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[IP] Traveling Internationally with a pump -- Long Post

Hello fellow pumpers.  I come out of lurkdom to report my experiences
traveling to England with an insulin pump.  This is a long post, so feel free
to delete it, or save it for another time.

Plans -- I am crazy, I flew to Sheffield, Yorkshire, England for the weekend
to see my favorite actor in Richard III (Shakespeare).  More about that for
anyone who wishes to e-mail me off list.  :-)

Preparation -- I wear an Animas pump.  My doctor wrote me a letter I carried
in my purse.   (If anybody wants the text of this letter, just let me know.)
I had with me in my carry on bag, Novolog, in the box with a preprinted label.
Lantus (in case of pump failure) in a box with preprinted prescription label.
Syringes in a box with a preprinted label.  Two cartridges, two infusion sets,
my pump tool kit, extra batteries, my meter kit with an extra meter battery.
On the morning before I left, I changed my infusion site, I changed the
batteries in my pump and put in a new cartridge.  I figured that would give me
a day for dealing with any pump problems (although I don't usually have any).
I carried glucose tabs and raisins in my bag (raisins work best for me to
treat a low).

Logan (Boston) to Heathrow (London) -- x-rayed my bag.  No search, no comment.
I showed the security guard my pump not knowing whether it would set off the
metal detector.  The guard nodded, bored.  The pump did not set off the metal

Heathrow to Manchester -- x-rayed my bag.  No search, no comment.  I said
nothing about my pump.  The pump did not set off the metal detector.

Manchester to Washington DC (Dulles) -- Very, very thorough passport
verification and check in, asked me if I had anything sharp in my bag.  I said
that I was a diabetic and that I was carrying syringes.  He asked to see my
letter from my doctor.  I produced it.  He made a photo copy and sent me on my
way.  Security x-rayed my bags.  No search no comment.  I said nothing about
my pump.  The pump did not set off the metal detector.

Dulles to Logan -- Through customs like a breeze, no questions no concerns.
Got to security, x-rayed my bag.  No search, no comment.  Pump did not set off
the metal detector.  However, AFTER I went through the detector, one of the
security guards saw my pump and yelled "no beeper, take off that beeper".  :-)
I said, slowly and calmly, "it's not a beeper, it's an insulin pump.  It's
attached to my body and is infusing insulin into my body at this time.  I
cannot remove it".  He said "huh?"  I repeated myself, slowly and carefully
and he said "huh?"  I said, it again, adding the words "I am a diabetic, this
device is part of my treatment".  I am afraid he didn't speak very good
English, but he finally waved me away.  That was the closest I came to any
trouble.  That speech by the way (my speech) was suggested to me by the staff
at Animas.  Thanks so much to them!

Time Changes/Basal Rates/Blood Sugars

Well, I had one low on the night flight to London (70) treated it with no
difficulty.   Tested often all through my trip.  Changed my watch but not my
pump time (had I stayed longer, I would have changed my pump time).  Chose a
steady basal rate for ease of management and corrected any highs with a bolus.
Stayed fairly even between 100 and 125 most of the time.  I did not overeat
and I walked a lot.  I did not add any carbohydrate to my diet that I don't
usually eat.  It was a very exciting time, and I was at a level of extreme
happiness and excitement for most of the weekend, so I attributed most of the
highs (never more than 175) to this.  I just corrected them and didn't worry.

That's the story.  Feel free to e-mail me on or off list with any questions.
All and all, it was an easy experience.

Love to all, Margaret
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