After putting a poll out on my Instagram, a large number of you wanted an in-depth blog post on my skiing holiday and wanted a focus around blood sugars, travelling and skiing itself.
Travelling has always completely destroyed my blood sugars. I am an anxious flyer which always increases my blood sugars regardless of sitting still for the duration of the entire day! To counteract this (to a certain extent), I increase my background insulin for the day. With the increased insulin, I find my sugars will verge on in range and slightly above – which I am completely happy with!
This is difficult enough without having to bring about 2 weeks of additional spares increase the worst was to happen. I am on an Insulin pump so will always bring additional cannula’s in case of failures or getting them ripped out. That way I can always be prepared! But along with this, I always bring my insulin pens and needles with me in case of a pump emergency! As so many people are unfortunately aware, insulin is extortionately expensive, so if I bring plenty of spares with me, this will not only be used as a backup but also reduce my stress levels!
Below is a list of medications that I bought for a 12-day holiday:
- 10 x Pump Cannulas
- 10 X Pump Reservoirs
- 3 x Pump Batteries
- 15 x Alcohol Wipes
- 3 x Dexcom CGM’s
- Adhesive Remover
- Cavilon Cream
- 5 x Fast Acting Insulin Pens
- 3 x Long Acting Insulin Pens
- 3 x Pump Insulin
- Needles (lots of them!)
- Insulin cooling bags (Frio and Glucology sell them – discount code below the list!)
- 2 x Boxes of Strips
- Handful of Finger Prick Needles
- Monitor Charging Cords
- Monitor kit
- Ketone Montior + 20 Strips
- Glycogen Pen
- Lots of Sugar
- Hospital Letter explaining you are diabetic and what the equipment is for, especially if it cannot go through X-ray machines
(My Glucology code will get you 10% off your purchase with the code Type1Fran10)
As I have said before, I always bring spares with me just in case of delays or anything that you cannot plan for, especially at the minute with the vast COVID-19 testing. If you have COVID abroad and need to isolate you are better off bringing extra equipment just in case!
All of this equipment is always carried in my hand-luggage. Insulin is the most important thing to carry there because it will freeze if it goes in the hold luggage and become in-effective. Plus, I know exactly where it is and it cannot get lost! I find if everything is with me and my hospital letter, then all the equipment and needles can be explained if any questions have been asked!
Okay I personally find this to be the worst part of travelling. The stress of the ‘What-If’s’. It feels like everything could go wrong, I get separate form my pump (which is completely illegal) or I lose all data from my CGM, my insulin gets lost when they swab it etc! Unfortunately, I can never turn my mind off from overdrive when flying.
I find that when you arrive at the security section when removing your bag contents, just tell the staff members straight away that you are a Type 1 Diabetic who has equipment that shouldn’t be x-rayed and hand them the hospital letter. I have been told that my insulin pump and Dexcom cannot be X-rayed due to the risk of data being lost or the technology being contorted. Please contact your own health care professional regarding this and get them to write it in your hospital letter.
*My Personal Experience*
As my pump and CGM cannot get X-rayed, I get taken through a different entrance and get a pat down and they then use a handheld x-ray machine on my other areas of the body away from my devices. Birmingham airport were absolutely brilliant! Explained exactly what they were doing, it helped that they were doing training for their employees so asked if they could complete all of the searches. They were absolutely brilliant and very reassuring! Made sure that all my equipment was swapped and return directly back to me!
We had a fabulous holiday! Whether it was down to the 2-year gap we had between our last trip and this one, I am not sure but wow! Everything went so perfectly! Was so nice connecting with my whole family again!
Skiing itself is extremely energy demanding so as I am sure you can understand absolutely destroys my blood sugars for the first half of the week!
I set up a new background insulin profile which had a 6 unit decrease than my current. I found this to be way too much insulin still! I reduced this by 65% for 4 days and I found that was perfect. Due to the food in Alpine resorts, it is all very carb heavy, rich foods – absolutely delicious!
But my body has never liked to follow the diabetic norms, just to keep my life as difficult as possible I think! After my body has got used to the exercise and foods that I am eating, it changes my insulin requirements. It increases at a steady rate! By day 8 I was actually on an increased amount of background insulin that I am on an ordinary day! It has always done this, ever since I was diagnosed at 4; 18 years of my body throwing curveballs at me!
I did start to really struggle with my diabetes when we were away. My diaversary always brings back thoughts of why me? What have I done wrong? I can’t do this forever!
So I fell out of love with my self-care and let diabetes rule me for a good couple of days, I am still reeling the effects of that now to be honest!
If you have any questions please put them in the comments along with any tips you have for high-intensity sports.
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