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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Readers in Motion

,

We asked for your exercise tales in the July 2012 issue ("What Moves You?"), and in response you gave your fingers a workout at the keyboard. Here are three of your stories:

Dick Wiseman

Runner

This is what moves me: a quadruple heart bypass in 2001 plus, at the same time, a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. I took both of these as a wake-up call. At age 58 I was not going to go quietly.

My father had passed away at 59 from a heart attack, so I knew these were serious diagnoses. I began a regimen of metformin along with heart and cholesterol medications. I had been somewhat active on a regular basis: biking, running on a treadmill, and swimming. The doctors told me that this activity kept me from having a major heart attack but that without heart surgery and control of diabetes, I would be history.

Three years ago, my daughter-in-law, a triathlete, asked me if I'd be interested in running with her. I accepted the challenge and took a running class for beginners. After six weeks, I was able to complete a 5K race in 30 minutes—an exceptional result (for me).

Today, I'm a long-distance runner, having completed numerous 5K and 10K races and three half marathons. My cholesterol is under control, my A1C is 6.5, and my metformin and insulin are reduced. I feel good.

I've come a long way from 2001, thanks to my daughter-in-law and my coaches. I am totally committed now to running five to six days a week year-round, rain or shine. As I write this, I am training for my first marathon. The race in Detroit and Windsor, Canada, includes a mile run underwater in the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Then I'll be running a 10K in Roseville, Mich. What a trip for a guy at age 68 3/4!

I love it. And so can you. It is never too late to start thinking healthy.
Dick Wiseman, Warren, Mich.

Jack Timmerman with Rebecca Over, DO, his endocrinologist, at the ADA's Diabetes EXPO in Seattle.

Snowboarder

I'm almost 52. When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago, I thought my life was coming to an end. Just the opposite happened: I changed my eating habits and learned how to cook and bake for myself.

The exercise part of type 2 was never a problem for me. I had run track for many years and won a scholarship. This training was instrumental in how I approached my diabetes care.

Then the unthinkable happened. In 2010, just a month after I had been snowboarding at Squaw Valley, Calif., I came down with Guillain-Barré syndrome. It's an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nervous system and causes muscle weakness. I was in a wheelchair for over three months, munching on painkillers. My weight, A1C, and cholesterol had been in check—all that went out the window.

But I told myself I would walk, run, snowboard, and shoot hoops again. Two years later, my legs don't quite have their strength back, but I thank the good Lord every day that I can shoot hoops or play tennis. And in 2013, I'm planning a snowboarding trip that will take me back to Squaw Valley.
Jack Timmerman, Seattle

John Wetzel

Swimmer

I've had type 1 diabetes for more than 25 years. I am certainly not an Ironman, but I do swim 250-plus miles each year. I am in the pool five to six days a week—usually at 6 a.m.

I belong to the Masters swimming group. Among other advantages, this allows me to track my swimming yardage on the organization's website on a daily basis.

My A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol are all well controlled. I attribute this to exercise, my continuous glucose monitor, and a (usually) sensible diet.
John Wetzel, Crofton, Md.

 
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Get to Know

While she’s still spinning music, DJ Spinderella (aka Deidra Roper) is no longer spinning her wheels when it comes to getting the right information to help her family members who have diabetes. Read more >