All Children with Diabetes are still not safe in school

school1It has been over 15 years since I was first asked to take part in discussions surrounding the issue of children with diabetes in schools.  I still speak publicly on the issue. I still assist parents but I honestly thought that after 15 years, more insulin pumps and other awareness activities that things would be vastly improved–that all children would be safe in school.

Things have changed.  Years ago, very few school had policies in place protecting our children with diabetes in schools.  Very few educators knew their roles and parents struggled as well.

Today there are provinces that  have stepped up to the plate offering guidelines and even legislation surrounding this issue.  Sadly there is still a long way to go.  There are still parents who do not feel safe sending their children to public schools.

I once looked to the US as a standard to achieve.  The rights of their children with diabetes are protected under the American Disabilities Act.  That had to count for something!  A lawyer friend of mine reminded me that this was a just a law.  Enforcing it could often be just as frustrating and overwhelming for families in the US as it was for families here in Canada.

The moral? Keep fighting. Keep educating, Continue helping and that is what I am doing.

Many years ago, just after a change in rulings on the Disability Tax Credit, I met a wonderful lady. She worked for what was then called the Canadian Diabetes Association.  She was there first formal advocacy employee.

Our sons were of similar age.  She listened to our struggles and empathized.  Over the years we have worked together on certain projects and simply managed to touch base now and then to see who the other’s family is faring.   The yesterday she sent me an email asking for help.

She too is still working on the national issue of safety for children with diabetes in schools.  There are still many families who are fearful of sending their child with diabetes to school.  There are other families that send their children to school but are constantly at odds with the system to achieve optimal care for their children.

This saddens me greatly.  If you are one of those families that are still having issues with your child with diabetes in school, please comment or message me (advocacy@diabetesadvocacy.com) with your email address. I will pass your information along to my friend and she will contact you. Hopefully together we will be able to highlight the problems and finally work towards a resolution to this issue for everyone.

 

 

It Will Happen and It will be okay–Transitioning to Adult diabetes Care

Jump day
by John Haig

It will happen and it will be okay. That’s what I would tell myself if I could talk to the diabetes parent that I was 15 years ago.

You see, once upon a time I could tell you what my son’s bg level was at 3am. I could tell you what his reading was before breakfast. I knew if he had run high or low during school. I would be able to give you his pre and post supper glucose readings. I knew it all.

I knew when his last site change was. I knew what his last A1c was. Years ago, I could tell you when his glucagon kit was going to expire and how many carbs he ate with his last meal.

Today, I can tell you that my son does test his bg levels. His last site change was just the other night. I know this because he asked for my help.  I know that he sees his diabetes doctor again in April. I know that he has some insulin in the fridge.

I have no idea what his last A1c was. His current basal rates are a mystery to me. It’s a real challenge for me to use his insulin pump.

Years ago, I would never believe that I wouldn’t know these things. I swore that I would always test my son at night as long as he was in my house. I would be hands on in my son’s diabetes care  forever. I was certain. I was wrong.

If you are like I was, you are having a stroke reading this. You are probably thinking…Not me! I will know everything regarding their diabetes care always! I thought so too.

For the bulk of his childhood,  I knew every carbohydrate that entered my son’s mouth. I wrote down every exercise that he did and how it impacted his readings. I micromanaged my son’s type one diabetes like nobody’s business. His care would take me  40 hours per week.  It literally was a full-time job. Keeping my son alive and healthy was one of my top priorities.

The health of my children is still very important to me but this strange thing has happened–they have become adults.  As an adult, my son has asked that I don’t test him at night.  Sadly he wakes up a lot during the night now and tests himself.  He doesn’t see the sense in bothering me as well.

Because my son is an adult, he comes and goes when he pleases.  He treats his lows at work. He programs his pump while he is at school.  My son is completely in charge of his diabetes care.

It was terrifying at first I will admit. I had a need to know.  He had just as strong of a need for me not to know. He would be vague with his answers about bg readings if he answered at all.  It didn’t matter if I was mad or upset.  It was his condition to deal with and he would quietly show me that he could handle it….and when he couldn’t he would ask me.

As I have watched him handle his diabetes care,  I have been amazed.  We still occasionally share carb count guesses. I will look up the carb counts in certain food for him.  I will suggest a temporary basal when he is working long hours.  He will tell me what he has already done.

My role in diabetes care is now  on the periphery.  It shocks me that I have managed it but I have.  One day you will step aside too.  It will be hard.  How far you step will be between you and your child but eventually you will no longer know how to work their insulin pump either.  One day you won’t know their A1c but they will still call you when the going is rough–for you or for them.  For me, that remains a  huge comfort.

I have gone from the most hands on parent on the planet to an average mom.  Diabetes no longer is in my every thought. I now only think of it every few hours.  The most amazing thing is that I am somewhat okay with it all.  Don’t get me wrong, the control freak lives on and would love to know more but my son is an adult.  As a young adult, he has taken ownership of his diabetes and Mom is only allowed glimpses when he deems it okay.

Most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Disability Tax Credit.

dtc basicsIts that time of year again…tax time! Here in Canada it is also the time that many people living with diabetes learn that they could be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC).

Here are a few frequently asked questions that will hopefully help you as you decide if you or your loved one qualifies…

  1. Does everyone with diabetes qualify?

No.  In order to qualify for the DTC you must use multiple daily injections of insulin via syringe or insulin pump and be intensively managing your diabetes care.

2 What does intensively managing your diabetes care mean?

You must be testing, injecting, logging, and adjusting your insulin doses.  These tasks must take you over 14 hours per week to perform.

3.   Do children with diabetes qualify?

Yes, children under 18 qualify without having to prove the 14 hours.  CRA assumes that the amount spent on diabetes care by both the parent and child would combine to be over 14 hours per week and therefore a diagnosis signed by the doctor on the T2201 is all that is required for their approval.

4. What is the Disabled Child Benefit? 

This is a separate amount that can be given to you for your child if your child is eligible for the DTC and you are receiving a Child Tax Benefit.

5. What is a T2201?

This is the form created by CRA that must be filled out by the person with diabetes and their doctor in order to qualify for the disability tax credit.

6. I am not disabled! I don’t want to be labelled disabled. Why do I want to fill out this credit?

The DTC, when applied to people with diabetes,  is not about being disabled.  A person with diabetes does not qualify based on a disability. They qualify based on the clause for people who require “Life-sustaining therapy”.  This subsection is for people who spend an inordinate amount of time on the therapy that they require to live.

7.  I have read that I can’t use the amount of time that I spend counting carbohydrates. Why not?

CRA feels that over time things like counting carbs become second nature to a person with diabetes and therefore no longer takes an inordinate amount of their time.

8.  I have to exercise because of my diabetes.  Can I count the time I spend at that the gym?

No. Everyone should be exercising and while there is added benefits for a person with diabetes, this is not an activity that will be allowed on your application.

9.  What tasks can I include in my application? The Diabetes Advocacy website includes a comprehensive list of what sort of tasks are allowed and a guide of how much time it takes to perform them each day.

10.  Do I need to send CRA my log book?

There is no need. CRA simply wants to see the tasks that you do each week with a specific breakdown of how much time those tasks take.  You doctor however may ask that you keep track of what you are doing for a period of time and bring it to him/her before they will sign off on the T2201 for you.

11.  Who can sign the T2201?

A medical doctor must sign this form.  This can be your family doctor, pediatrician, internist or endocrinologist.  Choose the person with the most knowledge of your care and understanding of what they are signing.  Their support is vital to a successful application.

12.   Do I need to pay someone to fill out the T2201?

No.  There is no reason to pay a fee or a percentage of your return to have this credit filled for you.  Diabetes Advocacy does offer a service to assist in filling the forms for those who are not comfortable  in doing this themselves.  I also have created a booklet that guides you step by step on how to fill the form that can also be purchased here.

If you have more questions , please email me at

advocacy @diabetesavocacy.com and I will do what I can to help.

 

 

A step in his socks

gluten-free-baking1-e1449977998432I know it’s not the same. I can’t begin to say that I fully get it. I cannot say that I am walking in his shoes so I will just say that I feel like I may have taken a step in his socks.

Over the past year, I feel like I have had  a very small glimpse into some of the emotions that my son and others living with diabetes must experience–stress, worry, isolation and more. I can see where it becomes overwhelming and you need to forget.  This is why…

Last New Years I was given the “gift” of a gluten intolerance. If I eat gluten I get physically ill. This came seemingly out of nowhere.  I told my doctor that I was too old for this to happen to.  She just laughed at me and told me to live with it.

It turns out that “living with it” is not as easy as one thinks.  I now have to watch every single food item that I put in my mouth.  (Hmmm, sound familiar?) I have to read every label (Yes, I should be used to this but now I am looking for elusive sources of gluten instead of carbs).   Suddenly I have had to relearn how to prepare food (and cooking used to be a joy!)

Going to a restaurant is no longer a source of relaxation.  With a gluten intolerance, I have to be on alert when we go out.  I don’t have to  guesstimate carbs, I now have to  guess if there is gluten in my desired meal. The result is that there are often restaurants that I simply cannot eat in. Emotionally it can be overwhelming and depressing….why can’t I be “normal again”??

There are times that I feel perfect…usually when I have successfully avoided gluten for a number of days.  Those are the days that I stop thinking about gluten. I don’t pay as much attention to the labels.  I begin to think that “maybe its really not an issue.”  I get sloppy.  I end up eating something that I shouldn’t.  I feel like crap.  I kick myself and then I think…”Is this what my son does? Does he feel okay and somehow forget that he needs insulin?  Does he just go about his day and not worry about a test because–well heck he feels great!?”

Did my lecturing just compound the issue? I don’t need someone telling me “Well Barb, you know that you shouldn’t have tried that chocolate without reading the label”.  I know these things but sometimes I just get complacent.  I just don’t want to think about it…and then I pay dearly for my lapse in judgement. I am sick for at least a day.  I do become more vigilant after my slips.

I have good days.  I will have bad days. No amount of saying “I am too old for this” will change it. I have come to realize that this is now part of me.

It’s not the same as living with diabetes.  I don’t have to test. There is no pump attached to me.  I don’t have to worry about balancing insulin and food. I won’t pass out from too much gluten.

In some ways it is similar though….I have to read every label.  I am not counting carbs but I do search for things like wheat, malt vinegar and “may contain gluten”.  I feel overwhelmed when I try to bake. None of my recipes work anymore.  They all have to altered again…before it was to accurately count the carbs, now its to carefully substitute out all wheat.

I feel stressed when I step inside a restaurant. My boyfriend is fabulous. He asks every server if they have a gluten-free menu before I get a chance.  I still worry.  What if they make a mistake? What if they give me the real pasta? What if they don’t realize and give me a sauce with gluten in it? What if I order the wrong thing? (and I have)  When it goes right, I feel the same glee as I do when my son and I guess the correct carb counts in a restaurant.

As I said, it has been a year.  Some things are getting better.  I have an incredible network of friends who have already been down this road.  (There is an increase risk of celiac disease if you also have Type 1 diabetes) There are great Facebook groups and many more options in the grocery store.  I have a cousin who is an amazing Gluten Free baker.  They all provide tips and support.

This year has allowed me to look at things just a little differently.   I have lived with diabetes in the house for close to 17 years.  I know the terror of nights. I know the frustration of unexplained highs and lows. I am all too familiar with the stress as diabetes interrupts planned activities. Gluten issues don’t come with those stressors but they do have plenty of their own.

Gluten intolerance has allowed me to glimpse at what its like to always have to be aware around food. It has given me a new understanding about feeling good and “forgetting” about your condition.

I hate both conditions.  My son hopes he never has to live this way. I do too but I also wish he wasn’t living with Type 1 diabetes.  The only bright side to my gluten issue  is that it has given me a small glimpse into some of what he has gone through on a daily basis for most of his life.

 

Misconception isn’t funny

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Last night ,I was watching a promo for a new comedy show.  The show looks like it will be really funny.  I have seen some of the clips that the network has shared over the past few months. I laughed at a lot of them.  Tonight however, one clip caught me off guard and I wondered if I was just being silly.

The scene had a woman trying to go into a room.  The room was already filled with people who were in some sort of conflict.  She told the people in the room that she need to get in because “I need to get my insulin”.  My ears instantly perked up. There is going to be a character on the show who needs insulin??  How cool was that!!

Sadly my excitement was short lived.  When the lady saw the turmoil in the room she exited stating that she would just go and “eat an orange”.

Those of us who live in the world of diabetes know that if she ate the orange she would need insulin…unless of course she was low and then she didn’t need the insulin to begin with.

I get that it is just humor.  I further understand that 99% of the audience won’t even notice the error.  It still bothered me.  I sent the show a message telling them of the error.  So far they haven’t answered.

Diabetes can be funny.  When my son shot blood across the table when testing his finger, we all laughed…yes its a bit morbid but we laughed.  I don’t think that mis-representing any condition is funny however.  Diabetes has many, many myths surrounding it.  People with diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2) face them every day.  We don’t need mainstream media fueling the fires with more false information.

I don’t think that I am being overly sensitive.  I have read of other people with diabetes watching the show and being equally annoyed.  I am all about laughter and fun but I really, really don’t like it when it is done at the expense of others.

Some will say, lighten up. No one was hurt by this.  That is not exactly true. What happens if my son is low at work? Will his colleagues think that he needs insulin to get him through rather than passing him a juice box? Misconceptions are dangerous for those living with the disease.  People living with diabetes live with enough blame and guilt.  We really don’t need mainstream media continuing to blur the water.

The Talk

My son is now an adult.

He is living at home again while he does some upgrading and starts training for his chosen career.

Its hard to believe that my baby is an adult but he is. The law says so. He has his own car. He can drink…and to my surprise (because he is my baby) he does drink.

He seems to be responsible…well as responsible as you can be at his age. When he drinks he doesn’t drive. When he goes out, he brings along a friend who is a designated driver and doesn’t drink. He spends the night at that friend’s place so that he doesn’t drive again until he is sober.

He brings his test kit. He has his spare supplies and extra glucose with him.alcohol-drinks-1

He has a system when he drinks. He has already learned how certain beverages effect his bg levels. He is pretty confident in what he is doing.

How do I know this? Because he told me.  We were discussing his night out.  I was giving him a little bit of the information that I had learned about diabetes and alcohol thanks to places like the Diabetes Mine.  He told me his experience.  I asked what he would do if heaven forbid, he got falling down drunk.  How could he handle things? He told me that he had been there. He began to tell me what he did.

I was shocked.  This was my little boy. I began to walk out of the room. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to think of my baby as drinking. I really didn’t want to think of my little boy getting drunk. He stopped me.

He told me that I had to know. It was important for me to understand. If I didn’t listen to him, I would worry more. He wanted me to know that he was listening, learning and growing up. It was going to be okay.

I listened. I was proud that he would have this dialog with me. It was candid. It was honest. Nothing was hidden to make me feel better. It was raw.

It was tough to hear. It was good to hear.

He has stumbled. I have cried. He has learned. So have I. Together we will continue to get through.

I am glad he feels that he can talk to me.  I am glad that he has learned. I am proud that he wants me to be okay as well.

New Age, New Worries

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I hate to think about it.

I can feel my stomach start to churn.

This isn’t right.

My son is 19.  He has stumbled along, trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.  It has been a challenge but he is meeting it.  Slowly he is  making his way.

Unlike his brother who finished high school and instantly knew what he wanted to do in terms of a career, my youngest son has been a bit more uncertain.  He has applied for a variety of trades but finding the right fit isn’t easy.

He needs a job with great benefits. He wants something that will interest him.  He needs to be employable in a slumping economy.  It can be a challenge for any young person.

He isn’t just any young person however.  He is a young person with diabetes and  diabetes doesn’t care that he doesn’t know what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

Diabetes doesn’t care that he may soon be removed from his parent’s insurance plan.

Diabetes doesn’t care that he doesn’t have a job with insurance.

Diabetes doesn’t care that his provincial drug plan offers very little assistance.

Diabetes demands that he check bg levels multiple times per day.  He still must find insulin to use daily. He is required  to make appointments and order insulin pump supplies. Diabetes doesn’t care how he does any of these things but if he wants to live, he has to find a way.

He is just 19.  He should be concerned with going to school. He should be concerned with finding a career path.  He shouldn’t be concerned with health care costs.

The reality is that those are things that he has to be concerned with however.  He is still in school but will insurance still recognize this? I am not sure.

There is some help for pump supplies in our province but because of some of his own mis-steps, his coverage has lapsed. Together we will work on getting him back in the program but it will take time.

There is a provincial drug plan.  They  allow you a set number of test strips for the year but some strips covered will be better than none when the time comes.

Some days the reality of life with an expensive illness…well its overwhelming despite the fact that I am not  the person who has to test or inject daily.  He understands that it will be expensive.  This is his life. It has been for loner than he can remember. It still makes my heart ache. I still wish that I could take it away.

I can’t. We will do our best and that will be fine.

Which Liberal Government?

The summer is over and it’s now time to get back to work.

This summer I saw a number of variations of this status posted all over Facebook…

“I would like to highlight the Liberal government removing the subsidy for blood test strips. Diabetics need very frequent blood testing, up to 5+ times a day. The cost of strips is $70.00 – outcome – reduced blood glucose testing and more hospital admissions from hyper or hypo glycemic episodes.
Diabetes . . . I am asking if everyone could put this as their status for 1 hour. I’m pretty sure I know the ones that will. Think of someone you know or love who has or has had diabetes. My hope is that in 2016 a cure will be found. Will you post it for 1 hour? To honor those who have fought or are fighting diabetes.? “

Many people were sharing this status.  Many more were asking…where is this from? Whose government is doing this? The answers were surprising.

liberalsI was certain that it was Newfoundland.  This spring the new Liberal government  announced changes to the provincial prescription drug plan.  They were limiting the number of test strips to 2500 annually for those using MDI, 700 for those using just a long acting insulin, 100 for those not using insulin and 50 for those who have only recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.*

As this post continued to make its rounds however, I was shocked to see that a number of other locations were also claiming that this was a reality in their home area. People from as far away as Australia were saying that this had happened to them.  They said it was their government that the post was directed at.  All I could think was, “this is crazy!”

For years, study after study has shown how important tight control and home blood glucose monitoring is.  They have shown that good control equates to improved health outcomes AND immediate financial benefit in terms of reduced loss of work. Why would governments think that they were saving money by cutting access to blood glucose testing strips?

This entire scenario hits too close to home as my son turns 19. He may soon be in a position of losing his health care coverage.  His days of being covered by his father’s private health care plan are numbered.   My stomach aches each time I think of this safety net being taken away.  He does have some coverage from the province.  We will find a way but what about other children?

I don’t mean small children, I mean adults who are struggling to find their way.  What about them? What about their families? How do they cope? How do you work a minimum wage job, pay your rent, buy your groceries AND cover your diabetes care costs?

Again, we know how important blood glucose testing is. As parents, we have spent years asking  our children “Did you test?” and “What was your blood glucose reading?”  How do they answer those questions when they can’t afford the test strips? How accurate will their guess have to be?

Without proper testing, they cannot accurately dose their insulin. They cannot make exact judgement calls on corrections.  They will run a high risk of complications.  They most likely will have more sick days.  This will cost governments more money in lost tax revenue and create an increased drain on hospital services.

If a person with diabetes is unable to test and stop potentially dangerous high blood glucose levels on their own, they will be forced to seek hospital treatments.  A 2008 report in the Toronto Star suggests that one typical hospital stay then cost approximately $7000**.  $7000…you can get 100 strips for $80-$100.  If you test 8-10 times per day that one hospital stay would still  cost more than 2 years worth of test strips. Two years. 

It would appear that the people in charge of making these policy changes need to better understand what they have done.  Basic math shows the folly in such policies. We can only hope that public pressure and common sense will ultimately prevail.  Our loved ones with diabetes need access to the proper medical supplies to ensure that they can continue to be healthy, productive members of our societies.

*http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2016-04-17/article-4500650/Changes-coming-to-provincial-drug-program/1

**https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2008/03/18/average_hospital_stay_costs_nearly_7000_study.html

 

Diabetes is evil but the DOC is unconditional love

Diabetes is probably one of the most misunderstood conditions on the planet.  It is the only disease that I know of that people blatantly blame the victim and are rarely criticized for doing so.

If you ask any person with diabetes what the best thing about having diabetes is  they will be hard pressed to find anything. There is a new obsession with food.  They are forced to watch the clock. There is never an off day.  There is no end or day a when the “medicine” will cure them.  There just is a new life with diabetes to learn about and accept.

If you ask them if there is anything good at all that diabetes has brought into their lives you might hear…I eat better.  You might be told “I exercise more.”

There is one incredible and amazing thing that comes with a diagnosis of diabetes however. It is the family that welcomes you in.  The diabetes online community is an amazing place filled with the most amazing people.

Sixteen years ago, I reached out in search of “parents of children with diabetes”.  I had no idea what I would find.  Sixteen years later, I still sit in awe of it.  I found a family.

Some people will balk.  Some people won’t understand.  Once upon a time, I would have been upset that they didn’t get it.  Today I am grateful when they don’t get it.  If they don’t understand, it is probably because they have never had a disease like diabetes move into their homes.  If they don’t understand, they probably have never sat with a toddler who is throwing up and passing out at the same time.  If they don’t understand, they have probably never curled up  on their couch in the dark and cried because no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t fix their loved one.  For that I am happy.

For those of us who do understand those emotions, there is a community like no other.  Last month I wrote about a loss in that community.  I told you how it was shaken and how, as a family, we came together to support a family who had supported all of us for so many years.

Family doesn’t just come together in the bad times.  I first reached out to the online community 16 years ago.  Since then, my children have grown.  My friends children have grown.  Some who were then babies are now teens.  Some of the children are now married and are now parents themselves.   Time is flying by.

As an online community, we share these milestones with each other through our keyboards.  I see pictures of new babies.  I sit amazed at the young men and women graduating from post-secondary institutions.  Where did the time go?

The best part of it all though, is seeing that some of the friendships forged over a keyboard have spilled out into the real world.  As I looked through wedding pictures that an friend posted this weekend, I am touched to see that the photographer was a person that the family met through our online family.  On the other side of the lens, are pictures of the wedding party.  In the wedding party is another child with diabetes…she met the bride because of diabetes.  They met through their parents.  They live in different countries but that didn’t matter. They became the best of friends because they are both just wonderful young ladies.

This isn’t the first time that I have seen pictures like this–friends joined by a life-altering disease coming together to celebrate.  There have been weddings.  There have been vacations and dinners.

Diabetes sucks.  Diabetes is evil.  Diabetes is misunderstood by the majority of the people who don’t live with it and even some who do.  Diabetes causes sleepless nights and more grey hairs than I should have at this point in my life.

The diabetes online community however has brought the most amazing people together.  It has somehow created a family out of complete strangers. It knows no borders.  It just knows unconditional love and support.  I continue to be in awe and feel so proud to be a part of it.Family-picture

Tips and Tricks…day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week

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Oh my goodness, today’s prompt is seriously probably the hardest of the week.  Share you best diabetes tips and tricks. Do I have any? We put one foot in front of the other hand hope for the best. Does that count?

Okay, tips and tricks…well, the first trick I learned was when my son was first diagnosed.  We didn’t have Rufus the bear with diabetes but I knew that my toddler needed to feel that he was not alone. The way I did that was to give Elmo diabetes as well.  He had a stuffed Elmo that somehow made its way to the hospital with us.  As I was learning to inject a doll, I have my two year old a needle and supervised him giving Elmo injections.

Writing that sounds crazy. I gave a 2 year old a needle? I did. It was a pen needle and the tip wasn’t in it but I gave him the pen filled with insulin and let him pretend to give his stuffed toy an injection.  He was making his friend feel better just like I was helping to make him feel better.  It worked for us!

As he aged, new issues came up and bribery was introduced.  Okay, we didn’t use the term “bribery”, we referred to it as rewards.  If he ate his breakfast without a fuss, he received a sticker.  After a certain number of stickers a reward was earned.  It worked for a bit.

What tips did we use for storing supplies? Well for us storing diabetes supplies was relatively simple…totes.  We have totes on wheels and when they were too full, we also had totes that went under the bed.  This allowed us to have a large supply of glucometers and pump supplies for times when insurance coverage was not available. My son still has both the cart and the tote.

Finally our rule for travel is simple…always pack twice what you think that you will need and then throw in a little more!  Whenever my son travels, he seems to experience a lot more highs than normal.  We do more site changes.  We bring more supplies.

I have also learned to store insulin in more than one place when you leave home.  We traveled across Canada once many years ago.  All of the insulin was in the cooler.  The cooler was somehow put on the heater setting.  All of the insulin was at risk of being spoiled. I never did that again. Insulin is now scattered among bags for safe keeping.

The final trick we have used is all my son.  When your sites are starting to peel up but the insulin is still flowing, you don’t want to make a change and your readings are still good–use duct tape! We have medical tape.  We have opt-sites.  My son uses duct tape to hold his sites in place.  Yes, they do make a mess of your skin after but they do hold your site in! –You may be a diabetes redneck when??

All opinions expressed below are the result of years of sleep deprivation and worry caused by Type 1 diabetes