Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Cathie's Top 10 Facts to Know

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Hello my fellow Sisters, Happy New Yea!. A new year brings new things. In most organizations it could be new leadership (that already happened for DiabetesSisters) or new political office holders. Another new thing it brings is new bloggers here at DiabetesSisters, and it is my honor and priviledge to be writing the Type 1 blog for the next few months. However, before I do, I would like to tell you the top 10 things about me.

Celebrating

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

I've been dreading doing an A1C test. We're a little over seven months into our travels, and the carb counting of South American rice and Asian noodles has been harder than I anticipated.

It's official...

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

I've tried quite a few different low treatments throughout my travels. If I don't have glucose tabs on hand for some reason I reach for the nearest sugar source I can find, whether it be juice or crackers or candy. Often with a different language I don't know quite what's in the box, but I know it's in the right category of quick acting carbs.

Using Temp Basals for Sightseeing

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

After traveling for the last seven months or so, I find that I'm using temporary basals on my insulin pump more often that I do at home on a more routine schedule. As things are changing all the time in my surroundings and activities, I'm trying to pay attention to what's coming next and proactively plan to attempt to keep my numbers in range.

Here's a run down and how and when I use them:

I INCREASE my basal rates when:

Timing It Right

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

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.

Home A1C Tests

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

I'm a big fan of having my A1C done every 3 to 5 months with my doctor. For me, it's my report card of how I'm doing managing my blood sugars, and it gives me a chance to course correct if needed, before too much time has gone on.

Throughout the last ten years, I've had an average A1C in the mid-6%'s. That's a number that feels good to me, personally.

With the challenge of managing my blood sugars while traveling for a year, I know my A1C has gone up.

Packing for a long-term trip with Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Now, let’s be clear: I am an awful packer by nature. If I’m unsure what outfit I might like for a particular event, I’ll bring three. If I’ll be gone for a week, I’ll bring insulin pump supplies for a month, cause, hey, you never know.

For our current year-long trip, however, I wanted to do better since we’d be gone for a very long time. I did not want to carry hundreds of pounds all around the world. And there’s no luggage that’ll hold two-years worth of insulin pump supplies just because you never know. Additionally, we estimated that checked baggage fees would cost each of us $400 over the year. If we could save that $800 between the two of us by leaving a few shirts at home, I was ready to start experimenting with my packing style.

With that in mind, I committed to traveling with carry-on luggage for a whole year.

Cuddling up with my Insulin

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

A few weeks ago, we did a 10-day camping safari through Namibia. We specifically decided to visit during the winter in Africa, because the wildlife viewing is supposed to be much better. First, there is less greenery so animals are easier to see. And second, there is less water so animals congregate around the water holes, making them even easier to spot.

The fact that it was winter—and we were camping—didn’t bring me much concern. Because it’s Africa, so it’s always warm…right?!

I should have actually checked the weather forecasts, because while the days were comfortable, the nights were very cold. In fact, it dropped to around freezing some nights that we were camping. I was concerned about myself surviving a night of freezing temps—but I was more concerned about my insulin.

Disconnecting my CGM

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

I’ve learned from experience that getting diabetes hardware replaced while abroad is difficult. It’s possible, but the process of getting it done usually creates a desire to bang your head against a wall.

To avoid this altogether, I try to be extra cautious with my insulin pump and CGM when I’m traveling. I triple check it to make sure it’s in a safe place, and am conscious of excessive heat or cold around these devices.

But a recent trip to the Galapagos presented a new challenge.

Please don’t interrupt.

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

It wouldn’t be fair to say that I was the type of person who dreamed about going to Machu Picchu my whole life. It wasn’t my absolute must-do destination on our trip around the world. But I was still pretty darn excited about it. After all, I did minor in Architectural History, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my trips to see other world-class ruins in Greece and Italy and Mexico.

As we actually arrived in South America and started planning our Machu Picchu visit, I became that much more excited to see the site. We booked our tickets a month in advance, and as that month ticked by, my husband and I ran our countdown:

4 weeks to Machu Picchu!

3 weeks! Machu Picchu!

2 weeks!

1!

On the morning of our visit, we bounded out of bed at 3:30 am. Yes, 3:30 in the morning, without a promised cup of coffee! But we wanted to be at the entry gates by 6 am, when Machu Picchu opens. For anyone who knows me, I only get up that early for a flight or something I’m really, really excited about.

The night before I had packed an excessive amount of back up diabetes supplies, because I was determined to not let that interrupt my day. I was ready to go!