Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Curse of Routine

I love to travel. I think there is nothing more important to building knowledge than to get out into the world and gain experience in different dimensions than what you are used. My pancreas, on the other hand, hates new anything. Success in blood sugar management, at least for me, relies heavily on routine. Each meal, I choose from a mental list of old standbys. For breakfast its usually oatmeal with coconut milk and a some berries--always 60g of carbs. Lunches vary, but again, they always add up to 60g. Dinner is usually soup or salad. Sometimes grilled veggies, but the amount of carbs is always between 0g and 40g (depending on my insulin to carb ratio at the time). I eat one snack between breakfast and lunch (one serving of nuts), and one between lunch and dinner (an apple or orange). I thrive on routine. It keeps everything simple. It also keeps everything fairly boring. That's what vacations are for (and sometimes weekends).

Traveling, whether in a car or a plane, is not kind to diabetes. I'm not sure if it's the long periods of sitting, the stress of travel, the eating of unfamiliar food, or just the simple act of change, but something about it shoots my blood sugars way up. Last December I went to Hawaii. Armed with the knowledge that travels creates 200+ glucose levels, I decided to avoid carbs that first day. I survived on nuts and salad. When we arrived in Kauai, I was a bit irritable (I do love my food) but my blood sugars were in great shape. I believed, for a brief moment, that I had conquered the traveling curse. And then I woke up the next morning to a BS of 180. There goes that theory. I kept a tight hold of my blood sugars for the rest of the trip. Still, my insulin requirements had doubled by the flight home.

Tomorrow, I am road tripping to Chico Hot Springs in Montana for my birthday. Eight plus hours in the car spells disaster (especially since I have a tendency to snack when I'm bored). But I have a little more hope for this trip than I have had for others in the past. My blood sugars have been holding in the fantastic zone for the last two weeks thanks largely (I believe) to the Nopal Cactus supplement. My long-acting dose is down to 4u a day! I haven't been that low since I played guinea pig for a drug trial at the Barbra Davis Center over a year ago (a post for another time). With any luck, the Nopal will be enough to keep my insulin needs from sky rocketing during the trip. That may be asking a lot of a simple desert cactus (after all, it is my birthday, which entitles me to a little gluttony). I guess only time will tell.

Nopal Supplement Update:

Day 8 (4/16) cont'd:
  • 6:00pm- 85
Day 9 (4/17):
  • 5:00am- 60
  • 5:00pm- 73
  • 11:00pm- 48 (sleeping low--never fun)
Day 10 (4/18):
  • 5:00am- 77
  • 11:00- 56
  • 5:00pm- 74
Day 11 (4/19):
  • 5:00 am- 121
(For those of you keeping track, yes I have gotten a little skimpy on the testing. That's what happens when the cost of test strips goes up 400%. And I had such high hopes for this new insurance plan.)

Insulin Requirements:
  • Short acting- 1u/30g for all meals (yay!)
  • Long acting- 4u per day (also yay!)

No comments:

Post a Comment