What I Never Thought I’d Do on My Run


Disclosure: I am human. I make mistakes. I have Type 1 diabetes. I also work as a RN specializing in Diabetes Education. Repeat. I am human.

Epic failure last week. In my effort to complete a 10K run, my training schedule called for a 5 mile run. Normally I exercise in the morning as it’s much easier to manage my blood sugar with little to no active insulin from a previous bolus or unpredictable food digestion rates pulsing through my system. For me, I feel so much better exercising with a small meal, very small meal bolus and mostly basal insulin running through me.

This did not happen last week.

I was excited to finish work early and decided to run at 2 p.m. (yes, exactly when my lunch bolus was peaking). I thought I planned well (even discussing my great strategy with my co-worker) by eating a huge plate of Indian food (about 100 grams of carb!) and taking 50% less insulin than I would normally. Smart plan, right?!


Two miles in I bottomed out. Hard and fast.

Good thing I was wearing my trusty fanny pack filled with jelly bellies and a meter. I stopped running, shoved all the candy down my throat, and slowly walked 2.5 miles back home. Along the way, I freaked out as I was not recovering fast enough (it’s never fast enough is it?), so I did what any desperate person experiencing a hypo does, they scavenge for food.

Now this is usually done in the privacy of one’s home, but when desperate measures call, one must do what is necessary. And for me that meant stealing apples from nearby trees. Yes, I’ve hit a serious low (no pun intended) in my diabetic career. Brief thoughts of being busted rushed in, then quickly out, of my mind.

How ridiculous would it be having the homeowner chase me off their property? In my drunken, hypo-stupor, I would not be able to run away! I’d probably freeze up like a kid who just got caught looking a pictures they should not be looking at. Frozen, I’d be trying to put a few words together to explain why I was stealing apples in the broad daylight, seemingly inebriated, sporting my lovely fanny pack.

It’s not like I could hide apples anywhere and try to argue with this person. I’d be caught red handed. Frankly, I’d probably just sit right down where I was, start crying (because emotions are so easy to control when blood sugars are a mess) and continue eating the apple I was working on. But I digress … thankfully nobody was around to see me grabbing the low hanging fruit.

The rest of the day, I was down and defeated. The training had been going so well and then this just hit me from behind and got me off track. Damn I hate this disease! But in the true spirit of T1D I’m Not Afraid (my blog), I tried again today. And guess what? I DID IT! Falling back to my safe zone of exercising in the morning, I comfortably completed 5.5 miles feeling strong.

T1D … I’m not afraid … to fail and try again … or steal apples when facing a desperate a low.

This story was originally published on Aimee’s blog T1D I’m Not Afraid.

Read Give Me All the Gatorade by Cat Carter.

WRITTEN BY Aimée José, RN, CDE, CDTC, POSTED 04/05/17, UPDATED 12/09/17

Aimée José, RN, CDE, CDTC, works at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. She holds two Bachelor degrees, one in Nursing from UNLV and the other in Psychology from Scripps College. Her passion and specialty is teaching intensive diabetes management, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring, and combination therapies. Outside of clinical time, Aimée also works as a Clinical Research Nurse at Stanford. Her philosophy of care is to keep it simple, take a middle ground, and set realistic expectations. She’s also lived with T1D since 1983 and understands that ignoring your diabetes is a recipe for disaster, but having it take over your life can be even worse. You can find out more about her adventures (or misadventures!) on her blog and Facebook page "T1D I'm Not Afraid."