The Best-Laid Plans
Diabetes takes a lot of the spontaneity out of life—all the more so if you're managing it well. You need to have plans and you need to have backup plans. You can't just run out of the house at a moment's notice; you have to remember your meter, glucose tabs, and insulin. Wait—am I forgetting anything there? Test strips? Pen needles?
So you prepare. And you learn when your preparation has to be extra careful. For example, I know that I am very likely to have a dip in blood glucose at airports. Also, at Ikea. Hours of wandering the maze of exotically named flat-pack furniture used to have me rushing to the café for a swig of lingonberry soda. But now I check my levels beforehand and have a snack at the ready.
Same thing when I fly: After almost picking a fight with an airport security agent some years ago (he was just telling me to take off my shoes, but I was slightly confused from a low), I never go through security without knowing where my blood glucose is.
But even the best-laid plans can go awry. While traveling for business this summer, I contracted a sinus infection and then food poisoning. How do you plan for a one-two punch as unlikely as that? While neither was in any way life-threatening, they were both nasty enough to knock various parts of my diabetes management off-kilter.
Luckily, I work with a stellar group of people who drove me to the urgent care clinic, brought me sports drinks so I wouldn't get dehydrated, and checked up on me in my hotel room again and again until I was ready to fly home. I had planned well, but sometimes the best plan is to surround yourself with caring, knowledgeable friends.