I'm A Runner: Aurea

My story:

It only took one event in my life to completely transform my life for the better. In October 2010, my former (lazy, obese, diabetic on insulin) died (metaphorically, not physically) and from the ashes a new me was born. An athlete, a runner.

The Diagnosis:
In 2008, I started noticing that my vision at work was very blurry. After visiting with my doctor she ordered some labs and requested that I see an optometrist. The optometrist could find nothing that would be causing blurry vision. In November 2008, at the age of 24, my doctor called me to tell me that I had an A1C of 9.4 and that I had type 2 diabetes (a non-diabetic A1C is less than 6). I was placed on medications and had to monitor my blood sugar levels multiple times a day.

Baby #1
By early 2009, my A1C was down in the 6's and I got pregnant with my daughter in the summer. Around halfway through my pregnancy, I was placed on insulin. I had to check my blood sugars 4 times a day and send them to my doctor for monitoring. We adjusted my insulin on a weekly basis. By the end of my pregnancy, I was on 80 units of insulin before bedtime. It was so much insulin, that I had to take it in 2 shots. I had my daughter in May 2010 and was back on oral diabetes medication only.
In October 2010, after months of neglecting to take my medications as prescribed because I was busy taking care of an infant and working full time, things got worse. A coworker noticed I was talking funny and asked me to take my blood sugars. My meter read: HIGH over 600mg/dl. I took it again thinking that I obviously had some sugar on my hands from eating something. I got the same result. I called my doctor and each person I talked to was in shock each time I stated how high my sugars were. They got a hold of my doctor who told me to go to the ER right away. I kept asking if I could just go to Urgent Care, and they kept telling me the ER was the only place that could help me. I was going to drive myself, but luckily my coworker was smart and forced me to get a ride with her.

The ER:
At the ER, every nurse and doctor made sure that I understood I could have gone into a coma or died. After rounds of insulin and IVs, I was released....only to have my family hound me as well. My family kept telling me that I could have left my daughter without a mother, I could have died. I followed up with my doctor after the Emergency Room and because my blood sugars continued to run high, I was placed on insulin. I hated it! When I was pregnant I took long-lasting insulin one time at night. The new insulin was short acting and I had to take it before meals. I hated excusing myself multiple times a day to shoot up in the bathroom or my car. I was ashamed and embarrassed. That was it, I was not going to be on insulin for the rest of my life.

I was committed to becoming a new healthier me. I started going to Zumba multiple times a week. I started personal training for one hour, twice a week. I started jogging. In 2011, I lost 40 pounds, went from a size 22 to a size 10, got off insulin, got off metformin, and ran two 5k's. My running addiction started shortly after.

In January, I started a half marathon training program with Fleet Feet Bonney Lake. I ran two half marathons that year in May and became a Half Fanatic. I found out I was pregnant in July and still ran a mud run and a 5k that summer. I continued to work out twice a week until a couple of weeks before I was due to give birth. This time I was able to prolong being put on insulin until the very last few weeks of my pregnancy, it was such an accomplishment to get as far as I did with no insulin. I gave birth to my son in March 2013.

I started personal training 6 weeks after giving birth. I started running again 2 months after birth. I was very slow, but I forced myself to sign up for a half marathon training group to get back into the swing of running. Between August and December, I completed 10 half marathons! I am addicted to running and have many more races scheduled for the future.

In January 2014, I started training with Fleet Feet Tacoma for a full marathon in May. I continue to fight my diabetes with diet and exercise alone. If a full-time working mom of an infant and toddler can beat diabetes, so can anyone else! Anything is possible when you get past all the excuses and just do something.

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