International Travel w/ an Insulin Pump

One of my favorite things is being able to talk with other people who have diabetes. On occasion some people send me questions about living life with diabetes. Not that I have the right answers, but for the last 13 years of living with this disease I’ve tried to do my best to live my life to the fullest. Here is a recent e-mail correspondence I had with a young woman my age. Thought I would share it in this weekly blog post… 
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Quinn-I am traveling to Thailand with my insulin pump in 2-months and I am a little nervous since it will the first time traveling to a less industrialized country since I started on insulin. How did the pump work out on your trip…I’m worried it will be so humid, that the pump will fail and considering just going back to using insulin pens for the trip.
Meghan
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Hi Meghan-
I wear the Medtronic Revel as well so good news! 🙂 I remember when I was diagnosed my family pediatrician told me that I would never be able to travel internationally because it was too much of a risk. Luckily, I didn’t take his answer as ultimate truth.
One of the reasons why I continue to stay with Medtronic is because of their great resources available to their patients who do travel
internationally.
1. They have a great program called the “Travel Loaner” where you pay like $50 and they will send you an extra insulin pump to bring

Taking an elephant ride in Chaing Mai, Thailand with my Mom + insulin pump!

Taking an elephant ride in Chaing Mai, Thailand with my Mom + insulin pump!

along on your vacation in the case that anything would happen to your main one. They make it super easy to fill out a form online..just make sure you submit it at least 2 weeks before you leave on your trip.

2. Then they also have an international number you can call if you need anything.
  +1.818.576.5555 (also on the back of your pump)
3. On their site they list their Medtronic Worldwide Sales Offices and they actually have a location in Thailand!
 4. And Medtronic came out with a great thing to help with keeping the infusion set on when you’re in warm weather (I know I tend to be quite the sweater). You can order a specific taping from Medtronic called “Infusion Set IV3000”. I do hot yoga every week and this holds like glue!
I know for me I always do bring a back up supply of insulin and syringes in the case of an emergency, but Medtronic has made it so easy (and stress free) to travel internationally. I can travel with confidence that my pump will work and that I’m carrying a back up one if necessary. I also wear their Continuous Glucose Monitor so I prefer to stay on the same regimen that I’m used to in my regular life.
Ziplining through the Thailand Jungle

Ziplining through the Thailand Jungle

Do you have an iPhone? I just found out about this but Medtronic Diabetes has a really nice application that you can download for free and it has all this travel information on it and even a packing list, very helpful. You can do a bunch of other things on it like ordering supplies, pump alert meanings, and timers.

Another tip is I always bring along my Frio wallet for my insulin. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s quite cool, literally! Ha, ha. It’s a cooling
wallet that only uses water and air to do it. It was perfect when I went to Thailand because during the day it was HOT and I used to always worry about my insulin going bad but with this that worry goes away. You can check out their website…
Let me know if there is anything else that I can help you out with or answer any of your questions on diabetes or Pad Thai!
                                                                                                        Sincerely,
                                                                                                        Quinn
————————————————————————————————-
Thanks a million for the information. I wish I could do the Rick Steeves thing and only travel with one carryon bag, but I think diabetes makes that near impossible!
Can’t wait to eat Pad Thai! My only thing with Pad Thai is I suck at counting the carbs in it!
Meghan
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