BEST TRAVELER goes to


#1

…the pump! That’s right; the people in the travel adventure were cranky, ornery and “dis”-eased (nothing about the travel day went easily), but the pump just did it’s thing. This person would have been ever grumpier had it not. My blood sugars were really…okay throughout the longest 24 hours I’ve ever spent getting from point A (Houston) to point B (Kitzbuehel, Austria via Munich).

In retrospect, perhaps everything went so well because I prepared myself for the worst. I was ready for my blood sugars to be out of whack (not that they were perfection before getting on the plane), constantly getting up to use the oh-so-lovely airplane lavatories and inaccurate carb counting. I packed double what I thought I’d need with an extra everything in each purse or backpack carried on. I had my letter regarding the pump, extra glucose tabs, cereeal bars, gluco-strips…I was a veritable girl scout.

With the exception of a 400 (!) in the middle of the night which I attributed to a bad set, the overseas portion was golden. Upon discovering that lovely number, I went to the bathroom to check my set and the pump actually dropped, pulling the set out. And, yes, I did disinfect my pump after that little incident.

I should have known that it would be a rough trip when our flight out of Houston was delayed. When we finally made it onto the plane, we were informed that our carry-ons were too big for the puddle-jumper so we had to pull all of my supplies (insulin and strips) out to be carried onto the plane. The people behind us were jumping up and down over that.

Once actually ON the plane, we sat there for an hour due to bad weather in Atlanta. Those of us with connecting international flights were, needless to say, worried about our connecting flights. Our lovely, friendly stewardess was so helpful in responding that all traffic in and out of Atlanta would be affected; but, IF we were worried, we could call the Delta 800 number to check on the flight time. Well, let me tell you how productive THAT was. First of all, the rest of America flying Delta was calling. Second, once you’re in the air, you can’t use those cell phones to sit on hold listening to very bad music. Third, by the time you hit the ground (in this case, literally, running), there is no time to call and check on your flight if you intend to actually be on the plane when it leaves.

As it turned out, our flight from Houston landed as our flight to Munich was supposed to be leaving, but, remember dear reader, that our lovely flight attendant informed us that ALL traffic out of Atlanta would be affected. Would she check for us before we landed. Oh, she couldn’t do that, but we could have the gate attendant check for us upon landing. Do you see where this going? Can you imagine what my blood pressure must have been?

Upon landing, I had to wait for our non-carried-on carry-ons while my beloved went to have the gate attendant check on our connection. We were told that it was boarding and they were told there were 4 passengers on their way from the Houston flight. We literally flew across that airport. Have you ever been in the Atlanta airport? I don’t know if there’s a body of water there, but, otherwise, they could hold Ironman there. I don’t know when or if I’ve ever run that much. Hopefully, I didn’t take out any small children or elderly people along the way. I do know that I couldn’t breathe, but there was no stopping for something silly like an inhaler. When we roared up to the gate, there were people coming off the plane – wrong direction.

“Munich?”
"It’s gone."

Uh -oh. Very. Bad. It’s not like there are flights to Munich every hour. The person normally known to me as my beloved, C, became irate. Sort of the evil side of Wonder Woman. I have never seen my calm, rational and kind C. so angry. I thought I might have to tackle her to keep her from physically harming someone which, considering that I was having difficulty breathing and she was VERY angry, would have been no small feat.

After the gate debacle, use of the inhaler and BG check (snack time), we were informed that we would be rescheduled for the next Delta flight to Munich – in 24 hours. Since we weren’t the only ones left standing at the gate after practically killing ourselves to get there, many angry words ensued. What? We can spend the night in the Atlanta airport? Doesn’t that sound like fun?

After much haggling, our group managed to get routed on a Paris flight with connections to Munich leaving in several hours. They have re-routed our luggage to leave with us (hehehe). Much better – blood pressure going down. All will be well. Are we on vacation yet? So you’ll never guess what happened once we get on the Paris flight – they hold the plane for an hour. Are you with me? That means that we could quite possibly miss our connecting flight in Paris. Have you ever been in Charles de Gaulle? A bit like Atlanta. Run, Lola, run!

Now, on the final leg of our ride, the pump had been giving me an alarm – low battery. Having not yet had to change a battery, I really didn’t know how long that alarm would give me. My batteries were stowed in the overhead bin and we were due to land shortly. As it turns out, it wanted its battery pretty quickly. As we hit Customs. Really great timing. My blood sugar was dropping so I was popping some tasty glucotabs, trying to keep our luggage moving in the line (C was hunting down the Customs forms) and change the battery. In retrospect, it must have been something akin to an “I Love Lucy” episode as I tried to disconnect my tubing, prompt the pump, move the luggage, juggle torches in the air (okay, so I made that one up.)

I somehow managed to get all of it done by the time we made it to the Customs window although the agent was intrigued by the pump as I struggled to hold it while presenting my passport. The guys in Paris security, however, just didn’t get the idea of an insulin pump, especially since I had two of them. The loaner pump was in my hand with my “pump ID letter” but I thought they were going to wrestle me to the floor to take it away. This led, of course, to the wand. search which was the best time I had that day. Another sprint to the gate on the other side of the airport…I just prayed that my BG was okay after what shall be referred to as the “Customs BG” since I didn’t have time to stop and check. We did make our flight with a BG of 101.

I would like to point out that our plane to Munich was the same size as the one to Atlanta and our carry-on luggage fit fine. We did make it to Munich although our luggage did not, and I was delighted that I had split up all of my supplies…so much for clean underwear, I had infusion sets.

So now we’re here, eating wonderfully butterful food with lots of potatoes, drinking much beer and hiking. All my pump asks is that I not drop it on the floor which, so far, I’ve managed to accomplish – even after a beer. I love my pump.