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Gap year

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by sasharoo, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. sasharoo

    sasharoo · Newbie

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    Hello,

    I'm an 18 year old diabetic off for 8 months of travel. As you can imagien i'm incredibly excited but also terified about managing my diabetes. My maiun concern is what to do if i run out of needles or insulin or if my blood meter or injection pen breaks/ gets lost. How do i get hold of kit that i may need whilst travelling?

    I've been away before whilst being diabetic but for a max of 3 weeks, so i need lots of advice about what to do in emergenceys and how to get hold of supplys. Has anyone else been travelling for 8 months with type1 diabetes? If so tell me about your experience and any useful information.

    Thank you
     
  2. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Hi sasharoo.
    Welcome to the forum.

    Here is a link to our own travel advice from this websites main pages. Have a read, it may give you some useful information ?
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/travel.html

    You probably also need to check the tourist website of the country you are going to and see if there is any further things you need to do. Preperation is the key and don't try to just 'make do.' Follow everything to the letter - that way you won't have any problems.
     
  3. Celtic.Piskie

    Celtic.Piskie · Well-Known Member

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    It entirely depends on where in the world you are going.

    I spent 9 months in America, as well as working in Switzerland for 2 years.
    Insurance, good insurance, is a huge must, as well as your e111 card if you are going to the EU. Insurance that covers pre-existing diabetes is expensive, but nowhere near as expensive as the money it would take to pay for the treatment in some countries.
    Always take much, much more than you need.

    How you get supplies varies from country to country. I suggest you contact the embassies of wherever you are going, and see what help they can provide.

    Personally, i made sure i always knew where the nearest hospital was, doctors in some countries just don't cut it.
    Also, make sure the insulin you need is available where your going. Some countries have odd restrictions, so some insulins mat not even be in that country.
    Good luck, and enjoy !
     
  4. scottishkate

    scottishkate · Well-Known Member

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    Hello!

    It's very exciting isn't it - I'm going travelling for a year leaving on 2nd December - I can't wait!

    I checked out lots of insurance companies and found one called 247 Insurance who do not add any premium on for covering diabetes as a pre-existing condition - they were recommened to me by Diabetes Uk and are very, very resonably priced.

    Your travel needs will be country specific - I'm doing some travelling around Asia at the beginning of my trip so I am taking enough (and more) insulin in a Frio bag and insulin pump supplies to last me for this leg of the trip. I've also sussed out where major hospitals are and I know that you can buy insulin over-the-counter in places such as Thailnad without a prescription. The next leg of my trip will be in Australia which is easy - just need to register with Medicare, find a GP and get prescriptions for insulin etc.

    Where are you headed? What are your plans?

    I've travelled in many places all over the world and although diabees means a bit more planning, it certainly doesn't stop you from doing anything!!

    : )

    Katie
     
  5. PaulLove

    PaulLove · Member

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    Hi sasharoo,

    I am a type 1 that is currently doing a round the world trip!! I can try and give you some advice, although I think that it greatly depends on where you are going?!

    So... Question 1.. where are you going?

    Question 2.. What type of insulin are you using?

    I had the same doubts and questions as you, but there is no need to worry. Before I left, I managed to persuade my doctor to prescribe 3 months of insulin, needles, test strips and some hypo stop. It kept well (and in fact lasted more than 3 months)

    When booking into places, ask if there is a fridge that you can use. Most places will either have a communal fridge (make sure you mark your insulin as "medicine" and keep an eye on it) or they will have a staff fridge where they will always be happy to store your insulin safely.

    I have only needed to buy some insulin once.. and I did this while in India. It's supposed to be prescription only as in the UK, but if you find a pharmacy that will get in your insulin (they all should be able to get *any* kind of insulin if they can see a profit in it), then you can get it in some countries without a prescription.

    Have a look at my blog post here: http://lovetravels.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/getting-insulin-in-india/ and keep an eye on http://lovetravels.wordpress.com/ for any other diabetes type posts I put up.

    Another thing that I did before leaving was to contact Eli Lilly (as I am using Humalog) and they were very helpful. The lady there found outh which countries I was visiting had Humalog and also the dosages that they used as these can vary from country to country. UK uses 100U/ml whereas some countries use 40U/ml.. if you get the latter, you'll need to work out your dosages differently.

    Also, if you don't already have one, get a carb counting book. You WILL be eating different food while travelling and it can be a good source of info for working out the carb values of what you're eating. If in doubt, most places will have some western style food. Although I must say, I am enjoying all the exotic cuisine.. part of why I'm travelling.

    Remember that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Keep checking your BG levels regularly and adjust your insulin as necessary.

    If you have any more questions, let me know and I'll let you have my email address. I am more than happy to pass on any useful info I have gleamed along the way

    Enjoy your gap year!!!

    Paul
     
  6. sasharoo

    sasharoo · Newbie

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    Thank you so much for all your replys, it's great to get in touch with other diabetics who love to travel!!

    |realise that my last post was brief and alot of people are saying that it depends on which countries you go to so... here are my plans...

    Fly to Mexico City, travel through Mexico to Cancune, then make our way down the coast to San JOse. Fly to Peru (do inca trail and amazon trekking- anyone done this/ got diabetic related advice to doing this? Would be great to know) Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Singapore to Bangkok. If we've got time Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos before flying home. So excited!!!

    If anyone's been to these countries and has country specific advice linked to diabetes that would be fab. Anyone encountered difficulties getting hold of insulin or had their bag stolen and lost all their diabetic kit...what did you do?

    The insulin i use is Novarapid and glargine. I take my glargine at 6pm gmt every night- did anyone find the time differences difficult when it came to taking injections? How did you deal with it- any advice?

    Also.. Paul, how did you get all your insulin free? did everything you pack last you? Also is insulin expensive to buy abroad- i suppose it depends on the country. If i could have your email, that would be brilliant.

    Apart from that... sorry for bombarding everyone with questions, i just have lots of little worries and things i need to sort out. So far your advice is amazing. :) Thank you
     
  7. PaulLove

    PaulLove · Member

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    Hello again,....

    In the UK all us diabetics get all prescriptions for free!? You get a special medical exemption card when you get diagnosed. Not everything I packed lasted. I had to buy some more in India.

    The insulin I bought was expensive, although not as expensive as in some countries. To buy 10 pre-filled pens of Lantus and 10 cartridges of Humalog cost about 150GBP.. Which actually was less than I was expecting.

    As for the time differences, it can be a problem. I would suggest you either stick to UK time to do your injections, or you slowly over the course of 2 weeks - take 1 hour off (or on.. brain can't quite decide which way round the world you're going yet.. it's early here) before you go

    I have sent you my email in a PM, in case you need to ask anything urgently

    Paul
     
  8. LeahLC1

    LeahLC1 · Member

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    Does anyone have any information on whether Novorapid and Levemir are available in the Dominican Republic? I am about to embark on my gap year teaching there and my mums having kittens worrying about me getting my supplies!
     
  9. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    LeahLC1 - The post you are replying to is extremely old, and those replying haven't been around for ages. On that basis, I think you would get more replies if your post were a thread of it's own.

    If you would like it to be a thread of its own, any of the Mods can do that for you, if you tag one. To tag, just type the @ symbol immediately preceding their name, like @LeahLC1 .
     
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