Monday, August 17, 2009

Traveling With Diabetes

"Mark, how is traveling with diabetes? How do you prepare?"
I get this question asked to me by many diabetics, both new patients and first time travelers. I write this post from a pesonal perspective. Currently, my job has me traveling every other month, so it's only fitting that I write this before leaving for Minneapolis, MN.
Here are some tips and tricks:

1. Carry a backup of a backup of a backup. This includes two BG meters, two vials of Novolog, two vials of BG strips, 2-3 pods, batteries, low BG food, and anything else you could need in case of an emergency. You may think this is overkill. You may think that nothing is going to happen to you. You probably never saw the movie, "Die Hard 2". It's okay. But DO NOT falsely believe that, "nothin' bad's gonna happen to me" garbage. Life happens. Get over it.

Okay, so this is from Die Hard. Don't get caught without your shoes on. :D

2. As a pain as this may sound, test your BG while on the plane and preferably right before takeoff. Why? Your adrenaline is about to take your BGs either high or low. For me, my BG generally shoots 30-50 points higher. (Thank you, liver!) As such, I take an extra unit to correct.

3. Before traveling, it is always a good practice to re-verify flights, car rentals, and hotel stays. As I found out a couple of weeks ago, my hotel reservation was inadvertently cancelled. Something about a "system error". Thankfully they still had my initial reservation and all turned out well.

TSA [Transportation Security Administration]. I carry on all of my diabetes supplies. That said, I have NEVER had a problem with a TSA agent/officer. Even with the OmniPod, they have taken very good and considerable care of me. I've had my new PDM through the x-ray and hand scanned (wand). The PDM worked afterward without a problem. As a side story, the Jacksonville TSA folks asked if they could run my new PDM through both scanners. I was honored as a number of TSA personnel observed. It was nothing short of being great. They were extremely nice as generally everywhere I've been.

The more prepared you are, the better you will be in case an issue arises.

Oh, and have fun! Your positive attitude reflects to everyone you meet.


CALpumper aka Crystal said...

Great post! Backing up those back ups!

Traveling by any mode of transportation makes my bg go wonky. Doesn't help that generally I am wonky.

Die Hard 2. Nice.

wv: hashar
Have fun with that! ;-)

Travel safe and have fun!

Tim said...

Travelling through Europe, I don't tend to have any problems taking insulin, etc., through airport security.

The Scots wave me through; the English smile me through with their bad teeth; and the French shrug at my insulin - "Bof!" they say and light another Gauloise.