12.2.15

5 Strategies To Survive New Holiday Traditions With Strangers

Thanksgiving Dinner Guest

I’m always down for a road trip so when I was invited to Austin to share Thanksgiving with new friends, I starting packing my bags. I met Lisa and her family in Hawaii and spent a number of evenings with the Thomas family. I even attended her daughter’s wedding, so driving a few hours for Thanksgiving was a no-brainer.

As the departure date approached, I felt the anxiety creep in. I was excited to see everyone, but nervous to spend 72 hours in someone’s home I barely knew. We had discussed my diabetes so they were familiar with me testing my BG and shooting up, but a wave of insecurity came over me.

  • What if I can’t eat what they’re serving?

  • What if my BG plummets in the middle of the night and I wander the house looking for sugar?
  • What if my BG spikes and I act like an asshole during a round of trivial pursuit?
  • Would they be offended if I declined Pat’s homemade Rolo ice cream?

Being vulnerable and putting myself in unfamiliar scenarios is tough, but I’m determined not to let my insecurities keep me from living life. What’s the worst that can happen? I came up with five things to remember when I’m in foreign territory to help settle my nerves.

  1. Pack extra low BG snacks and keep them on you & on your nightstand.
  2. Be honest, kind and open about your dietary restrictions.
  3. Try unfamiliar dishes and be prepared to correct.
  4. Test your BG on a regular basis.
  5. Go with the flow. No one will know about my insecurities if I don’t allow them to surface. I can do, eat and experience anything I choose to.

My time with the Thomas family was priceless. Everything was made from scratch and they took great pride preparing the Thanksgiving feast. I tried almost everything and no one batted an eyelash when I declined or only had a bite of one of the dishes. They often inquired about my life with diabetes and we discussed carbs, lifestyle and the difference between T1D & T2D.

For the most part, I kept it together and only lost my shit during the Taboo game, but not because of a high BG – I’m just competitive and my team was losing. Not only did I survive this journey, I thrived. I’m proud of myself for being vulnerable and can’t wait for next year. Watch out Thomas family (guys team) – I’ve already started practicing my Taboo skills.

Dogs

I even made new friends… Chef & Stella.

Amber Clour was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. 21 days after her eighth birthday, she was rushed to Children’s Hospital where she spent two weeks learning how to live life with Type 1 diabetes. She has embraced the thought of being a #walkingscienceproject and hopes to score an A+ for her efforts to maintain a stable BG while living life to the fullest - whatever that means.

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