Tales of Desert Altitude

If you’ve seen some of my pictures on facebook, you may have noticed that I live in a desert.

A very hot desert in the summer (it’s cooling off now but was still about 95 degrees F for the average high when I got here) and a very cold desert in the winter (I have heard it could get as low as -30 F!).

The reason it gets hot and cold like this is because of the altitude. The park sits at about 5,000 feet on average, and that’s about a 3,500 feet difference than what I’m used to at home.

Needless to say, after about a week, I am feeling kind of sick.

I’m very not used to 9 percent humidity. This time of year at home they are at about 50 percent, and upwards to 90-100 before it rains. At night it gets up there too because their dew point is so high right now. But here, in the daytime, the humidity so far has sat around 10 percent. That’s a desert. And that is hurting my body and destroying my hope for good blood sugars a week or two into my stay here.


I’ve stopped drinking anything besides water. Today I woke up with a stomach ache and absentmindedly brewed some coffee. Uhm, not happening. I can’t even fathom choking down cereal right now. And I was hydrated before I went to sleep. My body won’t be ready for food until about 9am, probably. And it’s making it really hard for me to stay out of the 200’s, and when I come down I come down hard. I’ve gone though one giant bag of skittles and am about to finish off a smaller one, and the only complex carbs I have left are a few crackers and some bread. Needless to say, lows are not my friend, especially while trying to give a guided tour to a group of 80 people.

I am not trying to be a downer, but this is what is happening in my life right now. It’s frustrating enough dealing with a change in altitude and temperature and humidity, but throwing diabetes and stress (I had to switch apartments about a week after I got here) makes it all the more difficult.

But it will get better. It has to get better. Our bodies adjust. They fall in to routine. Six months should give me plenty of time for that. Heck, I never have had the same schedule for more than four months since high school. So bring it on, altitude, weather, and all. I can handle it and so can my diabetes.

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