Friday, June 8, 2018

Packing Diabetes

Darien Lake (1995-ish)
Travelling was a huge part of my life growing up.  We always went away during March Break and almost always would rent a R.V at Darien Lake in the summers.  We were spoiled in knowing that each year we would be given an opportunity to explore somewhere new.   I recall my mom's packing methods.  She would pack every kind of medication we owned, if you had a headache, she had the remedy, sore throat? allergies? upset stomach... she's got you covered.   It was a safety blanket knowing that if anyone fell ill, she had her magic bag of medication that would likely be able to help you.

I remember the days of packing just my clothes and what I felt I needed pre-diabetes diagnosis.  Fifty tank tops and twenty dresses, costume jewelry and books I'd never read.   I knew that if I forgot something, it wouldn't actually matter because likely my mom had it anyways.   I would take hours just picking out what I thought I'd wear - only to wear the exact same bathing-suit everyday.  It wasn't a huge hassle or worry, it was exciting.

Packing with a chronic condition is a lot less exciting.  You feel like half your luggage is packed with medical supplies, leaving you with just a portion to pack with the 'fun' stuff.  Everything is strategic.

"If my luggage gets lost, how many supplies will I need on my person?" 

"If my site rips out twice, and one malfunctions, how many sites do I need for my trip?" 

Trying not to get too wrapped up in the what-if's you try to pack practical, but with caution.   It is so easy to get caught up in what could happen, and begin to panically throw extra vials in your carry-on and enough sites for a round-world trip.  It's not easy being practical because emergency situations happen all of the time.  How many times have you been at a friend's house and had a site ripped out or you realized your reservoir is holding only five units of insulin? Now place yourself on an island in the Caribbean and imagine that scenario.  

I have travelled many times since my diagnosis in 2009, far-away places like Australia and Tanzania. I've managed to always come back with plenty to spare, but I rather that be the situation.  I am not sure the practicality of packing diabetes supplies ever comes. There are always those thoughts that make us grab for more 'just in case' and I think that's okay.  After all, my mom did that long before I had diabetes. She was literally ready for the plague if it was ever to hit Disneyworld.  


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