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8 Vacation Observations.

I’m feeling somewhat refreshed after a week away, but also a little bummed about the change in temperatures at home, and mostly about the dwindling amount of sunshine in the days here in North America. To begin the week, since I seem to be stuck at eights lately, I thought I would offer eight observations from the previous week:

Transportation Security Administration: We’re still finding different rules in different airports. In Baltimore, take out your iPad, and take off both your shoes and your belt. In Fort Myers, you can leave your belt on, and you can leave your iPad in your bag. But regardless of where you go, don’t forget to empty your pockets. I got yelled at (and I mean YELLED AT) by a TSA agent at BWI, but my pockets were empty. He was very, very unhappy, and came out from behind the barricade he was behind, walking straight toward me, pointing. Until I pointed out that what he saw was my insulin pump, after which he said “Okay, just go through here and we’ll take care of you right away”. With a smile on his face.

Pump Vacation: I took an unexpected pump vacation for a few days down in Florida. After being in the pool for a while, with my pump in a cooler (inside a plastic bag– thanks Kelly), I took it out, reattached, and started receiving button errors that I’d never seen before. I couldn’t get the ACT button on my Medtronic Revel pump to work at all. I worked with it for about half an hour and started to get some functionality back, but the ACT button was still spotty, so I just took the battery out and went on MDI for about three days. I reconnected Friday night, and everything seems to be okay, but the ACT button still needs a little extra oomph to work properly. I’m happy to report that despite all this, diabetes played a mostly secondary role this past week. But this is a huge wake-up call for me, a big reminder that because my pump warranty expired over 6 months ago, maybe I shouldn’t wait too much longer to decide on a new pump.

How would you like to be cooked? Why is it that while you’re on vacation, you’re always worried about getting too much sun, but as soon as you’re back, you think you didn’t get enough? Inquiring minds want to know.

Speaking of not enough: When did I get the mentality that I’ll never be able to do enough diabetes advocacy? When I started this blog, I wanted to help where I could, thinking that I probably wouldn’t be able to do much. By this point, I’ve accomplished about ten times more than I ever thought I would, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. Oh well… I guess I’ll continue to try to help where I can, as long as there is a need. And unfortunately, there is still a need.

Reading: My reading at home is mostly at the rate of ten pages at a time. That’s how many pages I can read on the train to work, during my short lunch, and on the train home. Thirty pages per day. So vacation is usually when I get a chance to dive into something without missing a stop (I’ve been known to do that). On this trip, I read the fabulous Billy Crystal autobiography Still Foolin’ ‘Em, which will make you laugh out loud in public places, often. Great background stories on the projects he’s worked on over the decades too. I also read through Blog Inc., by blogger Joy Deangdeelert Cho. It’s mostly about monetizing your blog, which I’m not much interested in. But there are some great tips on blogging in general that I found useful, and that you might find useful too. I especially liked the interview with Emily Henderson on page 115 where she talked about why she started blogging.

The ATL: Travel both ways this time was routed through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. For the life of me, I can’t understand why an airport that claims to be the busiest in the country makes my wife with arthritic feet walk half a mile (literally) to find out what gate her next flight departs from. And while we’re at it, why do pilots still make an announcement that says “If you need help finding your next flight, an attendant will be at the end of the jetway to help you”? Because those attendants don’t exist. They were “right-sized” out of the company while you were adding 50 bucks to my fare so I could actually take the luggage I’ve never paid extra for before. We did find someone at an empty gate a few gates down, who refused to look up our connecting flight and pointed us in the general direction of where we could find our departure. If we moved fast enough so we wouldn’t miss it.

Bonus: The ATL does include sharps containers in the restrooms. I found this one in the back of the Men’s room in terminal D next to the urinals. Great idea, bad placement.

DSMA: Despite wi-fi that was slow as molasses, I was able to sit in on last Wednesday’s DSMA Twitter Chat, and it was still one of the highlights of my week. I think it’s safe for me to say my life would be a little LOT less happy without that crazy hour of questions, answers, encouragement, and support. Even on vacation.

Finally… Pictures! Here are a couple of sunrise photos from Sanibel, Florida. One, sunrise looking toward Bonita Beach and Estero at low tide, and one showing the famous Sanibel Lighthouse. Enjoy your Monday!


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