Day To Day

Day to day: managing diabetes on the go

One thing I discovered recently is how hard it is to maintain good diabetes management habits when on the go. When at home with the routine, it’s easy to carve out time of the day for exercise and keep good eating habits. Since my diagnosis, we hadn’t travelled more than a day at a time. But when travelling for extended periods of time, when food production or time are sometimes out of our control, it’s really hard to keep up with the program.

For example, we recently travelled to Southern Spain. For a start, exercise wasn’t easy to slot in. When you spend the days in the car going from location to location on a schedule you don’t control, finding time to exercise was next to impossible. I could walk indoors in the evening as I normally do, which I did, but morning and lunch walks/runs were often cancelled. The consequence was potentially higher and longer glycemia spikes.

One thing we did was a lot of planning and thinking about compromises ahead of time. Gone are the trips on a whim: everything needs to be planned ahead of time. One of the things we did was rent self-catering accommodation so that we could control food production instead of eating out as we would normally have. That has a cost and restrictions attached to it but we accepted them as a necessity.

We also had to figure out menus to eat when on the go. A typical sandwich isn’t possible because the bread would generate a large spike, and with the lack of exercise to control glycemia, I couldn’t risk it. Fortunately, we could prepare salads in the morning and take them with us (they don’t go off with the heat). We even found protein bread with very low carb count to make sandwiches that weren’t too bad for me (spike at 130mg/dl for 2 hours).

Even testing my blood sugar was problematic as time was running fast. Some days I only managed the minimum readings (before meals and 2 hours after). A far cry from the usual 12+ times a day. So I didn’t get a good view of what was happening in my body on those days.

Fortunately, as my diabetes is normally well under control, the effects were minor and my body coped will with the different regimen for a week. But for those having a worse condition or T1, it would have more impact.

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