London Adventures

Often I think travelling is about making a choice of whether to run higher or lower. Some diabetics have mastered the travelling thing but I am not one of them. It is easier on the pump as I can increase a basal when I am anxious. However, as my anxiety improves my reactions change and knowing what to do is harder. I can’t predict things the same way. The only thing worse than feeling sandy mouthed and dizzy on a train is going hypo on one in my experience.

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By the time I get around to converting this from paper to blog I will have left one of my best friends after five days with her. As I write this however I am sat in an Irish pub, writing, drinking white wine and gazing at the British library longingly. (If I go in I won’t come out). It is certainly not a bad state of affairs. J is one of my best friends but I don’t see her too often. Largely that is because she lives in London and I just freak thinking about the tube and the city and busy and stuff. However, Russell Howard is playing there and we love him so off we trot. I’m being brave. I am terrified or her seeing me hypo. Not ever hypo is terrible of course but I fear scaring her though I never think she would judge me over it. No one wants to see the people they love ill, in pain or anything in-between. I’m excited about spending time with her flatmates and yet scared of what they will see. They have been fabulous for J. I don’t want them to remember me because of a high or a low. They may see or hear or eventually find pump related rubbish in their bin but I don’t want to be remembered as the diabetic person with a problem. I’m diabetic but I’m more than that. I’m not ashamed but I don’t want their memory of me to be staring at the toaster trying to work out how it works.

So I watch carefully and probably shoot myself in the foot. The more I fret the more anxious I get then the bigger the impact it all has on my glucose levels. Doh! I went with a 10% reduction on the train from Edinburgh to London and it wasn’t enough. I arrived on a stomach swishy 19 by the time I sat down to lunch. However, normally I’m lucky to be under 25 so it is still a huge improvement and one I will be taking down as a victory. Just, I will try 20% going home. Going home is always easier so I don’t want to go up to 30% as I can be sensitive. It is hard to see out of target numbers and still see the positives in what I have done but they are there and facing up to the mistakes and thinking it all through in my head rather than just beating myself up is the only way to make real progress.

We have a lot of plans and I can’t usually handle that. It shows how much better my fatigue is which makes me happy. Russell Howard, Sea Life, Captain America the Winter Solider and more flat based fun is all planned. Still, what to do? Do nothing and see? Put a basal in for stress? Reduce on flat based inactive days? Then there is planning the probable bad food choices like carry outs and snacks for films which will be high carb, fat and everything else that screws with diabetes. I’m packed like a small pharmacy. Painkillers for endometrioses, insulin stuff and changes of sets plus many layers are in my bag. To complete this is spares of everything just in case. If I make the wrong choice I will kick myself, hopefully tell twitter and thankfully end up being told I did the best I could but it is still hard.

Unless I like it I hate silence. I don’t know how to deal with or fill it. I hope I appear normal. I have only stayed at a friend’s with flatmates a few times and I never really had to interact with them. Did I mention I’m in London, a noisy city the size of a small nation? Eep! I constantly think I will get mugged but I’m working on that and have yet to lose so much as a tissue any time I’ve been down here.

I feel like this weekend is a test of how far I have come with all the gremlins. Anxiety, depression, fatigue, diabetes, thyroid temps and endometriosis. They will all be put to the test. If I can cope and have a great weekend then I have come so far. If there are bumps then I know what needs work is all. I won’t get down on myself. Every step, whatever the direction teaches me something. I keep telling myself that.

I guess knowing someone is diabetic and living with a diabetic are very different. I feel I need to blend in but I guess that just isn’t realistic. I may go high or low or feel shit while my blood is perfect. I may have a panic attack or wake up sad for no apparent reason. I may need to borrow hoodies to wear and sit on my feet to relieve anal pain pressure. That is ok. It is no reason for shame. J knew I had all my gremlins before inviting me. I trust her to trust me even if I don’t trust myself so easily.

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And then I came home and can write about that. Woop. I went hypo on several occasions but lucky I was pretty with it each time and J didn’t make a fuss which I was very grateful for. I thought I had got better at telling people what I need but it seems that still needs a lot of work. I am bad at telling people I am tired and that I need a lot of sleep. I feel I need to try and keep up and that just isn’t realistic. I can’t. I can’t get up early to watch formula 1 races and sit up all night chatting with people at the same time. I need that 10 hours at least. I can only do one day with under 8. I’ very lucky in that I don’t feel so ill as I used to in the morning but I still had issues.

Friends of friends are always harder to deal with. They don’t know your story. Even friends struggle to understand limits so friends of friends are even harder than that. Struggling to speak of physical health always leads to mental dips and I was very aware of being on an edge all weekend. I had fun, don’t get me wrong I adored my time in the city but I need to work on myself more. I am proud that I was able to say I need main meals in schedules. I ate healthy food bar one pizza but it was a lot of carbs, some empty ones, and not enough fruit and veg and I sure felt it. Still, I did better than I could have and I’m proud of that. It did teach me how much my dietary changes recently have given me so much energy. I need my nuts, my fruit and my veg in my day and I feel it if I don’t. So again, taking the positives from negative aspects of things.

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