Never a dull moment in the life of a type 1 diabetic. No matter how strictly one sticks to the routine, some factors can’t be guessed at, let alone controlled.

My 87 year old father survived a heart attack recently. Wonderful news! Impeccable timing too, a week before his and mother’s usual minders leave on a seven week world tour.

It’s a no-brainer: the olds can’t be left on their own and dear brother needs a well-deserved break. I pack spare Libre sensors, glucose meter, strips, insulin, needles and jellybeans, and fly 2,500 km south for a month. Goodbye balmy Cairns, hello freezing Bathurst!

Within two days the drama begins: blood sugar out of control. At home I need to inject 5 units of insulin per day, in Bathurst I need 28.

Why?

Good question.

Food? Same as at home: high carb, no added fat, whole foods plant based vegan.

Exercise? Two hours a day, instead of three. No cycling. Two circuits of Mt. Panorama on foot.

Water? Possible. The water supply here is fluoridated, at home not.

Weather? Likely. It seems that sugar is an anti-freeze, and in cold weather the body ups the availability of sugar to burn, and so to keep warm.

Next problem: how much insulin to shoot up. Being a carb-only eater, carb counting is meaningless. It’s back to seat of the pants, finger in the wind, will I wake up again in the morning, scientific trial and error. I haven’t bolused for a long time. Tried it for a few days, and got nowhere.

In the end I remembered Dr McDougall’s treatment of type 1s: one daily slow acting insulin injection of about 30-40 units. No bolus. Bold and trusting, I keep on screwing out the Levemir pen: 5 units, 10, 15, 20, 25 and then 28. Bingo!

Houston, we have control!

In a few weeks time we’ll have some fun with the reverse procedure.

And my endo will say: you’re wrong.😊