June 5, 2007

Traveling for the first time on the pump

Last week, Noah, my mom and I went to Florida to see my grandfather for his 80th birthday. It was the first time we went away from home since his diagnosis (yes, first trip in 2 years- I'm a nervous mother) and needless to say, I was a little frantic with the preparations.

I packed and re-packed. Checked and re-checked. Government websites were consulted to make sure we could get through the security checks alright. The Freestyle attached to the Cozmo set the metal detector off twice, which resulted in a pat-down search. eeek!

The one thing that we were most afraid of, but thankfully were extremely prepared for, happened. TOTAL PUMP FAILURE.
I read that literature about a gazillion times to make sure swimming wouldn't hurt the pump. I went over the casing with a fine-toothed comb to see if there were any cracks, scratches, etc. We even did a test run in the shower. First day in the pool and the thing pooped out on us. dead. done. finito.

Oh crap, no!! After a brief but teary visit to the bathroom I gathered myself together, and called the 800 number on the pump. I love the Cozmo people- the woman I spoke to was so calming and helpful as I explained my situation of being away from home and freaking just a bit. She took down my grandparent's address and said UPS would deliver by 1:00 the next day!! I thanked her about a gazillion times, and dug out the spare glucose meter, and syringes ...glad I brought them!

The new pump arrived early at 11:00 the next day! Less than 24 hrs and we were back in business. It wasn't a total disaster, but it very well could have been. Being prepared saved us alot of headaches .Not to toot my own horn, but being a nervous mother has finally paid off!

So here's a checklist for travelers who may be embarking on their first trip after a pump start. Feel free to comment with your own helpful hints!
1. Letter from your physician explaining your need for medical supplies on the plane.
2. batteries
3. alcohol wipes, lancets, infusion sets, cartridges, etc.
5. syringes (even if you don't use them, keep them on you for emergencies)
6. Write down all your pump settings. Even if you have a photographic memory, believe me, when you're stressed you won't remember squat.
7. glucagon
8. stash of snacks for lows...those little juicy juice boxes are perfect at 15g carbs and we found these gummy things -Sunkist Fruit Gems- you can get them in the bulk candy bin at the supermarket. They are awesome for travel and are individually wrapped so you can trow them in your bag, pocket, cup holder.
9. Clear plastic zip-top bags to put it all in.

Lastly, carry on everything you will need. Don't think you can get by without your supplies with you at all times. Test often and you will have a wonderful and safe trip with minimal snags.