Traveling with Type 1 diabetes
"Diabetes can't stop you from going wherever you want." I don't just say this to you — I prove it. Follow my experiences traveling with Type 1 diabetes here — and get inspired to embark on your own travels.
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I traveled for over four months — 131 days, to be exact — through several European countries over 2014-2015. I started in Sweden, went down through the Baltics, then parts of Eastern and Central Europe, the Balkans, and finally to Norway. I kept a daily travelogue here, with details of what I did and saw, and how I handled diabetes during the trip. Lots of photos of my blood sugars [...] see more →Watch my video montage here of my trip across Europe 2014-2015. It shows me with my blood glucose monitor in front of some interesting places I visited. Do watch all the way to the end for a special message! As I roamed through Europe with Masayo, every now and then we'd find ourselves in some interesting place that I thought would make a good backdrop for a video. I'd had the idea even before the trip that several clips together, sped-up from real time, would be interesting. So when we found a cool location, hopefully with some interesting movement [...]Today was the flight home: our European trip over, it's time to go to the United States for Masayo and I to visit my family for a few weeks before returning to Japan, where we live. After about three hours of sleep after seeing the Northern Lights, we woke up at the Grand Hotel in Bodø, Norway at 4:30 am. I didn't bother checking my BG yet. We checked out of the hotel, and they gave us small wrapped sandwiches to take since we would miss the breakfast buffet. Then we went out into the freezing air and walked through [...]So it's come to this: after 130 days and 18 countries, hundreds of insulin injections and BG checks, and a varied and exciting range of towns and cities, today was the last day for Masayo and I on our long Europe trek. Tomorrow we fly to the United States to visit my family. It began with a late start — the breakfast buffet at the Grand Hotel in Bodø, Norway is open until 11:00 am on weekends, and today is Sunday. My BG, unfortunately, was 225 when I woke up. The buffet was great as usual, and even moreso [...]
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I have followed several train and subway lines in Osaka on foot, in an effort to get some exercise, learn how to exhaust my body yet maintain good BG, and to visit some parts of Osaka I wouldn't otherwise see, all at a leisurely pace. For each walk, I took photos and videos and recorded my BGs, food intake, and impressions of the neighborhoods I passed through. I learned a [...] see more →Here is a video montage of my progress walking 8.2 miles through the city of Osaka, Japan, on the streets that pass above the Sennichimae underground subway line. The walk took 4 hours, and when it started I was a little high (as seen in the video). During the whole walk, I assumed the exercise would pull my BG down but it barely did; I only had a single small snack on the entire walk and was still around 200 mg/dL when I finished. But I felt great, and enjoyed the walk. Getting out and exercising, even doing significant exercise [...]For the third walk along an Osaka subway line, I went to the Imazatosuji line, at the time Osaka's newest subway line and, at 7.4 miles, the same exact length as the Yotsubashi line, which I'd walked a few days before. This one had some problems, though. Most concerning of all, my blood sugar when I began was 350, for reasons I could not see. But, because on the Yotsubashi and the Nanko Port Town walks my BG had always dropped steadily, I refused to take insulin to get my BG down from 350; I figured the exercise alone would [...]My second long walk in my Osaka subway project was the Yotsubashi line, which runs from Suminoe-koen station in the south to Nishi-Umeda in the north part of Osaka city. My first walk, along the 5-mile Nanko Port Town line, took about two and a half hours; this 7.4 mile walk took only three hours and fifteen minutes. It was a pleasant walk, with good cool weather after some rain at the start. As on the Nanko Port Town walk, the Yotsubashi walk saw my BG always dropping, in spite of me targeting a BG of 200 and drinking 20g [...]
I picked twenty-six places in and around Osaka, Japan, where I live as an English teacher, from A to Z. Over the course of a few weeks I traveled to each place and took a live blood sugar reading on the spot. If it was between 70 and 130, it was usable; if not, I had to come back. Just something fun to do on my days off [...] see more →I made a list of twenty-six places around Osaka, Japan — from A to Z. Then I went to each one, checked my BG, and took some video of me at each place with my monitor. I edited it together into a video montage, with some original music I created for it. The Osaka A-Z project took some planning: I had to have enough time between working hours to get to each place, and I had to have good BG once I got there, because I wanted each reading to be between 70 and 130 mg/dL. (It wasn't always, and [...]Location: Zuiko 4-chome subway station (瑞光四丁目駅) BG: 115 mg/dL (6.39 mmol/L) Previous: Yodogawa Kyoryo Bridge There aren't too many choices for "Z" 'round these parts, although "Z" does exist in transliterated Japanese (the word zen is Japanese, after all). Most of the Z's I found were names of stores, which I tried to avoid. But I finally found what is apparently Osaka's one and only train station that starts with Z: Zuiko 4-chome, on the new Imazato subway line in northeast Osaka. Google Street View showed it to have some interesting orange gates at the street-level entrance, and I thought [...]Location: Yodogawa Kyoryo Bridge (淀川橋梁) BG: 90 mg/dL (5.00 mmol/L) Previous: X-Wave The "Y" in my 70-130 Osaka project is the Yodogawa Kyoryo Bridge, commonly called Akagawa no Tekkyō by locals. It is an old bridge crossing the Yodogawa River just northeast of Umeda, and is divided down the middle: one half is for pedestrians, the other is for freight trains. Making the location more poignant is the fact that the bridge will cease to be used as of the autumn of 2013, and apparently forever closed to trains and pedestrians alike. So it's a good place and time to [...]
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