The Grand Canyon and Not So Grand Glucose

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2017-08-17 21:59:26 -0500
Started 2017-08-14 12:21:41 -0500

Recently, I visited my mom in Arizona and did a lot of great things out there. I got to spend a night in Vegas, see the Hoover Dam, rifled through Sedona, ate at the Road Kill Cafe and explored the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. It was not really a vacation, though I treated it like one and the adventure was amazing. Made great memories with my mom at the Canyon. Both of our bucket lists have another check mark. (though now I want to go back even more!)

This was my first airplane flight since I have been diagnosed and getting though the TSA was very easy and I had no issues with my needles or insulin. In fact, the snaps on my shirt were more of an issue. LOL But they let me board the plane.

I had a great time and doing all the extra running around and actually eating less (it's weird, but I eat way less when I am on vacation) kind of caught up to me the day after the Canyon visit. Elevation usually causes my glucose to run a little high, but in this case it was crashing on me one morning. Thankfully I was able to catch it before it got too low, (unlike my trip last year when I dropped to 34 and scared myself pretty badly) but this is a recurring pattern it seems on all of my trips. I suppose my low carb lifestyle is paying off. I just have to be more careful when I do all the extras.

When you travel, do you find that your glucose goes up or down? How do you plan for it, specially if you are traveling alone? I am looking for tips because in September I will be going back to the Smokey Mountains to do some more hiking…I am trying level out my playing filed so to speak.

9 replies

Chris Clement
Chris Clement 2017-08-15 16:37:56 -0500 Report

You know, for me it depends on so many variables. I definitely eat different when traveling, and not consistently. The way I eat depends on the type of trip (family vacation, business, meeting friends, which friends, where I go...) and the environmental variables play a role as well.

This past weekend I was camping with my family and extended family. My blood sugar was superb most of the time with a couple of lows (one dangerous, the rest mild hypoglyemia). I was in high elevation, I ate pretty low-carb except for breakfast, I snacked on tree nuts one night and oreos the next... I don't know what it was that made it work, but it just did.

GabbyPA 2017-08-17 19:44:28 -0500 Report

Consistency while on a trip is hard for me on all fronts. Time changes, schedules are different every day, I get busy and just forget to do what is in my normal routine. I do usually "treat" more when I travel, but try to do it smartly. If that is even possible.
Lows scare me. There was a time when I thought I would never have them. I get them now and I hate them. Usually because for me, they happen so freaky fast. I don't know that I feel the low as much as I feel the drop.

Pegsy 2017-08-15 06:48:26 -0500 Report

Glad you had a great trip. We honeymooned at the Grand Canyon and have been back once. It's a beautiful place.

My glucose usually runs high when we travel. I carry a lot of my own food because many restaurants are clueless about low carb. I also try to exercise a lot. I do aerobics in place either in our RV or motel room. I fast walk when time and weather allow. I also make use of motel workout rooms if they have them. I have been known to speed walk motel hallways when the weather is bad. I get some funny looks but I'm old enough now, not to care, LOL.

GabbyPA 2017-08-17 19:40:54 -0500 Report

My vacations are always very active and usually outdoors kinds of things. So I get my exercise in just doing what I want to do on my trips. I took some snacks for the plane trip and otherwise I just chose mostly protein and veggies, just like home. It was a lot of fun

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-08-14 22:05:07 -0500 Report

Gabby! Nice to see you! Wow, that sounds like a great vacation. I have yet to see the Grand Canyon but I really want to. I have been to Vegas for conferences, it is certainly a unique place, that's for sure. Glad you had a good experience with TSA, I do think they try to make it as easy as possible given the constraints they have to work under. I definitely eat more when I travel, though like you I also get more exercise, so hopefully it balances out. Nice to know you got a break.

GabbyPA 2017-08-17 19:38:12 -0500 Report

There is no place on earth like the canyon. I have been to the mountains, the beaches, the forests and all kinds of wilderness places. But I have never had my physical body react as it did at the Grand Canyon. Literally, the hairs on my neck never relaxed. It was goose bumps upon goose bumps. You have to see it.

Type1Lou 2017-08-14 14:53:33 -0500 Report

Welcome home Gabby! Make certain that you always carry a fast-acting glucose to treat any lows. I do carry glucose tabs, (but I hate them and they are my "last resort") I find small boxes of raisins more palatable and just as effective. I also don't leave home without my cell phone…just in case…and with my glucose meter to verify any lows before I treat. When I get into the 50 mg/dl range…the hard part for me is to stop eating. If you are taking insulin or other BG meds, talk to your doctor about maybe reducing the overall dosage when you anticipate some activity that you know will lower your BG. We went to the Grand Canyon back in 1992…it is definitely awe-inspiring!

GabbyPA 2017-08-14 15:03:33 -0500 Report

It is magical place. The hairs on the back of my neck never relaxed the whole time I was there. Since my last trip, I always have my meter and glucose tablets with me. I keep them together which is important too. It is just weird that my lows are always the next morning. I was getting up, getting my day going and I got that feeling....yuck. I do like to treat with trail mix that has dried fruit in it as well. That gives me a lasting aid with the quickness of the fruit.

I do carry my cell phone (I finally caught up with the 21st century) but in remote areas, it doesn't always work.