As the day for the ride was fast approaching, my excitement was escalating!
I was told that as the “Red Riders” (person with Diabetes) crossed the finish line, they were recognized with cheering and encouragement for their hard work and commitment to not give up!
We fight the fight everyday with diabetes and if we give up, well, that’s not really an option.
I was to ride with my friend Mari (PWD) and my sister-in law Stephanie. Whom I would have to say is one of those people whom may not have Diabetes, but she gets it!
My family had all arranged to be their at the start / finish line to see us through. My husband, kids and parents all were committed!
I was beyond excited for this day to come. I guess partly to be acknowledged for all my hard work which so many of us don’t get recognized for.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED…….
The ride was on a Sunday and the Friday before the ride, well let’s just say that I did a really dumb thing.
I had been searching for a job for the last few months and I received a call that Friday that was allowing me to start a new chapter in my life. I got a job that I really wanted. A job working back in surgery which I had missed and tried to get a few years back but was denied due to my diabetes. I called my husband and was literally jumping up and down and side to side for joy.
All of the sudden it felt like someone had taken a baseball bat and hit me as hard as could be in the back of my calf. I was still on the phone with my husband and what started out as a joyous phone call, turned quickly into a panicking “what did I just do”? kinda call.
After calling in reinforcements, my brother and my mom, they soon had my leg iced, wrapped and elevated and I was heading up to the Emergency Room.
We were thinking the worst on the ride to the hospital. A torn Achilles Tendon that was going to require surgery and how was I suppose to start my new job that Monday. I started to have a panic attack. Breath Lori, Breath!
While in the exam room we were so excited to find out that I tore my calf muscle and not my tendon. I did contain my excitement this time.
In and out of the ER in less than an hour (which is record-breaking) and on my way home to ice, elevate and sit. Never in my 44 years of life have I ever had to use crutches and there is definitely a trick to them.
Once I was home the disappointment quickly hit. I was not going to be able to ride in the Tour de Cure ride now that I had been looking forward to for so long. I felt horrible. My sister-in law had committed and agreed to do this with me to support me and now I felt like I was abandoning her.
The Dr said to stay completely off the leg for 48 hours except to get up to use the restroom. Those that know me know that this was going to be a difficult task. My brother constantly checked up on me and I had to send him pictures of my leg in the right spot just to prove to him I was doing what I was told.
Sunday came and NOTHING was going to stop me from going to the ride. My nephew, Jeffrey, said that he would ride in my place for me. I have such amazing family! The least I could do was have Jeff and I pick them up and take them.
We arrived at the ride and we met up with Mari. I did still get my “Tour de Cure” shirt and I wore it proud!
We all sat at the start / finish line to see them through. I can’t explain the feelings that hit me as they were riding away. Giving their time for me.
My family and I waited and waited at the finish line with our clappers which were a lot of fun but annoying at the same time. As each rider approached the finish line I looked so closely to see if it were my three peeps!
Jeffrey showed up first, which we all knew would happen, he’s a healthy young boy and this was a piece of cake for him. We all stood up and cheered him on as he crossed the line. He parked his bike and joined us at the finish line.
We waited, and waited and waited. I was starting to get nervous. Had Mari had a low blood sugar issue and Stephanie was helping her? My mind was all over the place. I knew the ride had plenty of helpers but I still was worried.
Then from a distance I saw the red shirt coming around the corner. It was Mari and right behind her was Stephanie. What a proud and emotional moment it was for me. The DJ called out to everyone….”Here comes a Red Rider”. I turned to my mom who was crying. It was very emotional and I didn’t think it would be that emotional for me. They crossed the finish line with their hands waving to us as we cheered them on.
I was not able to ride that day but I believe everything happens for a reason and maybe I was just meant to stand on the side lines and watch as all the people with diabetes and supporters of people with diabetes finished their ride.
Having Diabetes is a ride we will never finish but with determination and will to keep going, we will survive!