Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When is it time to come home?

Last Tuesday, Pete and I flew to Florida to experience CWD’s Friends for Life for the first time.  Although I’ll write more later about everything we did and everyone we saw, I can tell you now that it was an amazing eight days spent with other PWDs and their families.  We got to hang out with some of our very favorite friends!!  When you are on a trip as awesome as this one was, you really do want to stay forever!  So how do you know when it’s time to come home?  Well . . .
  • Your blood sugar stays between 40 and 60 for three days straight.  Even after eating chocolate ice cream.  And a pretzel that rings in at 90 grams of carbs.  You don’t ever want to see another glucose tablet again!!
  • You receive a call for help in the middle of the night from a very good friend having a very bad low.  Clad in a JDRF Walk t-shirt and PJs for the Cure bottoms, you rush into the night like a Bra-Less Diabetes Superhero.  (Of course, every superhero knows the importance of having a back-up team, so you call the paramedics first.  They seem somewhat baffled when they show up and see you testing your own blood sugar.  Yes, we T1s like to travel in packs!!)
  • By day four, it becomes clear that your blood sugars had too much fun at D-Coaster Day and have decided to continue the celebration all week.  They shoot up over 200 if you even look at food, and then crash back down to hypo levels soon after.  It’s not fun when your CGM graph looks just like Space Mountain.  The blood sugar roller coaster continues until you get home.
  • After spending a day in the parks, you develop a scary looking rash on your leg.Ugly Leg RashThe first question the First Aid Nurse asks?  “Do you have any history of diabetes?”  Great.
  • You start to consider four hours a full night of sleep.
  • When getting up to test your blood during the night, you walk smack into the bathroom door and cut your nose.Cut NoseIt bleeds profusely.  (And those bags under my eyes are proof of the “four hours of sleep” nights.)
  • Your insulin lets you know it has had enough of the Florida sunshine and heat . . . . by going kaput overnight and greeting you with a blood sugar in the 300s in the morning.  You immediately go to the Expo Hall to buy a Frio case.
  • You miss a step on the bus back to the airport, letting out a loud yelp and wrenching your back and knee.  Limping through the airport is fun.  (Not.)
  • When the kennel sends an email from your pet, telling you how much fun she is having, the picture makes it quite clear that she is actually not having fun at all.  In fact, she looks uncharacteristically cranky.Not Really Having FunAnd when you get home, she is so excited you fear she will spontaneously combust!!
But do you know what?  With all of those “signs” that it was time to come home . . . . if I could get back on an airplane and do the whole thing over again tomorrow, I totally would.  I wouldn’t trade one single minute of my Friends for Life experience.  (Although maybe I’d get on the plane in a week, instead of tomorrow.  I really need to sleep!!)

Diabetes Advocates in action!


  1. 1. I am SO GLAD I finally got to meet you!!

    2. Owie! That rash! :(

    3. I absolutely love this picture - we all match, with our mugs, CGMs and brochures! :D

  2. LOL at K.C. - bet she's all sorts of lovey with you now...

  3. What a week! It sounds...crazy! But what else does one expect when put in a resort with a boat load of T1's and their families!

    I SO hope the coaster ride ends and that the rash is doing much much better!!

    Love you!

  4. Rachel: She sure is - she kept waking me up all night long for cuddles and to nuzzle me. :)

    Kim: So so so glad to finally meet you too!!!

  5. Lol! I do love your sense of humor Karen. I've also walked into the bathroom door, giving myself a bloody nose...maybe it's the diabetes? Lol.

    Your cats pic is priceless, I cannot believe they found that pic fit to send. :)

    Hope your leg rash is cleared up and that you get some much deserved sleep. The conference sounded like a blast!!! :)

  6. omg i had the same leg rash! wtf!! and i saw some dude in the airport with the same affliction! i would snap a pic in solidarity, but mine has faded quite a bit since i got home, yay.

    dude, your cat looks super cranky. maybe they put the festive garland in the background to draw attention from the obvious stinkeye.

    love that last pic! :D

  7. Oh my word, Karen! You really got put through the wringer!

    How excited was I to see you and Pete at the CT table! Wahooo! I'm so, so glad we got together. Pete really is an absolute peach (hi Pete!) and I'm looking forward to a more local gathering.

    Welcome home!

  8. karen-

    it was so great to meet you!!! i am a huge klutz, so i can appreciate how it feels to run into stuff all the time.

    also, "bra-less diabetes superhero." LOVE IT! and i was stuck on the glucoaster all week too. ironic, right, that we spend all week with other PWD and everyone's CGM looks like a mountain range?

    and i LOVE that pic! i need a copy!


  9. Glad you had such a great time!
    Hope the rash disappears soon.

  10. Wouldn't be 'fun' without the insanity!!
    Hope things are getting back to normal...sleep, BGs, and the cat's 'tude! :)

  11. I was doing okay saying goodbye to everyone but as soon as I hugged you I lost it. I darted away pretty quickly because I could not keep it together. I walked and cried all the way back to my room. It was pathetic to be honest.

    It was great seeing you as always. I cannot wait to do it again, soon!

  12. Ah, HOLY SHIT! First off...the "bra-less super hero" in you is AMAZING. Love the image...and then you checking yourself as the paramedics enter...PRICELESS. I hope whoever was experiencing the bad low was OK...I am, by no means, making light of their situation.


    the nose, the knee, and the cranky cat...OY...

    LOVE YOU!!! I wanna meet up with you Connecticut Peeps soon. I feel isolated over here in VT.

  13. "Bra-Less Diabetes Superhero" - heart you so much! I almost snarfed my coffee when I read it.

  14. Sounds like an amazing trip....except for some of those reasons to come home.

    And, what on earth does diabetes have to do with the leg rash? Also, a history of diabetes? As in the past? Weird question.

  15. WOW! that was sure a trip to remember.

  16. Sounds amazing, sans the reasons you stated for coming home.
    And can I just say that the rash makes u look totally "hardcore D!" And my "D" I mean Disney!

  17. That sounds like an absolutely amazing trip, Karen!

    I'd love to know if there were similar opportunities to this in the UK. Think I need to get on with some research!

    Glad that you enjoyed yourself and I hope your rash and nose are better now :)

  18. great post! glad you got to go

  19. LOL, you're my Diabetes Superhero! I was too out of it to notice that you were, uh, under-dressed, lol! Not to mention the fact that I was more under-dressed than you, and trying not to flash you or those EMT's. I don't even remember if they were cute and worth flashing, lol! I never seem to get the cute ones though...

    That rash looks just awful! I had no idea you got a rash! Was that after I left? Did you find out what it was?

    I'm still bummed I missed a lot of the down time when everyone was hanging out. I hope next year the timing of FFL doesn't conflict with school so much, I hope you'll be there again, and I hope I can get Jason to come too. Also, no more seizures, but that kind of goes without saying, right? ;)

  20. Nope, they definitely were not worth flashing. :S


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