Havasupai: Lessons in risk and Adventure

The Diabetes Coach is happy to have another guest blog fromTyler Brown this week. He is an inspiration and motivator for many!

I’ve never seen myself as really being held back by diabetes when it comes to takingo n new activities or adventures. When I was a teenager I raced in road bike races through Arizona and even raced the 111-mile El Tour de Tucson when I was fourteen years old. Did diabetes make this more challenging? Yes. Did diabetes make each race and every outing slightly more complex? Yes. And did diabetes cause sometimes cause me to worry before, during, and after each race. Yes. But diabetes never made it impossible for me to pursue those things which I love.  In truth, that’s just the nature of living with this disease—almost every activity brings with it concerns and complicating factors that the average person does not have to concern themselves with.

For example, this weekend my wife and I will be hiking to Havasupai at the bottom
of the Grand Canyon and camping for a few days. While others may only have to
concern themselves with packing enough of the essentials—food, water, and
shelter—I find myself wondering how I can bring all my diabetes and pump
supplies. I question how I will be able to keep my insulin cool and what I will
do if my insulin pump decides this weekend is an opportune time to stop
working. And of course I find myself worrying about what lows I might encounter
and wondering just how much glucose I need to pack to keep my blood sugar

These are worries and sources of stress unique to the diabetic. And to
be honest, I often find myself tempted to opt out of such events and outings
rather than tackle the substantial challenges that come with such adventures.
But here’s how I see it: I can either make the most of this life knowing that I
will likely encounter many challenges with diabetes, or I can have the peace of
mind that my disease will never cause me stress but sacrifice all of those
potential adventures and experiences. When it comes down to it, each diabetic
must decide where along the continuum of adventure and risk they want to live.
As for me, I would like to make the most of this life and take each challenge
diabetes throws my way one step at a time.

Tyler Brown


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