so I'm going to Mexico to visit family on October and I just wanted to get some helpful advice from people who have traveled with an insulin pump. I don't know what type of luggage I should take to put all my supplies and by any chance do any of you guys know if its safe to go through the xray machine with it on or should I take it off? Ive read on the internet tha it is safe, and also is it true that the altitude of the airplane can affect my insulin pump? any advice will be appreciated! Thanks.
I've traveled many times with my pump. Take double the supplies you think you'll need, including an extra bottle of insulin, extra batteries, and syringes in case your pump dies. Put your supplies in your carry on bag so they can't get lost. I've never needed to use it, but I always take a note from my doctor explaining I ahve type 1 diabetes and require the medical supplies I'm carrying.
To deal with security I take my pump off in the restroom and put it into my carry on before getting in the security line. I never mention having diabetes or carrying medical supplies and have not had any problems. If the agents see something suspicious you can explain it to them when they search your luggage. A few times in the past I tried to disclose upfront that I had an insulin pump or was carrying syringes... big mistake. It always got my luggage search and I had to get a pat down. If you say nothing, you're likely to go through with no problems.
There were issues in the past with defective Medtronic Minimed reservoirs being affected by the cabin pressure on the plane and dispersing too much insulin. The problem was fixed years ago. I've flown dozens of times wearing a Minimed pump and haven't had a problem.
Also, be sure to test more while traveling. The stress and change in schedule can make blood sugars off.
Take care and have a great trip. -Jenna
Some other things that I discovered that have helped are to: use a clear makeup bag that zips to put all of my "pump stuff" together including the letter from my endo. This way if I need to show my supplies to security, I can grab it quickly and it makes it easy to keep track of everything in an unfamiliar environment. I leave my pump on and tell the screeners that I have it. Usually, the metal detector doesn't go off put if it does I've just been wanded. Once I'm on the plane, I try not to use my pump while we're taking off or landing because that just draws attention to me. I always make sure that I have extra snacks with me too that won't melt, while out in the hot temps. Crackers and gummis work well, but gummis won't get smushed in transit. If possible have a fridge in your room to put your insulin and glucagon in it. Also, always bring an extra set with you while you're out exploring because it's no fun having a site rip out and not having an extra with you. Hope this helps and you have a great trip