Why Sail?

Check out my full blog at erinspineto.blogspot.com

Type 1 Diabetes is a multi-talented killer. It kills quickly, it kills slowly and it can kill by stripping you of any desire to truly live. One slip up in your dosing math, one time you forget your safety sugars, one underestimation of how hard that workout really was and the amount of sugar in your blood plummets to the point where there is not enough to support your brain and heart function. I’m sure you can guess the outcome of that, and it can happen in the blink of an eye. We all do a pretty good job of staying on top of it, but slipups do happen in the diabetic community. It’s a tribute to all of us that it doesn’t happen more often.

But even if we can prevent the Superlows from happening, it is virtually impossible to keep from getting too much sugar in your blood from time to time. Whether its that hot fudge sundae you’ve had your eye on for a week, a forgotten bolus of insulin because one kid’s crying, one was screaming and that pesky telemarketer just knew it was the right time to call, or you got sick and your body decided that it just doesn’t feel like responding to the triple dose of insulin you had to give it. Then little by little your blood gets thick with those killer glucose molecules that like to attach themselves to any available red blood cell like an over-40, still-single, overeager, “my-biological-clock-is-ticking” woman when she finds any man who shows even the smallest smakeral of interest in her. So what if your red blood cells get a little bigger? So what if trying to pump those enlarged cells around your body will wear out your heart a little quicker or that they start to tear at the littlest capillaries like a three-year-old through presents on Christmas morning? Those capillaries aren’t in anything really important anyways, just your kidneys, eyes, hands, feet and one other really important part. And so very, very slowly Diabetes silently wears out your body. We all work hard to slow this process. We all use the latest technology, we analyze all sorts of data and walk around like Robo-diabetic with pumps, meters, and continuous glucose monitors strapped to our bodies, belts, and in every bag, backpack and purse we own all in attempt to slow the coming tide.

But, I think worse than both of these, is Diabetes’ ability to strip you of all desire to truly live. Your doc tells you never again walk barefoot, no flying or scuba diving, forget Ironman training, just walk for 20 minutes a day. Everything in moderation, he tells you. And that’s the killer, Moderation. When was the last time you got the least bit of a thrill from Moderation? Have you dreamed about your Moderation for two years straight, saving every extra penny, telling everyone you know, being possessed by your Moderation? Never. But talk to any diabetic who has stepped out of the cloud of Moderation and they will turn your ear bloody talking about their training plan and what their blood sugars were every 15 minutes during their last sub-4 hour marathon and every detail of their next trip climbing Machu Pichu. They are truly living. And they are talking to anyone who will listen. But for years they were talking to those who didn’t know much about diabetes, those who don’t know Type 1 from Type 2, those who couldn’t help with the right basal rate reduction for an 11 hour hike, those who don’t know a thing about the low blood sugar induced Midnight Munchies. That is until a few of these diabetic athletes happened to sit down together at a table together at a conference and started talking. What was born out of that conversation was the plan to build a community to get diabetics together to talk and to support their moderation-busting adventures.

I, too, have been bit by the bug to abolish moderation. For me its a sailing trip. Four days, alone on a 22 foot Catalina, in the Florida Keys. To sit alone for 96 hours, to sail, to think and to write. To get a grasp on what diabetes has done to my life and what I am going to do to diabetes. And to support others who want to do the same thing in their own way. I have decided to use this trip to raise funds for Insulindependence and to spread the word that Moderation will never win. We can’t let it.

Erin I think it’s really cool what you’re going to do! I hadn’t heard of the Insulinindependence organization until I read your blog here and I must say I’m really impressed and intrigued by their mission. I think they look like an awesome group to get involved with. I love your attitude and I wish you the best of luck on your sailing trip and I look forward to hearing about your adventure! :slight_smile:

dear erin
what you wrote helps me this day very much. i never thought about the aspect of moderation and maybe to counteract moderation to get stronger.

marcus, the more we can push past moderation the more we see that our bodies are much more than just diabetic bodies. and as a bonus it helps us control our blood sugars. go find something and push hard!!

Ha I just posted a blog about scuba diving! I haven’t found much on the topic except what you’d expect like it’s a good idea to test fairly often and other useful info, lol. It’s been done but I’m trying to do it as safely as possible. I admit that it’s pretty scary but intriging at the same time. I’ve never let D slow me down before, I’ve respected it but have never given into it’s fear. That’s not to say some pretty crazy things haven’t happend but you know I try to learn, say a prayer and keep going. I admire your courage and wish you well and I’ll pray while you’re on the water. Please keep me posted of when you leave.

just a thought. have you thought bout getting a CGM and then putting it in one of those water tight bags so you could just look down at it instead of underwater testing? I don’t know if those things will transmit underwater but its definitely worth a try. I know DexCom has a great one!! Its great to talk to other people who are pushing the limits of what everyone has told us is possible. Go get them and lead the way!

As far as I know you can wear them in the water no problem and if you put the glucometer in a watersafe bag it might just work, if you’re not too far down. There are pressure issues but like I said if it’s a shallow dive then it could work. There is a girl who scuba dives on here that answered my blog so she’ll be great for answering questions.
As for yourself, when are you planning the trip? Do you wear a CGM? I’m impressed and really look forward to hearing all about it and take lots of pictures too. Lisa

I am planning it for spring 2011. I was supposed to go last jun but had some thyroid issues so I had to postpone. I wear the minimed Cgm right now but am working furiously to get ahold of the DexCom. I wore it for a week and LOVED it! Oh and i will take tons of pictures. Its also going to be part of a memoir that I am writing so you’ll be able to read all about it. and of course (shameless plug ) you can check out my website www.diabeticsailor.com to catch up on all the details :slight_smile: