Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

The epic adventure

on August 19, 2013

We traveled over 4000 miles in our minivan over the past week and a half, moving our daughter to her new teaching job in Las Vegas.  Yep, Las Vegas. Who knew that Vegas is a great place to teach music?  Turns out it really is, and we are happy to see her settled in her new apartment and working diligently to get ready for the school year.

Travel is always tricky with diabetes. First is the packing.  You have to pack for the worst case scenario.  I take this very seriously. If my pump decides to up and quit (not an unknown event in my life!) I need back-up sources of insulin, so that means pens (two of them for two types of insulin), needles, and alcohol wipes. Then there’s all the paraphernalia associated with a pump – infusion sites (and plenty of them, since they fail with regularity especially under stess), cartridges, more alcohol wipes, etc, etc. Then there’s the insulin itself that has to be kept at a relatively constant temperature, not too hot, not too cold.  And supplies for the Dexcom, new sensors in case the one I have on fails, and back-ups and more back-ups…..  And other meds.  So I cannot pack light anymore.  I overprepare because I do NOT want to be caught unaware by diabetes disasters.

Then comes the traveling itself. Turns out that my blood sugar does just fine when I am the passenger in a car, but rises steadily upwards when I drive. I have not tried to figure that one out, it’s hard enough just to deal with it.  And on this particular trip, since we started out with two cars (and ended up with one, but that’s another story for another time….), I was driving a lot. I tried increasing my basal rate of insulin to deal with the driving bump, but the problem is that takes an hour and a half or so to kick in, and by then, I was often a passenger again!

And finally, there is dealing with the destination, which in this case, was hot and dry.  Really hot and dry.  112 degrees and 10% humidity.  Amazingly my blood sugars were pretty stable. There were a couple of days when we were so active that I could pretty much eat any snack I wanted to without budging my BG.  It was wonderful.

So while this trip was certainly manageable in terms of diabetes, I really resented its intrusion into my life during the adventure. I could not just turn it off, or put off treating a low because the scenery was too beautiful to stop and test, dose and eat. (I did that once, ignoring the warnings coming from my Dexcom, and paid for it eventually with a stubborn low BG.)  I wanted to just enjoy being a family without the hassle of diabetes.  I think not being able to turn it off (or turn my pancreas back on) is the most frustrating thing about this disease.

But I am also very grateful for the small and great mercies of God that we saw on this trip. Protecting Sarah from harm when her car slammed into a guardrail.  Finding and signing for an adorable apartment within 24 hours of arriving in Vegas. A fun day with my husband strolling the Strip and seeing those incredible hotels.  The much unexpected early arrival of the Pod full of Sarah’s stuff.  Safe travel home (we passed some really horrific accidents.) The absolutely gorgeous landscapes of the West that just kept making my jaw drop, on the way out and again on the way back (twice the beauty!).   Friendly people in a new city.  I could go on and on, but my computer battery is about to die……

So I continue to learn patience to live with diabetes. I don’t really like it and I would gladly give it up.  But there are indeed some things I wouldn’t trade that have come my way because of this disease. Couldn’t it be just a little easier?

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2 responses to “The epic adventure

  1. Colleen says:

    The first trip taking the pens on a trip for an “emergency” I thought I was so smart. Good thing I didn’t need them as I forgot the needles.

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