Living with type 1 diabetes means that I have a plus one everywhere I go that I have to consider.
Brad’s work holiday party was this weekend as I mentioned. With knowledge of last year’s events, I packed for diabetes a bit better. Last year I went low multiple times during the night from unfamiliar food, drinking and dancing so I packed a couple of extra packages of fruit snacks and left them on my bedside table once we checked into the room.
We headed down to the company meeting and grabbed some drinks and socialized before everything started. I opted for a glass of red wine to sip on for the next hour or so. My blood sugar was steady around 105 while we were getting ready so I figured I’d be okay… not like there was real food around yet anyway.
But right before things got started, my clutch started buzzing. Knowing that food was at least another hour away and the diagonal-down arrow at 75 was a warning. I popped over to the (open) bar and asked for some orange juice, which the bar tender gave to me in a wine glass. When I returned to my seat, I chugged my juice as quickly as possible. It’s not easy to chug anything out of a wine glass!
By the time we were headed up for cocktail hour, I was back in a normal range and ready to have some dinner. I of course swagged the amazing food from the buffet (salad, apple cider sage roasted turkey, cranberry risotto, etc.) and I tried to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage (I barely missed that mark though because my water glass was removed instead of refilled).
After dinner, we were talking with a group from the Canadian office and we had been talking to one guy for about 10 minutes when something on his belt caught my eye. “The device on your belt, is that an insulin pump?” I asked. (this is a technology company and the word “device” is used a lot, I wasn’t being any nerdier than
anyone else normal.)
“Yes it is,” he responded with a bit of surprise. I asked which model it was because I am not good at identifying tubed pumps. “I wear an OmniPod,” I responded pulling my PDM out of my purse (I had hidden all of my devices with a stomach pod and leg Dex). We talked about our pumps, when we were diagnosed, our CGMs and some of the differences between the US and Canadian healthcare. He asked if I attended a support group and although I know of an adult type 1 group in the area, it’s tough to attend and I mentioned that I know a lot of other type 1s through the internet. The conversation then drifted to normal people topics like family, work and travel.
He was the first male fellow type 1 who I have met in person and I noticed the way he talked about diabetes was a little different than the ladies I’ve met with it. Not much I can put my finger on, maybe just differences in personalities and not gender. Regardless, it was cool to run into another person with diabetes as a plus one.
Here are some of my tips for dealing with diabetes at holiday parties:
- Drink water (completely stolen from this list.)
- Test regularly.
- Enjoy food in small portions.
- Have a plan for fast-acting sugar
- Have fun!
What are your tips for handling diabetes as a plus one at holiday parties?
Wow! Sounds like you’ve gotten to be quite the pro at managing it to the extent you can. I don’t have diabetes but a colleague of mine does and he was always monitoring/eating/drinking/etc. It gets scary sometimes.
Thank you! You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when you’re filling in for an organ. It sounds like your colleague is also doing what he needs to. For many who don’t have diabetes, it can seems scary to see how on top of our own bodies we have to be… it can be scary at times, but it’s just life.