Highs and Lows Abroad ….. What does that mean? Well there’s the obvious- anyone who has ever travelled extensively knows that you can experience some amazing and wonderful things, but not without running into some serious roadblocks along the way (missed flights, delays, lost reservations, lost baggage, lost in general…)- these are some highs and lows, for sure.
But in our family, we anticipate a few extra highs and lows in the form of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Our daughter Sophie was diagnosed with T1D last summer. Type 1 diabetes is a constant up and down of her blood sugar.
Above are examples of two different days in Sophie’s life on the same base graph. Sophie wears a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor and we can always track her blood sugar levels.
These are completely ordinary days. In the first, Sophie is entirely ‘in range’ (no high or low blood sugars). This has happened a only twice ever since being diagnosed. In the second, Sophie is high (blood sugar of more than 10 mmol/L) more than 85% of her awake hours (this shows in yellow).
This is our normal.
How do we live with it? We adapt. We count carbohydrates. Sophie needs a specific amount of insulin dosed for every gram of carbohydrates she eats.
This is where the European adventure gets tricky!
Have you any idea how many carbs are in a plate of Italian pasta? Or do you know how to figure it out? How will we ask for nutritional information in German? (or any foreign language?!)
To start off, we plan to just SWAG most carb counts (SWAG= Scientific Wild-Ass Guess) and hope for the best. If and when she goes high, correct with more insulin!
What if we give too much insulin? Then we get alerted to a low by her Dexcom and we correct with some juice or sugar to bring her blood sugar back up to a normal range.
One of the goals of this blog is to help other T1D travelling families- we gotta stick together! I hope to share what works for us (and what doesn’t!).
What have you done for carb counting abroad that has worked?
Travelling is an adventure. Travelling with a T1D and trying to keep them healthy and alive is an adventure in and of itself… Stay tuned to follow along and hear about our highs and our lows…. there’s sure to be a lot of them!
Sophie, our Type One Girl