Saturday was my trip to Chicago with my college’s Honors Program. We left early in the morning and got back very late that night. I have always found traveling difficult. There’s so much to plan and so much to remember to take with you. Because of diabetes, I find traveling even more difficult now. I have to make sure I have enough supplies (test strips, insulin, pen needles, alcohol swabs, etc.) to last the entire trip. I also have to be sure not to forget any important supplies. And then I have to decide what type of bag I’m going to use to carry all my supplies and snacks.
Even for this one day trip, I had to do all this planning. I made sure to have about double the amount of supplies I thought I would need. It’s always better to have way too much than not enough! Luckily, I didn’t have to move everything to a new bag, as all my supplies fit in the bag made for diabetes supplies that I always carry around.
We did so much walking around Chicago! Once the bus dropped us off at the Art Institute, we were on our feet the rest of the day. After some time in the Art Institute, we went to Millennium Park, walked several blocks to take a boat tour of the Chicago River (the boat ride was a nice 90 minute break from walking), and then shopped along Michigan Avenue. With all this walking, I was worried that my blood sugar would drop, but the whole day my blood sugar stayed around 120 mg/dL.
Another difficult part of traveling is eating, especially for me, a picky eater. For lunch, we ate at Pizano’s, a pizza and pasta restaurant. A lot of times, particularly at restaurants I’ve never been to before, I order cheese sticks. It’s something I know I will like, and I am pretty good at estimating the carbs of them. However, right before I ordered I noticed they had lobster ravioli, so I ordered that at the last minute. I was so proud of myself because I was going to try something new. I searched online and found the average carbs to be about 42. Turns out that they were out of alfredo sauce, so I ended up getting cheese sticks anyway!
For dinner, we wanted something quick and easy, so we went to the food court at the Shops at North Bridge. I had no clue what I was going to eat. There was Mediterranean, Panda Express, Jimmy John’s, and a hamburger restaurant. Nothing I would eat. There was a Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and they had mikshakes and smoothies. I splurged and had a strawberry smoothie. It was 104 carbs for a 16 ounce serving (their website is awesome and lists nutrition info for everything!), and it was packed full of sugar. But I had to eat something, and with all the walking I had done, I figured my blood sugar wouldn’t spike too much. I can’t remember the last time I had a smoothie, besides the natural ones I make at home with real fruit. The smoothie was absolutely delicious! I didn’t drink the whole thing, though because my stomach started to hurt.
I did get confused because Chicago is a different time zone than where I live, so I had trouble trying to decide when to take my long-acting insulin. Plus, I would have had to have taken the shot in the dark on the bus while we were stopped for a restroom and snack break. Because of all that, I ended up taking that shot about 2 hours late. Other than that, the trip went great, and I had so much fun!