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Travel to Japan w/Type 1

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Sarah Maddie's Mom, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Hi all - long time since I've posted.

    My now 20 year old will be studying in Osaka, Japan next fall and we are getting conflicting advice on how to manage her supplies. I'm looking for anyone with experience obtaining Novolog or Humalog in Japan and ideally a contact for an English speaking endo in Osaka. M has passing Japanese but wouldn't want her to have to rely on it completely in the event of an emergency or even for routine med care.

    Any and all contact, tips, info is appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Christopher

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    Hey there,

    I will be of no help here but I hope someone chimes in. But I just wanted to say how cool it is that "little" Maddie gets to study in Japan!!!! Wow, that will be so exciting for her!! I will be sending good vibes that everything goes smoothly for her (and you!).
    I just looked it up and diabetes there is pronounced "Tonyo-byo" :)

    Probably a dumb question but.......instead of getting insulin there, could she just bring a 3-6 month supply?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Hi Chris! She's very excited. She went last summer for 3 weeks but she'll be in Japan for 7 months this time with trips outside the country as well. We are thinking of sending her with a zillion vials of insulin but I'd still like to connect with an endo which has been so much harder than it should be.

    Seems not very long ago we were bemoaning the dreaded 504 meetings and sports :) Hope Danielle is doing great and having fun and hat things are good for you, too :)
     
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  4. Christopher

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    Wow, 7 months!! Yes, I think that makes a lot of sense to have an Endo she is connected with there just in case. I would think an Endo here in the States would have some kind of network they could reach out to and connect her with someone in Japan. Maybe that isn't realistic, I don't know.

    Yes, the "good old days" of High School seem so far away, no? Danielle is doing well, survived her first year of college and is home now for the summer. It is great having her home and I don't even care about all the mess in the house now, it's just great to have her home again! :)
     
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  5. Ali

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    Just a few suggestions.First I would ask my Endo to find someone. They may not know someone but they should be able to find a name, but I know what sounds obvious, often is not.:):) Next idea, check with someone like the JDRF and see if they can connect you. Finally do that last hope call of going to all internet sites related to Japan and people from the states living there and ask for names:). Seven months is a good amount of time, if she is trying to learn the language I hope she can keep everyone from just trying to work on their English with her:):). Should be a wonderful experience.
     
  6. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    LOL, Maddie's entire dorm has consumed the family room :) I was just wishing for a magical new and empty room to adhere itself to the house for the next 7 months. But it is good to have them home. Glad she's well, hope you have a fun summer!
     
  7. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Endo has been no help. Yale, where she was for years has been no help. ADA, no help. I feel like I'm missing something but ... ? It shouldn't be this hard. I even asked Kerri to reach out to her circle but it's all been to dead ends. But thank you for the reply - I appreciate it Ali. I have a few other irons in the fire, hopefully something will pan out.
     
  8. Megnyc

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    Have you checked out the contacts listed on the US embassy website? I have often had luck with calling a few places from their lists.
    https://jp.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/doctors/

    Sending you a PM at some point with more thoughts tonight (if my son will go to sleep :) )
     
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  9. Megnyc

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    Did you contact him?
    http://yamasaki-family-clinic.com/yfcenglish/index.html

    Trained in Pittsburgh and Hawaii, endocrinology background close to Osoka by public transport. Got the info from a friend of a friend via facebook in Japan (does Maddie happen to speak any Hebrew? I could put them in touch)
     
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  10. NomadIvy

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    Hi. We lived in Japan for 8 years (Tokyo). We were living there when my daughter was diagnosed although at the actual time of diagnosis we were in the suburbs of Chicago (I had just given birth via c-section a few weeks prior to diagnosis), so 3 of us were stateside and 3 were in Tokyo. That first year we actually brought a year’s worth of supply with us. She was only 6 at that time and her TDD was quite low. I can’t imagine bringing a year’s worth of insulin at this point!
    We only “worked” with an endo there for her A1Cs. Otherwise, we stuck with a general practitioner who was British and saw a lot of expats. We paid OOP and then just had those reimbursed through our insurance. We didn’t have the Japanese insurance , we had an international one.
    Since she’ll be in Osaka I’m sure she can find several English speaking doctors. What insurance will she be carrying?

    Protocol for T1 Diabetes there is very different... unless they’ve changed in the last 5-6 years (we came back here in 2012).

    This is getting long. Ask questions and I’ll try to respond when I’m on a computer.
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Thanks, Meg - that was my first stop last year when she starting planning this trip but I haven't looked recently and with more specific intent. Good idea.
     
  12. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Did you PM me with this? I didn't see it but thanks for the contact, much appreciated.
     
  13. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Thanks, NormadIvy for that - I guess I'm most concerned that she'll have a DKA event and that the standard practice will be unfamiliar to her. She does have some Japanese and her BF is from Osaka and he has a pretty good understanding of her D life. Our Cigna plan will provide coverage for any urgent or emergency care. She is going to bring 7 months worth of insulin with her (it will be huge but I hope her documentation will prevent any misunderstandings at customs) so she won't need to see a Dr for prescriptions. Yudai, her BF, reached out to one local endo and seemed to suggest that M's method of managing, t:slim, dexcom would likely be rather unfamiliar territory in their practice. We're set for supplies, she has a network of friends, the support of the University and Yudai and his family so she isn't off hitchhiking the country... if she can just keep herself healthy she can pretty much get by without needing any medical contacts. Rather big "if" though, and you know... being mom.
     
  14. NomadIvy

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    Has she ever been in DKA before? That’s probably a very remote possibility.. and really a “tiny” worry. LOL, you’re right - T-Slim and Dexcom will be unfamiliar territory for them. Just find a big hospital with an endo who’s familiar with Type 1 and and she should be good. Most big hospitals will have someone that speaks English. We did see a pediatric endocrinologist there who’s very up to date with technology. However, being Japanese, she excepted that kids as young as 4 be independent. I was the “bad mom” because her A1C at that time was 8. Forget that it was just 13 % at diagnosis and it he only been a few weeks after . Anyway, I stood up and left.

    Hope your daughter enjoys her 7 (9?) months there. My T1 is going with her dad this July/August. Customs never gave us any issues with her supplies. We always showed them though and they would just let us through.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    She visited Yudai last June and had no issues with meds but she was only there for three weeks.

    She was dx'd at 4 - no DKA till college. One actual scary DKA event and one needing just a quick ER visit for fluids i n the past two years. She has had trouble with her t:Slim and the luer lock connection failing and reducing or leaking all of basal flow. We're now stocked up with the new system - I like to think that the DKA events were entirely due to the bad cartridge to tubing connection - probably it's 80%. She's responsible and well "managed" but stuff happens, and she wants to visit Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore and maybe a jaunt to France (? seriously? ) and a stop off in Honolulu en route to Osaka. It's a real test of her ability to plan, adapt, manage. Fingers crossed.
     
  16. Christopher

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    Japan, Tokyo, France, Hawaii???????? I want to be a teenager again!!!!!! ;-)

    Since this issue seems to be somewhat resolved I hope you don't mind a slight hijack. I am just curious why people in Japan (in the major cities, at least) are not all about CGMs and pumps etc.? It always seemed to me (from a distance obviously) that the general population there was really into the latest technology and innovations. Is it an issue with the healthcare system in general? Just curious. Thanks!
     
  17. NomadIvy

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    Yes, it’s interesting that Japan has the latest technology and innovations but when it comes to health treatments, they are very slow to adopt things.
     
  18. rgcainmd

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    I have absolutely no advice to offer, but I just wanted to say that it’s nice to see you on the Forum again. I’m not surprised to hear that Maddie has grown up to be such a self-sufficient adult who is traveling to a foreign country to experience what our diverse world has to offer. Great job, Mom! ❤️
     
  19. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Thanks for the warm welcome back and the kind words about M. She's got itchy feet, what can I say? It's not been easy getting all ducks in a row but I think we are finally there. It promises to be a life changing semester and she's so excited. Mom is excited but mildly anxious :)
     
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