Diabetes in the Wild: It’s a Small World After All

Posted by judie on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 11:57 in

Judie-Hurtado-Yoga-RetreatI recently attended a three-night rest and relaxation retreat at Kripalu, a center for yoga and health located in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. I had an amazing time. The grounds were lush. The food was beyond healthy and delicious. I took various yoga classes and attended workshops. I had a deep tissue massage and raided their gift shop. I also happened to cross paths with another person with type 1 diabetes.

My first day there, I overheard two women talking about the Moroccan Mint Tea that was offered in the cafeteria. The next day at lunch, I got a glass. It was one of the most delicious teas I had ever tasted. I noticed that it was sweetened with honey. I typically use sugar substitutes as a sweetener, but I have been thinking of switching to something more natural. I decided I would try it and be mindful of my blood sugar. Throughout the rest of the day I drank the tea and tested my blood sugar. At first I was surprised that the tea didn’t seem to have any ill effects on me, but I surmised it was due to all the yoga I was practicing. However, I did notice I had a hard time falling asleep that night due to all the caffeine!

But that didn’t stop me from refilling my water bottle with the tea the following day at lunch. A woman, who appeared to be in her late 60s or early 70s, approached the fountain. I told her it was delicious. She looked at the list of ingredients and said, “Oh, I can’t have honey.” I felt compelled to ask her if she had diabetes. Imagine my surprise when she said yes; she was an insulin-dependent diabetic. I told her I was, too.

We both stood still and looked at each other. We stopped right in the middle of the cafeteria, surrounded by a hundred or so people, and began comparing notes. She was diagnosed when she was 16 years old. She told me back then that home blood glucose testing supplies were not available. When she would go to the doctor’s her blood sugars were usually around 400! It made me realize how fortunate I am to live in a time where technology is at the tip of our fingertips - literally!

She asked me if I had any complications and I said no. I let out a sigh of relief when she revealed she didn’t have any either. It made me feel hopeful that I, too, could live an active and healthy life for many years to come. I told her about the Omnipod insulin pump and showed her my Pod that was on my stomach. She asked me if the Pod got in the way when I practiced yoga. I told her it has been great for me and has allowed more freedom. After a few more minutes of chatting, we parted ways. I never saw her again.

I continued to think of her the rest of my stay at Kripalu and even now as I’ve returned home. It’s funny how she and I had an instant bond due to our diabetes. It was also inspirational to meet someone who has lived with diabetes for such a long time and still remains active and healthy. I hope I, too, can be an inspiration like that to others.

The Omnipod insulin pump gave Judie more freedom in her diabetes management and is convenient when she’s practicing yoga. To learn more and try a free Demo, click here!