Living with diabetes takes some extra effort. It involves extra planning, preparation, time and space for supplies. It sometimes requires extra restroom stops, extra stops for snacks if you are out and about, and time to recover from hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia blood glucose levels (BG).
This is standard practice for everyday living with diabetes. I am a woman that wants to be able to do it all!
Most of us can handle our BG pretty well in our life at home or in the office. How can we handle some of the more rigorous outdoor lifestyle adventures while maintaining healthy BG levels?
While packing for a recent kayaking trip I began to take note of the extra precautions that I would need to undertake for optimal diabetes control. I realized that with a little planning it could be done.
Consider pump and meter reliability. Take extra batteries for both.
Keep the temperature in mind. If you are outdoors in a cold climate, wear your pump inside your clothing, next to your body.
Occasionally you might need to insulate it in a bag to keep it from freezing. Extra supplies should also be insulated and packed in the middle of a backpack or carrying case.
There are several waterproof containers for pumps and supplies. Ziploc bags always come in handy to keep supplies safe and clean.
It was even recommended to put my supplies in a waterproof container inside a drag bag and keep it in the cool water as I kayaked to keep it out of the heat.
Also check your adhesive tape for pump infusion sites. There are extra tacky wipes that can be used to preserve the adhesive tape during times of perspiration or water activities.
Take extra supplies and snacks. For fast-acting carbohydrate sources, there are new energy gel packs that are lightweight and easy to carry.
I didn’t have to worry about them melting or weighing too much for the trip. Glucose tablets are still great resources for the same reasons.
The best advice I can offer is to remember to allow extra time in the activity schedule. Test your BG more frequently.
Be sure that someone in your group knows that you have diabetes and what to do in an emergency.