Sure, it’s easy for me to give you advice on how to get started moving, stay with it, challenge yourself, be inspired to exercise and always be active with a mindful and positive attitude. But recently I found myself in a pinch - a pinched nerve to be more specific - and realized it is not always easy to follow my own advice. Motivating one’s mojo can present resistance.
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.