Stories: Celebrating 40 Years

We are redesigning our website. Share your feedback in this short survey.

Teaching an old dog new tricks...

Chris Harding shares his experience in the Diabetes Education Centre

I took up running at later in life. About a year later, I was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. I had just finished my first half marathon and thought I'd keep going and train for a full marathon, but I had lost 25 prounds. (A little scary and not a recommended diet plan) so my family doc referred me to the Lawson Diabetes Centre, as it was then known, as a "marathon runner". Turns out that my nurse educator was a tri-athlete and my dietitian worked with a number of athletes.

After almost two months of meetings and blood tests they suggested that maybe I should consider going on insulin. While many people resist that idea, I confess that I'm really impatient... and frankly they'd already made me stop training for two months while we sorted all of this out.

My brother-in-law is type 1, so there was already a level of support at home, so I jumped on the insulin bandwagon too. For me though, there was a pretty steep learning curve. 

At the Diabetes Education Centre I really respected their patience in helping me learn good management skills; their support in teaching me how to do it all, about the good injection sites, and the ones that might impact my training. I loved their honestly: "You can buy these glucose tabs or you can carry candy"... And I do! Most importantly, how to adjust. 

My dietitian and I worked together on what I needed to do to continue training. Her work with other athletes helped me move forward - she often had suggestions of things that I could try. The one and only time I had a really low hypo, I emailed her and got a reply with advice that morning!

The diabetic team had me keep food logs... and I still do those today! They help with training, allowing me to see when I increased my carbs for a particular race or which fuel worked better in training. And they provide me with a look at particular restaurant items and how they affected me in the past.

Every six months I'd send in a food log as a spreadsheet with exercise, insulin and my numbers... and by adding the calculations she used, I guess I created my own App, to the point where she was using my food logs in Brescia College lectures.

I would like to say thanks and wish the DEC a Happy Anniversary. Your continued support and great care has allowed me to finish training for that full marathon... and 6 more.

I am so in awe of the "Half Century Award" recipients. While I'm relatively new to this diabetes thing, I think I'm a pretty good example of "you CAN teach an old dog, new tricks"!

Chris Harding
London, Ontario

 

...back to Stories From Celebrating 40 years of Diabetes Care
Last updated: Thu, 2015-10-29 12:01