Diabetes Self-Management Blog

For as long as I can remember, my family has been driving on one trip or another. Our family and family friends span great distances here in the States, so we’ve driven from our home base in Philadelphia to Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, and Florida, just to name a few! And when we’re not driving, we’re flying to diabetes conferences or other engagements. We’ve been taking these trips from before I was diagnosed, but after getting Type 1, we had to learn how to manage my diabetes while on the road.

This weekend, a very dear family friend of ours got married in Pittsburgh. Originally my mom, brother, and myself were supposed to go, along with my cousin and aunt. But at the last minute my brother couldn’t go, and my mom got sick the night before we were supposed to leave.

Pittsburgh is a second home to me and my family, and I didn’t realize until I got there that this was the first time I would be in Pittsburgh “on my own.” Pretty much my entire extended family was there, but this was the first time I would be there without my parents. It made me quite nervous realizing that if anything went wrong, my parents wouldn’t be there to fix it.

It’s funny, because despite the fact that I went through an entire year of college dealing with diabetes seemingly on my own, I still got nervous! There’s something different about traveling and being out of town versus being at home or on campus — a semi-stable environment where I know I have my backup supplies and my CDE just down the street. At any rate, everything pretty much went well except for Sunday morning.

That morning, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (for breast cancer) was being held. A few years ago, a very dear aunt passed away from breast cancer, and finally this year I was able to make the 5K that our family has been participating in for years in her honor. The problems on Sunday actually started on Saturday, when I realized that I forgot sneakers at home and had only brought a pair of flats, sandals, and two pairs of ridiculous high heels. Not prime choices for a 5K.

Thankfully, my aunt was able to lend me a pair of Shape-ups for the walk. (Let me tell you, Shape-ups WORK! I was sore for two days after wearing them for the 5K!) But I digress; regarding diabetes, I woke up on Sunday with a higher-than-usual blood sugar level, so I changed my site and did a correction. We had to be out of the house by 7:15 AM, meaning we were all “awake” by 6:15.

There was no real time for breakfast, so I had a Special K granola bar and some coffee. I realized on my way out of the house that I shouldn’t have given myself a full correction, considering that putting in a new site makes my body respond more to insulin as opposed to a site that’s been in for at least 24 hours. At the last minute I grabbed an extra granola bar in case I felt myself drop on the way to the walk. Lo and behold, on the car ride over I knew I would need to eat that extra granola bar to keep myself from going low.

By the time we got to the race, I had turned my basal off and figured I’d be fine. But 25 minutes before heading over to the staring line, I felt myself drop. I checked and was 82…not a good blood sugar to have right before starting a 5K. I had a few glucose tabs on me, but definitely not enough to sustain me for the walk.

This is when things got frustrating. I was with some of my cousins, and I told one of them that I had a low and needed to find a snack. With my experiences at many JDRF walks, I figured that this walk would have to have some snacks around. But instead of my cousin helping me out, she questioned why I didn’t have something with me and why I let my blood sugar get low.

I honestly hate being questioned when I’m low by those who don’t deal with diabetes on a daily basis. It’s one thing for my mom to get irritated, but for some reason it feels like entirely another story when a cousin or friend gets up in arms. It’s more them being irritated than actually concerned, which is the worst because I just feel like screaming out “GET OVER YOURSELF! I do this every single day!”

But there was no time for frustration. Instead I meandered off to find myself something to eat. I could hear one cousin scolding the other for making a scene and for letting me walk off on my own, but I quickly reminded myself that they don’t understand how to deal with Type 1. I can’t expect those who don’t understand to suddenly come to my aid just because I’m low.

I finally saw someone walking around with boxes of bananas. Unfortunately, when I got closer I saw that they were the greenest, most unripe bananas ever. Even worse, I had to suck it up and just eat them because I had limited options. Let me tell you, forcing myself to eat that horrid banana was a lesson in never forgetting to bring extra snacks with you wherever you go. It’s something I should obviously know by now, but sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in things and forget to pack an extra juice or tabs. Seriously though, that banana was so unbelievably disgusting that I had to shut my eyes and chew as fast as possible in order to force it down.

I couldn’t bring myself to eat the second one. Instead I walked back and found another one of my cousins who was HUGELY helpful and quickly found a stand that was giving out Rita’s Water Ice, and she grabbed two for me and made sure I ate them both. Then at the very start of the race there was a booth with candy bars, so before I knew it my blood sugar was 176 and I was more than ready to tackle this 5K wearing Shape-Ups and all!

By the end of the walk and for the rest of the day, my blood sugar was stable. I definitely re-learned a lesson in always being prepared and not relying on others to get you out of a sticky situation. Had my parents been there, they either would have had an extra snack with them or they would’ve immediately set out to find something for me to eat. This time around I had to re-learn the hard way that you can’t always rely on others to help you out.

I’m sure that my parents will be rather unhappy reading this post, but hey, it’s the truth! I don’t EVER want to find myself eating a green banana because I have no other options!

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. I also have type 1 diabetes. I know that If I dont take care of myself no one else will. I find it hard to believe that you made it through a year of college and still depend on your paretns to carry your extra snack. You should be embarrassed!

    Posted by Lisa |
  2. Hey Lisa, You are being very judgmental,She is young and stuff happens and some of us learn the hard way.
    I am type two and keep stuff handy everywhere but
    nobody is perfect.

    Posted by Donna Pease |
  3. Just saw your comment, Lisa. (Thank you for being so thoughtful, Donna.) Lisa, it’s a shame that your experience with Type 1 hasn’t allowed you to be more empathetic with others. I share my experiences to add a human element to this disease. I find your comment to be unfairly abrasive as you have no idea what I “expect.” I don’t depend on my parents to carry snacks for me; they carry them on the off chance that something bad happens because they love me. They are a backup plan for the rare circumstance that I forgot extra snacks. You may find that embarrassing for me, but on the contrary I find it to be a true testament to how much they love me. I have people there for me. If I don’t take care of my diabetes, my PARENTS, friends, and amazing support system make sure that I WILL.

    Posted by Maryam |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Type 1 Diabetes
Researcher Seeks Type 1 Diagnosis Experiences (04/14/14)
What's Your Diabetes "Type"? Gestational, MODY, and Steroid-Induced (04/15/14)
"Get Diabetes Right" Initiative (04/07/14)
Study to Evaluate Needle-Free Glucagon Treatment (04/09/14)

Traveling With Diabetes
Taking an Unwelcome Guest Along for a Visit (04/02/14)
Seven Continents, Seven Adventures (10/01/13)
Travel Tips for the Fourth of July (07/02/13)
Home Is Where the Pickles Are (06/25/13)

Low Blood Glucose
Study to Evaluate Needle-Free Glucagon Treatment (04/09/14)
Controlling the Dawn Phenomenon (12/04/13)
Slow Changes (11/14/13)
Severe Lows Occur Often in People With Type 2 (08/01/13)

Kids & Diabetes
Researcher Seeks Type 1 Diagnosis Experiences (04/14/14)
Study to Evaluate Needle-Free Glucagon Treatment (04/09/14)
College Scholarships From the Diabetes Scholars Foundation (01/25/14)
Neuropathy Common in Young Adults (12/13/13)

Maryam Elarbi
Trying to Stay Positive (09/06/12)
Fasting During Ramadan (08/30/12)
Friends for Life 2012: Part 2 (08/24/12)
Friends for Life 2012: Part 1 (08/22/12)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.


Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Get a FREE ISSUE
Subscription questions