Once upon a time, a young woman named Molly was bound for the magical Disney World for a week’s worth of fun and frolicking. Her tale does not involve hallmarks like evil witches, poisonous apples, fairy godmothers, spontaneous singing, or charming woodland critters capable of human speech. Rather, it is a story about balancing diabetes while trying to make the most of a much-needed vacation with her handsome prince – erm, boyfriend.
We first meet Molly in the airport on a sunny Saturday afternoon. She is exhausted but elated, considering she’s mere hours away from her destination! Molly settled in for a long wait for her flight with her boyfriend and his parents. She felt somewhat defeated by a string of high blood sugars that haunted her all afternoon, but she attributed this to a build-up of stress. It’s not easy to travel when you have diabetes, you see. Molly frantically searched her bags at least a dozen times to confirm that she had any and every medical supply she might need on her trip. Despite feeling reassured about her preparedness, Molly felt a rising panic as time to board the plane drew nearer. The pit in her stomach and the yellow hyperglycemic dots on her CGM did not dissipate on an unpleasantly turbulent flight. Our heroine was very happy when her feet touched solid ground again, and once she was settled in the castle – ahem, resort – she was ready for the fun to begin.
It wasn’t easy for Molly at first. She struggled to get her sugar to return to normal after the long day of traveling, but managed to do so by the time her head hit her pillow. When she awoke from her slumber the next morning, she was pleased to see an on-target blood sugar reading. She took this as a good omen as she set off on her first adventure in Epcot.
The rides! The sights! The blazing heat! There was so much to look at and to do that it was overwhelming. Molly had a blast journeying through time on Spaceship Earth and touring countries like Germany, Norway, and Italy. And the foods she enjoyed! Molly was a little worried considering her options were limited to gargantuan burgers, crispy chicken nuggets, and greasy French fries. But she was smart and cut her carb intake by eating only half her fries and part of the buns. She had small snacks like mini 45-calorie boxes of raisins (11 grams of carbs) to keep her on track as needed, and she found herself cruising through the afternoon and evening with good blood sugars.
The week flew by in a similar pattern for Molly. She was up by 7 most mornings and consumed smaller breakfasts of yogurt, bananas, or granola bars before embarking to the lands of Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. She stayed very active even on non-park days spent by the pool or playing shuffleboard with her boyfriend, his brother, and his brother’s wife. Molly was sure to have a meal plan in place that let her consume salads for every other meal, indulging in some scarier carb-monsters on the alternates. One of Molly’s favorite moments from the trip in terms of fun, fantasy, and food is when she stepped into her childhood and visited Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley from the universe of Harry Potter. Molly was in awe when a dragon – no correction necessary here – breathed fire upon her entrance into the cobblestoned streets of the wizarding world. Her eyes filled with tears of joy as she explored stores like Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Ollivander’s with her boyfriend. They ate in The Leaky Cauldron, a charming pub where she was mercifully allowed to swap French fries for a side salad to go with her chicken sandwich. The wondrous day ended with fireworks and wizard’s brew, a delightful little stout she obtained before leaving Diagon Alley.
Before she knew it, Molly’s vacation was drawing to a close. She was sad to go but excited to return home to her anxiously awaiting parents and puppy. Her purse was considerably lighter by the trip’s conclusion, but her heart was made fuller by happy memories and many laughs shared over the course of the journey. Plus, she was pleased by her careful control of her diabetes, despite the many obstacles and temptations thrown in her path. And so, Molly and her boyfriend made the trek home on their horse-drawn carriage – I mean, plane! – and they lived happily ever after.