Traveling to Thailand – diabetes packing list

Traveling internationally can be tricky enough, but then add having type-1 diabetes and it complicates things quite a bit. I always feel like I’m packing for an additional person! I decided to do this blog post because to me it’s standard practice to have to pack all of this, but for my cousin that I’m traveling with, this is such a foreign thing to her. Here’s a peak into my bag of diabetes supplies…

Medtronic Insulin Pump

Insulin Pump Reservoirs

Insulin Pump Infusion Sets (two different kinds)

Additional tagaderm for warmer weather climates (preventing from pulling out of your skin when it gets sweaty)

4 sensors (this is for the Continuous Glucose Monitor)

1 Transmitter

1 Transmitter Battery Recharger

Tagaderm for sensor

2 bottles of Novolog Insulin

1 bottle of Lantus Insulin (in the case my pump would stop working)

2 packs of syringes (in the case my pump stops working)

Glucagon Kit  (used in an emergency for a very low blood sugar)

2 medical ID bracelets

Medical note from Doctor explaining the medication and pump supplies that you have on you

2 different blood sugar monitors

3 bottles of strips (2 different types)

2 Finger Pokers

Lancets

AAA Batteries for pump

Snacks for 14 days

Glucose Tabs

Emergency Contact Information

Frio Case – “The Frio is a pouch whose cooling properties do not come from an icepack – or anything that needs refrigeration. Its cooling properties come from water. The FRIO contains crystals activated by immersion in cool water and maintains its low temperature for a minimum of 45 hours – through the evaporation of water.”

-This will be my first oversees trip with this new case. In the past I’ve had to try to rely on traditional icepacks and coolers,                               which were bulky and never stayed cool for the whole day. I’ll keep you posted on what I think about this.

 

We head to Chaing Mai in the morning. Good afternoon from Bangkok!

 

 

“Diabetic” vs “Person living with diabetes”

After I speak I often try to give the audience 10-15 minutes to ask me questions. In Duluth this past Tuesday somebody raised their hand and asked me what my preference was to be called….”Diabetic” or “Person living with diabetes”. My answer was that I personally didn’t have a preference. Another woman in the audience, who is in the healthcare industry, commented about why I didn’t have a preference. She felt very strongly with referring to her patients as “people living with diabetes”. This got me thinking about this. I quickly called about 10 friends that I know who have type-1 diabetes. A lot of them told me they had never even thought about it.

After having sometime to reflect on the issue I still have the same stance….to me it’s not that important to what you choose to refer to me as. I believe when people are educated about what type-1 and type-2 diabetes is, then it comes down to them if they have an understanding and compassion towards anyone living with a chronic illness. I 100% believe that diabetes doesn’t define me, it defies me. At that same token though there is so much to be done in the world of diabetes with education and fundraising, the issue of what to be called is just not on the top set of my prioirties. My father refers to my younger brother and I as diabetics. And I know with full confidence that he doesn’t just view me as a “diabetic”. It’s just how he chooses to say a sentence….there’s no loaded connotation to it.

Every person living with a chronic illness is different. So give everyone the grace and the courtesy to ask them what their preference is. Trust me, they will let you know because they’re the ones living with it 24/7.

What are your thoughts?

Health & Human Services Conference

On Tuesday I presented a 90-minute seminar in Duluth for the Health and Human Services Conference on Tuesday; “Truth Talk – a fresh perspective on living with diabetes”. I made copies for 20 people and 200 people showed up! To me it showed how important the topic of diabetes is and what an epidemic it has become. Thank you to everyone who attended!