Spring is upon us and as many college students prepare for that much anticipated (and well-deserved) spring break, we wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone to make sure to take the necessary steps and pack accordingly to ensure you make the most of your vacation! Today, Megan Zwerling, a sophomore studying biomedical engineering, joins us to share how she – and her roommate – are preparing for their trip south! Let us know what tips you have in the comments below.
I pull out my key, unlock the door, and enter into a mother’s worst nightmare: their child’s horrid excuse for a dorm room. The hurricane of Spring Break packing has torn through the room that my roommate and I so tightly share. There are mountains of clothes, valleys of electronic chargers, and a rocky coastline of shoes that outline the crime scene of our preparations. We will be departing soon for our adventure from South Carolina to Orlando Florida for the coveted college Spring Break tradition – of course, we need to actually put our stuff into bags and get the bags into the car first.
We begin to go through our list of essentials: toothbrush, underwear, bathing suits – CHECK. Insulin, syringes, extra pump supplies (i.e. reservoirs, infusion sets, etc.), snacks and emergency food, AAA batteries, lancets, test strips, glucose monitor, and my endocrinologist’s number on speed dial – CHECK. My roommate and I are very close, and she is obviously aware that I have diabetes, which makes it all the more easy to have fun when you have help – and it makes packing a tag-team effort. She and I not only help each other to check and double check our course materials, clothing and toiletries that we are packing, but also my needed medical supplies.
Preparing for a vacation with diabetes is all about packing smart. You don’t want to pack up all of the diabetes supplies you own, as this would make keeping track of everything difficult. You also don’t want to pack too little because this could be cause for disruption of the fun portion of spring break. For my pump supplies, I map out an average usage of each supply. For example, I calculate how many units of insulin I use per reservoir refill and how often I plan to change my site. Depending on the type of anticipated activities I will partake in, I adjust my projected usage. Since I will be at the beach, in the sun, and running around theme parks, I anticipate a lower usage of insulin, but a higher risk of needing to change my infusion set.
Therefore, I may not need to pack extra insulin, but I will need to pack at least 2-3 extra infusion sets and reservoirs, and individually packed snacks, just in case. Also, while unlikely, I always make sure to plan for worst case scenarios; I make sure to always have a back-up long-acting insulin pen and pen needles, just in case I have a pump or site failure. It is also a good idea to have a copy of your prescriptions and other important documentation. My roommate knows that my supplies need to be kept safe and that back-ups are a must, so she helps me to ensure the fun goes on. Not everyone has a travel buddy like mine, so for that, I am so blessed, but make sure that the people you are on Spring Break with know (1) that you have diabetes and (2) not mess with your supplies and food. Spring break in college should be fun, don’t let poor preparation keep you from that.
Editor’s Note: For additional tips for the College-Bound, check out these 10 tips.
, insulin pump