OK, I didn’t exactly fall, but it’s the closest I’ve come since I started taking spin classes a little over a year ago…
On Dec. 31, hubby and I decided to attend the “New Year’s Special” combo class — 60 minutes of body conditioning followed by a 90-minute marathon spin session — run by our favorite instructor, one of those don’t-stop-till-you-drop types. And in this case I nearly did. (Anyone who’s tried spinning knows that every minute is magnified by a great deal of sweat and pain.)
First off, we got up too late. I only had about 40 minutes from getting out of bed to actually mounting the bike, which I already know is not enough time to eat breakfast and adjust for the food before a workout. And simply not dosing doesn’t work for me; I go so sky-high that I don’t feel well during the activity.
I used my “secret formula” of aiming for the perfect micro-dose to cover my breakfast without knocking me out as I start to exert myself. Only guess what? Blood sugar management is not exact science. So there’s never any guarantee that what worked last time will do the same trick again today. Does it not make you just want to scream?!
So there I was, sitting up front with a friendly-looking couple next to me. They didn’t strike me as the 90-minute spin class types, but it was me who was huffing and puffing, feeling like absolute crap on the bike that day. My BG seemed to start out at a decent level, but I hadn’t slept well the night before, so I attributed the “feeling like I’m going to die” to just that. As the end of the first hour approached, I was beyond drenched. Dunking booth drenched, I tell you. Refusing to get off my bike before the hour mark (did I mention I am stubborn?), I counted down the minutes. And by the time I realized I was desperate to CHECK! I could barely click my cycling shoes out of their clamps. I stumbled to the polished parquet floor next to my bike and could just feel 20 sets of eyes boring into me as I fumbled for my OmniPod.
53! Well, no wonder! Fumble, fumble, fumble. I ate a few raisins and then realized with horror that I only had two glucose tabs left. And then it happened:
The friendly-faced dude on the bike next to me was waving something at me.
What the heck? It couldn’t be… but it was! A chubby full-size plastic container of glucose tabs! He nodded affirmingly as he pushed them my way. At that very moment, it struck me that the little pink contraption hanging off the woman next to him was not a MP3 player, but a PUMP!
I crammed in a few more chalky tabs, and clambered back up on my bike. We all grinned at each other. And then I saw it. How could I have missed it before?? A HUGE tattoo on the young man’s arm of the word “Diabetic”:
I have never in my life been so grateful to see two other PWDs. In fact, I have never in my life met any so spontaneously — and when I need them the most!! The Chronic Illness Gods must have been smiling on me that day. And I think I know why. It was probably their way of saying “shut up and stop feeling sorry for yourself,” because right before I hit the floor to test, all that was going through my mind was: “Look at all these people peddling away without a care in the world! None of them has to deal with all this counting and dosing and hypos and tablet-eating junk! None of them is on life support!”
It was as if my very own PWD Fairy Godparents had shown up. With a sparkly new pink Animas pump and an outrageous tattoo. They enlightened me that they both started the class over 200. I didn’t ask what their ending BG levels were. And I didn’t bother surveying the room to see who was staring at us after class as we chattered and compared medical gear and took pictures with our mobile phones. Who cares about details like that, when you’re in the afterglow of “spontaneous connection”?
Editor’s Note: This is my latest gym experience, a happy story. I realize that things can go horribly awry as well. Take a gander at Kelly K’s staggering tale, “Dear Lady in the Gym Locker Room.” Just what is WRONG with some people, anyway?