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So here’s the plan…
July 2010. Fly into Miami, grab a car and drive to Marathon, about halfway down the keys. Check Continuous Glucose Monitor to see how sitting still for 6 hours has affected my blood sugars. Adjust accordingly. Find a place to stay and get some grub at a nearby eatery. Bolus. Try to find an internet hookup to update blog, revel in the fact that most people down here are too busy living real life to worry too much about having internet connectivity in every possible location at every possible moment. Think about moving here for that very reason. Walk back to my shack. Stop in amazement at a sunset over land. A new thing for this west coaster. Get some sleep, probably the last I’ll get for a while. Morning of Day 2, calibrate sensor so I get good readings on my CGMS, go meet Pagan Charm, my 27 foot Balboa that will be my home for the next 4 days, get familiar with the boat. Load the food for the trip that has become both my savior and my tormentor. Set sail. Play around with my basal rate to try to get it to match the change in activity that you make when on a boat. First stop, Big Pine Key. Anchor, check out Key Deer, smallest deer around, looks more like a small dog then a deer. Take pictures. Get some pizza, bolus, and return to the boat. Change infusion site which involves ripping off the previous one, filling a new cartridge with insulin, jabbing a new needle with new infusion set into my upper buttox, priming the system and then hooking up the quick release system. Watch sunset #2. More pictures. Sleep. Day 3 to Key West. Eat at Margaritaville on Duval St. and mark off one more on my bucket list. Maybe hit Hemingway’s house and a couple more tourist traps. More pictures. Look for that elusive connection to the web. Alone on board, enjoy another perfect sunset. Watch as the winds change. Check weather. Can I beat this storm home? There’s only one way to find out (well, only one stupid way.) Pray. Leave anchor early, real early. Sail to Bahia Honda Key. Storm has failed to materialize, thank God profusely. Apply another coat of shelack, oh wait, I mean sunscreen, lie on one of the only white sand beaches in the keys (mostly just rocks on the shoreline there) increase basal insulin rates because I always need more insulin when I don’t move for long periods of time. Flip over. Breathe. Flip over. Breathe. Swim back out to the boat. Barbeque the fish I just caught (I can dream, can’t I?) Eat. Bolus. Watch sunset #4. Notice the slight variations from the last 3 perfect sunsets. Wonder why I keep missing these at home. Change infusion set again. Change CGMS sensor which involves a much larger needle (should be illegal to make needles this long and this thick.) Jab it in the other cheek, slowly remove needle to leave sensor still in there, wait 5 minutes, attach transmitter, make sure it is talking to Johnny (my pump), tape it down, wait 2 hours without any food, exercise, or insulin boluses, calibrate, go to bed knowing Johnny will be watching over me as I sleep and waking me if I get too much or too little sugar in my blood. Now if he could only fix me a snack at 2 a.m. when I am low and incoherent and looking for sugar in the middle of the night. Double check to make sure I have good sugars readily available. Try to take it all in, my last night on Pagan Charm. Wake to see a sunrise over the water. Been waiting my whole life for that one. One more off the bucket list. Leave early to get back to Marathon. Pictures, sea breeze, warm sun. Take it all in. Lodge it in my memory banks so that next winter when things get cold and things get hard I can pull it back out and revel, if but for a moment. Revel in the fact that I lived, and I lived with Diabetes. I never let it slow me down, never let it beat me. Return boat. Drive back to Miami in a Jeep, loving the thick air blowing by, fueled by the memories of a great trip. Jump in a plane and crash. Me, not the plane. Sleep the whole 6 hour flight.
Come home and share with all the guys on Insulindependence.org the new data and management strategies I have discovered for everyone to apply next time they are out sailing. Experiment Finished. Conclusions positive.