What a great morning for 200 parkrunners to complete the 347th Lower Hutt parkrun. There was a slight headwind coming back, but hey, we live in Wellington and wind in one direction or another is expected right?!
It was great to see several visitors and first timers this week. I hope you find your reason to come back and join us again.
parkrun is run by volunteers, it is really easy to do if you haven’t volunteered before, and it is a great way to meet fellow runners. This week I would like to give a big shout out to those that made it run smoothly, they were; Tracy ANDERSON, Donald COLEY, Margaret DONOVAN, Brent FOSTER, Susan HAYNES, Stu LESLIE, Heather LEWIS, Mark MALONE, Glynis NG, Sam VISVALINGAM, Ryan WALKER.
Another shout out goes to our milestone runners.
Congratulations to Lizzi ELTON-WALTERS on 300 parkruns (WOW!). Matt TORBIT on 50 and Tamara THOMSON on 50. Such great achievements, and thanks to Lizzi for the delicious fudge post run!
It has been exactly 1 year since I wrote my first run report, and I’ve written a few more since then. In the first report, I wrote about my parkrun story, what I love about it, and what makes me come back to parkrun time and time again.
One of those reasons was diabetes.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and Wednesday 14th November marked World Diabetes Day, so what better week to write my report, and theme it on something that is very personal to me.
I am Holly, I am a regular parkrunner, and I am a Type 1 diabetic.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease caused by the immune system attacking and destroying its own healthy insulin producing cells. Without these cells a person cannot survive. A Type 1 diabetic depends on daily insulin injections or an insulin pump to control their blood glucose levels.
It is estimated that in New Zealand 240,000 people have diabetes, with a further 100,000 undiagnosed. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% of this number.
Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented, and there is no real way to predict who will get it. Nothing that you do could cause the disease. And although it cannot be prevented (or cured), it can be managed through a combination of medication, healthy food choices and exercise.
Personally I manage my diabetes with an insulin pump, testing my blood sugar several times throughout the day (and overnight), carb counting everything I eat to give myself an accurate amount of insulin with each meal, eating food that I know will not spike my sugar levels, and exercise. With diabetes there can be a whole list of complications that are associated with it, but with careful management, these can be prevented. There is no break from diabetes, once a person has type 1 diabetes, it does not go away and requires lifelong treatment.
If a person has a high blood sugar it is called a hyperglycaemia. The immediate solution to bring the sugar levels back down is to give insulin. Prolonged high sugar levels can become severe and lead to serious complications.
If a person has a low blood sugar it is called hypoglycaemia. These too can have dire consequences. Exercise can cause a low blood sugar, so it is important to carry some form of glucose or fast acting sugar whenever you are doing physical exercise. Personally I have a little pack of jellybeans that accompany me to parkrun each week.
Diabetes is never easy or ever predictable. Swings in blood sugar levels can be caused by several factors including; type of food, time you ate, weather, stress, poor injection site, bad batch of insulin, hormones, temperature, illness, exercise etc.
Exercise in particular can be tricky to manage, and you have to be very careful. But it also has huge benefits.
If you know someone is diabetic, or see someone acting out of character who is stumbling, disorientated, slurring their words, or even in a coma, please get them medical attention straight away. Call an ambulance immediately if they are in a coma or having a seizure. If they can still manage, assist them to have fast acting sugar like juice, lollies, honey or some other form of sugar, and stay with them until they are comfortable and their sugar level is back to normal.
Diabetes is not all doom and gloom, it has never once stopped me from doing anything, it is just good to be armed with the knowledge of how to help.
The theme of World Diabetes Day this year was family (Whanau). Whether it’s your mum, dad, sister, uncle, best friend, partner or just a friend that you know with diabetes, let them know that you are thinking of them and are there to support them if needed at any time. Ask them more about diabetes and arm yourself with knowledge of how you can help if the situation arises. It is also a great reminder that if you are concerned about a family member or friend, get them to see a doctor. Symptoms of diabetes include; needing to pee a lot, drinking a lot, tiredness, loss of weight (amongst other things). If you think you are at risk, or are having similar symptoms, please don’t delay and seek medical attention.
From me to my family, thank you for always looking out for me. Diagnosed at age 5, I never truly understood how hard my parents would have had to work to manage my diabetes for me until I had children of my own. My parents had to live it with me. And now my husband and children live it with me, they support me and make sure I have everything I need to manage my diabetes well.
I know of at least 4 others who run Lower Hutt parkrun, so please if you haven’t already, come say hi. It is nice to know others in our community who live with the same daily struggles.
Hope you feel more informed now about Type 1 diabetes, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me.
Thanks for listening