so it looks like i am back to blogging! and there are many reasons why, of course. like, i like to write! that’s a big one. also, i now that i am all graduated from liberry skool and stuff, i have way more time on my hands. but over the past few weeks, a few things have inspired me to dust off my old and gross (SERIOUSLY, WHO THOUGHT THAT WHITE WAS A GOOD COLOR FOR A COMPUTER?) laptop and resurrect lintzy on the loose, complete with a slammin’ new design. (thanks, wordpress!)
so, let me begin at the beginning.
inspiration number one: kate b. and the ‘betes
if you are reading this, you probably know that i’m a type one diabetic. if you don’t know much about diabetes, you can find out more about it by accessing this great nytimes guide. but if you’re like me and don’t really like clicking on embedded links (no matter how helpful they are), here’s a short synopsis of type one diabetes:
- if you have type one diabetes, you need insulin to live. so, basically, you either need to give yourself a shot every time you eat a mouthful o’ food OR invest in an insulin pump, which is a tiny machine that pumps insulin into your body via a tube.
- type one diabetes usually stems from a combination of an autoimmune disorder and genetics. and it’s way different than the much more common type two diabetes, which is often seen in adults and can be treated through diet, medication, and exercise.
- type one diabetes is a mentally exhausting disease. really, really, REALLY. if you are striving for “good” control, you must count the carbohydrates in every bite of food that you eat, calculate how much insulin that means you should take (there is no one-size-fits-all formula, btw… it’s different for everyone), and balance that with all of the other shizz happening in your life (if you’ve exercised, if you’re stressed, if you have a cold, if there’s a full moon, and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah to infinity)… and still be okay with getting it wrong about 75% of the time.
so, in a nutshell, that’s what my kind o’ diabetes is. and i think one of the hardest things about it (besides what i just mentioned) is how invisible it is. just like how you’d prolly never know that i am struggling with this pesky problem, i am hardly ever able to recognize my fellow diabetic peeps. which is why i think that the internet is magic! there is a host of diabetic resources out there, including blogs, social networks, and oh so much medical information. so much of this disease can be so isolating (’cause you have to think about you you you like all the effing time!), and it’s reassuring to know that there ARE other people out there who are dealing with the same proglems.
which brings me to kate b., my fellow librarian and diabetic! she is the amazingly amazing author of tenaciously sweet, a fabulous diabetes blog. she writes compelling and realistic posts and that strike oodles of chords with me because we are at very similar points in our lives. plus, she is very funny. anyhow, we went to liberry skool together and it turns out that she read lintzy on the loose way back in the day when i was chronicling my experiences training for the boston marathon. so last week, she completely called me out in a post about diabetes bloggers, saying that i should write some more.
WELL, MS. BOYLAN, I HAVE ACCEPTED YOUR CHALLENGE.
inspiration number two: the marathon dream/conundrum
so far in my life, i have run two marathons. i ran boston for charity in 2010 and finished in 4 hours and 17 minutes. i ran the wineglass marathon in 2011 and finished in 3 hours and 52 minutes. now, it’s 2012 and time for another big race! for the past several months, i have been fixating a not-so-secret goal for myself: i would really really really REALLY like to qualify for the boston marathon. in order to do this, i have to run my next marathon in 3 hours and 35 minutes. according to my math, that’s like an 8:12 pace per mile.
in other yikes-y news, i have been visiting my diabetes doctor a lot lately in an attempt to get my blood sugar levels down. they were pretty high for a while there. and at first, i was really doing well! i managed to get my hemoglobin a1c (a three-month average of all my blood sugars) down from 8.0 (eeek, i know, i know, it was up there) to 7.4 (still not stellar, but better) in a matter of a month. but in the two months since then, i have completely stalled. my a1c is still hovering right at 7.4, much to my (and dear doctor’s) dismay.
so in my most recent appointment last week, my doctor quietly pointed out that my workout regime may be part of the problem. it’s really hard for me to handle my diabetes when i work out– i think that this is common for endurance athletes. before a workout, i often need to get my blood sugar really really high (like 300), because it’s been known to drop several hundred points during some of my feats of strength. but, being the wiley beast that it is, sometimes my blood sugar goes rogue. for example, my blood sugar levels after two very similar running workouts this week were 301 (WTF) and 37 (i almost passed out in front of the gym). i have been to exercise physiologists, diabetes specialists, and nutritionists. I DO NOT KNOW HOW ELSE TO APPROACH THIS PROBLEM.
“well,” said my dear doctor, “why don’t you just scale things back?”
“um,” said i, “what exactly would that mean?”
well, apparently, it could mean a variety of things. i could not run another marathon. i could run another marathon but give up on my goal of running a boston qualifying time. i could quit trying to vary my workouts (in addition to running, i try to swim and spin and get stronger). i could give up working out altogether for a few months, just to see if it helps.
but. i don’t want to do ANY OF THOSE THINGS. I DON’T WANT TO.
inspiration number three: swimmy… and michael j. fox
as part of the toddler storytime schtick that i do at the liberry, i often tell leo lionni’s beloved story of swimmy, a tiny fish who is made into an orphan after a big fish eats all of his brothers and sisters. (also, i have fashioned the world’s greatest flannel board to go along with the story. i heart felt!) after he is left all alone, swimmy explores the underwater world and meets lots of fun creatures. and one day, in the shade of rocks and weeds, swimmy finds a school of fish much like his old family.
“come on!” says swimmy to the other fish, “let’s go and play and SEE THINGS!”
“we can’t,” say the other little fish, “the big fish will eat us all.”
“well you can’t just LIE HERE,” says swimmy, “we must think of something!”
in an attempt not to ruin the story for those of you who have not read this wonderful tale, i will not reveal swimmy’s AMAZING IDEA. because i think that this makes my point. i do not want to just lie in the shade of rocks and weeds just because my blood sugar is a wonky devil beastie. i want to go and swim and play and SEE THINGS!
last night at the panda manse (a name that i just made up for where i live with the baby panda), we were watching some bad tv, as is our custom. as i was flipping through our six channels, i noticed that jane pauley was interviewing michael j. fox about his struggles with parkinson’s disease. i’ll paraphrase the portion of the conversation that really hit home for me.
jane (who looks amazing, these days, btw): so, stress exacerbates your condition, right?
jane: so, why don’t you rest? if i were you, i’d stay in bed all the time, conserving my energy.
mjf: you say conserving energy, but for what? what am i conserving my energy for? if you conserve it to use it, when are you going to use it? if you want to do something, do it, don’t make excuses for why you can’t do it.
i sat there, stunned. listen, i know that i can handle my diabetes better. i know that i can plan my workouts more thoughtfully, and not treat my lows and highs with emotional responses. i get that. but just because i want my blood sugars to improve does not mean that i need to hide, staying away from one of the things that i enjoy most and makes me who i am.
so. guess who has signed up for the 2012 marine corps marathon on october 28?
i’m planning to use this blog to chronicle my struggles, successes, book choices, long runs, bouts with stomach issues (ahem, what runner DOESN’T have these?), mustaches, bears, and well, anything else that i want to talk about.
thanks for listening.