Do you ever wish that you could put diabetes on pause? I sure as hell dream about it, but remain grounded in the reality that it’s not exactly practical since it demands so much of my attention on a daily basis.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t do my damnedest to make this wish come true on occasions in which I really, really, really don’t want to diabetes to dominate my mind.
Take my recent trip to Nashville for example. I went with my boyfriend and a couple of our friends for a long weekend – not much time at all when you think about how how much there is to explore in a happening place like that. So I was determined to make the most of every moment and went into the trip with a plan to cut myself some slack on the diabetes front. Sure, I’d do what I could to maintain solid blood sugar control, but I was also excited to indulge on a variety of yummy foods and drinks that I wouldn’t normally consume out of fear over what they might do to my levels.
So this meant I ate things like:
- Fried chicken (still drooling just thinking about my meal from Prince’s)
- Hush puppies
- Deep fried cinnamon roll bites
- A nutella milkshake that had TWO donuts – yes, donuts – blended in with the ice cream
- Red velvet cookie dough (literally served in a cup from NoBaked in Assembly Row…check it out)
- And plenty of other things!
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these items were shared with my partner and friends. It’s not like I was consuming a full plate of cinnamon roll bites (described as “cubed, deep fried in waffle batter, tossed in cinnamon sugar, and topped with cream cheese icing”) on my own! But I was happily sampling and doing my best to carb count, making educated guesses and combatting my (several instances of) high blood sugar with extra insulin and exercise (we got upwards of 20,000 steps each day).
Putting my diabetes in a timeout for this trip initially felt unrealistic, and maybe even a little unnecessary. After all, I didn’t have to eat so many carb-heavy foods that I knew would annihilate my blood sugar levels. But it was important for me to be able to enjoy every aspect of this vacation and not let my diabetes take away from that. I didn’t want high blood sugar alarms to interrupt my appreciation of all the live music, so when I got them, I either took more insulin or silenced them. I didn’t want pesky pod changes to interfere with our plans for the day, so I monitored how much insulin was left in my reservoir and changed it when I was in my hotel for the night rather than waiting to do it at a less-than-ideal time, say, right before we hopped onto our pedal tavern tour of downtown Nashville. I didn’t want to chance my CGM sensor failing on me, so I brought extra, plus my test kit (neither of which I ended up needing to use). Above all, though, I didn’t allow every out-of-range blood sugar spoil my day. I figured that this 4-day trip was a single, small puzzle piece in the big picture of my diabetes, and this mindset contributed to a much more fun vacation.
Maybe next time, though, I won’t have to resort to putting my diabetes in a timeout because I’ll master bolusing for the full list of treats mentioned above…we’ll see!