A Diabetic in Paris


Well, after a week spent in Iceland, where I tempered my indulgences in soft-serve ice cream with lots of hiking (that’s probably my #1 tip so far for traveling with diabetes: walk a lot), I am now in France. Paris, to be exact — a city known for romance, culture, art, coffee, and a shitload of foods that make it very hard to exist with a malfunctioning pancreas.

For example: within a block of the apartment where we’re staying, there are four (4!) bakeries. I can barely walk out the door before I’m hit with the sweet smell of freshly baked bread. I thought I’d be inured to this by now — after all, California has a number of high quality bakeries, and I never was particularly tempted to go out and buy baguettes. But note to California (and all of the US): when it comes to boulangerie science, we will NEVER beat France. There is a secret to French bread making, and it’s probably under guard somewhere in the national archives, with a squad of soldiers who have sworn to protect it to the death.

Point being, those baguettes are damn good. And my resistance is weak.

With avoidance disqualified as an option, yesterday, Peter and I figured out a more extreme bread mitigation strategy than merely walking around: we went for a run. Who cares that I have arthritis under both knee caps and am now having difficulty getting out of bed? We jogged down to the Champs Elysees, took a victory lap around the Arc de Triomphe, and made it back to the apartment just in time for a fresh baguette and a croissant. It was delicious and, dare I say it, totally worth the insulin.

Though that’s the thing about France: it’s pretty much all worth the insulin. I’m hoping I’ll reach a point where my standards for baguettes become so high that, after leaving France, I’ll never want to eat one again. So far, that has not happened. So in the meantime I’m trying to find indulgences that are a little less carb-tastic (cheese, vegetables, even pate), and toting — when it comes to sampling carby foods without guilt — what must be perhaps the best diabetic accessory of them all: a husband who’s willing to share.

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