For as long as I can remember, a brisk 20-minute pulse-raising pavement pounding could lower my blood glucose more quickly than any shot of insulin could match. I can budge myself from 'horribly high' to a 'perfect plateu' in a matter of minutes, and once I stop walking, the bloods stop dropping as if by magic.
We found out only three short (but wonderful) days ago that I was pregnant and together, somehow, we would be raising a baby and fumbling our way through the beginnings of parenthood in just 8 more teeny-tiny months.
Since deciding to try for a baby, the walking game has been a regular occurrence, and since finding out about the pregnancy, it feels as though I haven't stopped walking since. Whenever my blood sugars creep too far out of my comfort zone, I can be found pacing up and down campsites and gravel tracks in the most remote parts of New Zealand at most times of day, in all conceivable weathers. Our car journeys have taken many a detour so as to find a stretch of road I can walk up and down safely until my blood glucose creep back down to safe levels. Luckily, New Zealand is bang on target for remote, barely-travelled roads. Sometimes Jamie walks besides me, sometimes he waits at the end with a water-bottle and testing kit for the 15-minute check-in. But we always do it together.
For the most part my blood glucose levels have been good, but the rumours I'd heard about insulin sensitivity leave me baffled as I have all but removed carbs from both breakfast and lunch in an attempt to cut down some of my four to five daily walks. The one good piece of news is that by the end of this pregnancy I should have a rear-end like everyone's favourite 'diabetic', Halle Berry.
Step-by-step and walk-after-walk we work at ironing out the blood sugar conundrums currently going on in this hormonally hijacked body of mine. We basal test; we experiment with food; we evaluate; we tweak. And we walk. And we realise that our jobs don't begin in eight little months. They are well under way right now. And protecting our little growing hitch-hiker, currently no bigger than a poppy seed, has become priority number one.
We walk, because it feels better than pumping my body full of insulin and waiting for it to take effect. We walk, because the 'give it another 20 minutes' mindset of old is no longer good enough when a little-person is depending on me taking action now. We walk because this is the path we've chosen.
And walk it we must.