Ana and I (Sysy) have been without power since the mad derecho storm surprised us Friday evening. Don’t worry, our other sister Sara is keeping us and our insulin at her home. Anyway, Ana and I are at the library trying to stay cool and…letting the show continue. Here is a blog Ana wrote from her river adventure last week. (She was unaware the real summertime adventure was yet to come!) *****
I know a lot of outdoorsy people, and I can’t say I’m one of them. I mean, I like being outside, but if you asked me to go camping I would be (extremely) reluctant. I don’t blame my diabetes for that—at least not entirely. I try to not let it be reason for not doing something that I actually want to do (like tubing down a river!), which is why I just try to figure out what I need to do and bring with me on outdoor adventures so that I’m prepared for low or high blood sugar levels. And yeah, it’s a little inconvenient to have to carry extra things and worry about the temperature, but it’s way better than the alternative (the alternative being either doing something less exciting or ending up in a hospital…).
So yes, as you can see, I went tubing down a river for the first time this summer! I went with my boyfriend and several friends to the New River Junction in Blacksburg, VA. There were 13 of us total—11 on tubes and 2 in open kayaks. My boyfriend was in one of the kayaks and he had a cooler with my insulin, meter, drinks, and snacks tied to the back of it. I wore water shoes to protect my feet since the whole bottom of the river was just rocks.
Only one person carried their phone with them, so I frequently asked what time it was. We skipped lunch and got in the water at around 1pm, so I told my boyfriend I had to give my Lantus injection in 3 hours. We spent about 2 hours tied together in our tubes just floating down the river—occasionally hitting our rear ends on rocks, but other than that it was pretty peaceful We also went down a small section of rapids, which was probably my favorite part (and I was almost too scared to do it!).
They had buses that would drive you back up to where you get in, so we got on the bus while the 2 kayakers paddled back to meet us. When we got back to the other end, I asked what time it was—it was 3:40. Then I looked for my boyfriend who had my insulin and I could hardly see him because he was so far away. I panicked a little and told the others that I needed my insulin so we got back in the water and they yelled a few times, “Ramonnn!! Ana needs her insulinnn!!” Fortunately he heard so he paddled over to us pretty quickly. Still on my float, I gave my injection, checked my blood sugar, and gave an injection of Novolog because I was really high. I had hardly eaten all day, so I’m guessing the high blood sugar level was a result of the heat, my stress, and also the lack of insulin earlier (I gave less in case I had to swim). Once we got out of the river again, I drank lots of water. It took a while for my blood sugar to come down, so I didn’t eat much for dinner.
In the end, I realized I could have been a bit more prepared, but I didn’t know what to expect so it was hard to plan. Next time I’ll check more frequently and maybe invest in a waterproof watch? I’ll also keep a bottle of water with me (my float has cupholders!). Anyway, from a not-so-outdoorsy person to you, don’t let diabetes keep you from doing what you want! Just do your best in preparing for any adventure you may have (not just outdoors) by anticipating possible situations. Have a wonderful adventure-filled summer!