Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harbin Hot Springs

This past weekend we trekked out to Harbin Hot Springs which is about a 2 hour drive for us. The resort is a small community in Middletown, CA which hosts all the classic California cool hippie-fare, for lack of a better description. Everyone is beautiful, there's a lot of massage and yoga going on, the eats are all organic, in the hot pools you have to remain quiet and no drugs or alcohol on the grounds. And mostly everyone wandering around is naked.

The naked part is new for me too, however I'm getting into it. It is an odd part of the experience but I think a few dips into that daunting pool is enough to sway anybody.  It's fun to hang in the sun and jump in the water as you are--and you get to check everybody else out which is always somewhat reassuring to be honest. Folks come in all sorts of weird sizes with weird additions. It's great.  Just don’t get trapped into any conversations about shamans. 

Hot Tub Therapy, being a real term and all, works great for aches and pain, cardiovascular troubles and arthritis, but for diabetics there is also a whimsical trick hot tubs can play on them—lowering blood sugar.

That’s why we are always listed on the warning signs around hot tubs and spas—"do not use if you have a heart condition, diabetes, blah blah blah"—and I know this to have had huge effects on me throughout the years, dropping my sugars drastically after just half an hour soaking.  So of course I was watching myself carefully at Harbin, drinking tea with jasmine syrup in it to counter the effects of the SUPER HOT pool they have up there—it reaches an illegal sounding 120 degrees and damn, it’s so hard to keep quiet as you try to descend down the stairs without gasping or howling. 

Anyway shortly after we got home, which was a good three hours after soaking in any of the hot springs, my blood sugar dropped hard and fast.  Fast and furious.  Furious and freaken wild.  Alec was biting glucose tablets in half and dropping them into my mouth like a bird to let them dissolve while I pretty much went into convulsions on the couch.  It lasted about 4-6 minutes before the glucose started pulling me back and I lay there looking up at the tapestry I had managed to rip partially off the wall.  Super lows for me are always capped with utter panic and frustration—like your brain just exits the room real quick by accident on its way somewhere else and ends up coming back with a profound sense of the dark side.  Some trick door always gets tripped—then not only am I mad at myself for the low, but the physical toll it takes makes me feel like I’ve gotten hit by a truck.  

It reminded me that it is no joke to mess with the alchemy of blood sugar and hot water.  It also got me thinking that I need a hot tub now to better experiment and nail down a routine to follow.  More to the point, I dream about being prescribed a hot tub that is covered by insurance—yes—and then foregoing calls and other responsibilities because I need to “take my meds” and go sit in it out back.  Oh yes.  Doctor’s orders.  And the blood sugar goes down the old fashioned way…

If you were diabetic at the end of the world, (and I always think about this), could you just live in a hot tub, drinking whiskey and running laps around the neighborhood?  Could you stave off high-blood sugar this way for long?  (I mean long after we have for sure raided and looted the pharmacies for insulin)...

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