Skiing down the slopes…with diabetes

I just returned from a weekend in Denver, CO. I was visiting my dear college roommate, Beth. We went rock climbing in Table Rock and downhill skiing at Keystone and Breckenridge. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? It was…but as a person living with type-1 diabetes I also have to put a little more planning into my trip up the mountain.

Tip #1 – I had put my blood sugar meter in a backpack that I was wearing and when I took it out to test my blood sugar the meter said the temperature was too low (of a temp.) to get a result. So I ended up putting the meter under my innermost layer (sport’s bra) to have it heat up. TMI? Well, it worked.

Tip #2 – Pack a snack for the mountain that won’t freeze. On the first day of skiing I brought a peanut butter Kashi bar. When I took it out of my pocket to eat (while riding up the ski lift) it was rock solid and I couldn’t bite through it. Snacks that did work for me were….Cliff Shot Blocks (fruit punch flavored), Shark Fruit Snacks, Nature Valley Granola Bars, and of course regular glucose tabs in the case that I did have a low blood sugar.

Tip #3 – Because I wear an Insulin Pump (Medtronic) I had to make sure that my beeper looking device stayed warm. The winter coat that I had was equipped with a pocket in the inside of the coat for a cell phone. It fit perfect for the pump and kept it warm.

Tip #4 – Make sure that at least one person, on your trip,  knows that you have diabetes. Beth was such a good support for me, always asking if I needed a snack and if I needed to test my blood sugar. She wasn’t pushy or overbearing, she was a good friend looking out for me.

Next up…planning a trip to ski in Lutsen, MN in January!

Let me know if you have any tips that have worked for you…

News Flash Dr. Huizenga – NO CURE FOR DIABETES

I have a couple pet peeves that really get under my skin. This one has to do with Dr. Huizenga from the show The Biggest Loser. At the finale that aired last night he proclaimed that two of the final contestants had been “cured” by diabetes. NEWS FLASH: Diabetes is an incurable, chronic illness. For a man who by any standard would be considered intelligent (Harvard Grad) he has been miseducated and is doing a disservice to people by not fact telling.

Diabetes 101….

Type-1 diabetes – the pancreas no longer produces insulin

Type 2 diabetes – the body has insulin resistance issues

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states, “There is no cure for diabetes at this time, but there is a great deal of research going on in hopes of finding cures for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Many different approaches to curing diabetes are being studied, and researchers are making progress.”

People have a misconception that you get diabetes by being overweight. That is a factor in getting diagnosed with type-2 diabetes because the more you weigh, the more likely you can have insulin resistance issues. Not every person who is overweight has diabetes. Furthermore, the possible treatments for type-2 diabetes are healthy eating, physical activity, and possible oral medication and/or insulin. Let’s just say you have type-2 diabetes and lost 100 pounds and no longer had to take your oral medication or insulin anymore; that is NOT a cure for type-2 diabetes. Your treatment has changed.

No I don’t have a degree from Harvard Medical School, or an A+ in a past science class but I’m a passionate diabetes advocate who tries to work every day at helping educate people about diabetes. People who are in the public eye can be quite influential to the millions of Americans watching them. Please do us all a service and educate yourself so you can educate others…properly.