As a mother, I tend to hermitize (my word) myself; it’s easier to stay close to home, I tell the in-laws at holiday planning time. We live close to my mom, step-dad, sister and her family so other than our annual summer trek to Maine to visit my dad, we rarely need to travel. We live on a limited income so a “get-away” means a sleep-over at my mom’s house in the country. Gone are the days (before I was a wife and mother) of living abroad, sleeping under the stars, hitch-hiking along the Amalfi Coast, and camping out in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was simple, I carried a bag of GORP (Granola, Oatmeal, Raisins, Peanuts), my shots and meter in my backpack. When I got low canoeing in the Gulf of Mexico, my friend paddled while I ate peanut butter crackers. No big deal. Now, my days are mostly spent at home, so close to home that I rarely even drive on the highway, because everything we need is right here. But not for long. I’m about to be thrown from my comfort zone. Next week, sixteen of us will travel to Guana Island for a week to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday and I’m starting to panic.
I don’t know if I would be such a creature of habit if it wasn’t for diabetes. Maybe I would be the kind of mother that would go camping with her children and cook dinner over a fire if I wasn’t diabetic. Maybe I use my disease as a crutch (like my high school nurse long ago accused me) and maybe I should push myself out of my comfort zone. Maybe I’m just stuck in a rut. Maybe I’m teaching my kids that taking risks, changing schedules is hard or bad. That idea scares me. So I am looking forward to our trip because I know it will force me out of my habits.
My son asks me if they have toy stores in Guana and I say I don’t think so which is like a domino effect- making me wonder about food. The airlines charge extra for each bag but what if I get low? (I always get low when I travel because of the change in schedule, change in eating habits etc.etc.) Will I be able to run, what if I can’t run? I don’t want my blood sugar to be low but I also don’t want to be high because I can’t exercise…..I’ll need to pack enough bags of Skittles, syringes, blood strips and insulin so I don’t run out because what if there are no stores on Guana?
This is why I never travel! Ugh. I don’t want to think about packing food. All I want to think about is spending time on a beautiful island with my family, so why can’t I turn off these nagging questions in my head? It’s easier to live inside my bubble where I eat the same thing every day, exercise at the same time, run the same trails, have the same snacks and can always find sugar when I get low. It’s easier, less scary, more manageable, predictable, safe and dull. So here I go, off the diving-board, into the deep-end. I’ll write back when I re-surface.