Friday, August 03, 2007


I'm back from England! Truthfully, I've been back since July 14th. Long enough to catch a PawSox game with a couple of fellow bloggers, celebrate my one year blogaversary (this is post #70), start swimming at the local boys and girls' club as a form of exercise, celebrate several high school graduations and birthdays, baptisms, general cookouts and all the normal summer activities! I sure have kept very busy!

England was amazing! I haven't felt quite that refreshed in a long time. It was great to just get away and relax. I was able to read a couple of books; including The Kite Runner, which I couldn't put down. This cost me a little bit of sleep at the beginning of the trip.
Another highlight of the trip was the last day we spent in London. We had hit all of our "must see" spots and even a couple of other sights. All but one; I wanted to get to St. Paul's Cathedral and in particular climb to the top of the dome.

Before climbing to the top(not the first observation deck above the statues, but the second one, below the gold topper thing), we toured some of the cathedral and stopped to sit outside of the cafe in the crypt. Feeling a little shaky, I checked my blood sugar and came in low. Found some orange juice and set a temp basal rate as we were then off to tackle the dome. As it was the end of the day, we were some of the last people allowed up, which didn't allow for much stopping time to let the OJ hit and temp basal catch up. I was hopeful that I had given it enough time and we started up. The stairs were tough! I am in no way, shape or form, cut out for climbing 484 stairs all in one trip, so I stopped a couple of times at first, but then it got to the point where you couldn't stop or turn around or really move without bumping into either the person in front of you or the person behind you.

We must have been about 10 steps from the very top, with about a dozen or so people behind us and we stopped to photograph through a hole in the ground that showed the view of the cathedral floor below us. It was at this point that I realized something didn't feel right. Someone had the forethought many many years before this incident to provide me with a bench in that small hallway atop St. Paul's and I sat to test. 45. I was 45!! FORTY-FIVE!!
I had 5 glucose tabs to eat and 2 to spare and very little time to get up the last 10 steps, enjoy the view and then make my way down--or so I thought! Thankfully, I could sit for about 5 minutes before I really needed to move out of the hallway so the woman at the top could lock up. (I did completely suspend my pump at this point too) Once at the top, however, I had to wait for everyone else in front of me to take in the scene and get moving. They moved slow and I had plenty of time to look around, take some photos and most importantly, feel my blood sugar come up.

At the time, I was frustrated, but not angry and the enormity of the situation didn't really hit me. 45 at the top of St. Pauls with 434 winding, steep and narrow steps separating me from the ground floor, and a travel companion who only understood the glucagon I showed her in theory. In retrospect, I wish I had a lot more glucose tabs on me, but a low earlier that morning had half wiped me out. I'm thankful that I was near the cafe when I treated the original low only 45 mins earlier and did not use the last of my glucose tabs.

That was by far my worst low of the whole trip. Overall I was very happy with my blood sugars--walking all day, every day does wonderful things! :) The view is of the Thames to the West of the Cathedral (I believe) with the London Eye on the left.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Scary! Glad that you made it out of there Ok. And welcome back!

Kevin said...

Welcome back!

I remember climbing those stairs many, many years ago now (12? 13?). Did you get to whisper around the dome? That was so cool.

Having a low in those situations suck. I'm glad you were able to deal with it and still enjoy the view, though.