Friday, September 12, 2014

Crowd Sourcing: Packing Insulin

Pete and I are just back from a fantastic cruise to Bermuda.  Although there was lots of food (and maybe alcohol), there was also a lot of walking and stair climbing and we even worked in one 5K training run.  So my blood sugars were looking great . . . . right up until the last two days.  Then I found myself skyrocketing after everything I ate and taking quite a while to come down.  Once back in range I did manage to stay there, until the next time I ate even the smallest bite of food.

There is a lot that can throw off my blood sugar when I travel.  Lack of sleep due to late nights and a bed that isn’t my own.  More treats and food indulgences than I eat at home.  Stress.  (Yes, even on vacation I manage to stress.  Over possibilities of missing flights, sleeping through breakfast, leaving belongings behind in the hotel . . . . I can always find something to worry about).  But more often than not, I think my problem is my insulin.  I really think my little vials also suffer from travel stress.  I feel like they just lose their zing halfway through any trip.  I use Apidra, and I understand it’s more volatile than other insulin brands but I’m kind of tired of tossing out nearly full vials when I come home from a trip.

So can you help a girl out?   I’m looking for your suggestions on how you pack and store your insulin when you travel.  Because in my experience, the best place to crowd source is the DOC!  Got any tips for me?


  1. I've backpacked pretty extensively and in some pretty hot places (North Africa and Thailand were brutal). I use Apidra as well, and I always travel with a couple of Frio cooling packs. Frios consist of an inner bag filled with hydrophilic crystals that turn into gel when soaked in water for 10-ish minutes and an outer liner bag that allows the inner bag to breathe. The evaporation of the water from the gel creates an endothermic reaction and keeps your insulin cool. You have to resoak the inner bag every few days, but I've never found it hassle. Frio makes a variety of sizes (I got mine off Amazon), and I've found that a larger bag for my main insulin supply and a smaller bag for the vial/pen I'm currently using works really well for me on long trips. I wouldn't have been able to travel for months at a time without these little wonders. I've never had my Apidra foul up or lose potency when using the big/little Frio system. I hope this helps on your next adventure!

  2. I used a frio for cycling through southern Spain last June. I'm not sure I needed it in the end, but I felt much better having it, and it stayed cool even there with warm temperatures and very little moisture in the air - which means things evaporate more quickly.


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