Monday, July 21, 2014

You Still Have Diabetes At the Happiest Place on Earth

My hubs and I are going to Disneyland on a work trip. I know the hard life right? This is not my first trip to Disneyland as a diabetic; we actually go quite a bit. My first trip to Disneyland as a diabetic went ok, but I had low blood sugars all throughout the trip. I ran out of glucose tablets because I wasn’t prepared for all of the lows I would encounter. I had to buy juice and soda for the rest of the trip just to keep my sugars under control. I hate the taste of real soda especially when it is lukewarm/hot. Then there is checking your blood sugar, I decided to see where my blood sugars were at while in line for the Jungle Cruise. Not my best idea, I ended up dropping my finger pricker thing causing the top to pop off and land right in the water. I spent the rest of the trip being a real BA and just pricking my finger with a quick jab of the lancet. I know most normal people would just go buy a new one, but I didn’t want to lose any of my time in Disneyland. Over the last few years I feel like I have enjoying the park and controlling my diabetes down to an art.

Packing is the beginning to my madness. I lay everything out on my bed and make sure everything is physically there. Then, I pack my clothes, comfy shoes that won’t blister my feet (don’t want to chance losing these beauties), and two emergency kits. One emergency kit is for the hotel room, the other is for the Park. I always make sure that I have everything physically on me and not stuck in my luggage, especially my insulin, I don’t want to chance it over heating so I keep it on me at all times.

My carry on pack usually includes:

·      box of infusion sets
·      reservoirs
·      my insertion device
·      an extra vial of unopened insulin
·      glucose tablets
·      juice boxes
·      syringes
·      alcohol swabs
·      an extra finger pricker
·      AAA batteries
·      Extra test strips

When I was packing for this trip, I realized I was going to run out of test strips. I called my pharmacy first to see if I could get a refill. Unfortunately, I couldn’t refill my test strips until Thursday (the day I will be on the road to Disneyland) instead of panicking I called my doctor. You see diabetes companies usually give doctors samples of products to hand out to patients. It’s really a smart marketing strategy patients will usually stick to something their doctor gives them creating a new customer for that company. Sorry, getting off topic. Anyways, knowing this information I called my doctors office explained my predicament and by the end of the day had a bag of sample test strips to last me through my trip. Problem solved.

A lot of this stuff goes into a backpack that I take into the park. As a family we always carried a backpack on the trip. My dad always has his old man bag (sorry dad) when I started to go to Disneyland with my new family (ie the hubs and I) I got a sweet Toy Story backpack that looks like Woody’s shirt and vest. I am not going to lie it’s pretty sweet. My hubs doesn’t mind carrying it either which makes it an even sweeter deal. The nice thing is that if something goes wrong with my pump, like it runs out of insulin, or the infusion set needs to be switched out while in the park I have everything ready in my backpack to grab and go. If you’re wondering where a clean place in the park is for the injection process. Believe it or not I use their nurses station located on Main Street. I usually go in and explain that I have diabetes and need to change out my insulin pump the nurse there will usually give me my own little room where I can put my sharps and have a clean and private environment.

I mentioned earlier that I have to set a temporary basal for my insulin pump while in the park. Because running around Disneyland is so active I have to lower my basal insulin dosage to avoid low blood sugars. I usually switch it that morning before we get into the park and put it back to where it needs to be when we get back to the hotel room. My standard basal amount per day is set at 23.175 units. When I am in Disneyland I drop it down to around19 units. Not only do I have to pay attention to the amount of basal insulin I am getting I have to remember to constantly put food in my mouth. I’m not sure if you know this, but I handle Disneyland like a champ, I have a plan on what to hit when and I refuse to let diabetes ruin my execution plan.

I have gone through my check off list for our trip and have everything I need to control my diabetes. Most likely I will unpack and repack tonight because I am beyond paranoid about it. I’m off to the happiest place on earth, see you soon!

One last thing. For any of you traveling to Disneyland in the near future and have diabetes check out for some more great advice! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Best of June

I cannot believe the first month of summer is already gone! It was a really good month, I finalized summer camp for our high school students, went to camp, road a roller coaster, got burned, and much more. Check out some of the top posts from the month of June.

Diabetes in the Summer

Diabetes Follow Up

Type 1 and Pregnancy

Diabetes Burn Out
How to Wear an Insulin Pump

Catching Up

This last week was great. I went to Hume SD with our high school students for work, rode a roller coaster, and visited some dear friends in Sacramento. Needless to say, I would love to take a break and recover Unfortunately, I continue my traveling journey by heading down to check out another camp this week. Here is a little glimpse to what I was up to.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Diabetes in the Summer

I live in Fresno which means gross amounts of heat, humidity, and laziness. This week we hit an early summer record of 110 degree heat the last and I am literally dying. To me it's expected living in this area, but normally this heat waits until later in the summer. The last couple of days my blood sugars have been a hot mess (get it?). I have been all over the board with highs and lows. It’s wearing me down and driving me crazy, here are some things to help you understand whats going on in your body when the weather warms up.
Turns out the heat should be causing more lows than highs for us. This is due to your metabolism increasing. Apparently, it takes your body around 10-14 days to acclimate to the disgusting heat increase. Until it has acclimated to the heat your body is working harder to keep you cool so you won’t overheat. In the world of diabetes a body working harder means using up more of the sugar in your system leading to low blood sugars. Part of me thought I was having more lows because my doctor and I recently changed my basal settings in my pump.

I guess that would explain my low blood sugar increase. But, still hasn’t answered why I am noticing just as many high numbers. Then I came across a Mayo Clinic blog explaining that it isn’t necessarily the heat that is affecting your blood sugars, but the fact that heat can change your daily routines, which can affect your blood sugar levels. Being lazy (which I mentioned earlier happens a lot in Fresno during August) will affect your blood sugars especially if you are eating more and exercising less. Which I have to admit, in the last two weeks, I have been terrible about going to boot camp every other day like I normally do, it’s too stinking hot to be running around buildings and lifting weights. This would explain my higher numbers.

Another factor of why my blood sugars could be misbehaving is the fact that the heat will begin to breakdown your insulin. I noticed this last week when I was on my last leg of insulin. My blood sugars were not going down quickly enough and I was having higher peaks than I normally do. The problem with this, I am the cheapest person in America (or at least I feel that way about certain items) I refuse to refill my insulin until it is absolutely needed because that stuff is expensive. Especially when I need new insulin before my 30 days is up because then I pay completely out of pocket and that is just a scary number! But I guess it would be more expensive to land in the ER because I have a large amount of ketones building up in my system.

If you are experiencing some funky numbers like I am, here are some things to remember when it’s getting hot and your diabetes is all over the place. Try not to switch your routine around, as a diabetic you know it is very important to stick to your routine, don’t deviate. Drink lots of water to avoid ketones and dehydration. Try to keep your insulin cool (if you can) and refill your prescription or change out your set if you're noticing your insulin being less effective. Just because it’s insanely hot doesn’t give you the excuse to become a bad diabetic.