The motivation to move our diabetes into good places that keep us secure and on target can appear from a variety of epiphanies. The one I am talking about today is a little different from the standard issue prescription of eating fresh and healthy foods, participating in exciting physical activity and staying up to date with new medications and diabetes technology. We know about these and how they all play in concert. Today is about a little niche in the diabetes world known as the Wise Women of Diabetes.
Acupressure points are those pulses in the body that, when pressed with fingers, stimulate the body’s self healing abilities. To stretch the imagination a bit I theorize that there are several diabetes acupressure points in the US that stimulate diabetes care. They are hubs for learning, treating, researching and advocacy. One of them is Boston. And so, if my theory passes muster, you could feel the excitement in the air in Boston in June when the city hosted the ADA 75th Scientific Sessions at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The key components of the Sessions were coincidentally research, education, advocacy and science with a dash of diabetes and social media sprinkled in. There were approximately 18,000 attendees to the conference.
Conformity, Acquiescence, Agreement, Resignation, Submission, Obedience, Resignation, Willingness, Consent and Yielding, all capture a word we hear about patient behavior, Compliance.
In a microcosm of time, fifty-two years is a solid number to have lived with T1 diabetes. Lately it has me thinking of my follow diabetes veterans. Of course there are hundreds of 50-year Joslin medalists who meet every two years in Boston to celebrate their good health and longevity with diabetes. There are also quite a number of us around and about who have kept wavy open lines of communication and support touching base over the years through sports and exercise.
Is it time for the diabetes community to rally a new type of support for activity, exercise and sports that raises awareness and fosters camaraderie in our community? Historically there has been at least one such organization since 1985 when IDAA (International Diabetic Athletes Association) was formed. It changed its name to DESA (Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association) in the mid-nineties to broaden its appeal and scope. This grassroots group, composed mainly of T1’s, held annual conferences nationally and internationally and brought together those of us who believe in the commitment of being physically active as a dynamic component of our diabetes management and care. IDAA/DESA became the hallmark of diabetes and exercise. Members flourished with the sustenance of the conferences and the publication of The DESA Challenge newsletter. DESA closed its doors in 2000.
Patience is (hopefully) a standard issue virtue when it comes to living with diabetes. This means not getting stressed when bg numbers take a roller coaster ride or go way out of the red and yellow lines of your Dexcom targets. It means being reasonable with yourself if you miss your everyday workout or training.
Can you see diabetes in a mirror? What does it look like? Is what we see in the mirror a reflection of reality or our interpretation of reality? Well I can tell you thirty-eight stories about female diabetic movers and shakers who chose to see the realities of living with diabetes in their mirrors and decided to go on ahead and live their dreams in tandem with their diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association’s 74th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco exploded with lectures, presentations, abstracts, posters, panels, and awards that mainly focused on the broad scope of discovery and science looking for answers and breakthroughs in the many nuances of diabetes, while hopefully improving the lives of those of us who live with diabetes. It seems the more that is discovered, the more questions pop up. It's like trying to scratch a hard to reach itch in the middle of your back.
From aerobic dance to ballet, ballroom, hip-hop, tango, tribal and Zumba, dance has been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and socialization going back to prehistoric times. Archeology traces dance from as early as the 9,000 year old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from c. 3300 BC. Dance is a natural rythmic movement of joy. Dance can be a great motovation to move and be active - in other words - to exercise. It is something that can be done on the most basic level of moving to the rhythym of a favorite tune. It can be as complex as clasical ballet or Argentine tango.
Weather is the local topic of conversation. Because of the weather, going for a walk or run or riding a bike to dance class lose their thrill. I look around and suddenly think of Missy Foy. Missy is that fleet footed wonder who runs 50-mile trails placing in the ranks of the nation’s fastest long distance and ultra-marathon runners. She was the first PWD to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.