Friday, August 19, 2011

The Vacation Mystery

After several years of taking our annual beach vacation with diabetes in tow, I still haven't solved the mystery.

The first time we brought diabetes on vacation with us, I made a decision which I've stuck to in all subsequent years.  Before we left home, I decided the diabetes goal for vacation was to stay close enough in range to be able to enjoy the trip. Each year, I take a solemn  vow that 3 numbers in a row above 200 won't aggravate me like they did this morning, and that we'll be flexible about food.  There's no such thing as a complete vacation from diabetes.  But with some willpower, I'm able to step back from the obsessive nit-picking which I firmly believe makes diabetes management successful on a day-to-day basis.

Then, each year without fail, the most amazing thing happens.  Strings of numbers appear which are really quite good!  Actually, they're often stunning.  Like an essentially uncountable fried seafood plate for lunch with a 150 an hour and a half later.  'All that fat will surely catch up to her ,' I thought(unobsessively, of course).  She never got above 200.  She eats ice cream, pizza, clam chowder (creamy, buttery, potatoey New England, of course), and even candy!  She unplugs her pump for an hour or two at a time to swim in the ocean.  And rarely does it catch up with her like it does after every birthday party, restaurant meal, pool visit, and ice cream outing at home.

So, my fellow diabetes detectives, what is the difference?  My money's on exercise as the primary one.  We walk, swim, visit playgrounds, shop our way through town, make up silly games before dinner, and tour new places.  Looking carefully at the whole picture, though, there are other things going on.  There's absolutely no stress on this vacation.  Stress can result in high blood sugar, and even at 9, there's stress of schoolwork, friendships, sports, and more which can come into play at home.  I also find that in a new environment, and when we're trying new foods, I count carbs more carefully than I sometimes do at home.  I have my Calorie King book handy in the car to look up restaurant foods.  I measure the new variety of rice pilaf I've prepared and count it exactly instead of my relying on my memory. 

Whatever the reasons, the lesson to be learned is clearly that vacations are really, really good for my daughter and that we should defninitely be spending more time enjoying them!

1 comment:

  1. I like that rationale for more vacationing! I just read today that men who take two weeks vacation per year are 1/3 less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, while women are 50% less likely. oxMichelle

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