Thursday, 28 August 2014


"... the results of your A1C..."

"... I know the news is a bit shocking..."

"...the good news is we identified it and now..."

Did you just say I have diabetes?

And I sat there, a little bit shocked and a little bit numb, while the doctor went over details with me.  I started to think about how crappy this news was.  It was another salvo of bad medical news that I seem to keep running into.  I felt hopeless and full of despair.  Then I started getting angry.

Then I thought about how unproductive it was to get depressed and angry, and started thinking about ways to approach this.  One of the things that I remembered from the doctor's visit was that I could manage this with diet and exercise.  So I came up with a plan; start moving even if its just a little, increase distances and get some diabetes education.

I got a wealth of information from a diabetes educational center.  I learned that I had a lot of misconceptions about the disease and ways I could eat better.  I started walking a lot and eventually got on the road with my hybrid.

I set out like a first time cyclist, with wobbly steering and not enough balance to pull out my bottle while riding.  On that first ride things seemed so far!  I managed to rack up a couple of kilometers and make it home, completely exhausted.  But as tired as I was, I felt so great!  I forgot how much I loved cycling and it was all coming back to me.

So off I went every sunny day I could, with small milestones and big dreams.  I kept adding an extra kilometer every day or three.  My first 5 km felt like such a big win, I felt like a champion after a big race.  I felt the same way for 10 km, 20 km and every milestone I've set.  When I recently did 100 km, I felt exactly that same way.  I began keeping a log of my food using an app on my phone.  When I wasn't on two wheels, I was constantly reading blogs and news about cycling.  Reading about Team Novo Nordisk was particularly inspiring.

For the first time in a long time, I looked forward to my next doctor's appointment.

When my appointment rolled around, the doctor seemed pretty impressed.  I managed to bring my A1C number lower and had dropped a significant amount of weight.  The benefits of exercise and eating better were apparent.  The doctor reduced my medication and indicated further reduction was possible in the future if I kept things up.

I took it as a challenge and dove right in.  The next few months saw me transition over to a road bike and even longer distances.  My perseverance paid off; my last medical appointment had even more weight loss and amazing a2c numbers.  I feel more fit than I have in years and I'm happy and proud of myself.  It feels like such a contrast to that guy who was so depressed and angry months ago.

As of today, there is no cure for diabetes.  I will have to continue cycling my entire life to keep it at bay.  And I might only be able to slow the disease's advance.  But I'm stubborn as a mule, I enjoy challenges and I really love cycling!


  1. The key is to take charge of your diabetes and manage it as aggressively as you can. Don't ignore it like I did for the better part of eight years, being insulin dependent is no fun.

  2. I know while I've been successful so far, the trick will be the long game; keeping up that aggressive management. Investigating my winter options right now so I continue pushing on.

    It helps that cycling is so addictive. And so is the weight loss! :D