Thank you for taking time to visit my page. My name is Ian Watson and I have been fighting diabetes for 11 years. I was an unfortunate pick by this disease my junior year of high school. I've battled with high and low blood sugars, slower healing time for sickness or injuries, constant carb ratio counting, ketoacidosis, and the many other side effects that come with diabetes. So what exactly is it that I have?
I haven't given much into sports since being diagnosed. I've always been afraid of getting low blood sugars. With a low blood sugar, your body goes weak, your vision gets impaired, your speech gets jumbled, and you can't think clearly. On the other end, if you drink too much sugary sports drinks or eat too many carbs, you can get headaches, dry mouth, muscle cramping, and your body starts to slow down. Finding the right method to stay "normal" was very daunting on top of trying to stay normal in every day activities. Well, I'm breaking through my barriers.
With diabetes comes weight gain. I've decided to manage my weight, eat healthy, and train to do what I love best, ride my bike. Last year I tried out my first ride, a brisk 35 miles. This year I plan to ride 320 miles in charity events such as MS, American Diabetes Association, and JDRF. I believe that there is a cure for this incurable disease and I plan on attacking it in any way I can.
So why do you need to know this?
I need help raising the money for this event. I have a $2,000 goal I'm trying to reach and if I do, I get to (as Queen put it) "GET ON MY BIKE AND RIDE!" I will have the ability to step up to the plate and prove to myself that 100 miles is nothing for me. I have the ability to prove to myself that, as a diabetic, I can do this with hard work, training, and blood monitoring. My motto is this: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" I know I have the strength in me, will you help me get there so I can prove myself?
Whether it's a charitable 1 time donation or a pledge to give over a couple of months, I really do need your help. You get the satisfaction of knowing you are helping find a cure for me, and you can write it off on your taxes! 8D
Thank you for your support!
Going the Distance
This last weekend I completed my first ride of the season. I personally donated the $200 for diabetes research and, in turn, was able to participate in a 50k ride in beautiful Madison, WI. It was awesome to see other red riders (red riders are those with diabetes) participate in this event. The ride started out slow, mostly because I forgot to stretch, hydrate, and inflate my tires to the proper psi. 8.5 miles in, I finally felt stretched, but I found out that my tires were at 40 psi instead of the 100 psi they needed to be at. No wonder why those hills were tough to get up. haha. As the ride wore on, I followed the same group of people, stopping at the same rest stops, and being cheered on by other riders and on-lookers. It was a great feeling knowing that the people I rode with felt the same about finding a cure for diabetes. I was proud of the kids on their bikes that were diabetics, stopping at SAG wagons to check their blood sugars before continuing on.
The hardest thing about these rides is maintaining a good blood sugar while riding. Now, if you have the pump, it's easier to do than the good ol' needle and vial, which is what I have. With rigorous exercise your blood sugar can drop, yet you also need to hydrate with water and sports drinks, make sure to eat fruits and maybe some granola or pretzels, which all contain carbs. Then the question arises, "Do I compensate for the carb intake or do I hope that the exercises burns it up." The constant worry about going high with the blood sugars means that muscle cramping and a slower performance on the bike is inevitable. If my blood sugars go low, I can black out, become disorientated and could do some real damage to myself if I crash from weakness. This all happens while I'm trying to focus on wind direction, gear shifting on inclines, keeping a good pace, and staying mentally tough on the task ahead of me. So much going on, it would be nice to not have to worry about it all.
I always carry my supplies with me which is also bothersome. I have a bag strapped to my stem, and a bag underneath my seat, plus supplies in my back pockets of the jersey. I might as well have a carry-on. The bag attached to my stem always hits my knees which throws off my rhythm or disallows proper posture.
In all, I love getting out and riding. I see wonderful scenery, enjoy the cool mornings leading to warm afternoons, and finishing is one of the most rewarding things one can feel. I've reach miles I've never hit before and I'm looking to go the distance with this ride.
Let's focus on finding a cure so I can focus on riding instead of riding with diabetes.
It's amazing where one action can take you. Last summer, my wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to buy some bikes. I used to ride everywhere with my friend when I was in 8th grade. We would start in the morning and end at night. The world was our adventure and our bikes would take us wherever we chose. I wanted this feeling again.
My new 29er would take me to beautiful places on the single track course. I've seen some amazing sites and really bonded with nature while doing so, trust me, I have scars to prove it. haha. This was just the beginning. I learned that I could do full rides and raise money for it. Being a diabetic, I remember seeing some guys on their bikes representing the JDRF Ride to Cure team. I was doing a Walk to Cure Diabetes with my wife at the time.
This spurred me on to visit some bike shops in the area and look into road bikes. I wanted to be out on a bike as much as possible and if I could find a way to do it while helping find a cure for a disease that I don't want, then even better! Eventually I found a bike and did my first ride last year at the Pedal the Kettle event. It was great being able to hit mileage that I've never gone before on a bike. I've never felt so alive while doing a physical activity with diabetes.
Ever since then I have been staring at a map and elevation profile of the La Crosse Ride to Cure event. I will conquer this ride. Since my decision to tackle this event, I've purchased a trainer, put in P90X and got to it. While doing all this, I never realized I was doing more than impacting my own life.
Yesterday I was sitting at my desk and a 1st grader came up to me offering a free sticker from a page of stickers she had. I have no idea where they came from but there was one sticker that stood out to me. I immediately, with care, took it off the page, thanked the girl, and put it on the back of my phone. The sticker? It has a picture of a child's silhouette, with the words Finding Cures. Saving Children.
Let me repeat those words, Finding Cures. Saving Children. In a time where, for some strange reason, children are being targeted and killed, I'm a part of a team of people doing all they can to find cures so that the future of our children won't have to suffer with Diabetes, MS, Special Needs, or what have you. I'm participating in an event that is bigger than 105 miles of road to travel, bigger than the training involved, bigger than any preparation I can do to reach my goals.
I know that I am apart of the "children" being saved, but I don't really think about myself when it comes to this opportunity that I have. I have been look at Type 1 Diabetes Facebook pages and I constantly see the hope that thousands of people have for finding a cure, me being one of them. I see the same struggles that I have with other people. Even as a person with Type 1 Diabetes, my eyes were opened.
I was sitting here yesterday, after receiving that sticker, realizing the course my life has taken. I see what I am capable of today all because of a bike I purchased last summer. It truly is amazing where God takes you in your life. I'm enjoying this ride even as my blood sugar is crashing right now. I guess I'll sign off and go see what kind of sugary substance is lying around. (Which is harder to do when you have a sugarfree house.) Thanks for taking time to enjoy this moment with me. Also, for those who have donated or helped out in some way, thanks for making a difference not only in my life, but also in the lives of those you don't know. You are an inspiration to us.
When you become diabetic, a normal part of your daily routine becomes checking blood sugar...well, at least it should be. If one were to check blood sugars before and after meals and during highs and lows, a person could be pricking their finger, drawing blood, and testing anywhere from 6-9 times a day. Let's say, someone averaged the minimum of 6 times a day for a whole year. That means that an average diabetic would be pricking their finger with a needle and drawing blood 2,190 times a year!
Then there are the blood samples that need to be taken at the Doctor's office and the pin pricking they do there. On top of that, you have to inject insulin into your body. I do the old fashioned, syringe and vial method. This means if I gave myself insulin for every time I ate a meal or snack I would be averaging close to 2,000 times I would have to stick myself with a syringe a year. Even if it's to get 2 units of insulin....I hate those.
Being a diabetic is basically like being a living pin cushion. The reason that you may not see us doing this all the time is because we don't want to gross people out. Even when I change out my lancet for my blood sugar checks, I offer people who are not diabetics a chance to feel what it's like to prick their finger just once. They never want to do it because it hurts or scares them. It's a funny thing to watch, but it's sad because no one wants to be in this situation. The next time you eat a carb, think about a diabetic. The next time you are about to eat, think about how you would have to check your blood sugar, then inject insulin into your body, eat, then a couple hours later check again. It's easy to forget about unless you are the one who actually has to keep a close eye on things.
I pray there is a cure in the future, I really do. Living like a pin cushion is not fun, especially during the 5,000 or so times I have to go through it a year.
My Issue with Asking
I am a person who believes in personal space. I don't like it when I go into a store and people come up to me and ask if I need anything. I figure, I'll find them and ask them, so don't bother me. In a way I feel like that intruder asking people for money. I know times are hard, I know that a lot of my friends are just out of college with payments and bills and starting wages/salaries. So who am I to ask them for their money?
It's then that I realize that I am not asking them to give me the money. I am offering a way to give them a chance to make a difference in someone's life. It's an amazing feeling, a rush of adrenaline, that you get when giving to a cause. I've raised money for this stuff and have personally donated time, money, and energy in doing what I can to find a cure. I'm only asking of a third of that from people.
Some of us are blessed to be able to give more than others and I'm not asking for a donation so that you can have boasting or pride points. I'm simply asking that you help me out with this meticulous disease. I don't care if all you can give is a dollar here or there, or if you pool some money with a couple of friends or family. Anything given is an amazing opportunity for you to know that you are making a huge difference in my life. Maybe you are strapped for cash right now. Well, I'll take some free words of encouragement for raising the money, or if you could help me spread the word, that would be even more appreciated.
The world is large my friend, and we all need to help each other out. So, if you wouldn't mind starting your week helping me out, I'd gladly appreciate it.
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Dad, Kev and Arlene, Grandma and Grandpa Mansfield
Dennis and Kathy
Dennis and Kathy Strong
Grey Shark Fitness Groups
Jason, Shannon, and Hans Kruschel
Lisa & Shannon Watson
Mary and Brett
Mr. Ian Watson
Mrs. Lisa K Watson
Paul and Cathy Moldenhauer