Although one of my major concerns while traveling is keeping insulin cool, I have not yet resorted to carrying a fridge on my back!Meet Tony Phoenix -Morrison. As far as I know there is no insulin in that fridge. He is simply running with a fridge on his back (you can check his story HERE, that is where I borrowed this photo from).
The length of our stay away from home determines the amount of insulin I pack. If it is a week or two (anything under a month) I do not worry about refrigerating the insulin. It is meant to be used within the month once it is out of the fridge anyway, so I just keep it away from direct heat and make sure I do not leave it in the car in the sun. It is a different story if we pack for 3 or 6 months away.
We do not restrict carbohydrate intake for Mr. T. We let him eat as much as he wants, we count carbohydrates and we bolus accordingly. If he wants to eat more, he does so and we just add more insulin. It is easy on the pump and there is no need to jab him every time he changes his mind.
Unitl recently I thought Mr. T ate as much as he needed and wanted until I saw him attack the buffet breakfast at the hotel we were staying in when we were in Bangkok.
When traveling, before diabetes entered our lives, my “essential stuff” packing list looked something like this:
| || |
- Plane tickets
- Clean underwear AND
- Nappies for the then very young Mr T
Everything else we could get / buy along the way, or do without.
Today, I looked at my last post dated 16/6/2013 and was shocked to realize that it has been three months since I last wrote here! Time sure flies when you are having fun. :)
The reason for my silence was that we have commenced our BIG adventure which is taking us from Australia via Thailand, to Serbia, Spain (Tenerife) and South Africa. All planned to last for 6-7 months.
Sure enough, we are taking diabetes with us everywhere we go. Of course that is posing some small challenges at times, but not as many as staying connected via internet. Believe me. Well, the patchy internet connection, limited access to the computer (my own son has hijacked my computer for his school needs) and being busy with the family we have been visiting, have all resulted in me not posting regularly. Do not fear though – there is lots to write about and it is all coming your way. Watch this space!
Seven years ago, today, we were walking out of the hospital with Mr T’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. The life of multiple daily blood glucose checks and insulin injections had begun for us.
Seven years ago, Mr T was a very, very sick three year old.
Today, Mr T is a healthy ten year old who lacks nothing besides his own insulin.
Seven years ago I was crying a lot, away from Mr T’s eyes.
Today, I rarely cry, but I laugh and smile and enjoy every day I share with my boy.
Seven years ago, Mr T was using insulin pens, 4 to 6 times a day.
Today, Mr T has an insulin pump and he can now deliver insulin as often as needed without multiple needle pricks.
Seven years ago, I did not know much about diabetes.
Today, I know that I can learn something new about diabetes and self management, daily.
Seven years ago, Mr T‘s first BG test showed 27 mmol/l, and his HbA1c was 8.3
Today, Mr T’s BG is more often than not under 8 mmol/l and his most recent HbA1c was 6.2 - the lowest since diagnosis and almost in the non diabetic range.
Seven years ago, I had no clue what carbohydrates were or how many of those we had in a meal, often unnecessarily.
Today, all of us in our family know how different foods affect our bodies. We all eat a well balanced, healthy diet.
Seven years ago, we felt isolated and lost in a jungle filled with horrifying information about life with diabetes and the dreadful complications it may bring.
Today, we are part of a big D1 family where warm support and a wealth of knowledge is just a click on a computer or a phone call away.
It would be WONDERFUL if in seven years from today I can report that the cure for diabetes has been found and perfected, that Mr T, as well as millions of other sweet friends, no longer need to check their BG or inject insulin – they can now produce their own again.
With that hope in my heart, I raise my glass tonight. For at least 77 more, healthy years ahead of us.
NAPLAN* testing week is behind us and we can go back to normal basals – no more temporary basal needed on account of stress! Yay!
I must say, I am very happy how we “rode” Naplan testing time this year.
Two years ago, when Mr T had NAPLAN testing for the first time, I saw stubborn highs during the mornings of the tests. His BG was hovering around 14, 17, 19.
Poor thing, he must have felt awful. Of course, he had given the correction dose as soon as he tested high, but it took two corrections and several hours in-between for the BG to get down within range.
I was just summing it up for my husband, as we discussed the reasons of a recent low, when I thought:
I better write it down. It can always be used as a reminder.
Just a clarification, LOW blood glucose is not only when we get the dreaded reading of LO(W) on the meter, but any reading which is below our desired set range.
Mr T wanted to take part in his field hockey-team, team building activity, a day long hockey clinic.
This would involve lots of excitement, running and hitting the ball from 8am till 3pm. Longer than a school day and certainly more activity.
The food would be provided by others for the entire team and of course, no moms or dads would be allowed to stay for the day.
From a diabetes management point of view that means: no time for testing BG, likely to go low with such amounts of activity, likely to mis-bolus for food which could end up taking his BG either too high or too low and, worst of all, possibly not feeling the onset of a low during all the excitement.
In one word - a challenge. A scary challenge.
All I wanted for Christmas last year was a Cure for Diabetes. Second on the list was “Think like a pancreas”, a book by Gary Scheiner. I got my second choice.
While I am still reading Gary’s book (savoring shall I say – or rather reading carefully so I do not miss something important) I jumped at the opportunity to see him talk about “Use of advanced features of insulin pumps”, here in Brisbane.
Like in his book, his words during the presentation came out so easily and made complete sense. He spoke about “Almost 101 uses of Temporary Basal” and examples of the use of combo or dual wave boluses.
I had “discovered” temporary basal about a year into Mr T’s pumping and have been exploring the various uses of this feature ever since. I was glad to find out I was familiar with most possible uses, some of which I did not fully understand, how and why they worked as well as they did. That is where Gary came in.
Mr T received his new pump a few days ago. It is an Animas VIBE
[for more info click HERE
and for Australian readers please click HERE
], the upgrade for his old(er) Animas 2020
He knew it was coming since Animas
gave us a call the day it was shipped. When he finally got to open the package, the following day, I could not believe the glow on his face, the size of his smile.
It is just a pump, an insulin pump, not much different from the old one – it is even the same colour. I did not get it, but he was like a child in a candy store – very, very excited