Be sure to pack extra insulin in your bag…
because you’re really going to want to stay a lot longer than you had planned.
5 nights and four full days, no more than two nights back to back on any one sofa or bed, fridge to fridge, I went about the Bay Area.
Average blood sugar of around 125 during the trip, 19 to 26 units of novolog daily from my Omnipod. Second airport experience with the pod, and feeling pretty happy about how simple it all was.
Importantly I created a ‘travel’ basal rate, which was close but a little under my average normal basal, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about changing the time back and forth on my meter. Moving around so much and the unplanned nature of travel days made a slightly lower basal rate safer and I just adjusted it up for sedentary travel time. Luckily there really wasn’t too much of that.
The travel days were full on. We started at 8 am in Asheville, flew out of Charlotte, and arrived a Detroit layover later in San Fran around 6:30. It was 8 before I hit my high school best friend’s collective house, an old church made into a home for 25 people, and sat down to a catch up and an artfully prepared salmon and asparagus dinner. What friends I have. Bed felt so good, even though it was 3 feet higher than my bed at home, so when I jumped out of it in the night to visit the bathroom I fell flat on the floor.
The next day we relaxed in the sun and then danced into the night. Blood sugar adapted to time zone differences, ham and cheese croissant for breakfast, snack lunch, and late night moving and shaking. I was at 36 before going to sleep. I thought I was feeling strange from jet lag but I really should have been more sure to check every 3 hours or so, just to adapt to that first day. Consequently I over treated my low and woke up pretty high the next morning. Despite that I felt re-energized by the night of sleep and ready to move on.
Vacation is not a time to be too hard on yourself for some higher than usual numbers. I wished I had a second stomach so that I could have eaten even more seafood, tailgate market samples, and, yes…even an icecream cone from Bi-Rite (hazelnut with cacao + roasted banana on a cake cone). Despite that, all the walking, dancing, and running along the shore kept my numbers in a great range.
Oh and tandem bicycling through Golden Gate Park with one of my best friends, passing out poppies to strangers because the garden crew was going to tear them out the next day, and even making friends with a type 1 who was sitting next to me at breakfast, having that instant connection and getting a local’s perspective on the city. He is traveling all the way across the world, and I was inspired by his willingness to do it and all the hard work it would take. But it’s worth it – packing and doctor’s notes and backup supplies are a hassle because good things require a little planning and a little hard work – that’s a lesson diabetes teaches me over and over again. And it teaches me that once you’ve put in that hard work, you’ve got to stop, smell the flowers, and then wear them in your hair.