I was 13-years-old returning from a week in Colorado with my swim team. I was in the greatest shape of my life- a competitive swimmer, runner and biker. I did it all on a local, state and national scale. When we flew into Miami, I could barely move to get off the plane. It had been weird that for the last week I had been constantly thirsty, always having to urinate and getting tremendous headaches. My parents thought I had the flu or some bug, but finally took me to the doctor. My glucose level was 796, I immediately went to the hospital for a couple days stay.
I had to learn how to live with this wonderful new gift. How to give injections, check my sugar and my urine, and come about with a new diet. All of this was tough for a 13-year-old but I came around. I admit I didn’t follow directions perfectly but I did alright.
Over the years I kept swimming, lifting, biking and running. I tried hard to stay fit. I accomplished things nobody thought I could do or allow me to do. I lied and made it through the fire academy, police academy and passed physicals with nobody second guessing my physical fitness. I was in and still am in better shape than the 22-year-old rookies coming through the academy now. I have done fundraisers for the ADA and swam Alcatraz, taught health and fitness principles to groups at stadiums, and have continued to do aquathlons, triathlons and other races. Its not odd for me to swim, bike and run in the same day and still deal with 4 kids and a wife.
Living with diabetes is not easy but it is manageable if you pay attention to it. Just continue to think “I can do this!” I can succeed not for me but for those around me. I am one of the lucky ones who has this god awful problem, but I will NOT let it get me down!
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