From Spokane to San Fran – On and off my pedestal!

Falling off my pedestal, ouch!

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Last week I flew out to Spokane to deliver my A1c Champion presentation at a health fair. 1,000 people were expected for the event. You know the local staff from Rockwood Clinic were working mighty hard to pull this off. And they did, until the last minute when an unexpected snowstorm blew us all just slightly off course. ‘

Champion riva’ at least got in from New York in time to enjoy a fine dining experience with three of the hosts the night before. ‘Champion Greg’ who flew out from Virginia, hit a snag changing planes in Cincinnati, and arrived 5 hours later. But Greg has never suffered for energy, or spirit, and joined us for dessert. By time we all left the restaurant and turned the three blocks back toward our hotel, we were walking into the beginning of a snowstorm.

Wide awake at 4 AM, peering out my hotel window, there was 3” of the pristine fluff on the ground already and falling flurries silhouetted against the street lamp across the street. At 7:30 AM when one of the hosts came to escort Cinderella (me) to the ball (health fair) I was hoping we weren’t going to crash en route due to the semi-blizzard conditions!

But ya gotta love Spokaners, at least 600 people managed their way to us and got a little learning. I addressed about 75 fellow type 1s and Greg commanded the auditorium filled with about 250 type 2s. Now, head in the clouds, I looked outside to see the snow had stopped and was actually melting at lightning speed. 

Cinderella next caught an economy coach seat to Oakland, CA for 5 days of play. While there, I had the delightful opportunity to lunch with the editor ofDiabetesHealth magazine. After we were seated at the Tadish Grill, great old seafood house by Embarcadero, he looked across the table at me with deep brown puppy eyes that said, “Tell me, goddess of diabetes, tell me all you know.” What more does a goddess need? So I listened to the sound of my own lovely voice as I gave him my pearls of wisdom.

I reminded him to re-ignite his passion to manage his diabetes by remembering what he loves doing and doing it, to think back to the “can-do” spirit he had when first diagnosed and being rewarded for his efforts with an A1c of 6, by realizing healthy eating is a ‘lifestyle’ not a ‘diet’ and to appreciate that diabetes is an every day affair, but manageable. It was clear he appreciated the wisdom that flowed from this goddess.

Then returning from lunch late that afternoon I tested my blood sugar and it was 170! Once empty of expletives, I calculated my carb load from lunch – ahi tuna and salad and one piece of bread didn’t add up to leave me as high as 170, particularly since I’d covered the bread with my Humalog. Hmm…was it that little bit of mango hiding in the champagne dressing on the tuna? Was it being out of my routine? I haven’t walked since I left New York. You know they arrest you if you do that in California. Mind you, with my ankle still in a boot cast, I’m not walking much, but I do manage to clop through a half mile or so at home. Was it the extra fruit I’d been eating at breakfast lured by California’s fresh and gorgeous bounty of strawberries, kiwis and melons that I never get in New York? I just didn’t know. OK, take a correction injection. Before bed I was 120, fine, I drop about 20 – 30 points overnight.  7 AM – 170 again! Yikes! How can I be going up overnight when I always go down? What’s going on?

I checked both my Lantus and Humalog vials to see if they were low which would mean I’d been using them more than a month. Nope, both nearly full. I scoured my mind for carbs I may have overlooked. Nope. I’m already over jet lag so those floating three hours that somehow have to be calculated for but no one really knows how, no longer count. “Shite!” as the British say. Having gone through the check list, there was nothing more to do but hope these readings were aberrations, watch what I eat even more closely, monitor for corrections and hope once I’m home all goes back to normal. I am happy to report so far mid-way into my first day back I seem to be back to my “normal.”

Pulling myself up off the floor, one should never put anyone else up on a pedestal for diabetes-care, because, I just about broke my neck falling off of mine. Diabetes is a daily affair, as I tell my audiences, our bodies are all different and there’s no such thing as perfect. And boy do I hate that because “perfection” is my middle name. The tireless, everyday calculations usually turn out the way I expect, but sometimes, they just don’t. Come to think of it, maybe it’s the canker sore I’ve had the last 5 days that’s raising my blood sugar… hmmm…could be, or the….or the……and on and on and on…………….

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