Tips On How To Handle The Oh Sh*T Diabetes Moments When Traveling

Oh No

The DDG has been all over the map in the past year and documented a few less than desirable moments to say the least. As I embarked on my journey to Hawaii, I was not prepared for life’s little hiccups. I’m sharing a few scenarios and how I handled the “Oh Sh*t” diabetes moments while on the road.

  • You get carsick because your friend and DDG partner in crime thinks he’s speed racer.
    • TIP: Feel free to curse at him (a slight punch in the arm is acceptable), burp out loud and chug some water. Should you need to throw up, you might consider doing so in your driver’s lap.

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The Tales Of My Traveling Testers

The Tales Of A Traveling Tester: Diabetes Management Issues

 

Now that I say the word “tester” aloud–not positive of its use by most people to describe their glucose meter–but alliteration always wins, thus testers will suffice in the title. In a recent podcast episode with my parents, we discussed how many testers have disappeared over my 26 years of existence. I think I’m approaching triple digits.

Whether it be OneTouch, Precision, Bayer, or Freestyle, I will part ways with no attachment to brand. During the college years, the pharmacist at Walmart knew who I was, not by my prescriptions (those resided at Walgreens), but by how many of these I purchased.

The natural question to ask is why? It’s most likely a multi-factorial problem but this is my guess list of most likely causes: Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Is Spam A Real Food? – Hawaii Seems To Think So

SpamAloha. I arrived on the beautiful island of Maui a few days ago and adore the Hawaiian culture. As I’ve ventured out exploring different parts of the island, I’m amazed by the diversity within a few square miles (desert vs. rain forest like conditions, rocky vs. sandy beaches), but one thing is consistent – SPAM. I was shocked when I stumbled across SPAM on the center aisle in Target which inspired me to do some research. I hope you enjoy a few interesting facts about this “mystery meat” and the theory as to why it’s so popular here in Hawaii.

Spam in Target

  • Ingredients – Pork & ham shoulder, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate. (YUM!)

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The Traveling Terms: 3 Mantras To Unlock A Great Trip

Traveling With Diabetes

Traveling is tough, especially on us creatures of habit. Time zone switches, varying sleep schedules, and new cuisine all introduce subtle changes that cause big swings in blood sugar. Most of us live on routine. I’ve noticed that expectations are the root of most of my blood sugar suffering. I can’t believe my blood sugar’s high. This sucks. So, maybe we should believe it?…

In order to alter expectations and thus be present for the joy of experiencing a new place, I’ve learned to institute these terms during any trip:

1)Spontaneity is the priority

Instead of the focus being on controlling your sugar, gear your focus toward being ready for anything. The goal is to be free to live in the moment. The only way to be in that place is to test my blood sugar frequently, have insulin around, and carry a snack.

 

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To Surf, Or Not To Surf, With My Pump

surfing with type 1 diabetes

I hope Medtronic doesn’t read this post. Why? I think I’m going to surf with my pump attached this summer.

 

The story starts back with a New Year’s Resolution. Upon waking on the first day of 2015, I knew I had to surf this year. Not sure why. Didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I could feel the ambition. It was a true one. Now 6 months later, I’m kicking it in Hawaii with no agenda… but to surf. That’s it.

 

The board and I got in the water for the first time yesterday. As I stood there ready on the beach, I looked down and saw my tubing. In less than 30 seconds, I knew that I had to take it into the water. Well, had probably isn’t the best description of the choice, but a choice was made. The car was a long walk back. I wanted to keep the sugar in a good range. The beach was pretty crowded with limited shrubs for hiding. I had no flip flops or shirt to disguise it under. I’m, after all, on an island pretty far away from backup resources, like a spare pump.

 

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A Simple Routine For A Smooth Day Of Hiking With Diabetes

It’s the weekend, it’s sunny (or snowy in our case), and you decide to take off on a last-second, afternoon adventure. You haven’t prepared, but it’s too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. What’s an insulin-dependent to do? Go for it! In an effort to simplify the process and get us outdoors quickly, I’ve put together the list of hiking essentials:

Shoes

This really should go without saying, but it’s important for two reasons.
1) The right hiking shoe avoids any kind of blister issues that get endocrinologists all hot and bothered.
2) A comfortable shoe increases joy while hiking, especially while coming down the mountain, exponentially.

I love all of Merrell’s products. Extremely comfortable. Wearing this hiking/running low-profile pair for shorter hikes or camping has worked great.

Water

You just never know when that “little afternoon adventure” will turn into the “holy shit I think we’re actually lost” moment. Pack some water, everytime. More than you think you need. On longer bike rides and hikes I go with the endurance oriented Camelbak system here:

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3 Tips To Dominate Uncharted Food Territory

Symposium

Last night I returned home from the Oklahoma Symposium and am happy to report my diabetes didn’t slow me down. The weekend was packed with panels, lectures and networking – not to mention a beer tasting and nightly cocktail hour. In years past this eventful weekend has been a bit of challenge, but this year I took charge. I’m happy to report three shifts in thinking that proved smoother sailing when navigating uncharted food territory.

1. Don’t be afraid to express your dietary needs.

The Saturday evening meal looked wonderful, but happen to be a filet so I was served the other option – white pasta w/red sauce and sautéed carrots. No thank you! I asked the server if the kitchen would be kind enough to whip together a grilled chicken breast and some steamed broccoli. After speaking with three servers and the chef, I was served exactly what I requested.  YAY ME!

Symposium Dinner Continue reading

The Spring Break Guide: 4 Tips To Have The Time Of Your Life

The Diabetes Spring Break Guide

Let’s talk about Spring Break. I can feel it. I know you can too. It’s starting to warm up. Winter is fading away, well, for me because I live in Oklahoma, not Minnesota, and it’s trip taking time. Spring break is doable with diabetes. No doubt. Being out of college, I now look back fondly on the naivety of previous trips, filled with great memories and great luck. That being just said, here are my tips on how to not only survive spring break, but make it one for the ages.

Bring your glucagon kit

You know that red thing with a prescription label on it, probably in the back of your fridge? Either grab it, or pick up a new one at the pharmacy because that one in the fridge expired 3 years ago. Continue reading

Diabetes Hospitality Done Right

king william manor

As I’ve recently posted about diabetes related, travel debacles, I wanted to start your Monday morning with a positive travel experience.  I’m not bragging, but I’m lucky enough to visit dear friends each January in San Antonio who own what used to be called a “bed & breakfast”.  King William Manor no longer serves breakfast, but Craig & Alison are a wealth of knowledge as to local places to visit depending on our preferred diet.  They listen and sincerely care about your health problems or restricted dietary needs and offer a variety of options within walking distance.  Should you not want to walk you can rent a bike or grab a pedicab.  For those of you who travel – you NEED to make the King William Manor a future travel destination.

New restaurants and shops are popping up all the time in this historic arts district, but there are a few local venues you don’t want to miss. Continue reading