Recap: WDD & my first overseas trip with type 1 diabetes

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The night before my trip I was very nervous about flying. I didn’t want any complications going through customs and the thought of potentially ruining my vacation with delays just lingered around me.

This was my first vacation with type 1 diabetes and drumroll….I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Airport security: I took everything out of my backpack and had all my goodies in clear bags. I had my letter in tow and as suspected, my basket of needles was halted, reversed and brought through the conveyer belt. I carried a juice box with me and the security guard said, “You’re diabetic?”

“Yes, here’s my letter.”

She didn’t look at my medical note. She took my juice box, scanned it on that fancy machine which has a name I’m not sure of, and off I went. I was thrilled. I hugged my friend and said, “I did it!”. It was a huge sigh of relief.

I knew I was spending World Diabetes Day away from home. I didn’t know how to celebrate, all I knew is that I wanted to be peaceful and happy, and to reflect on this past year with lots of pride of what I accomplished.

Right before my trip I got this wonderful surprise from insulindependence. I had a big smile on my face when I read the handwritten note from Desirae.

World Diabetes Day

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My new t-shirt went right into my suitcase, as did my Connected in Motion race shirt.

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On WDD I donned both tops, wore my pin and celebrated with quiet thoughts about what transpired over the past year.

It has been definitely a rough and often dark time since I was diagnosed. However during WDD and for the rest of my trip, I felt rejuvenated and inspired. I’ve got big goals for my fitness and health this coming year.

I’m going to dedicate more time to weight training, train hard for my second half-marathon and try to find more ways to help other type 1 diabetics here and around the world.

As for my blood sugar levels on my trip, I had one low. That’s it. I floated around my 4-8 range as usual and felt great! I took next to no insulin because of all of the activity. I checked less (I’m usually pricking 15+ times a day), and it was wonderful! I think because of the setting I was able to relax about my diabetes more.

So after a week of relaxation, swimming with sharks and eating amazing tropical fruits, I’m back ready to push it at the gym. I’m ready to crush my health goals!

Suntanned and happy,

Jessica ūüôā

Vacationing, Type 1 Diabetes & Exercise

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Bon Voyage (to me) !

I’m heading away somewhere hot (to be decided at this point), but I know for a fact I’ll be plopped on a beach, tanning, swimming, and singing out loud to the discomfort of the strangers around me.

It’s my mission to escape the Canadian cold for just a little while.

Just to be clear, I really do love the crisp fall air as it’s perfect running weather.¬†

Now enter that little uncomfortable grumbling in my belly. This will be my first vacation outside of North America. Last year I ventured to Pennsylvania for three days but other then that, I’ve been in province. I’m a bit nervous!

As I usually do, I took to the Twitterverse to ask for your help! Here are some great suggestions I got from Jen Grieves aka. MissJenGrieves,  Jolene aka. Yoga_Pumper, Anne Marie Hospod aka. SweetRunMD, Sara Nita aka. NitaCure4T1D & JDRFAdvoacy.

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TIPS ON TRAVELING 

1. Purchase a Frio to keep insulin cool. Your insulin is no good when it’s boiling under the hot sun. Or freezing in the Arctic.

2. Pack double the amount of all supplies just in case of emergency. That includes a spare pump, extra insulin pen etc.

3. Obtain a letter from a doctor instructing security officials about passing through x-rays with a pump, carrying an insulin pen and lancets etc. on board, whatever needs to be clarified before your vacation. Better safe than sorry.

4. Carry all supplies on board with you. It guarantees you’ll have it when you land. This can’t always be said of your checked luggage.

So here’s what I need to do: compile a list of must-have’s for the trip, and make sure I feel safe so far away from home with all my supplies so I can vacation, exercise and enjoy myself! Yes, I’m that person in the hotel gym for over an hour or running the streets of my vacation city.

Diabetes supply list for happy vacationing and out of town exercise: 

  • Insulin Pen (x2)
  • Lancets (10)
  • Pricker (x3)
  • Test Strips (100)
  • Alcohol wipes (10 individual packs)
  • Glucose Tabs (5 Dex 4 bottles)
  • Needles (10)
  • Extra batteries for metre or charging device
  • Stevia packets (20)
  • Glucagon (1)
  • Letter front doctor
  • Vaccinations for international travel
  • Know the location of the nearest hospital and english speaking doctors
  • Extra antibiotics
  • Proper footwear to protect your feet
  • Road ID bracelet
  • CamelBak Podium Chill¬†water bottle (I like that these bottles never leak, are great for cycling and are easy to clean. I also bang these around a lot and they seem to take it pretty well.
  • e Load Endurance Powder in zip lock bags (4) I take this during long rides/runs and it keeps my bg’s pretty steady. I also like the taste!
  • HammerGel Recoverite¬†in zip lock bags (4) I take this after heavy weight sessions and after intense training events.¬†
  • SPI Belt (or whatever you need to carry all your goodies on the go). I don’t run without it. I also keep it poolside when I’m training too).

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Helpful Links

JDRF Advocacy’s article on traveling with diabetes

Jessica at blog Mastering Me has a great article on traveling with type 1. Her experience when trekking in Asia.

Am I missing anything? What do you think of the list?

Peace, Type 1 & Exercise,

Jessica