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Travelling the world with T1 Diabetes

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by meg7024, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. meg7024

    meg7024 Type 1 · Member

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    Hello!

    I have been travelling the world now for 2 years and counting.

    Since then my HBA1C results have gone from 13 to 6.8 aka dangerous to perfect!

    I’m not saying travelling is the cure of course but the regular walking, restricted diet, sunshine and less stress has played a huge role.

    I am currently writing a blog on my experiences. If anyone is interested please have a look (feel free to enter your email so new posts go straight to your inbox) it is completely free of charge.

    A few of my friends are diabetic and they have told me they wouldn’t consider travelling purely due to diabetes which is crazy! Why let it control you?!

    Welcome to ask any questions too :)

    Here’s the link:

    www.aroundtheworldwitht1diabetes.wordpress.com
     
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  2. paulus1

    paulus1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    im not jealous. but you will need to get old one day. wrinkles will come and kids. o the aches of an old person the joys of stress incontinence all a wait you. again im not jealous. enjoy it whilst you can.:grumpy::grumpy::grumpy::pompous::spitoutdummy::spitoutdummy::spitoutdummy:
     
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  3. ExtremelyW0rried

    ExtremelyW0rried Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't travel abroad due to my diabetes. I find it causes me huge stress - starting in airport security. Usually my sugars are in the 20s or above by the time we get to the plane even if I've started at a normal level. Then I find the heat and different food and routine just causes me one problem after another and I spend the whole time waiting to go home as I'm worried I might die!
    Can't cope with it. If it wasn't for the airport security I might feel differently but it just causes such high anxiety that it really isn't worth it.
     
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  4. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    You're young adventurous and I admire that, good for you, enjoy and always keep safe :)
     
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  5. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done. I admire anyone who does not let their diabetes get in the way of their life.

    By the way, how do you manage to get your diabetes supplies whilst you are travelling.
    In the UK (sorry, I don't know where home is), if you are away for more than 6 months you are not entitled to prescriptions on the NHS.
     
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    #5 helensaramay, Dec 4, 2017 at 8:49 AM
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  6. meg7024

    meg7024 Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you, i am from the UK also :) I got as much as I could from my GP and hospital then have bought the rest, at an unfortunate high cost. I’m in america at the moment and I will be home for xmas so I will top then, then head back out
     
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  7. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting.
    My understanding was that the NHS was residency-based which would cause trouble if I was travelling for long periods. Interesting to read GPs don't mind and continue to prescribe when you pop back home.
     
  8. philchap1

    philchap1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Good for you, you control your diabetes not the other way around, stay well and enjoy.
     
  9. lish_26

    lish_26 Type 1 · Newbie

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    So glad I joined the forum today and came across this post! Just had a quick scan through your blog as I am also a type 1 who loves to travel and have just been granted my 1 year working holiday visa for Australia. Will definitely need to pick your brains about this
     
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  10. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Active Member

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    You probably already know about this, but make sure to apply for a medicare card when you get to Australia. Prescriptions won't be free, but a lot cheaper than paying privately. Blood testing strips, needles etc are subsidised by the NDSS, though I'm not 100% sure whether you'll be able to join this. (I could when I was on a working visa, but not sure what the rules are for holiday visas).
    https://www.ndss.com.au/
    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/rhca-visiting-from-united-kingdom
    Enjoy your trip!
     
  11. meg7024

    meg7024 Type 1 · Member

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    Fantastic! I started in Australia! If you need supplies in Australia make sure you sign up for Medicare and NDSS (their diabetes scheme)

    [email address removed by moderator to protect member ID.]
     
    #11 meg7024, Dec 5, 2017 at 4:55 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2017
  12. meg7024

    meg7024 Type 1 · Member

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    Definitely, I know some GP’s can be different from one another. My diabetes care is through my local hospital rather than my GP so if they contact my GP on my behalf and then the GP issue the prescription - if that makes sense?! I just make sure that when I am home I have an appointment set up where I can see them and get my HBA1C checked etc :) they have all been fantastic and very supportive.
     
  13. tiredoftrying2017

    tiredoftrying2017 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic post, very inspirational. Thank you!
     
  14. JoeCo

    JoeCo Type 1 · Member

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    Agreed that travel is great for dealing with diabetes. It helps me as well! I think some people are concerned about access to drugs, what to do in an emergency, etc. but all of this is easily solved with a bit of planning. It's also important to be aware of the need to adjust treatment to match the type of holiday.

    For example, I just got back from a week in New York; I wasn't expecting to do a lot of walking because I thought I would mostly take the subway and never considered that I should take less insulin. But I found myself enjoying just wandering the city, so one day I was out walking for nearly 2 hours after taking my normal amount of insulin and got a really, really bad hypo. I took some dex tabs but still needed to go into a coffee shop and just sit there to relax myself for half an hour. I should have eaten more snacks during that walk, a pretzel or even some chocolate as I hadn't reduced my insulin at breakfast. In future, if I know I will be doing a lot of activity, take less insulin that day. Of course this applies anytime, but during a holiday things can be in flux and routines different. So I guess the lesson learned is to be more cognizant of that and remember to adjust accordingly!
     
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  15. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed on september 12, I had a trip to Australia (where I'm from) booked a few weeks later and assumed I wouldn't be able to do it, but the alternative was to waste the ticket and scare the hell out of my parents so I went. Then a week ago I got a call to go to Phoenix and Los Angeles on three days notice. So I went on that as well. I have done five long haul plane flights and one short hop and it seems fine. Security is the least of your troubles, if they give you any trouble they'll be looking for their jobs. Maybe it's because I'm used to getting huge cases full of weird looking movie equipment on planes but honestly the diabetes stuff has not been a big deal. I fly home tomorrow (long haul flight no. 6) and I have no fear on that basis.

    But it isn't all happy happy, joy joy. Walking? I don't dare walk anywhere. I don't dare really eat much and drinking is basically impossile so I either work or sit in a hotel and do nothing. Is it possible to travel with diabetes, sure, is it worth it, no not really. I'm sitting in a coffee shop at the corner of sunset and vine in Hollywood, this should be awesome, but I can't drink any of the drinks, I couldn't go on the walk up into the hollywood hills on sunday, I can't have any fun tonight because it will all be food and alcohol. I feel like a ghost. It makes me envy everyone around me who's having such a good time and I don't really want to be like that. So I won't pursue travelling. There's no point. It's not fun anymore, it just reminds me of how limited I am now. I just work and sleep and I can do that anywhere. Normally I'd be absolutely over the moon but there's just no joy in anything now.
     
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  16. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Active Member

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    Please be aware that though you feel like this now, once you're more used to your diabetes you should be able to enjoy all these things again. Yes, you have to be a little more careful about what you eat and drink and make sure you don't go hypo if you take more exercise but all these things can be part of your life if you want them to be. As a Type I diabetic since 1970 I have
    1) been horribly horribly drunk (and on more than one occasion, though as I get older I do this much more rarely)
    2) been on round the world trips and walking holidays
    3) eaten inappropriate food (specially in my early twenties when I was in a bit of denial and there weren't any blood testing meters to tell me how naughty I was being!)
    4) had (and have) plenty of fun and joy in my life
    Yes, diabetes is a pain, (some times more so than others), but there are very few things that it stops you from doing (OK, being an astronaut is out). It may take time, but you will eventually learn to control your diabetes and resume all your normal activities.
    Maybe I'm lucky because I don't really remember much before I became diabetic (aged 8), it was always a fact of life (though I do remember getting very upset a few months in when everything got too difficult and my Mum helped by doing my injections for me for several days). I still remember naively hoping that my result would be positive when I was first tested for diabetes, because my doctor told me I would have to have some more blood tests if the result was negative!

    It's natural to be depressed and sad (and angry?) when faced with a life changing diagnosis like Type 1 diabetes. You're probably sick of being told that things will get better, but honestly, things will get better.
     
  17. Steve14

    Steve14 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm dealing with the same thing (for me it's overseas travel). It'd be easier if one had a companion. I've traveled to the US and back, both with company and by myself, but that was prior to diagnosis. There are only two occasions I take a nerve pill, and one of them is prior to flying. First I thought I was afraid of flying, but then I realized that the actual fear is with the airport and the harsh treatment. Over 4 years ago I was profiled during the first travel, and it was a traumatic experience even though I was drugged up on benzos...but the thought is still haunting me. Fast forward to being diagnosed with T1D, nerve pills make me become feeble minded (ignore signs of hypo, hyper and not bothering to check my levels) which could be really dangerous. Currently trying to work around this, but ultimately stress + T1D = bad combination.
     
  18. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Ellie, you're very lucky you don't remember what it's like not to have it. Unfortunately I do so we are probably always going to have different perspectives on this. At some point there is a limit to how used to it I want to get, I don't want to completely forget what life is supposed to be like in order to somehow feel nice and comfy.
     
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  19. Down-Jai 001

    Down-Jai 001 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I stop travelling not even to go back to my homeland (Thailand ). I was there 12 years ago. The heat made my BG gone up and my body was swollen all the time. Plus the travelling insurance was very high.Even though I was on metformin then ,now I am on the insulin Woking hard to get out of it.
     
  20. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I had a holiday to Spain booked just 3 weeks after I was diagnosed in Aug. Probably a good thing because it threw me in at the deep end. Temperatures in the 30s most days and my insulin requirements were tiny. I got through a fair few jelly babies.

    I travelled a lot in my 20s and 30s and tbh I'm glad I got it in pre diagnosis, because I'm not sure I'd have the confidence now. I hope that confidence comes back.
     
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