Diabetes should never make you feel trapped. You can go whenever you want, shopping, outdoor eating, camping, and travelling safely as long as you plan carefully and pack thoughtfully. You just need to have a “Care kit” or you can call it a “Daily Diabetes Care Kit” ready to go for a safer and joyful time, perhaps a small fancy bag so you won’t forget it!
You may pack all or some of the following depending if it is part of your care:
- Glucose meter: Ideally you need to have this with you at all times, especially if you are an insulin user or take pills that can cause you hypoglycemia (low glucose), including people with continuous glucose monitor (CGM) devices.
- Test strips: Always carry an ample supply of test strips as you may need more testing than you predicted.
- Lancing device and lancets: Keep some lancets handy as it is not advisable to reuse a lancet as it is no longer sterile and is dull, which increases the discomfort.
- Your diabetes medication: Pack your pills so you don’t miss a dose.
- Insulin: If you’re heading to a hot climate, pack an insulated bag with cold packs or designated insulin bags to keep your insulin cool.
- Syringes (or other insulin delivery device): count how many syringes you use per day and multiply it by the number of days you will spend away. Pack at least that many—preferably more.
- Insulin pump: If you use an insulin pump, make sure you bring it with you.
- Extra battery for the meter (and insulin pump if you use one): batteries may differ by manufacturer. Make sure you know which type you need and keep spares.
- Ketone strips: People with Type 1 diabetes may need these, even if rarely, they are good to always have on hand. Foil-wrapped strips last longest.
- Glucagon injection: Glucagon is used in emergencies when your glucose falls very low that you are unconscious or can’t swallow. Learn how to use it, teach those closest to you how and when to use it, and don’t leave home without it.
- Fast-acting glucose: You need to carry a small supply of fast-acting glucose, such as glucose tablets or gel, with you at all times in case you have low blood sugar. You can keep these in your purse, coat pocket, or backpack.
- Snacks: Peanut butter crackers, mixed nuts, or cheese fingers could come in handy to treat low blood sugar.
- Medical identification: wearing some sort of identification (band, pendants or bracelet) will be a good idea to indicate to emergency personnel that you have diabetes. So, if you were found unconscious, this will alert the medical team.
- Health history: In case of travel, it’s advisable to carry a health report (hard copy and soft copy on your phone). The report may include known conditions (type of diabetes), allergies, medications and emergency contact information.
At Glucare, we help you with individualized care that suits your lifestyle so you can spend more time enjoying your life, and participate in safe and joyful travelling.