Friday, August 8, 2014

Challenging the Experts

This weekend, I'm at the inaugural AMSL Diabetes Sports and Exercise Weekend at the Australian Institute of Sports, Canberra.
I'm here because I was offered a sponsored spot, and I'm extremely grateful to Australian Medical and Scientific Ltd., for the opportunity.
As I look around the crowd, I note that the majority of attendees are in their 20's - 30's, but there is a good handful of people in their 50's. I note this, because I have an agenda. I'm not just here to learn more about the physiology of Diabetes and exercise, I'm going to ask some hard questions about ageing and exercise. I'm going to ask where the support for the psychological effort that you need to make as you get older, to keep yourself motivated, is. I'm going to ask, "Who is doing research into Chronic conditions and motivation?" I know there is research into the physiology of exercise and it's effects upon glucose levels, that's part of what we are doing here this weekend. But what happens when you can't workout as hard as you used to, when old injuries, arthritis, hypothyroidism, and general ageing combine to thwart your motivation and reduce your ability? Is anyone researching the effects of ageing with Diabetes?
What's Next?
I've decided I need three things to keep me exercising:
1. Good company, and preferably the company of other T1's who 'understand'.
2. Psychological support. Tools to help motivate me.
2. Better medical support - physio, pain management, energy supplementation. The drugs for the hypothyroidism have helped, but I want more!
I've spent most of the past 27 years, working quite hard at managing my health. Unfortunately it doesn't get easier. Over the past two years I have stepped back from a high stress work life and started to work for myself, so that I would have more time to look after my health, however this has meant heavy financial penalties as I'm single and don't have a supporting partner. I'm trying to balance the physical and mental health demands of T1 with my ability to earn income and maintain a roof over my head. I need better support from our health providers to make the most of what I put in. The efforts that I have put in consistently over the past 27 years have reduced and delayed the likelihood of onset of long-term complications and thus reduce my cost to the public health system. I'd like to continue to maximise my options for long term health as much as possible.

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