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Monday, August 19, 2013

A diabetes invasion in Montana!

 I am sure you are well aware last week I was not around to post anything on the old blog and yes the week before I was slacking because I was getting ready for last weeks trip.  So last week was our big www.insulindependence.org trip to canoe the Missouri river in Montana and my junior captain arrived in the lovely turbo-prop plane you see in the picture above.  There could not have been any more excitement in my BG's for this trip and there was also some slight nervous-ness about how all the youth would inter-mingle and the guides would handle diabetes along with anything the river might bring upon us.
 Here we are at our Saturday night dinner at the fancy Great Falls, MT "On the Border" restaurant.  There wasn't alot of options for 15 people to walk to in the area and this as good as any to start the trip.  My friend Tracy who is an amazing group leader started the whole thing off with a "name game" which rocked because by the end of the game we had every ones names memorized and we were on our way to creating the greatest gaggle of diabetes peeps ever.  The funny thing about dinner and being around this many diabetics in one place is how we all look at the carb count menu and share with everyone at the table how we are thinking of getting something but the carbs, and fat might be a bit much so we think about something else.  This fun carb conundrum really got the group to talk about diabetes and we all settled in with discussion on food and how it affects each of our BG's.
 Sunday morning we were greeted by the trip guides from Wilderness Inquiry and our boats and van that took us a few hours to get to coal landing which was were our take-off point for the canoe portion of the trip began.
 The picture above is of everyone getting the gear set up, tents sorted out, and the kitchen crew starting to make some spaghetti for the night.  The trip guides really shined here by setting down how everything would go along the river and what each person had to do in the "tribe setting."  which is how these type of trips go, there is no more "I" on the river but a gaggle of diabetics that all have a say.
One real cool thing that I originally did not think was going to be so neat was our diabetes educator Carla would get everyone to test their BG's at the same time like say before a meal.  Then she would get the ingredients boxes and tell everyone the carb count and what size was a serving.  After our meal she would discuss with us what we thought we ate and what we should bolus and set our basal rates at.  She would document all of this in her notebook you see above and we would have a visual indicator of what we were doing and how we should make adjustments along the trip.  Then the really fun thing was the 2am testings which everyone would be woken up by Carla and Tracy to test and see if we were trending any direction, had any high or low BG's, and if we needed to make any adjustments.  I really learned alot about how to approach youth with how to get them to take an active roll in their diabetes.  So many times now we see parents that do everything for the youth and it should be something the person with the disease should be doing and making the decisions.

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