Since being diagnosed I haven’t travelled that often. I travel back and forth from Hamilton to Napier constantly since my partner lives there, but even then it’s just like visiting a second home. I have an extra diabetes nurse I can contact in Hamilton, pharmacy set up there and extra diabetes supplies that just get left at his house. I never have to worry about my diabetes when going to Hamilton.
The first adventure I’ve had since being diagnosed with 4 months in when I travelled overseas to Perth to see my best friend. I was so nervous that something was going to happen over there or that I was going to get made to go into a scary room at the airport for having heaps of needles on me. I overpacked and worked myself up. It was so easy. The security at the airport did not even give me a second look. (For once).
Tomorrow I am heading to New Plymouth for a week and it will be my second big adventure since getting diagnosed and I am shitting myself. You would think that after my trip to Perth went perfectly I would be fine, but I am even more nervous.
I’m going to be alone for the first time since being diagnosed with no one around me to know what’s going on.
I am staying in an air BnB, which happens to be the cutest ‘matchbox apartment’ in all of New Zealand. I am also in New Plymouth for a week long workshop at the college I study nutrition at. I will be surrounded by people all of the time but not people who know I have diabetes and how to deal with it. A part of me wants to be smart and let the people know at the air BnB and the college about my situation in case anything shall happen. That would be the smart and responsible thing to do.
The other half of me is trying to remind me that there will be moments that I will be alone and won’t have my partner or family around me to help me out. I need to learn how to deal with my lows and highs by myself . Therefore, only tell these people if it’s a must and try to deal with everything alone and see if I can manage.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is not as though I don’t already deal with my blood sugars if I go low or high. It is just reassuring to know that I always have a family member, my partner, or my dog Hagrid around to help out. If my bloods go too low or too high I could go into a state where I am unable to check my own blood sugar levels or give my body what it needs, whether that be sugar or insulin. Scarier yet, my bloods are able to play up so much that I could go into a coma or have a seizure attack. Sometimes it is even just the comment that “Sam, you are in a mood you need to check your blood sugars” that helps me realize my bloods are high.
I have spent the last couple of days getting super organised for this trip so I can manage my blood sugars while away and in case anything shall happen.
I have packed extra supplies including; Novarapid and Lantus pens, Novarapid and Lantus insulin refills, a pack of 50 glucose strips, needles, finger pricking needles, blood glucose monitor, ketone pee sticks, Jelly Belly jellybeans and Mentos Chewy. These supplies are on top of my normal day to day supplies. Even with all of these extras packed I still feel like I haven’t packed enough. (I don’t think this is actually possible because I have packed an extra of everything).
I have meal prepped for the entire week to take with me so I don’t get too tired to cook and reach for KFC. I have made a large batch of my yummy coleslaw so that all I need is to add some sort of protein to my salad for dinner and lunches. I am also taking a homemade dressing and spices to keep my meals interesting. I have got apples, chia seed pudding, carrots and bounty balls for snacks throughout the week.
This will be a major challenge for myself and for my diabetes but it’s one that is going to happen sooner or later, so why not happen know and we will roll with it and learn for next time.
What is your number 1 tip for travelling alone with type 1 diabetes?