Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vacation Planning - Part 1

We are leaving soon for that magical place where the big mouse lives. 

This isn't our first visit.  We have been taking our Naturally Sweet Sisters since they were babies.  Something about the "magic" combination of sunshine mixed with fantasy fun, allows us to relax and forget about the unforgettable world of insulin, blood glucoses and carbohydrates. 

Yes.  It is possible to leave it behind, well, somewhat behind. 

After all, we still have to dose insulin, check blood glucose and count carbohydrates.

Even at DisneyWorld.

What I want to emphasize though is that we do not let type 1 diabetes stop the fun for us.  It just makes things a little bit more interesting.

I haven't said it in a while, so here it is...

Kids first, diabetes second.

To make that happen, it just takes a little extra planning.  This post is to help you strategize the diabetes supplies.

Before we leave, I start packing.  Now, let me preface this with the fact that I am a self declared lover of all things organization.  Packing for our trips is like my own Superbowl.  I suit up with four suitcases, each lovingly labeled with the family members name and I start bringing together my gameplan. 

And by gameplan, I mean lists. 

Most of the items, are easy.  Clothes, sunglasses, toiletries.  Simple things that you use daily.

Diabetes supplies can be a bit more challenging. 

Here is an easy checklist of things that we pack:

Diabetes Checklist

INSULIN -  this is the most important thing and easily, the most frequently overlooked.  We have two children, so I bring two vials of fast acting.  One opened and one as a back-up unopened.  I also bring one vial of a back-up long acting insulin.  I store this in a small plastic container in the same cooler as our fruits, veggies, ice, soda and water.  The best location in the cooler is at the top.  To help make this happen, the container that we use is a bright purple.  No missing that insulin!

Infusion Sets -  Because we are swimming frequently, I pack one infusion set for each child for each day that we are away from home. 

Cartridges - One for each day away from home.

Tubing - One for each day away from home.

IV Prep - One for each day away from home.

IV 3000 - One for each day away from home.

Unisolve -  One for each day away from home.

Alcohol Swabs - One box.  Sticky and dirty fingers go with vacations.

Lithium AA Pump Batteries - Two sets; one for each child's pump.

Ketone Strips - This is the perfect time to bring your vial of urine ketone strips that test both glucose and ketones.  We discovered that the strips can also double as an extra safety check for testing diet soda in restaurants.  And yes!  We have discovered at least on two occassions that our children were served full sugar sodas.  Wait staff are not used to kids ordering diet and often make the mistake.

Glucagon - I pack one container and I make sure that I also pack syringes in case I need to use the mini-gluc injection method. 

Blood glucose meters - One meter per family member (total of 4).  It makes it nice to have the extra ones in case one is inadvertently left behind.   Plus, I like to spread out our chances of one either being lost or not working.  Parents are just as absent-minded (sleep deprived!) as the kids are!

Test Strips - I calculate 10 strips per day per child.  Then, for good measure, I add in one extra container.  You never know.

Lancets - Our boxes contain 100.  I pack one box per child for our trip.

Meter batteries - One package of 4 or 6. 

Sharps container - Sometimes hotels supply these.  All you need to do is ask the front desk.  If not, we take a water bottle and label it SHARPS MEDICAL WASTE with a Sharpie marker.  We take it home with us and dispose of it properly.

Neosporin - One container.  My mommy friends now count on me to carry this stuff in my purse.  That in itself has taught me the most valuable lesson of all, you may not need it, but someone most certainly will.

Children's Motrin - One container.  It is easy to overlook the kids pain reliever, but often, I find that they are the ones that tend to get vacation headaches.  Nothing provides faster or more immediate relief than a couple of Motrin.

Vaseline -  One small jar.  We love this stuff.  Works great on old sites and any bumps and bruises. 

Glucose Tabs - I pack one large container and two small containers for our daughters to carry in their bags.  When the small container runs out, we refill from the large container as needed.

Smarties and fruit snacks - One family size package of each.

Plastic sandwich baggies - We use these for all sorts of things.  To keep pumps tucked in when not in use (pool time), to fill with one site change if we are headed to the park, to keep fast acting glucose in purses, to use a collection container for used strips and capped lancets, and anything else that comes up.  Just throw a box in your suitcase.  You'll be glad.

Dr. Letter and Emergency Contact List - I have a letter typed up from our Endocrinologist's office explained that both of our daughters have Type 1 Diabetes and what that means.  I also type a list up with our pharmacy phone number, scripts, neighbor and family member contact information. 

Hope this helps for your next vacation!

No comments: