Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Real Vacation

We just spent ten days in Puerto Rico, a real vacation. Since Ben’s diagnosis we have travelled to Florida for the Children with Diabetes conference and to California for a few weddings. (FYI … flying across time zones can really wreak havoc on BGs.)  But this trip felt like our first real vacation. We had nothing to do but enjoy ourselves. And somewhere along the way, I completely stopped worrying about BGs. I stopped obsessing about the line graph on Ben’s CGM and I was unphased by Ben’s nightly BGs floating in the 200s.

Now the vacation didn’t actually start off quite so stress free.

One of the very first things we wanted to do was spend a few days visiting the small island of Culebra, which is an hour ferry ride off the east coast of the main island of Puerto Rico. (I like to describe Culebra as the Nantucket of Puerto Rico.) The ferry departs the main island twice a day, first at 9:00 am and then at 3:00 pm. (That’s it!) We arrived two hours early to purchase our tickets. Unfortunately, that was no way early enough. We were greeted with a long line. One of those lines that wraps around the corner and down a couple blocks, the kind of line that when you get in there is no way to see the start.  This line was filled with locals, Puerto Rican tourists, American tourists, English tourists and Chinese tourists (among others). And most of us were unsure of exactly what was going on because the line never seemed to move. It only got longer. Occasionally, there would be an announcement over a loudspeaker that almost no one understood.  Oh … and it was hot!

While I stood in line, Jeff waited on a bench nearby with the boys and our bags. As I waited in line I chatted with my fellow hopeful ferry passengers. We learned that the early ferry only had room for 200 passengers and there clearly were more than 200 people in line. People started telling stories about how the government had recently cancelled the contract for the company that had run the ferry. Now the local government had taken over and things had gotten confusing. There was a rumor that they were only selling one-way tickets.  We would have to stand in line again to purchase tickets to come back.  And again there are only two ferries returning each day.

That’s when I started to panic!
What if something went wrong with Ben?
It’s happened before.
His insulin could get ruined from the heat
It is baking in the sun right now as I stand in line!
We only brought one bottle with us.
Our backup is in the frig back in San Juan.
What if there was an emergency?
We would be stranded with no ticket to return.
And even if we had a ticket we could be waiting hours for the ferry.
Maybe this was just the worst idea ever!
Maybe I should just give up, find some air conditioning and head back to San Juan?

Then one of the guys from the couple in front of me cut back in line.  He had left to make a call to the local airport.  He was trying to find another way to the island.  Apparently, you can catch a plane to Culebra.  The flight was too expensive for them (and too expensive you our family too).  BUT, there are flights!  If we did have a diabetes emergency we could go straight to the airport (which is really just a small strip of grass where those tiny planes can take off and land).  We might have to max out credit cards to pay for the flight but we could get off the island.

Deep breathe
My big ball of stress started to unravel.

We will be fine.  With that simple plan I stopped panicking.  And that was the end of my diabetes worries.  Like the real end … for the rest of the trip.  Instead, of worrying where the closest emergency room was I started worrying where the closest Pina Colada was!

Eventually, the line started moving and we got tickets on the 3 pm ferry and return tickets for two days later!  We had the most FABULOUS time on Culebra.  Here is a picture we took on the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.  (By the way, I have no idea what Ben’s blood sugar was.)

1 comment:

  1. this post is like a deep, cleansing breath!

    I'm thinking about what I would have done in that line, and hoping I'd do what you guys did.