"I can't"

It was only by doing something out of my comfort zone that I realised how often I say "I can't".

Getting up and walking to a sunrise before eating? 
I can't, I'll go low.

Walking to see the sunset just after eating? 
I can't, I'll go low.

Doing a challenging day hike on an island without reception let alone a hospital? 
You've got to be kidding me. 

Turns out, I can.

Having a chronic illness naturally adds a layer of caution to your decisions. After all, there's more to think about. But I think I crossed the line when I started thinking I couldn't do things because of my diabetes. I gave up scouts when I was diagnosed, so I hadn't camped or hiked in years. Active things became frightening things. 

Low blood sugars are scary. They're uncomfortable, they're draining and they do have the capacity to kill you. I found that exercise sets them off more than anything else, so I made the decision to avoid exercise that lasted more than an hour or so. I'd carefully time it, and set temporary basal rates so I'd have less insulin. I'd carb load before leaving and I'd make sure someone knew where I was going. I wrote myself off as too unfit or fragile to do bush walks, or any walk that wasn't on flat road. I wouldn't do any unexpected activity especially around meal times because that would inevitably lead to a low sugar as I hadn't prepared.

Well, I suppose you can't prepare for everything, and in trying to do that I was missing out on a lot. Sure, things went wrong. I had multiple hypos on the day hike. I'm not certain I would have attempted that hike without the CGM. It took a really long time, lots of juice, pump alarms, very supportive friends and a few tears (I'm not very fond of climbing up and down unstable rocks in high places). But I did it.

Climb a mountain? I most certainly can.

Comments

  1. My motto, plan as best you can and press on. The only way to find the issues is to seek out the adventure.

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  2. Good on you for going...the scenery looks worth it. I get frightened too of longer hikes/walks and didnt do any for a long time, but now think, I get hypos sitting at home watching TV, so whats the difference? So long as I am prepared and carry supplies and test regularly, it works out completely fine or minor hiccups.

    Hope to see some more of your explorations.

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