Hi, We are taking our 14 year old son( his sister too) on the Carnival Paradise 7nights -Eastern Caribean trip
Aug. 29. I think I have it all covered on what to make sure we have what he will need ,letter from Dr. ,prescription for insulin, extra suplies ,canned sodas for lows . Just wondered if anyone eles out there had cruised with their child diabetic ( he's a child 1st his Dr. keeps telling me ) How did it go ? Food is no problem ,he pretty much eats what he wants he's active enough that "lows" are more of a problem . It's been awhile since he's had a bad one. Any advice would be great , wer'e still adjusting to his being diabetic (Oct. 03) since he's had a really rough time of it. . This will be only our 2nd. Family trip overnight . We feel wer'e getting the hang of dealing with a diabetic teenager but a 7day cruise has me a little worried . He's still on injections his Dr.. wants him to be at least a year before he goes to pump. Little worried about how other passengers will react if he hits a low (he's had a few sneak up on us in public -not good ,he acts like he's drunk ) he wears a necklace tag and one laced on this shoe.I'm not sure how best to gauge his insulin when we don't know what he will be eating ( he carb . counts) , usually he tests,gets shot, then eats . Anyone know how long after dinner is ordered until it is served ? He is on fast acting insulin for dinner .Any help would be great . This Mom's just a little worried but I want him to be able to have fun too , it's been too long since he's just forgot he's diabetic and been a kid. He takes it all very seriously . We think this cruise is just what we all need , any help to make it go smoother would be great. Thanks
First don't worry about what other people will think, if they can not deal with what a medical emergency looks like, tough.
As for advice, I would have him test his blood more frequently than normal. A pain yes, trying to get a teen to cooperate another pain, but he will be eating differently, eating foods that can be hard to guess the right number of carbs and his activity level will vary a lot so it is best to keep a good eye on it. What about the "watch" meter? You could call and see if your insurance will cover it.
The dinner you will have to play by ear depending on your waiter, the kitchen, etc will be what causes the time to vary. I would have a glass of soda, juice, or crackers at the table for him if the food takes to long. Or have him take the shot in the room and have something small to eat right before going down to dinner.
It is a burden but being diabetic is something he can't forget as the consequences both short and long term are very serious as you know.
Being calm as a parent will also help. I wish you the best for a wonderful family vacation.
It's hard to know just how much insulin to take, even if you look at the menu prior to going down to dinner. On our last cruise I didn't take my insulin until just before desert came, then I know how much of my main meal I had eaten and could guess what my sugars would raise to once i had eaten desert.. Fortunately I'm on novarapid now, so it doesn't have to be taken 20 mins prior to eating, so it took a lot of guess work out of it. Last year I was with my family on a table of 8 so just 'shot up' at the table, but on our cruise this year i had to go to the bathroom during the meal.
Meals normally arrive within 5 to 10 mins of ordering.
I always take an extra pen vial with me, just in case there are any accidents or I loose one of my pens. Take extra needles just in case any are faulty.
I do have a frio bag, which has crystals in that when imersed in water turn to jelly and keep the insulin (and other chocolate goodies) cool for up to 24 hours, also great for heat and hangover head coolers. Although this year I took a mini flask to keep my insuling and nebuliser drugs in for travelling and once on board, filled with ice and oranage for our trips off the ship.
I always take the re-ordering part of my prescription with me, just in case you are ill, then the ships doctor can see exactly what you are on and the various strengths etc.
I have cystic fibrosis and take about 70 tablets per day. I have never taken all the bottles with me as I pre pack all my tabs into meal time packets, otherwise i'd be sat there for 10 mins every mealtime opening all the bottles. (i've more important things to do whilst on holday, than sit counting tabs out). I have never been stopped and as i said i always carry a copy of my prescription, so should the need arise the tablets can be checked off against the prescription.
Above all have a good time, and try not to worry too much.
Thank you both for responding . Great advice . We are getting it all together ( I hope)
We wore him out today getting ready for Camp Jeep . I hope he's up to it . It will be 5 days away from home ,different foods ,long days . All the same things that will come up on the cruise but with medical help close by. Has anyone tried those cooler bags that plug in . I saw them at Walmart . I'm thinking about trying one . Thanks again for your ideals . Wer'e getting really excited ,we did the passports this morning for the kids (we had ours) hope their back in time we have around 7 1/2 weeks . I 'm going to look at the frio bag again. I had looked at them before -seem nice but we really didn't have a need for one then. Thanks again youv'e eased my mind some.
On fast acting insulin. Order dinner, go to the rest room, take a shot, and when you return, eat. If the 1st course is not there, eat bread. Tell your waiter and usually they will be great. Have taken many cruises without a hitch. Also, carry snacks and water while onshore. Bring extra insulin and supplies. Carry all meds and stuff on the plane. Last trip my luggage was lost and my test kit was in it. Went to the medical facility and asked to use theirs - was refused. Had to spend 2 weeks without testing my bloodsugar.
Robbie I agree with you, that if you explain to the waiters they are normally very helpful. I can't believe the medical unit wouldn't let you use their testing kit. The year before last I accidently packed my ventolin and atrovent nebuliser drugs in the case (I have a going home pack now and leave it in my carry on bag the whole trip, until required. You live and learn). Went down to the medical unit and they wanted to charge me 4 pounds each vial and I would have to pay 50 pounds to have the doctor come down and write me a prescription. I refused to pay and managed to survive on my ventolin inhaler.
I am just wondering now if I should take my battery opperated nebuliser (it takes twice as long to nebulise with this one), as well as my plug in, do you think they would supply one if anything happened to my electric one. I bet they wouldn't BE ABLE TO HELP don't you.
Do you leave your sharps bin in the cabin, or do you bring it home with you.
Hi again everyone,
Thanks again for your hints . I found a tiny plug in Refrigerator today clearanced at Target - $30.00 had both AC plug & a car plug . It's big enough for his insulin and a few of the half sodas we use for his lows. I think that will make me more comfortable about my son's backup insulin supply. We always carry a backup meter -usually 2 . I made up kits in insulated soft sided lunchboxes. We were lucky to switch to the Precision meter ,who often has coupons(CVS had them last week when we did passport pictures they expire at the end of July) that if you buy the test strips they will give you the meter. My son loves it .We now have 3 soon 4. It's really geared for ease of use-glows in the dark (if charged like those stars that glow at night) You can buy test strips that will test for ketones too. Has a light for using at night or dark places. It's slower tho gives extra time to collect blood but doesn't need much. He pokes really lightly usually only 2-3 so sometimes needs 2 tries.
We just got back from a 5 day trip (Camp Jeep for any of you Jeep owners out there it was great, e-mail me if you want to know more) with no major problems biggest thing was hotel promising refrigerator then not delivering it, I had to get nasty a bit. They did get it there 4 hours and 3 calls later. Son 's blood sugars ran a little higher than I'd liked but he snacked a lot. That was prefered to a low .
Anyone take sodas with them ? Any trouble getting them on board . When I called Carnval said there'd be no problem . She said no refrigerators were avaliable but I could bring my own ( won't they be surprised when I do just that.). She said he'd need a sharps container but they had then on the ship if we forgot it . I plan to pack one and we keep one in the car now so down & back are covered .
I hope I've thought of it all . I'll get Drs. notes and prescription in mid. Aug. we leave at the end of Aug. Will that be recent enough ? I keep all his suplies in zip-lock bags except his insulin which is in a insulated bag of its own all this is kept in the lunchbox with his meter .Lunchbox zips and has shoulder strap. Backup kit is the same different design on bag . Hopefully they won't have any problems checking them this way. Do their scanners mess up the meters if they are packed in the luggage ? He will carry on his kit .Should his dad or I carry his back up? Thanks for all the input -I used your suggestions on this last trip -taking a juice to dinner. He tested at the table right before dinner and was really high so a quick trip to the bathroom with his dad allowed him extra rolls and dinner all at his usual shot time. We didn't need the juice but it was good to have just in case. The service was slow as they were really busy.
Thanks again all good things to consider , I want him to be safe and have a great time, I want to relax before we come home and have to deal with the new school year .