Well, what about us! The “us” I am talking about is the growing number of T1D’s who have lived full, rich lives with diabetes, over a lifetime of many years. Sure, the diabetes world has been moving forward at a fairly snappy pace. Innovative technologies, creative tools and tricks, more accessible education and widespread social media connections have brought enrichment to many PWD’s. The battle for Medicare coverage of CGM’s for seniors has been won, thanks to warriors like Dr. Nick Argento of Maryland and many others who led the fight to win. Studies are taking place in Toronto under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Perkins. The Joslin Center in Boston continues to study 50-year medalists, and the ADA is conducting studies on people living with long-term T1D. However, as Dr. Daniel Porto who conducts research at UCSD puts it, “The fruits of investigation don’t ripen overnight.” We know that it always seems to take years of research to arrive at clinical impact, and so how we conduct our daily lives matters for us as the clock continues to tick.
When it comes to the iconic group of us who have engaged to carry on our lives and dreams while tending to our diabetes … and done it well …. we don’t get a heck of a lot of information, not to mention an occasional pat on the back…. Are we the silent minority of the 2000’s?
But it really doesn’t matter because we choose to put one foot in front of the other and carry on anyway within the lines of management we draw for ourselves as strong, determined T1D’s.
One very important component of a vibrant life plan that we know about, of course, is exercise … that is what this column MoTo Move is all about. Exercise and activity should be a priority in everyone’s healthy lifestyle. However, as the years add up, the marathons we ran, the 100-mile bike rides, the triathlons and the mountain climbing may not come as easily or quickly as they did way back when. But wait! New horizons are always within reach. “Seek, and you shall find.” If your knees are not willing to run as they once did maybe they can ease into a dance. Local community centers, city-run gyms, and park programs often offer physical activity classes for a seasoned generation that don’t cost crazy money. Finding new interests in exercise is creative, stimulating and inspiring. A personal discovery I made recently is something called Movement Speaks, a creative dance program for people in our crowd. It is not only an excellent exercise and movement program but fun and stimulating as well. At the end of a one-hour exercise/stretch class we team up into groups of three or four and must create a three-minute dance based on various suggestions. They might be things like Trust, Swim, Hide, Music without Sound or blizzard, for example. These spontaneous creations allow one, to become creative, work with strangers and most of all to feel free of inhibitions just like a five-year-old kid!
Discoveries can cause a domino effect. Finding a dance program sparked me into investigating other types of activities and interests. So, please indulge yourself and learn something you never had time for in the past __ challenge yourself to learn a new language. Have you always wanted to paint or hike in a National Park? Learn to make Sushi? Play poker? Kayak? Do a walking tour of New Orleans? The list is as long and wide as your curiosity. Trying new adventures will not only enrich your life but lead to even exciting and interesting discoveries you may never have imagined. Waking up each morning with your own brand of good diabetes management and a sense of excitement about the day ahead makes life grand as we wait for more of those research studies to have a clinical impact on us T1D’s.