Today’s prompt asks us to “Write about what’s in your bag / purse / backpack every day”. Many people with diabetes have to carry around a myriad of things to make certain that they are in control of their diabetes at all times. That mostly pertains to people who inject insulin, which I don’t. Add to that the fact that I am retired and spend most of my time at home means that I don’t have the need to carry around a boatload of stuff. However, I do carry a meal bar in my purse at all times for when we are going to be gone over a mealtime just in case we don’t take time to eat. I also carry my meter with me if I’m particularly concerned about my glucose or when I’m going out of town. Other than that, my “on the go” diabetes needs are pretty insignificant. However, that doesn’t mean that diabetes doesn’t go with me.
Diabetes is in my head all the time; I’m not much different than other people with diabetes in that respect. I carry around a variety of “tools” wherever I go, even if they’re not in my purse. As someone with T2 I need to control what I consume in order to ensure that my glucose doesn’t rise too high. That can be tricky when you’re traveling or out shopping for the day because we sometimes have limited choices when eating on the road. That’s ok because I have some tricks that I carry with me for the times when I’m faced with unexpected meal choices. I have learned that I don’t have to be stuck eating a salad at a restaurant. I will often order an omelet with tomatoes instead of potatoes and either no toast or I only eat one slice. (Be careful to ask if the restaurant adds pancake batter to their omelets! That is something that is done so watch out!) Just the other day we were eating lunch while out running errands and I ordered a tuna club sandwich. Horror for someone with diabetes! All that bread! I simply removed at least half of the bread and used the lettuce to hold the sandwich or ate the filling with a fork. Ray, bless his heart, is rarely embarrassed by my odd eating habits. I ordered coleslaw as my side and ended up with a tasty meal that wasn’t out of line with my D plan. Score!
The point is to remember that it’s ok to ask for modifications to your meal. Most restaurants are open to that. Sometimes you have to pay a bit extra, like adding avocado, but I’m worth it! It’s far better to pay a bit extra than it is to consume foods that you know are poor choices. I have observed that more and more restaurants are ready, willing and able to make substitutions. I think that’s because more and more people are aware of their health and are asking for changes more often. The other trick I utilize now and then is to ask for a to-go box at the beginning of my meal and put half of the food inside before I start to eat. This is a great idea for those restaurants that load you down with ridiculous amounts of food that no one should be eating at one sitting.
Regardless of the fact that my diabetes doesn’t require a lot of accoutrements, I carry it with me at all times. It’s ok, I’ve got this. It’s in the bag.