In the first part of my story I discussed being worried about taking a trip to India and the impact it would have on my diabetes management. It turns out that for the most part, my diabetes was never an issue on my trip. I tend to be one of those people with diabetes who constantly checks their blood sugars. That didn’t change while I was in India. I checked about 10-14 times a day. If my sugars ever went low, I either suspended my insulin or ate a snack. I carried snacks like protein bars and nuts everywhere. One of the downsides was that I could never carry a cute little bag. I had to carry at least a medium-sized bag to carry my PDM, extra diabetes supplies and snacks.
Managing My Diabetes in India
For the most part, I felt like a “normal” American visiting India due to my Omnipod. However in India, we couldn’t make a plan since things rarely went according to schedule.
One afternoon, while visiting a town called Rishikish, we took an adventure hike through the Himalayas. My teacher had said it was going to be about a two-hour walk. Five hours later, we were still hiking! Thankfully some of us had brought fruit and we all shared our snacks. At one point, we had to cross a river. I knew it was ok if my Pod got wet, but I didn’t want my PDM to get wet so I carried my bag on my head as we crossed the water.
When I visited the Taj Mahal, I had to go through security. I tend to place my Pod on my stomach whenever I travel since it’s easy to show without embarrassment. The female guard felt my Pod and asked me what it was. I had to lift up my shirt and explain that I have diabetes. She didn’t ask me any further questions.
Surprisingly even after all the warnings I received prior to my trip, I didn’t have any issues with the Indian food. I was able to maintain controlled blood sugars and made sure not to drink non-bottled water. It seemed all my precautions worked to my benefit. My teacher, Raghunath, seemed amazed at how I managed my diabetes nonchalantly. I assured him that his son would be just fine when he was able to take the trip!
I had such an amazing time in India. I didn’t want to leave! I was going to miss the new friends that I had made. I was going to miss the sounds and the smells.
When I returned home, it took me a while to readjust back to reality. One of my yoga teachers warned that I may get sick upon my return. However, I remained happy and healthy. My blood sugars remained normal. I didn’t even have jet lag!
I was very thankful for my OmniPod throughout the trip. It didn’t fail me at all and I was very grateful for the ease and flexibility it gave me throughout my trip. Our schedules varied every day so it was wonderful not having to be so concerned about eating at a certain time. I was very, very happy I didn’t let my fears prevent me from making my dream come true. I cannot wait to return to India!