Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An 8-hour International Flight

Before becoming a diabetic, I loved to travel.  "Traveling" has been my initial response to the question "So, what is your favorite thing to do?" since my days as an undergraduate.

Traveling for me is so freeing, so liberating, and a way to clear my mind.  When my car tires hit the road for a long drive to a new destination or I board a flight to a different city, something inside of me comes alive.

But recent experience with an international flight was not pleasurable for a couple of reasons.

#1, After paying for the ticket, I went straight to the "special meals" section in search for a "Diabetic Meal." Previously, I would have gone directly to the seat selection link, but hey, things change.  To my surprise, this airline didn't have that option, bummer!

#2, My carry-on luggage is calculated, organized, and full to the brim.  But carrying a little black bag, alcohol wipes, extra medication, and all that jazz requires MORE room.  So, I found myself paying an extra 60.00 busks for another checked bag.  Yet another way that diabetes is costly!

#3,  I had to carry a mini cooler-bag for the medications that require refrigeration.  New airplane policy prohibits flight attendants from storing medication in the airplane's fridge on 8-hour flights.

By the time flight was over, my icepacks (they made it through security check-YEAH!!) had melted.  Just before departing the aircraft, I asked for some ice and the flight attendant was nice enough to give me some for my cooler-bag.

#4, I checked my glucose before the first meal and I was just above 70.  I decided that although it wasn't a "diabetic mea;" that I better eat everything except for the cherry dessert, in hopes of preventing a lower reading. The  low 70s was a little abnormal for me, but I figured that once I ate a good meal, (with two rolls) that things would balance.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.  Four hours later, when the crew served a "snack," I checked my glucose again.  This time I was UNDER 70. I was so surprised that I checked my glucose twice.  Both reported numbers below normal.  This sent me in a bit of panic.  I haven't been below normal since my days on insulin and I was told that Byetta and Metformin prevent below normal readings from occurring.

I wished that I had kept the cherry dessert.  But since I didn't, I politely asked the flight attendant for a cup of juice with the sandwich. Shortly afterwards, I was feeling a little bit better.
I don't want diabetes to kill my love for traveling.  I want to feel that freeing feeling again, rather than thoughts of anxiety and worry.  I want the open road and anticipation of a new journey to remain the rejuvenating, soul-stirring pleasures they have been for years.

 But as for now, I'm wondering how in the world can the two coexist?


  1. They can coexist! It's just a matter of planning. I know it can be headache, but it's worth it! I am so happy I just found your blog and I can't wait to read more.

  2. DL,
    Thanks for the encouragement. After a recent trip I feel like writing the airlines and asking if bags of medication can fly for free. We already pay too much for them anyway.

    Glad you're here and hope to see your comments again.