Travelling with diabetes

Going out on a day to day basis with diabetes means you never travel light. Once you’ve made sure you have your insulin, blood sugar meter, glucose tablets/hypo treatment it all adds up. So when I decided to go travelling for several months I knew packing light in this department wasn’t an option.

The diabetic team I see were fantastic when I told them about my plans, they helped me out with getting prescriptions for all my insulin, needles, testing strips etc that I would need to take with me for the duration, as well as going over some of the basics again (sick day rules etc in case I was to get food poisoning or something) just to cement them in my mind, and note book, for when I was away. They even arranged an appointment for me to bring my boyfriend along, to put his mind at ease and go through any question he wanted to ask. 

Keeping my insulin cool 

One of my main concerns with travelling was how I was going to keep my insulin cool whilst I’m away. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to SE Asia before and know that more often than not your rooms have a fridge/you can request a fridge for your room to keep your insulin nice and cool. What I was most worried about was travelling overland in the heat and not being able to keep my insulin cool, and it then deactivating. After a bit of online research and talking with my diabetic team I opted to buy a cool bag, and some products from frio. I purchased the 2 pen frio cooler for every day, which has been great so far. Whenever I pull my insulin out it never feels hot and it’s so easy to use, just submerge in water and the crystals inside create a cooling gel. For my vials of insulin I purchased the migraine wrap, which I then use to wrap around my vials of insulin and place in my cool bag. So far so good, they stay cool and I’ve not had a problem with any of them. My nurse told me of one guy who backpacked around Africa for a month, and keeps his insulin in a flask to ensure it was kept cool, and this worked perfectly well for him. 

Today I travelled overland from Bangkok to Cambodia, using my cool bag and frio combination, everything was all cool still when I got back to my hotel. 

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