Moving Patiently – MoToMove #9

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. Patience also comes into play if you decide to go outside of your regular disciplined and healthy diet on occasion and choose a double fudge chocolate walnut brownie instead of your usual fresh fruit dessert. The key here is not to punish or blame yourself or rock your world for these aberrations but to practice patience and make adjustments. Life has a remarkable way of stabilizing and finding its balance it you allow it.

I had an accident and cracked the tibia bone in my left leg. It turned my day-today life upside down. I couldn’t get up, hop on my bicycle and ride to morning dance class. I couldn’t go to the grocery store. I couldn’t stand at the stove long enough to cook. I couldn’t even sit comfortably at my desk to write. I was at the mercy of a leg brace and crutches, ice, heat, elevation and an occasional Advil. Needless to say it didn’t bode well with my usual MoTo Move style of body and mind. The sentence of bed rest was a hard pill to swallow.  But in order to heal I needed to be compliant. I had to temporarily change my lifestyle. I had to be patient.

Changing lifestyle with diabetes meant making some major adjustments. The only exercise I could do was upper body which meant strength training with light weights for twenty minutes a day. Since I was not moving around much I needed to radically adjust my food intake to balance for the lack of aerobic exercise. This was tough but it was where my Dexcom came handily to the rescue. I was able to clearly see the effects of various foods that prior to the accident didn’t have much of an impact on bg’s. However, without activity and movement they raised my blood sugar levels significantly. It turned out to be an interesting experiment and precise lesson on carbohydrates and blood sugar levels when a change in routine takes place. So, that piece of grain bread with almond butter that was once gave no significant rise to bg’s now caused my Dexcom arrow to point sharply upward and cause the indicator dots to jump over the yellow line indicating a HIGH (over 180) BG.

Having lived with T1 diabetes for many (52) years I sometimes become a little smug and a bit of a know-it-all about managing diabetes. This accident and healing process humbled me. It made me fully appreciate the importance of utilizing the technologies available to diabetes care such as CGM’s to foster good blood glucose control. My Dexcom alerted me to make adjustments in certain foods by capturing their effects on blood glucose levels in time to act on and correct them quickly

Healing always seems to take longer than patience allots. Perhaps it is because we are a fast moving society of the get-up and get- things-done mindset. It might not be fun but learning patience expedites healing and may even infuse a bit of wisdom in the long run. And the happy ending to this story is that because of compliance, mindful adjustments in diet and exercise (and patience) I expect to be back on my bicycle MoTo Moving again very soon.