hypodiabetic Tim Omer travels with Type 1 diabetes


Showing the insulin pump as a

device that was attached to me, could

be disconnected if needed handed over

to the security staff was normally fine. At

times I hand to be firm to be sure they did

not try and put the device into the X-ray

machine. I'd advise that you keep your

calm and be polite but insist.

You will probably find they are more

interested in finding out why you need

such a device and want to take a closer

look at your infusion set! I even had a

shopping mall security guard joke with

me by making a kaboom gesture with

his arms as if he thought I was carrying a

bomb; lucky he was laughing!

Documents: It's very helpful to have

your doctor's note with details of your

condition and equipment written in a few

languages to carry with you as well as

copies of your prescriptions. Take a photo

and also store a copy on your phone.

This may be required if trying to access

medication from local health centres or to

prove your condition (a headed letter and

signature appears to be enough!). Also,

if challenged say you have two month's

supply of medication with you. Some

countries have laws on the amount of

prescription medication you can bring

into a country, even New Zealand has a

two-month restriction. Oddly, I had more

difficulty on a recent Gatwick Airport

security check on a flight from London to

Poland. It was the first time I've ever had

to show my doctor's note.

Perhaps surprisingly, I found travelling

with my condition no more of a day-today challenge than I do at home. If you are

comfortable managing your condition and

well prepared, there is nothing stopping you!

Tim is happy to answer any questions

or tips, and you can read more of his

adventures on his blog where you will

aslo see the spreadsheet used to plan

his kit www.hypodiabetic.co.uk

Be prepared!

Having a backup plan is not enough.

You need several. You need to be

prepared for the failure of your options

or situations changing. Also, do not

underestimate the level of stress you

will suffer if you do not have suitable

backup plans. While Eli Lilly advised

me when I asked the company before

I travelled that the Philippines had

supplies of Humalog, when it came

to the crunch (my crunch!) none was

to be found in the country. Situations

change, be prepared. This photo

shows how my insulin looked after I left it a night in a fridge in a hotel.

This is not how insulin is meant to look and it did prompt a bit of a crisis.

My problem escalation plan looked like the following:

A: Small bag carried with me everywhere, with a week's not in use supply

of medication (2 infusion sets, 2 syringes, 1 bottle of blood testing strips,

few finger prick needles, tube of dextrose, spare pump and blood test

meter batteries, infusion set insertion device, spare pump seals, roll of

transparent adhesive film).

B: My travel companion had two month's supply of all medication in a bag

in her main backpack.

C: I had an additional spare blood tester and insulin pens in my main bag

in the event of pump failure.

D: I had friends in Singapore who had a week's supply of all my medication

whom I could contact in an emergency.

E: We always had enough money to book an emergency flight either home

or to a country with better medical facilities.

Nearer the end of the trip I miscalculated by sending too much medical

kit home so my travelling companion did not have spares; this added an

unneeded worry - we should have kept the kit with us until the end.

I would advise that if possible you should get the contact details of your

medical suppliers such as Lilly, Roche, and so on in case you need advice

but be prepared for the local reps or support groups to be less helpful

than you might have expected. I contacted a local diabetes charity and

government body in the Philippines for assistance and received no reply.

Thanks guys!


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