A twitter friend @Nitacure4t1d has joined the blogosphere at NitaCure. She wrote her first post yesterday Canada Day in regards to taking a road trip with her son who has Type 1 Diabetes. Comments on my blog give me all sorts of warm fuzzies so I do try to comment on other blogs frequently (do to others as you would have them do to you). As I began the second paragraph of my comment I realized I was hijacking her post with a post of my own. That is not good blogosphere etiquette (well I assume it is not good blogosphere etiquette – I don’t think there is a book on the subject but there should be – I also like saying blogosphere btw – it is a fun word). Thus I deleted my long windy comment and instead offered her the kudos she deserves for her first post. Yet I still had so much to say about road trips and diabetes – thus here we are.
Diabetes does not like road trips. I can attest to that. I am a road trip woman, partially because flying or even the idea of flying causes me huge panic attacks even with a double dose of Xanax, but also because I love to drive. I love the freedom of detours, Starbucks on demand and bathrooms that are larger than a coffin.
We have taken many road trips since D moved in. Our first road trip after Sugarboy was diagnosed was to the annual Children with Diabetes International Friends for Life conference in Orlando FLorida. This was 5 months after Sugarboy was diagnosed. It is an 18 hour drive from Austin Texas to Orlando Florida. We have made this drive 3 times. We never went directly to Orlando – we would stop by my most favorite place on this wonderful planet – Destin Florida (white powder soft sand and turquoise water – my happy place). Sorry digressed….
During that first road trip Sugarboy was still using multiple daily injections (one shot of long lasting Lantus and 4-6 shots of fast acting Novalog for meals, snacks, corrections). We were very new to diabetes and didn’t realize the toll long road trips would take on Sugarboy’s sugars. Sitting for extended periods of time raise blood sugars – it is that simple. (Did I just use the word simple in relation to Diabetes? I should be fined) Sugarboys sugars were high despite intense carb counting and free foods (no carb foods). With injections it is not possible to adjust basal insulin – you can increase the dose of long acting insulin but it is increased for an entire 24 hour period. That is not was we needed – once we arrived at the beach the boy was running around like mad playing in the surf – no additional basal needed for that. Basically Sugarboys sugars were a mess the days we were on the road but then also while on our vacation and at the conference (conference blood sugar craziness was likely caused by a such huge changes in our routines).
All our future road trips have been with insulin pumps which makes reducing the road trip highs a bazillion times easier since we can adjust basal rates to provide additional insulin for the time leading up to and during long drives which result in long periods of inactivity. Insulin pumps also allow us to decrease basals while enjoying beach time and theme parks since less insulin is required to increased activity. It’s been 5 years now and we are not experts by any means but we are getting better.
After reading my friends post and thinking about the travel that is in our near future I decided to search cyber space for more advice regarding road trips and traveling with diabetes. I found these sites to be very helpful.
While searching cyber space for tips for road trips with diabetes I stumbled on this little gem: controlling Diabetes Is Like Taking A Road Trip. It is a wonderful post written by Karen Marschel for KM Nutrition @KMNutrition on twitter. Oh the things we will find when we google. (I am not endorsing any products shared on Karen’s website – I just really liked her post. I have not fully explored her website otherwise – although I will likely add it to my list of things to do.)