The Importance of Knowing Your Surroundings When You are a Diabetic

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • I am one of many, many people who are transplants living in San Diego. Only a fraction of the people I've met in this city were actually born and raised here. San Diego is a wonderful place to live, and thousands of people have moved here from all over the country (I reason that this is why there are so many bad drivers - everyone is used to different driving customs!). One thing about living in a new place, particularly one as large and spread out as San Diego, is that it takes awhile for things to feel like home.


    This weekend I suddenly felt a deep sense of home in my neighborhood, and it was a uniquely diabetic experience:

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    My mom, Dennis, Sienna, and I attended the annual December Nights in Balboa Park event. Previously known as Christmas on the Prado, this festival has been a tradition for Dennis and me since we were dating. It's a lovely display of various cultures from around the world and provides San Diegans with a wonderful holiday atmosphere, as we bundle up in scarves, mittens, and hats to face the sub 60 degree weather!


    As we strolled home on Saturday night, I was thirsty from eating Kettle Corn, so I suggested we stop at this convenient store that we'd pass between the park and our home. This topic suddenly started a conversation about times we'd stopped at that particular store when my blood sugar was low.


    I recalled one circumstance that occurred when Dennis and I were dating. We'd gone out for a run and my blood sugar dropped when we were halfway through the run and nearly 2 miles from Dennis's apartment. We jogged over to this convenient store and got some Gatorade for me.


    My mom reminded us that just last year, when I was pregnant with Sienna, my blood sugar was low as we returned from a walk to Balboa Park and Dennis had to run ahead of us to the store for some orange juice.


    Reminiscing about these situations made me feel oddly comfortable and secure. Even though it's best to always have something with you to correct a low (and typically I do) it's also important to be familiar with your surroundings in case a low strikes that you're not prepared to treat.


    I thought it was funny that having a history with this convenience store made me feel at home in my neighborhood. A history of low blood sugar episodes is such a unique experience for diabetics and their families. Having my mom and husband share my trip down memory lane also made me feel secure; just to have people that love me and are intimately aware of my medical condition and how to help me when I need it.


    I also started thinking about convenience stores in general. This particular store in a national chain that provides many services: smokers drop in regularly for cigarettes, kids stop in for candy, and coffee and sodas are consumed by the gallon by tired, thirsty patrons. But, personally, my only need for a convenient store is for something to treat my low blood sugar when I'm caught without something to eat or drink.


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    Diabetics certainly experience the world a little differently, don't we?


Published On: December 09, 2008