Travel With Type 1

Imagine your room with a traveling bag open, clothes scattered waiting for your selection and you asking yourself whether you should keep an extra pair of shorts or jeans. I guess that’s what a packing scenario usually looks like before a trip for regular people. However, for a type 1 diabetic things are actually quite different. It’s not about how many clothes we should carry with us but something like this:

Should I pack an extra vial of insulin?

I just changed my cannula, do I need to keep an extra cannula?

Is an entire packet of glucose enough or do I need something extra?

I am sure we as type 1 diabetics have faced these questions every single time and wondered how will our trip experience be?

Believe me, a type1 trip is an unforgettable experience.

Hi everyone, My name is Devaank Singh, a type 1 diabetic for the past 25      years, presently on an insulin pump therapy and I am here to share my experience about my trip to Tirthan Valley which I undertook with my 7 other type 1 diabetic friends.

 

The packing begins:-

I can certainly say that my friends do have this impression about me that I am very much into bags so much so that Sahil has even named one of my bags as ‘Bagwati’. You can always find me carrying a bag to a party, to work and even on a trip.

The bag I carry is actually my ‘type 1 bag’, when packing for a trip I make sure that I keep the following things

  1. Few extra vials of insulin, in case I fall short of it and what if it is not available.
  2. Extra batteries for my glucometer.
  3. Extra test strips
  4. Extra cannulas
  5. Extra insulin pens
  6. Needles for pen and lancets for pricker
  7. Glucose, candies and glucagon injection to deal with hypos
  8. My Diabetes ID
  9. Medicines for fever, vomiting, etc
  10. Snacks for the long-distance
For me, the type 1 bag is the primary priority then followed by what clothes I should carry. It’s now a part of my habit that I tend to pack other things afterward and my diabetes kit first.

The trip:-

 

Type 1’s are one of the dearest friends you can ever ask for, whenever you meet your type 1 friends they will always ask you about your health first, your sugars and also how are you managing your sugar levels needless to say the usual hello comes afterward.

Me and my friends are no different and most importantly we still greet each other in the same way of asking about the health first and hello later on.

Our trip began after having dinner at Sugam’s place and from his place we boarded the minibus we’d rented. Amidst all the fun, craziness, jokes, leg pulling you will always find that whenever one person tests their sugar he/she will make sure that others also check their sugar levels. Amandeep, though he (almost always) has his sugars within range due to the efforts he makes, however, what’s still a mystery for me is ‘what is exact number of times he checks his sugar throughout the day?’. I can definitely say that he actually is an inspiration for me regarding the discipline and dedication one he puts in to keep his sugar levels within the target range.

An all-night party, music to match the occasion, along with a whole range of snacks to serve as refreshments are the very first things that come to a mind when we think of a road trip. Our trip was no different with an exhaustive playlist ranging from Sukhbir’s Oh ho ho ho to Lucky Ali’s O Sanam, from the highway to hell by AC/DC to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zappelin there wasn’t any track which we didn’t play and danced to and sang along.

Just play a song and you can see our energy levels in the form of dance. I can’t think of any single song on which Jyotsana (Jo) and Mansi were not able to dance. Their energy levels were simply infectious, even though I am a terrible dancer however that did not keep me and others away from the dance floor. Though it’s also true that I wasn’t able to match either of their dance steps but in my defense, I did try. As soon as the music starts both of them will start with their dance moves, and everyone joins in; that is the enthusiasm and the energy level one gets to witness around type 1s. It’s not only the minibus which witnessed this amount of energy level but the two nights we spent at Raju Bharti cottage were also filled with such excitement and enthusiasm.

To make sure that the party goes on and whole trip is as exciting as the very first moment, the entire credit goes to Karan and Sugam. The whole range of snacks both of them got for us made sure that the trip is memorable for all of us. Having a hypo? no problem we have the fruit juice to get you covered or feel like having a cold drink? no worries we have ample amount of diet coke or want some snacks? sure, here you go. Biscuits, chips, diet bhel, soya puffs; I sometimes wonder how much stuff Karan was carrying with himself. Even if you ask him for an extra vial of insulin,an extra pen needle or any such stuff like glucometer strips etc rest assured he definitely has it. I believe everyone would agree with me that Karan was our go-to guy for anything and everything throughout the trip.

The trek we all went for wouldn’t have been successfully done if it hadn’t been for Sahil’s constant instructions regarding what to pack, what to carry and most importantly how much insulin to inject. It is pretty obvious that he is our instructions guy when it comes to any sort of outdoor activities. I am sure secretly a lot of us would agree that it is Sahil because of whom our trek is so successful be it in the form of his timely advice or be it in the form of stops he asks us to make for checking our sugars and adjusting insulin accordingly. In all respect he is the one who makes sure that everyone is able to complete the trek and nobody lands in a hypo.

They say that you create memories when you travel and you can relive them with the help of photographs, it’s absolutely true. Swati made sure that we get to relive the entire trip with the help of the photographs. The entire set of memories which we all carry with us is large because of her. She was always there with her camera ready to capture the moments and all of us knew that we will get to revisit the trip because of her. As I recall my experiences of the trip I can surely say she did take me on a trip down the memory lane.

Conclusion:-

As I recall my experiences of a type 1 journey, nostalgia engulfs me and my heart desires to relieve the past and to take another trip.

The type 1 friends whom I love so much are one of the best people I know of being it in terms of always looking out for each other, sharing the food, having fun or even going for exploration all these experiences are memorable in their presence. Be it playing ghost pranks on each other at night or waking up Dev for tea at 3 am they all are one of the sweetest memories I have.

Type 1s are the family which I received and any day with them is a never-ending adventure with its ups and downs. In the end, it’s more than what I can ever ask for.

If someone ever asks me what is the experience of traveling with type1, I would say that “words will fall short of describing that feeling but it’s nothing short of an everlasting adventure”.

 

 

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