I’m really hoping that this blog will be useful for my fellow type 1s who feel like going on an all inclusive holiday will really muck up their blood glucose control and leave them feeling awful. I can assure you – I did it and it was hard but I enjoyed every second. I’ll be honest from the outset though, my levels weren’t great because I did indulge in all the alcohol but since I’ve been back I’ve managed to reign them back in and under control.
When your life revolves around counting carbs, checking your blood glucose levels and injecting insulin, the idea of going on an all inclusive holiday where you are open to as much alcohol and food as you like, can definitely sound like a daunting experience. When you work hard every day to keep yourself healthy and your levels in range the idea of going on an all inclusive holiday and letting go a bit might just bugger up all your hard work – and no one wants to bugger up all their hard work but sometimes you just have to enjoy yourself and indulge a little bit – obviously without really harming yourself or putting yourself in any danger.
When my boyfriend and I booked our holiday I didn’t have any fears or reservations about going all inclusive. In fact, I was really excited about it! I knew it would be an interesting challenge. I took it all in my stride and thought that it would be an amazing opportunity to write a blog and share my experience.
Whilst away I compiled a list of everything I drank and took pictures of everything I ate (hypo treatments excluded). I have put it all into tables to try and show how things effected me throughout the trip. I think it is safe to say that the alcohol had the biggest effect on my blood glucose overall. So here we go…
Majorca 2018 – Alcudia – HSM President Hotel – All Inclusive 7 nights.
(It took me a long time to compile all of the information and photos into a table… I then realised that it was difficult to change the table into various JPEG images – but I got there in the end!)
Wednesday 20th June 2018 – Day 1
So, I started off the first day well, despite it being so early in the morning. Not sure why my blood glucose was high before lunch but that could have been caused by a mixture of traveling, jumping an hour ahead and being tired. You never know! It’s very clear that the alcohol shoots up my blood sugar before tea and that I end up over injecting for tea. Doh!
Thursday 21st June 2018 – Day 2
The day started off not too shabby and then eventually my blood glucose crept up with all the alcohol. I know it’s bad but the sangria was so good! When in Majorca right?! When it comes to food, I was trying to keep it as low carb as possible whilst still having some carbs so I wouldn’t end up too drunk. The balancing act is difficult. (Also, I saw a typo in this table and I do apologise but I really can’t face editing these tables again! So if there’s anymore lying ahead I apologise!!!)
Friday 22nd June 2018 – Day 3
Such a good start to the day until I injected far too much for the ice cream! I think I knew that my blood glucose had been running a bit high so I was desperate for it not to be high. Definitely over-egged that one by miles. However, I managed to bring it back round to a respectable level for tea and the alcohol ruined my evening levels. Again.
Saturday 23rd June 2018 – Day 4
Still running high before bed. Its very difficult because of the alcohol intake to get it right. I never used to inject for alcohol because I was always worried that it would send me into a hypo. After a productive appointment with the diabetes nurse I have learned that doing a correction dose for alcohol does help and I will therefore be doing that every time now.
Sunday 24th June 2018 – Day 5
Either I definitely got the evening injection wrong, or the alcohol has ruined me again. (Probably the latter). I must admit though that for the amount of alcohol I drank on the holiday I didn’t really ever get drunk. I guess it was spread out over a longer period of time.
Monday 25th June 2018 – Day 6
That Capri Sun did me in for the hypos on this day. We also spent a bit of time walking around so a combination of that, the heat and over-injecting slightly for the Capri Sun didn’t help me out then! I have definitely established that Baileys is not a good drink for me, or probably any diabetic for that matter. Insulin definitely required! As for being unwell, I’m sorry about putting in that detail but it happened and I couldn’t leave it out. Not very nice at all, but I did feel a lot better after getting it out of my system! Sorry for the info!
Tuesday 26th June 2018 – Day 7
Ok so, I definitely drank 4 glasses of sangria midday because it was our last day and we were really enjoying our final day there! It didn’t set me up well for the rest of the day, no. However, I think this is the first night where I’ve not been high before bed! Still resulted in a hypo during the night though.
Wednesday 27th June 2018 – Day 8 – Home time!
Didn’t really start the day off well when leaving Majorca, but I managed to get myself back on track after this! Hypos are never fun!
What did I learn?
I’ve learned that it is ok to enjoy myself on holiday! However, I have learned that alcohol really does effect my blood glucose, especially the likes of sangria and baileys – which to be fair, I wouldn’t normally be drinking at home. Corrections throughout the day for the alcohol are 100% required for me. In terms of injecting for food, I don’t think I did badly at all and I did try to keep it as low carb as possible on most occasions.
We will definitely be going on an all inclusive holiday again in the future because financially it makes so much sense too when you think about how much you could be spending day and night on top of what you’ve already paid for the flights and the hotel. I think next time however, I will really have to think harder about my choice of drinks and whether I need to inject at the time for them or not.
It was an insightful week and despite the erratic blood glucose readings I’m glad that I’ve done it and I’m glad I can be really honest and open and share it with you all. I hope that this blog has given you some insight into how to tackle an all inclusive holiday for my fellow type 1 diabetics and an insight into just how hard it is to be a type 1 diabetic for the rest of you!
Now, Bobby and I have never been on an all inclusive holiday before so it really was an interesting novelty for us (which I’ve said we will 100% do again!). At first I really couldn’t get my head around the idea of just ordering a drink and walking away from the bar with it without “paying”. Believe me, I got used to it in the end though!