Friday, May 11, 2012

Back to Basics

It's time to come clean, I was burnt out. 

For the first four years after my diagnosis I did everything right, I obseviely calculated the carbohydrates in a meal, tracked every second of exercise and was so regimented about logging I had automated excel models that would predict my future blood sugar.  Due to all that I was obsessive, I wanted my blood sugar to be perfect every single time I tested and when it wasn't I would either work out like a fiend or spend an hour working out a new predictive formula.  That in the end had me burn out from the daily tracking and hard core exercising that had made me so successful in the management of my disease; that is also what lead me to stop blogging except for the occasional outburst here and there.  I simply couldn't focus on the disease with the same intensity I had in the past and needed a break.

Fast forward to the end of 2011/ start of 2012.  I had lost my job and began to seriously doubt the value of my MBA.  I was determined to pursue my mission of helping people live healthier lives and to pursue a career that personally meant something but my dream had seemed to vanish.  I was unemployed for 6 months, and was facing a huge decision about where to move to.  While in San Francisco I met the most wonderful woman I could imagine and no longer was thinking just for myself so couldn't just jump at the next risky and interesting opportunity, I had to analyze the consequences and make a real adult decision.  That landed me back in NY, back where I belong (as I've come to truly believe over the past month).

Given all the stress and the travel that Katie and I did my blood sugars were thrown into dissary.  If my parents offered help for a high or a low I couldn't handle it, I simply didn't want people to be concerned about my disease because it was one more responsibility I couldn't focus on.  Thankfully I stock piled insulin and pump supplies but not a day went by where I didn't feel like I had to ration my insulin intake or test strip usage.  Add to that the constant job search had me cutting back on workouts for fear I would miss a phone call that would get me off a pay check from Uncle Sam.  I was still exercising and doing the occasional bike race but overall I wasn't the same active, happy guy that people have come to know.

When we hit mid-March I began to really worry.  I had some kindles in the fire but I really didn't know when the job thing would flush out.  I had to contact an old endo to write me a script for Novolog which my parent's so generously paid for.  I was finding cheap test strips online so that my Dad could still be compliant with his type 2 diabetes.  My sleep cycle was off and I was fearful that I would never recover from the mountain of student debt I accrued during my time at Darden.  I was perhaps, for the first time, lost.

I did the best I could to muster enough energy for one last big push to find a job I still believed in.  I had been networking with a few companies but the process was slow and agonizing.  But I pushed hard knowing that I wanted to be back in NY and knowing that I still wanted to be in healthcare.  Finally in late April I was offered what I truly consider to be my dream job or launching pad to something great, and I finally got to return to the city I love.

Being back in NY has me re-energized, it has me in a place where I am comfortable and happy and in a place where I am so excited to start the next chapter in my life.  That wonderful woman is still with me, and things are about as serious as they get and I know I couldn't have gotten through those dark months without her, and that family of mine has always supported me with everything they have and of course this time was no different.  They were there for me like they never have been before (maybe because they never really had to be there for me like this before). 

On Tuesday I got in to see my old endo, Dr. Baker.  I have an amazing relationship with Dr. B and believe he is one of the greatest doctors out there.  The numbers in his office didn't lie, it showed how much focus I had lost over the past 6 months.  My weight was 200 lbs, the first time I have reached that number in 5 years (normally I'm around 190), my A1c was 7, the highest it has been since I gained control of blood sugars after diagnosis.  That visit served as a wake up call and this city is serving as a platform for me to Ring The Bolus again.

I spoke with Dr. Baker and have 3 simple goals for my August re-visit.  I will be 190 lbs or lighter, I will have an A1c below 6.5 and I will reduce my daily basal rate by at least 10%.  I am signing up for 3 triathlons this summer, 2 olympics and 1 half iron and I am starting to bike into work again.  I have already seen a change in my blood sugar consistency after running 3 mornings this week and I am getting back into the weight room later today.  It's time to get back to basics, gain control of my disease and return to sharing my story about how I fight to control it. 

Hello again.


Anonymous said...

Will congrats on the job and the girl! and I will keep you in my prayers for your goals in August but it sounds like you are back on track and doing fine with your life. The best of luck to you!


Melissa said...

Glad to see that things are looking up for you!

Anne Findlay Dowling said...

sounds like a tough time and diabetes is not a fan of stress. glad things are looking up, though! I look forward to reading your updates. all the best,