From time to time, someone will ask me whether diabetes keeps me from traveling. And invariably, my answer is: “No Way! Have Diabetes, Will Travel!”
Type 2 diabetes does not keep me from traveling; neither does congestive heart failure. I’ve actually traveled more in the two and a half years since my diagnosis than I had in previous years. And up until my last cardiologist appointment, the only limitation I had was that I couldn’t fly because of my heart. That really wasn’t a problem, though, because I prefer road trips anyway; they allow a slower pace and provide an opportunity to see more of the land and attractions in each town along the way.
The fact of the matter is that no matter where I go, diabetes and my other health issues go with me. Going on a vacation doesn’t mean that those things get left behind. While they don’t keep me from going where I want to go, they do make planning and preparing a bit more challenging.
Aside from the usual stuff that I pack for a trip, like clothes, toiletries, laptops, cameras, etc… I now have a box with a metric crapton of pill bottles, diabetes testing supplies, a blood pressure monitor, and a BiPAP machine to pack. For those unfamiliar with them, a BiPAP machine is used for treating sleep apnea, which is common among people with Type 2 diabetes.
My road trip supplies wouldn’t be complete without diabetes friendly snacks and beverages; peanut butter and bread, granola bars, low sugar Gatorade and water are among my favorite items to take along for the drive.
I also tend to check my blood glucose a little more frequently when I’m traveling. I spend hours at a time in the driver’s seat, and I have to keep track of where my numbers are. It’s a safety thing.
And I never leave home without my medical ID bracelet on my wrist and an up-to-date emergency information card in my wallet. The bracelet has my health conditions and the medic alert symbol on one side and my name on the reverse side with a message pointing to the information card in my wallet. The card bears details about my diagnoses; all of my medications; doctor contact information; a list of allergies; and last but not least, my emergency contacts.
If you’re living with diabetes and you do not have either of those items, you should!
So, while my health issues do complicate traveling, they certainly do not keep me from doing so. Life is far too short to allow something like diabetes or congestive heart failure to keep me from going places.
I mentioned earlier that I had been given my wings to fly, and I’ll have a chance to use them at the end of June. It will be the first time I’ve flown since diagnosis, and since being put on the injectable drug Byetta. It should be an interesting experience to say the least.
That’s right, folks. I’m going to fly with diabetes. Let the adventure begin!