So, what does Swiss cheese have to do with traveling with Type 1 diabetes? Well, I’ll tell you. The Swiss cheese principle is a model used in determining accident causes. We know that there are random holes in Swiss cheese. Individually, those holes or in our case malfunctions, are not going to be a major problem . But, when multiple holes line up (problems or malfunctions being the holes) , we have catastrophic failure. So, when I travel, my aim is to have multiple back ups for all possible problems or malfunctions. Every single pump failure I’ve ever had was in a foreign country. Really. So, in the past I’ve carried one of my old pumps as backup (along with an index card with current pump settings). I also carry long and short acting insulin pens (with needles). This summer, I learned of a new option while I was attending the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference in Orlando. That new option is the InPen. I have to say that I am really impressed with it. This is a pen type device that holds insulin “cartridges “. It has Bluetooth that talks to an app on your phone. You and your diabetes care team program in your insulin settings and it functions much like the pump in making your calculations. I think it’s brilliant. I love having it as my backup (much less to carry as my old pump takes different supplies as my current one). And, if I ever decide to take a pump break, it will be my go to. Take a look and see what you think. The app is easily navigated.
Is it hard to carry so many backups? Maybe. But it would be a whole lot harder to be unprepared and have to scramble to come up with a solution far from home. And, that would totally ruin my vacation. So, I’m hyper prepared. And, despite having several pump failures outside the US while working as a flight attendant, I’ve never had to go to the hospital or had any real problems. Pausing to pat myself on the back. So, be prepared and enjoy. The same goes for carrying hypo supplies. I carry at least 3….glucose tabs, glucose liquid, and some candy.
Travel safe, travel prepared!
The above picture was in front of the casino in Monte Carlo. Yes, I went in and looked for James Bond…..he wasn’t there that night 😉