Planes, Buses and Race Cars Fuel A Weekend of Highs (Blood Sugars and Good Times)


Novo Nordisk was kind enough to invite me to join them in cheering on T1D and Indy race car driver, Charlie Kimball in the Phoenix Grand Prix. Upon receiving my itinerary, it was clear to be a whirlwind of a weekend. After three full days of lively, diabetes themed discussions, I prepared to head home. For 48+ hours, I had been fueled by adrenaline, insulin and red wine. My diabetes game plan going into the weekend – adjust Lantus injection to the different time zone, do my best to pursue healthy food options and have fun no matter what the circumstances.

The final night included less than desirable food options, but the excitement of the race and Novo energy made up for it. After an eventful race to the finish, team diabetes arrived back at the hotel and bellied up to the bar to grab a little more food. We enjoyed our final hours of comradery and witty banter before parting ways for the dreaded early morning departures. Exhaustion officially set in.

For the second time in my life, my whole diabetes life, I slept through my alarm. Not the “get out of bed” alarm, the “give your Lantus shot” one which chimes each morning at 5:41am (3:41 PST). Thank goodness I naturally woke up at 5:11am – SHOCKED I hadn’t heard my alarm. I shoot up and return to bed for a final few minutes of slumber. 6:18am – I test moments before leaving my room and wasn’t surprised my BG was 228. Off to the airport.

I had plenty of time to grab breakfast before boarding, or so I thought… The airport was a cluster fuck!!!! Seriously a scene from a scary movie. Total and utter chaos. I felt my blood pressure and BG rise as I weaved my way to baggage claim. I quickly realized I might not be able to grab breakfast before boarding. Being a T1D planner came in handy because I had a back up Clif bar and nuts in my bag just in case. Whew. 

I ran to my gate with seconds to snag an unhealthy breakfast sandwich. I take my seat, check my BG and it had shot up to 299. I scramble to shoot up before fellow row 21 passengers find their seats. Sure enough, as soon as I whip out a needle, two lovely ladies are staring at me, eager to settle in. I freak out and ask if they could please wait one second. No time to count carbs or factor in the high BG so I shoot up, having no idea how many units I drew. As they get seated, I apologize for the awkward situation and hold back tears explaining having type 1 diabetes.

This situation after an epic weekend of sharing stories with my new dia”homies” validated something I’ve always kept private. My life is not easy. Every day is a struggle and there are days like this one when it really hits home. I actually wrote this post on the plane while tears streamed down my face. I was angry, but grateful to recognize my journey is a unique one and now I have 10+ new friends who share the same adventure. It’s overwhelmingly clear how important tapping into the #DOC is for my well-being. I never knew I needed it until I found it. I guess, better late than never.

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DOC Friends: Karen GraffeoScott Johnson, Michael HoskinsKelly KunikAnna NortonCynthia Rogers, D-Mom Meri Schuhmacher-JacksonChris Stocker, and Kim Vlasnik (not featured – D-Mom Leighann Calentine).

2 thoughts on “Planes, Buses and Race Cars Fuel A Weekend of Highs (Blood Sugars and Good Times)

  1. Amber, it was super great to finally meet you in real life. And this story just reinforces the adaptability and strength we seem to find at any given second (even though it yanks our emotions through the wringer). Love and hugs, sister!

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