Oh darn it! I began the discussion and then thought better of it and deleted the text. I didn't think it would be posted!!! Sorry!
The headline made me sound like a religious fanatic or something! :0)
Well, I can't leave you hanging now, can I?!
After reading several nightmare scenario posts (not the least of which was Natalie's terrible coma/rehab experience!) I've decided to get serious. I don't even wear my alert bracelets or necklaces anymore, shame on me. But they don't have any info on them other than T1, and now I wear a pump!
Is MedicAlert still the cadillac of bracelets in that it has a # to call for the patient's personal info? Or is there a better brand nowadays?
I'm getting kind of freaked out about travel too because I'm flying to Singapore next month, and from there will be cruising on a private boat off Thailand. Am I crazy? I was planning on getting a loaner pump and taking more than enuf MDI supplies that I could switch to. And then there are the scary posts about airport screening. (I don't speak Thai!!) I have traveled like this with syringes, but not with a pump.
Well, now you can see why I deleted the discussion (or tried to). My mind is in a muddle. I have never really thought about the possiblity of being zonked out and unable to communicate for myself. WoW! Help me to calm down, please. Many of you travel, I know.
You can put whatever info you want on a Road ID. It's a bracelet made primarily for bicyclists, but you can certainly adapt it to read however you want. I did that. Mine has several phone numbers, plus the fact that I a m Type 1 and also allergic to Codeine. All good stuff. See: Road ID.
Oh, no, Cindy, I think it's an important topic!
I don't have a lot to contribute because I haven't traveled since I got my pump. (I don't travel, i just move!). But a couple questions occur to me. You don't say if you are traveling alone or with partner/friends. If you have company, I would certainly educate them if they aren't already about your needs and possible problems. If you are alone, I would look for contact points. If you are visiting friends (you mention a private boat) I would educate them; don't be shy about it, they can be told it is unlikely but here is what to do if needed. If not, then I would locate English speaking people at each point: hotel staff, embassy if needed! It also is useful to give your itinerary to a friend at home and possibly set up regular contacts, though obviously this won't help you in an immediate crisis. A loaner pump and extra supplies (including back up MDI) sound great, and of course enough glucose tabs (I couldn't buy them there when I lived in Guatemala). ID sounds like a good idea and for extra caution perhaps you can have them translated into other languages.It also might give you peace of mind to know the location of good quality medical care in each of the places you are going so if needed you know where to go right away and don't get stuck in some awful public clinic.
But once you've done all the things you decide to do to prepare, then relax! What's the point of having a fabulous trip if you are too stressed to enjoy it Prepare for the worst, but expect the best!
Oh, and one really useful thing to do would be to take another type 1 along with you so you can be on the buddy system....hmmm...I just may have someone in mind! Kidding! Sort of. A Type 1 travel buddy exchange might be a great idea!
Road ID also has an interactive option. You can update it as often as needed during your subscription period.
Thanks for the tip.
I just ordered one. I've been meaning to get an ID for a while now. There's something kind of scary about putting "DIABETES / INSULIN" and emergency numbers on a wrist band -- it's like admitting that something could go wrong. But, of course, something could go wrong, so best to be prepared. Gah.
Hi Cindy. I understand that Medic Alert is recognized internationally. Since you already have a bracelet, I'd certainly wear it for the trip. I'd call them up to make sure that their info is up to date; you might have to rejoin. They have a website as well. Have fun!
I have a MedicAlert account that I've had for years. I update it on a regular basis and for $50/year, there is access to all my information via a 1-800 number. Unfortunately, it has been used -- but I can tell you that it's a service that works within the US.
However, I don't like the MediAlert bracelets, so I order mine from Lauren's Hope (just got a new one today!). They are more stylish. BUT, what I have them do is engrave the Medic Alert information on the back (the 1-800 number and my unique MedicAlert member ID). My bracelet also says Type 1 Diabetes, Insulin Pump.
Yes, get a loaner pump if you're traveling out of the U.S. That will ensure that your pump will work just fine. And of course carry extra stuff for MDI, just in case.
Also, do you know how to use Regular insulin in case something happens to your supply? You CAN use regular insulin in a pump; just have to set the insulin duration to the max of 8 hours. This is important to know how to do because analogue insulins are not widely available in some countries.
Research where you're going to ensure that you'll have access to some sort of refrigeration. Also know where medical clinics are that will treat tourists. Check with insurance to see what happens if you need medical care (do you have to get a rider? A separate policy?)
I have not had too many issues with TSA folks. They are getting better aware about insulin pumps and the supplies we need. But make sure to have a note from your endo outlining what supplies you need. I have one that I keep in my bag at all times (I work in government and constantly go through security, so have to always explain why I need juice boxes and needles). I make several copies and keep one with my passport and other copies scattered through my bags.
Finally, make sure that you carry some sort of card on you that describes what happens if you go low (that you may appear drunk or disoriented). If possible, have it translated into the local language.
I would just like to add that I have an aunt who became very ill (not diabetic, though) when she was in Thailand and had to be hospitalized there. She is still talking about the great treatment she received, how knowledgeable the doctors were, and how the bill was not very much. We tend to think we're the only country that has decent medical facilities, and that's not true. Hope that gives you some confidence, have a great time, everyone I've talked to who has been there loves Thailand.
Hi Cindy! Your trip sounds thrilling! So I too quit wearing my medical ID, but recently realized I SHOULD. Did a little research and came up with this as something to suit my taste (maybe not yours).
You can engrave your basic info on the outside, then put 2 gig of info onto the flash drive - about yourself, your meds, your pump settings, phone numbers etc. - whatever you think someone might need to know to help you. I suppose you could even use an internet translation site to put all the info in the language of the places you are traveling to as well.
Just a thought. I haven't gotten one yet so I can't give a personal review, but next spare $50 bucks I get, I will.
Have a really great time!
This bracelet is absolutely PERFECT! And there is time for me to get it b4 my trip! Thank you for the suggestion. I wondered what kind of info I would put on it, then I noticed it comes with fill-in forms. Also they have necklaces. I wonder if the info is as changeable as our specifics can be. Well, I'll find out.
So very welcome!