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From Abby: Abby's New Boston Life.

Abby is new in town (Boston) and she's exploring her new city while I'm off in Philadelphia at this conference. Adjusting to life in a whole new place brings change to everything ... even in the ways you prop your windows open on warm days.  ;)  Take it away, Abby!

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So I just moved to a city (Boston, you may have heard of it. They have stupid sports teams but the rest of it is okay, I guess). I grew up in upstate NY - like really upstate. I'm talking where the deer outnumber the people.  Then I spent four years right outside of Burlington, VT for college.  The past two years I went back to deer-land for nursing school.  Needless to say it was time for me to live in a city.  You don't know what you love or hate until you've tried it, right? So anyway, I chose Boston because: 1. I have loved this city since I visited for a class trip in 6th grade, 2. a ton of my camp/ SMC friends are here and 3. I have my best friend ,who also has diabetes, to live with (which is a little safety net, both for me and my mother).

Abby's window "pain"
Propping the window open with a box of reservoirs. No worries.

Living here is awesome.  I have a TJMaxx right down the street, and a CVS that I can see from my window. Dunkin Donuts is three stores down from the TJMaxx. Everything about this place is great. Including what all this walking does to my insulin requirements and blood sugars. I’ll be the first to admit I freeking hate going to the gym. I hate exercising. I do, however, love when exercise disguises itself as shopping and exploring.  My first five days here I only used one 180 unit reservoir. On my second day here, I only took 27 units of Humalog. I normally average around 40 units per day. THIS IS CRAZY PEOPLE.

The other day my friends and I went to lunch and ate these colossal cheeseburgers. I did a dual wave, as I usually do with cheeseburgers. Usually it works ok, I end up hovering in the low 200mg/dLs for a while, but since we walked around a ton afterward I peaked around 190mg/dL and came right back down.  Amazing!
Or how about when I’m headed out for a walk and I check in at 176mg/dL so I bolus for a little proteiney snack but don’t correct the 176 and when I get back an hour later I’m 83mg/dL.  If I did that before the gym or formal exercise, I’d end up super high.

Sneaky exercise gets the best of all of us sometimes.  Like when Kerri talks about her gardening extravaganzas, for example.  Or that whole housecleaning thing that acts the same as insulin.  I always keep a tube of ten glucose tabs in the bag with my meter, and usually don't use them often.  Since I've been wandering around here though, I've been refilling it quite a bit.  I tend to treat based on my Dexcom (shh don't tell) when I see something in the 80-90mg/dL range with any sort of downish arrow - a  few tabs and a temp basal and I'm good to go.  I much prefer these casual lows from sneaky exercise to those silly 39mg/dL or 270mg/dL that like to pop up at the gym. (I also much prefer this free exercise as opposed to the ridiculous $60/month fee that is the gym across from my apartment.)

I know that a lot of people have this whole diabetes and exercise and life thing all figured out, but I don’t... yet. And it’s really fun to discover new things in every day life that actually work well with diabetes as opposed to fun things that ruin it. It's also exciting to discover restaurants walking distance from my apartment that are all about BBQ sauce (my biggest weakness next to ketchup), and going outside and getting lost in a book while sitting on your porch reading/people watching.  Not to mention going grocery shopping for myself only and getting things that I'll actually eat and feel good about.

As great as all this diabetes-in-a-new-place thing is, I think my favorite part of life here so far is surviving on my own. I've got some great friends, a supportive mom, and a bit of a savings account to help, but it feels nice to be starting my own twice-graduated-from-college-and-still-full-time-jobless life :)


I lived out in Boston shortly after the Peace Corps and all the walking was great for my blood sugars.

Make sure to check out the Fells in Sommerville (especially if you mountain bike); the Arboretuem in Jamaica Plain (T accessible); Central Square in Cambridge; Davis Square in Sommerville; Walden Pond (you have to drive); Harvard Square in Cambridge; explore the T stations they are fun to check out; wander around the harbor; sail in the Charles (it cost $1.00 to rent a boat); wander around MIT; walk along the Charles River (it has a great bike/walking path, I used to go every day at lunch); check out China town (especially Buddha's Delight, it is totally vegetarian and low carb); go to Pho Pastuer (Harvard Square, China Town, & Brighton I believe it is great Vietnamese food and also very low carb if you order right); check out Coolidge Corner; and of course have fun.

Bosotn is a great town, I hope you fuly enjoy it.

Posts like this one make me want to move to NYC.

Abby, If you want to make new friends in your new city, don't lead with the "stupid sports teams" bit. We take that stuff seriously! Welcome to Boston. :)

I got my bachelor's at MIT, nearly 30 years ago. The area was a bicycling town long before cycling was a popular method of commuting... and that's even with an extensive public transportation network. At the time, Central Square was a dump, but the nearest walk from MIT's west campus (east campus was closer to Kendall Square, which was almost completely industrial at the time). Back Bay was a great shopping area if you had money; Harvard Square had a whole lot of nice, ecletcic shops (as well as the Harvard Coop, which cooperative included the MIT community as well). Downtown Crossing (Washington Street near Tremont) was where the major department stores were, and you could get all sorts of interesting things around Haymarket/Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market and also the North End. And of course there are all the historical sites... Take a week of days-off to explore the Freedom Trail, taking your time to get in 2-3 sites per day. Go out to Concord and check the battlefield. Check out the research being done at Lincoln Laboratories. Take a day-long bike trip to Walden Pond (something I never managed to do while I was living there)...


Any time I'm in NY my blood sugar runs really really low. I always say it's my d cure. :)

U burger or mr bartleby? Excellent. Watch the stupid sports team comment, even though we are 4 games behind Yankees. Boston us a great city so is Cambridge, but I'm more a suburb girl, next month you've gotta come up to Salem, an entire month of Halloween!
Greatest nurses in the world are in Boston, the BI brigham and woman's and there is a little place called Joslin you might know.
(I'm in Marblehead great place to visit too)

I second the 'don't lead with the "stupid sports" intro...' And especially don't follow up with the 'grew up in NY...' Smiling and nodding usually gets you pretty far in Boston sports discussions, though, as we fans will ramble on! Especially as the Sox do their September thing and tank, making us wait for the nail-biter of a season ender to secure the wild card... (Smile and nod, smile and nod.)

Also, Buddha's Delight has changed names to My Thai Vegan Cafe—still all vegetarian, still sketchy second-floor walk-up, still wonderful, fresh, homemade pan-Asian food. Always highly recommended.

Back Bay now has a bunch of urban-hipster-ness going on, but is wicked awesome for high-end second-hand shopping. Maybe you've already ventured for a walk along Newbury Street.

Finally, you'll have to check back in and let us know how ice skating on Frog Pond in the winter affects your insulin needs!

Welcome home. =)

Welcome to Taxachusetts. Are you going to use the Joslin for diabetes-related stuff?

Glad to hear you can use less insulin. That must mean you're getting better - right? ;-)

Be careful if and when you drive up there..the roads are full of Massholes....and you're spot on re:Sports teams.. funny how they don't win once they can't cheat.

Just did a full day walking a college campus with my daughter at an Open House...the double scoop icecream afterwards barely made a blip on my numbers versus had I not been walking all day..yay "hidden exercise"

Abby thinks it's funny to bust my balls about Boston sports teams because she's a YANKEES FAN like my HUSBAND and the TWO OF THEM are making my HEAD EXPLODE ALL CAPS. ;)

Welcome! Sounds like you live right down the street from me in Allston! I frequent that TJ Maxx often :)

I love love love this! So happy to hear the move is great. Your new location sounds fantastic!

abby, I used to live in that neighborhood! if you like BBQ, a great place is Redbones in Somerville (or it might be Cambridge). There also is a Phantom Gourmet Beach BBQ every summer in Government Center that has the best BBQ from all across the country in one place. yum.

And, if you haven't yet, try Anna's Tacqueria. The best.

Try your best to stay away from the B line.

Good luck! I am so jealous. I miss living in Boston so so much.

Great attitude to exercise, methinks! (I consider walking to the local cafe and back, gardening and shopping as my workout. Anything more and I want to cry.)

We'll be visiting Boston from Australia in December this year, so I'm looking forward to reading more about your settling in there.

Once upon a time, when I was living in NYC and my friend was living in Boston (a transplant from Chicago), he told me that Boston was a city of introverts and NYC was a city of extroverts. I think there is some truth in that, generalization aside. Enjoy Boston -- it's a far cry from upstate, especially Really Upstate!

It is great you have moved forward! And you are living with you best friend - this is awesome! Wish you lots of fun in the new house!

welcome to boston! sounds like you are living in allston? I started out there too, 10 years ago, moved to the south end, and now jp. i love this city, and yes, the walking is great for the bs. I always wonder what will happen to my insulin needs if i ever move to the burbs and have to start driving everywhere.

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