Trip to Europe and the story of test strips

My husband and I were blessed with a wonderful trip to Europe this year. We left on a redeye flight on Oct. 27 and arrived in Rome on Oct. 28. From there, we took a cruise from Civitavecchia, Italy (near Rome) around the Greek islands, and ended the cruise on Nov. 9 in Venice, Italy. After arriving in Venice, we took the train to Florence, stayed there for two nights, and then continued on to Rome, where we stayed for three nights. We returned home to Virginia on Nov. 14.

Here is a list of the places we visited:

  • Naples, Sorrento, and Amalfi, Italy
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Rhodes, Greece
  • Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Athens, Greece
  • Katakolon and Olympia, Greece
  • Corfu, Greece
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Venice, Italy
  • Florence and Pisa, Italy
  • Rome, Italy

I would recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to travel and wants to see the Mediterranean do a cruise like this. You don't have much free time to relax, and you sort of feel like you're always on the go, but if you have the energy, DO IT! We had a wonderful time.

Of course, with T1, you can't just leave town without carefully thinking through all the worst-case scenarios and planning for everything. I took more pump supplies and batteries and strips/lancets than I needed, as well as two vials of Lantus (which I've never used!), just in case I had trouble with my pump. I also packed ketone strips and a full jar of glucose tablets, plus glucose gel and granola bars. I used my Frio pack to keep my insulin cool. The one extra thing I didn't have was another meter. Thankfully, my meter was fine and I had no trouble, but if I could do it over again, I would have just bought another one before leaving, just in case, because it would have made me more comfortable. For each port, when I got off the ship, I had my Frio pack with one vial of Humalog, an extra box of strips, a big zip-lock bag with extra pump sites and reservoirs, and alcohol swabs. Thankfully, we did not miss the ship or get left behind at any of the ports, but in Athens, we were the LAST people back on the ship, and got there just before it left!!! Whew!!

I checked my bg more often than usual, and stayed pretty low during the first week, probably because we were walking so much and climbing so many stairs (elevators are rare in Europe!). I reduced my basal levels twice! As I was checking my bg all over the place, I put the used test strips in the little mesh zippered pocket in my meter case, rather than scouting out a trash can. When I got home, I realized that there must have been over 100 used strips in there! As I started to throw them all out after we got home, I realized that each one held its own little story-- like the time in Florence when my bg dropped after climbing the hundreds of steps up to the top of the Duomo, even though I had set a temporary basal; the time my bg started dropping in Dubrovnik when we were about 2/3 of the way finished with walking the historic walls surrounding the city; the time I realized I had not bolused enough for the tiramasu that my husband and I split in Venice; the time my bg climbed after boarding the train from Pisa back to Florence, because I was stressed when a man we didn't know came up to us and tried to pickpocket us... the list goes on. Each test strip represented a different part of our adventure, and showed how so many different intangible aspects of life can show up in the numbers you see on the screen of your meter. All people with D know that in so many ways, test strips can measure the ups and downs of life.

Maybe I should put them in a plastic baggie, and scrapbook them with all of the pictures, receipts, and tickets we saved!

I know what you mean! I have similar memories while climbing the great wall. I don’t think non-db people would share in our humor while looking through our scrapbooks!

OK I’m gonna hurt you! HA! You went on a cruise with out inviting me!!! HA! Sorry I’m just now getting to where I found my blog! HA! Let’s just say that my brain isn’t working at it’s best! HA! Sounds like you guys had alot of fun though and that’s all that counts. Right??? You will probably have better luck with me answering you back if you just put a commit on my page! This commputer stuff is smarter than me! HA!