One great thing: My husband Mike runs marathons with type 1 diabetes. He blogs about it, but he doesn’t boast about it. He should. Anyone who runs a marathon should feel proud. Anyone who runs a marathon with diabetes should feel like such a winner. It’s a feat.
In order to run a marathon with diabetes you have to work hard at every aspect of diabetes management. You also have to get up very early in the morning, even if you don’t feel like it.
A typical morning for Mike, before he starts working, looks something like this:
4:30 a.m. Wake up
4:35 a.m. Blood sugar check and reduce basal rate on pump
4:45 a.m. Make sandwiches for kids’ lunches then get dressed
5:00 a.m. Drink coffee/check email
5:10 a.m. Blood sugar check
5:15 a.m. Pack glucose meter and energy gels then out the door
5:30 a.m. Blood glucose check – it’s usually low – so one energy gel (breakfast)
6:15 a.m. Blood glucose check
7:30 Home. Blood glucose check. Help get the kids ready for school. Take the dog out.
If you want to run a marathon with diabetes there are no shortcuts. You have to have a plan and you have to stick with it. Mike does, even in extreme situations. Last weekend, for example, our oldest son Tom was in an sailing competition about an hour’s drive away. Mike woke up extra early on Friday and Saturday in order to run before taking Tom. He spent both days on the beach and on the water, and did not break his diet. He came home starving, but his blood sugar was perfect. Everything else, though, was starting to go to shit.
Our youngest son Adam, who is three-years-old, began to cough Saturday night. We were up most of the night and on Sunday morning Adam was having trouble breathing. We could tell by the retractions in his chest. We took him to an emergency clinic and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Adam received a few rounds of inhalation therapy, oral steroid treatment, and we spent most of the day in the clinic where the doctors could observe him. He was limp and kept falling asleep in Mike’s arms. But he felt safe in Mike’s arms. Mike held him through a blood test, took him in for a chest x-ray, and held him through two rounds of inhalation therapy. Adam did not cry once.
After Adam’s blood test, Mike took out his glucose meter and showed Adam that he was doing a blood test, too.
We left the clinic once Adam’s breathing had improved, with antibiotics and instructions for continuing the inhalation therapy at a home. The combination of the stress and lack of sleep left us both totally drained. Neither of us had eaten all day because we left early in the morning, and were both too stubborn to break our diets on the quick snack food available around the clinic. The truth is, I didn’t realize I was starving until we got home. By then I was almost too tired to eat.
We didn’t get much sleep Sunday night either, but don’t think for a minute that that stopped Mike from waking up at 4:30 Monday morning to run. He had been going nonstop for days. But if you’re going to run a marathon with diabetes, there are no breaks.
*Thank you, Orit, for helping out with Tom and Guy on Sunday and totally saving the day.
*Adam is on day three of the antibiotic and seems to be improving well. So far so good.