Traveling internationally with diabetes

Next month I am taking my first international trip as a grown up .. The only time I’ve left the US is when I went to Mexico on a couple of mission trips in high school, and that doesn’t really count. 😉 I do remember, though, the 2nd trip we took there was just a few months into my new diagnosis and I was still on 5 daily shots a day. I remember having to keep my insulin in the community fridge and being worried someone was going to break it – there were a lot of teenagers in/out of that fridge. And one night we drove as a group to McDonald’s for dinner – it was quite a ways away and we got there and I realized I’d forgotten my insulin at the camp. Our Youth pastor drove me all the way back to get it, and by the time I got back to McDonald’s, everyone had finished eating but they politely waited for me.

So now I’m all grown up, a wife and mommy, and I’m traveling to London with a small group of 6 people. I’m trying to prepare as much as I can ahead of time. But I’ve never been that far from home. I know diabetics travel internationally every day -I personally know several who do it, and I have asked their opinions. But I’m having to plan out everything from – how many extra supplies do I pack? Have to have extra pump supplies and extra insulin. And batteries for my pump and for my meter. And syringes in case my pump fails or malfunctions. Thinking about what’s the best way to carry my supplies so they’re not all loose in my suitcase. And how much of my supplies do I carry in my backpack during the day while we’re out walking 5+ miles each day.

And thinking about will I need to do a temp basal to increase my daily amount to counter all the walking we’ll be doing? That part I won’t know till I get there. I do know we won’t be eating 3 square meals a day. We will get up and have a big breakfast, then be on the go the rest of the day. Some people will only bring protein bars and/or beef jerky and that will suffice for the day. I know that’s not the best option for me, especially with all the walking. So I’ll have to figure that out. I’m told there are places we can eat along the way so I’m hoping I can either take enough snacks to keep me going, or to stop for eat least a second big meal for the day.

I am more comfortable with all of this now that I have my Dexcom. And one of my friends going has said she’d put the Share app on her phone so she can get alerts if I start to go too low.

Lots of unknowns going into this, but doing my best to plan as much as I can ahead of time. Just making me realize how much more goes into traveling with diabetes. But at least I know I can do it and I cannot wait to have this experience!!

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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6 Responses to Traveling internationally with diabetes

  1. dyoung1@aol.com says:

    Okay, don’t be surprised if I’m hanging on to your legs begging you not to go……. 🙂

  2. mumoftype1 says:

    Hi, you might well know all this! I’m just back from a trip to the UK, including London, with my T1 son. Do you have FRIO packs to transport your insulin? They were great. In the UK there are fab meal deals in all the shops ( eg Sainsburys supermarket, Boots the Chemist,and Marks and Spencers) where you get a sandwich, drink and snack for anything from £3-5. They have the carbs on the packaging which makes it a cheap, healthy and easily available way to eat during the day. These shops are everywhere and the range of sandwiches, wraps and healthy snacks was great. Enjoy your trip!

  3. StephenS says:

    Shannon, I’m so excited for you to take this trip. Enjoy it! Everything will work out just fine, I know it.

  4. Pingback: Full circle? | No More Shots for Shannon

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