In early July, work approached me to see if I’d be willing to accompany a coworker of mine on a business trip…to Dubai.
Yes Dubai. The one in the Middle East. And no I’m not kidding. After restraining myself from screaming out “YESYESYES!!” (it’s one of the places on my list of things to see) I immediately started planning for the trip. I only had 3 weeks before I left, and that’s not a lot of time.
So I started researching things. What the weather was going to be like, what to wear, and what to see. Normal stuff. But what took centre stage for me, was trying to plan and prepare for travelling with diabetes. And let me tell you, there was a lot of work involved with that.
First thing I did was book an appointment with my doctor to get a note saying I was allowed to take sharp things and liquids on the plane, just in case security screening had a problem with it, and to make sure I had room on my prescription refills to get all the supplies I needed. That was pretty quick and painless and the only thing I had to worry about after that was making sure I didn’t lose that note!
The second problem I faced was keeping my insulin cool. It has to stay refrigerated until it’s time to use it, and once at room temperature it’s only good for a month usage. This was actually relatively easy to solve, thanks to Alison over at D-Rookie. In one of her posts, she talked about traveling to Asia and using a Frio Cooling wallet for her insulin.
So I looked into it, and got one of my own! It’s purple! How it works is you soak it in cool water, and the crystals inside absorb it, and as it dries, it causes a cooling reaction to occur. Keeps it cool for days! Then I had to wait (anxiously) to see if it arrived on time! Which I’m happy to report, it did.
Still not done! I then had a phone consultation with my diabetes educator (who I love, I seriously can’t say enough awesome things about her!). We covered how to travel with insulin, how much supplies to take, what to possibly expect from the extra heat, to test often, and to make sure I kept taking my base insulin dose every 24 hours. What I love the most is that nobody in my health care team even once suggested that I shouldn’t do it. They’ve all been extremely supportive so far and I am incredibly grateful for it.
So once that was out of the way, all I had left to do was pick up my prescriptions and pack! Since I’m ridiculously paranoid about this sort of thing, I packed extras of EVERYTHING. Strips, insulin, lancets, needle tips, glucose tabs, a second meter and an extra insulin pen. Not ever kidding. I probably had enough to last me for a month and I was only gone for a week! Did I mention I’m paranoid? And on top of that, I packed all of it in my carry on. I wasn’t taking any chance of having it getting lost with my luggage. I even had a pocket of my backpack designated as my “medical compartment”!
Once that was all taken care of, all I had to do was hop a plane to the Middle East! But that’s a story for the next installment.