When I was first diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic, I thought that I would not be able to do the things that I loved to do anymore. Before becoming Type 1, I practically lived in the ocean. Swimming and surfing were a big part of my life. As a former lifeguard, even working in the water was my job.
After becoming Type, I was afraid to go do those things again. I was scared to go into the ocean without being able to have a form of glucose attached to me. I kept thinking that if I were to have a low blood sugar episode in the middle of the ocean, I could possibly drown or not get to shore in time. However, I have learned that we cannot live our life in fear. There is no reason to stop the things that you love just because of a setback or a fear. I took a chance and got back in that salty ocean on my surfboard and it was the best feeling that I could of felt. I overcame my fears and I felt stronger just knowing that I have overcame my metal challenges about this disease. I do take the extra precautions each time I go out. I make sure that my numbers are in a good place pre-surfing, I at least have my glucose tablets on the beach waiting for me just incase, and I always use the buddy system.
Live the life you love! Don’t let the disease stop you from living life to the fullest! That is by far the biggest lesson that I could of learned.
Even lows should not take away my happiness at the “happiest place in the world”.. aka Disneyland!
Isn’t it funny that we can often get lows in the most inconvenient times and places of the day? It’s always a stressful surprising thing when it happens. For me, I think it’s because I am so distracted about what I am doing or what is happening around me to where I’m not able to check-in to listen and feel how my body is doing at that moment. I always need to remind myself to allow a little minute to check-in with myself to see how I am really doing.
During these times, especially at Disneyland, I don’t care that people see me pricking my finger. I always think that I shouldn’t have to hide something that is simply keeping me alive.
Have you ever thought about whether the designer of fingerless gloves was a diabetic?! Think about it. What a genius idea that someone invented for us diabetics to be able to do our finger pricking in the cold weather, hassle-free. And it also makes quite the fashion statement! Day 23 for the Type Happy Holiday Challenge is to use this tip and put these babies on your Christmas list. Or you can even make your own by taking some old gloves and cutting the tips off them!
Dodging crowds, walking store to store, lunging after that perfect gift.. Christmas shopping is a workout in itself. As your rushing from store to store, you can’t believe how much you walk and how many calories you burn! In one day of shopping, I have to check my blood sugars more than normal because I tend to go a little low when I’m running around constantly. I also often forget to eat because of how busy I am. Today’s Monday Motivation for Day 22 of the Type Happy Holiday Challenge is to use a pedometer as you shop and see how much you walk around! (most smartphones have a pedometer app that you can use too) So far I’m at 1,054 and the day just started! Make sure to not give into that holiday stressful energy, shop at your own pace. Remember to test often if you tend to go low and eat a healthy substantial meal to give yourself energy for your long day.
Ready, set, shop!
During the holiday season there can always be lots of traveling involved. Whether it’s going to a relative’s house for a night or having to travel far by train, plane, bus, or car to stay for weeks.. both ways still require packing and becoming a fortune teller to predict the future of what you will be doing and what you will need. Even being a non-diabetic, traveling itself can already be quite the ordeal. However, with Type 1, it’s a whole new game. It can be quite complicated when you basically have to bring a whole other suitcase with just for your diabetic accessories. On top of that, traveling can induce stress (in which I talked about T1D and stress in Day 14 post). I hold my breath stressing out every time I walk through security thinking that they will take away my needles or cause an embarrassing scene about it. So managing all that packing, stress, traveling can be a lifesaver. The best way that I can manage all of this is by preparation. I created a helpful checklist of all the things that I make sure I have before going on any of my quests:
- Ice pack
- Insulin pens
- Pen needles
- Insulin pump (if used)
- Insulin pump consumables
- Blood glucose meter
- Glucose strips
- Ketone strips
- Extra batteries
- Emergency glucagon
- Glucose tabs
- Doctor’s letter
- Extra prescriptions
- Snacks and water
- Identification and medical card
- Disinfecting wipes
- Sharps disposal container
- Any other vitamins and/or medications
When flying, make sure that all your diabetes supplies equipment are in your carry-on luggage. Traveling in Europe definitely taught me this lesson. On my first flight as a Type One from France to Barcelona, I packed all my things in my checked bag (because I did not think that they would allow me to carry needles on the plane). Rookie mistake. Consequently, my bags were never lost (thankfully), but they did arrive late which did lead me to freak out for a while to think that all my supplies were gone for good. Lesson learned.
For Day 17 of the Type Happy Holiday Challenge (if you are traveling for the holidays) think about your travel plans, make sure that you are well prepared for them, and make sure you have all you medical needs taken care of in advance. What are your fun travel plans for the holidays?
Also if any diabetics have ANY problems with airlines, TSA, etc. make sure to contact the American Diabetes Association as they help advocate the rights for us to travel with ease.