Thursday, June 29, 2006

Smoky Mountain Highs

It was a long drive-- three days to get there, two for the return trip. Through the endless flats of Indiana (that included a reverent nod to French Lick, just fifty miles west); to a lush and very wet Kentucky; and finally on into the mountains of Tennessee and Western North Carolina...

Oh yes, we were up there.

Unfortunately, so were Joseph's blood sugars-- proving an almost mirror image of those mountain peaks.

Corrections, temp basals, larger meal boluses... it didn't matter. Once again, we found that just sitting in the car for many hours makes our son almost impervious to the effects of insulin.

He will go high.

Thankfully, however, blood sugars improved as we settled in for a fabulous visit with Ryan's brother and his wife that included: traipsing around downtown Chapel Hill;

hiking through woods and discovering both an astounding number of polywogs and a skirmish between an owl and two blue jays; ah yes-- the eating of grits, among other fine foods; spending a lovely afternoon by a lake that involved much talking, fishing, and throwing of a baseball; and really just enjoying being with family.

Oh yeah, the kids also loved the almost unlimited access to cable TV.

And hey, the boy caught a turtle.


Keith said...

So glad you enjoyed our mountains here in east Tennessee. Western NC is equally beautiful. We've decided that this area is 'home' for us and are going to try not to leave... ever.

I have the same trouble as Joseph with blood sugars when I travel. I've resigned myself not to eat much if I've got to spend the day in the car. I can successfully limit my food intake now but as a growing boy it would have been tough if not impossible. I think you did the best thing, bolus, correct and enjoy the trip!

Vivian said...

Umm what Keith said. lol
I am glad you had a great trip in spite of high blood sugars. Glad you are back, we missed you.

Rachel said...

glad you had a good trip.

in a few years, you might be OK with the higher blood sugars on these sort of trips - once Joseph is driving. My husband is definitely more comfortable letting himself run a little higher than normal (but not too high as to make pit stops too often) when driving for long distances rather than running low. He's pretty experienced as he often drove from CO to IL back-and-forth for college, all by his lonesome (most of the time).

Nicole P said...

We've missed you! I'm glad the trip went well -- others have said it before, but, your kids are SO damned cute. Seriously.

cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

I get high on long car trips. don't be afraid to up all the insulin LOADS.

julia said...

Only here could you say this: I get high on long car trips. And not get arrested for doing drugs. :D

I'm glad you had a good time. It looks beautiful. I've never been to that part of the country - Chattanooga is it.

The kids are adorable.

Kelsey said...

It's official, all diabetics have high blood sugars during road trips! I mostly pack high protein, low carb foods for the trip and drink lots of water... which kinda sucks, because long car trips make me want junk food!

Allison said...

I actually managed to do my Eugene - Palo Alto 10 hour drive without going high once... kept a temp basal of 150% the entire time. Maybe it was shorter?

Anyway, my dad told me about a week ago when I was writing my article about traveling with diabetes that when I was younger, my parents really just focused on doing the best that they could but they understood that everything was going crazy and to not worry so much about keeping my blood sugars perfect. They just did the best they could and knew it was all temporary. It's better to enjoy a few days of vacation with some high blood sugars than be so scared of going high or being high that you can't enjoy yourself. There's simply no point. So says Allison's Dad.

Sandra Miller said...


Thanks for confirming that my son is not the only one who goes high on road trips... and yeah, we do what we can to bring down those traveling highs, but no longer get freaked when they happen.

Vivian & Keith--

Your mountains are breathtaking, and I can totally understand your desire to never leave them.


We didn't get near Chattanooga, driving instead through Knoxville on into the Smoky Mountains and North Carolina.


Thanks for sharing your father's perspective on this issue. He sounds like a very smart man and a wonderful dad.

Oh and hey, I saw that you were looking for input for your article, and was disappointed when I realized I'd missed the deadline. Dang! I'd love to read the finished piece...

And Nicole--


Penny said...

welcome home. next time you should vacation on the coast of nc:-)

sorry about joseph's sugars

i'm glad you had a fun and safe trip

Allison said...


We ended up having to do a lot of editing for space, so while everyone's comments and input are essentially in the article, there aren't any direct quotes because there just wasn't enough space. The article should be out this month sometime. I will post a link to it on my blog.

J said...

looks like a great time ... to bad the blood sugars did not match but seems joseph enjoyed himself as well glad you guys had a good trip thanks for the pics

Johnboy said...

I hate those days where the trendline is off the chart.

Traveling is difficult because you often find yourself eating things at places that are unfamiliar, where who knows what they have done to acheive the flavor!

I am also in NC. You probably drove close to my house getting from the Smokey Mountains to Chapel Hill!

I am currently "hiding out" in the Blue Ridge mountains enjoying the holiday.

Glad you guys had fun and made it home safe and sound. :)

Nic said...

What a cute turtle? Did Joseph get to keep it? :-)

Sandra Miller said...


Naah, he didn't keep the turtle.

But to Joseph, just catching one was the coolest thing.

Hmmm... I wonder, would a North Carolina turtle transported to Wisconsin wreak some kind of ecological havoc?

Maybe good we didn't try to find out ;)

KSC said...

Traveling has always been a challenge for me, but I keep doing it relentlessly! I think that when I am on the road, frequent testing is so important - you are doing such a wonderful job with that. I don't have data to prove it, but some long train trips to Boston get me on a higher plane, some on a lower - a significant change of scenery may have a hormonal affect..don't know for sure. However, I'm usually acclimated within 24 hours. One thing I am aways careful about is a large change in temperature - when I gets hotter, my blood sugars get unpredictable for a few days as I adjust. Good luck with your trip.

howsoonisnow said...

We experienced the same problem in the mountains of east TN...high blood sugars that just couldn't be controlled. We were at the top of the mountains and my 7 year old daughter couldn't even get out of the car. Her meter was reading "HI" and we were just pumping her full of insulin. Nothing seemed to work. We ended the trip a few days early. She's on an insulin pump now...maybe our next trip will go a little better. I don't have any pictures of her from that trip. She was too sick to smile.