Traveling with Diabetes

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I haven’t written in about 2 weeks and goodness it went by fast.  My husband and I left for our first vacation in quite a while on Wednesday, March 6th.  We were gone for a week, coming back last Wednesday, the 13th.  Thursday was spent unpacking and doing laundry and Friday I tried to get into the swing of things but then we left again for a friend’s birthday/St Patrick’s Day over the weekend in DC and so I feel like today is really my first day back to a normal work week.

It was a great vacation.  We flew to Seattle, spent the day/night there walking around the city and stopping at Pike Place Market, where I caught a fish like they do on tv and in the movies.  It was a lot of fun but the fish was super slimy-gross!  We went to an amazing restaurant called Canlis on Wednesday night.  Thursday, we drove across the border to Vancouver, stopping at a nearby tourist attraction, Capilano Bridge.  I love doing touristy things and while I had to convince my husband to go, it was well worth the pit stop.  It was very beautiful up high in the trees and walking across the suspension bridge.  Thursday night, we made it to our finally destination, Whistler resort.    We spent five nights in Whistler, then drove back to Seattle before catching a red-eye back home.  Whistler was so beautiful.  We had the expected rainy Seattle weather but once we got to Whistler it was sunny and beautiful.  We got some great photos while on the slopes.   We skied for three days, snowmobiled one day (my favorite!), and even took a turn on the bobsled like in Cool Runnings.  We also did a food tasting tour of Whistler, where I got to saber a champagne bottle-so fun!   All of these adventures were so wonderful but one thing that wasn’t so wonderful was my blood sugar.  🙁

Before the trip, I had been on such a good path to getting my blood sugars down low.  I had posted an article about my average glucose results before traveling  and my one week average was 158.  After a week of traveling, my One Touch Ultra told me that my one week average was 218-ouch!

While traveling, I saw numbers like 376, 325, 319, 333, etc on a daily basis.  I was constantly using my bolus wizard to bring down my blood sugars.  I’m not sure why but traveling is always a hard thing for me.  In my normal every day life, I usually eat the same things each day and I know how they affect my blood sugar.  When I travel, I go out to eat pretty much every meal and with portion sizes being so big, I often underestimate the amount of carbs I am eating.  I also get nervous about getting low while traveling, which I know is silly because I always have something to treat a low and my husband is always near by to help me, but it still makes me nervous.  I’m sure it also doesn’t hurt that when I’m traveling I tend to drink a little bit more beer (especially after a hard day on the slopes) and eat fries with pretty much every meal (fries are so freaking hard to bolus for!).

I know for some people, time changes can also have an affect on their blood sugars while traveling.  For me, though, my basal rate is a constant 0.8 units/hour all 24 hours so the time change doesn’t affect how much insulin I receive.  I do think the time change does have an affect on my body though, which does affect my blood sugar.  We took a red-eye back on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and the 10:25PM flight out of Seattle had us arriving in Charlotte at 5:30AM (which was really 2:30AM Seattle time).  While my hourly rate stayed the same despite the time change, I don’t think my body understood what was going on.  Why was I awake and moving around at 2:30AM?  Why did I only sleep for 2 hours on the flight? The day we got home, I struggled with high blood sugars the ENTIRE day, even though I was hardly eating so I could bring down my high and I was bolusing a TON.  I hate days of unexplained highs so this was a frustrating day.  I had made it home around 8:30AM and was back to normal eating and a normal schedule (although I was incredibly tired) but was unexplainably high.  At least when we were traveling, I knew my highs were because of the above mentioned fear of getting low, fries and beer but once we made it back home, my body took some adjusting.

We had such an amazing trip and I can’t wait for our next adventure but I am glad to be home with the stability of a regular schedule and familiar food and trying hard to get my blood sugar below seven. 🙂

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