Brunswick against other candidates half my age. But such health didn’t come naturally or on its own. It took a lot of time, training and effort to maintain this level of health and avoid many of the symptoms and side effects of Diabetes that many of my counterparts have had to suffer through.
Before getting on an insulin pump, a lot of my Diabetes control had to be done by feel. Carb-counting wasn’t something I was familiar with and I still adhered to the concept that sugar was what I needed to avoid. That being said, I worked pretty hard on my physical health, pushing myself and my body until I managed to grow and develop without many of the limitations that Diabetes has brought on others. When I joined the martial arts, it gave me tools and methods to ensure I could continue to maintain my health well into my years, which is a practice I still observe today.
None of that is easy and it would absolutely be simpler to just sit back, take it easy and let my body rest. That would likely feel much better but time and others have proven that such a path is what causes quicker complications and a sooner death; two things I’m trying very hard to avoid. None of this means that I haven’t gone down some difficult steps before. In my youth, before I had full control and say into my treatment, I suffered through comas, vision complications and high A1C’s. But once I took ownership of my therapies and the course of my life, I was able to make a measurable difference. And that’s the key takeaway; Diabetes has no feelings, no emotions and doesn’t care whether one lives or dies. This is why it’s up to the person themselves to take steps to maintain one’s health and ensure a longer and healthier life. ☯️