This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival asks us to “take a moment to reflect on diabetes in 2012.”
Here I go…my reflection of 2012 is primarily about my adventures traveling.
I love traveling. But when I was diagnosed with diabetes last year, I thought that I would not enjoy it anymore. Traveling as a diabetic is a challenge. But this year, I couldn’t avoid the challenge of traveling because I flew on five international flights within five weeks.
Oddly enough, by traveling as a diabetic, I now have two things to get excited about when I arrive at my destination: First, getting there safely, and Secondly, having normal glucose levels.
I started the year off by traveling to Boston, MA to see Robbie McCauley’s play about Diabetes entitled SUGAR. I had a BLAST!!
I was invited to share my story with hundreds of other people at various locations. This was one of the best experiences because I was able to tell other people just how blessed I am. It’s not everyday you meet someone who finished a dissertation, avoided a diabetic coma by a few hours, and lost their home in a tornado all within a matter of months and that person is able to stand to tell the story. I shared my story with the DSMA Blog Talk Radio show community, at a health fair, and for the local United Way. Thanks for all those who listened and also encouraged me.
I launched my own website Black Diabetic Info. Which is dedicated to providing information about diabetes in black communities that is uplifting rather than daunting. It’s no secret that Diabetes has a devastating impact in Black communities, but it can be emotionally difficult when ALL the information on the internet is negative. My website is the place where anyone can get information that is cultural sensitive and appropriate. My motto is I’m Diagnosed but Not Defeated!
I attended my first ADA Diabetes Expo. It was held in Atlanta, GA. I had a great time and I’m so thankful that my friend Ava was able to join me. The freebies are awesome, too. 🙂
I traveled to CHINA. This was another BIG adventure filled with questions about how I might manage diabetes on the other side of the world. This was also the first time I traveled on a 12-hour flight. I made sure that I packed enough snacks to avoid lows. For some reason, I experience lows on international flights.
Overall, I managed my glucose fairly well. I ate a lot of noodles but balanced it with climbing The Great Wall, dancing on Wangfujing Street, and Thai Chi in a square.
In China, I ate a type of protein that I would NEVER eat in America, but since they told me it was chicken, I tasted it. I thought it might have been a Cornish Hen, but NOPE…it was in fact, pigeon. Here are pictures of pigeons on a stick.
Aundrey 2 traveled with me to the Great Wall (and every where else, of course).
I joined a group of middle-aged Chinese women in a park for Thai Chi in the morning. That was pretty cool and it help to lower my glucose.
I asked for the best tea for diabetics, was told that it is Bitter Black Leaf Tea, and I purchased some to bring back with me to America.
I rode in the back of a police car for the first time in my life. Some hoodlums in Beijing tried to rob me, but when “Chinese hutong alley ghetto ways” met “Refined South Florida ghetto street smarts,” there was NO contest. I was able to get out of the alley with my passport, ALL my money (they demanded 300 yuans), and a private escort out of that area.
I would like to give a special thanks to the two officers who didn’t speak ANY English for their patience and the creators of the iPhone app that I used to translate. Without you, my trip to China would have been VERY different.
I traveled to the UAE…Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
For my Birthday, I went Sandboarding AND Indoor Skydiving. Not sure the effects of these activities on my glucose, but they sure were FUN!! It was on my birthday that I realized that I won’t let diabetes win. I will continue living life to the fullest.
While in Dubai, I noticed that there were a lot of unique food items for diabetics. I tried a few and they were tasty. Diabetic Atta is very popular, but unfortunately, I have no idea what that it is or how to cook it.
I participated in Diabetes Art Day by painting with oil for the first time. It’s the Diabetes Circle of Awareness (in case you didn’t know).
I traveled to Guadeloupe and visited a rainforest. While in Guadeloupe, I asked the same question, “What’s good for diabetics?” My next blog will be about what I found, so come back and check it out.
Another big challenge this year, has been figuring out a routine and sticking to it. I’m not a routine person by nature, but this illness requires one. I have a feeling that I’ll struggle with finding a routine for a while (perhaps for life).
My endocrinologist moved to Africa, so I currently am without one. I’m managing diabetes to the best of my ability. My last A1C was 5.4, so I’m doing fairly well at the moment. Hoot, hoot!! 😀
I took a “before” picture of my right arm at the beginning of the year thinking that I would have an “after” one by now. Unfortunately, I report that the before picture might actually look better than a current one, so I’ll postpone taking an “after” photo until sometime in 2013.
This was the look on my face when I realized that all the traveling I did this summer erased all the progress I made in Pilates class. I was on my way to being a champ but when I returned, I was at beginner status.
I also traveled to one of America’s greatest cities…NEW YORK!! The biggest worry on my mind was how do I fit Junior’s Cheesecake into my carb count. I figured it out! Nothing can stop a diabetic from figuring out how to fit their favorite carbs into their meal plan. 😀
Finally, I didn’t always wear blue on Fridays, but I gave awareness about diabetes every chance I could. 2012 marks my first full-calendar year as a diabetic and I think I managed it well. I have many more years ahead of me. I hope that with each coming year, I will be able to manage it better than the year before. Here’s one of my Wear Blue Friday pictures.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I’d appreciate it if you clicked the “Follow” button on the top right. This post is my December entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/december-dsma-blog-carnival-2/