Can We Have a Vacation Please!

It seems when that time of year rolls around to take the much needed break from work and actually vacate (a term most people use to take a break and de stress) becomes more of a challenge and a hassle then an actual vacation. Weather taking a break from the routine, taking a trip, or enjoying a few days outside the office my blood sugars seem to rebel like a 14 year old going through a breakup. I know that planning should help but who wants to map out a holiday schedule?! Anyone else experience the same relaxation speed bumps?

I hear you. Diabetes loves routines. Shake up your schedule or location and diabetes will complain. Have you considered staying right where you are and planning some local activities that you never seem to have time for otherwise? If you want to be a touch more exotic, check into a nice hotel in town and treat yourself to some spa time.

You could place an emphasis on only eating BG friendly and familiar “comfort foods” at the time you know is best for your glucose control.

I think you could, with some planning and thought, enjoy the benefits of a vacation without turning your blood sugars into the nuisance of an emotionally distraught 14-year old! This is a good challenge.

If you do choose to travel, one thing I’ve learned is to fast on travel days. My glucose is rock-solid and I feel more alert. You could even limit the fast to just skipping one meal. I’m used to intermittent fasting, however, and if you’re not, it may not be your idea of a good plan.

1 Like

Can’t wait to try all of those suggestions @Terry4! I usually try to stick to eating healthy but when I try for one minute to get some extra z’s my blood sugar control gets angry.

Do you know how high altitude affects you? My blood sugars always drop really low when I’m above 5000 feet elevation. Even though the plane cabins are pressurized, I still run low when flying. However, I always take international flights that are at least 10 hours long, so I have no relevant experience with domestic flights. I actually found eating a high fat candy bar with a lower bolus than I would give normally is beneficial towards the beginning of the flight. I guess my point is everyone reacts differently, and I don’t mind running a few points higher on vacation because I’m terrified of bottoming out 3 hours into a 12 hour flight. I always stress for 2 weeks prior to leaving and then as soon as I start enjoying myself on the vacation, the blood sugars get in line and I have more low blood sugars than high (I’ll never forget when I was 13 my parents left me alone, 6000 miles from home, with my Welsh grandmother who tried to give me diabetic low carb chocolate to treat a low blood sugar, lol). Its definitely easier every time I travel as I pick up new strategies, so I wish you the best.

Flying also dehydrates you. And, if on a pump, the air pressure changes affect glucose delivery. Take some electrolyte packets, no sugar, and dump into your water bottle. I use my pump to basal, but do bolus injections by syringe while flying. Electrolytes are essential for me at altitude.

There are tons of options to break out of the routine (or rut, or rat race, whichever description fits). For me, it seems like a short break from the routine usually involves driving a few hours. My daily routine (I’m retired) generally involves staying on my feet all day. If I decide to go on a mini trip and jump in the car after breakfast my BG usually spikes and stays high unless I over bolus for breakfast or correct while driving.

Wow! I didn’t realize this. I’ve never seemed to have that issue thankfully.

I think I’m a little weird because I remember when I went to summer camp 20 years ago, I had to reduce my TDD of insulin from 10 units a day to a half unit a day and was still going low. My first seizure happened at a diabetes camp in the Sierras, and it must have been upsetting for the doctors there. When I got home, I suggested altitude as the culprit, and my endocrinologist agreed, given the control of other variables, but also said most people go higher at altitude. It’s a variable that many people don’t consider until theres a problem. Good luck, and I hope you have an amazing vacation!

1 Like

Over many years I’ve noticed that a combination of inactivity and routine makes my diabetes more manageable. Pretty much if I sit in a cubicle all day it’s easy.

I stopped doing that in 2001 and everything got more difficult; sticky highs, sudden lows, the curious fact that going out and mixing 10 90lb bags of concrete is manageable with lots of sugar in the day that it happens but results in 2 days of hypos afterward as my muscles use every mg of glucose to make new glycogen.

So, indeed; if I go on vacation I lie around a pool or I dive or I ski (that’s a little more challenging) and everything is 100% predictable again.

John Bowler

Thank you @BeckyZ!