So there I was at the Norfolk, Virginia airport having just gone through security and Starbucks (aren’t they both required?) when I feel my heart beating rapidly, my hands shaking and I know that it’s not the caffeine: I’m entering low blood sugar land. The airport is relatively empty so I drop my rolling case where I am, not far from my gate, fish for my key, unlock my case, then open the zipper of my packed knapsack and rustle out my meter.
What must I have been thinking, (or not), when I packed my meter inside my knapsack and locked it inside my small suitcase that would get handed to the baggage guy just outside the plane door as I board? I had flown down from New York to Virginia to speak at a health fair to fellow patients about developing healthier habits for living with diabetes — admittedly this isn’t one of them! Was I unconsciously packing away my diabetes now that my job was done and taking the day off? Going incognito so to speak?
My meter on top of my case now proves my suspicion correct: 51 mg/dl, and while I don’t have a CGM I clearly know I’m going down. I close up my case and wheel it, and me, to my gate so if anything should happen there will be others around. I sit not far from a grandmotherly looking passenger in the waiting area and unpeel the tangerine I also packed in my locked case. Well, at least I was smart enough to bring a sugary food in case this should happen. So somewhere at base camp riva I wasn’t going to let anything too drastic happen. (Yes, I had my SweeTarts with me but wanted to use up that tangerine already, and knew I had the low blood sugar window open enough to do so.) I actually brought that tangerine down with me from Brookyn two days earlier. Now it was doing its job. Peel, munch, ask grandma where she’s going like I’m perfectly in my body, peel, munch, “Really, on a cruise you say, around Asia? How nice.”
Fifteen minutes or so later, another low handled and danger averted. As my collective brain cells kick in I revisit why I didn’t have my meter easily accessible and was willing to have it in cargo during the flight. After all I was in the perfect situation to have a low: traveling, off my routine, and while I ordered from room service that morning my usual hot oatmeal, the hotel didn’t know the secret “riva receipe:” a dollop of low fat yogurt and cottage cheese on top for stabilizing protein, bits of apple and berries for more rapid glucose, and a tablespoon of peanut butter for fat to sustain and level my blood sugar rise.
Best I can figure, on some unconscious level there are just times I want to be an ordinary jane (I’d say ordinary cow, see photo, but it doesn’t sound very nice even in a frilly pink dress) and I yearn to put me, riva, before my diabetes. Judging from results I guess I’m willing to walk the line at times between being fully at the ready and knowing I can pull out my Super-Diabetic cape at any moment and save the day.
I’m sure that confidence comes from knowing that cape is with me wherever I go: All my knowledge, learning and experience, and so maybe that’s why at times I pack it rather than wear it. For all of us who recognize this scenario, yesterday was just another day in funky-town, one for rebooting and reflecting and with that, maybe I’ll see if that cape can drape over these cow shoulders if I do want to wear it next time.