Driving with a Baby, Wife, Dog and Diabetes to PA and Back

Back in August, Amanda and I.. and Lucy (I have to remember to keep adding her) decided to drive up to Pennsylvania for a little summer visit to my family and friends up there. We made this drive last year and it wasn’t that bad. Oh yea, our Cavalier King Charles comes along for the right too. Packing for this trip is usually a breeze for me when it comes to clothes, but the diabetes part is what is stressful. Making sure that I have everything that I need and getting it stored in a nice box that I can have for the month vacation is important for me.

The drive up was not bad at all. I was wearing my MiniMed 530G with Enlite sensor during the drive up. Last year, I didn’t wear my sensor and there was a lot more testing than this year, but if you have ever made a road trip like that (1,200 miles) then you know there is a lot of snacking and eating going on. Wearing the CGM helped give me an idea of where my BG was at when I decided to have a snack. (by snack, that usually meant Chic-Fil-A)

While we were up there, I didn’t have to re-oder insulin or anything like I had to last year. Last year, my insulin was shipped to Florida instead of PA and that wasn’t a fun experience.

After spending an entire month up in PA (and trading in the car we drove up in and bought a new one from a friend’s dealership) it was time to drive home. I decided not to wear my CGM on the ride back, pure laziness, so there was a lot more testing. My blood sugars ran a little higher during the drive back, but that was primarily due to the fact that I wasn’t wearing my CGM.

My legs during the drive would cramp up a lot, so I made sure to move them around whenever I could and walk for a little bit at every stop because I know the importance of getting that blood flowing.

I didn’t post while I was away primarily for the safety reasons of being away from home for a month, so that’s why you haven’t heard much from me. Since I got back, I have been swamped with catching up on work, but things are better now. New month, new start, let’s go.

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Honeymooning with Diabetes

Let me first say, that I am not talking about the honeymoon period when you are first diagnosed with diabetes. I am talking about the honeymoon that I just came back from last week and having diabetes. My honeymoon consisted of a cruise to the Bahamas, as well as a stop in Key West. I have been cruising before with diabetes, so I wasn’t too concerned about the supplies issue. The last time that I cruised with diabetes, I was using an insulin pump, but this time, it’s all syringes and vials.

honeymoon2For anyone that has ever been on a cruise, you know the first thing that you do as soon as you get on the boat is sprint to the lunch buffet and start the weight gain process as soon as possible. That’s what I did. I was feeling a bit low from the process of checking in, walking through the lines to get on the boat, and carrying two bags with me, so I knew that eating first was the right choice. I went to the restroom to take a shot in-between plate one and plate two.

We were planning on taking the day trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas and doing the watermark and pools there. We did this several years ago when I was on the pump, and I had to disconnect and connect every time that I wanted to go into the rapids river (their version of a not so lazy river). This time around, it was so much easier. Just go in and out whenever I felt like it with no worries about disconnecting at all.

All the diabetes supplies were in the locker that we rented and I only went back to the locker about once every hour in order to test and grab anything else that we may have needed.

The second day of the cruise included a day at the private island of Coco Cay. This place was truly tropical paradise. Quick side note. One of Amanda and myself’s favorite combined movie is Couple Retreat. We watch it every chance we get. So, this honeymoon had nonstop references to Couples Retreat. Coco Cay felt like Eden West and East, depending on which side of the island you were on.

Back to the story.

While we were there, we decided to get our first couples massage, once again from Couples Retreat. As crazy as this may sound, I’ve never had a massage before, so I had no idea what to expect. I was concerned that I was going to go low in the middle of the massage and would have to stop the therapist in order to eat some candy. So, to prepare for this, I had a little snack before I went into the massage. My blood sugar was around 200, but I was fine with that because I didn’t want to stop the massage because of a low. I did alert the therapist however that I was diabetic and that in the case of a low blood sugar, I would need to drink some juice or eat candy.

No lows, just a bit of snoring because I fell asleep in the middle of the massage. The rest of the day was a bit of the same. Food, sunshine and paradise.

honeymoon1By the time we were on night 3 and after all the testing that I had done, I said to Amanda, “we need to cruise more often because other than one bad high after breakfast today, my blood sugars have been nearly perfect”

Who would have thought? On vacation, a honeymoon at that, breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, and alcohol and my blood sugars would be better than when exercising, dieting and counting carbs. I will admit, I went through more insulin than I normally would, but who cares how much insulin I have to use if every time I test, I’m showing a number under 160.

Finally, we spent the day in Key West. We have been there several times, so we decided to not spend money on lunch there and just eat the lunch buffet one last time. BAM. Great blood sugar after that also.

On the last night, I ran into our room attendant, who I swear was in the hallway to greet me every time I opened the door, it was kinda scary, but well appreciated. I keep my diabetes stuff hidden in the room because they tend to make a big deal about it on a cruise ship. I have my own sharps container, so that’s why I didn’t alert them about it. However, I left a syringe out when we left the boat to go to Key West and he saw it when he came to the clean the room. He didn’t ask what it was for, but just asked if I needed a container to put it in for safety reasons and I let him know that I had my own container and we were all good.

That was the last of that.

As I was walking off the boat on the last day, not only sad that the trip was over, but I thought to myself, that my diabetes didn’t effect me in one single way this trip. I didn’t really have any lows, only 1 bad high after those amazing pancakes and french toast, and it’s just another reason why I am lucky to have the technology and equipment we have today to manage our diabetes.

Honeymoon is over and life is just beginning!

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Weekend at Disney Without an Insulin Pump

Well, it wasn’t really a weekend at Disney, but Orlando / Kississimme / Lake Buena Vista, but it’s just easier to say Disney. Amanda and I absolutely love coming to Orlando for a weekend trip because it’s not too far from our house and we love the Disney atmosphere, because, well, who doesn’t love Disney.

We decided to take a pre-mini honeymoon over Labor Day weekend to just relax and venture around Downtown Disney. This was my first trip to Disney (Orlando) not wearing an insulin pump. Every other time I went, I was on a pump and eating all the wonderful snacks and sweets there was very easy. Just hit a few buttons and bam, insulin delivery. Things were a tad bit different this time.

Our first night there, we decided to go to Uno’s, it’s one of our traditions when going to Orlando. If you have never been to Uno’s or have never have Chicago deep-dish pizza then you really haven’t lived your life to the fullest yet. I have come to the conclusion that there is no logical reasoning in how to bolus for this meal. It’s a “damn, I better take a shit load of insulin and just deal with the low if it comes later” kind of thing. (Remember kids, don’t try this at home, even with your parents’ permission.)

Not only was I not using an insulin pump, I was fresh out of insulin pens and was using the old school syringe and vial method of insulin delivery. The bathrooms in Uno’s was perfect for a dude who had to take an insulin shot in private. If I am drawing insulin from a vial with a syringe, I will tend to go to the restroom to do so, if it’s from a pen, I’ll shoot it up right at the table.

After Uno’s we decided to head on over to Downtown Disney, which was walking distance from our hotel, so I thought the walk would definitely help with the carbs and blood sugar dilemna that I thought I would be having because of that amazing deep dish pizza. Guess who’s blood sugar went low while at Downtown Disney after walking around for almost two hours? Guess who was also ordering a Mickey Mouse rice crispy treat covered in dark chocolate, then smothered in Reece’s Pieces and topped with a white chocolate swirl?

If there was ever a perfect time for a low blood sugar it was then.


The next day was all about the outlets. If you haven’t been to Orlando, they have three sets of Outlets, two of them are the nationwide Premium Outlets and they also have a smaller Lake Buena Vista Outlets. It’s usually Amanda’s goal to hit all three! Fortunately, for me, it was about 95 degrees all day and Amanda was over it after the first stop of outlets. I was also about over standing out in the heat and was feeling like I needed to eat because my blood sugar was trending down. Quick lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack raised my sugar a bit too high than I would have liked a couple hours after eating. (This exact Joe’s Crab Shack was robbed the very next day).

I knew that we were going to CityWalk at Universal Studios and would be out pretty late, so I don’t like not having a “stable” blood sugar before going out for a long night. This was definitely one of those unstable times, high morning, low before lunch, higher after lunch, high before dinner, etc.

After making pit stops to Margaritaville, Fat Tuesday’s, and Pat O’Briens, it was time to get some food. When we decided to eat at the food court in CityWalk, I didn’t realize there was no bathrooom and I have to go all the way downstairs and have a pretty long walk to get there, just to take an insulin shot, so I went against what I said earlier about not drawing up a syringe at a table. I not only had to take my bolus, but it was also time for my Levemir, so it was a double shot! No weird looks, so I would call it a success.

All in all, my last trip to Disney, without an insulin pump was not that bad. I thought that it would be more of a pain in the ass to draw up shots everytime that I wanted to snack, but I found myself just not snacking as much as I would have if I was wearing my pump.

Next up, the real honeymoon on a cruise, now that’s going to be interesting.

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Driving with Diabetes Study

Last week when I was at my endo for a pump training for a trial of an insulin pump that I am starting this week, my doctor gave me a print out for a Driving with Diabetes test / study.  The information is below.

Do you have Type 1 Diabetes?

Are you 18-70 Years Old?

Do you Drive Regularly?

If YES, you may find www.DiabetesDriving.com useful.

What is Driving With Diabetes?

  • An internet program developed to potentially help ALL drivers with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Interactive, very engaging, convenient and confidential.

Participation in this NIH study involves:

  • Random assignment to:
    • the Internet program group, or
    • the routine care group
  • Sharing your driving experiences
  • Completing online questionnaires
  • No clinic visits – done entirely in your home
  • Earning up to $270 in Internet gift cards and helping others with Diabetes
Principal Investigator for the Study: Dr. Daniel Cox.
For more information, please visit www.DiabetesDriving.com

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Flying Home with Diabetes

I am actually on the plane right now as I am typing this post.  I am returning back to south Florida right now after 10 days in Pennsylvania with friends and family.  It was a great trip and I spent a lot of great time with my family.  As I mentioned the other day, I also ate a lot of food and used a lot of insulin.  I am excited to get back onto a healthy eating schedule starting already tomorrow.  But, it’s back to reality tomorrow.  Take down the Christmas stuff, unpack all the crap that we got for Christmas and try and get back to a normal lifestyle.

Before I do all that, I have to fly back first, and that’s what I’m doing right now. I still get nervous before I fly every time and that messes with my blood sugar.  I really try to have my blood sugar around 160-180 when I fly.  I don’t want to go low and I don’t want to go high.

Do you have an ideal blood sugar number that you prefer when you are going to fly?

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Diabetes in New Orleans

This past weekend I was in New Orleans for a birthday trip to see my Philadelphia Eagles play the Saints on Monday Night Football.  Amanda and her family paid for the entire trip for my birthday gift because I mentioned that it would be a dream to go see the Birds on Monday Night.  This was my second trip to New Orleans.  I went a few years ago when the ADA Scientific Sessions were there and was there as a vendor and had a great time.  The food is amazing, but I ate a lot, so my sugar levels were all over the place.  Nothing changed on this trip. (more…)

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