As I continue to dedicate myself selflessly to the diabetes research agenda, I have just completed another research field trip. This time I investigated the impact of travel on diabetes in the Canadian Rockies and Alaska. Key learnings include:
• When you’re wearing thermal underwear, two layers of clothes, waterproofs and a life jacket while sitting in a kayak with a cover over you so you can’t access anything below your ribs, finding somewhere to keep your pump so you can actually reach it is a bit of a pain. The solution involves sticking it in your cleavage (which is also where you’re storing your binoculars to keep them to hand but out of the rain) and unzipping your life jacket when you need to access it. Brighter diabetics would remember to take longer pump tubing with them to avoid the need for contortionist type activity simply to bolus.
• Cameras can survive a glucogel/pocket explosion, but brighter diabetics would keep the two things in separate pockets in future.
• Altitude cures diabetes. When driving the Icefields Parkway at an altitude of around 6,500 ft, despite doing more driving than walking, I needed minimal insulin and maximum fruit pastilles. Thankfully the husband was driving or it would have taken us weeks if we’d have had to stop for every low.
• Pumps will always bring amusement to any dining situation. As I bolused while chatting with a lovely couple from New York, one of them said to me, with a straight face “Oh, are you charging that?”. I love the idea that I might have a power socket in my belly button through which I can charge all my electronic devices!