Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Walking a tightrope

The title of this post relates to an idea I’d had a few days ago that I thought might be interesting to talk about.  Since then a few things have happened so this may turn out to be a ‘double feature’ blog post.  I’ll do my best to be succinct where possible.

It struck me recently that being diabetic is very much like walking a tightrope.  I talked briefly about blood sugar levels last time and since then I’ve been giving it a fair bit of thought.

I’ve noticed that since I came back from holiday that even the slightest miscalculation with my insulin dose would lead to a high blood sugar reading which has made me feel like I’m wobbling (to continue the analogy).  I think I’d perhaps forgotten how much hard work it was to really stay on top of the condition and as soon as the wobbles crept back in I started to feel angry and frustrated.  Of course that doesn’t help and I think over the last 48 hours or so, I feel like I’ve regained the control I had pre-Las Vegas.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so naïve about how long it would take to readjust my diet, insulin and blood sugar control (even after just 5 days away).  I think the tightrope analogy works because adjusting from a minor blip (blood being 9.2mmol when you’re aiming for 7.5 say) is an easier adjustment than trying to correct yourself from a real wobble (e.g. 14mmol).  You end up over or under-compensating and it takes a lot more resolve to stay balanced.

I’ve been a bit harsh on my diet as a result of that this week.  I did some baking with my daughter last weekend, getting her to help make some wholemeal scones.  We used a rabbit shaped cutter which kept her interested but now they have to be referred to as ‘bunny cakes’.

I treated myself to a couple of these after my stir fry the other night and ended up with the 14mmol reading I talked about above which shocked me quite a bit.  As a result I’ve cut down on carbs more than I already had done.  I still have my stir fry, but I’ll either have noodles with it or I’ll have a bunny-cake afterwards – not both. 

I think part of that dietary strictness has evolved from last week’s lack of weight loss which disappointed me more than I probably let on.  I’ve also been feeling ‘fat’ this week too (not helped by a 3 day weekend and a pie at football on Saturday) so I’ve really been trying to reign in unnecessary calories.

Moving away from the diabetes/diet and into the training, I had physio again on Tuesday and I’m happy to be able to report that it’s reasonably good news.

She was pleased that I’ve had no real discomfort in my foot for the last two and a bit weeks (save the time spent flying) and apparently the movement in the joint is better than it was when I first went back in August.

We then had a fairly frank chat about training and she’s advised me to up my swimming a bit for the next few weeks but then I should be OK to start some light run/walk training!  This is obviously good news although I’m mindful of being in this position 12 months ago so I’ll definitely be taking it steady.

For those of you who haven’t done the London Marathon (and I’m not totally sure of my reader demographic yet so forgive me), what happens when you get a place is that they send you a magazine with lots of tips and advice, including example training plans based on your target.

The most basic one is “If your goal is just to get to the finish line”.  To be honest, my immediate goal is just to get to the start line but in any case, that’s the plan I’m going for.  Since the injury, I’ve revised my ambitions for the marathon quite a bit.  I’d always wanted to beat my dad’s time and my sister’s time but I think that’s beyond me now.  Getting round will be more than enough for me.

At any rate, the plan they give you is a 13 week training plan that you should have completed about 4 weeks before marathon day (April 22nd 2012).  But that plan assumes you can do 30 minutes of easy running, with the odd walk break in there if you need it, and suggests a 4-8 week “base training” programme before you jump into the main plan.  A quick bit of calendar-maths means that I’d need to start that 8 week base programme in 2 weeks time so the physio’s advice was welcomed with open arms.

So all in all, it’s looking cautiously positive.  No more formal physio for the time being – just a call in a month to see how things are going.

I’ve talked a lot today so I’ll end it there I think.  Thanks for sticking with it all the way to the end.

As always, if you want to get in touch for a chat about the themes of this blog or anything else, then you can always drop me a line on or find me on Twitter (@BroomOwl).  Sadly I’m one of the ‘millions’ being affected by the BlackBerry problems (though I’m in the minority that aren’t claiming it to be life-threatening) so my online life is a bit limited at the moment so if you do get in touch, and I take a while to get back to you, I’m not ignoring you, I probably just haven’t got your message.

Thanks for reading


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