On the Road with Diabetes (& the D left at home)

Here I go.

I’m at the airport gate waiting for a flight to the Public Library Association Conference. Like a lot of people I love the idea of traveling, and I like going someplace new, but I find the preparation and actual travel to be stressful. What to pack? (especially when the forecast is for temps from 30 – 60, sun, rain, snow) Trying not to forget anything important, making sure as much as possible is done before leaving work for the week. Traveling with T1 diabetes only adds to the checklist: extra insulin, long-acting insulin in case of pump failure, where did I stash the syringes?, glucose tablets, extra pump supplies (more on that below), special TSA screenings, strategy for the inevitable high bgs on the way…

I am also a D-parent so this trip means leaving my sweet bear home and not being on top of her bgs, settings, etc. all the time. Luckily her father (the BHE!) is home and there is no one else I could even imagine leaving her with. Still, it is hard. I worry about him having to do it all and the uncertainty I know that he will feel without me there. It seems to be common for one D-parent in a couple to take on most of the work in changing settings. We talked about it early on in the Bear’s diagnosis and it seemed like it would be way too confusing to try to keep track of two people possibly making different changes so I have always done it. I change my own settings as needed so my comfort level is very high and it actually eases my stress to know that I can tweak things if tough patterns start showing up. But, it means that most of those ongoing decisions are made by me and the BHE has less experience. Not that he should need to make any changes this week (knock on wood!)

I’ve mentioned here before about the bad low I had on my last overnight conference. I’m trying not to think too much about that and just concentrate on having good alerts set on the CGM and brought lots of test strips to stay on top of things. Still, there is always at least one D crisis (it seems) and this time it was my discovery that I only had enough pods to get through normal changes until I get back home. No extras for malfunctions and none for when I need to change when I get back home. What??!!?? Called and found out that my insurance change on 3/1 wasn’t in the system at insulet (because I never called them – oops) so they were waiting for authorization from my old plan. They will expedite the request for auth & the order but since I was talking to them Monday morning and flying out Tuesday morning there wasn’t much they could do. Called my omnipod rep (who has helped me out with extra pods before) only to discover he is no longer the rep. Called the new rep and left a message. This morning, driving to the airport, got a call from the new rep who is SO nice, and SO helpful, and will mail pods to my hotel. Phew. This is the thing about pump supplies… you can’t just walk into a pharmacy in another city and pick up extras.

Quick note on TSA at my home airport: They are very accommodating, helpful, and professional. I leave plenty of time so I don’t feel rushed through security. I haven’t flown that much but so far the omnipod doesn’t phase them at all and while no one I’ve run into has seen a cgm before, after a brief explanation it is fine as well. It’s obvious that they think it is unnecessary to have a pat down (not go through the scanners), but when I say I prefer it there aren’t any arguments. I’m lucky that I don’t mind being a spectacle, nor do I mind if anyone else can tell that I’m wearing diabetes devices.

Now that there is nothing to do but wait for the flight, I’m more relaxed. Just trying to prepare for the high bgs I always seem to get on the plane. I’m sure I’ll be tweeting about how things go and you can find me @poeticlibrarian.

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