I sat in the Qantas Club Lounge fighting back tears as the kiddo sent me text messages saying she would miss me. There were tears when I left, but my mum assured me that she was okay within about five minutes. (There’s a double-edged sword for you – happy that she is okay, but, dammit, couldn’t she be upset a little longer?)
I was hoping to drown the sadness of three weeks without my little girl with the excessive food and booze on offer in the lounge, but a stupid BGL of 17.3mmol/l (hello stress) saw me nibble on some nuts, drink half a glass of sparkling wine and avoid the dessert table. Missed opportunity.
By the time I boarded, my CGM was showing a much nicer number and I settled in for the long flight. As usual, I was asleep before we took off and managed to get in five hours of sleep, waking only because my pump was vibrating. (At that point, I felt I needed to explain to the person next to me why the little box in my top was vibrating and what it was for and I have diabetes and it’s telling me that my blood sugar is above it’s high limit because I’m stressed when I’m in transit and I miss my nine year old daughter and I wonder when the wine cart will be around.)
I am not afraid of flying – never have been. But I loath being in transit. It stresses me out and that sends my BGLs soaring. I bolused a little and upped my basal rate a touch.
When food arrived, I took two mouthfuls of the chicken-rice-vegetable combination that seems to make up pretty much every airline meal and held on to the chocolate bar. My CGM graph was pretty stable for the remainder of the first leg.
At Dubai airport, I set of every alarm possible going through security and was escorted to a private room to be patted down by a female attendant.
‘I’m wearing two medical devices – one here (I patted my chest) and one here (this time, I patted my abdomen where my CGM is inserted). I can show you if you’d like.’
After playing diabetes show and tell, I collected my things and moved through the airport, finding somewhere to have a coffee and regroup before the final flight. (And avoid accidentally buying a Hermes bangle.)
A two hour lay-over and I boarded the plane for Vienna. Thirty minutes in and off went my alarm warning me that my BGL was dropping too fast. I treated the impending low and fell asleep for a couple of hours, waking for a meal (another two mouthfuls!) and rounded out the flight with a couple of movies.
Checking into the hotel, I realised it had been 26 hours in transit door to door.
Travelling with diabetes has it’s challenges. I never travel now without wearing CGM because I like being able to pull out my pump and see how I am tracking. I love that I can respond to arrows before the number becomes problematic. This is, of course, the beauty of CGM all the time, but being able to stop having to deal with a nasty hypo while cruising at 35,000 feet in a cramped space is convenient beyond belief. Equally, being warned about the ‘about-to-happen-in-transit-stress-highs’ before they become horrid, socks on teeth, needing to wee every five minutes hypers is fabulous – for me and the person I’d be climbing over to get to the loo!
So, now, I’m in Vienna. The first strudel and schnitzel have been consumed. I’m jet lagged beyond belief. But my BGLs are over their in-transit-stress. Everything is how it should be and I’m ready for EASD!