Can you travel if you have diabetes? Certainly. Just make sure you take adequate supplies of insulin, syringes, testing materials, and any other equipment you need. Modern insulin preparations will keep well at room temperature for a month or more, though they should be protected from extremes of heat and cold. (Never ship insulin supplies in the baggage compartment of an airplane, which may become boiling hot or freezing cold.)
If you plan to visit a foreign country, know how to say important phrases like “I have diabetes” and “I need a doctor” in the language of the land, even if you can’t say anything else. Another good precaution is to take along a doctor’s note stating that you have diabetes and must carry injection equipment to treat your condition—otherwise you might be suspected of being a drug addict or dealer and wind up in jail.
The diabetes routines can complicate a social life. Sticking to a strict diet can be hard, especially when you are at a party or on a date. The insulin injections pose additional problems, since the timing of your next shot may be awkward, and you can’t miss or even delay a meal.
There are ways of getting around such problems gracefully. For instance, if you know that there will be a long wait for dinner, you can take a little snack beforehand to keep your insulin satisfied. (Be sure to deduct the calories from your meal later.) To avoid overeating without hurting the cook’s feelings, eat at least a little of a special dish and say something complimentary like “I really wish I could eat more.”
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