Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Heaven help me, I just bought a Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs album. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but country music just isn’t my thing. So why did I buy it? Well, Dad likes country music and he likes banjos and it looks as if we’re finally going to head to South Carolina to see him. Weather permitting and all that stuff.

It wasn’t easy picking (pun unintended) banjo music. I know about — and even like — “Rocky Top.” Then I remembered “Dueling Banjos.” Another one I like. I searched and searched through albums with those songs on them. I could tolerate those songs, but not others on the albums. Then a distant memory tugged at me… Fog… Fog… ummm… oh, yeah! “Foggy Mountain Breakdown!” Which is how I got to Flatt and Scruggs.

As far as I know, plans are to leave Sunday and head over toward Virginia to visit an old friend, stopping in West Virginia for the night. We’ve been friends since we were 10 years old, but haven’t seen each other in forever. We’ll stay there for a couple of nights, then head down to South Carolina. And, yes, I know Sunday is Christmas: We’re Hanukkah.

As an aside, my friend has been preparing her 4-year-old granddaughter for an Auntie Jan with one leg that doesn’t reach the floor. “Auntie Jan’s foot was sick, so the doctor had to take her foot and part of her leg off so she’d be well. She has a leg that she can put on, but she also rides a scooter.”

Shortly after, the child’s mother was dropping her off at nursery school when a person came rolling up in a wheelchair. “See? That’s what Auntie Jan has,” Mom said, to reinforce what Granny had said.

“Uhn-uh!” replied the young’un. “Auntie Jan rides a motorcycle in the house!”

Vroom! Vroom!

Now, how do you travel on a day when nothing is open? Especially when you have diabetes? Simple! You add an ice chest to the diabetes supplies, emergency equipment, objects of entertainment, gifts and — oh, yeah — clothes and toiletries.

It’s so easy these days to fill an ice chest with healthful foods: The grocery store does a lot of it for you. Packages of baby carrots, containers of grape or cherry tomatoes, precut celery, individually packaged string cheese (have you tried the tomato-basil string cheese? Yum!), yogurt, boiled eggs if you’re too busy to do it yourself, roasted chicken, and more. Fruits such as apples and pears are very portable, but you can also get precut strawberries, pineapple, papaya, melon, and the like. Individual portions of fruit also are available. Individual salads that come complete with packets of dressing on the side are good, too.

I prefer to prepare some boneless, skinless chicken breasts that can be eaten alone or on a sandwich. If I do get a roasted chicken, I pull it off the bones and put portions in plastic bags before leaving. Small packets of condiments also can be gotten at the grocery deli.

If you can’t go without your salty snacks, consider getting a package of various small bags of chips and such. The size that look like toy bags; the size that cost a nickel when I was a lot younger. Chances are, you’ll eat the whole bag, whether it’s the tiny size or the “Big Grab” size. Be kind to yourself — not to mention your blood glucose, heart, cholesterol, and all that stuff. Put the big package in an out-of-the-way place and just get one bag of chips, corn chips, cheesy puffs, or whatever you want at a time. Personally, if it’s within reach, I keep reaching…and reaching…and reaching… (My self-control sux.)

For goodness sakes, take more diabetes medicines and supplies than you need. A LOT more. And keep them with you. I put mine in a tote bag that I carry with me whenever I’m out of the car. You may know that the insulin you’re taking with you will last a week. But what if you drop the bottle and it breaks?

Speaking of insulin, I learned years ago not to put it in the little refrigerator in the hotel room. If it doesn’t hurt insulin to leave it at room temperature while you’re using it, it isn’t going to hurt it to stay out of the fridge while you’re away. On the trip I’m talking about, I did leave my insulin out — but we put our food in the fridge. It froze. The lettuce was ruined, but at least my insulin was OK.

My past experiences have included leaving my insulin behind. That time, I was able to stop at a pharmacy in my chain and buy a bottle. Plan B was to buy a bottle of Regular, which doesn’t require a prescription.

Oh, and don’t forget to carry a copy of your prescriptions with you.

And now, before I forget, I must order speakers for my iPod. So I can listen to Flatt and Scruggs with Dad. Or, considering my dislike of country music, perhaps I should just hand over my earbuds.


  1. Sounds like you are ready to go! Have fun and enjoy the Holidays!

    Posted by Marlene Whitby |
  2. Hey, wonderful informative column. Thank you.
    Best wishes of season and have a great trip.

    Nothing better than the 5 string steel banjo and I see you list many of the excellent tunes and isntrumentals.

    Posted by jim snell |

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