Thursday, March 08, 2012

Me and Mildred at the Y

Well, the novelty of using the treadmill has gradually been wearing off. I've been a little intimidated about trying all the cardio and weight machines. That is, until I saw Mildred on the elliptical. Mildred is an 81 year old, retired art teacher who wears a lavender beret. She lives in a senior highrise downtown but come to my neighborhood (called "uptown") to buy kumquat preserves at a grocery store.
One day she told me she was going to try the elliptical. I didn't think it was a good idea - she walks with a cane and is a tad unsteady. But we got a trainer and she hopped on and took off without a problem. When she was done she had trouble stepping off the platforms stepping off the platforms, so I told her that whenever we were there at the same time I'd be sure to stay so I could help her.
After seeing her success, I decided to try one new machine each week. I really like the leg press:

But it's somewhat awkward getting yourself positioned as your body has to be scrunched up so your feet can press against the resistance board:

I hardly ever have problems going low during a workout because I go right after lunch and right after dinner. Most of the time I don't need any prandial insulin to cover lunch, nor do I have to worry about hypos.
I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I realized I was low and tried to get up to get my sugar out of my fanny pack. I got one leg down, but did not know how to move the other. So I just laid there and stared at the ceiling. I wasn't too concerned but then, upon dropping even further, started my usual dramatic sobbing. Mildred was lifting one pound weights and came over, but I had no words to tell her what was happening. She said maybe she should pull the fire alarm. I had no way of protesting. Fortunately, what she thought was a fire alarm was some other doodad on the wall.
By then I guess my liver had released a bit of sugar into my bloodstream and I was able to reach my pack. However, I still could not get off the machine:

A sullen looking teenager, who probably should have been in school, sauntered up to me and said "hey lady, aren't you almost through?". I said, "would it kill you to give me a second?"
I finally got up, went into the mat room, and laid down on the floor. Mildred came in to say goodbye. I stared up at the ceiling and thought, "just another day in diabetes land".


Steph said...

I'm sure that you didn't mean for this to be that funny, but I laughed thru the entire thing! Good for you, for trying new equipment at the Y! The treadmill in my apartment complex is broken so I finally broke down and tried the elliptical, even though I hated it before I even got on it, but as it turns out, I really like it...I can go fast on it for longer than I can run and I feel more successful :) This post made my night, thanks :)

Colleen said...

Hang in there!
When I was going to the gym, I didn't like being there when all the high school kids showed up as they all moved much faster than I did.
Oh well - I need to find a Mildred!

Jonah said...

Is Mildred competant enough that you could teach her how to help with future hypos? The exercise ones always seem like the worst ones to me.

Anonymous said...

I tried to comment last week when I read this and not sure what I did so I will try again. I am sorry that you had the low at the gym but I am glad that Mildred was around. I wonder what would have happened if she had pulled the fire alarm! At least she tried to help.

deanusa said...

lol oh wow!! im sorry also but the way you write is so descriptive i can see it happen. the fire alarm!! im really happy it all worked out.