No traveling light for this family

Jennifer Runyon - For the Daily Call

This will be my last column before Christmas so I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May you all have incredibly blessed and joy filled holidays! I hope that you are surrounded by the love of family, your blood sugars play nicely, and if your holiday plans take you out of town, that you have safe travels!

We’ll be hitting the road soon to head to Tennessee. My grandparents live down there so my family has rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge, and we’ll all meet there. I’m looking forward to it so very much! However, traveling with two diabetics takes some thinking.

Our car is having many issues (It’s definitely on the naughty list this year, lol) so we’re riding with my parents. Just today my mom told me to “pack light.” I think she may have forgotten that her daughter and grandson have type 1 diabetes because packing light and type 1 diabetes do not go together! Just kidding about her forgetting but seriously that’s an oxymoron 😉

In my purse everyday I have at least two juice pouches, my PDM (the device I use to control my insulin pump and check my blood sugar. It’s in a separate bag with test strips and lancing device), two pods, and insulin. Everyday Jackson carries a bag that contains two juice pouches, Starburst candies, and his PDM (again in a separate bag with his test strips and lancing device). We also both always have our receivers for our Dexcom continuous glucose monitors although we are usually wearing them.

For the trip we will have at least double everything. I know it’s a long shot, but you really can’t be too careful! After all, we do need this stuff to live. It would not be fun if we made it all that way only to have a pod go bad, us try to replace it and find that something went wrong with the replacement pod too (Been there, done that). Or drop a bottle of insulin and watch it pour out all over the floor only to realize that we don’t have another (Never done this, but I’ve heard horror stories).

Soooo, we will pack many, many items in our diabetes bag. There will be back-ups for the back-ups as far as pods and sensors are concerned. At least 3 bottles of insulin will be making the voyage along with our Dex chargers, phone chargers (Yes, I consider these diabetes supplies. We’ve got to be able to stay in touch), extra batteries, at least a box of juice pouches (but let’s face it once we’re there my Grandma’s fudge will be our go-to for lows), Skin-Tac wipes, liquid Skin-Tac, adhesive remover wipes, and strips. I’m sure I’m forgetting something but that’s the list I’m coming up with now. Good thing I’ve got a few days to think about this!

Just thought I’d share this as a friendly reminder for any of you with diabetes to make sure that you are absolutely certain that you have everything, nope scratch that, double of everything that you could possibly need. Nothing takes the merry out of Christmas like scrambling around in a panic for needed supplies or worse yet spending the holiday in the hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have a loved one with type 1 who will be traveling this season, maybe offer a friendly (not pushy) reminder for them to bring extra everything. After all, this probably isn’t his/her first rodeo so you don’t need to breathe down their neck while the bag gets packed, but it’s nice to know someone carries enough to ask!

Jennifer Runyon

For the Daily Call

Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with Type 1 diabetes for 28 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at

Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with Type 1 diabetes for 28 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at