On the Road
Good diabetes management plans will travel.
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
November 2007 — Following months of major changes and upheaval at work, I left my job needing a break from stress. Now that I have some free time before figuring out what to do next, Greg is able to burn up some of his use-it-or-lose-it vacation time for this calendar year. That means road trip!
Before we set out on the open road, we have to remind ourselves what has made this type of vacation successful before in regards to diabetes care. The only thing worse than one person being grouchy and sleepy due to high blood sugar is two people experiencing those symptoms – and that's no fun. Following these three principles, we can assure that we will enjoy our vacation without the threat of high blood sugars:
1. Check, double check, and triple check that we have plenty of diabetes supplies packed. A few weeks ago, Greg ventured into the foothills above Denver for a boys' night without enough insulin to cover the evening's pizza dinner. Everything turned out okay, but having a repeat of that incident one thousand miles from home would be nearly disastrous. It is okay to be obsessive about making sure that we have enough insulin, medication, and test strips to help us through our journey.
2. Stick to food that will not spike blood sugar or drown us in bad cholesterol. Sure, there are times when all we can find is fast food, so it is necessary to know nutrition information for the major fast food chains in order to make good choices. But when it comes to good food at upscale restaurants or oceanside seafood shacks, we have to remember to choose wisely. Maybe we ask that no bread be brought to our table or maybe we skip dessert – whatever works to assist us in maintaining good diets. The one thing we do have control over is the quality of the snacks we bring into the car.
3. Incorporate exercise into the daily routine. Whether it is working out at a hotel gym, taking a long hike in a national park, or walking around a historic city for several hours, getting exercise is important. (Especially if it has been difficult finding lower-carbohydrate foods at times!)
Not long after we met, we took our first road trip together. Singing along with music, keeping track of what state license plates we see, and laughing at funny things that happen along the way are all part of what has made long hours on the road enjoyable. Things may have changed with Greg's increased diabetes vigilance and with my overall health since then, but we can still make the open road fun as long as we take care of ourselves. Now I can't help but wonder how many test strips will be collected in our vehicle by the end of this latest adventure…
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dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...