Timing It Right

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Timing It Right

After traveling for six months through South America and Africa, I find that one of my biggest challenges in managing my blood sugars is timing everything correctly.

I’ve been doing the best I can to plan ahead for things—especially when the event is more significant to me. But that planning doesn’t always pan out.

For instance, last week we were lucky enough to do gorilla trekking in Rwanda. In case you haven’t heard of it, it involves a hike into the jungle to visit a mountain gorilla family for an hour. I’d been looking forward to this for months, and I didn’t want diabetes to interfere with the day!

From what I knew in advance, we were to leave our hotel at 6:30 am to arrive at the park entry gate at 7:00 am. By 7:30 am, we were supposed to be assigned to a gorilla family and begin hiking. The hike itself is anywhere between 1 hour and 4 hours in one direction, depending on where the gorilla family has moved to.

Considering the hike could be strenuous, I under-bolused for breakfast at 6:00 am. I figured that by the time my blood sugar was really rising, the hike would be starting and my numbers would level out to normal.

It was not until 7:30 am that I realized that the park entry gate was not necessarily the start of our hike. There were actually multiple starting points that all required a drive, depending on where each gorilla family was. Our drive was one hour from the park entry gate, meaning we wouldn’t start hiking until 8:30 am and the food would have a full 2.5 hours to kick in. Oooph!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could do. My options were to chase the impending high with a bolus and then eat when I arrived at the hike start…or just wait the extra hour for the hike to bring the number down and remain with an elevated number. Neither is a clear win-win.

I ended up blousing, even though I know my numbers would not come down significantly in that hour’s drive. However, I did not want a stubborn high that wouldn’t budge to impact the day, and I knew if I didn’t bolus that may happen.

This trip is definitely teaching me how to react to a change in plans, although next time I plan to ask more specific questions about activity start times. ☺