Getting Settled in Lima
After two smooth flights and some pretty decent BGs, I arrived at Lima late Saturday night.
I met my Airbnb hosts at their apartment in Miraflores, dropped my bags, and headed out to find some late dinner.
Even though it wasn’t on the menu, I managed to order steamed rice and sautéed vegetables at a late night cafe. I was impressed with my negotiation skills — I was able to get a healthy meal! Not long after, I went to bed with the goal of waking up early for a morning run. I was very excited to be back running at sea level!
On Sunday mornings in Lima, one of the main streets in the city is blocked off for cyclists and runners. My morning started at 7am, and though I was a little sleep deprived I was ready to get some movement in my legs. 7.5 miles later and with the sun already shining strong at 8am, I was finished.
My hosts were friendly and took me to a local market where there was a vegan breakfast food stall selling vegan bread and vegan breakfast wraps. Not my first choice for food but sometimes I feel trapped to say yes when someone goes out of their way to take me to a vegan place. So I had one and was preparing for a post-breakfast high. We also snuck in a fresh juice, which was definitely more to my liking.
Thankfully, my post-breakfast high didn’t happen as I wandered the streets of Lima popping in and out of shops and sipping on water as the sun became stronger and stronger. I found the ocean, too! The suburb of Miraflores is set on a cliff above the ocean with beautiful parks surrounding the cliffs edge with perfect views and running paths.
Lunch was another little disappointment at the only vegetarian restaurant open on a Sunday. I had their set menu which consisted of a vegetable soup, juice, rice, veggies and more fake meat. I guess the supermarket was my next stop!
Dazzling Local Sites
In the evening I decided to venture to a touristy water fountain park and wow, was it worth it!
The water fountains were lit up with beautiful colorful lights, which looked magical even to the adult eye. Children were running through the fountains, shouting, laughing and getting lost in the simplicity of water flowing through pressure hoses.
Monday started with some more tourist activities after I slightly over-bolused for breakfast and snuck in a hot chocolate as I boarded the Lima tourist sightseeing bus. It quickly became an extremely warm morning with the sun streaming directly onto my face. The tour bus ventured to downtown Lima and the historic center where we saw the Presidential Palace, the main plaza and of course some beautiful old churches.
I snacked on too many dried fruits on the bus tour and finished with a BG of 200. I tried to rehydrate for the rest of the afternoon — not only is dehydration bad for the body, it’s hard to keep your BGs in range when you’re dehydrated. I thought I’d done a reasonable job and headed to a RAW VEGAN CAFE for dinner!! The excitement buzzing inside of me — raw vegan in Latin America was unheard of!
Tuesday morning, though I was a little sun kissed, I rose at 6am to beat the heat and fit in a 6-mile run along the beach. Wow, was it beautiful! After my run I headed out for a 8-km walk to a neighboring suburb called Barranco.
Do I Have Heat Stroke?
By 10am, the sun was out in full force and trying to stay hydrated was a challenge. It didn’t help that my BG was a little on the higher side, sitting at around 200.
By the early afternoon I was so exhausted and over heated that I was back at the apartment taking a cold shower and trying to rehydrate. As the night went on the heat exhaustion got worse and I prayed I didn’t have heat stroke. I wanted to continue to avoid Latin American hospitals at all costs.
I survived the night with my heat exhaustion and avoided the need for emergency care. By the time I woke from my restless sleep I had enough energy to head to a local restaurant for breakfast. I changed my infusion set before I headed out and my BGs seemed to be creeping higher from the moment I had changed it.
Post-breakfast I was at 300 which I didn’t expect. I decided to change my infusion set when I got back to the apartment. As soon as I took it out I noticed the cannula was bent. Damn! Now it made sense. I had a new infusion set in and more insulin into my body. High BGs were definitely not helping my dehydration situation. It only seemed to worsen as the day went on. By early evening I had a high fever and my BGs were not behaving. I struggled to keep them below 200 overnight and into the next day, though my fever broke in the early hours of Thursday morning.
This was not how I wanted to start my time in Peru. I knew my BGs would stay elevated until I got the virus out of my body so wasn’t looking forward to the next few days. I wanted to recover as quickly as possible.
I was set to fly to Cusco the next morning and I wasn’t going to miss my flight.
This is a guest post series from Amy McKinnon, a One Drop user and 28-year-old ex-advertising executive who recently swapped her NYC apartment for an oversized backpack to explore the streets of Latin America for six months. Amy has lived with type 1 diabetes for 15 years and tries her best to balance blood glucose levels, marathon training and a high-carb raw vegan diet. Now she has thrown travel into the mix. EDITOR’S NOTE: Amy is a performance athlete and consumes a high-carb diet. At One Drop, we believe that a low-carb approach to food reduces the risk of high and low blood glucose incidents and can effectively reduce blood glucose levels overall. However, we want to share a variety of personal experiences so we can all learn how other people live their lives with diabetes. Always consult your doctor before making changes to a prescribed regimen.