My head was still spinning. I had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, the disease that killed my father. Now I was at the doctor, the specialist in this illness. He was telling me that I was going to have to check my blood each day. How could I explain to him that I would never be able to do this? That the sight of blood puts me into a state of panic? That by telling me to prick my finger with a sharp object, he might as well have been telling me to cut off a limb each day? He gave me the choice of starting with medicine right away, or trying to lose weight first? I hate taking medicine. I told him I would try losing weight. He asked me how, and I told him that I had purchased a stationary bike and was riding it each day. He told me I would never stick with it.
I run my next marathon this Sunday. I have run everyday for the last two plus months, other than two days of Pesach (Passover) where Jewish law prohibits running. I have run each Saturday night in the dark, often by myself, sometimes in the rain. I hate running at night, but having no choice, I have done so. Saturday night, on my last night run before the marathon, I happened to run past that doctor’s office. I thought back to our one conversation.
That’s right, one conversation. I never went back. Within three months I lost enough weight that my Diabetes was gone. Within seven months, I ran my first half marathon. Within 10 months I lost 100 pounds and was at my weight from high school. I never drew blood once. In a way he was right. After riding the stationary bike every day for a few months, I started running. I didn’t stick with the bike. I only use it occasionally as a way for training for marathons.
He’s lucky he doesn’t have more patients like me. If he did, he’d have to find a new job.