Air Travel and Diabetic Supplies
Being diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t travel, either on business or pleasure. It just takes a little extra planning so that you’re not mistaken with a junkie shooting heroin like it happened to Poison lead singer Brett Michaels once when he was injecting insulin. The very first thing you have to do is talk with your doctor, even before you talk to your travel agent. Ask your physician to provide you with written prescriptions for medication and supplies, as well a letter on official stationery detailing your diabetes plan. You may show these documents at the airport and to doctors in the locations you’re traveling to, if need be.
You’re also going to need a travel diabetic supply kit. This is basically the same as your regular diabetes kit, only it should be both easy to carry while at the same time be able to contain enough supplies to last the entire length of your trip. For example, the MediCooler Insulin Micro Fridge by Invacare Supply Group is lightweight and portable, holds up to 9 insulin bottles, and keeps an internal temperature between 36 and 46 degrees. Do not check your kit with your luggage; you might need it during the actual flight, like Mykelti Williamson in ‘Con Air.
’You shouldn’t act like you’re smuggling your supplies at the airport. Notify screeners and request a visual inspection. Some of the supplies that are commonly allowed through checkpoints after screening include lancets, blood glucose meters and meter test strips, alcohol swaps, meter-testing solutions; insulin and insulin dispensing items; syringes accompanied by insulin; and insulin pumps and related supplies accompanied by printed labels. Many of these supplies, as well as others, are available at Discount Medical Supplies.
You and your doctor may need to adjust your injection schedule if you’re flying three or more different time zones. You lose time when you fly east and gain time if you fly west, so you may need less ore more insulin, respectively. Monitor blood glucose levels more frequently the day of your flight. Reset your watch after you land. Walk up and down the aisle every 90 minutes to exercise on long flights. Bring your own food if there’s no in-flight meal or if the meal is delayed. Bring syringes as back up for your insulin pump, in case overseas airport security requires you to check your pump with your luggage.