Diabetes Blog Week Day 1: I Can.

Today is the start of Diabetes Blog Week, hosted by the amazing Karen at Bitter-Sweet.  Each day I will attempt to blog about the topic put forth to diabetics across the world.

Click for the I Can – Monday 5/11 Link List.
In the UK, there was a diabetes blog theme of “I can…”  that participants found wonderfully empowering.  So let’s kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes.  What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes that you weren’t sure you could?  Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?  (Thank you to the anonymous person who submitted this topic suggestion.)


There are so many activities out there that people are afraid to do.  Run a marathon, sky dive, scuba dive, have a child.

As a diabetic, sometimes things that already scare us make us even more nervous.  How will my sugars react to: prolonged exercise, adrenaline, altitude, pressure, raging hormones?  Will I go low and not be able to treat myself?  Will I go so high I pee mid-flight?

I am proud of many accomplishments in my life but there is one that truly sticks out above all others.

My greatest accomplishment as a diabetic was being a part of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.  If you don’t know what Drum Corps is here are a few videos and articles on what it means to be a musician that is also an athlete.

Marathon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL79z1Aw87g

Bobby Knight:  http://halftimemag.com/articles/09-2010/09-2010-features/musicians-as-athletes.html

Part of my show from 2000: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNR1vL7zgXs

I would train at least 14 hours a day from May through August .  I would run, dance, perform on a football field over and over and over again wearing nothing but pretty much a swimsuit.  I would be in all sorts of climates from a hot desert in Modesto, California to the swamp lands of Louisiana, to the raging heat of Texas… all in the middle of summer.  I slept on a tour bus or on a hard gym floor.  I ate whatever food was prepared for me with no idea of a carb count.  Lots of sugary Kool-Aid type drinks, Hamburger Helper, cereal.  All while having T1D.   And this was before CGMs or before I wore a pump.  (Not really an option back in 2000 with the tubing and what I was doing) Plus the added stress of not wanting to let down the other members or my instructors and have them think I was weak or not able to keep up.  But I did.  For three years I trained like a finely tuned athlete in her peak for hours a day.  I kept everything stable and together.  Sure I had some bad highs and lows but nothing that stopped me from what I loved to do.

So that’s that.  I personally think all diabetics can do anything they want.  It might take some time, some training, some help, but you can do it.  If I can, you can!


6 thoughts on “Diabetes Blog Week Day 1: I Can.

  1. Until you came to Indy last summer, I wasn’t really familiar with drum corp… and then you told me about it, and I am Wow’d by what you’ve done. Totally on the same page, as far as believing we can do anything we really want even if it does take a bit more planning and time. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. My son was in marching band in Minnesota and I remember how exhausted he was the pre-season rehearsals. My understanding is that Drum and Bugle Corps is way harder than that, so you have my total admiration. And as I always tell you, you have the best blog name ever!

  3. Dannnng. That is impressive. I had a friend who was a dancer for Blue Devils and she was outside working her butt off every summer just like you did. I find that kind of strength absolutely incredible. Thank you for sharing this, and way to go!!!! You’re proof that people with diabetes aren’t stopped by diabetes.

  4. Thanks, everyone! Means a lot to me that people actually read my blog and are somewhat impressed by what I’ve done! It’s so great to see how others thrive with diabetes. I CAN!

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