Traveling With Diabetes

Having T1 diabetes has certainly never stopped me from traveling anywhere I’ve ever wanted to go.  But it probably slows down my speed of packing my bag and getting myself out the door.

Tomorrow my husband, my two dogs and I leave on a road trip to Colorado.  We’re driving the 12 hours rather than flying, so we can take our dogs, a.k.a The Ricardo’s, a.k.a. Lucy and Ricky.  Although I’m not necessarily stoked about the long drive, it will be totally worth it to have them there with us.

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Lucy
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Ricky

Because the daily plans will look something like this:

1.eat

2.hike

3.relax

4.repeat

And those are Lucy and Ricky’s favorite past times… and pretty much, mine too!

Typically, I do best not taking ANY insulin (other than the long acting Tresiba I have floating around in me 24 hours a day) before exercise.  So on a normal day, when I’m at home, I do my main walk, run, yoga, or any other workout I do first thing in the morning before taking any insulin.  I generally have a steady blood sugar of around 90 mg/dL in the morning, and although it starts to go up when I start my day (adrenaline?  I’m not sure what it is that spikes it, but as soon as I get out of bed and put clothes on, it starts rising about 30-50 mg/dL).  It’s kind of perfect, because as I exercise over the next hour or so upon waking, my blood sugar starts to fall. By the time I’m done, it’s (hopefully) around 80 mg/dL.  If it drops a little too much, I grab a piece of fruit, or Mentos candy if I’m not near something more nutritional.

But I know on this trip, I’ll be hiking more often, and most likely at various times of day.  Which means…

I need to remember not only to pack candy, but I’m going to have to be wearing my fanny pack looking like a dork so that I always have it with me.  And I am going to try hard to always think it through before injecting my insulin pre-meal, “Will I be hiking within the next couple of hours? How active am I going to be?” Because I HATE having to eat sugar (or anything honestly) when I’m not at all hungry, but instead, just fighting a low.  And inconveniencing whoever I’m with…

We’ll be meeting up with both my brother and sister, and although they know I have diabetes, they don’t really have to deal with it, and never have. So I hope I don’t slow us all down with the lows I’ll more than likely have to battle from time to time.

Whenever I travel, I bring about double the amount of everything diabetes related I might need- insulin, test strips, candy, etc.  I make sure I have all my Dexcom supplies, and I bring a fresh sensor in case my current one loses it’s steam while I’m on the road. I check and recheck, because what a nightmare it would be if I forgot something I have to have.

Whenever my husband and I pack for vacations and are trying to figure out if we’ve forgotten anything– like sunscreen, phone chargers, underwear, etc– we always sigh and so, “Oh well, we’re not going to a third world country.  If we’ve forgotten something we can just buy it.”  This does not apply however, to my Dexcom, my insulin, glucometer and test strips.  Although maybe I could buy those things, it would be ridiculous, and loads of trouble insurance wise.

So I spend maybe an extra 10-15 minutes packing for a trip because I have diabetes and I always need to be prepared.  Not a big deal.  And just like bringing the Ricardos on this upcoming adventure, SO WORTH IT.

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“We Love R&R!”

 

My T1 Diabetes Blog’s “Diaversary”

Last July, I started My T1 Diabetes blog.  (It began as a Blogger address, but has more recently moved and is staying here.) Now that I’ve been writing my blog for a year, I decided to reflect a little on why I started writing it in the first place, and why I plan to continue.

My History and Love with Writing

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my first diary circa 1978

Since I learned how to write, I’ve kept a diary.  I think I got my first one when I was about 6 or 7 years old.  It was pretty sporadic, and sometimes there wasn’t a lot to write about.  I have lots of reports regarding what the weather was like in Dallas back in 1978.  As I got older, those diaries became more and more about boys!  And fights with friends over boys!  My best friend (then and now) and I have referred back to those diaries over the years, our bellies sore from laughing so hard reading about how boy crazy we both were.

As an adult, that diary keeping morphed into journaling,  which is the exact same thing as keeping a diary, but journaling just sounds more grown up.  I love that I have books and books and books of journals from all these phases of my life.

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some of my many diaries and journals

Once the online world came about, I had a website.  I’m a musician, so it was sort of necessary when I was gigging a lot.  I had a blog page on that website.  I wrote about my music life, but lots of other things too… books I was reading, movies I loved, events and experiences that were challenging and/or awesome. I began blogging about a dozen years ago and have continued ever since. (You can visit that website and blog by clicking HERE)

But I never included much (if anything really) about my life with type 1 diabetes.  Somehow, that stayed out of my narrative for many, many years.

What I know about writing- whether it’s a diary, a journal, a blog, or even a song- is that not only does it help me document things I care about, but also, it’s during that process of writing that I really look at something closely and come to understand it better.

Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis

thI learned a lot about Type 1 diabetes when I was first diagnosed, over 20 years ago.  I didn’t necessarily want to, but I had to.  I learned about shots, carb counting, low and high blood sugars, etc.  I read all the books I could get my hands on about the topic, and I had a page full of questions for my endocrinologist at every appointment I went to during the first few years after my diagnosis.

Eventually, it seemed I had exhausted all the resources available to me.  And it seemed to be enough.

Fast forward about 2 decades.  I was on auto pilot with my T1 diabetes regimen. My doctors and I were going along with that idea of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Things were going pretty well with the routines and practices I had adopted all those years ago.

New Things To Learn About

About a year and a half ago, I went to an event here in Dallas hosted by JDRF called Type 1 Nation. There, I heard all sorts of new things that had come out in the world of diabetes since I had last tuned in- New ideas, medicines and technology. I realized that by not staying in tune and connected with the diabetes community, I had missed out on hearing about all of these exciting developments.

It was around that time that I started using a Dexcom CGM.  I’ve written about the Dexcom on my blog a few times (here and here). Needless to say, I love it and now it’s hard to imagine how I got by without it for so many years.

Because of the Type 1 Nation event, and also because of the powerful tool of using a Dexcom CGM, I feel excited, hopeful and recharged with my interest in diabetes.

 My Type 1 Diabetes Blog

So, why not write about it?  Why not write for myself about the things I’m learning and the experiences I’m having all related to Type 1?  When I really want to figure things out, I know writing about them serves me well.  And hey! Maybe I can even help somebody else out along the way.  Someone who is a little new to this diabetes game, or someone who just needs a little encouragement to tighten up their management. Or maybe someone who just wants to read about another person’s experience with similar challenges.  I know reading other’s blogs, articles and books has helped me tremendously.  Maybe my voice can resonate with other people going through some of the same things I go thru.

That’s why I started My T1 Diabetes blog last July.

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