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I Didn’t Think I Could Get Diabetes; Now I Run Marathons With It

 



Editor’s Notes: Though the runners from previous marathon teams have type 1 diabetes, this story is applicable to individuals with type 2 diabetes who’re also training for the NYC TCS Marathon.

Ashleyrose is a member of the Beyond Type Run 2022 team—a team of nearly 50 people living with type 1 diabetes who ran the 2022 NYC Marathon on November 6. They’re on a mission to lift awareness and funds for type 1 diabetes, with fundraising open through the top of 2022. Congratulate Ashleyrose by making a present on her fundraising page!


Running doesn’t come easy to me. I take little steps, although in my head, I’m running like a gazelle. But I’m still a runner!

I’ve needed to unpack and work through some negative experiences I had with running in my youth. I’m a Time Wealthy Runner, a phrase I coined in honor of all of us runners on the market doing our thing no matter how long it takes. On race day we’re doing the identical distance. 

Some are fast, some are somewhere in-between, some are time wealthy, and we may cover the space in alternative ways, but we’re all on the market! I actually have an incredible deal of admiration and respect for all of my fellow runners.

I didn’t think I could have diabetes

My diabetes story began over 4 years ago, shortly after ending my first marathon in my hometown—the 2018 Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. 

I used to be experiencing the classic symptoms: exhaustion, excessive thirst, frequent urination and weight reduction. I felt terrible. 

I knew something wasn’t right after I began training for the 2018 Melbourne Marathon and had the worst run in my life. It was a 5K training run and the trouble to administer it was colossal. I couldn’t get enough rest. Easy activities were laborious. I struggled in all facets of my life.

I relayed my symptoms to my mom, and she or he mentioned diabetes, as there may be a family history of each type 1 and type 2

I didn’t properly consider it though. I believed type 1 diabetes only presented in childhood (a standard misconception, but half of T1D cases are diagnosed in adults!), so I believed the one thing possible was type 2 diabetes. 

But I believed type 2 was unlikely because I had been on a health and weight reduction journey and was otherwise quite fit and healthy. Since then, I’ve unlearned lots of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the differing types of diabetes and am continuing to coach myself.

Then I got my diagnosis

I used to be finally motivated to go to my doctor just after my 39th birthday. I had been feeling quite unwell for several weeks at that time and will barely manage to get through my very own birthday tour. That coupled with the dwindling weight prompted the decision to my doctor as I knew how difficult it was for me to drop pounds previously and to achieve this with none effort was alarming.

Sure enough my doctor gave me a preliminary diagnosis of type 1 diabetes after testing me and finding that I had high blood glucose levels and enormous ketones. I used to be stunned. After the initial shock, I cried. My doctor comforted me and sent me to the Emergency Room. 

Thankfully, my partner had accompanied me to the appointment and was in a position to take me to the ER. I used to be fortunate enough to have an attentive, caring doctor, who coincidentally also has a private reference to type 1 diabetes.

Within the ER I used to be administered insulin and fluids, endured a battery of tests and was given a crash course in type 1 diabetes by the nice team at University Hospital Geelong.

My diagnosis story took an interesting turn after I tested negative to all known type 1 diabetes antibodies. While it’s an autoimmune disease, a small percentage of individuals test negative for known antibodies and are categorized as having idiopathic type 1 diabetes. 

It predominantly impacts people of color and is under-researched and I’m hoping to bring more awareness to this underrepresented group of individuals with idiopathic type 1 diabetes.

Adventures in marathoning with diabetes

I actually have adjusted to life with type 1 diabetes. On daily basis is an adventure and an ongoing experiment. I didn’t get to run the 2018 Melbourne Marathon; my diabetes diagnosis was still quite latest. I used to be doing fingerpricks and I hadn’t built the arrogance to run a marathon so soon after diagnosis. 

But my work as an actor and performing artist helped me find out about methods to manage my type 1 diabetes in changing circumstances. I learned that the adrenaline and nervous energy before a performance may cause a pointy spike in my blood glucose levels. 

Once I’m in a production, I communicate my access requirements to the production team, a diabetes access area backstage is organized and we discuss an emergency response plan. As a performer, I feel empowered when I actually have those steps in place. It took the identical steps to assist with marathon training. 

Ultimately, I got a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and that transformed my relationship with running with diabetes, giving me the arrogance boost I needed. Having a Dexcom made running more accessible for me and helped me get my second marathon and the primary after diagnosis under my belt, a virtual one in the course of the height of the pandemic, on Wadawurrung Country. I ran my third marathon on Kumeyaay Country running the 2021 Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.

After 4 years, a series of life events, the pandemic, and wayward timing, I finally crossed the finish line within the heralded Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 2022 Melbourne Marathon, completing my fourth marathon and earning my long-anticipated bling.

I’m carrying that momentum with me as I tackle my fifth marathon, the Latest York City Marathon with the incredible Beyond Type Run Team. I’m so excited to be on this odyssey and have learned an incredible deal about myself in the method. 

I look ahead to running more marathons in vibrant, time-rich, empowered style. I’m planning to have a good time my successes at Disneyland and can extend the celebration on the stunning beaches in my beloved San Diego.

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