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I'm leaving for Mexico today on a little (much needed) vacation. This is only my second trip since being on the pump. My first trip went over quite smoothly. I have no idea what my blood sugars ran, but I don't recall anything too horrific. And I didn't have any problems traveling with my pump or supplies.
But each trip is a little different and always a little nerve-racking. What if I didn't bring enough supplies? What if my snacks cause a red flag through airport security? Worse, what if they think I'm some terrorist because of my pump? What if I have an emergency while I'm there, surely those hospitals aren't like home?
Those thoughts race through my subconscious while I'm packing and preparing. I shove them to the back of everything on my mind, because I know they only carry a small percent of reality and packing enough shampoo and socks is more important. As long as I'm prepared, everything will fall into place (right?).
The reality of the situation is that I could have a diabetic emergency. I could be stopped in the Mexican airport and questioned by people who probably don't even speak English. I could lose my carry-on luggage and only have a small amount of supplies.
I've never had any of that happen and I've traveled many times, so even those realities are limited. Yet as a diabetic, they still creep up into my mind. They try to get into my daily thoughts and worry me into insomnia.
Rationally, I know that I am prepared. My mom is traveling with me. We both speak a medium amount of Spanish. I packed enough supplies for two weeks (even though we are only going for five days). I have snacks in my suitcase and my carry-on. I have an entire container of glucose tabs, some of which will be in my hand while on the plane.
I'm taking two meters. I have my glucagon kit, just in case. I also have prescriptions for both my medications and my supplies for evidence. I have every phone number I can possibly think of that I might need. Plus, I'll be wearing my medical bracelet at all times.
The practical side of me knows that I only need so many supplies and that help is only a phone call away. The paranoid side of me wants to pack every supply I currently have on hand. For right now, the practical side has won, but the paranoid side got her kicks in as well.
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)