Taking My Diabetes on the Road

Posted by sean on Wed, 12/12/2012 - 13:27 in

Enjoy the scenery of the Tasman Sea on New Zealand’s west coast with Sean as he takes a
break from being on the road all day.

It’s no exaggeration that I spend a lot of my time on expeditions behind the wheel of whatever I may be driving—be it a rental camper van in New Zealand, a rental car in Australia or my beloved Travel Queen. It takes a decent amount of time to get to the mountains from most international airports, and thus, hours of driving is a reality.

When I’m driving for hours at a time, it’s important to make sure I give myself enough time to settle from the flight. If I have a busy day of traveling, I need a solid 24 hours somewhere to rest up before making the drive to the mountains. This not only enables me to stay awake at the wheel and make sure my diabetes is in check, but I find that my performance on the snow the next day is better too.

Managing My Blood Sugar Levels

On those long drives, I also make a concerted effort to know what my blood sugars are doing. Usually, if Mollie is with me, she has to stop and go to the bathroom every two hours or so. Whenever we stop (either for her or to get gas) I make a point to check my blood sugars. The last thing I need before a big day of riding is to chase a low in the car. Again—it’s all about pre-planning so that I know I will be riding at my highest potential.

Diabetes-Friendly Road Trip Snacks

Food is another important component of road trips. Mollie and I try to be as healthy as we can, in order to stay adequately fueled and hydrated. We’ve found that good diabetes-friendly snacks for the car are beef jerky, string cheese if we have a cooler, fruit like oranges and apples that are easy to eat, and for me—I love carbonated water. It’s got zero sugar, it keeps me hydrated, and yet I still feel like I’m getting my soda fix without all the negative side effects of caffeine and sugar on my blood sugar levels.

But of course, the expeditions aren’t about the driving—they’re about the destination. If I can treat my body well on the approach to the mountains, I’m sure to have a solid day on the snow—that’s the point!