Diabetes on the Road


Diabetes on the Road

When my boyfriend asked me to accompany him on an 8+ hour drive to Virginia this past weekend, I didn’t give it a second thought before saying yes. He will be moving there soon to pursue a new career, so I wanted to support him in this endeavor and help him find a new place to live.

Upon reflection, maybe I should have given it just a little more thought before agreeing to go. To elaborate, I didn’t really consider how this would affect my diabetes. We’d be on a fairly hectic and unpredictable schedule between actually driving down there and visiting the half dozen apartments my boyfriend scouted out. I know that most people don’t bother to worry about when they would be able to eat on such a trip, but this was my first pressing concern.

I addressed this matter using two methods. First, I made sure to buy a variety of snacks for the trip. I bought some low carb beef jerky for when I wanted something to eat that wouldn’t spike my blood sugar, as well as some yogurt covered raisins and applesauce-on-the-go to fix any lows I might encounter in a way that wouldn’t be totally unhealthy. I also brought a few different diet drinks, granola bars, and trail mix (an entirely appropriate snack choice for a road trip!) to add some variety. My food preparation turned out to be a smart call. As the weekend went on, both my boyfriend and I turned to the snack stash whenever we were feeling peckish but didn’t have quite enough time to make a stop anywhere.

Speaking of food stops, there was a second way that I handled being on the road this past weekend. My boyfriend and I were all over the place to the degree that it made the most sense to grab quick meals in fast food places. Normally, I try to avoid fast food because of the unhealthy stigma and my preference for fresh fare, but I knew I didn’t have much of a choice given the circumstances. That being said, I made menu selections at places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread, and Five Guys using a couple of criteria: availability of nutritional information and, from there, choosing what would work best with my blood sugar at the current mealtime.

That may sound tricky, but it really wasn’t difficult at all, thanks to the apps that I have on my phone that allows me to quickly look up nutrition facts. Prior to ordering my meal, I could look it up within seconds on my phone to view the carbohydrate counts. Then, all I had to do was input that into my PDM and my pump would deliver the bolus. That reminds me, I was particularly grateful for my pump this weekend. I was giving myself the majority of my boluses in the car. Before, this would mean whipping out an insulin pen and attempting to poke myself with a needle in a moving vehicle – not the brightest idea. Now, this merely means programming my blood sugar and carb information into my PDM and hitting the “continue” button. How much easier could it get?

Cumulatively, we spent something like 20 hours in the car this weekend. It was a total departure from my usual schedule and a bit tough to adjust to since I like to be more active when I have time off from work. However, I’m glad I went because I helped my boyfriend find a new place to live, accomplishing our goal. I also reassured myself by taking the situation in stride. Despite having an abnormal diet and being far more sentient than normal, I managed to maintain pretty good blood sugars. Plus, I was able to add another pro to the growing list of positive things I have to say about my new pump. As such, the weekend was a win all around for me.

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7 years ago

“Sentient” should be “sedentary”, methinks, if you meant you were more inactive.

Great plan – and great follow through. Navigating the unknown is much more difficult with diabetes. I had to travel for work couple of weeks ago, with flights through my usual meal times. Managed pretty well with snacks and thought-out-beforehand airport meals.

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