Have Diabetes, Would Travel

My wife, Anita, and I were married in 1964. I had been type 1 for 18 years at that time. I was testing my urine, using animal insulin, and did not know about the effect of carbs on my blood sugar. My control was dismal, with many highs during the day, and some terrible lows at night. I had seizures at night several times each year. My wife was only 20 when we married, and she had a very hard time adjusting to my diabetes, especially the seizures. She became an expert while helping me, and she never complained. In the mid 1980s I had my first meter, I learned about carbs, and I started carb counting with a fast acting insulin in the 1990s. My control improved. There were still frequent lows, but no seizures. In 2007 I started using an insulin pump, and presently I have a Dexcom CGM. My control is so much better, and I never need any help when I have lows, because they are not serious lows.
Anita remembers the old times when I needed her help so often. She was so frightened when I had seizures so long ago. She is still concerned that I may have very low blood sugar, even though my control has been so good for more than 20 years. She sets the alarm each night for 1, 4 and 7 AM. I check my BG to satisfy her that I am okay. She cannot sleep unless I am in good shape. She checks with me several times each day, especially before meals, to be sure that everything is good. (I do have some lows but they are not bad ones, and I can easily take care of myself.)
Anita’s memories of how it used to be causes her to be this way. I cannot take trips by myself, even for a few hours in the afternoon, without her worrying so much about me. She wants to go with me on those occasions to keep a watch on me. Her being this way really gets on my nerves, but I rarely complain. She probably saved my life several times in the past, so I appreciate her attention, even though it is no longer necessary. I want to attend diabetes conferences, and make other trips without her going with me. She does not like to travel, she loves staying at home. She went with me to the Friends For Life conference in Orlando in 2015. I was a speaker there that year. We are planning to attend that conference again in 2019. I would like to attend more diabetes related meetings, and conferences, including the FFL’s in Canada and the UK, but this will not happen. I love Anita so much, and cannot ask her to take all those trips. She loves me so much that she would insist on going with me. Love and a great marriage is wonderful, but I do want to travel more. I will just count my blessings, and take only an occasional trip.

I hope that all type 1 children will find a spouse that will love, and take good care of them.


Would she feel more comfortable if you took the train on travel? There would be lots of other people around to help incase of an emergency and perhaps that would put her at ease.

I had a ski buddy whos wife was very worried all the time. He set up his BGs to her phone so she could look at his BG whenever she wanted and didn’t worry as much. Although, every time he got a little low, he would get a phone call, LOL.


Would having a travel buddy make your wife feel better? I don’t travel alone because it’s the only time my BG’s can get unstable enough to be worrisome to me and my family. Maybe you have a friend (or a fellow diabetic) who would be willing to go with you to diabetes conventions and would know what to do in case of an emergency.

What my mom would always do when I was a kid was teach anyone who was going to be supervising me or traveling with me what to do if there was a problem. I think that after a few trips without her your wife will feel safer with you being semi-alone especially if nothing happens and she can see your BG’s on her phone.


@Firenza, thanks, that is a good suggestion. Many friends have suggested that, but my wife does not trust another person. With my CGM and the pump I do not have any lows that are bad enough to require assistance. My wife remembers the awful lows I had before the year 2000, and those memories haunt her.

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Hello @mohe0001, my insurance will not let me use a share or a device for viewing my numbers. Medicare made that ruling before they started covering the Dexcom G5. My insurance company, MVP, is following the same ruling.

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Well, Pfui! as Nero Wolf would say. My two suggestions have already been made and they won’t work (train travel, buddy travel).

How about coming at it from the other side–or from both sides at the same time? On your side—Train travel With a Buddy…

For a decade, I was doing Amtrak’s Empire Builder round trip Portland to Minneapolis to care for first my mother and later my sister. If you get either the Accessible (handicapped) Room or the Family Bedroom, you can comfortably sleep two right in the same room. If you are uncomfortable going to the dining room (which, with community seating is a lot of fun), they will graciously bring meals to your room. (Another dividend, these two rooms take up the ends of the car so you have windows to look out both sides which I love). This would have you covered 24/7 while actually in transit.

Then, from your wife’s side, she would need to do some hard work with meditation, Tai Chi, her own buddy system or actual talk therapy. Her current level of worry is simply not healthy and as mean as it sounds, she needs to let it go for her own good…

You know, before he retired, my husband was an emergency manager for the city of Portland. I had to conquer my own anxieties as he would be called out in the middle of the night for anything from a Terror Alert at the Port of Portland to blizzards and floods and yes, one active shooter situation at a school. There are as many coping mechanisms as there are people, but, bless her heart, she needs to dig deep and find hers…

Best regards, old friend. And of course, count your blessings, as we all try to do…Hugs to you and your devoted wife…Judith in Portland


FYI - The Dexcom earnings call is coming up next week on Tuesday, Feb 27th @ 4:30 PM EST. The Dexcom CEO usually gives out a bunch of information other than strictly financials. Anybody can dial in and listen as this is a public event. I fully expect the Dexcom CEO to make specific mention of this issue.
No guarantees as for some reason he won’t give me an advance copy of his speech.
None the less, this seems too obvious of an issue for him NOT to mention it as well as discuss the status of having the policy/ruling changed.


Thanks @Tim35, I appreciate this information.

How about Have Diabetes, Will Travel?
Diagnosed at the age of 6, going on 59. Packing up right now to do some mountaineering and ice climbing in NY and Vermont. This will be training for our Mont Blanc summit in July.
Over the past 10 years I have spent most of my free time hiking and backpacking all over the world. Our trips have been 3 to 16 days long. Each trip is unique in the beauty that the area offers, it’s wildlife, the weather and the food that I always look forward to when we end our adventures.
Having T1DM makes climbs and summits interesting, it’s -7 degrees and my pump starts chirping, and my meter is reading it’s to cold. Thankfully I have a great husband who carries my meter next to his body to keep it warm. These encounters are the reason I keep coming back.
I’m enjoying the 670G and sensor, it’s been awesome on long hikes. Before the 670G I would disconnect my pump and use pens.
I live life to the fullest, and won’t let diabetes get in my way.

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Hi HikerGin, I love your enthusiasm! I admire your courage while hiking and mountain climbing in very cold weather.
Ahhh…to be young and strong again!!

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Thank you, I enjoy reading your writings. We’ve come a long way from the old days, and hope the best is yet to come. Be safe.

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@Tim35, as always, you are a wealth of good information. Thanks so much.

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