We fly back home today after a week of wedding-related shenanigans. Traveling with an insulin pump presents a different set of challenges and opportunities compared to my times using insulin pens.
From a pure numbers perspective, there’s less stuff to pack. Rather than 8 insulin pen needles per day, plus another 25-30%, I need a full t:slim site change for every three days of travel, plus another 2-3 backup changes. Instead of going through TSA checkpoints like an ordinary traveler, I opt out of regular screenings for a pat down.
One thing I still need to wrap my head around, however, are the insulin adjustments required to stay in range during my excursions. Generally speaking, my diet is a bit more relaxed when I travel. This, of course, means more variable Dexcom graphs, and new basal rates. The big challenge with all of this, though, is that I still don’t feel comfortable with my “regular” basal rates.
Before I continue, please remember, I’m not a doctor.
I found some improvements with my control by increasing my basal rate settings across the board by a small, universal amount. My morning insulin needs are still more significant than the rest of the day, but every hour requires a little more insulin than normal. I get the sense that tweaking basal rates for things like travel is a risky proposition when my ordinary basal rates are still a work in progress, which is where regular blood glucose checks and my Dexcom come in handy. Working with this stuff on the fly, while I fly, is still new to me.