Diabetes news from New Zealand

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Well, here I am in Lord of the Ringscountry — Queenstown, New Zealand to be exact, where much of the scenic movie was shot. Exceedingly nice to be here if you don’t count the 24 hours in the air and five hours on the ground it took to arrive. This is a working vacation: time to play, sightsee, visit friends as the husband and I go from here to Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo and San Francisco, and I’ll be meeting up with some folks at JDRF and Diabetes Australia and possibly do a presentation at a hospital in Singapore.

The first picture posted here is from the wharf on our first rainy day. The second, exhibits something that took me by complete surprise on my Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, NZ. A compartment in the bathroom where you can dispose of your needles. I have never seen this before, and I’ve been around, on airplanes, I mean. 

I was intrigued–is it for diabetics? Anyone with a medical condition? Drug addicts?  I asked the stewardess while deplaning. She looked at me quizzically, her facial features almost saying, “What accusation are you making asking what our disposable needle bin is for?” Was it my New York accent? As I read her face, I geared up to offer just how much I enjoyed seeing the bin because I have diabetes, but before I uttered a word, she said, “diabetes,” and then I told her I have it. She warmed immediately. I told her I’d never seen such a bin on any other airline whereupon she told me it’s standard on all Qantas flights, imagine that! What also happened seeing this bin was an internal shift: I felt free, as though I just stopped holding my breath, not even knowing I had been holding it for the past thirty years. I felt acknowledged and accepted, as if I’d just been picked for the volleyball team and everyone was cheering. I could come out of the closet now, at least  out of this bathroom, without fear of judgment; it was an immediate, rich, sensory feeling.

I have another tidbit to offer re: flying and adjusting your insulin to cover time zone changes, which I am really typically horrible at.  I read about this tactic before leaving home and it worked in this instance.  Since once I landed in Auckland it would be four hours past my usual once daily morning Lantus injection, which I take around 7:30 AM in NYC, I took 1/4 of the amount I normally do when it hit 7:30 AM NYC time (my watch still being on NYC time during the flight.) Once we landed in Auckland it coincidentally was early morning and then I took my full amount of Lantus getting right on local time for my injections. It worked like a charm! But that’s all I can offer because I always struggle with how to dose for different time zones. My usual methodology is just test every few hours and catch up with correction doses until I’m about into the third day of travel.

As I sign off this morning surrounded outside my hotel window by majestic peaks, luckily today the sun is shining over them–I am in the same room number as my street address. The husband thought this was remarkable ingenuity on the part of the hotel, to match guests to rooms that replicate their address. I, of course, thought that would be nearly impossible. When we asked at reception, the concierge told us it was a very inventive idea but no it was not something they do. So, since it’s kismet, I’m taking it as a very good sign for the rest of our travels which I will post as we proceed.

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