It Makes Sense If You Have Diabetes

I have just been away for an amazing weekend in Sydney with my fellow bloggers. It was a wonderful trip and you will be able to read about it soon on my Recycled Interiors blog, but today I am sharing the bits you guys will get- the it makes sense if you have diabetes parts.

To start with, last Thursday night I had a ketone episode overnight, waking up at 4 am with a blood glucose of 22mmol after going to bed on 7 mmol, and ending up vomiting and very unwell. I think it was a pump site issue coupled with my gastroparesis, but on Thursday I didn’t think I would be able to get on a plane on Friday, especially as we were away from home at our beach shack. But I pulled it together and I got on the damn plane! We are just like that, tough cookies.

Anyway, you know when you are doing something amazing, like attending a very glamorous party at a very fancy hotel bar, and most of the time you are there you are worrying about whether your blood glucose levels are too high or too low? Yeah that…On Friday night I headed to one of these amazing parties in Sydney and my BGL was pretty fine when I left. I expected food when we got there, but I forgot the fact that people who don’t have diabetes are quite happy to start nibbling on cocktail style finger foods around 8 pm and then keep going until 11 pm. Because I also have gastroparesis from my diabetes, there are lots of cocktail foods that just don’t bode well with me.

Suffice to say I was checking my levels every 20 minutes, ranging from a spike when I arrived due to excitement and nerves, to a fast drop when I had a bolus to bring them down, and a distinct lack of carbs. A dinner of glucose tablets and an apple I found on the concierge desk in the hotel was not my idea of a fun night out. That and all the brain energy my diabetes took up, which should have been spent on being happy and chatty and fabulous, was really a downer. I am sure I still came across as happy and chatty and fabulous, but underneath I was paddling like a duck baby!

Consequently I left early and went back to my room to stuff down some bread I had brought with me (travel tip there for you) and a cup of tea. The lunch the next day was also pretty much overshadowed by diabetes shit but I did not let it stop me having an amazing time.

The extra energy we have to muster when traveling or dealing with these kinds of social events is amazing. No WE are amazing and I want to give you all a high five and a really big hug. Travel and social events with people who don’t have diabetes can be hard, but they are also wonderful and important. I also chose to be very open with my group and discovered some of them had relatives with type 1 diabetes and a pretty good grasp of it. I also find it helps when those I am with understand my needs, especially if I chose to opt out of anything like I did for the Saturday night dinner, which by the way was a Neil Perry Spice Temple event!

And to the dude who picked me up from the airport and when I checked my blood glucose in the cab, said “oh you have diabetes, that means you can’t drink yeah?” Please stick to navigating Sydney traffic…and yeah you didn’t do that so well anyway – it makes sense if you have diabetes.

Have you had any of these experiences and how did you handle them? I would love to hear




  1. Bushkid on July 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Reading this is helpful.

    • Helen-Edwards on July 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      so glad – it helps when other people get you

  2. SallyMarchini on July 20, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I had a similar experience, also related to blogging, last week when I went to Melbourne with Bupa. As I have diabetes and coeliac disease I checked they’d have gluten free food before I went and was assured there would be and they’d be making quiches especially. I was expecting to be fed lunch, but it was nibbles all day and the quiches were about the size of a 20c piece (lol) which meant the regular BG checks and also meant I was starving later when waiting for my late plane home. Lucky I had an apple with me, and was fighting a cold so had more highs and corrections than lows. Feel for you Helen xo

  3. Sandra K W on July 22, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I went to England in the middle of Winter not too long after I was diagnosed with type 1. I was still very naive about the whole thing. It was extremely cold there and they had the most snow that they had had for 40 years. Unfortunately, nobody told me that the extreme cold could cause hypos and I spent what seemed like the whole trip eating to bring me levels up, completely baffling my husband, I found it very difficult, staying with my husband’s relatives whom I had never met and trying to explain my unusual needs for food. It is never easy to travel with diabetes but at least with some experience you learn to plan ahead for possible problems.