Walking on the Moon (part 1) – by Helen May


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“Diabetes should not stop you doing anything.” So I was told the day I was diagnosed with diabetes. After I’d overcome the shock, it was time to put that to the test.

I like walking so when a friend suggested the Moon Walk a few months earlier, it seemed like a good idea. Before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I’d registered to spend a night walking 26 miles around London to raise funds for breast cancer. Diabetes wasn’t going to stop me but it was certainly going to add a new dimension. I was still learning how to control my blood glucose levels and I was going to go something that I’d never done before.

After getting the slightly nervous go ahead from the hospital, I needed to start training. I’d walked 25 miles in a day before so I felt confident that I could do it. But, due to the initial lethargy that came with my diabetes diagnoses, my exercise regime had been reduced to a few minutes each day. This time, my starting point was lower. And I needed to know what affect it would have on my diabetes control.

I started easy and got to know the Kennet and Avon tow path very well: hey, it’s flat, it’s less than a mile from home and it goes on for much more than 26 miles. For the two months leading up to the Moon Walk, I walked at least twice a week (and that’s not counting my 30 minute walk to and from work). I gradually built up the distance checking my blood glucose levels every hour or so.

By the day (or should that be night?) of the walk, I knew I could do 20 miles and was pretty confident about the extra six. I hadn’t tried walking through the night or even a night without sleep: this was going to be a suck it and see.

To be continued…

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