Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vacation gaming

One of the reasons why the Type 1 Game blog has not been updated in a while is that we were lucky enough to be vacationing in Orlando, Florida for 11 days during March break. This meant that we were busy planning before the vacation, then having fun in the sun while in Florida and since our arrival, re-adjusting back to real life, all while playing the Type 1 game.

Weeks before our departure on March 2nd, we were making a list and gathering Diabetes supplies including: a spare Animas pump (through their vacation loan program), 2 blood glucose test meters and 300 test strips, 2 lancet devices and 300 lancets (small needles used to prick fingers for blood), 20 blood ketone strips, 30 opsites, alcool swabs, 7 pump insulin cartridges, 10 pump infusion sets, 25 syringes, 2 bottles of Humalog insulin, Emla cream, Glucagon, Glucose tablets and crackers. My carry-on backpack was a mini pharmacy!

Because we were well prepared the vacation went well. Adele's sugars were pretty good given the lack of schedule, constant walking in the Disney parks, occasional skipped snacks and late meals. Adele's insulin pump gave us a bit of flexibility in our schedule even if it required constant planning and re-adjusting insulin doses. There were also a few stressful / not-so-fun diabetes moments during the vacation as well. Here are 2 that come to mind:

1 - During the 6 am flight from Moncton to Toronto, Adele's blood sugar dropped from 11.1 to 1.8 in about 1 hour! I had really misjudged the very early wake time / no appetite / very light breakfast combination. The usual higher basal rate combined with the bolus to cover food intake was way too much. Luckily we caught it before it was too late (1.8 is way too low though !!). Some much needed quick acting sugar brought her up to 5.6 about 15 minutes later.

2 - Waiting for our flight from Orlando to Toronto, Adele's pump alarm indicated an occlusion error. After 3 of these error alarms and a high sugar still rising, we knew we had to change her infusion set but were unsure if he had time before boarding the plane. Adele is terrified of the long needle that inserts the catheter and always asks for Emla cream to numb the skin before the needle is inserted. The problem was that we did not have the necessary 1 hour required for the Emla cream to fully freeze the skin. We ended up leaving the Emla cream on for about 45 minutes before changing her infusion site in a bathroom stall of the airport men's room just before boarding the plane. Not glamourous at all, but it fixed the problem. Occlusion alarms didn't re-occur and her sugars started to go down instead of up. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do while playing the Type 1 game.

Thanks for reading...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
C'est Rach!!! Great job by the way....you have a way with words :o).....heard you had a great trip in Disney! Can't wait to see some pictures...you know me and pictures :o)....send me some when you download them (rachelle.godin@tc.gc.ca).... Mich and I are going to go for breakfast soon so hopefully she'll have some pictures to show me....
Take Care and keep up the great work!