“And to those of you returning, welcome home!” were the words announced by the captain on my flight here to the US. It is a strange concept for me thinking of America as home since I have lived most of my life in Barbados. Everything is different here (you even drive on the wrong side of the road lol) but it is also filled with so much possibility. I have been here since late September and have been experiencing a bit of a culture shock ever since. Moving somewhere new is scary, challenging and exciting all at the same time and having diabetes just makes it more so.

There are a few things I have come to love about having diabetes in the US such as the variety of glucose friendly products that are availiable. Who knew there were so many flavors of diet soda, drink mixes and even fruit juice? In Barbados, we are stuck with diet sprite, pepsi or coke for sodas and unsweeten orange or apple juice. I also had sugarfree candy and cookies for holloween (but I don’t recommend sugarfree chocolate). Some of the menus here actually have nutritional information on them and if they don’t I can google the exact item and find out how many carbs I am eating. I also like the pharmacies here and the fact that I can buy my medication over the counter.

Now that brings me to the one thing I miss about Barbados – free healthcare. All of my supplies are at least twice the cost here than they were back there. I heard it is easier once you have insurance. However, my diabetes treatment options have never been so unlimited before. There is so much choice, from what kind of short or long acting insulin, to insulin pumps, patches, pens and ports, you even have the choice of what length needle you want.

There are other non-diabetes related stuff that I enjoy having like being able to track the bus on my phone, amusements parks, watching american football (go gators) and shopping at mall. Even though there are some pros and cons, I am glad to be able to call here home (I still miss Barbados especially the beaches lol).

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