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Thread: Travelling with diabetes for the 1st time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    South Jersey
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    69

    Default Travelling with diabetes for the 1st time

    First of all, I apologize if this information is out there somewhere in a FAQ. As you are all very aware, there is a lot to learn early on (my son is 8 days into his diagnosis). I searched the forums and came up with some of the info I'm looking for, but still have a few questions.

    The background is that I'm flying to Disney with my family in a little less than 2 weeks. A week ago, my 3.5 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1. I have ordered a "back up" pump from Accu-Chek, and just today got my mail order prescriptions setup so I should have more than just 1 supply of insulin available before we leave. I'm planning on figuring out what kind of supplies we'll need for a week in Disney, then doubling it and separating the supplies.

    I do have a few questions though. How do you dispose of used syringes while on vacation? We're using a Multi-Clix so disposing of the spent barrels for BS checks shouldn't be a problem, just the syringes. I have a note from our Dr about getting diabetic supplies on the plane, I guess I'll also try to get a few juice boxes on as well, but if I can't get them on the plane what is the next best thing to have if he has a low BS while we travel? Once we get there, I plan on having putting his supplies in the fridge (I'll check to make sure it's not TOO cold), then during the day we'll carry them in a little soft-sided cooler. Does anyone have any other great recommendations? Last, what is the best way to get emergency supplies in Disney if it comes to that? Our mail order is handled by CVS Caremark if that makes any difference. We picked up our 1st month supply at a local Rite-Aid here in NJ.

    Thanks for the help!
    Chris
    Last edited by camack7827; 04-27-2009 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Asked another question.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
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    for carrying, these bags are great. i've had one almost 5 years and it still looks like new. it's insulated and can carry an insane amount of stuff.
    on the plane, glucose tabs or gel, even if you can't get juice those are overtly 'medical' so you should be able to get those on. and the glucose gel goes in super fast.
    do you have a syringe disposal thingie yet? you'll need to get one any way(i'm pretty sure....), so when you go(i think it was the county health office or some name like that...your endo should be able to help with where to get it) just pick up a small one. or you could use a small bottle. just be sure that your son can't get to it if you do that. with the other ones you can't get the needles back out, so a bit safer.
    ummm....i'd say take scrips for all of it and go to a publix or something if you have a problem.
    does he have med alert yet? if not, i'd get him something asap. all the parents i know with little kids with D simply have them keep it on all the time, that way it's not a big deal when they go out. 50/fifty has med alerts(the place i linked with the bag)

    hope that helped, sorry if i wasn't the clearest in some places, but i was 10 at the time and so i don't remember some things. i'm sure y'all will have a great time, we drove to south carolina 2/3 weeks after my diagnosis and had a great time.
    ~Anna
    Diagnosed June, 16, 2004(at age 10 1/2)
    Pumping Since April, 11, 2006
    JDRF Trained mentor(I love it!)
    JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Team~Anna's Hope


    Insulin is not a cure, it's life support!
    Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.
    ~Anon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Virginia
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    Sounds like you've done your research! Definitely take double what you think you need. And remember, they have pharmacies down there so you can buy things you forget.

    For plane travel, put the juice in a ziploc bag with the insulin and syringes, etc. Alex gets his juice thru every time (but usually 1 out of the 7 or so TSA people you see will say something about it and then be overridden by the others). But if you can't get it thru, don't fret. You can buy juice on the other side of security! Definitely plan to buy water on the other side or bring empty water containers and fill them at the water fountain (buying new is more expensive but maybe safer, germ-wise). Take along some skittles or other candy he likes just in case you are out of juice and need something.

    For syringe disposal, I'd take along a small syringe disposal container. You can get them at drug stores. That will be safer for the housekeepers, etc.

    Just plan to test a little more often and don't freak out if he runs a bit high for the trip. It's hard to keep up with bgs when they are excited (maybe runs them higher) and then overly active (makes them go lower) and eating all sorts of food that you aren't sure about carbs with. And have fun!
    Barbie, Mom to Alex, 20, dx 10/05, minimed pump 10/06, dexcom 8/10

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgallini View Post
    Just plan to test a little more often and don't freak out if he runs a bit high for the trip. It's hard to keep up with bgs when they are excited (maybe runs them higher) and then overly active (makes them go lower) and eating all sorts of food that you aren't sure about carbs with. And have fun!
    excitement makes me go low, it's different for everyone, so like Barbie said, check a ton! like every 1-2 hours to avoid lows or highs.
    oh, one other thing i thought of-take a nutrition info/carb count book with you and keep it with you so you'll know carb counts for everything
    ~Anna
    Diagnosed June, 16, 2004(at age 10 1/2)
    Pumping Since April, 11, 2006
    JDRF Trained mentor(I love it!)
    JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Team~Anna's Hope


    Insulin is not a cure, it's life support!
    Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.
    ~Anon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    529

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    There is so much to remember when dealing with diabetes. Fortunately, traveling may add another worry but it really isn't very different than managing diabetes at home.
    The official government policy is that you can carry on diabetes supplies - needles and juice. If anyone gives you grief over having it, just ask them to check with someone in authority - the rules are very, very clear. The airlines also recognize that you may have to bring an extra carry-on bag with medical supplies, so don't worry about that either.
    When you are in a hotel you are entitled to have a fridge in your room at no cost - isn't that nice. Just explain that you need it for medical purposes. Of course, I think the hotel has to have fridges in the first place, but at least they won't be able to charge you. Do check your bill at the end though - it always seems like that tack the charge on and I have to explain again that the fridge was for medical purposes so they can take the charge off.
    At Disney you can store insulin at the first aid place or carry it around with you. One challenge is where you put it when you are on a ride. People who have left their supplies in strollers have discovered that the stroller may be moved out into the sun - not what you want.
    The most important thing at Disney is to go to Guest Services as you enter and get a Guest Pass. This will allow you to avoid the long, long lines. You may need to explain that your son is recently diagnosed and you are not sure how Disney will affect his BG. But you really don't want to wait in line for an hour only to realize that you have to do some diabetes care and have to get out of line and start all over. Where there is the Fast Pass option you have to use that if you can, but otherwise it really makes Disney fun and lets you test and treat whenever you need to without having that mean you end up on one ride a day. We've decided that going into rides via the handicapped entrance is a worthwhile trade-off cause heaven knows there are enough disadvantages to having diabetes a kid is entitled to one little 'benefit'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Jersey
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    Well, I wanted to say thanks again for all the advice you guys have given. Our trip is just a few days away and I now don't feel the panic I felt just a week ago. Right now, here are the things we've planned a bit differently than from previous trips:
    • We ordered our 3 month supply of prescriptions last week, we will take our current vials plus one extra vial of Lantus and Humalog with us
    • We have calculated out how many alchohol pads, syringes, gauze pads, etc that we'll need. We will double that number and carry one set of supplies in my carry on, and the other set in "Landon's Kit"
    • We bought a Sit-n-Stand Stroller so Landon (3.5 year old) and his sister (1.5 year old) have a place to relax out of the sun anywhere we happen to be.
    • We now have a Medi-Alert braclet for Landon to wear 100% of the time
    • We will get a Guest Assistance Card on our 1st day requesting to use our stroller as a wheel-chair so we don't run the risk of having insulin left out in the heat. We will also request that we don't have to wait in unairconditioned lines to help reduce the risk of wild BG changes.


    I took LadyBug's advice and bought a case, the one I bought is VERY similar to the one's in your link. In fact I think it's exactly the same but the color is different (basic blue). I will take bgallini's advice and go buy a sharps disposal. I guess we'll just pack the disposal in the luggage and simply "recap" the used syringes and put them in a ziplock bag or something while actually travelling.

    If there is anything you guys think I'm missing, please let me know! Thanks again for all the great advice!

    Kind Regards,
    Chris

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Virginia
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    Sounds like you've planned well. Just don't panic if things don't go as planned. Our first big trip after dx was to Wyoming and Yellowstone Park. We had a great time with no D issues....until the morning of our flight out! Alex meter stopped working. We didn't have extra batteries so we went to the grocery store. We found the batteries but it still didn't work. So we bought a new meter. It worked fine. But they must not get many diabetics in Jackson Hole WY....the meter was a meter that had been recalled like 6 mos before! But it worked fine for the trip home and we ended up with 2 new meters from the company (b/c the first was broken).

    Just know where the pharmacies are.
    Barbie, Mom to Alex, 20, dx 10/05, minimed pump 10/06, dexcom 8/10

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lafayette IN
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    These were good questions.

    We too are going to be traveling, but not until August, so I have 3 more months of learning more about D.

    That bag is cool! I love how it holds everything you need. Thanks for the link.

    Foxy, Mom of three
    Jordan - 17 dx'd 10/21/08
    Pumping again 10/31/11
    Austin - 14
    Kaybre - 11

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Pikeville, Kentucky
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    You may think about an empty pill bottle to dispose of sharps in on the plane. They are pretty small and easy to carry.
    Lewie 14 TI dx 4-2-09, MDI Humalog/Lantus
    A1c 5.4

  10. #10

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    my son went to Disney with his Dad & family only 2 months after his dx and ended up in the ER with severe dehydration, so please remember how important it is for your son to drink, drink, drink!!!!
    I wasn't there with them, but I have horrible images of what it must have been like. Diabetes was so new to us and we just didn't have the knowledge that we do now, after dealing with it for 2 yrs.
    It is most important to let your little guy have a great time and try not to stress too much over stuff!!!
    Jamie
    Mom to Alex~12yrs old
    DX March 2007
    Will soon be pumping with his new Green Animas Ping!!!
    Single mom...staying strong

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