Stories from a life spent traveling with T1D.
Travelogues, guides, blood sugars and more from exciting and obscure places, all around the world.
April 6 – July 3, 2017
National Parks T1D Road Trip
The adventure of a lifetime... while raising money for a cure. Happening now!
I made a list of twenty-six places in and around Osaka, Japan from A to Z. Then I went to each place, checked my blood sugar, and took a selfie with my BG meter if the reading was between 70 and 130. (If not, I tried later.) The idea is to draw attention to the importance of knowing your BG and to the fun of travel and finding new places. Scroll to the bottom to watch the short compilation video of each location.
Arataki Waterfall is a lovely and obscure place deep in the southern Osaka mountains, and the first stop on my blood sugar-checking tour of Osaka, Japan.
The second letter – "B" – of my Diabetic Osaka A to Z photo project was a blood sugar reading taken at Bara-en Rose Garden in central Osaka City.
The third stop on my A to Z Osaka diabetes photo project is stately Chūō Kōkaidō Hall, where my blood sugar was 103 as I squinted in the sun.
My blood sugar was low when I arrived at Dōtonbori, so I had to eat some chocolate and hope it would be between 70~130 for "D" in my Osaka A-Z project.
Poor diabetes management didn't entirely sabotage my blood sugar photo op at Tower of the Sun, the huge bird-like monstrosity in north Osaka.
It took four blood sugar checks in the space of an hour, but I did my best to get a reading between 70 and 130 at the Osaka Ferry Terminal one afternoon.
Not many Osakans know about the ancient steps of Genshouji-zaka in the middle of the city, but it's a nice "G" for my diabetes-themed Osaka A to Z project.
My next stop in Osaka for my diabetes photo project was Hirakata Park, an amusement park. My insulin choices were terrible but I made it to 70~130.
Ikune Shrine in south Osaka site in the shadow of the larger Sumiyoshi Taisha, but my blood sugar check here was a great entry for "I".
Jizos are Japanese bodhisattva statues at shrines. Shi-tennoji in Osaka has an especially nice collection, a good backdrop for my blood sugar selfie.
Six blood sugar checks in three hours were almost all perfect, and my photo at Kaiyūkan aquarium is a nice step on my Diabetic Osaka A-Z project.
Lion Bridge (a.k.a. Naniwa Bridge) in Osaka City was my choice for "L" in my diabetes-themed Osaka A-Z project. A nice blood sugar on a nice evening!
The Dr. Seuss-like Maishima Sludge Center is a great backdrop for "M" in my A-Z project, but the bike ride there nearly killed me and my blood sugar.
My next blood sugar selfie (for letter "N") was Noma No Okeyaki, a thousand-year-old tree in a beautiful but unknown part of rural Osaka Prefecture.
A night-time image at Osaka Castle of me with my blood sugar monitor proved an elusive but rewarding idea for Diabetic Osaka A to Z.
The ruins of the Palace of Naniwa became my "P" for the diabetes photo project, but I was 52 when I woke up and was barely over 70 at the site.
I got this diabetes selfie with my blood sugar meter in front of Q's Mall in Tennoji for my Osaka A to Z photo project. BG was 117 too!
I got a sun-splashed photo of my with my OneTouch Ultra blood sugar machine in front of a Rakugo theater for my Diabetic Osaka A-Z project.
Magnificently ugly, the majestic Senbonmatsu Bridge in the Osaka port is my entry for "S". My BGs were good despite the heat and exhaustion of biking there.
Tsūtenkaku tower in south Osaka is the symbol of gritty "deep Osaka", and the obvious choice for a place to take a blood sugar selfie for "T".
My blood sugar selfie for "U" was in Utsubo Park in central Osaka, where the sunshine, flowers, and fountains made for an extremely pleasant time.
To give my Osaka A to Z blood sugar selfie project some international flavor, "V" was at the Viet Nam Consulate-General in Sakai, just south of Osaka City.
Waterworks Memorial Hall seemed all right online but when I visited for my Osaka A-Z project it was closed. Oh well; my blood sugar was good at 81.
There's a building with a big "X" outside it in Umeda in Osaka – a great place for a blood sugar selfie in my Osaka A to Z project. Blood sugar was 102!
Yodogawa Kyōryō is a bridge in northeast Osaka City; I got a picture of me and my blood sugar machine on it while a train barreled right by.
While shinkansens whizzed by overhead and a tuneless brass band curled my toes, I did my final blood sugar check for the Osaka A-Z project.
Video montage of blood sugar checks at 26 places in Osaka, Japan from A to Z. All readings between 70 and 130 mg/dL. Watch it here and get inspired!