Archive for March, 2016
Whether you have already planned a summer vacation or still in the process, incorporate your pump or CGM needs into your travel plans instead of treating your needs as an afterthought or an overwhelming fear. There’s nothing new under the sun and you can also reap the benefits of those who have traveled the vacation path before you.
Flying through the screening process? You don’t have to encounter problems passing through security at an airport. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a helpline number to assist patients with medical conditions who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying. Call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227.
You can obtain a Transportation Security Administration Card to print out and bring with you to notify TSA of your diabetes can be found online. If you have concerns about wearing an insulin pump or CGMS through scanners, contact the manufacturer of your medical device.
Tips for traveling while wearing an Insulin Pump or CGM
- Always have Plan B in place in case something goes wrong with your current device, such as carrying syringes or pens to give injections and carrying extra supplies in case you run low.
- Be sure to carry some form of prescription or letter from your physician that treats you for your diabetes.
- Carry all of your medicines, such as insulin, and all related supplies in your carry-on baggage. Be sure to place these items in a clear plastic bag that is labeled. It will help to remove this bag from your luggage so that the TSA officials can clearly see what is inside. Also, in case your checked luggage is lost, you will still have your insulin and supplies with you in your carry-on bag.
- If you wear an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring device, it is OK to continue to keep them on as you go through security at airports or terminals. The scanners will not harm these devices in anyway. Please notify the TSA officials as you move through the checkpoints that you are wearing a pump or CGM. Usually, the TSA official will pull you to the side and do a more thorough search of the device, such as swabbing the pump or monitor and/or your hands.
A printed checklist might help elevate stress and keep your plan in your hands, front and center. Medtronic, an industry leader in insulin delivery systems, has a downloadable checklist for traveling with a pump and/or CGM. Click HERE for a copy.
Learning how to handle life’s challenges like traveling and treatment plans is a covered topic in diabetes self-management courses. If you need help developing life and treatment strategies, Diabetes Management & Supplies can assist with diabetes self-management and education services. For more information, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although the calendar says the influenza season should be over, cases of the flu are increasing into March 2016 instead of winding down to a close. Avoiding illness is a prime goal, but people living with diabetes should be aware of the special needs presented by sick days caused by the flu and other conditions.
The blood sugar targets for a sick day are the same as other days. A blood sugar reading over 180 mg/Dl is still a high blood sugar. The purpose of a sick day management plan and more vigilant testing has to do with limiting hyperglycemia and dehydration. The goals are to prevent DKA in the Type 1, avoid dehydration of the Type 2 individual and avoid potential hospitalizations for either individual.
A sick day plan should include these elements of good blood sugar control. Monitoring, meals and medications are key while exercise or physical activity is usually halted during the illness.
The sick individual needs to follow a schedule for monitoring that gives the diabetes care team information to direct the modifications for the patient’s needs. Meals and eating will play an important role as medication will need to be adjusted to match rising or falling blood sugar levels. Medications are to be taken on the usual schedule or may be modified to meet the patient’s needs by the doctor or a member of the healthcare team.
Recording temperature, blood sugar, medication amount and time, fluid and food intake and the presence of ketones are highly important on sick days. This log or report will give insight to the diabetes care team of current health status and allow them to help adjust medication or intake to prevent dehydration or ketoacidosis.
The individual with diabetes or the parent/ care giver of the child with diabetes should be proactive in assessing conditions during an illness. Certain foods, testing equipment and testing supplies need to be handy before a sickness occurs. The phone number of the doctor or diabetes care team should be readily available.
A log to monitor the sickness over time, glucose meter, lancets, lancing device, test strips, control solution, and a bottle of Ketostix should be included in a sick day management tool kit. The food pantry should contain: broth, both sugar-free and regular Jello, both diet and non-diet soft drinks, both sugar-free and regular popsicles, both thin and creamy soups, regular and sugar free pudding, yogurt, juice and milk.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that across the country, this flu season was significantly less severe than in the last few years, though number of cases have been increasing since early January.
Did you know the CDC tracks the flu like a hurricane? Visit CDC Flu Central for current reports, maps and alerts.