I love having guest bloggers stop in from time to time and even though Mary from Along Comes Mary is not a parent (yet), she does have some great insight into being happy, healthy and hip, and not letting her Type 1 Diabetes slow her down.
When I Get Low, I Get High…
by Mary Lansing
I grew up in a pretty musically inclined household; my Mom played piano, my Dad played guitar & my Grandma loves the fine arts & musicals. One of my earliest memories is hearing Stevie Ray Vaughn’s album, The Sky is Crying, blast from my Dad’s room.
While I certainly have my own eclectic taste separate from all of theirs, that combo rubbed off on me some, as my favorite musician is piano genius, Tori Amos. I now work in theatre and love musicals as well.
One of my most favorite activities is seeing my favorite artists perform live. I consider myself lucky to have seen quite a few in concert & frequent gigs whenever possible. But, unlike some people out there, or my friends who often accompany me when I hit up live music, I have to factor in my medical condition.
I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was 8 years old, and while it is fairly manageable, I will admit, it has been a real struggle for me over the years. Especially more so in my adult years as I try to get out on my own, have a social life, date, work, all that good stuff.
Concerts and music are definitely things that keep me going, even though some days require more work than others. I remember when I saw one of my most cherished shows in 2007, The Smashing Pumpkins’ reunion in San Francisco, I felt very dehydrated & light-headed as the three hour set went on. By the time the performance was over and I made a bee line to the restroom, my blood sugar was at 450. I recall being worried about getting low in the middle of the pit, so I pulled back on my insulin a bit and hoped for the best.
That was one of the times it backfired, but nor do I want to feel 50 and like I will collapse (which happened after a fabulous Hole concert), I pulled off the freeway to buy a milkshake at a drive thru.
At The Go-Gos when I was an adolescent (ah, those fun years) I was on what I hoped was a date (I don’t think it was) with a boy, yet got embarrassed when security looked in my purse and told me I could not keep my soda. They understood when I explained I was a diabetic and showed them my blood sugar monitor…yet I was more worried that the guy was thinking I must be some kind of freak! She does INJECTIONS to stay alive?!
I have yet to see harp extraordinaire, Joanna Newsom in concert. I had tickets to attend a show a few years back in LA yet had to pass as my sugar was stubborn and very high, out of range the day of that show and I felt too lethargic and drained to take the drive out there. That is one of the few times I have missed a show due to an illness.
I try not to think too much about how I will feel when I decide to buy concert tickets, or plan anything, really; whether it be a trip to New York, a girls weekend or The KROQ Weenieroast. Yet, when the day does come, of course it is a huge factor. I need to have enough test strips and insulin on me for an all-day event, soda and/or candy if I feel faint, water, my ID bracelet if I can find it (very bad of me! My Mom would not be pleased).
When I got up early this past April for The Long Beach Grand Prix to go root on my favorite actor, Adrien Brody, it WORKED to hardly do any insulin, as I was low most of the day and prepped that morning by having scrambled eggs and a coke for breakfast (when I am having a lower day, soda is better than a lot of carbs for me, & eggs are a staple as the protein usually keeps me in a good range). Lots of lows though have been found to trigger lovely migraines…which do not make for a fun time if I plan to listen to loud, live music…oy.
I find it inspiring when I see rock stars in the spotlight not afraid to discuss their T1 Diabetes; Brett Michaels of Poison and Nick Jonas from The Jonas Brothers are two prime examples.
So, at the end of the day, I could never let my Diabetes slow me down from doing things that I love; my theory is, if I am able to get out, why not? I do know my boundaries and when I need to pass, yet I also know when I could either sit at home and be checking my sugar, or be out checking in between a fantastic live show or during any event. I am always able to recall the great memories made whenever I am at a concert or any event that I love.
I have seen some concert-go-ers’ style get cramped when a baby is born, yet for me, I cannot wait for when I have children and they are at an age they could accompany me to a live gig. I plan to start them out slow, maybe a local open mic night, or a tribute band at a local fair.
A friend of mine is waiting for when her 1-year-old can enjoy LA Phil nights at The Hollywood Bowl. As a huge Tori Amos fan, it is awesome to find out that so many of her hardcore fans have been going to see her since BEFORE they became a parent and now bring their child along and, if they are real lucky, introduce her to them personally at one of her meet & greets
I still have many shows and festivals on my bucket list to get to…Outside Lands and any concert in Central Park are 2 ‘highs’ (Haha! Get it?!) on my list.
What are your favorite concert memories? I still have a box of concert tickets tucked away somewhere and I love looking back on those days and hope to start making concerts and live music a part of our regular routine again. My husband and I (long before we ever started dating) went to see Robert Plant and Jimmy Page during college and my girlfriends and I followed the Beastie Boys three nights in a row in an exhausting, but extremely amazing roadtrip. Those are just a few of my memories. Thanks, Mary, for sharing yours.