November is ‘American Diabetes Month.’ It’s the vision and goal of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to raise awareness levels of the many issues surrounding the disease and the people it impacts.
The statistics are staggering. Almost 30 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. 86 million Americans are pre-diabetic and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. My Mother, Carrie Lee Fuller was diagnosed with diabetes late in life and being her feisty self, she never let her having diabetes slow her down or stop her in any way. I remember her taking her ‘survival kit’ as she called it with her everywhere.
Whether it’s on her daily travels to pick my nephew Tyrone up from school or on a trip to her favorite Atlantic City casino with her girlfriends, Carrie Lee had her homemade diabetic survival kit tucked away in her tote-bag.
Mama Fuller was a wise woman! The ADA strongly suggests that travelers with diabetes pack the following essentials (especially when flying):
- Extra syringes
- Backup supply of insulin
- Extra testing strips
- Alcohol swabs for disinfecting finger stick/injection sites
- An extra glucose meter and extra batteries
- Extra glucose tablets
- A glucagon emergency kit
Included in your supplies should also be a few snacks that don’t require refrigeration/cooling. Snacks like:
- Whole grain crackers
- Granola/trail mix bars
- Rice cakes
- Peanut butter crackers
Travel can sometimes be problematic and cause you lengthy delays thus making it very important to keep your diabetic supplies close at hand in your carry-on bag. Since checked luggage can be exposed to extreme heat or cold temperatures, never pack your backup insulin in your checked luggage.
If you are flying, write your name and seat number on your supply kit and ask the flight attendant to store it for you in the refrigerated cart. TSA and the American Diabetes Association have worked closely to ensure that all travelers with diabetes can have their supplies on the plane without hassle. To speed the TSA process pack your supplies in separate, clear-sealable bags and have the prescription label for devices on hand just in case there’s a question. If you have an issue due to traveling with your supplies and medicine please report it to TSA Cares 1-855-787-2227 and the American Diabetes Association as soon as possible.
BMWK: If you or a family member have diabetes, how does that effect your travel?