alaska ho!

Trains, planes, and automobiles (oh, and a cruise ship) . . . we are Alaska bound!

Or, as my good friend Ceesa puts it "I am taking a business trip" meaning; taking the horse and pony show (daily life and care of the kids) on the road. 

The best part?  T1D (type 1 diabetes) is coming along, too!!!  Yep.  Our uninvited house guest got himself a boarding pass and is jumping into our luggage. 

This is where you all (Midwest way of saying y'all) come in.

How do you travel with T1D?

Here are the details:

What:  Land tour by train and bus (including Denali National Park) followed by a southbound cruise along the shoreline of Alaska: 13 day Alaskan CruiseTour

When:  June 11th-26th, 2011

Who:  Our family of 5, Grandma & Grandpa (gracious hosts) and Sister-in-law's family of 5

~ 4 travel days; 2 to get there and 2 to get back

~ time zone changes

~ buffet style eating, restaurant, room service

Here is what I know:

Ellie is currently on a MDI (multiple daily injection) regimen.  We use a refillable cartridge Humalog pen that dispenses in .5 unit increments.  She takes Lantus at night by injection.  Her carb rations vary throughout the day and activity level.  We use a One Touch Meter and strips for blood glucose testing (8-10 times a day) and a Precision blood ketone meter/strips.   

We have contacted the cruise line and they know we will be traveling with T1D.  The cruise line will provide us with a Sharp's container as well as a travel fridge.  In addition, they will have a 24-hour on board medical doctor.  The pre-travel land tour will involve trains, buses and hotel stays, all of which will accommodate special medical requests.

I have our Endocrinologist's letter of medical need and list of approved medications and supplies.  I will also have access to and will travel with 2x as many meds and supplies we will be needing for a 15 day absence from home.

I am aware of TCA guidelines for flying with medical equipment and how to best pack medical supplies to get through screenings safely.

This will be the first MAJOR travel we have embarked on with T1D.

Here is what I don't know:

~  What are your tips and tricks for traveling with T1D?

~  We have never been on a cruise.  Do you have any advice specific to cruising?  (packing, sleeping, activities, etc)

~  What is your best advice about dealing with time zone changes?

~  Do you have a suggestion for a travel bag that will hold both medical supplies AND mom gear?

~  What type of simple sugars travel best?  I have a feeling with the excitement and extra physical activity she will be having her fair share of lows.

~  What am I missing???

* disclaimer . . . I pinkie swear promise to take any and all advice as just that:  Professional Pancreas Opinion not to be used in place or argued against medical advice.

** another disclaimer . . . . This is a trip of a lifetime.  We are not wealthy, nor are our extended family members.  The opportunity to travel like this was made possible by a generous amount of money left by a Great-Aunt.  I am saying this so you take that into consideration when you leave advice about additional purchases!!

*** one last disclaimer . . . . I love the DOC! (diabetic online community)  How cool is it that I knew I could come here and ask for such specifics!  I thank you in advance for helping me be prepared to have a great time with my family and not have to worry (so much) about T1D.


Amy said...

**** I almost forgot - hehe - TREV of Three2Treat . . . do you know the comment option of your blog is OFF? We (the DOC) would love to comment in suppport of your great posts! Pretty please turn them back on???!!!

Jen said...

I am SO excited for you guys! I have always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise...I wish I had some advice for you but we have not traveled long distances since Addison was first diagnosed and that was a blur! I am going to be reading the advice folks give you as we are about to travel across the country in just a few weeks.

Again..I AM SO EXCITED for you guys!!!

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Hi Amy,
I am soooo excited for you all! Me and my husband were on 2 cruises before we had kids. I absolutely LOVE to cruise! The rooms are small. Be prepared to get in the shower, lather up and spin!lol You'll see what I mean. There is food available 24/7, including beautiful midnight buffets.

For a bag, my suggestion would either be a hipster purse or backpack. This way you can use it while you're on or off the cruise ship. I like the Swiss Gear hipster purse. I bought mine at Target. You might want to carry the hipster and have your husband carry a backpack when you're off the cruise. That way if you lose one, you have a back up. I'm all about the what if's!lol

You can google diabetic organizational bags and find some options. Can you tell I've done extensive research in this area?

I'm looking forward to hearing about all of your fun adventures!

Leigh said...

Sooooo excited for you!! I can't even spell and I am getting all teared up!! Yay!!! I can't wait to hear how it goes!! I have NO helpful information as we have not traveled more than 6 hours away from home since T1. Unless you count the trip we were on before he was dx, but we had no idea and just traveled like normal and jacked his A1C up real nice! ;)So I don't! Ha! But I hope you all have soooo much fun!! I am anxious to see how the cruise is with T1 and I can't wait to see everyone's advice! YAY AMY!!!!

mysweetbeanandherpod.com said...

Here?!? You're coming HERE?!?! I am beside myself excited!!! If you have any time in Anchorage, we'd love to meet up. If not, I KNOW you'll have a fabulous time!!
As far as travel tips...we have to do the time zone thing when we visit family in GA. Bean was podding when we made the trip, so it didn't really effect things much. I would suggest preparing for the switch with her Lantus by moving the time by half an hour each day leading up to the trip so you are on the 'right' time for the trip.
Bean went way low on flights, so having more than enough 'low supplies' is a must. Her current fav is the squeezable apple sauce. Less potential mess than juice and easier to get through security!! We get Plum organics baby Just Apples at Toys R Us...just got some Friday and it was on sale 8 for $8. Sure, it's 'baby food' but since we don't have a Whole Foods to get the 'other' squeezable apple sauce she fell in love with when we were in GA, it has to work...and it does!
Great idea to plan to bring twice as many supplies as you think you'll need...even more strips just to be on the safe side!
Put all of the supplies in one dedicated bag to go through security. Be prepared for them to either not give it a second look or to scan it three times! Had both happen on our trip to GA!!
We use a backpack that has multiple sections when we travel...that way everything has it's own place and you don't have to go digging for things (too much!)
The best thing to remember to bring is patience! It takes a lot to travel, even more to travel with D. Just do your best, take things as they come, and ENJOY!!!

Amanda said...

Our first trip with Emma was about 6 months after dx and we were on MDI. I couldn't believe how high her numbers were from sitting so much in the car (8 hours). We just upped her insulin a little for travel days and it all worked out. Good luck! I hope your trip is wonderful!

htimm=) said...

I am so excited for you! What a fun trip!! I have no advice to add as we have not traveled except for an hour to the coast and a couple of hours north to visit my sister. We will be taking our first big trip this summer as well. Ours is all via car but I will be checking in on the comment section of your blog to see what awesome advice you get. Have a great trip!

Reyna said...

WOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! This is fantastic news Amy. I am so excited for you!!!


Never took "D" on a cruise...but it sounds like you are in the right mind set with letter, double the supplies, the fridge...I take glucose tabs, juicy juices and Starbursts...the same that I take around here. I don't have any clue on the bag. Woodchuck would not look good next to your cruise-like wardrobe...to "natural"...lol.

Love you and so excited...and yes TREV...PUT BACK ON YOUR COMMENTS FOR THE LOVE OF PETE.

connie said...

OMG...sooooo jealous over here ;) My husbands dream trip is an Alaskan Cruise!!!

I have traveled a few times with my girls since dx...most of those trips were road trips and they wreaked havoc on their bg's. Mostly high bg's from extended periods of sitting, especially since we would eat and then jump back on the road. I ended up having to up their insulin for meals a lot. I kept the Lantus the same and would adjust their mealtime insulin.

Never went on a cruise with d...I look forward to hearing all about this exciting new adventure!

Football and Fried Rice said...

Wow - this is the trip of a lifetime!!

Midnight Buffets? I am IN!!

I cant wait for PICTURES!!!! You better take your laptop to document your journey!