I recently traveled to France with an incredibly lovely family I have been working with for a little over a year now. Their little boy with type 1 diabetes is three years old. With me joining them, they were able to feel comfortable spending time away from their little guy.
I’m really scared of flying but that doesn’t hold me back from doing it. This was by far the longest flight I’d be on. About an hour before I left for the airport I turned on an 80% basal increase. With stress and prolonged sitting, I knew I’d need it. I was in France for 2 weeks so supply wise I packed 4 weeks’ worth of omnipods, 2 vials of insulin, 2 extra dexcom sensors, my meter and supplies, a gvoke kit and a brand new tub of glucose tabs. I carried all of my diabetes supplies on the plane with me in my carry-on backpack. The flight was smooth for me. As soon as I landed I updated my loop app to the correct time zone.
From my experience, I feel like I can much better empathize with the parents I work with. Not being a mom yet could cause me to not be able to relate in many ways to the moms and dads I work with. Working with this little guy brought to light everything I hear day to day in appointments. I underdosed and overdosed, didn’t get several pre-boluses, realized how quickly and drastically settings needed adjusting, got very mad at foods that just completely didn’t impact BG the way all the literature says it does, had to deal with meals that were dosed for that weren’t eaten, unpredicted activity, and more. The Dexcom sensors were probably the biggest challenge. In the 2-week time span I was there, 4 sensor changes were required. The number of compression lows and sensor errors was truly unbelievable. And don’t even get me started with the French ice cream. Google totally is lying about the carbs and glycemic index of it, there’s no convincing me otherwise.
All in all, I am in complete awe with all of the sleep that is lost and energy parents put into caring for their T1D children. I know it’s in no comparison to all you guys do, but I hear you and I’m here for you. You’re definitely not alone in this – and if you feel you are, please reach out so we can help get you the support you need.
Integrated Diabetes Services is a team of people that live with and/or have kids with type 1 diabetes. We consist of a mental health specialist, nurses, dieticians and exercise physiologists all of which are diabetes care and education specialists.
Kathryn received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Ave Maria University in Florida and a Master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She is Certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as well as the International Sports Science Association.