Fear is a funny thing. In a controlled situation, say a movie theater or roller coaster, it can be exciting. It gets our blood pumping, gets our adrenaline racing. But in the real world, where anything can happen and safety isn't assured, fears can get out of hand.
Mike Fisher is a 23-year-old from Ontario, Canada, who's been snowboarding since he was 13 years old. At the age of 18, he was involved in a motorcycle crash that necessitated the amputation of one leg below the knee. He says, "At first, I felt that my life was coming to a crashing halt. But I just pushed myself to recover as fast as possible and get my life back on track, go to school, get back into snowboarding and motorcycles-just anything so that my life wasn't affected at all. I had a lot of support, and I would say that I was pretty optimistic about it and took it almost as a challenge. By the time that I was 19, I was happy. I was walking again, I was back in college in London, Ontario, and everything was good. The accident was a minor setback to me, and I rose above it. I was just continuing with my life."
Mike Golic is the co-host of ESPN's wildly popular radio show, "Mike and Mike in the Morning." Before beginning work as a broadcaster in 1995, he played for nine years as a defensive tackle in the National Football League, including stints with the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins. About five years ago, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Since then, he has become involved in getting the word out about type 2, including the potential danger of hypoglycemia. He is a spokesman for "Blood Sugar Basics," a website and outreach program co-sponsored by Merck and the American College of Endocrinology.
Molly Martin is a vibrant and energetic 18-year-old from Texas who's had type 1 diabetes since the age of two. Five years ago, Molly took up motocross racing. She says, "I love riding motocross---it's just you and the bike. I feel free when I ride, like I don't have to think about diabetes. I do have to make sure that I test before I get on and during breaks, to make sure my sugar is doing what it's supposed to be doing. But when I get out there, it's just me and the bike, going."
Scientists generally think that decreased insulin production by the pancreas, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, is due to the death of the organ's beta cells. However, scientists at Columbia University Medical Center report that the beta cells do not die, but instead revert to a more basic cell type.
I've had type 1 diabetes for six years, and it never fails that during the dreaded "time of the month," I become increasingly insulin-resistant. Just looking at a carbohydrate makes my sugar skyrocket. I'm exhausted, and my mood goes from my usual positive to cranky and sensitive.
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