Here are some D travel pointers and PLEASE add to them.
There is enough information out there regarding insulin pumps and being on a plane that you could stay busy reading for days. All sorts of info about the affects of altitude, cabin pressure and the pressure in our own bodies. Here’s what I know (for myself). Be prepared to do a pump site change once you get where you’re going. Traveling with extra supplies is a given, so add an extra, to your extra set of supplies, for that change.
You are allowed 2 carry-ons. Do not put your D supplies in the larger of the the 2. I repeat DO NOT. Your roller board may be small and fit perfectly in the overhead BUT that does not mean, with all the other passengers, there will be room for YOUR bag above your seat. If it comes down to checking your bag at the gate or at the door of the plane, frantically pulling out Dexcom and pump supplies with your undies falling out of your bag is no fun. Nope. No fun. Unless you have silly undies.
Insulin pumper? Yes? Bring a back-up pump. You could live your whole life and never have a pump problem. You will go someplace unfamiliar and your pump will be so excited, it will go cuckoo. Lots of companies have pump loaner programs. Did you have a pump BEFORE the one you have now? Bring it. It may be just something else to lug around and if that’s the case, consider yourself lucky. If you are in another country over a major holiday and discover a crack in your pump, no matter how great the pump company is, customs is a biatch and you will really really really be glad you have a back up.
Carry quick sugars that don’t melt. Glucose tabs are my go to. Glucolifts are my current fave but who doesn’t want a Starburst from time to time? They melt. Treating a low while eating the Starburst rapper because it was all melted together is simply not the ideal. Maybe the paper is a source of fiber? Doubtful. No melting treatments for lows. Do it.
Take a photo of your pump settings. Let’s say that awful scenario of having to use your back up pump OR simply something goes wonky with your current pump…. Do you have any idea what your basal rates are off the top of your head? I do not. Having a pic on your phone can be a true game changer. Also this takes maybe 20 seconds to do, so do it.
We all know a zillion horrible D stories of people going through security. I have a few incidents myself which were full-on “oh no you didn’t”. Here’s what I try to do. I try to be pleasant. I smile. I make jokes. I am courteous. Why? Because why the hell not? I want to get on the damn plane, not cause a scene. I engage in conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I actually was in tears once with a bunch of security BS and then flew across country being upset the entire time BUT for the most part, I lay on the charm. Flies, honey, vinegar. You chose.
If all else fails and you’re away from home, and perhaps you’ve traveled all over the damn place and yet THIS is the trip where you forgot a supply, reach out to the DOC. The diabetes online community is a bunch of doers and helpers. It’s amazing and heartwarming. Social media can really be your BFF. When my Dexcom sensor went bananas on a trip to Dallas (and I didn’t bring a spare), I was amazed at people’s willingness to either send me a sensor OR contact Texans they knew to try to help. Amazing. Dexcom Fedexed me a new sensor to my hotel. All worked out but would have loved to have skipped that stress.
I’m off and running! Travel safe.