As the expression goes - "you've come a long way baby" - the "you" here is diabetes which has indeed come a long, long way from the time back in 1552 BC Egypt when a physician imprinted on papyrus a condition of frequent urination. The Chinese, Indians and Persians also had their say about this condition. The ancient Greeks and Romans gave it a name - diabetes, from the Greek meaning to siphon or pass through and the Latin word mellitus, for honeyed or sweet. The name diabetes mellitus has withstood the test of time, although there was a period in the 17th century when diabetes mellitus was commonly called "pissing evil". The cures during those ancient times were - well let's not even go there - except to say that most of them were brutal and barbaric.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to cross the finish line in a marathon or shoot that seamless 3-point basket or climb to the summit of Mt. Everest? How does a person with diabetes find such inspiration and once they find it how do they keep the fire stoked? Last column we talked a little about Paula Harper. Now let’s look for the secrets that got her to run 35 marathons, many daredevil hikes and multi century bike races among other athletic feats. Her story has no doubt inspired many. Once you hear it chances are that you, too, will be motivated to move.
It’s a simple sentence formed with simple words. But these words were in a sense the big bang, the cannonball that started a revolution around diabetes and exercise. When Paula Harper was first diagnosed with diabetes in 1972, medical advice at the time was often not to exercise. For her long distance running, she got only negative or poor medical support for her training and distance running pursuits.