From Abby: Vacation on Virginia Beach!
Abby was on vacation last week (and was missed - sorry for throttling your inbox!), and while she was on 'real vacation," she also took a pump vacation. But diabetes wasn't playing according to plan, and she tells the story of how vacation wasn't all rainbows and ... you-know-whats.
So I graduated from nursing school, signed a lease on an apartment for the fall, and helped my mom pack up and move the house I grew up in … all in one week. I needed a vacation. A good friend from College Round 1 and I had planned a trip to Virginia Beach about a month prior, and it came at the perfect time. I just really wish I could have left diabetes in New York ... I wouldn’t say that it ruined our vacation, or even really negatively impacted it, but diabetes made its presence known plenty of times.
I decided to go on Lantus and Humalog again, because I hate pump tan lines, I get eeked out that my insulin will go bad sitting on a hot beach in my pump all day, I’ve gotten some nasty pump site infections after being on a beach, and I didn’t want to have to disconnect and leave my pump under my towel when we decided to go in the water. I’ve done this plenty of times. Lantus and I have gotten along really well in the past, but I guess we are no longer friends. I have to say, I should’ve seen this coming. My basal rates vary from 0.60u per hour to 1.1u per hour, so that steady flow of Lantus just doesn’t work for me right now. (Live and learn, I guess?)
The really cute middle of the night lows I had were fun. The first night at 3 am I was 36 mg/dL, and the next night around 2am I was 44mg/dL. That was cool. (Probably why I have a 0.6u basal rate from 12 am - 4 am … duh.)
We found this wicked cute restaurant across the street from our hotel that made these DELICIOUS drinks called “Orange Crush." We went out one night after dinner and discovered these most wonderful concoctions, and that they were half off at happy hour – which meant we had to revisit. That first night didn’t do much damage to the blood sugars (upper 200s with a 56mg/dL at 6 am). It was the happy hour drinks that killed me. We also got some crab dip to go with our super sweet drinks, and I left my Humalog in the room (again, insulin on the beach seems bad to me) so by the time I got home I was 479mg/dL. This resulted in dinner at 9 pm when I was finally back in the low 200s and starving. I realize this was totally my fault, and that there were much smarter ways of having fun, but gosh darnit it’s frustrating to not be able to go to happy hour on vacation without a stupid blood sugar after.
And don’t forget about the pre-creamed and pre-sugared iced coffee that they conveniently have at 711 (which is on every single corner in Virginia Beach, yet not a Dunkin Donuts in sight). Took one sip of that delicious liquid candy and had to pass it on to my friend while we set out on a hunt for some place that would hold the sugar for my pancreatic problems (McDonald’s to the rescue!).
Diabetes didn’t totally get in the way though. We ate really sensibly (minus the one lunch out with a giant BBQ burger, and those two days of drinks) which helped things, and my sugars ran a bit high but I was okay with that. (There’s nothing worse than a low on vacation on the beach while your hands are all sunscreeny and sandy.) I also made it out pump site tan-line free, and with only a few spotty sunburns.
Lesson Learned: Practice with Lantus and Humalog for a few days next time, or bring pump for backup, or figure out a way to turn pancreas back on for a week.
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Welcome back, Abby, and thanks for posting. Also, HAPPY GRADUATION!!!! We're very proud to have you as "one of the good ones" out there in the medical community.