Traveling with diabetes poses a few extra challenges. But as discussed in Part I and Part II these don’t need to hinder your ability to travel as long as you prepare in advance. During this past trip I learned a few lessons for the future though:
Lesson I - OmniPods fall off
The OmniPod is a pleasure to use. With it I no longer need to take out a pen and pen needles to inject insulin - I can just use the PDM to dose any necessary insulin. However, I've found that the OmniPods do not hold up particularly well in humidity or worse - when sweating in humidity. Easy to do when exploring a new city or country when you're walking around a lot!
In the past two weeks I have had four pods fail on me. That means that I have had more OmniPods fail on me in the past two weeks than I have in the prior three months of using them! Some have simply fallen off, others have started screeching at inopportune times due to errors.
Lesson II - Extra stickiness is a lifesaver
I had brought Opsite Flexifix, which helped, but cutting it appropriately without scissors proved to be a challenge. And I also brought too little, and tried applying it while sweating which only served to waste it, so bring a lot and apply it to a clean site!
My Dexcom G4 Sensor that I inserted prior to leaving and used Opsite Flexifix around stuck for its entire duration and worked great. However, even with Opsite Flexifix the OmniPod still fell off a couple of times when I was sweating a lot.
Lesson III - Always bring backups
When I kept having OmniPods fall off and I knew that I was going to go hiking on the weekends I switched to Lantus the night before. Therefore I didn't have to worry all day about the pod falling off and not having any insulin available to my body. In addition I used a Humalog pen throughout the day for my meals to provide bolus insulin. The following night I would switch back to the OmniPod by putting on a new pod.
Having Lantus and Humalog pens to switch to proved to be the perfect solution: OmniPod while in the office, pens when outdoors for hikes or extended trips.
Overall, it was a successful and fun trip. My biggest fear going in was that security would hound me about the two new devices attached to my abdomen, but all I ever got across four countries and four different airports was a brief pat down if the metal detector went off at all. Fears conquered. Here's to more travel in the future!