A voice for living well with Type 1 Diabetes

This week Kendra and I are on a road trip from St. Louis to Phoenix to spend time with our son, Connor, do baseball Spring Training, and visit with friends and family (that seem numerous this time of year in Arizona).

Usually, we would fly, but Kendra and I had flexible schedules, so we decided to drive. We’re doing it in four legs: from KC to St. Louis for a 60th birthday party for Kendra’s sister, Barb (affectionately known as Momma Barb)—the second from St. Louis to Oklahoma City, then Albuquerque, and Phoenix.

The first leg to St. Louis went well. Driving on I-70 from KC to/from St Louis is an adventure, but Kendra drove the whole way and did great. That evening was Barb’s party with her friends and large family (Kendra is one of eight). They had a good singer, a dance floor, and an open bar … a great way to celebrate Barb’s birthday.

We shared the drive from St. Louis to Oklahoma City.  All good, except for a large number of semis in Oklahoma. That’s our economy humming along at a quick pace!  We arrived in OKC around 5 pm and had dinner downtown at Manhattans. Kendra’s salmon was the second best we’ve ever tasted (the best was two decades ago on a cedar plank at Amerigo’s in Memphis).  After dinner, we walked to the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall and saw the 50th anniversary of Jesus Chris Superstar musical. We know the story well, but still, it moved me. It was fantastic, and I recommend it to all that can see it.

The drive from Oklahoma City to Albuquerque was easier, with surprisingly fewer semis on the road (it was Sunday). During the day, my iPhone notified me that my activity level had decreased for several days.  We arrived in time to walk around a few shops near our hotel. My energy level went down quickly as we shopped and walked.  We decided to eat around 6 pm.

And that’s when the fun began.

Hello, Altitude at 6000 feet.

My blood sugars skyrocketed after dinner, and stayed there all evening. I had no energy. My brain went to mush. I did not want to talk. My mood went in the toilet. I beat my blood sugars down all night and the next morning.

Kendra did her best to cheer me up. But by now, she knows that sometimes I need to navigate high blood sugars alone (and I’m no fun to be around). After a morning of temp basals and bolus corrections via pump and syringe, my blood sugar returned to normal. And my energy level returned.

Altitude usually messes with my blood sugars. Same with reduced activity levels (but I can anticipate and plan for them). Time zone changes are ok unless they are three time zones or more going east. I’m going with Altitude as the culprit for this unexpected hyperglycemic episode … here’s an article on altitude and diabetes from our friends at Beyond Type 1.

Sometimes diabetes means unavoidable and unplanned turbulence. It demands attention that can be as challenging as the turbulence itself.

Thanks for being there for me, Kendra.  Here’s to getting to the valley in Phoenix safe and sound … with normal blood sugars.  And good moods. And time with Connor!

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