Category: Diabetic Tips

Vacation Nightmare with the Pump!!!

Vacation Nightmare with Pump

I consider myself to be well organized in matters of my diabetes.  I have been doing basically the same routine for over 40 years, maybe only 15 years with the pump, and each time I have to readjust my routine, something goes awry.  Unfortunately this time I was on a cruise ship.

When packing, always make sure to have extra everything, which I do, and in my travel bag I have designated a baggie with extra infusion set, prep pads, and alcohol swabs, basically the things that have no expiration date.  On my most recent trip, I packed 2 extra cylinders of insulin for my pump, which must be kept refrigerated.  So once arriving at my mothers house in Fl. Lauderdale, into the fridge went my back-up insulin, as we were there several days ahead of cruising.  Morning of cruise arrived, we were packed and ready to go.  While waiting for our cabin to be ready,  we relaxed on the  back deck, already meeting some characters whom we would be sharing this adventure with.   Hours later, after enjoying our first of many great meals, it dawned on me, yeah you guessed it.  My extra insulin was still in my moms fridge.  Needless to say, panic set in, more for my poor husband than me.  I new I had enough in the pump for 3 days, surely we could buy some somewhere.

Next morning we visited the infirmary,  quickly being told that they had some, however, they did not sell whole bottles and it was costly.  The MD told us our first stop was on Cozumel, where he was sure the main pharmacy there would have some cheaper.  Apparently, money was not the object at this point, as my husband was ready to have me heliported back to Ft. Lauderdale.   After a 6 mile taxi ride into the main village, going from one so called “pharmacy” to the next, all within blocks of each other,  we soon realized they call any corner store that sells suntan lotion and toothpaste, a pharmacy.  Following another lead, we came upon a Medical Clinic, surely they would have some.  They did not.  The look on my husbands face made me so sad, that I had caused him all this grief and worry.  The clinic was kind enough to call the “Mega Pharmacy”  before we trekked over there, another 3miles away.  Success!!!

We made it there in no time as my husband’s pace seemed to have increased at this point.  We entered and spoke with the only clerk who understood us, it took them time to find, for some reason, but it was a trusted name brand of insulin.  NEXT!!!   The cost was very reasonable, as we are all aware, we in the states are getting ripped off for pharmaceuticals, this bottle cost me what my co-pay is with insurance, however, my credit card rejected payment due to “security reasons” and being used out of the usual territory.   NOTE TO SELF,  next time I travel I will call the credit card company first.  I couldn’t use my cell, too expensive, so we paid cash, a whopping $35.   Now  for the pilgrimage back to the ship,  after attaining some ice in a baggie to put insulin in for the long walk back, there was a sigh of relief.  I just didn’t inform my husband that the only canister I had was the one in the pump which are not meant to be refilled.  Once the  piston has pushed cork up to top, there is not an  empty compartment left for insulin.  (if you use a pump, you will appreciate this next move.)  In my McGyveresq thinking, I took an empty syringe, filled it with air and pushed it into canister several times, eventually the cork was pushed back to bottom and I was able to refill my canister for the end of the trip.

All  in all, I missed one day of using the pump, I simply took  many shots and lots of  finger sticks to check,  like the old days.    Blood sugars stayed 130 or lower and I was able to enjoy the rest of the trip, ready for my next vacation,  with better preparation.

Nutrition Traps

Nutrition Traps

It’s easy to go out to dinner and choose their “healthy choices” menu items, however, the most important question to ask is,  “healthy for whom?”  Of course, being a PWD for 45 yrs, I would naturally go for foods offering;  a.) less sugar,  b.)less fat,  c.)less carbohydrates,  d.)less fried,  and/or e.)less calories…???  The “healthy options are endless, and for the unknowing person, it can all be overwhelming.  This is why I stress “educating yourself”  learn to read nutrition labels on packages, learn the differences in fats, good carbs/bad carbs, and most importantly, learn that you are not protected by FDA who allows companies to make  false claims on food labels who say they are healthy if they fit “their”  guidelines of healthy.  (such as GMOs).  

Well, here are the  quickest solutions to this trick  question;   a.)  if there is less fat, there will be  more sugar added  for flavor,   b.)  if there  is less sugar, there will be more fat added for flavor,  c.) if there is a carb count, is it simple or complex carbs they’re eliminating,  or is it  the “other carbs”??  d.) pick broiled or baked  over fried anytime, however, if it must be fried, inquire on the kind of oil they are using,  e) less calories means almost nothing today,  unless you are sincerely using your calorie counter with each and everything you put  in your mouth, if it is one of those food “casserole” with hundreds of calories where someone could not decide which bad thing to put in, so they put  it all in,  just  SAY NO!  The point to know about fats;  saturated is the worst,  HINT, saturated is the fat that when left in room temperature, it forms a spongy, grayish layer over the top as it cools,  yumm!!  Followed by Trans fats,   Mono and polyunsaturated fat is safest, they are plant based not animal or chemical.    When doing your own cooking, (always the healthiest choice, but I know, it’s hard to find time) use pure virgin Olive Oil, and side note,  have been doing my own research on news of margarine being one molecule away from plastic, I am now convinced this is over exaggerated, however I will still use butter in small amounts.

When reading those nutrition labels,  make your self familiar with “serving size”  or servings  per container mainly because this is the number you must  multiply all the other numbers with for an accurate count.  I have a good appetite, some single serving containers that I could eat in an instant,  are actually packaged for 2 people, so those numbers must be doubled.  Yeah, it’s all a trick to make it appear healthy.

What about all those healthy yogurt commercials, yikes, don’t get me started.   The healthy weight, fat and sugar free variety may have no fat, but they are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, for added sweetness, (reread paragraph 2), which if you read my earlier post, is horrible for you. (Fructose, the Other Evil, 10/17/2013)  Syrupy fruits added, HFCS as well.  Probiotic yogurts fail to tell you that during the high heat processing, all the probiotic organism are killed, this in turn negates the “good” of the probiotics.    One solution given is getting Organic Plain Greek Yogurt, add some real honey, some fresh fruit and I add flaxseed for a nutty taste,  and enjoy.    Processed foods, chemical additives, some you don’t even realize are  chemicals, and sugar substitutes are all things to monitor.    This can, and should be done to keep you and your family healthy for many more years. (and it teaches good habits to youngsters.)

Happy New Year, Healthy New You!!

Happy New Year! Healty New You

Yes, we all do it…we convince ourselves we will start a new, healthier,  life style this year.  Our yearly “New Years Resolution”.  Will it be the gym, diet, smoking, or all of the above?    Well,  you  are the only one you need to convince.  If you are NOT ready to make the life style change required, you will NOT succeed, and it must be a “life style change”.    It can be small steps at a time or a major overhaul, but here is my promise,  if you truly make the effort to eat healthier, in moderation, small changes at a time, your body will let you know it was the right decision to make.

This  may seem extreme, however, this is how I changed my unhealthy eating habits years ago.  After doing much self-educating, studying, reading and record keeping, and experimenting with how different foods affected ME as a Type 1 PWD,  I made the conscious decision that I  did not want my diabetes to be what kills me in the end.  After being told by every doctor you see for any given ailment, whether as simple as a skin tag, or hang nail it suddenly is because of your diabetes,  I was pretty much convinced my diabetes was their easy answer to everything.

Being heavier than I was comfortable with,  initially I stopped adding the tasty add-ons that not only add more flavor, but tons more calories, HFCS, and artificial flavors, ie;   margarine on bread, potatoes, and  hot veggies,  I  switched to mustard instead of mayo,  oil and vinegar instead of creamy salad dressings, no more gravies or melted cheese.    I soon came to realize, I actually loved the unadulterated flavors of these foods without all the window dressings.  Not only did I start to drop pounds, but I also did not eat as much because I was not doctoring my food for more flavor, but making it  good enough  to eat.  Less food, fewer calories and moderation became MY life style.  My blood sugars were easier to control and my A1Cs were always in the low 6s.  (if you are diabetic and do not understand A1Cs, you have some self-educating or MD switching to do.)

Soon, my sister began explaining my eating habit as “eating to live, not living to eat”, as is our family tradition.  It has become a good habit, I do not even think about it, or feel I’m being deprived of anything.  Another healthy thing to do is, next time you just HAVE to have that pastry, or desert, or bag of chips, and you finish it, ask yourself, “was it really worth the calories, extra insulin shot, or damaging preservatives you just put in your body?”  If you are honest with yourself, the answer will be NO!   Another trick I use is to simply have a taste of the treat, this does,  and will suffice, once you are on a better path.  Read more, read  about the preservatives, chemicals, additives, artificial colors and words you can’t pronounce and learn what they do, most will stop you in your tracks, then REREAD it again to gross yourself out, because this new life style will make you unwilling to put that garbage in your new, healthier body, and your body will thank you.

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